Bass choice: Precision vs Jazz

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by GVDobler, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. GVDobler

    GVDobler Synchromatic

    May 15, 2011
    Las Vegas
    Thinking of buying a bass for first time. (Home use only-don't gig)
    The choice of P bass or J bass seems blurred. (50's-60's music and country)
    I like the Fender Player at $799 of either.
    Also the idea of a short scale is interesting, but wonder if anyone regretted buying one.
    Amp choice is maybe a Rumble Studio 40 ($400) or a Rumble 100.($350)
    Don't know if there is an advantage in having bluetooth and wifi on the Studio 40.
    It appears that I can play music or stream from source via a 1/8" cable on others.
    Thanks for any input in advance.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
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  2. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Funny I've been shopping for a bass and was looking at the reverend Decision P bass as a sort of amalgam. My apologies if that skirts your question.
    GVDobler likes this.
  3. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    I wanted to try a Bass (at home) and didn't want to spend a lot when I didn't really know what to buy. Got a Yamaha that only cost $225 (I paid $175 on sale!) and it is really nice! Everyone knows the build quality of Yamaha is fantastic and this one is beautiful and plays and sounds great! Amazing for the money, this is as nice as many $500 guitars.
    The model is TRBX174EW (exotic wood) as mine is spalted mango.

    My best friend Joe is a great player with small hands and has played short scale for 50 years. Try both to see what you like.
    Yamaha Mango 1a.JPG
    18 Yamaha TRBX174EW Mango.jpg
    Edit: and I play my bass through my regular Fender Mustang amps at home. I don't turn it up loud (to protect the speakers) and it sounds fantastic. They're modelers too so fun to play bass with effects.
    Otherwise, there are always tons of bass amps for cheap on CL and FB.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
  4. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    There are many other possibilities to check out as well. Gretsch, Gibson, Peavey, Hofner, Music Man, and many others. If it's just for home use, you may not need a top of the line instrument, just something serviceable.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
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  5. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Traditionally, the precision bass has one (iconic) sound and a fairly fat neck. The Jazz, of course, has two pickups that you blend with the volumes, historically, a slimmer neck. The compromise to me is the PJ types.
    Short scales, like the Jag bass or the Mustang can be fun to play, if find them a little lacking in the very low notes.

    Or you can go short scale AND get the P and J pickups!
  6. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Yeah, just go to GC and try some out! That's how I found the Yamaha.
    I really want to try the Gretsch G2220 short-scale that is only $300.
    Gretsch Guitars G2220 Electromatic Junior Jet Bass II Short-Scale Bass Walnut Stain | Musician's Friend (
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  7. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    PJ w/ a J style neck for me. Fender had a MiM one like this in your price range as of a couple years ago & I believe Squier as well.

    If I'm picking either/or I think the P wins on sounds, I just like the J neck better on average.

    This 32" scale PJ I put together w/ Warmoth wood wound up a couple hundred over your price limit including the lacquer for the finish, but I basically spared no expense on hardware/pickups/flats/etc. & it has been worth every penny to me :)
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
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  8. Waxhead

    Waxhead Friend of Fred

    Aug 30, 2014
    Something else to consider is what I did ....

    I bought an MiM Fender Jazz bass and upgraded the pups with Dimarzio humbuckers.
    Outcome is it delivers both Jazz and Precision tones - best of both worlds.
    I also put in a Badass bridge which added a lot more thump :eek:

  9. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    I have a Mexican P bass with that expanded to a PJ and then expanded to a PBJ with the addition of a Fender humbucker. This was a blessing from above. As an alternative, I tried out a used Ibanez Talman short scale which records really, really well. IMG_9160.jpg
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  10. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    If you want it for more than just dinking around on bass, don't go short scale, you can thank me later. I've owned many basses, but in the Fender stable the P Bass is the iconic standard and gives you that thump that they are famous for. The Jazz Bass produces a wider range of tones and may be more adaptable to different genres. While there are many great basses available today, personally I have settled on Carvin basses for my choice.
    GVDobler likes this.
  11. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    For a bass there is only one choise: Rickenbacker. If you have that already, then you can look at others. :)
    GVDobler likes this.
  12. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    I like the slightly narrower neck of the Jazz. Don't know if they still make it, but there was a P- bass Deluxe with a P body, J neck, and J bridge pickup/ P middle pickup. Not crazy about the anodized pickguard, but that's easy enough to change. Might be worth a try if you can find one. I might even try to find one myself.;)

    P- bass Deluxe.jpg
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    FWIW, I have a MIJ Mustang that I really love. With a short scale, you lose some and gain some. I actually prefer the sound of a short scale, in some ways. It’s probably not a good choice for Funk, but I find that the note-attack is more like a double bass, with a bit of a thud.

