P/J midrange $$$: spork or smart?

Musing over MiM Jaguar Player, MiJ Aerodyne, Vindetta, Sadowsky Metro Express, Squier Classic Vibe, open to Peavey, Yamaha, etc. I am used to a J-feel. I learned on MiM ’ 95 J, like my J-V MiM '15= full-scale, hefty, passive, resonant. My only P=Fender Bullet Deluxe, early '80s proto-Squier MiA. Open to active, but wary of range $550-$800 if used, as frequent mentions that pickups are sub-par. But as a 62 3/4-aged noodler who likes spare-room sound processing rather than stage riffage, will my amateur ears be able to benefit from a hybrid p/j anyhow?

What justifies Aerodyne over Jaguar/ Player? Japan vs Mexico? Design? Streamline? Vanity?

Jaguar/ P!ayer vs. Aerodyne? Given their ~$750-$900 conglomeration.

My take from reviews. Jaguar/ Player+ Aerodyne= stylish, reliable body vs. blocky Aerodyne + pickup complaints for both. Vindetta= nostalgia, looks vs. can’t discern other features not on Aerodyne.

Sadowsky=affordable active\ passive option, Fender style vs. hyped brand name for inferior China product. Vibe/ Yamaha/ Peavey=decent components, value vs. China-made, glued parts. Squier Vibe= top of model, supposedly this line has upped their game to compete w/Y, but still Chinese, bits and pieces not meeting Fender QC level.

Yamaha’s overall appeal at higher end of budget models has been often touted. Sire iffy, not a lot on Peavey at this perch? Not sure if other worthies exist…

Finally, is it worth it? I’m used to a J- weight, rather than short-scale or lighter ergonomics. Is the Aerodyne~a J with a P as claimed in past comments/ threads?

Is there an affordable full-scale p/j on a J rather than P foundation?

P.S. As a casual player at home, “prematurely and involuntarily retired” but with time on my hands (sadly suddenly a widower less than a month, so this potential purchase may be only daydreaming to distract myself), would this (for me at least) substantial, GAS-redolent, semi-fantasy investment pay off in that spork?

Previous related:

(Fender Aerodyne, Mustang or Player Jaguar? And what about - #3 by John_E)


My sincere condolences.

PJ for the most parts are different than the P or the J. It’s its own animal.

Love it :joy:

Depending on the vintage. Mim Fender of 21-23 are quite horrible with a lot of quality issues from fit and finish to fret sprouts.

Mij on the other hand are pretty predictably great with the built quality.

Personally, I’d skipped the Vintera. Taking off the neck to adjust the relief is just a pain.

The big question is what, ultimately do you want? Do you need a badge saying what brand? Do you have strong preference of what pick up configuration, neck width, neck shape?

You are still way too young to be worried about the weight issue but some of the Fender Jazz bass can be substantial. If that’s not the issue there are plenty of options available.

Well, since you are in the city of Angels, you are more than welcome to try out what you are curious about from my small collection of basses. You can check out the short scale, P, J, PJs of different variations from Leo. I have the place and the set up you can do. Many of our members have gathered here before SoCal BassBuzz meetups

Disclaimer: I don’t own every basses but I think it’s enough to answer your curiosity. Just let me know.

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Just save a whole lot of time and worry and get either a Yamaha BB734A or Sire P7/P10. Both come in at a very high quality level (nicer than my MIJ Fenders, which is saying a lot because those were very nice Fujigens) and with at least the Yamaha, the pickups are outstanding. Can’t say that about Fender :slight_smile:

To echo Al’s point, P/J sound very different than Jazz basses. You can make them sound more or less the same as a P-bass (not precisely, but very very close.)


Thanks on multiple fronts @Al1885 Welcome insights. Brands don’t matter as it’s just myself center stage in my armchair lair. P/j catches my eye/ ear from a J p-o-v: that’s the neck I’m used to, but I’m game for a change-up to tinker with. Great to know you’re in my native Dodgertown. Hands-on beats online browsing on the go…

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You’ve never guided me wrong whenever you’ve responded to my musings, @howard. I looked 'em up and hadn’t realized that the Y bb 734a and the Sire p7 are about the same cost, used maybe. Curious what distinguishes a p10, which runs at least a couple hundred more. Intrigued by active/ passive toggle feature. What do you (all) thInk of that? Outside of Sadowsky, is this option common in other brands besides Sire? (I’ve p!ayed an active bass, but never owned one.)

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Super common. The BB734A of course has it, as do the TRBX604/504, and several Sires. Corts also sometimes have it, and even a few Fenders.

I really like the added versatility active/passive gives you.

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Love the Do-Yer, :joy:

One of the memorable mid price PJ for me is the G&L Tribute series SB2. It only has 2 volume knobs and the Bridge volume knob acts like a tone knob that control brightness. Really cool! very unique bass and it comes with the MFD pickups.

The tribute series use the same hardware and electronics as the Made in USA models, the only difference is the body, and neck. They are inspect and setup here in the USA.

For a few hundreds more you can get the American Performer Mustang bass. It’s a Mustang middle pickup and jazz bridge pick up it’s well balanced and great build quality. It’s a 30" scale so you can kill 2 birds with one stone. It’s definitely my go to short scale. Highly recommend the satin finish, olympic white and the seafoam green, baby powder smooth and would aged really well. I’ve seen them below $1000 on reverb.

I don’t own the 734 or any Sire, yet. They are as good as they come as well. so there’s no wrong choice here.


I was just about to chime in with that same info on the G&L SB-2. They are a horse of a different color and those who play them love the body style, the slim JBass style neck, and the MFD pickups. It’s definitely one worth checking out.



#1 - feel, which reviews can’t get you.

Some comments from my POV

I am a huge Aerodyne fan. They are thin and light and not everyone’s cup of tea but since they are MIJ the quality is always great.

I never met a MIM I didn’t get rid of. I personally don’t see the advantaage over a Squirer(non-affinity). Generally (for me) I swap out stuff on both and find Squier just better. (This is not my experience with guitars though, which is weird).

Yamahas are great.

Jaguars are a specific body type and feel comes into play here.
PJs are basically close to a P with the ability to take the mud out with some added J - a lot of folks do this and never do much else (or just use the P) IMO. These are not about trained ears as much as a variant P IMO. I think a lot of folks (me included) get fooled that they are getting 2 basses for the price of one. - nope.

Bur really - it all comes down to feel and preference. What I have found (on both bass and sax) is that no matter how much research you do, once you get an instrument in your hands and evaluate it honestly, it can either line up with expectations or, really disappoint. The disappoint has happened to me a zillion times. Dingwall & Warwick are amazing basses - but a hard no for me. I spent months dreaming of my perfect tenor sax, watching reviews etc - then sought the ‘winner out’ - and immediately spent months playtesting about 10 other horn models, landing on one that wasn’t even on my radar.

Since you are in LA, you are close enough to enough shops to go on an adventure. Give yourself a few days of “music beauty” and go fiddle. You don’t have to be good, no one cares. You are looking at feel. You don’t really even have to worry about sound, unless you are using your same amp in the shop and/or have a very well trained ear. If it sounds good, it sounds good.

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Do this @DrJLMurphy - but beware - size analysis is not @Al1885 's strong point - his collection is huuuuuuugggggeeee.


I personally don’t find a lot of use for the active circuits, but I am shaping tone after the bass. Active is fun, and, valuable in a live setting I guess.