Bass Musician Magazine’s Review, by Jake Wolf
If you’ve been following the boutique bass world since the 90’s like I have, the name Wayne Jones Audio might ring a bell.
Before we get to how the gear works, let’s look at the equipment itself.
At 24” tall, 16” wide, and 22” deep, the 210 dimensions are fairly unique for bass cabs. I asked Wayne about the extra depth of the cabs (both the 210 and 110), and he responded that the depth allows him to not only achieve a desired cubic volume, but also the distance between the driver and the back wall is very intentional, in order to achieve certain performance goals. As a result, the 210 is a somewhat odd form factor. Luckily, it has a built in telescoping handle and tilt back wheels, making the schlep pretty easy. All the gear is covered in a very high quality black carpet, which seems better than a lot of the cab covering I see (Wayne responds: future cabs will use High end automotive leather look Vinyl covering). The preamp had a very nice build quality: all the knobs and switches felt solid and had nice resistance to the pots, thus reducing the risk of bumping controls mid-gig, and boding well for the gears overall lifespan. From a fit and finish perspective, the Wayne Jones gear is simply top notch. Read more ►
The cabs are powered by a 1000w Pascal power module, which dishes out an incredible amount of tone, fidelity and raw power. The 210 cab gets the full bridged signal of the amp, while the 110 cab can either be run bridged or stereo (allowing for true stereo operation at 500w per side with a pair of the 110 cabs). This is especially hip for users wishing to get the full impact of their stereo reverb, delay or chorus-type effects.
WJBP Stereo valve preamp
The WJBP has a built in defeatable compressor, a 5 band EQ, a low boost, a pan knob (for stereo use) and both an input gain and master volume control, enabling excellent integration with Wayne’s powered cabs. It also features an input pad and built in tuner.
The back panel is fully featured, including a studio grade DI with level control, 2 XLR and 1/4″ outputs, headphone jack and aux input, and a jack for the included footswitch. The 8 stage LED indicators help dial in your preferred gain staging. Generally speaking, I found the WJBP to be super clear and warm, with loads of presence and articulation, and it has that high fidelity depth and weight to each note that I love. It doesn’t do gritty or heavily colored tones, although the powerful 5 band EQ does allow for some serious tone shaping. I really like the broad bass boost, which adds some heft and weight to your overall sound, without muddying things up. Also the onboard compressor, while limited in its parameters, is quite nice. I don’t hear it squashing or pumping, it actually does what it should, which is rarer than one would think, regarding onboard compressor circuits.
WJ 2×10 powered 210 cabinet
It’s hard to accurately convey the performance of the WJ210. I could say things like “It is the fastest cab I’ve ever heard”, or “sounds like a cab 3 times its size”, or “effortlessly quick and muscular”, but what does all that hyperbole that actually mean? Let me just say: the WJ210 is simply breathtaking in its performance. I’m not saying every single player will find this to be the ultimate sounding bass cab, BUT, you’d be very hard pressed to find one that is more capable at dishing out tone and volume of this caliber. The 210 excels at that wonderfully elusive characteristic I like to call “slam”. For lack of a better definition, (to me) slam is: effortless low end delivery, that is both taut and massive, and a seemingly endless power reserve to dish out transient peaks. It’s one of those cabs that makes you want to play slap lines just for the fun of it. Compared to some other 210 cabs that I really like the slap tone of, the WJ was a clear standout. When playing percussive palm-muted thumb lines, the WJ sounded insanely thick with a super articulate top end that doesn’t have a trace of harshness. The integration of the woofers and tweeter result in a seamlessly tight and clear sound that is aggressive without being brash or harsh in the slightest. All of this results in a powered cab that can handle the demands of a much larger cab, with exquisite tone and composure, in a meticulously constructed box. I seriously can’t imagine opening up a pair of these on a gig, as they put out SO much oomph. Wayne also released passive versions of the 210 cab at NAMM this year, allowing users to stick with their own amplifiers.
WJ 1X10 powered and passive 1X10 cabs
OK…. What are my list of gripes (you know I have to complain about something)?
