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Got my new amp (Phil Jones!)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassmonkeee, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Last week, my Phil Jones Briefcase finally arrived from Bob (all hail) Gollihur. Here it is being dwarfed by my Athlete 6 string:


    Don't let the small stature fool you--this thing is serious. It's extremely transparent and the response from the two 5" speakers is ridiculously fast. There is some serious air being forced out the rear port, too. If you position it in a corner, the volume increases dramatically. I actually managed to get through a blues practice with my Bongo using only the PJB. Both the drummer and guitar player were simply staring at it in disbelief. My guitar player only uses 6 1/2 watts and I have one of those rare drummers who can actually play without beating the drums like a gorilla, but it was still a very impressive display of power.

    With the mic/transducer equipped ABG, it's a match made in heaven. The low B on the Athlete has always been its weak point (stupid physics), and the briefcase brings everything out nice and clear without any coloration of the sound. In fact, when I first plugged in the K&K preamp and started playing, I didn't think it was making any sound. When I turned it off, I realized just how loudly I'd been playing! :bassist:

    Since the Briefcase can operate off an internal battery (not included), I'll be able to participate in impromptu jams in the middle of a forest around a campfire if I want to. It'll be nice to play with acoustic players without having to beat the crap out of my bass to be heard.

    I've been super busy with Vegas, the Crossroads Guitar Festival and other stuff, but I'll post sound samples as soon as I get some time to think. I already know that it'll make a killer little rig for recording through the DI. Both the Bongo and the ABG sound amazing through it and the built in optical compressor works great (although I think I might prefer the sound of the compressor in my Fishman Bass Pro II--I'm still finding my happy medium with tweaking, so I'm not sure that will remain the case).

    It only weighs 29 lbs, without the battery installed, so it's pretty damn easy to cart around. With Summer here, I know I'll be going to a lot of cookouts and such with musicians, so I'm sure it'll get plenty of use in that regard. It could even handle some coffee house gigs. Upright players should probably consider this as an option, too.

    It'll be nice when I am going somewhere to rehearse and I only have to take my Briefcase and my Ashbory :D--if I'm not careful, I could get really spoiled really quickly. :bassist:

    Bob was great to work with--I got the K&K Golden Trinity mic and transducer set from him, too. I wholeheartedly recommend throwing your business his way if you are interested in the Phil Jones stuff. Heck, the K&K mic/transducer makes this bass sound about 10X better than it did with the old Fishman setup, too!
  2. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    price? how would you compare its tone with other small combos you've heard? I know, I know, try to compare.... :D
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    The price was $600 from Bob.

    As for a comparison to other small combos, I haven't really had enough experience with other small combos to give an educated opinion.
  4. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Nice Monk, I've talked with Bob before, he's great.
    I'll have to consider one of these .... why ..... because it's there.
    Do I need it? Of course not, but ...... it still there. :smug:
  5. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Heh...that line of thinking sounds exactly like mine when ordering. I certainly wasn't losing gigs because I didn't have a battery powered amp for my ABG, but, doggone it, I've got one now--just in case! I knew I wanted something for my 6 string since the bracing in the arched top and back seem to be over engineered for strength, at the expense of acoustic volume. With the PJB, I can get as loud as I need to when playing "unplugged," and the K&K setup is a wonderful improvement over the 10+ year old Fishman piezo that was under the bridge. I just need to get around to covering the route on the side of the bass where the Fishman preamp used to live...

    I'm lucky to play in two bands where we don't engage in "volume wars," so I knew it wouldn't simply be a practice amp at home. It was great grabbing the Bongo with one hand and the PJB with the other and running off to practice.

    It really is a remarkable feat of engineering. Postitioning seems to be key to making a difference between quiet and loud, too. When it was positioned in front of a Mellotron covered in a sheet, it wasn't too terribly bassy, or loud. But, when I moved it to the other side of the room in the corner of the door and the wall, the sound really opened up and filled out. If you put your hand in front of the rear port, you can really feel the air coming out of there--moreso than most other ports I've felt on cabs of all sizes.

