Saturday, 12 October 2013
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Hey guys, I've realized that eventually I'll need a J and P bass to track records and suit certain styles of music better, but I'm not going back to parallel fretted basses. I've never had a fender style bass before, so I was wondering if it'd be wiser to get a Super P/J instead of a SP [i:25lumobq]and[/i:25lumobq] a SJ. Does the P-pickup sound different on a SJ? Any kind of feedback/comment is appreciated :) Iván
8 years ago
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#26592
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Hey Ivan, I'll tell you what I can and while we wait for the SJP boys and girls to show up. On the rock side of the house, I spend half my time on a Fender P and the other half on a Super J5. I must have that P tone, but grew tired of using twice the energy on the Fender to get good tone. I read everything I could find trying to decide if I wanted to covert the SJ to SJP or keep the SJ pure and order a Super P. Here's what I think I know: Pick up placement for SJP is not identical to the Super P. It's close but there are tonal differences, subtle as they may be. I did not locate a single post from an SJP owner that was any less than ecstatic with their conversions. There is one person running around that did the conversion and then added a Super P anyway. As I recall, it was all about having another Dingwall, and nothing to do with a shortcoming on the SJP. In the end, I decided that I love the SJ as is and remain scared to alter that SJ tonal mojo. So I ponied up for a Super P. To make things even more convoluted, I may still do a conversion on the SJ after the Super P arrives, as I lean toward more P than J in my tonal tastes. There are other things that appeal to me about the SJP conversion/pick up grouping........namely, that it is allegedly the most evenly voiced PJ pick up config ever manufactured. My vote is that if you can afford it, have one of each. If cash is a little snug, I am relatively certain that you can get 95% of what you need out of an SJP across the tonal spectrum and grab the other 5% from the engineer at the board.
8 years ago
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#26594
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[quote="Zoomie":3v4xg0qq] There is one person running around that did the conversion and then added a Super P anyway. As I recall, it was all about having another Dingwall, and nothing to do with a shortcoming on the SJP. [/quote:3v4xg0qq] That might be me! I measured the P pickup placement on the two to be about 1/4" difference (the SuperJ P/J has it's P closer to the neck). Like Zoomie mentions, they're similar but not exactly the same. The P/J is a bit more bassy while the P has a bit more mids. I too, tend to lean more towards the P sound, so while there was nothing wrong with the SJ, I did the conversion to have the P option. With both pickups on, it's a more authoritative sound (more midrange character). To me, that means you hear yourself better in a mix. I A/B'd the SJ P/J recently with a standard fret Jazz at a jam and I found you had to turn up louder on the Jazz to be heard. Both do sound good, though. The only thing I feel I lost was that the SuperJ J/J has a better slap sound. It's not bad on the P/J, but my personal preference for the best slap sound comes from a straight up Jazz configuration. If I had to choose just one, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a SuperJ (P/J).
8 years ago
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#26595
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Probably ! :lol: I just couldn't remember. So Smallmouth, are you of the opinion then, that you receive more tonal value with the SJP than you lose from altering the original SJ, and therefore prefer it, in spite of owning a Super P? (Run-on sentence alert!)
8 years ago
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#26597
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Yes, I would say so. But I will say that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the SuperJ J/J and in my case, it is just preference to have it as a P/J. I didn't get a SuperP because I felt I was missing anything. I just saw it and fell in love and well, you know how GAS is, it's not so much about needs as it is wants. :wink: Plus, I have spent a lot of time (& money) refining and downsizing my gear over the years (physical size, not the amount of it), so I am more likely to bring only one bass to a rehearsal or show. Maybe two to certain shows to have a backup, but it's not usually another Dingwall. I am a little nervous about the potential prospect of having something happen and losing two, so I bring another bass as a backup.
8 years ago
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#26598
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My heart just skipped a beat as I read you comment about losing two Dings, I am heading in the same direction as you in terms of pairing down to critical gear, although I cant let the 67 B-15N go. Same goes for the 63 NAV P, even though its being replaced by the Super P5. As always, I appreciate your comments !