    The Mustang sounds like a junior P-Bass, to my ear. I also have a short scale Warwick Corvette Fretless, with Bubinga for the body, Wenge for the neck, and the most beautiful ebony fingerboard in civilization.
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  14. mister rain

    mister rain Gretschie

    Apr 23, 2020
    new orleans
    yeah, i much prefer the sound of short scales myself.
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  15. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    I have this same bass, cant beat it for the price, punches way above its weight.
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  16. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Who Plays a Precision Bass?

    Jet Harris (the Shadows)
    James Jamerson
    William "Monk" Montgomery (Lionel Hampton)
    Brian Wilson (the Beach Boys)
    Carol Kaye (the Wrecking Crew)
    George Porter Jr.
    Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
    Donald "Duck" Dunn (Booker T. & the M.G.'s)
    Dee Dee Ramone (the Ramones)
    Sting (the Police)
    Brian Foxton (the Jam)
    Bruce Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Attractions)
    Paul Simonon (the Clash)
    Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)
    Tony Franklin
    Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses)
    Mike Dirnt (Green Day)
    Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters)

    Who Plays a Jazz Bass?

    Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)
    Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
    Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone)
    Herbie Flowers
    Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)
    Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report)
    John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
    Joe Osborn (The Wrecking Crew, International Submarine Band)
    Geddy Lee (Rush)
    Marcus Miller
    Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    Ron Blair (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
    Adam Clayton (U2)
    Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  17. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Back in the day around here, the Gibson EBO and EB1 were favourites - why did they fall off the map?
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  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Having owned both, in the past, I’ll weigh in.

    The P-Bass has a remarkable, very distinct sound that works for almost any situation, but aside from tweaking the tone knob, you basically have that one sound to work with. It is hum cancelling, so if you are playing a venue where there is electro-magnetic interference, the P-Bass is your friend.

    The J-Bass, having two pickups, is more versatile, but it doesn’t quite get that P-Bass sound. However, if you plan to do some slapping and popping, the more focused sound is perfect. I actually preferred J-Basses for quite a while and they can obtain a great mellow sound, in addition to the brighter sound of the bridge pickup alone. These are not hum-canceling, to the best of my knowledge.

    The P-Bass has a staccato nature to it, which brings to mind the sound of a Harley with shotgun pipes torquing it’s way up from low RPM. The word punchy comes to mind.

    I’ve concluded that the J-Bass is more focused than the P-Bass. The J-Bass, has a smoother attack and decay. It’s probably the better choice for a legato sound.

    If I was playing Rock of the ‘50s on through the ‘60s, the P-Bass would be my first choice. It just seems to fit that sort of music very well. Likewise for Country with a Honky Tonk feel.

    For more modern Rock, Blues and most Country, my choice would be the J-Bass. For Soul, definitely the J-Bass.

    I currently have 2 1/2 basses. I have a Mustang bass, which has a hum-cancelling pair of single coils, each covering two strings. It strikes me as being close to a P-Bass sound, but not as punchy. My second bass is a Warwick, with a set of J-Pass, passive, pickups. The sound is very focused and the dense woods made a lot of sustain. It’s almost like playing bass on an organ, because so long as you keep the string depressed, it will sustain (within reason), allowing whole notes to sound evenly.

    The half-bass is a Bass VI, which as a bass is closer to a J-Bass, although you can switch in all three pickups and diffuse things a bit. Put it on the bridge pickup and it’s sharper and more focused than a Jazz bass, which makes it perfect for use as a melodic instrument; a baritone guitar that extends all the way down to the bass register.
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  19. garagegods

    garagegods Electromatic

    Sep 30, 2021
    Los Angeles
    P Bass all the way!!!! never liked jazz basses. mine are mostly customized with telecaster small headstock on P bass bodys thumbnail_IMG_7304.jpg thumbnail_IMG_7307.jpg thumbnail_IMG_7308.jpg thumbnail_IMG_7309.jpg
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