Well for starters, the top mounted jack plates mean that you can’t vertically stack the cabs, and you can’t easily put a rack on top of the cabs. I have heard from users who bought 90 degree IEC, XLR and Speakon jacks and use large rubber feet to create enough clearance, but for my money, I’d like to see amp plates elsewhere on the cabs, to maximize stacking options and not relegate one to custom cables. (Wayne responds: Future cabs will include recessed control plates on all models) I should be mentioned that the WJBP fits squarely on top without any modification needed, so this gripe only applies to those using other preamps or racks. I really prefer to stack 210’s vertically, for a “line array” effect, and the cab layout doesn’t currently allow for that. Also, the powered cabs are XLR connect only, so make sure you bring your XLR/mic cable. Similarly, the WJBP has an external power supply, with a proprietary (non-IEC) connector to the preamp. Don’t leave that power supply at home, or you’re in trouble. (Wayne responds: This was done purposely to Isolate the power supply for complete studio noiseless operation) My only other issue was the limited handle placement. The 210 is not impossible to pick up, but would really benefit from a couple more strategically placed handles, in order to increase its maneuverability in and out of the car and onto the stage.
So what is was my lasting impression of the Wayne Jones gear?
Well. Let’s put it this way: Can you find a simple rig? Yes. Can you find a cheaper rig? Definitely. Can you find a rig that is quicker sounding with more slam and definition? I’m not aware of one! The Wayne Jones gear exceeded my expectations for a truly high performance bass rig, that stands out amongst the crowd of others touting similar results. There is something so compelling about the lightning fast quickness and the massive low end delivery of the WJ rig that remains clear and coherent when other cabs literally start to crumble. The overall tone is extremely clear and linear, but leans toward a forward voicing character that has plenty of teeth to cut through a mix and give your sound some serious weight. I should mention that Wayne has been getting a lot of buzz from guitar and keyboard players as well, which speaks to the gears overall sonic neutrality and flexibility. I would wholeheartedly recommend the WJ gear to anyone looking for unparalleled performance from a bass rig, and specifically for funk, modern R&B and gospel players, seeking a balanced modern tone with lots of edge and, well, slam. All the WJ gear performed beautifully for me on jazz, Latin, fusion, and solo bass gigs, and I’m holding back tears as I prepare to return it! It should be mentioned, that Wayne Jones Audio is based in Australia, but these cabs are proudly “Made in the USA” and shipped from Wayne’s Kentucky based distribution center.
“It’s seriously epic – Insanely well made
I want one, I want two! – It sounds AWESOME”
Scott Devine of
N.B. Competition mentioned in video was for November 2016 and no longer running.
“THE BEST POWERED CABS I’VE HEARD”
BASS PLAYER MAGAZINE’S REVIEW BY JONATHAN HERRERA
I WAS 23 WHEN I STARTED AT BASS Player in 2002, so no matter how precocious I thought I was, to say I learned on the job is an under- statement. Fortunately, I had the bass journo All Star team on hand to whip me quickly into shape. I leaned hard on each of my more experienced col- leagues, but early on there was no one I needed more than Terry Buddingh, whose knowledge and abundant patience I frequently put to the test as a nascent technical editor. Terry is genuinely passionate about audio gear and has the wizened aspect of a guy who’s played, taken apart, and repaired thousands of basses and amps. When Terry really liked something, I took it seriously; nobody sliced through marketing hype better. I can recall long discussions about innumerable pieces of gear that came through the office, but few stick out as much as his deep and abiding love for an esoteric 2×10 made by a bass player in Australia, Wayne Jones. BP glowingly reviewed the Wayne Jones 2×10 in 2001, just before I arrived, so for me the cab was the stuff of legend. Plus, its extreme scarcity meant I couldn’t pop down to the local Guitar Center and give one a spin. Regardless, the cabs went out of production in the mid 2000s.
Read more ►
Now that I’m a slightly more grizzled old hand, my nostalgia kicked in when I got an email from Wayne Jones saying he was manufacturing an upgraded line of cabinets featuring his original drivers, but in totally redesigned cabinets that included Class D power amps. I was further pleased to hear that his inspiration for getting back in the cab biz was Buddingh himself, who over the years had pestered Jones for an update. Soon after a trio of boxes arrived, containing a powered 2×10 and powered and passive 1x10s. Finally I’d get to hear for myself what Terry ’s seldom-wasted adoration was about.
