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Phil Jones Bass: Double Four for live/recording?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cannongeorge, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. cannongeorge


    Dec 21, 2016
    Hi guys!
    Basically for the last year I have not had an amp, I've been using my pedalboard (chiefly the MXR M80 on it) for it's DI straight into the mixing desk, which has been serving me fine, since everything I do at the moment uses PA anyway. However, I'm going to be doing various bits of recording in the new year, and I'm considering going for an amp to help with this. Problem is, it needs to be very light and portable (I'll be carrying it around everywhere, living situation blah blah).

    I had the idea of using a Phil Jones Double Four and getting a microphone to boost the volume if needs be, while also using the DI on my pedalboard for other PA support/recording purposes. That way I have a small amp I can take to places and mic up without taking the pedalboard.

    TL;DR I'm living in the city without a car, want a light amp to take for recordings, possibly the odd gig, thinking of using the Phil Jones Double Four and micing it up.

    What do you guys think? Any other (better) ideas?
  2. katysax


    Nov 5, 2012
    You can probably do what you want pretty well with the Double Four. I rely heavily on a Double Four, in fact I now have two of them because I found a good deal and wanted a backup. I use mine all the time because I take it all over the place. It was out for repair for several weeks (problem that was hard to diagnose) and during that time I tried all kinds of alternatives but I was never happy. Most of my playing is with acoustic players. When I play rock with electrified instruments I don't use the Double Four. Unfortunately I have a love /hate relationship with the Double Four.

    The small size and light weight.
    The ease of turning it into a battery operated amp.
    The ease of carrying in an aftermarket bag I bought for it.
    Surprising loud for its size
    Sound really cuts through.

    The lack of a DI.
    The lack of external speaker jack.
    It's a little fragile. I've abused the heck out of mine over the last three years, and it has suffered. The corners are fraying. The power brick went bad and I had to get a new one from Phil Jones. The input jack needed to be replaced.

    In Between:
    The tone is very high quality but misses the really low lows.

    You seem to have a good handle on the issues. If I were going to use it as you are, I would bring a pedal or a splitter so that I could use a DI. A mic on the amp will never be better than the tone of the amp, and you'll still be missing the low lows. If you want the lightest, smallest, most portable bass amp the Double Four is unique.

    The Bass Cub addresses some of my issues. I had one of those before the Double Four and used it when my Double Four was in for repair. However, it is considerably heavier. The tone is a little more bassy, but the sound does not cut through as well as the Double Four. It also has a DI and speaker out - which I prefer. However, if I could not use the Double Four I'd go for something like the Ibanez Promethean or the Micromark. Both of those are still light and portable but a bit more than twice the weight and size of the Double Four. Despite its size and weight the Double Four really does a credible job at performing as a bass amp.
  3. wagdog


    Mar 20, 2000
    Der Waffle Haus
    The Double Four has a line out so you don't necessarily have to mic it. And to get the best bass output it needs to be on the floor, preferably near a wall. It is surprisingly loud for its size and until you actually see one it's hard to imagine just how tiny it is. I love mine and find I prefer it to my Genz Benz stack for practice and casual playing. It is much more articulate and responsive (as is all PJB gear in general). I haven't had any issues with mine but I could imagine the power brick eventually being a weak link. I should also mention I find my effects work very well with the Double Four and the pre-amp is very tolerant of a wide range of signal levels.

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