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Audio interface that doubles as amp

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by randy_marsh, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. randy_marsh


    Apr 6, 2009
    Hello all,

    My combo amp died on me and am in the market for something new. This is just for playing in my room so I don't need speakers (just need the pre-amp or pre-amp and head). I'll probably just have the sound going through some headphones.

    I also want to have a USB or firewire interface so I can record some ideas and I'd like to be able to play along to tracks on my computer through my headphones.

    I see the pod gx seems to do this, but I'm worried about what it will sound like when monitoring directly, as it's not an amp, just an interface. Also if I monitor directly, I don't think I'll be able to mix in the tracks on my computer.

    Anybody have a solution? Budget is $200-$300, but let me know if that's unreasonable.
  2. adube810


    Mar 6, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    i hear good things about the presonus firestudio mobile
  3. No thats not unreasonable at all. However, no interface is an amp as such, not a bass amp anyway! But if you don't need speakers then you don't need a POWER amp, which is a lot of what you pay for when you buy a bass amp.

    As you say you just need a preamp, and although there are dedicated bass pre amps out there a normal mic pre on an interface is exactly the sort of amp you need. Similarily, if an interface advertises an 'instrument input' then it will have some kind of gain control for that input and it will be able to amplify your bass a bit.

    So you just need a normal interface, nothing fancy required whatsoever apart from a di box if you get an interface with only mic-pre's. (the di box prepares the bass' signal for going into a mic pre!). An interface is designed to be the hub of your computers audio, in AND out so you will certainly be able to play back tracks from your computer, record yourself jamming along to them etc with almost any interface.

    It will sound ok, with a nice DI or a higher end interface with an instrument input it could sound pretty good!

    If you want to buy just a bass headphone pre then you might get something a bit nicer quality wise but it won't interface with your computer and you'll STILL need to buy a power amp if you ever want to use it with a speaker! The benefit of an interface is that you will be able to play your bass through the computer speakers as well as headphones. Even if they are not so good it still beats playing in phones all the time!
  4. Lurker79


    Jul 3, 2008
    Hayward, CA
    I just bought a tc impact twin, maybe something to consider. Another $100 though. It looks pretty useful, firewire too. It was that or a saffire 24 pro dsp, but I use monitors and don't think I'll be using an interface for A/B or checking my mixes in different virtual rooms. gearslutz.com has all sorts of info on everything audio.
  5. randy_marsh


    Apr 6, 2009
    Thanks for the help and info. It looks like the pod x3 could be a good bet. Partly because it looks like more fun than the other, more serious looking interfaces! I could see myself spending a considerable amount of time mucking about with amp/cab combinations and effects. Also supports electric guitar which is useful as I might be getting one to record backing tracks.
    But it does mean spending about $100 more than I intended...
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