When Wayne Jones, a first-call bass player and solo artist on the Australian scene, decided to reintroduce a line of cabinets, he knew he wanted to make them lightweight and powered. His design philosophy is a mixture of no-compromise fidelity and real- world utility, and to him, weight and transparency are the key variables. To shed pounds, Jones initially experimented with neodymium drivers, but was unable to find a design he liked as much as the Lorantz Audio 10s he used in his origi- nal 2001 model. I can see (and hear) why he didn’t fix what wasn’t broken. The Lorantz speakers were beautifully constructed, blessed with huge ferrite mag- nets, a large voice coil capable of extreme excursion, and frequency response and distortion specs that elevate them above the off-the-shelf pack. Given that the speakers were going to stay relatively heavy, Jones directed his attention to the cabinet. The new cabinets are a total redesign, using lightweight poplar ply as opposed to the more typical (and heavier) baltic birch ply.
Being the sort of player most attracted to hi-fi rigs that minimize coloration, Wayne Jones designed a powered rig that allows players to use studio-grade preamps and DIs or, in the case of an active bass, no preamp at all. The 1,000- watt Pascal Class D stereo amp is a well-regarded favorite, and it has impressive bandwidth and distortion specs. The 2×10’s xlr input jack is ideal for interfacing with the balanced output of a pro-level preamp, but a parallel unbalanced q” jack would have made the cab more flexible, as the near line-level output of many active basses would be sufficient to drive the amp’s input. The top panel includes two L-Pad attenuators governing the high and midrange frequencies. It’s interesting to have midrange attenuation, and I found it a cool means of coaxing new sonic color.
The cabinets’ assembly was generally excellent. The deep and durable black carpet covering felt tougher than average, and the hardware, including the quick-lock corners, telescoping handle, tilt-back casters, and side-mounted handles were all high quality. The WJ 2×10 is unusually deep, which—combined with the telescoping tilt-back handle and dolly-style casters—makes wheeled transport slightly awkward (the cabinet is a little too narrow to feel planted in transit). I almost regret mentioning this, because the mere inclusion of the handle and casters is an unexpected blessing. I also wished that Jones had recessed the top-panel attenuator knob, as its protrusion makes it difficult to stack anything on top of the cabinet in transit or when used in a vertical playing position. The 1x10s are a great deal more portable, although the handle position at the cabs’ corners makes them a touch more awkward than a top-mounted handle might have been.
The powered 1×10 offers an interesting addi- tional feature that the 2×10 lacks. Both cabs use the same stereo amp module, but in the 2×10 it’s bridged to send 1,000 watts to the internal speakers. The 1×10 uses only one side of the 2×500-watt amp for its internal speaker, but the jack panel includes an additional input and a speaker output jack, allowing one side of a stereo input to come through the powered cab and the other to be separately powered and sent to the passive 1×10. Even without a stereo input, I could link the two inputs on the 1×10 and still use the other side of the amp to power an external cab separately.
THUNDER DOWN UNDER
One of the most fun things about powered speaker cabinets is the ability to use a wide variety of preamps, some of which aren’t purpose-built for bass, but sound great nonetheless. Among the esoteric preamps I tested with the Wayne Jones cabinets were a Neve Portico 5017, Tube Tech MEC-1A, a Noble, and a Vintech VA573, as well as bass-specific models like a Kern IP-777, Ampeg SVP-CL, and a Demeter HBP-1. I also made use of the preamp in an F Bass BN5, a Fodera Standard Classic, and a Citron AE5-Swallow to connect directly to the Wayne Jones’ input (with the help of a q”-to-xlr adapter, of course).
First, I tested the 2×10, the cabinet most similar to the model that made Terry Buddingh gaga. Having spent a good deal of time with it, using both bass guitar and synth, I can clearly see why Terry was such a fan. It’s one of the best 2x10s I’ve heard. Its overall sonic impression conveys depth and strength, but also beautifully balanced presentation through the whole frequency spectrum. It is capable of extraordinary volume and transient response, and it has the palpable force of a high-headroom amp, but it doesn’t lose any of its natural and beguiling clarity. The facility to use no-less beautiful-sounding preamps like the Neve and Tube Tech make it an excellent platform for coaxing luscious and authoritative sound that transcends the abilities of many integrated bass heads. The Wayne Jones was loud enough for any stage, and it never seemed to break a sweat. I also dug the smooth high- frequency response, which didn’t have the clacky bite of some lesser tweeters. The 1×10 is similar to the 2×10 in its strong-but-sweet personality, but it obviously moves less air. Coupled with the passive 1×10, it’s an excellent solution for stereo players or those seeking to send a monitor feed to a drummer. Both cabs also benefited from some break-in time, warming up and getting a touch more plush as I put in some hours.
