Ashdown Tone Pocket Bass Headphone Amplifier vs. Palmer MI Pocket Amp Bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Btbp, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. Wasn't sure which forum would be best for this, picked Effects since they serve not only as headphone amps but preamps as well.

    My fifth or so Vox amPlug broke, as they do, and I'm just not going to replace it with another. Even if I could find it, some places are sold out of it. Taking it as a sign to finally get something different this time.

    Between these two the Ashdown seemed at first to be the clear winner, having such a nice size, form factor and simplicity, plus the digital output is a nice feature.

    The built-in rechargeable battery is both a good idea, and is replaceable, but seems proprietary which may make it hard to find in the future; also it has a weird 10v charger.

    The Palmer however has nice other features with sims, Gain control, Fuzz, O/d, and more tonal control. It has a simple 9v battery bay for backup.

    They're both about the same $200 price although the Palmer doesn't come with a charger.

    While my primary need is for a headphone amp, the additional tonality makes these both worth of serious consideration but am still on the fence about which I will go with.

    Any actual experiences with these would be welcome.

    Or, is there a Dark Horse headphone amp with Aux In that I am not considering (besides the Phil Jones, which looks good at about double the price which is out of my range for now).
  2. Just an update - Tried a few places for the Ashdown, seems out of stock for a month or so, so am going with the Palmer.

    Still keen to hear from anyone who has tried both. I may get the Ashdown at some point but the no headphone amp crisis is averted for now.
  3. Thought I'd add to this with some recent experiences. I tried the Ashdown Tone Pocket and thought it was a beautifully designed little amp that did exactly what I wanted in terms of a compact, simple headphone practice amp that I could run an aux into for backing tracks. BUT - inexplicably, Ashdown ships this product with an AC wall charger that has the wrong voltage rating and fries the electronics. Why in the hell does Ashdown ship it with the wrong AC power? Ashdown also loses points with me because I wrote them a polite note about this problem, and they ignored me. You might think I'm crazy or this was a freak accident, but if you Google this, you'll find others experienced this exact problem too (Ashdown Tone Pocket Bass Headphone Amplifier Reviews Reviews | Sweetwater).

    George's Music was great with taking a return of the damaged Ashdown product. I then splurged on the Darkglass Element cab sim headphone amp (Element – Darkglass Electronics). I have to admit this thing is way pricey but I was about to embark on a long trip and really wanted something fast. I still wonder about spending this much for this purpose but it's a great gadget. It has very elegant and simple touch control surfaces. Rather than build a ton of menus and such into the device itself, you're basically just working with five preset amp settings and mixing volume of your bass and an aux input. But the five preset amp sims are infinitely customizable online. You can sync it to a smartphone app or the website to play with the amp settings using all kinds of EQs and cabinet simulations. Another great feature of this is that it has bluetooth so you can play your smartphone through it without a cable. So I'm having a good time practicing along with drum loops, iTunes, Pandora, iRealPro, and Youtube - anything that's accessible on my smartphone is easily fed into this via bluetooth.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021