    If I had one complaint with it, it would be that the on/off, active/passive, and Compressor on/off switches seem a little flimsy/fragile. They don't seem cheap, but the shafts are pretty thin. I would think that more sturdy switches could have been employed without much trouble, but that could just be me compensating for my clumsiness. :D

    I fully expect the price of these to rise simply because they seem underpriced right now for what you are getting (especially in comparison to the rest of the Phil Jones line). That was another reason I picked one up as soon as I could--heck, I've had a deposit in with Bob since the end of January!

    It may be cute, but it isn't a toy.

    Expect a picture with my Ashbory this afternoon--I'm pretty sure I've just won the "teeny rig" contest. :bassist:
  6. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Yep, you win. I was a contender with many others with my WWU and Berg 112. Ah-hem, that's why I really don't need the PJ but GEAR just speaks to me..... ( wish I had a Koo-Koo smiley )

    I don't see dead people, but I'm always having gear doing sort of the same thing.... whew.
  7. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    This is one of the amps I am considering as a smaller but high quality combo for using in my house. Thanks for the review!

  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    that's almost sig worthy... :D

    but good to see ya on these parts, monkee man! and congrats on the sweeet amp. Bobby G mos def knows how to hook a freak up.
  9. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Inside info: Bob just about fell over laughing when I read this quote out loud to him. :)

    Mark Gollihur
    Bob's oldest son, also a bassist, now working in the biz with Dad
  10. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    That PJB stuff is tantalizingly awesome!

    Is anyone on the forum using either one of the Phil Jones preamps? Any opinions or impressions to share with us?

    From what I could see on the PJB site, they both look extremely drool-worthy!
  11. Eight by 15 by seven and 30 pounds? That is SERIOUSLY tempting to this scoliotic hack.
    How's the throw on that thing?
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Hey dude......where is the Briefcase made? USA?

    If not, that may explain the flimsy knobs. I suppose flimsy knobs can come from the USA as well, but chances are better offshore.

  13. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'm pretty sure it's assembled in China (which would explain the low cost), but the 5" speakers are the same in the more expensive cabs, so I'm not worried about cheap parts.

    I haven't had any problem with them working, and the way the front of the briefcase is designed, it protects them unless someone shoves a broom handle or a headstock in there...

    When I install a battery, I'm going to check it out and see what they look like on the inside. If they are just standard switches, I'll just change them out if they ever break.
  14. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    So, am I the only one waiting for the "Sure thing, boss, just let me get my breifs from ...my... breifcase..." incidents?
  15. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Actually they're different, but not for cost-cutting reasons. I discussed this with Phil over email and he explained that the other 5" drivers rely on being used in large numbers (6+) to get sufficient bottom end. The drivers in the briefcase are less efficient but have much more bottom end (similar to the difference between Acme speakers and other 10"s).

    I would love one of those Briefcases but I can't think of a good reason why I need one!

  16. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Well, there ya go. Thanks for correcting me.

    As for a reason to buy one---like that's ever stopped anyone around here! :eyebrow: :D
  17. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    Yes. :p
  18. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
  19. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Do you think that this amp would be overkill for a home/apartment practice amp? I was thinking of getting a baby blue, but this seems like it may be better.

  20. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Hey, Geoff,

    I think the PJB would make a great practice amp--especially if your main rig is an ultra flat hi-fi setup. I mean, it's small, it's light, it sounds amazing, it's not too expensive--it's pretty much got it all.

    Plus, with the option to run it off of an internal battery, your options really open up as to where you can play with it.

    If you could put the PJB in a room corner, you'll have plenty of volume for anything you would want to do at home. I've been using mine to record my 6 string ABG and 8 string fretless Curbow.

    Oh, and I've also been really enjoying using it with my VBass/Bongo setup. With the flat, natural sound it really projects whatever bass/amp/synth/noise that is being modeled. :hyper:

    I think the PBJ will also make its first gig appearance this Friday when my blues band plays a gig where volume has to be kept to a dull roar. :D I'll probably bring my GS112 and GK1001RB along just in case, but I really don't think I'll need to use them.