It was a long time coming, but thanks to my old mentor Terry, I finally got my hands on a Wayne Jones. While his distribution is insignificant in the States, perhaps a lot of demand will make his special cabs more widely available. Take it from two generations of BP tech editors—you have to try one of these. BP
“THEY ARE SIMPLY SOME OF THE BEST SOUNDING CABS ON THE PLANET”
BASS GEAR MAGAZINE’S REVIEW BY TOM BOWLUS IS NOW OUT
Wayne Jones WJ 2×10 And WJ 1×10 Bass Cabs
So many times, the things which fascinate us – sometimes to the point of obsession – are the things which are the least obtainable. This definitely holds true for bass gear, and for some time, one of the best examples of “unobtainium” in the bass world were those mysterious 2×10 cabs from some guy named Wayne Jones. Nobody was really sure just who he was, or if he even existed, but rumor had it that he was some foreign land, like Atlantis, or Australia, or something. Combined with what we didn’t know about Wayne Jones was that what we did know was that everyone who had actually heard them seemed to fall madly in love with them. So, of course, I had to have a pair of these cabs for myself!
I was lucky enough to snag two Wayne Jones 2×10’s on the used market, and sure enough, they lived up to the hype. Yes, they wanted a good bit of power to sound their best, but if you paired them up with an adequate amplification, they provided deep, powerful tone for days. So, mission accomplished; having secured these cabs, the mystery was over, right? But rumors are funny. Just when you think the story is done and over, new wrinkles break the surface. Terry Buddingh first piqued my interest by claiming that he actually knew Wayne Jones. “Really? He’s a real dude, and not just some made up brand name?” Then, Terry goes on to tell me that he’s trying to convince Wayne to start making cabs again. “That’d be great!” Oh, and this time around, he’s going to make them powered cabs ” Uh oh … I’m getting sucked back into the mystery!”Read more ►
Terry did, indeed, put Wayne and I in contact, and before I knew it, Wayne was shipping me two of his WJ 2×10 powered enclosures, plus one each of his Active and Passive WJ 1×10 cabs. All three of these cabs use the same 10″ drivers which made Wayne’s former 2×10’s so formidable. Wayne did make a definite attempt to make the new cabs lighter (those older cabs are quite heavy), but he chose to shave the pounds on the enclosure side of the equation, as opposed to the drivers.
He considered using neodymium-based drivers, but as the older drivers were made to his specs and worked so well, he figured, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” He did opt for a new JBL/Selenium tweeter, though, and this new tweeter definitely pairs up well with the “old” drivers.
The 2×10 cabs are equipped with a 2-channel Pascal amplifier that is bridged to put out 1,000 watts into an 8-ohm load. This works great with the two 16-ohm 10″ drivers, which are each rated to handle 600 watts, continuous. For thermal control, there is a heat sink plate mounted into the rear of the enclosure (and protected by its own powder-coated metal grill). The amplifier employs a high-pass filter which rolls off the lows below 30Hz, and the enclosure is tuned to 40Hz. The same amplifier module is used in the 1×10 Active Bass Cabinet, except not in bridged mode. It functions as two separate 500-watt amps. When you are only using a single Active 1×10, only one side of the amp is working. The other 500-watt amp is connected to the Speakon® speaker out, which is intended to drive the Passive WJ 1×10.
The enclosures, themselves, are covered in really nice, high-grade carpet, and employ larger, stacking-style plastic corners. The handle configuration on the 2×10 is unique. There is a retractable pop-up handle on the rear of the enclosure, which is designed to work in conjunction with the casters built into the bottom rear edge of the cabinet. Just pop up, tilt back, and roll! The handle retracts into the space right behind the heat sink plate, but inside the grill; very neat and tidy. When rolling isn’t an option, the cab has two nicely sized handles built into what would be the top/side edges of the cab when it is laid down horizontally. I found these to be a little awkward to use when carrying the cab, especially while going up/down steps. The 2×10 cab is just light enough to allow for a one-hand carry, but the handles aren’t placed well to allow for this. On the 1×10 cabs, there is no pop-up handle (and no need for one) and two smaller edge-mount handles on the top/side edges of the cab (when viewed in its vertical orientation). These handles certainly look very cool, and are space efficient, but the fit is a little tight for my big(ger) hands. Now, these cabs are definitely light enough to carry in one hand, but the cabs also don’t balance all that well when held by just one handle. They are very easy to carry using both handles, though.