8 years ago
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#26599
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I did the J to PJ as well. The P tone is more mid present and aggressive, but you have a huge range of eq both passive and even more so with the Glock pre. My first Dingwall was a Super P/J four string. I loved the P pup and first blended position right out of the box. I don't use the Aguilar pre very often. When I got the Super J fiver, I felt like I was missing a lot of what I liked about the P/J. So the first thing, I rewired the neck pup to series. Super easy. That moves you towards the P sound, but not all the way. I put in the P pickup as soon as they became available. I like it better for slapping because I have more access to the G string. The J pickup didn't give you much room on the G string end. The P pup is more under my sweet spot for finger style as well. I've always preferred the much sexier curves of the asymmetrical cutaways on the Jazz style body, and the narrow nut. I'd never met a P bass neck I liked, they were too chunky. You can still turn to the bridge pickup and get every bit of the jazz bass bark and burp. I'm not sure how Dingwall is routing the bodies at this point, but I think a Super PJ pickguard with the P located further towards the bridge by that 1/4" might be possible. If I recall the cavity had some room left over, I just used the pickguard to locate where I placed the P pup. The day I finished the P conversion, I took the bass over to the practice studio and A/B tested it against a 72 Fender P. The sound was spot on, but I had more tonal range, and of course the Dingwall blew the Fender away for balance across the strings. And then there was that chunky Fender P neck to deal with. My choice would be a P/J. I you haven't tried a P tone in your ABZ, you might consider taking that step first. You can get a pretty amazing P sound, with the Dingwall longscale magic thrown in. The P tone drops in and it's and easy solder job. Combine that with some TI jazz flats or some Payson Ground wounds and you have retro P bass deluxe. Last thing, when you go to the Super Series, you go to the 19mm string spacing at the bridge. If you rest your thumb on the B string, that G string is quite a bit further away. I can go back and forth between the AB's and the Super's, without much adjustment time, but it's the string spacing rather than the scale difference that I notice the most.
8 years ago
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#26600
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It's true, the string spacing difference is noticeable. I think I prefer 18mm and it feels like the nut width is fairly wide on the Super Series 5-string basses as well, but you get used to it.
8 years ago
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#26601
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Wow, thanks for all the feedback so far! I had forgotten the difference in string spacing. Anyway, I'm not buying any bass in the near future. I just wanted to know to be able to have some sort of goal. Then there's having a Z3...all this DAS, haha. I think I might get a SJ first, as I can install a P-tone to my ABZ and do the P-bass on steroids kind of thing :) Have you guys have any trouble showing up to a gig/audition with a SP5/SJ5? I know some band leader prefer 4 stringers for the look.
8 years ago
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#26602
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[quote="Iv@N":3b3wh6t6]Wow, thanks for all the feedback so far! I had forgotten the difference in string spacing. Anyway, I'm not buying any bass in the near future. I just wanted to know to be able to have some sort of goal. Then there's having a Z3...all this DAS, haha. I think I might get a SJ first, as I can install a P-tone to my ABZ and do the P-bass on steroids kind of thing :) Have you guys have any trouble showing up to a gig/audition with a SP5/SJ5? I know some band leader prefer 4 stringers for the look.[/quote:3b3wh6t6] First, Ivan, I don't play at the level you do. I'm a local hack at best, heavy emphasis on the word HACK. I play out a bit, record a bit, and now playing PW. I am just starting to make a some good contacts. Living vicariously through a few friends, I think that you will just have to assess your own market. I can tell you that I continue to hear about hired guns getting ugly looks at times for not showing up with a headstock that says Fender on it. I will say that even at my casual level of play, there are times when I have to take a good ol' P as a safety measure. I can also say that since I have been playing Dingwalls, I have plugged in both a Fender P and the Super J at studios, and the very few engineers/project leaders preferred the Super J5 in terms of tone, every time. They can always dumb down the tone at the boards or in post production but you can't make a Fender P smarter. :mrgreen: I have never had a negative comment for playing a fiver in RnR and Modern Country. Surely NEVER in PW. Praise team leaders will hug you and beg you to camp that low B because CC writers love writing in those low synth notes. One of the reasons I stayed with a conservative finish on My Super P5 (White/Baltic Amber) was because I am hoping to move away from the Fender P for good. Should I get invited to participate in any future projects, hopefully I'll get plugged in and get the nod of approval for tone before anyone notices that it looks funny or has an extra string. All this said, I am sad to say that I will keep the Fender 63 NAV P because far too many people still listen with their eyes. I can put you touch with Mark Robertson. A dear friend and my personal Cab builder. One of the most down to earth and humble guys that I have ever met. He has taught me a ton. Regular working guy with multiple bands, most out of Nashville. Significant world tour experience. Spends much of his time working the gig/mini tour side of the house now with upright work, but lots of studio time too, playing and producing, both upright and electric. He seems to have his finger on the pulse of the hired gun arena. He keeps a Fender P out of necessity. He wanted a 4 string Super P tuned BEAD, but Sheldon explained that the House of Dingwall was just not set up to take a run at this right now. Mark had to go to Drake and will take delivery shortly. Interestingly, The emphasis on 4 strings is tied to Mark's personal preference and not necessarily the market. He has a ton of basses in his studio but the P (and likely the Drake) see/will see all the electric gig time. That said, he did feel that he could get away with a Super P with no nasty looks. He's waiting for me to take delivery of mine to make a final decision. Here's an artsy shot of Mark in his studio........... refusing to return my Super J5. [img:3b3wh6t6]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-QYhE5FUHjnI/UgugqRbs7bI/AAAAAAAAJqY/rP71ROnrtlc/w416-h555-no/IMG_2606-001.JPG[/img:3b3wh6t6]
8 years ago
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#26604
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I haven't had any problems, but then again I do not do studio work or hired work, I am just a hobby player. My guess is that the SuperJ and SuperP look traditional enough that it shouldn't be a problem, but you never know.
