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Played through a $10,000 tube head this past weekend, and guess what...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JPJ, Feb 4, 2003.


  1. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I liked it! :D I had an opportunity to try out the new line of Phil Jones Bass cabinets, heads, and amps, and was truely impressed. A few of the locals who frequent the Luthiers Access Group were invited to meet Phil and Ben, his brand rep, for an afternoon jam session at LAG, and I was truely blown away by what I heard. In addition to playing through two PJB heads, a combo, and an assortment of cabs, I got to try "the best bass tube amp in the world", and my head is still spinning from the experience!!! If you're not familiar with the PJB line, Phil (who also designs AAD PA and home theater speaker systems) is in the process of revolutionizing the bass amp world with his line of speaker cabs loaded with nothing but 5" drivers. No tweeters, no 10s, 12, or 15....just a wall of little 5" custom drivers. I know that we're constantly being bombarded with "the next big thing" here at TB, but I honestly believe that these cabs will set the bass community on its ear.

    These cabs were the clearest, tightest, most natural sounding cabs I've ever heard, and are simply amazing when it comes to slap bass. I'm not a slap player (I play 4 string jazz basses and fingerstyle exclusively), but these things are the shiznit when it comes to slap. I've never heard a more responsive, dynamic, and punchy cab, and I spent the last 18 months searching for the perfect cab for my new bass rig. The transient response of the cabs were amazing, whether we're talking about the 8T, 16B, or 24B (with the # designating how many 5" drivers are contained in each cab). I was equally impressed with how the cabs performed for fingerstyle bassists, and an upright sounded great throught a little 500 watt conbo (the SIXPAK).

    To demostrate that Phil had designed a full-range cab that could compete with cabs with larger drivers and tweeters, we A/Bed an 8T w/ 16B (the equivalent of a 2X10 with a 4X10) against a full range high-end cab from a major competitor. The "other" cab had was loaded with 1X15, 1X12, 1X5, and two tweeters. Without comparison, the PJBs shamed the other cabinet. I felt embaressed for the otehr cab manufacturer that he is charging as much as he is for a cab. The Jones cab went as deep, but wasn't as whoofy and loose. It went as high, but the treble and high end sounded smoothers and more natural (even without a tweeter-this applied to slap bass too), and the mids were more present, punchier, and more detailed. It was a remarkable comparison, and I was shocked at how refined and clear the PJB cabs were, not to mention how LOUD they were due to the coupling effects of all of those little drivers moving back and forth like a huge wall pushing air. One of the guys who was there couldn't get over how thick and phat even the smaller cabs sounded, not to mention when we fired up an SVT-sized 24B outside. :eek: I've written detailed reviews of all the gear and they should be up at http://www.bgra.net/bass-rev.php soon. This stuff is a slappers DREAM! :)
     
  2. Hey, sounds good JPJ. Interesting design idea. I hope to see more people trying these out and letting us know what they think.

    Geoff
     
  3. VicDamone

    VicDamone

    Jun 25, 2000
    Nice review, thanks. Any idea on a ballpark price for the cabinets?
     
  4. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Aha! I've found some photos of these cabs - check out these page, they're about halfway down, and look which slapper extraordinaire is hanging around!

    http://www.solspeak.com/legacy_aad.html

    Alex
     
  5. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Very nice! A friend of mine who owns his own music store mentioned these to me after he saw them at NAMM in Nashville last summer. He said they were the most amazing things he'd ever heard, but he couldn't find any info about them online to show me.

    Thanks for the link!
     
  6. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    How much are those cabs?
    Any way to contact this Phil Jones´s company?
    Is he located in the UK?
     
  7. Dan Lenard

    Dan Lenard Banned

    Mar 8, 2002
  8. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    That would have been hard to find.:rolleyes: :D
    Thanks.
     
  9. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    As Dan mentioned, Phil's bass web site is www.philjonesbass.com, and you can also check out his audio products at www.aadsound.com. Phil is originally from the UK, but is currently living in China...although he menioned moving back to the States very soon to gear up for production of the PJB line. Unfortunatley, I don't have a price list on me, but you can give Dan Lenard a call at the Luthier's Access Group (www.luthiersaccessgroup.com) and I'm sure he can fill you in. The $10,000 tube head is the only item that I would consider out of reach, as the other heads and cabs are all competitively priced compared to the other high-end amp and cab makers. In fact, I think that these are a pretty good deal right now, as I think you're getting way more tone and performance that some other, more expensive equipment lines that I compared to the Phil Jones stuff.
     
