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active p bass special


Jor Dan Holi Man

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I'm thinking of buying a Fender Active P Bass Special for my son. This bass is a hybrid that includes a 'P Body' with a 'J Neck' and one each 'P Bass' & 'J Bass' pickups.

 

As I am not a bass player, my question -- is this a gimmick and would I be buying a mongrel hybrid not good at anything or would I be buying a versatile instrument capable of a wide range of tones?

 

The guitar appeals to me as my son is still young and the j neck is narrow and the p body is slightly smaller.

 

Thanks for any feedback.

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It's not gimmicky at all. Many manufacturers sell P-J configuration basses.

 

The Precision and Jazz basses are definitely versatile. They have been used for recordings in just about every variety of popular music since they came out. Most basses on the market today use these same pickup configurations that have been around for half a century.

 

The P Bass Special is guaranteed to be good at at least one thing: sounding like a P Bass. It will probably also be able to sound reasonably like a J Bass with the neck pickup soloed, so that's two things. That's not even accounting for the in-between positions on the pickup blend knob, and the bass also has a 3-band equalizer. Between these factors there are probably at least a few settings that sound good. So "doing nothing well" should not be a concern.

 

It's also a pretty decent bass even beyond entry level, so he won't be begging for a new bass after having it a while.

 

Okay, that is a lie. Bass players always want more basses. But you should not feel any need to give in, because you are not buying him a flimsy Squier Affinity or anything.

 

Buy it for him, and send it to me if he doesn't like it.

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Thanks for the feedback. I had thought that it would do the p bass thing since it has the same pickup. Course, the limiter on the j bass is it only has one j pickup. Since he is going to focus more on rock / alt that probably suits our situation just fine.

 

Did look at some Spector Legends today and they look and feel nice (to a dad who is a average six string player anyway). Also saw some Schector's that seemed pretty solid.

 

For that matter, there are LOTS of guitars out there as anyone on this forum already knows.

 

And, if he doesn't like what I buy, I'll be taking up the bass myself. Sorry.

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