Headphones vs a better amp.
I've just bought a multi effects pedal and some of the sounds don't come out of my little belcat practice amp at all. So I was going to buy another amp. Then I wondered if buying a decent pair of headphones would suffice. If they would which ones? And if not what's the best and cheapest amp to get? Thanks in advance. :)
Have a look at the Vox practice headphones. They do a bass set. Ive been pleased with mine so far. I find they are clearer than an amp and allow me to hear noise, fret clicks etc so for practicing Ive been very pleased in this regard. Can plug your ipod into them too.
Nothing beats the feeling of playing through an amp though.
As for cheap amps, in my limited experience ive found those with deeper enclosures produce a better, bassier sound.
A set of Vox headphones will cost you substantially less.
If you live somewhere where you can turn an amp up to confortable practice volume or a bit louder for jamming with songs: I would absolutely recommend a decent cab and head setup.
A neo 112 or neo 210 and one of the newer small form factor class D amps is what I like. Easy to use, easy on your back, sounds great for practice, can hang with a band for light practice, expandable (you can get an extra cab) for more volume, etc.
Even some neo 115 are pretty light.
However, that probably will cost you $400 or $500, for a cab and head.
Ampeg BA108 - 25 watts, 8 inch speaker, can plug in your ipod, use headphones if you like, but the sound is SO good. 100 bucks, can't be beat. For a bit more, AMPEG Micro CL - 100 watt head with line out, 2x10 speaker cab, and for about $300 - $350 new its not a bad deal. Can hang with guitars and a "normal" drummer (isn't that an oxymoron?), and great for practice, input jack for ipod too. Have both, and really recommend them for that Ampeg sound.
Seriously, there is a big gap between the best of the cheapest and the cheapest of the best.
So you must think about what it's for and where it fits into your progression. A good small amp will hold up in an acoustic setting but will have trouble being heard if there are other amplified instruments in the mix. If it's _just_ for solo practice, perhaps a quality headphone amp, with aux inputs for MP3 player would get you a long way, especially if you're learning in an environment where you can't turn up. Many small bedroom/practice amps have headphone jacks and aux inputs (and DI as a stepping stone to bigger venues) and cen be an excellent value.
The two names that come up most often in this kind of question are Ampeg and GK. There are others but I have no first-hand experience with any of them.
I am looking at the Vox phones, too. 97 bucks on Amazon.
Any other suggestions before I pull the trigger?
I want to be able to sit in my living room without having to set up an amp and disturb the household...
Searching now, thanks
I got the S1B which is the less expensive model - $30? I don't know what the Vox sounds like but my Pocket Rockit sounds really good and gets good reviews here on TB.
I also plug straight into my Zoom B2. That way I get not only effects but also a metronome and tuning. I picked up a used MXR micro amp (also based on good reviews hereon TB) and that remedies any volume issues. I use Sennheiser HD201 headphones which are good, not great, but perfectly serviceable for my needs.
The MXR Micro Amp comes in handy in other applications as well. My power amp has a pretty high volume threshold and the micro amp boosts the signal so I do not have to turn the volume way up on my preamp or boost all the frequencies to get a good sound.
Headphones are good for detailed listening like when you are trying to figure out how they played a section of a song. But I find that headphones can be hard on your ears and fatiguing over long sessions. An amp allows some air into what you are playing. It sounds more natural and can also help you improve your playing. You hear those sounds that you are trying to achieve.
In an ideal world you want both. Small practice amps like the Ampeg BA models allows you to have a speaker and a headphone out for when you want that.
I've been recommended the sennheiser HD203 headphones. Anyone know if they're any good??
Now that you mentioned plugging into your effects pedal, I may be leaning that way.
It seems to make sense giving you have more options to play around with in private.
I already have a decent pair of regular headphones, and I am shopping for an amp as well.
Vox, Zoom and Digitech are the three I'm researching... (for the pedal)
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