I bought a Mini-Brute III several years back.
I purchased it because at that time, I had a regular gig playing Fender Bass in a jazz-standards trio, backing a vocalist. Musically,I tried to approach the repertoire with the tone/timbre and feel of the upright bass, the drummer used brushes; that type of feel.
We played at an upscale restaurant with a relatively small stage, and the Ampeg gear I own, even with one cabinet, was a bit much for the project.
The Polytones came highly recommended for use with Upright, the store I purchased from specialized in gear for Double Bass.
The rig really did the job well- it had a very neutral tone, not agressive at all, and with my passive P-Bass, could be voiced with a tone that while lacking the acoustic resonance of an upright, did get the same presence and feel for playing standards. In that respect, it was a geat little amp, and at that time, 30-some lbs. was considerd small for an amp with that kind of quality.
When that gig ended, I found the MiniBrute to be limited as far as other projects I was involved in- R&B, Blues, Funk, Soul,
etc. It could cut it, but it was certainly limited in power and headroom, and the tone didn't really have the "bite" I wanted for Bass guitar to lay in the mix in those genres.
Wasn't really supposed to, so no shortcoming on the part of the product.
Seeing as I had got used to light-weigh load-ins, I traded the Polytone in on the GK MicroBass, wich was way louder, more modern sounding (for Bass Guitar), and when used with another 12" cab, could cut through pretty well in small/medium rooms.
Interesting to me to see how bass gear develops over the years.
The GK eventually became "old news" with the intro of some newer high-powered gear, starting out with Acoustic Image, and going from there.
Now, for a dedicated rehearsal/small room rig, I use a head/speaker outfit, in my case a Neo-Pak 3.5 and a EA Wizzy M-line. Smaller actually than the Mini-Brute was, but way loud, lots of headroom, and tone that can range from hitting it hard with an R&B rhythm section to being tamed nicely for jazz and pop approaches.
It was interesting to see Polytone's new web-site; for years they didn't have any internet presence or marketing at all.
They just kind of got along on word-of-mouth and reputation, primarily from jazz guitarists and Upright players. Still is the case- I don't think we'll be seeing Polytone as backline at Live Earth in the near future!
Their obscure little factory has been located near the Hollywood-Burbank Airport, not too far from me, for as many years as I can remember.
Jazzdog, if it's not too personal, I'm curious as to what kind of issues you had with the Company or product. Thanks.