Squier P/J questions

Discussion in 'The Squier Bass Place' started by Hammertime, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Hammertime

    Hammertime New Member

    Jan 8, 2019
    Milford De
    Hello all...new member here. Been playing for hobby and fun for a long time...I'm 80... and have had a couple of MIM's for a while. Sold one a while back, and I just picked up a loaded VM P/J body from a fellow in NJ in excellent shape. Bought some Fender tuners from another fellow in Alabama, and my tech had what turned out to be an '89 Korean Squier neck laying around for about 15 years. Put is all together and it plays great. Sorry for no pix but I'm not that tech savvy. Anyhow, the P pickups sound great, but the J pickup sounds tinny and hollow, not to my liking at all. I never had a Jazz so I don't know how it's supposed to sound, but is this normal? I can't ever see myself using that pickup for anything, it sounds so bad. Is it defective, or does it sound like it is supposed to? I don't have any idea. Do I need to replace it with something better.

    Responsible comments invited, for sure. BTW, I'm loving that Korean neck.
    jefffam likes this.
  2. jefffam

    jefffam Dr. Squier

    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    Hi and welcome to Squier-Talk.

    Interesting question. Someone more knowledgeable on bass pickups is sure to be along. I have two P/J basses, a P-Bass P/J Affinity and a VM Jaguar Special SS. Both of the J pickups sound O.K. on mine, at least to my ears. I do know that the P pickup is AlNiCo & the J pickup is ceramic, that might account for some of the difference, as well as the J pickup being much closer to the bridge. It is also possible you just have a bad pickup. As I said someone should be along with more technical knowledge than I.
    Anyway, welcome aboard and most of all have fun.
  3. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    I've been playing bass for over 30 years.. I have a Jazz bass and I prefer those to P bass pickups. I have the PJ combo on my Jaguar bass and while there are difference with tone (the P is in the middle of the body, the J near the bridge) the output is comparable and the J is very driving -likely due to its position. It's not weak or thin at all. Now mind you, that is stock pickups as came on the bass.

    If you have a very high output after market P pickup and an inexpensive import knock off of a J pickup that may have been damaged.... You get the idea.

    But to answer the question, P and J pickups in reasonable condition will have similar output and strength.

    Try another bass with similar pickups and see what you find.

    Good luck and keep us updated.
    radiotech likes this.
  4. RetiredNSquired

    RetiredNSquired Squier-Nut

    Jun 20, 2018
    Canton, Ga
    Any chance you could get into a music store and try out a J or P/J bass there? Might give you the most accurate idea of how it could/should sound, be better able to compare.
  5. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    I’d adjust it for ‘nickles’
    Put a capo on the first fret, put a nickel on the E side of the J pup, fret the top fret, and adjust the pick up height up until the nickel just touches the strings. You only have to do this on the E and G string. If it still sounds weak to you then, there may be a problem with the J pup.
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Squier-Meister

    Jan 10, 2014

    +1 pickup height. I had that same worry on a bass guitar I modded, from a P to a JPJ with a 5-way Strat switch.

    Many of the bass pickups have foam under them to push against the height screws. That foam goes bad like an old couch cushion. So if you find when you raise the pickup that it rattles, you'll want to find some replacement foam. Leftover foam from another job worked on my modded JPJ.