Hi Luis, thank you very much for following me on YouTube. I’m glad you’re enjoying the material!
Gear can be a touchy subject, because it is highly subjective; what works great for one person can have the complete opposite effect for another person, depending on their style, feel and taste. I’ll do my best to answer this question for myself, but make sure you don’t accept my opinion as gospel or fact. It’s just my opinion 🙂
I’ve found the J Bass to be the most usable instrument in my arsenal (meaning it gets used the most, not that I like it the most). It has the perfect scoop to it that sits in the mix just right. It’s pretty mellow sounding, but it can get aggressive if you solo the front pickup.
I grew up playing a P Bass, and it is undeniably classic and solid, but I find its sound to be more “pointy;” sort of the opposite of the J Bass “scoop.” It can sit in any mix just as well, but I think you’ll find yourself eq’ing it more to make it fit, whereas the J Bass does this naturally.
Both of these basses are passive by default, and I really like passive instruments. All of my basses are passive, and some have a preamp that I can turn on, but I feel like there is more headroom and sensitivity to a passive instrument.
The soapbar pickup in my bass has a stronger and more “solid” tone to it. I like it on a 5 string much more than the J or P styles (I think the others are naturally too thin with the 5th string and need eq for the lows) and I also think it’s a bit more dynamic, making it great for soloing. However, if I need to dig in like a P or slap like a J, it will not get me there. This is my reason for owning multiple instruments.
So what’s the perfect bass for life? Geez, I’m not sure I can answer that question for YOU, but I’d have to admit that I couldn’t do my job without a J bass.
Or a P bass.
Or a P bass with flats and a sponge under the bridge.
Or a 5 string with soapbars.
Or a semi-hollow.
Dangit – I don’t think I helped much! But ultimately I think the best thing to do is exactly what you’re doing. Pick up a bass, try it out on a few gigs, and count the number of times that you fidget with your amp, pedals, knobs… if you find yourself touching that stuff more, you’re still searching for it. If you leave that stuff alone and you love how it sounds, you’ve found it.
I hope that helps! Thanks again Luis, and take care!