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Small 'HiFi' sounding cabs (Phil Jones C2?)


Kohpnyn
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I've started to realise that I prefer the tone of my bass through headphones, and I'd quite like to try and get as close to this as possible through an amp.

I currently have a Little Mark 250 and a TC Electronic RS212, and while the RS212 has a tweeter it's still a bit lacking in the clarity for me.

Anyway, I was looking for a little cab to replace it.

I only use this amp for practice, so it doesn't need to compete with anything loud.

 

I saw the Phil Jones C2 and thought that might be ideal. And it's quite cheap!

Has anyone got any experience with it or any other suggestions?

 

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If you don't mind building one of these would be ideal 

 

We've been looking at a lot of bass speakers and the crossovers are rarely done with a lot of care so that's probably what you are hearing. If you want to buy then it's probably best to skip bass amps most of which are 'voiced' in some way and go for a PA speaker. I use my RCF ART310's sometimes and they work well with bass up to quite a reasonable volume. Depends upon what your budget is of course.

 

 

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I have several C4s and 4Bs. They're very clear and clean. I use one for practice/home playing and it works well. However, you have to bear in mind that it is difficult to get that headphone sound out of any cab. The drivers in headphones may be small, but they're only about an inch from your eardrum. That helps gives the sound weight and immediacy and means you hear all the frequencies they produce, unaffected by room reflections, etc. If I could find a cab that sounded as good as my bass into my A&H mixer through my DT770s, I'd snap it up. I'm still looking.

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23 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

If you don't mind building one of these would be ideal 

 

We've been looking at a lot of bass speakers and the crossovers are rarely done with a lot of care so that's probably what you are hearing. If you want to buy then it's probably best to skip bass amps most of which are 'voiced' in some way and go for a PA speaker. I use my RCF ART310's sometimes and they work well with bass up to quite a reasonable volume. Depends upon what your budget is of course.

 

 

 

I'd prefer not to build, I don't really have the necessary tools or patience.

PA speaker could be a good shout!

 

13 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

I have several C4s and 4Bs. They're very clear and clean. I use one for practice/home playing and it works well. However, you have to bear in mind that it is difficult to get that headphone sound out of any cab. The drivers in headphones may be small, but they're only about an inch from your eardrum. That helps gives the sound weight and immediacy and means you hear all the frequencies they produce, unaffected by room reflections, etc. If I could find a cab that sounded as good as my bass into my A&H mixer through my DT770s, I'd snap it up. I'm still looking.

 

Yeah true. I guess a more realistic expectation would be aiming for the kind of tone I get when playing bass through my (old and cheap) monitors.

 

I might just get the C2 from Thomann and see how I like it, suppose returning is always an option if it doesn't work out...

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I have a PJB (maybe a C6? - it has 6 x 5" front ported) - you don't need that size (me neither!) but I'd say the C2 is well worth having a listen to. The main thing is the sweet tops and a feeling of unity across the spectrum, I mean the top is a musical extension of the high mids. This is not my experience with horn / tweeter loaded cabs where the top sounds a bit divorced from the lows and mids.

It was @Dan Dare who got me into the PJBs, I'm certain he's right about chasing the headphone sound, but if you want a quite hi-fi clarity in what is also a very musical cab, I do recommend the PJBs, certainly my favourite small cabs by a long way.

 

and btw, obviously choice of head will matter - I've been told the PJB heads are very clinical, my preferred is a Genz Benz with valve pre so I can dial in a little warmth if I want it.

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My favourite bass sound is bass > mixing desk > headphones. Closest I got live using amplification was a Fishman Pro Platinum feeding a powered PA cab, eventually just went IEM.

 

Either the PJB stuff or a powered cab will probably be your best bet for a clear reproduction of your bass, still won't sound like headphones though.

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I currently have a PJB Cab 27.  Awesome tone and depth. Not sure about ability to fill Wembley but you don't need that.  Cheap for what they are (2x7" 200w).

