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P/J bass vs Thunderbird


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A Precision bass has a split humbucker, a Jazz bass has two single coil pick-ups, and a Thunderbird has two humbuckers (they are skinny like a single coil, I think they are stacked or something). The pick-ups are like guitar pick-ups. The humbucker has a deeper bottom end and a little more bite. The single coils are a little brighter with mids and have the hum.

 

Aside from the pick-ups. The Precision and Jazz basses have different necks. The Precision neck is wider and flatter, while a Jazz neck is skinny and faster. I've read that guitar players can make a transition from guitar to bass easier on a Jazz bass because the neck is skinner. I have not played T-birds that much, but I think the neck is similar to a jazz bass, and T-birds look pretty cool. All three have bolt on necks. If you go with an EB-3 or Les Paul bass they have set necks.

 

Hope that helped.

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Thanks. I have read that the J bass is perhaps a little tighter with less low end than the p bass. Does the Thunderbird have even more low end than the p bass? In a very general way, does the tonal difference between Strats and Les Pauls kind of carry over to the Fender/Squier and Gibson/Epiphone basses?

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Before you make any decision you should read through the recent posts. There's a post by sawdelight where he's having a lot of problems with heavy fret wear on his T-Bird after only three months light use. Don't know if it's a general problem but it's something to consider.

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Yes the tonal differences in the basses are similar to the differences in guitars. The pick-ups carry the biggest difference, single coil versus humbucker. Some basses also have active pick-ups. I'm not really sure how those sound compared to the passive pick-ups. I want to say active pick-ups have a wider tonal pallet, but I don't really have any experience with them. Hopefully someone can enlighten us.

 

As with guitars, the wood and the neck (set or blot on) will affect the tone and sustain.

 

The Thunderbird has humbuckers in it so the low end should be comparable to a precision bass, but it has two so it will have a wider range of sounds.

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Gibson Thunderbirds and Epi Thunderbird pro basses are through neck instruments. The standard issue bottom of the line like I own is a bolt-on. I have played my brother's Jazz and liked the Thunderbird better once the strap button is somewhere it won't result in neck dive. The sound through his Ashdown amp is very similar. Through my Acoustic 165 guitar amp, the Thunderbird sounds great, but his Jazz sounded awful. I'm not sure why. The Thunderbird sounds great through my old Acoustic solid state amp, but I can't compare them since I have never heard his Jazz through the my big amp.

 

I hope this is useful, but everything is subjective.

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