The powered 2×10’s have a control plate mounted on the top of the cab (when stood up vertically) which contains a single balanced XLR input, LEDs showing status for power on, clipping on channel 1, clipping on channel 2, and bridge mode. In addition to the IEC power receptacle, fuse and on/off switch, the control plate also has the Mid and High attenuators. The Mid attenuator cuts up to 12dB in the 300Hz to 600Hz range. The High attenuator also cuts up to 12dB before it heads to the tweeter. Wayne Jones suggests a starting point of 3 o’clock on the Mid attenuator and “noon” on the High attenuator. I am a bit concerned about the fact that the knobs for the attenuators stick up above the side of the enclosure. If possible, I would like to see them recessed, or otherwise protected. Wayne does tell me that the cabs will ship with a padded cover, which will help to protect the attenuators during transport. I would have also liked to have seen an unbalanced 1/4″ input and a pass-through connection for daisy chaining multiple cabs. Wayne did solve this latter issue by supplying a Y-cable, which allowed me to plug the balanced output of one preamp into both powered 2×10’s. The control plate on the powered 1×10 has two balanced XLR inputs, for Input 1 and Input 2. These can be used as independent, or stereo, inputs, or you can employ the “Input Link” button to – what else? – link the inputs. On the passive WJ 1×10, the control plate features just a Speakon input jack and the Mid/High attenuators.
Wayne Jones History 101: The Man, Himself
While he is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, Wayne is originally from Wales. When he was 11 years old, his family immigrated to Australia. He started playing drums when he was 13, but at age 17, he suffered an industrial accident, which caused the loss of the use of his left thumb. At this point, he took up the electric bass, and he has never looked back. In addition to designing and producing some fantastic bass cabs, Wayne is primarily a solo bass player, writer and producer, and has his own record label. He explains, “I have CD’s out and on radio in the smooth/ contemporary Jazz markets in USA, Europe & more. They feature top USA players Rick Braun, Philippe Saisse and Mike MacArthur. The Australian contingent is myself, Fallon Williams and Ron Peers. Prior to this, for over forty years, I was a sideman in the Australian music scene, touring, sessions, etc. I did master classes and taught at various colleges.”
Okay, but how did he get started producing his own line of bass enclosures? Again, Wayne explains, “I was also a product advisor and clinician for major bass amp bass guitar import companies in Australia. One of them was Music Link, who at the time Imported Trace Elliot. I did a lot of bass clinics and demonstrations promoting Trace Elliott and Status Basses. I got to know Clive Roberts and Mark Gooday from Trace Elliott. One day, I asked, ‘Why don’t you split your 4×10 cab in half,’ as they were so heavy. They said they had already done something like that, but when I saw the result, it was a small extension cabinet. That’s when I decided to go off and design my own cabs.”
Wayne Jones History 201: Wayne Jones Audio [As told by Wayne Jones]
“In 1996, my first cabs were WJ 2Paks (2×10’s) and a single 15″cab, with two piezo tweeters in a separate box. I asked the people that made the cabinets for me to ask the speaker manufacturer for my specific speaker requirements in a custom-made speaker. I found out later that they just used off-the-shelf speakers. For off-the-shelf speakers, they still were far better than most others available. They came from the same speaker manufacture that makes my current drivers, Lorantz Audio. The cabinets were successful and fairly inexpensive. In my search for the best bass sound to cater for all my needs as a pro player, I decided to redesign the cabs to the highest quality with no compromise. I went to see Michail Barabasz of Lorantz Audio and asked him if he could design the drivers that I initially asked my first cabinet manufacturer for. He did. Thus came the next Wayne Jones speaker cabinets; the ones that Bass Player magazine gave me that excellent review of in June 2001.
Things looked really good with the cabs going all over the world. Then September 11 happened.
My orders virtually stopped. The economy was severely affected, and people were not spending on such high-end expensive products. So, I stopped making them and kept on being a pro bass player. In 2012, Terry Buddingh (the person that gave me that review in Bass Player magazine) inspired me to get back into it, and so after two years of development, here I am with my new range of high-end, highpowered cabs. Regarding future designs, I will always try to better what I design with creative vision and new technology. Then again, I won’t be changing what works. I plan to add to my range as I progress. The Wayne Jones Stereo Bass Pre- Amp is in its final stages and is ready for production.”