Edited by lownote
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On 29/07/2021 at 21:51, Dan Dare said:

I have several C4s and 4Bs. They're very clear and clean. I use one for practice/home playing and it works well. However, you have to bear in mind that it is difficult to get that headphone sound out of any cab. The drivers in headphones may be small, but they're only about an inch from your eardrum. That helps gives the sound weight and immediacy and means you hear all the frequencies they produce, unaffected by room reflections, etc. If I could find a cab that sounded as good as my bass into my A&H mixer through my DT770s, I'd snap it up. I'm still looking.

Amen to that. I'm a long-time headphone user, too. "Unfortunately" they're better than any cab (because: physics) at a tenth the cost. And you get stereo effects thrown in free.

The only downside is the inability to "feel" the output of a cab. After a while, you don't miss it, and I'm not about to complicate matters with rumble packs for my strap or bizarre contraptions to stand on.

I can't see myself going back to cabs for home practice.

If I did buy something that produced sound in the outside world,  I'd likely get a pair of mid-sized FRFR cabs. I like stereo effects now, and I'd use them for the two halves of the Stick. I'd probably use it as system to replay recorded music the rest of the time.

 

In short,  FRFR cabs could be the way to go, but I guess trying out all the alternatives is the acid test. 

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On 30/07/2021 at 23:05, Phil Starr said:

I've just spent the day playing through my RCF ART310s on poles they do just what you want, they sound like huge headphones. Nothing in the chain other than the mixer. 

 

Do you just plug directly into them or go through a preamp etc?

 

Anyway, I've ordered the C2. The price was right, and hopefully it'll be good for those times when I feel like I don't want something on my head

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When I wrote that it was just clean , plugged straight into a high impedance input in the mixer with no EQ. The mixer is an RCF M18 so it has amp emulation built in but I wasn't using it. Today i was playing with my Zoom B1ON in the line and that sounded great too.

I hope you love the C2

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8 hours ago, Kohpnyn said:

Anyway, I've ordered the C2. The price was right, and hopefully it'll be good for those times when I feel like I don't want something on my head

I'd quite fancy one, love the sound of my 6B Neo but a smaller cab would be a handy alternative sometimes. I do think the 5" drivers sound amazing.

Wonder if you might do a mini review once you've lived with it a bit?

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I've had it a couple of days.

Quite into it, it's not quite the same as headphones but it's certainly more in that direction that my previous cab (which I am now going to sell).

Put it on a stool so it's closer to head height.

It can go unpleasantly loud and make things in the room vibrate.

Eventually I'd like to mic it and also run the line in from the head and record some comparison clips.

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I've ordered a red one, it will be about five weeks 😞

 

With a main loud, light cab/head setup  that will do almost anything, this is just an excuse to turn my backup Elf amp into a grab and go. If it doesn't work out, I'll get a GR 110 instead.

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9 hours ago, Kohpnyn said:

If you're not set on a red one Thomann have black ones in stock

 

Got to be red 🙂

 

Plus in this era of 24 hour rather than 28 day delivery I fancy the idea of delayed gratification.

 

The alternative is a custom green GR AT110, which would cost twice as much, but is a zero risk option.

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17 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

The alternative is a custom green GR AT110, which would cost twice as much, but is a zero risk option.

Quite pricey but just seen they do a 208 (Bass Direct £699). I'd like to hear that, with my valve pre Genz head. The popular alternative seems to be Barefaced but I just find them really coloured - not my thing at all.
All that aside the PJB looks very excellent at a sensible price.

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2 hours ago, Soledad said:

Quite pricey but just seen they do a 208 (Bass Direct £699). I'd like to hear that, with my valve pre Genz head. The popular alternative seems to be Barefaced but I just find them really coloured - not my thing at all.
All that aside the PJB looks very excellent at a sensible price.

 

I've got the AT212 slim, it's incredible. That's why if I get another small cab it's ideally REALLY small.

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