I just got back from trying out Phil Jones amps/cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassmanjones, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    So after getting Phil's cell # last night from Dan Leonard after he told me that Phil would be in Boston within the next few days I left a message and got a call back tonight at around 6:30 from Phil who said that they just left Rock City Guitars but wanted me to try out the stuff so they were going to head back over and meet me. First of all, this is pretty amazing to me and a show of how nice the guy is.

    We get there and they bring in the Briefcase (110 watts, two 5" speakers in a ported cab the size of.....a briefcase!) and I plug in with my passive fretless 4 string. It sounded wimpy and weak...and I was surprised considering the reviews guys on Talkbass gave it. Phil then told me that this is a prototype and they have to tweak it for passive basses and were working on that for the final product. So I plug in a 5 string Atelier Z...low B through 5" speakers would sound bad right? WRONG!!! This thing pumped and thumped. It gets loud....louder than a 1x10 combo, louder than a mid-range 1x12 combo. And the tone is so clean and natural it's amazing, totally unreal. I slapped, played fast runs, thumpy groove type stuff and it kept up and could take more, I could tell. It's very cool in that it's 110 watts, and 4 ohms...140 at 2ohms. It has a preamp out that allows the internal amp/speakers to keep working so you can have this 110 watts and plug the preamp out into a power amp into another cab and have more power and speakers without having to rely on drawing from teh smaller internal amp of the combo. It could easily keep up with a jazz trio/quartet and will work perfectly for my worship band setting.

    They then brought in the Six Pak and the 9B cab. I played the six pack alone first and the thing sang like crazy. My bass still sounded like crap...but this time it's because I could finally hear its true sound and the true sound needs a preamp and maybe some new pickups...sigh. The Atelier was massive through it and rumbled the store. This thing is so clean and natural sounding through the entire spectrum, from low B all the way to the last fret on the G string. Truly amazing combo.

    They added the 9B to it and it was like getting his with a ton of bricks. This combo of speakers rumbled the entire store. THe walls and ceiling rattled and the tone was unbelieveable. It was just massive and clean and natural. The same as at the lower volume but just louder. It has the sound of Anthony Jackson's recorded sound, even the low B. The fundamental was there and thick, absolutely perfect.

    They then brought in the big huge ported cab they ahve on the website and I played through that with an 8T (I think) and the big head they have. I was a little too close for the sound to develo completely but I could feel it and hear it rattling the whole store. It was so clean but yet thick if that's possible. My favorite was the Sixpack/9B combo...that would put an SVT rig to shame, seriously.

    The best way to describe this amp would be the meatyness of an Eden 410 XLT, the punch of an Ampeg 8x10, the clarity of studio monitors and the naturalness of high end home audio speakers. Seriously this line of amps and speakers is the best of everything out there combined into one product. I'm getting the Briefcase in January when they're available and adding on with a bigger rig when I graduate and start working full time.

    This stuff is the real deal, believe me.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to say that Phil let me try out his Ken Lawrence 6 string and that thing is killin! The amps/cabs made each bass sound so distinct through it. I'd never heard anything like it before.
  2. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    I knew you'd beat me to the post!!!!! It's 10:50 and Phil just left. He and Ben are driving back to St. Louis tonight. They left me a 16B and an 8T, and are sending a 500 head this week. I've also got a couple of Briefcases on order.
    I'm glad you got a chance to check them out in person. SOME people have a hard time believing that 5" speakers can go that low! I guess you can help spread the word. Phil is a super nice guy, and makes a great product.
  3. I tried out the Six Pak, Briefcase, and Six Pak + 9B combination at Fazios in St Louis. You are correct - these amps and cabs are INCREDIBLE...very crisp sound...tons of snap even with the low notes... An active 4 sounds like heaven through them. I never got the chance to try an active 5 through one, but I bet it's incredible! I certainly hope more people start trying these, because PJB will become very popular if they do!
  4. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    Interesting and thanks for the review. What is the cost range ?
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Prices can be found here (scroll to end):

    http://philjonesbass.com/MANUAL/PJB 2004 CATALOG.pdf

    Quick answer is $600 list for a Briefcase, $1400 for the 500 head, $700 for a 6T cab, $1600 for a 16T.

    The Briefcase seems like a real bargain. I also spoke with the guys (couldn't hook up with them to see/hear it, tho) and when I asked why it was so cheap they told me "Because we're stupid" :cool:

    NYC area TBers can head over to David Gage's shop if they want to try a Briefcase, they left a prototype there.
  6. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    Thanks brianrost :)
  7. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Very intriguing stuff. :meh:

    But can you dig the weight of some of this gear? The little amp head weighs over 40 lbs. :eek: The M-1000 is close to 60 lbs.

