Translation Dutch Article:
JM Speakers ‘Pandora’
The bass cabinet your band wants
At a time when more and more attempts are being made to make bass-guitar cabinets so small that after a kit session and some waiting you can plug them into your ears, wireless and tailor-made, you have to be of pedigree to tempt the bassist community the purchase of something bigger than in-ear monitoring. Or not? The tube amplifiers and vintage refrigerators sails are going through the roof, and for other types of bassists it can be big when it’s light, or heavy when it’s small. Jules Meuffels does not care. He is technically skilled and an industrial designer, moreover twenty years of bassplayer, and was simply disappointed in what was on the market. So he developed his own bass cab: the Pandora.
Fun, performing live!
From the Dutch province Limburg Jules Meuffels has been working on the bass cab for three years – although it must be stated for fairness sake that in that period he also developed ‘The Trunk’, a guitar cabinet. “They have one similarity: they are built for the live situation which is different every time. But you want the same sound every time. The stage is different from your living room! “
And Mr. Meuffels has a point. You can alter your living room or studio space with bass traps and other corrective measures into a perfect listening room. But you have stages big and small, with weird ‘challenges’, and with surprises that do not end. The perfect high-fidelity bassbox that sounded so well in the shop, turns out to purvey a peculiar ‘custard’ on stage with peaks on every D of your neck. Too bad, because your singer likes that key. And from all of your slapsolo the audience finds that you are doing your very best, but that all tone is lacking and – partly thanks to the drummer who thinks you have to keep up – that something that tends to sound like breaking glass can be heard. And since you play in a café, you will not be saved by a soundman who ensures that your bass is tapped by an inexpensive DI box before reaching your 30kg boutique tube amp. Which ensures that your most personal vbassound is compressed into every bass guitar you do not want to play on … which is still better than ‘custard with glass’.
You can do better. Meuffels: “Your bass cabinet is a monitor. For you and for your band. Although it must also reach the entire audience in a live situation without PA. So you need a lot of power, and you have to sound the same everywhere on stage and beyond. And your band must be happy too …! And that is difficult. You can not achieve that with a hi-fi cabinet. “
Measurements, and then foward…
“You do not get there with just formulas. Although I find that many bass cabinet manufacturers do not even really do that … See, if you play at proper soundlevels, and your bass ports are too small, the speed of air displacement will exceed the speed of sound, or Mach 1 (1,192 km / h) and the ports start to whistle. Really, some cabinets you just hear sighing along with what you play! Or the drivers can not make the necessary X-max – the maximum excursion that the coil can make inside the speaker magnet – and start flapping (farting). Well, I take the results of my calculations for notification, test them and then I really start working. The Pandora has become a bit larger than it should be, and that also applies to the bass port. I have chosen speakers with an X-damage of up to 40 mm for the 10”and 58(!) mm for the 12”… iow, no compromise! No, no neodymium, they have less punch … And yet it weighs only 27.5 kilos …! “
To the test…
In my packed study the JM Pandora mainly characterizes itself as ‘easy’. And that is not an easy-to-achieve feature: a cabinet that easily combines with old and modern bass, double bass, a micro-amplifier, a tube amp and a pair of Kemper profiles. With the presence of a piezo tweeter – of which I am not a fan – I expected smashing highs, but that is not the case. The highs are friendly as a creamy cup of chocolate, and the bottom is surprisingly even. How will it work out live…?
I bring the cab to an outdoor performance of my ‘Amy meets Django meets Jamiroquai’-band on a courtyard of a castle festival – with a nice risk of slapback echo – where the PA will mostly amplify the vocals, and the Pandora herself gets the chance to properly go ‘out of the box’. We know what happened when in ancient Greece the mythical Pandora opened the box that she was not allowed to open…
And, as it happens live: a total traffic jam creates the greatest conceivable surprise. The singer and I have to start the set alone…! So we distribute some melodies, check the setlist what can be done and we put our faces on ‘nothing wrong here’. Ten songs long. We worked our asses off. Appreciated by the audience.
Then it becomes clear how clever the characteristics of this bass cab are chosen. My double bass can groan and – as it should – do its job, does not get into the singers hair but builds a good foundation without being bumpy or mushy. We don’t see much of that these days...
Fortunately the second set could be played together with the rest of the band. Where I played both double bass and bass guitar in quite a few styles, without actually changing the settings or even the volume. Everything sounds and mixes just as easily as in my study, and maybe that’s the recipe for a successful speaker cabinet …
You’ll understand that I am enthusiastic about the JM Pandora. It connects the pleasant features of a 12 “and a 10″ driver, puts a piezo tweeter in its place thanks to clever filtering, goes exactly as high and as low as your fellow musicians like and fits in the smallest car without being too heavy. The lows is a class by itself: I experimented at a fairly strong volume with some subsonic filters, and there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Which shows that the Beyma’s are a good choice of drivers, partly because Jules Meuffels has also developed these cabinets for a few bassists in the metal corner. In view of my test, I completely believe the 1200 Watt continuous power (according to AES standards). Really, one cabinet is sufficient. For you too.