Put to the Test
I was able to try the powered cabs with a variety of instruments and preamps. One of the things I have found when dealing with powered enclosures is that matching up an appropriate input signal is not always as intuitive as you might like. Attention must be paid to both the output of the preamp and the input trim on the powered enclosure in order to create a good match with the best headroom. Drive one or the other too hard, and you can introduce unwanted distortion. Set the levels too low, and you might not be getting all of the headroom that would otherwise be on tap. But get it right, and boy howdy! Some of my favorite units to place in front of the Active WJ cabs was the Demeter HBP-1, Millennia TD-1 and Sonic Farm 2di4.
The best way to get a feel for what these new cabs could do was to compare them to my older Wayne Jones 2×10’s. The older cabs always stood out for being very deep, but unlike many cabs that have a deeper, powerful low end, the Wayne Jones cabs are also very balanced from top to bottom, with a sweet, clear top end. To try and minimize the impact of the ancillary gear, when I compared the older cabs to the new powered enclosures, I used the same preamp each time, and powered the older cabs with my Demeter Minnie 800D power amp. The newer cabs sounded a bit more crisp and clear, while the older cabs were a tad more warm/round. The newer cabs had more dynamics in the lows, and seemed to move more air when pushed hard. In contrast, the older cabs seemed a bit more solid in the upper low end, up through the mids. Some of this could have been the difference between the Pascal amp modules in the new cabs and the ICEpower module used in the Minnie. However, I did notice that as I spent more time playing the newer cabs (and breaking them in), they started to sound more and more like the older cabs.
At the end of the day, I slightly preferred the tone of the newer cabs to that of my older ones, and that is saying a lot!
I was a little disappointed, though, that the newer WJ 2×10’s cannot be stacked vertically. This is my preferred way to stack my older WJ cabs, and it makes for a “line array” style setup, with drivers/tweeters up closer to your ears, great horizontal dispersion, and all with a minimal footprint on stage. The positioning of the control panel and attenuator knobs on the new cabs just don’t allow for this. However, Wayne explains that most of his players – of both the older and newer cabs – prefer to stack their cabs horizontally.
The combination of the Active and Passive WJ 1×10’s packs a lot of punch in a compact package. Of course, the pair ends up sounding an awful lot like a single WJ 2×10, but with a tad more “air” and clarity up top. In addition to having two tweeters with the double 1×10 stack, the crossover points are a tad different, as well. The WJ 2×10’s are crossed over at 4kHz, whereas the 1×10’s (both Active and Passive) are crossed over at 3.5kHz. With the two 1×10’s, you also have the option of placing the cabs in different locations on stage (one monitor for you, and one for the drummer, perhaps?). As a comparison tool for the Active WJ 1×10, I first turned to the powered Bergantino IP112, which of course, is a 1×12 enclosure, so it’s not exactly apples to apples. The enclosures are of similar size and power, though. In comparison, the WJ is more clear, open and airy up top, and was more detailed, overall. The IP112 is more full and meaty, bigger down low, and definitely sounded warmer. The tweeter on the Bergantino was not as apparent; or maybe it was that the WJ’s tweeter drew so much attention to itself – but in a very good way. My notes read, “The tweeter in the Wayne Jones is amazing!” It is super clear and detailed, but still smooth, and not remotely harsh. And of course, if you so desire, you dial it back by 12dB.
Moving on to the Passive WJ 1×10, I also looked to a Bergantino cab for comparison – in this case, the HT110. Once again, the Berg was more warm/round down low, whereas the WJ proved itself to be amazingly articulate in the lows, while still sounding full. Overall, the midrange balance and focus is quite similar between the two. The WJ is a tad more aggressive, and the HT110 is a bit more laid back and smooth. Similar to the Active cab comparison, the WJ’s high end stands out a bit more, whereas the Bergantino’s highs have some extra “meat” behind them. All told, I would rate this as a dead heat between the Passive WJ 1×10 and my previous top dog of the 1×10 world, the HT110. I spent a good bit of time listening to the Passive WJ 1×10 in both horizontal and vertical orientation, and there is a very noticeable difference between the two. Laid down horizontally, the tone is more balanced from top to bottom and more full (more like the HT110, in fact). Stood up vertically, the tone is more clear and articulate, and the tweeter really gets your attention.