    The mega-huge T-500 650w Tube amp weighs 110 friggin' pounds, man. :eek: :eek: :eek:

    A roadie will be a must-have accessory.
  8. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, Cory, I had to post as soon as I got home... :D My girlfriend could tell you that I was grinning all the way home last night.

    I also have to comment on how nice Phil is personally. He's a great guy, loves music and playing bass. Said he makes this equipment for the love he has for it and doesn't really care much if he makes money off of it. I mean, come on, the guy postponed his trip home just to drive back to the same store so a guy he never met before could try out his equipment...that' dedication if I ever saw it!

    I gotta get back over to Rock City soon to get another dose... ;)

    I also gotta get a preamp for my FBB fretless. Last night was the first time I heard the real true sound of it and it sounds like garbage...maybe some new pickups are in order too.
  9. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Pair that up with the 16H 16x5" rear-loading folded horn cab (a mere 245lbs) and you've got something that makes ye olde SVT & 8x10" rig seem portable!

    I'll have to wait until I have roadies before I 'upgrade' from my QSC/Acme rig, but I do want one of those Briefcases!

  10. Wow, the more reviews I hear, the more I feel I need to check out these cabs. Thanks for the review Bassmanjones. I figure I will have to get up to Luthier's Access Group at some point to check them out. The only strange thing about them is the impedences. I will have to try them out with my iAmp 800 to see if that will sufficiently power a 6T and a 9B.

  11. Geoff Bates

    Geoff Bates

    Oct 23, 2003
    Derry, NH
    Ditto!! I just tryed Phil Jones' gear at Ted Herbert's in Manchester, NH. It was like hearing my Roscoe 6 string (with low F#)post production. Kinda' like I haven't actually heard it's real voice until I plugged into PJB gear. Ordered a 6-Pack and 9B!
  12. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Hey Brian,
    Just so that people don't mis-understand.......with the PJB gear, "list" is the actual "selling" price. Mesa has done it for years, and now people like Bergantino and others are doing it. As a retailer, it makes it easier for me. I've owned 2 Saturns(the car)now, because they have the same pricing policies. It makes you feel better when you purchase like that. You don't walk away saying..."could I have gotten an even better deal if I pressed them harder?"
  13. cods


    Sep 16, 2003
    if there was a fight between accugroove and phil jones, who would win?

    (cab wise)
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    We bassists would win.
  15. Hey Cory,

    How do the Phil Jones cabinets compare to the Bergantinos? I only ask because I know what the general feeling is at your store about the Bergs.

    (I'm the guy who bought that Renaissance a few months ago).
  16. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've played both and loved both...how 'bout that???:p

    IMO, the Phil Jones 5" speakers seemed (to me, anyway) to carry mids the way mids should be. The Accugroove El Whappo I played doesn't have quite the same mid presence, though an eq adjustment might fix that.
  17. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Jacob(and anyone else),
    The only REAL comparison between Phil Jones and Bergantino is they're both SUPER high quality. I don't honestly think that someone would walk into a store to buy one, and walk out with the other. They're very different from one another in design and tone. I know that kinda sounds like a cop-out, but you need to hear them both and make your own decision.
    Also, the Phil Jones is fairly expensive in comparison to most others, but there's a lot going on, with the multiples of drivers and the construction. They are also fairly heavy.
    Let your ears decide!
  18. Cool. Well I'd definately like to try one out nect time I go to Rock City Guitars. I sort of figured they would be difficult to compare, because Bergantinos use 10s, 12s, and 15s like regular cabinets, and Phil Jones uses 5s.
  19. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    If I can chime in for a second. To my ears in comparing the Phil Jones to Bergs (the 12's) I would say the Phil Jones are more clear with very little coloration, even less than the Bergs. The Bergs IMO would be if you want a hi-end cab with great response and frequency handling but with some flavor to it. The Phil Jones would be if you want hi-fi with natural sound and no color.

    One thing I can say is that the PJB gear is very responsive. The speakers are so fast and dead on. I played notes successively in volume and attack and it just spit them right back at me the same way I played them. If I played a fast jazz style solo run and accented some notes those accents popped right out just like I played them. I can't say that about other gear I've played.

    Also, EQ adjustments let you change your sound like night and day. Add a little mids and you get a little mids. Add a lot and you get a lot. What you cut and boost actually gets cut and boosted at the ratio you did it on the amp/bass without any help or hinderance from the cabs.