I know this is an old thread but I've had issues with my PJB briefcase amp for the past two years. Of course it's probably 5 years old at this point but for the amount of money paid I feel like I should get a little more reliability. All of my issues have happened at gigs so i'm really bummed out and nervous about how my night is going to go and have resorted to carrying a small cheap peavey and Direct Box just so I have a back up if my Phil Jones briefcase does crap out again. The first thing I'll mention is that my Phil Jones farted a lot in the beginning just before it started losing it's reliability. I could live with that but then it started just losing volume in the middle of a song randomly. Not all the way but enough that I noticed and thought I must be losing my hearing. The line out still sent a signal to the board so I was irritated but at least the soundman still had sound and the crowd was none the wiser. This happened two or three gigs in a row at about the halfway point in the gig and finally the rest of my bandmates noticed it and that's when I called Phil Jones. I left a message and to my surprise Phil Jones himself called me back in less than an hour. He had me reseat a few ribbon cables in it and thought that might solve the problem and it seemed to for awhile. Then my amp started randomly farting and the sound went totally away in the middle of gigs to where I thought I blew a speaker, but then the next day it would be okay. I still had sound going out the di to the board so again I survived. But, finally, a few nights ago at a big gig, halfway through the first song my Phil Jones went out totally, no sound through speakers or to the DI. So the sound man plugged me straight into the board, and I had a miserable night with my giant paperweight not providing any service whatsoever. The next day I called the local repair shop and scheduled to bring it in on Monday. Behold, i plugged it up, and it worked perfectly again, line out and all. knowing that my repair shop really wouldn't be able to do anything if it wasn't broken, i took it apart myself again, totally, reseated all the ribbon connectors i could, visually checked for any obvious bad caps etc, saw nothing, everything looked pristine. So i put it back together and now i'm contemplating whether i should sell it or not. I love the sound, but i don't trust it anymore. I will add that i never had to turn it up volume wise past the 12 o'clock position, and i was about 50/50 on use of the compressor, which also was usually set around 12 o'clock, so i don't feel like i abused it. I have a Hartke 3500 head and a GK RB-2 series head both which are at least 20 years old it seems, and they still work fine, but i did love the little briefcase! And i don't have a speaker cab for the other heads other than my hartke 2-10xl which is just too heavy, and too much for my band.
If anyone has any other knowledge of these issues please speak up. Phil did tell me that an older series had some issues with ribbon cables that were inferior but my model was not in that known series so i shouldn't be having that problem. And i'm not even sure that reseating the ribbon cables had any effect as in the last case (and the worse) the amp started working the next day all by itself.