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Phil Jones Briefcase - How loud is it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by scowboy, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    I am very curious about the Phil Jones Briefcase.

    I play worship music once a week in a coffee shop setting with a acoustic guitar and 3 singers. We use a real monitor rig for the VOX with some acoustic guitar in it. The monitors sound like well Peavey monitors so I am not excited about putting my bass through them. I'd guess stage volume is probably 93-96 db depending on the day.

    Today I use a Markbass LMII and a Traveler 102P which is more than enough. My question is would a Phil Jones Briefcase get the job done with some headroom left to spare? Also how well does it handle a Low B string? I have always liked the idea of that amp and thought I'd like to have one if the opportunity presented itself.

    Comments would be appreciated.
  2. In my opinion there really wont be much if any headroom. I had one, love the tone but the volume part is definitely lacking. The low B handled pretty well considering its small drivers.
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I don't think it will get the job done from my trials with it at a couple stores. If you want something small like that get the Markbass Minimark; I have been very happily using mine now for a couple years. :)
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Phil Jones is one of the few bass amp makers (only?) to furnish sensitivity curves for his speakers. It's in the owners manual, which is online at his site. Note that 2.83 V into 4 Ohms corresponds to 2 Watts, so you should lower the curve by 3 dB to make it comparable to a typical 1-Watt sensitivity curve.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I had to good fortune to try a Briefcase head to head with a Minimark when I was looking at ultra-small combos. The Briefcase wasn't even close to the volume the Minimark easily put out.
  6. jesso


    May 30, 2008
    The Minimark I have is nice and loud for its size. But the briefcase I tried was nowhere near.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The briefcase is good for a practice amp and not much else.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I owned a Briefcase. It was loud enough to hear if I was the only person playing, in a small room. Otherwise I might as well have not had an amp at all.
  9. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    anybody used a Suitcase?
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Got a thing for the Phil Jones? ;)

    I haven't tried one (and I'm really not big on his cabs) but a Suitcase could get the job done. I don't see the advantage over your Markbass rig, though. It's actually heavier than your Markbass rig.

    If I were looking for a little coffee shop all in one solution, I'd get a Shuttle 3.0/8T or 10T. I think it's got a little more on the bottom compared to a MiniMark, and it has plenty enough volume to cut your gig. Of course, me being pragmatic (read: cheap), I'd just stick with what you have. 5 years ago, bassists would have killed to have a little 210 rig that weighed 40 lbs. total and could handle a large room with ease.
  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    From my experience with coffeeshop gigs more bottom end could be too much of a good thing! :meh: ;)
  12. Hi!

    Contrary input... I use the briefcase as my primary rig for jazz and theatre. It certainly isn't going to fill any dance clubs, but for theater, it easily overpowers the orchestra and I'm usually turning down below 50%.

    For small jazz gigs, piano trios and quieter jazz guitar trios, same thing. Plenty of sound.

    The other place it gets alot of use is studios and low volume stages. If you love the sound, then it's a great amp.

    But I won't begin to try and tell you it's gonna fill a concert stage or a loud club. Not it's purpose.

    Also, for my purposes, the mini mark wouldn't do any better. I tend to see a pretty broad gap between the "quiet stage, house support" gigs and the bring your rig gigs. In the latter, they're looking for 500W+ and a double stack.

    Love my briefcase!
  13. In my opinion, it is crucial to put the PJB Briefcase at the right place. A corner would be ideal to enhance the perceived low end.
    It is not a loud amp. If you play with a drummer, make sure the drummer uses brushes and has a lot of discipline. ;)

    But with acoustic guitars and a singer, things should work, at least if you're not trying to achive higher volumes.

    I use the Briefcase mainly as a practice amp, but every now and then, I take it to a garden party or barbeque where a friend of mine plays acoustic guitar. As long as I find a good spot to place it (near a wall, in a corner...), I never had a problem. But it also depends on the style of music you play, of course.

    Just my 2 cents.

    P.S. (a little off topic) During band practice, I found it very helpful to use the Briefcase while the others played acoustic guitars and the drummer was usind his hands on a bench. Normally, we play very loud blues-rock... but at low volumes, we are able to hear each other very much better than at 'normal' practice volumes. Helps tremendously in achieving better timing and working on nuances. Having no big rig requires a lot of discipline....
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 to most of the other comments above.... not even close.

    The best way to think about the Phil Jones speakers is that, roughly, four of the little drivers is approximately equal to a single 10" speaker regarding output.

    So, the Briefcase is the equivalent to, maybe, a single 8" driver. It's, at best, a practice amp.
  15. RColie

    RColie Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    I think Jimmy's spot on. I used a suitcase for a while, then added a 4b cabinet, and I think it's the best tone I've ever heard, but it simply wasn't loud enough. The suitcase is also fairly heavy and awkward to carry. If weight and price are not an issue, I think you'd like it.

    But, as Jimmy recommends, check out the Genz Benz shuttle series. Small, light weight, good tone and volume.
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Agreed, the Shuttle 3.0/10T combo is impressive.

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