DI / Preamp / Headphone amp?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jasonbraatz, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    I'm not sure if something like this even exists, but it's worth a shot. Anyways, I'm looking for something that can be used as a preamp and / or DI for recording purposes, and has a headphone out for practice. Ideally it'd be battery powered too, but that might be pushing it. :)

    I've looked at DI's, headphone amps, trainers...and can't find anything that fits what I need exactly.
  2. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    How much cash have you got? The EBS Microbass II does it all, but for a steep price.
  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    Hahaha. Yeah that'd be perfect but holy christ the price :eek:

    I'd be willing to spend 200 on something like this, if it's good enough that I can throw it in a gig bag with one bass and take it to practice or record.
  4. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I used a GK MB150 head for years as a preamp only with no speaker connected. I called GK to ask about doing that and Rich Kruger called me back and left a message saying that he had designed the amp to be used in that way if so desired. I had all of the EQ I needed, and ran it into a stereo aux input to mic with CD's to rehearse. It also has a headphone jack on it.

    It's small, portable, lightweight and puts out 100 watts into 8 ohms and 150 watts into 4 ohms. Verstile little head. The only reason I sold it was moving over here and the 110/240 volt issue. Otherwise, I would still have that head. It's a nice little unit.

    So, throw that one onto your list of possibilities. Those heads can be found for $250-300 used.
  5. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass

    DAMN! ok.... i saw the link for the microbass 2 from this post.. i was like WHOA! this is everything i was looking for too! then i was typing out a post asking some q's about it.. right when i finished i went to switch tabs on my browser quickly and X'd out the post.... and i did the whole.. WHY THE HELL DID I DO THAT!? then i figured.. well ok i guess i can go price it before i re-type it... then the page comes up for the price.. HOLY SH*T ...must be a god thing that i X'd the page.. haha
  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
  7. mattwhenninger


    May 3, 2004
    If you're looking for an outstanding single channel unit check out the Millenia Media TD-1. It's not by any means cheap... but for the output quality, in my opinion, it is the best. It's a DI, has a class A mic pre, as well as a class A headphone amp built in. I used one for the record I just recorded - you can hear clips at www.balancingactmusic.com just go to the music tab.

    It was great in the studio - much cleaner than anything else I had played through.

    Hope this helps,

  8. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    $1500!!!!! :eek:

    Also, even if I had the money, it's too nice to throw in a gig bag to practice with.

    A real DI isn't necessary, just some kind of output and preamp I can use for recording when I don't want to lug my rack with my DB680 around.

    What about the Korg Pandora? Does it suck as bad as I'd assume it does?
  9. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Maybe consider something like the Soundcraft Compact 4 mixer? http://www.soundcraft.com/product_sheet.asp?product_id=121. I have the Compact 10 (ten-channel version) and like the Dude's rug, it really ties everything in my (studio) room together. It has a DI input to match level/impedance so you can plug a bass right in. 3-band fixed EQ sounds good.

    Headphone amp sounds very good, and for recording you can monitor source and/or sound coming back from recorder. XLR, 1/4" (balanced except for inserts), and RCA jacks (including RIAA phono pre!) let you get nearly any kinda signal in/out. Probably not Millenia quality, but sounds good/does a lot for $100.
  10. How about:


    The bass trainer has EQ, headphones out, line out, and you can play along (and slow down) CD's.

    The ps-04 is great for recording ideas, has EQ and effects as well. It's got headphone and monitor outputs as well as a pretty good built-in mic.

    Both of these can be battery powered; the ps-04 runs a while on 4AA (I use rechargeable nimh).

    The Bass Pod is good too; it's also got a balanced 1/4" TRS DI but is not battery powered.
  11. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001

  12. Jason, are you having seller remorse? :meh:

    I still have your old MDB-1. I have to agree- it really is awesome! It mixes three mono and one stereo inputs, gives you level control on each, has an effect loop (in which I'm running my Korg Toneworks B), and then has an amazing DI output.

    I wish Steve Rabe had done a Raven Labs unit that combined the PHA-1 and the MDB-1..
  13. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    I'm glad to hear that you have been enjoying it! I don't really need what it does any more, but you're right, a mixture of the PHA-1 and MDB-1 would be killer.
  14. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    It's hard to find something that has it all.

    I've got a PHA-1 and it's a great headphone amp but when I tried it as a preamp I found it a little "dry". And it didn't have a balanced output.

    I tried a Pandora and ditched it - I wasn't happy with the overall sound quality but some folks love it. I got a Cafe Walter headphone amp instead and am as happy as a clam with that - but it is a one-function box.

    Some of the multieffect pedals have an aux input but no balanced/DI out (Digitech BP-200, Zoom B2.1u).

    I had a Behringer V-amp silver bean and it did have an aux input and a headphone out, but no DI out (text says they can be balanced but specs say unbalanced).

    I'm not up on the PODs but it looks like the floor model has an aux input but the desktop model doesn't. And the size and expense are getting up there.

    Good luck in the search and let us know what you find
  15. Saorex


    Mar 7, 2004
    Quebec, Canada
  16. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003

    Behringer makes some great little stereo mixers that are very cheap to buy. Check out their website.
  17. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    I own a korg pandora. I wouldn't go for a pandora 4xb for recording or for live sound. It's a great practise tool but it can be noisy.
  18. Saorex


    Mar 7, 2004
    Quebec, Canada
  19. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    The MXR M-80 is a nice preamp/DI. It also drives my headphones nicely, although it could give them a bit more gain. For $135 I'm happy.
  20. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    Would you say that it drives headphones enough to, say, practice in a hotel for a few hours? Also what kind of headphones are you using?