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Phil Jones Bass Buddy vs "True" Bass Heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by selowitch, May 9, 2018.


  1. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I'm intrigued by the possibility that true bass heads now on the market can fulfill the function of the Bass Buddy while also serving as a gigging amp:

    ProductWeightWidthHeightDepthPowerEQDICompressorActive/Passive SwitchAux InLine OutBattery PowerMSRP
    Phil Jones Bass Buddy2.0 lbs.5.35"1.75″7.3″10W @ 8 ohms5 bandsyesyesyesyesyesyes$459.00
    Trace Elliot Elf1.6 lbs.6.75"1.35"4.1"200W @ 4 ohms, 130W @ 8 ohms3 bandsyesnonononono$299.00
    Genzler Magellan 3503.5 lbs.9.00"2.63”9.83"350W @ 4 ohms, 175W @ 8 ohms, 350W @ 2.67 ohms3 bandsyesnonoyesyesno$459.99
    Fender Rumble 200 v34.5 lbs.17.91"6.50”11.81"200W @ 4 ohms, 140W @ 8 ohms4 bandsyesyesyesyesyesno$299.00
    Phil Jones D-4002.9 lbs.9.60"1.70”7.60"350W at 4 ohms, 200W at 8 ohms5 bandsyesyesyesyesyesno$799.00
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    What's the point of a tiny head, when speaker cabinets are as big as they've ever been? I am genuinely perplexed by your suggestion.
     
  3. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Har, har, har. Thanks for the troll!
     
    mcnach, HolmeBass, grinx and 5 others like this.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    It's all good, just joking. ;) In seriousness, I've tried the ELF but never the Bass Buddy. I also am curious if anyone's ever done an A/B comparison.
     
  5. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Awright, awright, fine. :)
    It sure looks to me like the Elf would make a decent substitute for the Bass Buddy.
     
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Looks like the Bass Buddy has a few more features, but the ELF is 20x the wattage. I guess it depends what you need it for.
     
  7. nbsipics

    nbsipics It's the Bass that makes them Dance Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    I never had the Trace, but I really like the PJB Bass Buddy.

    But you buy the BB for practice, or VERY small gigs, or as a "DI" for FOH. IMHO. YMMV.
     
  8. nbsipics

    nbsipics It's the Bass that makes them Dance Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    And I don't know about the Trace, but you can run the BB on batteries! Very nice for
    small outside jams with a small cab.
     
  9. I think that the Genzler Magellan 350 has the best features of both at the price of the Bass Buddy. The only downside is that it is a tiny bit larger...
     
    dralionux, sigterm and selowitch like this.
  10. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    not to pick nits, but the ELF has a preamp as well.
    Otherwise, it's just a power amp.
    I'm not sure what that distinction is doing on your spreadsheet.
    Also, I've never had use for active/passive switches. Everything goes in the passive input, and gain gets adjusted as needed.
    So it seems like it comes down to the EQ and compressor. Do you need a comprehensive EQ, as is on the BB, or does the ELF EQ work fine? And do you need a compressor?
    Honestly, all things equal, and for $150 less, the ELF is the clear winner to me.

    BTW, super jealous of your spreadsheet. Uber nerdy stuff like that makes me happy.
     
    Garret Graves and selowitch like this.
  11. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    You’re right! I couldn’t figure out if the Elf had one or no. Thanks! And if I'm being a true nerd, I might point out that technically, it's a table, not a spreadsheet.

    Me too, man!!! It turns out that BBcode supports the table tag and other related tags similarly to HTML.[/table]
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  12. Need two more boxes.

    Can play loud enough to need earplugs Y/N

    $$
     

  13. *kgW"H"D"kWEQDIComPrepadAuxL/O12VM$Can play it's way out of a paper bag
    PJ2.05.351.757.310w @85Byyyyyyy459:(
    Elf1.6 lbs.6.751.354.10.2 3bynnnnnn299:)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  14. Aha. The formatting doesn't allow scrolling left to right to view the last columns on phones.
     
  15. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Yeah, I noticed that, too. Bummer.
     
  16. Dirty edit coming.
     
  17. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO, a more apt comparison would be between the Elf and the PJ Bass Briefcase. There are two versions of the Bass Briefcase: 100W at 4 ohms and 150W at 4 ohms. It's a combo amp, but pretty sure the head is removable.

    In comparing the ELF to the Bass Buddy...one appears to be a better headphone amp if you like to play along with a CD or Ipod (Bass Buddy); one appears to be much more powerful and realistic as a giggable head (ELF).
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  18. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I think the overarching point to be made is the Bass Buddy made more sense when bass heads were bigger, heavier, and more expensive. The trend toward lighter, small, and cheaper bass heads threatens the position of the Bass Buddy in the hearts of bassists, IMHO.
     
    mcnach and Garret Graves like this.
  19. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Considering how inexpensive the ELF is you might have a point...still, some will want the aux in and battery power for late night silent practice sessions by the camp fire.
     
    Garret Graves likes this.
  20. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    It seems to me that the Bass Buddy putting out on 10 watts into an unpowered cab on battery power might not hold up to lots of other instruments in a group setting outdoors.
     

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