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Who else thinks Phil Jones missed it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by allexcosta, Sep 8, 2008.

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  1. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I don't know... You read all the techy stuff, you see the graphics, you understand the logic behind it, then you plug a bass on it and play some notes...
    Disappointment... Those little speakers move no air and the sound breaks pretty easily. Doesn't cut thru and doesn't have balls to handle a low B. Yes, I tried a few of them... Isn't it time for them to re-think the whole concept?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not for Phil. They seem to be selling. I've tried to like them, but I'm with you. Wouldn't mind trying that Bass Buddy preamp, though.
  3. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I tend to agree based (no pun intended) on a pretty small sample.

    I had the opportunity to use a PJB Suitcase amp for a few nights on a steady jazz/world music gig.

    After using it for 3 nights, I gave it back and gladly went back to my Mesa Walkabout 12.

    So, impressions were:

    - "small" and very tight sounding tone (not my thing)
    - nice musical upper mids and top end, but not enough lows or low mids.
    - it did break up pretty quickly for m, and we do not play loud at all. I play 4 stringers exclusively, so no issue with low B
    - had a overall tendency to thin-ness in the tone, when I would use the eq to beef it up, it broke up sooner

    So, all-in-all, it just did not work for me at all.

    But, I do see it working for really small gigs, or small/medium gigs where there is ALWAYS FOH support for bass. Also, its little form factor could really make it a winner for the urban (NYC/Boston/Chicago) players who run from jazz/club gig, to studio, to quiet rehearsal, mostly in a cab or public transit.

    The net of it for me is that you can only get so small and get a decent full sounding tone from a stand alone amp/combo. But, if you have FOH all the time, and only need a little monitor and a good DI, you could be ok with this rig.

    just my two cents after some limited hands on.
  4. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    It's just not your thing. Some people like how transparent they are in terms of tone.
  5. a band we played with's bassist had a PJ 4x5 (not sure the model), and a carvin combo 15. i was asking him about his set up before they went on and he told me he used the phil jones cab for highs AND LOWS, and the carvin 15 for mids! he swore by this. his 15 was aimed at his side, too. i was shocked, but hearing them rave around here i figured he knew more than I. well needless to say his tone was garbage, all i could hear was his small cab, even over the PA to some degree, but that thing did not want what he was giving it. that took care of my questions.
  6. I always describe the PJ stuff (amps and especially the speakers) as:

    'A bad idea beautifully executed'
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    My Walkabout is probably as small as I'd ever go. I tried a used PJ amp, I think it was the suitcase. Not bad, but yes, lacking all the big bottom that even my 12" Scout cab has in buckets. But, if they're selling, someone obviously likes the sound.
  8. The Bass Buddy is rather yummy it has to be said :hyper: Only because I got me one. Super quiet and clean, and very portable.

    Tried a Suitcase with an extension cab, and it's the best amp I've ever played. But that ain't saying much as I'm a cheap date and easily impressed :D:bag:
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I enjoyed the sound of the briefcase I owned. It did what it was supposed to do. I only got rid of it because it couldn't do everything I needed from an amp volumewise and I was in gear retraction mode.

    Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean they "missed it." It just means their opinion on what constitutes "it" doesn't mesh with yours. I'm sure there are plenty of other amp manufacturers that better fit what you are looking for. Honestly, to say the amp "missed it" because you didn't like it shows a short-sightedness at best, and a seriously overblown sense of self importance at worst.
  10. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Not me...I love the sound of my PJB rig, and I've gotten good feedback from musicians and audience members. Handles lows fine IME and has great mid punch...I can hear myself clearer with my current rig than with anything else I've used. I have less experience with the small rigs and the neo stuff though.

