PJ bass sounds out of tune through Vox Amplug / iOS Peavey AmpKit
A bit of a weird one this. I have a Squire Jaguar VM Short-Scale with LaBella Deep Talkin Flats, which I normally play through an Orange Crush Pix 50 in a 60s/70s cover band. It's a PJ, but I primarily use the P-Pup with the (rather weak) J just used to help out the mix occasionally. Sounds great.
I have limited space at home, and a young kid, so I was looking for a headphone amp based setup for practicing. I've tried two now, and hit the same problem with both.
With both the Peavey AmpKit (original, not HD) and the Vox Amplug Bass, certain frettings don't sound right, either sharp or flat, sometimes to the extent of being barely distinguishable from the next string down. G/G# on the E string is a particularly bad offender on the AmpKit, and on the Amplug the D and G strings have a grim out of tune doubled effect. For the lower strings, dialling in more tone helps, but doesn't eliminate the problem, and extra tone seems to exacerbate the problem on the Amplug's higher strings.
I've tried with a wide gamut of headphones, from cheapo earbuds to Sennheiser HD380 Pros, and the effect is the same. Everything sounds right through my real amp, or played unplugged, it's just a problem through these devices.
Is this a problem with my bass setup, or are these devices just hopeless? I set it up as per the Fender guides, then lowered the P-Pup a little bit more as open E was distorting slightly.
Interestingly, using a clean guitar tone rather than a bass tone on AmpKit seemed to remove the problem, so I think it's something introduced by the artificial bassification of the tone by the bass setups in AmpKit and the Amplug. However, AmpKit just doesn't give me the volume I need, so that's heading to Ebay regardless. Maybe I should just return the Amplug and get the AC30 model.
Squier Jaguar SS Club #85, Short Scale Club #396