  10. bassmanjones

    bassmanjones

    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    I just wish he'd update his website with some useful information. Even if the stuff isn't actually available on the market right now, it would be nice to get some serious info (such as pricing *ahem*) to plan in advance for when they are readily available. I've heard small driver cabs in hi-fi home audio and I'm sold on teh concept as working to produce a full spectrum of sound. I was only concerned about the applications to bass and specifically bass in a live setting. But, you've put my mind at ease about that. Now for prices and some serious saving....

    One question though, how many watts were you running through the cabs and at the maximum volume before the cabs started giving out (I'm assuming you pushed them to the limit to see what it was) what would be a comparable volume. i.e. SM-900 through 4x10 turned up to 2 o'clock or something like that. Just a pure volume perception type of thing as a reference for how you really put it through the paces.

    Thanks.
     
  11. That must have been [​IMG]

    But.... was it 10x better than a typical $1000 head?

    BTW- the cabinets with the cute little drivers... that's a very intriguing concept. Just think back in the day when 15's were the industry standard.... who would've thought soooooo many folks would be playing thru 10's..... It's great to see someone trying something different.

    Too bad that the cost of these cabinets will (we all know it) price them *exclusively* into the 'I have more money than God' crowd.

    (sigh)
     
  12. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    BMJ,
    We put the Jones equipment through tougher tests that I've ever done for any equipment I've tried. Part of that was due to the fact that Phil and Ben were at the controls to help us out. As for the $10,000 tube head (which will probably be produced in a scaled-down, more affordable version in the future), I asked that they crank the thing to full-on distortion. The head is actually designed to be the loudest and cleanest tube head available. To send this puppy into overdrive took some serious heat running throuh those valves, but it sounded wild! As for the 500 and 1000 watt heads, we cranked them too, and they suffered both an aggressive fingerstyle attack by yours truely, and an all-out assault slap & pop workout by another local Chicago player.
    Unfortunately, I can't give you specifics on the volume levels because I didn't actually turn the knobs...I was just playing and listening. However, it was as loud as any PA in any local bar or upscale music joint in Chicago. Another reason why it is so difficult to compare this equipment to other amps, heads, and cabs is due to the fact that the dBs on these cabs is off the freakin' chart when it comes to responsiveness and the coupling action you get with so many spearkers. For instance, with the 16B, the maximum dB at 10 feet (about how I was sitting from the cab) with the recommended amp is 120!!! :eek: It's 127dB for the 24B. Thus, even a moderatly (or slightly underpowered amp, by modern standards) is going to sound MASSIVE. We're talking enough punch to make you puke and enough low end to make you lose control of your bowels. :D Hope that helps.
     
  13. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'm sorry I missed it! Too many errands...I was invited, but couldn't make it.

    D'ya see my Jerzy???:D
     
  14. bassmanjones

    bassmanjones

    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for the quick response JPJ. That was kind of what I expected, but I just wanted to get the real deal version from the horse's mouth. I gotta get prices for these things and save for one...maybe a head too. Who knows...
     
  15. Sounds like this stuff will give a new meaning to the phrase "Having a Jones for . . . ":D
     
  16. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Checked the website... I'd like to get my ears on one of those cabinets.

    I'm a little leery of (pre)amps with a graphic EQ as the primary tone shaping tool - simply because I never really got a sound I liked out of my old Trace Elliot.

    Somebody ought to remind them that while sticking an apostrophe before a pluralizing 's' may be okay on the letterboard in front of a bait shop, it's probably not a good idea on the website of a company asking $10k for an amp... ;)
     
  17. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA


    Ditto. Bose has been using this design for awhile and I really like how they sound.
     
  18. Now that's an interesting comment for two reasons.

    1. That's exactly what I was thinking in terms of using multiple small drivers and

    2. I hate Bose speakers because they have no low end whatsoever.

    Even with their "professional" PA equipment there is a useable low frequency limit of 50 Hz and that's for the "subwoofer"! When I contacted Bose about that, they told me that I needed a Bag End sub system to augment their "subwoofer" if I wanted to get a response down to 30 Hz or lower.

    I used the PA equipment extensively at a theater where I used to work and I gotta tell ya, for low to medium volumes with vocals only, great sound,and great dispersion, but for serious PA including a decent bass sound, forget it. Paul Harvey hawks the Wave radios to old people for a reason. I ended up trading the Bose subwoofer for a pair of 'regular' folded horn subs that did the job.

    Given Phil Jones' hifi expertise, I doubt he's relying on psychoacoutics to fill in the lower fundamentals, but until I hear the cab in person, I'm reserving judgement.
     
  19. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    wow I'm really interested in getting one of the 9b cabs...How much are these cabs going for?!