An amp or a suitcase? Both
HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
PJB is company dedicated to raising the bar for quality and performance of bass amplification.
Here is my background and the beginnings of PJB.
For over 35 years I have had a love affair with the electric bass. I first picked one up and began learning to play at the age of 13. It was the time of Jimi Hendrix and Motown. This is when I first heard on the radio the great Motown bass legend, James Jamerson; this gave me the inspiration and desire to become a bass player myself.
It was no easy start. Back then as a schoolboy I could not even afford to buy my own bass and amp. My folks saw this as a road they did not want me to take. I soon ran out of opportunities of borrowing and had no choice but to build my own instrument and sound equipment. So I studied all I could about bass construction, amplifier electronics (even winding bass-guitar pickups on my Dad’s gramophone when he was out) and how loudspeakers worked. I never knew that this passion was to take me down such a long road living and working in 6 countries.
After graduating from college in electronics in the early 70’s. I enrolled into The Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, Wales where I was living at the time. The WCM&D then had a very conservative view on music. They did not even consider the bass guitar a real instrument! So I opted for learning the Upright Bass classical-style and taught by Earnest C. Haigh. (He was an 81-year old musician with 60 years of bass playing experience and a former principle bassist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra). I was playing in Rock, R&B and Jazz groups in bars, nightclubs and did some studio work for the BBC TV company in order to pay for my music tuition.
One thing that had always frustrated me was that the current equipment for bass players was never up to the sound that was in my mind. It seemed that there was always a disconnection between the equipment and me. So I started to modify my basses and amplification on the search of the Holy Grail of great bass tone. I learnt about loudspeakers from a true pioneer of audio, the late Mr. Reginald Solomon. A cinema - sound engineer, who worked most of his life for Western Electric. (W.E. was the original founder of the pro-sound industry). This led me to becoming a pro-sound engineer working first for Vitavox, a respected and old British Loudspeaker company that manufactured huge horn cinema speakers. After this I started my own sound reinforcement company in London. Two things stayed with me, my fascination for bass playing and sound. I was building a lot of my own recording equipment in my studio then. The speakers I used for near-field monitoring were my own design. These later became the Acoustic Energy AE1’s now considered a milestone in the evolution of hi-fi and also in the recording industry. GRP records (a renowned Jazz label) used AE speakers and even eventually the famed Abbey Road studios too.
In 1990 I moved to USA and worked briefly for Boston Acoustics in New England designing their premier loudspeaker range, the Lynnfield series. In 1994 I founded Platinum Audio, which made expensive home hi-fi speakers and studio monitors. In that period I designed probably the worlds most expensive and massive home loudspeaker system: the Air-Pulse, which sold for $175,000 a pair! The Japan Audio Society praised the Air-Pulse as the best loudspeaker ever developed in the 100-year history of loudspeakers!
In 1998 I founded American Acoustic Development which is the parent company of PJB. AAD has a staff of over 150 employees and a 100,000-sq. ft. facility dedicated to designing, manufacturing and marketing of loudspeakers and amplifiers for home, car and pro-audio markets. All PJB products are made in the AAD factory with pride and passion under my guidance.
In 35 years I have come full circle to my first love, a long hard road but one that has been enriching and a many hard lessons earned. I now bring to the bass community something that is my greatest passion and one that has encompassed all my life’s lessons in bass playing and sound engineering.
_______Phil playing an NSDEsign CR4M Electric Upright Bass
Our staff at PJB shares my passion to build only the best. That does not mean the most expensive. We are dedicated to giving our utmost in quality, value and service to the discriminating bassist.
If you have any questions about how to get that ultimate tone, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will endeavor to give you the best advice possible.
President / Designer
With a brand new approach, Phill opted to use custome made 5" speakers only. Benefits are obvious: less weight means the speakers starts (and stops) faster, avoiding overheating and flexing (thus avoiding distortion). Phil believes that mixing different sized componets (woofers and tweeters) is not the best way to reproduce bass either.
These 5" speakers are linera from 25Hz to 15Khz, and each one of them is able to handle up to 100W RMS; sensitivity is 93dB 1w/1m, and by mutual coupling you get up to an amazing 105db in the 24B cab (24 5" speakers).
All PJB products are exciting. Suitcase is a really good practical example of Phil Jones' ideas and designs.
This 4x5" 300W combo has two identical channels, with a sound and pressure level surprising for the size and/or weight.
The sound is quite natural, with no strange artifacts, and there is a nice bottom to it that will compliment any bass nicely. The 2 onboard 5 band EQs allow you to get the sound you want from two basses or a stereo instrument (Rickenbacker, Sticks, etc.). The built inswitchable limiter comes in handy in extreme situations.
You can download a Guitarrist review of PJB's Suitcase bellow