For over 45 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. 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 bass amps and AIRPULSE guitar amps. We have staff of over 150 employees and a 200,000-sq. ft. facility dedicated to designing, manufacturing and marketing of loudspeakers and amplifiers for home, and pro-audio markets. All PJB products are made in our factory with pride and passion under my guidance.
In 45 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. 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.
We source the finest materials available on all of our products.
PJB is all about Performance, Quality and Dependability. Our cabinets are made with Baltic birch plywood and braced for extreme rigidity. Internal bracing not only makes a more rugged speaker, it also eliminates resonance and adds clarity to your sound. No detail is omitted in our products. Many components are exclusively our design and tooling, such as the rubber feet, metal corners, CNC precision cut aluminum front panels, and even the smallest part – the EQ slider rubber tips. Because of these fine quality components, PJB amps will keep going long after other competitor amps are on the trash dump. We have a full team working on quality control of all incoming parts to ensure that quality is achieved consistently from amp to amp.
I was very fortunate in my very early years to get an education on great sound since my father played saxophone in a big band.
When I was the age of 3, I would play on my tricycle on the dance floor when they rehearsed.
that sound became ingrained into my memory and later in life when I worked as a recording and live sound engineer,
it became an invaluable asset on how to engineer sound that was dynamic, full range and transparent.
I have been in session in the world’s finest recording studios with bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Yes. Hearing sound in the most ideal conditions led me to found the speaker companies: Acoustic Energy, Platinum Audio and AAD. All these companies made reference standard loudspeakers used for recording and high end home audio. At this level, even audio cables and internal wire and soldering can make a significant difference to sound quality.
PJB is all about the minutest details and we take pride on having the most extensive R&D department in the world of bass amplifier makers.
We design and build all of our loudspeaker units. Each speaker is totally matched to the acoustic parameters of the enclosure. Many companies buy off the shelf speakers that were engineered to a variety of applications. Ours were solely designed for bass. We design right down to the smallest of components right down to the screws!
In my days as a professional bass player, I knew only too well how important it was to have a reliable amplifier. I will never forget the night my amp broke down at the beginning of a gig. I drove 50 miles to get there and then I did not get paid. So I vowed that I would give my utmost effort to make strong and dependable amplifiers that would work for years.
After a PJB amplifier is off assembly line, we test it at full power with continuous pink noise (all frequencies at the same time) for 36 hours non-stop. On top of that, we test it as a full combo or on a loudspeaker load for another 16 hours at 45 degree centigrade (113 degree F) room temperature. Only then is it ready to ship.
We even test each model on a vibration table for 48 hours. This subjects the unit to all frequencies so we can investigate any issues arising from this stress test. After all we are making bass amplifiers and high levels of bass tend to shake things apart.
During design and development, each model has also been subjected to high temperature and high humidity much like going into a sauna.
We use automated cable testers that twist and bend cables, and switchers that turn on and off switches to 10,000 on and off cycles.
To add reliability, all amplifier models are exposed to over voltage by 20%. If an amp fails, it gets sent back to the drawing board for modifications until it can handle this excessive power surge.
In speaker development, we power test the drivers at full power for 4 hours with continuous pink noise. This is equivalent to playing a note for 4 hours without stopping! We monitor every single part of the transducer, checking the temperature of every single part to prevent overheating. Because loudspeakers convert 95% or more of the power to heat, it is common to get temperatures of over 200 degrees Celsius (400℉) on components. P JB drivers are designed to maintain cool operating temperatures, and that is one of the secrets of our great sound.