  11. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I watched a bassist use one of those amps in the local Sam Ash, and the fullness of the tone was quite impressive. If I had the money and was dissatisfied with my Portabass rig, I'd definitely use one at my church gig.
  12. Last year I compared some cabs at my local bass shop. I was primarily interested in Bergantino and Euphonic Audio products, but the shop owner suggested I try out the Phil Jones suitcase as well. I did and I liked the sound, including the low B of the Lakland 5-string I was using for the demo. The cabs seemed relatively equal in loudness. Without detailing the setup and minute differences in impression, I liked the Berg's overall tone best and I actually thought the Phil Jones was a little birghter and had more presence than the EA.

    Then I noticed something that hadn't hit me at first impression. When I began to turn up the Berg or the EA, the doors and windows and glass cases in the old music shop would begin to rattle and buzz, in direct proportion to the volume. When I turned up the Phil Jones suitcase, there was little, if any, rattle or buzz. I feared then that in a live, louder venue, the Phil Jones might not have the huevos of the other two. Based on many of the experiences related here, it sounds like some of you have encountered this very shortcoming.

    When playing live, I try to include at least one 15" speaker in my stack because, IME, 15s move air differently and allow the bass to be felt more than either 10s or 12s. As I completed my cabinet comparison, I assumed the difference between 15s and 5s would be even greater than the difference I perceived between 15s and 10s/12s. I bought the Bergs and I've never regretted it.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
  13. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    I have the P4B extension cab, matches nicely with my Shuttle. It works great for me for home and group practice. I would definitely use it on a gig if necessary. Good low reproduction (everything in my practice room rattles) and decent volume.

    YMMV, IMO, may cause cancer in laboratory rats, etc....
  14. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Yes, we have very different ears. I've never preferred a 15 to a 10 or 12 and never had luck with mixed rigs (including the Berg 322). I also think my PJB speakers have a good amount of sub-bass that is felt...if anything they have less low-mids, which I think some cabs have too much of. Ah well.

  15. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    IME PJ cabs sound amazing BUT....one needs a big(=heavy) stack to get enough air moving. I had poor results with the suitcase and ext cab, but a 9B with a Carvin BX1200 pushing 800 watts through it or an Orange AD200 made that thing bloom to my ears. In the end, however, it weighed as much as my Schro 1212L and 15+L combined, and still moved less air. So for me, PJ tone is good but too impractical/inefficient.
  16. It's obviously very subjective. That's why there are marketplaces with multiple brands! I'm glad your rig works well for you, as mine does for me. ;)

    It does make me a little curious, however, about different amplicfication equipment combined with the Phil Jones cabinets.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
  17. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Agreed of course...there's something for everyone.

    I think a big issue that the rigs are power hungry. My PJB cabs are *not* versatile in that they don't work with whatever amp they're plugged into, IME/IMO.

    Another issue is that mine are fairly heavy...I've considered moving to Epifani UL cabs many times before...maybe some day I'll need to move to something lighter!

  18. Tiny speakers sound tiny, tinny and break up easily when compared to larger speakers if my experiences have learned me anything. If you want a big sound, small speakers don't really cut it.
  19. Robin UK

    Robin UK

    Feb 1, 2007
    I've found that my 6T+9B cabs have plenty of bottom punch and power, and the mids and highs are crystal and cutting. I admit that they slightly lack the boom of a 15". I tried them matched with a single 15" cab and that just added that extra dimension for reggae etc. sounds.

    Having said this, i've had many sound guys from difefrent venues sneer at them before the sound check, or inquire as to why i chose such small speakers, and then turn around when mixing the band and say that they didn't bother putting much atall of me through the PA as i sounded so full and present without their support, and this was at no excessive stage volume. (smaller 200 ish capacity gigs).

    I would agree about the suitcase alone, but teh extension cab definately adds bottom.

    just my experience.
  20. Heard a group that opened for Otiel and the peacemakers about a year ago. The b player was using the big rig. I guess what would be equivalent to an 8x or 6x10. He wasn't lacking any bottom end, and his tone was so freakin nice I hadddddd to compliment him after the show. I haven't played one, but from what I heard from that they sounded pretty darn good.

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