8 years ago
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#26619
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I have a Super J and a Super P. They sound very different (as expected.) I like them both, but prefer the P sound (playing in a P&W setting.) They're both new to me, so I'm giving them time. Considering changing the J to PJ and move the P neck over (nicer Indian Rosewood). Think an ebony fretless neck for the P would be very cool. I like having a fretless Dingwall available for a more 'acoustic/organic' feel. Love having choices! Good discussion.
8 years ago
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#26621
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My Super J's have gone unnoticed for the most part. I get lots of comments on the sound, and they are all positive. Lots of compliments on looks the Super P/J fiver, but it's a stunner with the white pearloid pickguard and pearl blocks on the wenge neck. Now again, I'll see someone staring at me, and then their head starts to tilt clockwise... They've noticed the frets. I've been found out! The AB-1's get noticed right away. Next gig, the delta slide guitar guy I see about twice a year is getting the AB-1 sixer. He'll probably clue in pretty quick. He really liked the AB-1 five string sound (with TI jazz flats) at the last gig, said it was the clearest, most defined bass sound he'd ever heard. And he's a bit of a tone freak. Just for fun I pulled out the Super P/J 5 to see how it compared to the AB-1 sixer. I've been playing the sixer exclusively for the last nine months or so. I've gotten pretty dialed in to the 18mm spacing and long scale, and the C string. The sixer has a sweet, flat C and thin, wide neck. First impression, the Super J neck felt tiny, the action was super low and fast, and I could feel the extra reach for the strings with my right hand. I missed the C string right away, and the extra frets. The Super P/J is a heavier and balances more on the body side. Tonally, I have the Super P/J strung with TI jazz flats, so it would be hard to compare the two. I missed the piano bright, rich harmonic content of Payson ML nickel rounds on the AB, but I know how good the P with flats sounds in a band mix. Like reddavid said, nice to have choices!
8 years ago
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#26622
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Yeah, the Super Series basses and the AB's are two totally different beasts. The first thing I noticed with the SuperJ after having and playing the AB's (other than string spacing) was the neck felt about two positions shorter. The other big thing was that the SuperJ sounded really fat (hence the Super Phatty pickups!). The SuperJ sounds great, but if clarity is your main goal, then you cannot beat the AB's ([i:39poiu0k]I am sure the Z series and Prima's are not bad either...[/i:39poiu0k]). For more traditional sounds and looks, the Super Series are the way to go. Or even better, have both!
8 years ago
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#26624
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Wow! Lots of useful feedback. Thank you, guys :)! Hopefully I can try a SP/SJ next year at Musikmesse here in Germany.
7 years ago
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#26900
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Hi Sheldon, I'm in the process of spec'ing my Super P (actually I've already paid the deposit) with Bass San Diego and I'm trying to decide whether to add the bridge FD3. I assume it will have the standard 4 position rotary switch, correct? Will the addition of the FD3 have any effect on the soloed P tone? I assume the FD3 will be balanced in output with the split P? Silly question I know! Do you have any photos of a Super P/J yet? I really love the clean look of the body without the bridge pup. So I would love to see one if possible. I'm really more of a P guy than a jazz guy, but I keep thinking that I might regret not having the versatility now that it's available. I obviously need to decide ASAP. Thanks for your time as always. 8)
7 years ago
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#26902
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Rotary switch is correct. The pickups balance very well. We moved the bridge pickup quite a bit closer to the neck. Way more than I anticipated, but we just kept moving it until the tone fell into place. The solo P tone is not affected.,I'll post photos of the NAMM basses in early January.
7 years ago
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#26903
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Double post and I can't delete it. :roll:
7 years ago
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#26904
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":3su85fbs]Rotary switch is correct. The pickups balance very well. We moved the bridge pickup quite a bit closer to the neck. Way more than I anticipated, but we just kept moving it until the tone fell into place. The solo P tone is not affected.,I'll post photos of the NAMM basses in early January.[/quote:3su85fbs] Thanks so much for the quick response! I might have to decide before the pics get posted, but you answered the important questions. I had no doubt that you would not have released the design were you not absolutely satisfied with everything first, but it is reassuring to hear it from you first! I might have to just go with it! PS Merry Christmas Sheldon, and to Dingwall Sales and all of your wonderful staff!
7 years ago
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#26905
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Are you going to have to alter the shape of the pickguard so that the bridge pickup will fit?
7 years ago
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#26906
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[quote="Smallmouth_Bass":1x4qbbx1]Are you going to have to alter the shape of the pickguard so that the bridge pickup will fit?[/quote:1x4qbbx1] Good question! I was wondering that myself after looking at Super P pics again.
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