And then the price. I hate bass cabinets that mainly deliver mid-tones – a common problem in the lightweight era. And I understand a reaction from a bassist on the website, indicating that his boxes of a brand witch we do not mention, are immediately exchanged for the Pandora com-ple-te-ly. The Pandora has punch, a nice sub-low and velvet high, fits nicely into the mix and – in contrast to her name – does not hurt anyone except the competition – especially when Jules gets them produced quickly enough. It is not your cab if you solely play Larry Graham style, then you probably want something more ‘evil’. But one thing is clear: compared to the factory cabinets in the higher segment, the Pandora is competitively priced with its introduction (!) Price of € 666, – ex
12 “+10″ Beyma drivers
1200 Watt AES / 2400 Watt peak power
Efficiency: 100 dB 1W / 1m
Width x depth x height = 45 x 42 x 77 cm
15 mm plywood, poplar
Speakon-Jack combo connector
Option (extra price): vintage leather upholstery, div. colors for front
Introductory price: € 666, – ex VAT (€ 805.86 incl.)
Magazine De Bassist, #45, juli – september 2018
March 10th, 2018
Just tried the new cab from Jules Meuffels. Wow! That sounds fat! I’m hooked! My Aguilar cabs are going straight out the door and this one will replace them!
Translation German Article:
JM Speakers The Trunk
If you are looking for the lowest possible price when purchasing equipment, you can browse on with confidence. This Cabinet is namely the exact opposite of stinginess-is-cool: Wily construction for special tonality, small series, handmade, striking look …high price.
Jules Meuffels tries to gain foothold in the market with non-ordinary box constructions. In the course of 2017, he brought the trunk to production. The name is well chosen: translated means “The trunk case”. Fits, the box has only a single 12 “speaker, but it is quite voluminous.
Of course, Sir Meuffels has worked long to achieve this result. Development takes time. Among other things, because as a manufacturer you can not help but continually show your development ideas to competent users and obtain opinions. In the end, a special, unusual construction has come out. Which you can not see from the outside: in this large housing, the baffle is tilted offset and strongly bevelled. Below her is a large-scale bass reflex opening. There is thus much effort in the construction, but no voodoo. Finding and matching the right dimensions was the main task. And to ensure that the optimal material was choosen. Poplar plywood is now used, in a relatively small thickness of 15 mm. The case is covered with real “Relic” leather. The furnishing is otherwise spartan. A leather handle on the top and a small connection plate on the back, in which a Speakon Combi socket is sunk. The housing has no rear removable wall, the speaker is mounted on the front of the baffle. As a result, the front frame can logically be removed (four wood screws). The fabric is extremely breathable, soft and pliable, also elastic enough to stay in shape. It will not protect the loudspeaker, a conventional Vintage 30 from Celestion, under heavier mechanical stress. Is it clever? No.
You can tell that with the “trunk” he has big guitar sound in mind. The dimensions are corresponding. In fact, the JM Cabinet does not have that much less volume than a standard 4×12 box. Compared to a Marshall 1960 straight front, The trunk is only two centimeters narrower, 16 cm lower, and in the depth missing only 8 cm. At 18 kilograms, the weight is in the truest sense of the word “bearable”. Since the handle was placed favorably, so to speak, in the center of the mass, the box is surprisingly comfortable to carry, with legs facing its back. However, I do not really want to call them roadworthy, primarily because of the floppy front covering. A thicker protective cover must be minimum (available, approx. € 100 surcharge). Otherwise, the trunk would certainly quickly look “heavy relic”. Ultimately, the inner values count, so lets do the hearing test;
O wow, marvelous, my jaw drops. The first notes speak a clear language. The performance is really powerful. The volume in the bass and lower mids is comparable with a 4×12-Cab. This Vintage 30 is cultivated, reflects sharpness and bite in the attack, but does not cut aggressively. Say, it sounds milder in a peculiar way than in many other cabinets. In the upper mids, a distinctive, sonorous character develops, which adds precision to the attack. Actually that works the sound emphasizes transparency without being intrusive too me. The Trunk is always behaving very cultivated, also the effects dissolves fine in the signal; Reverb / Hall is a good exam criterion. And the box does not lose its balance, even at high sound pressure. The playback is very convincing all around. The trunk has so much format that he can stand up to my preferred moderate style boxes, both are 4×12, one with Marble Weber Bulldogs (Alnico, for blues, jazz, fusion, pop …) the other one old flavored orange with creambacks (rock, blues …), and pass with flying colors, it could be a kind of future reference.
Given the dimensions, you can not really compare The Trunk with regular 1×12 boxes. So 2×12? Would not be fair, right? Anyway, we’ll do that anyway. A lot of sound volume with a particularly low weight, there is a product in first place, the Neo-Classic 212 (about 12.5 kg) by DV Mark. However, optically, of course, it can not keep up with the looks of the trunk.