The Bottom Line
I was very excited when I first heard that Wayne Jones might be producing bass cabs again, and I have to say, after spending some time with these cabs, I am even more excited. Yes, I do wish that they would accommodate vertical stacking, and yes, I do worry about those attenuator knobs sticking out there, but other than these minor nits to pick, I am extremely impressed. In terms of tone, volume and dynamics, these cabs are second to none. If you missed out on the fun with Wayne’s prior 2×10’s, or if you found them to be a bit on the heavy side, then these new cabs are just what the doctor ordered.
Whether you choose the “stereo pair” with the Active and Passive WJ 1×10’s, a single Active WJ 2×10, or the 2,000- watt double-stack of WJ 2×10’s, these new cabs from Wayne Jones are no mystery. They are simply some of the bestsounding cabs on the planet.
Wayne Jones Passive Wj 1×10
This technical review will focus only on the Passive WJ 1×10, as our current bass cab testing procedures are not intended for use with powered enclosures. However, this cab is sold as part of a pair, and the pricing information listed above is for the matched set of one Active WJ 1×10 and one Passive WJ 1×10.
The layout and configuration of this enclosure is a little different, compared to more conventional small cabs. In either configuration (vertical or horizontal), it is deeper than it is tall or wide. There are no feet installed on the cab, but (except for the side with the L-pad attenuator knobs), the plastic (stacking-style) corners have enough height to keep the rest of the cab off the ground. The enclosures are covered very nice, dense but soft, black carpet. Even the front baffle is covered in carpet, which is a nice touch. The two edge mounted handles installed in the middle of where the top and sides of the enclosure meet are very cool and very stylish.
However, they are not very comfortable (at least not if you have bigger hands, as I do) and they are not very practical. The dimensions and overall weight of this cab (just over 36 lbs!) Encourage a one-hand carry, but the handles are not very good at facilitating this. The (large hole) perforated metal grill is held in place by four wood screws, and the metal frame edge is bent down to serve as its own standoff. This simple but elegant solution works very well, especially with that nice carpet on the front baffle.
The custom-made woofers (produced by Lorantz Audio, in Melbourne, Australia) are held in place by eight wood screws. As I have stated in many previous reviews, I prefer bolts going into (well-secured) threaded inserts over wood screws, as the wood can tend to strip out and loose grip after multiple insertions/removals. Most folks will never experience any difficulties along these lines, though. I did like how the front baffle was routed out slightly to make a recessed “seat” for the driver to sit in, and the use of a gasket seal around the rim of the driver made for a very good seal. The cast-frame 10″ drivers are a thing of beauty, with their shiny backs and screw-down, color-coded binding posts. Rated for handling 600 watts of continuous power, this is one serious driver! With a driver this nice, any tweeter you put up against it better be up to the task. Fortunately, Wayne has opted for the very nice JBL/Selenium ST200 Super Tweeter. The ST200 was secured by four wood screws. Inside of the enclosure, we find nicely applied, thicker, fairly dense acoustic batting all around. The crossover board is located on the bottom of the cab, with medium-gauge wire used throughout.
The single Speakon input and the L-pad adjusters for Mid and High frequencies are located on the top of the enclosure (in vertical configuration; this would be the side of the cab, if laid down in the horizontal orientation). The attenuators are cut only (of course), to a maximum reduction of -12dB. While it is unique to have an attenuation option for the midrange frequencies as well as the highs, I am concerned about the fact that the knobs for these attenuators are rather exposed and stand out further than the edge of the corners. My preference would be to have these controls recessed, or somehow protected. While we are at it, I would also like to see them relocated, perhaps to the back panel. As it stands, you are severely limited in regards to real estate for placing a bass head when the cab is positioned vertically. Of course, this passive 1×10 is primarily intended for use with the companion powered 1×10, and Wayne has designed these cabs to be stacked when in their horizontal position. But, it would seem like a fairly simple tweak to relocate the input and attenuators, and then, players would have greater choice when it comes to stacking and with regard to which bass heads will easily sit on top of the cab(s).
“When you get behind the wheel of a Ferrari and step on the gas, you quickly realize what you’ve been missing out on….So it is with Wayne Jones Amps. I couldn’t believe how much beef and clarity I’d had been missing out on…”
“These amps are just light years beyond what anyone else is doing!”
Nate Phillips ( Nathaniel Phillips)
“The Boldest Sounding Bass Amp On The Planet! The Wayne Jones System is here for those of us that demand our live bass sound to be equal in quality to what we hear in a high end studio. Accept no Substitutes, this is the real deal”
“Wayne Jones Audio is all you need to know when it comes to bass amplification. His gear is simply the best. No matter what style of music you play or what type of bass you play, the sound of your instrument comes through loud & clear!”
