Alternatives to Amplug for Bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MakoMan, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    I've been doing a lot of practicing with my laptop and headphones lately and have decided I want something similar to an Amplug for bass for this purpose.
    I've previously used a Korg Pandora, a Tascam and currently a Vox Rhythmvox for bass. All worked OK but I'm sick of messing with cables and just want something that plugs directly into the guitar and then to the computer and headphones.
    I've tried the Amplug, but quite frankly I was not dazzled by the tone or volume for the price. Through the same headphones, it was very similar to the Rhythmvox (not that surprising), which makes up for that quite a bit by having a very good drum machine built in. For $60 plus tax, I'm inclined to just keep using the Rhythmvox and deal with the cables.
    As far as Amplug style headphone amps, are any of the Ebay under-20-bucks specials decent, or are there other options worth considering?
  2. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
  3. Bardolphus

    Bardolphus Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I use the IK Multimedia StealthPlug. Cheapest I see it currently is $64 on Amazon. Though I've never had a problem with it on both a laptop running Windows XP MCE and a MacBook Pro, I see some reviews stating that some experienced problems with the device on Windows machines.
  4. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    might as well set yourself up for full Digital. I 'rigged for silent running' about 3 years ago and now my amp sits in the corner gathering dust.

    I fully suggest grabbing something with IK Amplitube software. The GK and Trace models on Amplitube are really good. You can also buy some really fruity and interesting Ampeg models from the IK Custom shop. Groove central.
  5. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I know you said you want an interface that plugs directly into the bass, and my suggestion does not do that, but I have had very good results from the very modestly sized Guitar Rig Mobile IO box. Besides being a very good interface, it allows realtime monitoring right from the device itself, as opposed to system-through monitoring. pretty much eliminates meaningful latency. Small, easy to set up, sounds great, and I seem to recall I bought mine for $49.00 (but my memory is bad, so don't take that as gospel).

    I use mine with my laptop often, but for mobile practice and simple recording stuff (scratch tracks and rehearsing with ireal book charts) I have also moved some of this to my iPhone and use the Apogee Jam as the interface in that set-up. One of the smallest, most portable, good sounding "silent practice set-ups I have heard.

    Again, not exactly what you asked for, but thought I would put these options out there.

    good luck
  6. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions so far folks. Keep 'em coming!
  7. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I use a Tascam GT-R1
  8. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA

    Or, for about $17, a Peavey AmpKit Link. And an iPod Touch or iPod. And the Jamup app (free) with the Bass Expansion Pack ($10). This is what I'm currently using. My iRig and my 2 Tascam Bass Trainers are gathering dust. As is my paid version of AmpliTube and the free version of AmpKit.
  9. M. Owen Santy

    M. Owen Santy Banned

    Aug 10, 2011
    Springfield, MA
    Michael Tobias Designs Kingston Series & Traynor Amps Artist
    Used Line6 UX1 & UX2 are available dirt cheap (discontinued) & and work great for home practice.
  10. mtshaw


    Aug 12, 2012
    Ditto on the Line6. The Pod Farm software is a lot of fun, too.
  11. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Thanks again for the suggestions everyone. I looked at the Line 6, multi-media plugs etc., and they certainly look interesting, but they're not what I am looking for at the moment. I can certainly see getting something like that down the road.
    At this point I just want to get rid of the cords around my computer, and have something to play my bass through headphones anywhere in the house, on the deck etc., without having to haul cables around.

    I ordered one of these this morning. Will let you know how it works out. For $16.50 and free shipping I figured it's worth a shot.