Outstanding sound characteristics with relatively low weight, these are striking Pro-arguments. The Trunk joins seamlessly into the phalanx of premium cabinets. Suitable and recommended especially for non-excessive styles such as blues, retro rock, etc. In addition, the cabinet with its noble vintage look is certainly an eye-catcher for many. That’s the nice side. The price tag, on the other hand, shocks. Considered soberly, only with regard to substance and function, the price is simply too high. On the other hand: If you want something special like this stylish “designer” cabinet, where else would you get it?
Guitar & Bass Magazine 03.2018
January 16th, 2018
Last week we received a visit from Jules Meuffels from JM Speakers – Boutique Bass / Guitar Cabinets. We have extensively tested his hand-built cabinet ” The Trunk ” and can safely say that it is the ultimate 1×12” cabinet.
January 14th, 2018
1×12″ That sounds like nothing that you tried before! Evolution in guitar and bass cabinets!
Bob Gabriel, 4seasonspickups
November 23rd, 2017
Just had the honor of testing the new 1×12 cab from Jules Meuffels …
Of course I have a trained ear and I know exactly what I want to hear … does not take away the fact that I was immediately very impressed by both the pressure, the dispersion and the low that this cabinet produces!
This is a speaker cabinet that comes into its own when you just put it on the floor. Space is immediately pleasantly filled with a full and warm sound. Both clean, crunsh and lead remain nicely open but also tight in the lows. Balance bass / treble is good and the speaker (vintage 30) speaks very directly …
Absolutely recommended according to unique recipe; and the appearance can also be carried out according your own unique wishes. Nothing seems to be to crazy for Jules: “showroom shine” or relic; the (real) leather is executed in the desired color and desired state …
In short: recommended!
Dick Roermermann, Guitarworks Guitar Repair & Customizing Panningen
Yesterday afternoon had the honor of testing the prototype of Jules Meuffels’ latest creation: The Trunk! The Trunk is a speaker cabinet for guitarplayers, with in this case a 12 inch Celestion V30 speaker, 8 Ohm. The speaker is screwed on a rearward tilted speaker baffle. As a result, you do not have to tilt the cabinet to hear yourself. The trunk is loud! According to earwitnesses audible a few blocks away haha. And it definitely doesn’t give you the feeling that you are playing on a cabinet with only 1 driver. The sound is full, very tight in the lows, very nice and clear mids and dito highs. The cab sounds wonderfully punchy and has an incredible dispersion. Whether you’re standing right in front of the cab or next to it: the sound stays super audible. This is the result of the ingeniously thought-out chamber system behind the speaker panel and a bass port across the whole front of the cab.
Also not unimportant: the cabinet is lightweight! And due to the position of the handle, the cabinet will be easy to transport.
You really must hear this cabinet yourself! I’m sure you’ll be very happy, like me!
It was a fun afternoon Jules! Thanks for your hospitality. Very nice that Roeland was there. Join three musicians and time flies!
For the Guitarists and Gearfreaks among us: Jules has designed the perfect speaker cabinet! Nice lightweight, good punch in the mid-lows (something that is missing in many cabinets) and more dispersion than an average 4×12 cab! I would say; Try it, before it becomes a hit!! This is a real asset!!
I just tested the prototype guitar cabinet Jules Meuffels (JM) made. I already knew JM builds high-end cabs for bassists. Now Jules makes cabinets for guitarplayers! I was truly amazed bij the volume, depth en punch of his new cab. I compared the JM cab with a stock F….. (well known brand ) cab. Both have a 12″ Celestion Vintage 30 speaker, but what a huge different in sound (and aesthetics)!! Compared with the stock cabs the JM cabs sounds lively, roomy and most of all, has that typical “oempf”, guitarist search for, without losing any high tones.
De craftmanship of this cab is very, very nice. The slightly slanted speaker enables you to set the cab on the ground and still hear it if you stand close to it during a gig. Another thing I really liked was the closed back, and bassresponse on the lower front of the cab. In a live-environment this comes in very handy. Whether you play in clubs or on a larger stage, the JM always sounds good! On a sidenote, these cabs can be finished in a number of boutique looks, like the worn-leather-look. I am very looking forward to your new line of guitar cabs Jules!
I think every guitarist should own a JM cab or at least try one out. I am sure you will not regret it!
Keep up the good work Jules! And my best regards to Kelly and Oscar!
May 16th, 2017
Today I tried the prototype of the new guitar cabinet build by Jules Meuffels and it sounded superb! He uses the same driver as in my own, only this cabinet is wider, the speaker is placed at a slight angle and there’s a port so the lows can escape at the front!
It sounded better than my own cabinet, much more spacious in the lower frequencies without getting too much! No exaggerated sub.
Jules is on the right track to make a killer cab!
And again, same speaker, but completely different cabinet, and a clear difference!