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Anyone try this before?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Kevbroce, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Kevbroce


    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
    Has anyone tried pluging headphones straight into an active bass? I don't think a passive bass would do much, but what if you had an active bass with a lot of output? This couldn't do any harm could it?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No, it wouldn't hurt, but it wouldn't work either.
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Tried it before. Doesn't work.
  4. Kevbroce


    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
    I just found my plug adapter. I tried it on my Ibanez SRX 505 and I get some sound out of it. Not a lot, but its better than playing without headphones. I tried with some cheap Yamaha headphones, and you could hear it but not much. Then I tried some I got from radioshack, and those are a lot better. I've noticed that these headphones are more sensitive than other headphones I've owned, so that might help. I wonder if I have any fresh batteries that might make things better.
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If only someone would create an invention that would raise the output signal of a bass guitar to a higher level and then create an audible signal... amplify it, if you will... ;)
  6. Kevbroce


    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
    It seems like someone would have made a bass with a built in headphone amplifier, that would make a great travel/practice bass if you ask me.
  7. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Yep it's been done. Not enough demand to justify the extra cost/work I imagine. There would be alot of power consumption as well. It's an Idea I toyed with, but I think it's something that's better left as an outboard unit.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    On Garry Goodmans Adler 12 he can plug a pair of headphones in it and you are able to hear his Bass(and the tone was clear and the volume wasen't lacking either).
  9. It works. Atleast on my all my active basses. Not very loud but louder than than heavy attack to my ears.

    I think it comes to your head phones, for one. First you will need a Mono 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. To convert jack size. Then you'll need a 1/8" mono to 1/8" stereo adapter. So both Right and Left ear get sound. If you only have one ear. It will require to much attack to hear effectively.

    Things that might help. If you want it all built into the bass. 18v electronics if not 27v. Or better yet an additional gain circuit. You might want an on/off switch for that to prevent overdriving your amp.

    Personally I think all that is a waste of effort. And you would be better of getting a headphone amp. By the time you spent all the money time and effort. You could have worked more and bought a decent all tube headphone amp.

    Btw the headphones that do it for me are some old Sony home entertainment type ( MDR-CD180 ). The Sony adapters didn't work with them on doing it. The adapters that worked for me with them were Rca. Out a 12 or 15 in one type package of headphone adapters and ext. cable, etc.

    As I said before it's only loud enough to be heard over aggressive string attack. Volume all the way up Bass and Treble all the way up on my Rock Bass ( MEC crap onboard ). Vol bass, mid-range, and treble all the way up on my Cort B4 [ Bartolini Mk1 ( Korean ) ].

    I just tested more on the B4. On finger style work great and clearly. On slap it was not so good. Needed more attack than I'll slap. Lacked tone also on slap style. I couldn't find my pick ( 3mm Jim Dunlop triangle shaped one ). I rarely play with one. But the output of that one is loud, clear, and tremendous. I defidently would recommend. When playing fast overdriven songs.
  10. Kevbroce


    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
    Eww, yeah there it is... That would make a great travel bass though.

    I just used a 1/8" to 1/4" stereo converter and I got sound out of both sides. I asked my music technology professor about how to know you could test if a bass supported XLR(balanced line output, looks like a 1/4" stereo plug") and he said any active electronincs instrument should support balanced line output. If thats the case then a stereo converter should give you sound to both ears. But then again if you tried it and it didn't work then thats probably not true. He seemed to misinterprit questions fairly often.
  11. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    It'll work IF you use high-impedance headphones- like 300 or 600 ohms. Myabe. Some of the mini-phones designed for portable audio have very high impedances. It won't work if you use 8-ohm phones- the bass preamps don't produce enough current to drive them.

    It's still simpler to use a headphone amp, and won't run down your bass's batteries as quickly.
  12. Someone here has successfully converted an old walkman style cassette player into a micro amp by detaching the leads to the playback head and wiring them to a mini jack. Plug your bass in there and wail away. You could make a velcro strap or pocket to attach it to your strap and walk around the block practicin' ;)
  13. When I was attending Penn State University (WAYYYYY back when....) a guitar player that lived in my dorm did exactly that...the sound wasn't too bad, actually.
  14. It could just be a matter of my output jacks vs another. and the stereo 1/4" to 1/8" adapters I have at home. In prior post I list that I couldn't even get the Sony brand adapter to work. But I used sony headphones big ear muff style ones. I fdon't doubt you electronics teacher.
  15. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    This used to be a standard feature on 80's-early 90's Carvins, but like posted above I suppose the electronics and wiring outlay wasn't worth the demand for it.