“Very honored, humbled,and happy to be an official endorsee of Wayne Jones Audio designed by Australian bassist Wayne Jones. It some of the best bass gear I have ever played through from the WJ Pre amp to the many lines of speaker cabinets he has designed. Not only do they sound incredible, they are light weight!! Thanks Wayne!!!!!!”
“The cabinets are from an amp builder, Wayne Jones who lives in Melbourne Australia. He’s a Genius of acoustics, and any serious bass player might wanna check out his site.”
“Wayne! I want to thank you again for the fine craftsmanship and audiophile technology. Your cabs are the best speakers I’ll will ever own.”
“I just had the honor and privilege to play through the best bass rig on the planet ! …
Wayne Jones AUDIO bass rig
2000 watts of pure power
Thick, punchy, clean, and powerful
It sound like someone took a cloth and polished each note before it was released from the speaker!”
September 6, 2016
Review of the single powered WJ 1×10 bass guitar cabinet
I’ve spent some time with the WJ 1×10. It’s everything you said it would be. Good, even response throughout the range of whichever instrument I play through it.
I have old Yamaha BB-5000’s (actually 3 of them). I was an early purchaser after trying out a prototype that Nathan East let me play on, back in 1984. One is strung with a Low-B. The WJ 1×10 reproduces this bass just like my headphones (Sony MDR-7506), or my studio monitors (Dynaudio BM6a). Nice and even, no bumps in any particular range (i.e., no boomy low-midrange, no honky high-midrange).
I’ve also played my acoustic double bass, with a Realist Copper Pickup, through the WJ 1×10. Same evenness, and it seems to let the growl come through very musically. The bass sound coming out of the speaker is the same sound of the bass, or as much as a piezo can deliver — only louder.
My Moog Taurus 3 Bass Pedals are HUGE sounding – which they are supposed to be. The hi-fi nature of your cabinet works great for the synth bass – ALL the frequencies come through evenly, once again in a very musical way.
I’m using an Acoustic Image Clarus amp. But only the preamp out to the WJ 1×10. I pretty much run the EQ flat — I like the sound of my instruments, and don’t need to color them much.
A few times, I’ve simply plugged a bass into a Preamp-DI (Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum Bass), and then into the WJ 1×10. Works fine.
I also experimented a bit with mic’ing the WJ 1×10 (some quick recording of only the speaker, not the tweeter) with a Shure Beta 52A – better than DI’ing! Now, if I can convince the sound-guys to do this over a DI, or at least together, it would be awesome!
A little off the track. Are you aware of the Phil Jones Ear-Box? I picked one up, and plugged it into the Speakon Out of the WJ 1×10, selected Input-Link. It supposedly puts no load (or very little) on the amp. I position it behind me, up on a mic stand. It’s VERY useful when I play upright. Nice monitor for intonation. 😉
Anyway, back to your speaker… I’m very satisfied with this powered cabinet. It’s just what I was looking for – portable, powerful, great-sounding, and musical. I’m very glad I found you!
I have ordered two road cases for the WJ1x10. So… I’d like to purchase the passive 1×10, if I may. 😉 I will need to fill that empty 2nd road case.
Thanks for a great product!
Lloyd’s Update – 16th Sept 2016
Having signed off with:
“I have ordered two road cases for the WJ1x10. So… I’d like to purchase the passive 1×10, if I may. 😉 I will need to fill that empty 2nd road case.”
Well he did indeed buy the passive 1×10 to make up the 1000 Watt 1×10 / 500 Watts per side pair.
Got the passive speaker a couple days ago. Twice as much awesomeness!
Just have to tell you… I was playing through my studio monitors, about 2 months ago, asking myself, “Why can’t there be some bass speakers that sound smooth, even, high-end, and with some useable stage volume?”
Oh, and portable! 😉
I went hunting and found your speakers. So glad that I did!
December 5, 2015
“My WJ rig pays itself off in spades in this situation. I play a lot of wedding and corporate events where your crammed into a small place such as tonight. This rig operates punchy and clearly at low volumes for a dinner set. it won’t mess with your drummers kick drum and you can crank it beautifully for the last dance set. I truly Love Em”
June 3, 2015
“I wanted to share with you a truly awesome piece of Aussie gear I’ve added to my arsenal this past weekend.”