Is PJ Worth it?

Hi eveyone,
I am new to Bassbuzz. After thinking about whether to begin playing the bass for a good while (years actually) I decided to just go on and do it.
As I am in the market for a new bass, would you recommend a PJ bass for a beginner?
Thank you!

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Yes. You can get the traditional sound of a P bass with added advantage of the J pickup when you want it.

Mostly, get something you think is cool enough to make you want to pick it up and play.

Also, if you can go to music store and get your hands on as many different basses as possible, it’ll help you find one that feels best to you.

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Love my PJ, got it as my second bass (bought a 5 string first, I don’t reccomend doing that for starting out). It has good versatility and as mentioned, you get a bit of both in one bass.

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Thanks Eric. I do like the well-rounded P bass sound, but I also like the growling bridge J pickup sound, so I thought I could combine the best of both worlds :slight_smile:

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Thank you Doc. Mind if I ask you which bass(es) you have and why you made that choice?

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Talk about my basses? Twist my arm why dont you :rofl:

My 5-string is an Ibanez, first bass I bought and I did it for arguably one of the worst reasons to choose an instrument. It looks amazing LOL. I play it a lot now, but learning on it was a pain, some experience under the belt and it became fun. This has a dual humbucker configuration.

2nd I bought was a Squier PJ Affinity, and the motivation there was wanted a 4-string to ease learning, and wanted to keep price down. Pickup configuration was a secondary concern, but in general I like to throw in to the jack of all trades category when starting a new hobby, since I don’t usually know what is good for what. Great feeling bass, stock pickups were absolutely fine, but I eventually ended up swapping them out.

Finally, most recent bass is a G&L Tribute J Bass. I wanted that nice growling sound of a J bass. I chose G&L on a friend reccomendation who plays G&L guitars and swears by them and found a like new one on reverb for a great price.

Now for my opinion. I am a huge fan of the J bass now and don’t see myself ever getting another bass that isnt J bass. Even on my PJ, I found myself using the J pickup over the P, so that lended to my preferences and choosing of a J. But, without the P/J, I wouldn’t have figured that out on my own. And playing in a store wasnt enough time with either to make that decision for me, took a lot of at home trial and error, messing with settings. I still play my P/J as it has a specific sound since I swapped the pickups for something different. And for being a low price entry level instrument, it holds it’s own quite nice. Even if it isn’t my main bass anymore, it gets plenty of time to shine.

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Would you say that your J bass is as versatile as your P/J in terms of tone?

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All three (P/J, J/J, H/H) are really versatile. That’s part of the reason they’ve been around so long. They are all more similar than they are different once you start messing with EQ. Each one just has its own sound and with each one, you can still get pretty close to the others.

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I play all of the same stuff on my J Bass I played on my PJ. It all works and sounds good, but there are subtle differences between them. Depends on my mood and what sound I want to go with. And as Eric mentioned, start messing with EQ and you can create almost any sound you want. Not to mention the various effects pedals available if you want to go into that rabbit hole.

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Don’t expect that, as it really isn’t going to give you that.
It is an ‘in the middle’ experience.
PJs shine when you use the J to cut some of the mud of a P, but in no way give you what a J-J can. Many make that error here, I did. PJ is not the best of both worlds, its a P with options .

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So would you say that a JJ is a better option, and then I can tinker with the EQ?

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“better” is your own preference.
A J cannot give you that old P thump, some folks dislike that.
If you can, try a good model of each type and see what you think you will like.

In the end, you can end up with a P, a J and a PJ, and a MM while you are at it - see GAS thread.

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They are similar but different. It’s the pickup location. JJ is neck and bridge location P is in the middle and PJ is middle and bridge.

on the PJ you’d get the middle P that’s super familiar and punchy tone but you won’t get as warm of a tone as you can on the J neck.

The unique feature of the PJ configuration is the ability to add brightness to the tone without reaching to the tone knobs. I do this often as by default when I’m not recording is to put all the knobs in the center detent.

Which PJ are you considering?

Edit: a Jazz bass can be made close to p but not the other way around.

Of course all of this so far doesn’t even make it on to my list as important things to have on the bass. My number one is nutwidth and string spacing. Pickup config probably 4th or 5th.

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For your reading pleasure @robespierre150

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A PJ with the J volume rolled down to 10% - 30% is a really good tone. Punch and clarity.

P, PJ, JJ, JM, M, all good sounds, comes down to the question is it your sound

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It’s all I’ve ever had! I own two. To be honest, 95% of the time, I just use the P-pups.

Ken T.

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I have owned four P/J and I am likely to get another this year, which will make both of my current basses P/J. It is a good combo.

I have also owned one P-bass, which was very good; two double humbucker basses, both great; and finally one J/J, which I did not like so much.

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A P7 from Sire, but then I saw the V7 Vintage (JJ) and I love it, although it does not seem as versatile. Any thoughts?

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Those are both really nice. I don’t see either as a bad choice.

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Personally I like P more than PJ and I also like JJ more than PJ. From experience jazz is more versatile than PJ because P on the PJ is not the same as P bass.

I’d add about a hundred or so and get the V8. @MikeC just got one there’s no doubt that’s a kick ass bass. I don’t want the “one” bass that can do it all, in fact I want the narrower range of versatility on my basses. It would make my life easy.

A good example is the Music Man Reflex/ Game changer that bass can do everything and you have nearly endless loadable user presets at your fingertips but that’s not my thing at all. lol.

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