Re: Jazz bass/Precision bass?

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Posted by El Pájaro on December 28, 2000 at 06:57:05:

In Reply to: Re: Jazz bass/Precision bass? posted by Bob 'Skippy' Blechinger on December 28, 2000 at 06:42:14:

: : Ok, so this may be a lame question, but here I go;

: : What exactly is the difference between a P-bass and a J-bass?
: : I've always thought it was that the J-bass had those two thin pickups and P-bass had some other pickup configuration. But I got suspicious when I was surfin' on Dann Glenns page and saw that he called his bass a J-bass, eventhough he uses that new LightWave system on it, which leads me to belive it must be something else involved in the mix when saying it's a J (or P) bass.

: : Help me clear this out. Thank you.

: Brak,
: The P-bass was Leo Fender's original electric bass, back in the early 1950's; the J-bass came along about 10 years later or so.

: Traditionally, the J-bass has 2 thin pickups, and the P-bass has had the split humbucker. These days, though, just about every possible combination of P and J pickups is showing up on basses.

: Hope that answers your question!

: -Bob

Hey there,
Skip's right, although I'd like to add a couple of facts: traditionally, the most obvious difference between J's and P's was the pickup configuration: two single coils on the J, one split coil humbucker in the P. Given that fact, the difference in sound is pretty much evident (meatier and earthier on the P; edgier and more articulated on the J).
However, body and neck dimensions were an issue, too. Early P bass necks had more of a "baseball bat" feel to them, while J necks were thinner at the nut and flatter (read: faster) all the way through.
Their bodie shapes were different, too: the J was something more "elongated", while the P was more guitar-like.
These days, though, most boundaries between the two are somewhat blurred. Body shapes remain pretty much the same, but neck profiles and electronics configurations went through many changes.

Hope this helped,

El Pájaro

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