Headphone Amp?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by brooklyn, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. brooklyn


    Aug 10, 2005
    I'm looking for a really good headphone amp to practice on late at night when I can't turn up that loud. Does anyone know if the Rockman Bass Ace is any good, or is there a company out there who makes a higher quality product?

    Any and all input is appreciated. Many thanks.
  2. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    I don't have any experience with the Rockman Bass Ace, however I use the Raven Labs PHA-1. It is an amazing headphone amp. Kind of hard to find now that Raven Labs is out of business (retired.) If you can find one on the used market, I highly recommend it. The PHA-1 will allow you to really hear what you sound like. It has two headphone inputs and allows you to listen to a CD player at the same time (helpful for transcribing.) Here is the PHA-1 from the still existing Raven Labs website:

    Raven Labs PHA-1

    From what I have heard, the Cafe Walter headphone amp is great, too.
  3. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I use the Korg Pandora PX4B. It is loaded with fx, some are silly but it is compact and has a great phrase trainer. At around $200, it is a bit pricey tho.
  4. Tascam Bass Trainer???

    I think it's made by Tascam...is that right?
  5. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    not that good.
  6. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    +2 on the Cafe Walter. An AC adaptor is now included in the price. Most excellent sound quality.

  7. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Personally, I prefer the headphone out on my Eden WT-400. Kind of heavy for a headphone amp, but the sound quality can't be beat.
  8. +3 Wonderful sounding and very high quality unit
  9. I just use my computer and one of these. http://www.presonus.com/inspire1394.html Not portable but hey if you're going to spend a couple of hundred on something nice you might as well kill two birds.
  10. jsbarber

    jsbarber Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    Please elaborate...
    I own a Tascam CD-BT1 and find it has some great features. Looping, adjustable play speed with pitch correction, etc.
    What don't you like about it?


  11. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    I asked the same thing a few months ago, heres what I got:

    The Rockman Bass Ace is the best buy. Has some decent features and runs around $80. Dont expect any great sound of it, it will sound comparable to a decent 20w practice amp, but nothing like a good 100w+ amp. But you need to get better headphones, the ones it comes with are crap. Upgrade with good headphones for $30-50 and you will have a good sounding portable setup.

    The best is the Cafe Walter, I dont remember the website I saw it on (do a yahoo search it will pop up). But was expensive, about $180 if I remember right. Only drawback is that this isnt really portable. Its small, relatively lightweight, but it doesnt run on batteries and is too big to clip onto your belt. But it sounds awesome.

    The rest of the headphone amps are garbage, dont waste your time or money on any of them.
  12. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004
    go cheap - $50 or $60 gets you a Rolls PM350b "Personal Monitor Mixer Plus". I use mine alot.. three inputs (line, instrument, and mic) and 1/4" and 1/8" outputs (can be used together). The inputs are switchable stereo/mono.

    I run my PC into the "line" and plug my bass into the "instrument".. can crank music and/or bass all night and the wife doesn't say a word. Plus, you have seperate volumes for each input so you can mix it if you're trying to learn a song off cd/mp3.

    Headphones late at night, PC speakers (monsoon) anytime else and it's fine. Besides, even when I'm not playing bass it's a handy PC volume control.

    Doesn't allow for tone control really but if your bass sounds okay direct it's more than adequate for practice. For 50 or 60 big ones why not? It also doubles up as a useful tool for home recording.

    Just my 3 coins..
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'll second the PHA-1. Handy and versatile, sounds great, too.
  14. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    I love the Ctech Pocket Rockit. It sounds pretty good (w/stereo chorus and distortion), it's small, plugs directly into your bass, and has an aux-in all for about $40.
  15. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    The HA-1 does run on batteries. It isn't a pocket-sized device, but it is small enough for the front pocket on my Ritter bag.

    The Cafe Walter does sound awesome! I have a Walter, and a PHA-1, and a BT-1.. and they all fill a need. I really like the ability to loop parts on the BT-1 but I wish I could get that functionality out of my iPod!

    HA-1 = best sound, basic features
    PHA-1 = best features, very good sound, a bit bulky
    BT-1 = loads of features, average but usable sound, thin but bulky, and the integrated CD player makes it very versatile.

    They are all nice. If I had to save one it would be the PHA-1 and I'd use my ipod for audio. I couldn't give up the independent channel volumes and the stereo/mono switch, and the dual inputs and outputs and aux loop are icing on the cake.
  16. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I will agree - any type of small mixer will do the trick. I have my laptop going into my mixer so's I can learn songs with iTunes, and then my bass going from my Sansamp into the mixer. When I want to hear myself, I can send the signal from the mixer to a small shelf stereo system that I already had. Works swimmingly!
  17. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    If portability is an issue, I'll second the Pockit Rockit. I've had mine about 7 years, and it's been all over the world with me. It takes a 9 volt that lasts 60 hours or better. Decent sound, not great. I bought a $2 adapter and plug a guitar chord directly onto the 1/4" jack for convenience.

    I only have one minor niggle, the on/off switch on mine has a bit of a weak detent, and sometimes in transit it gets bumped on, so I always take a spare 9 volt. If I know it will be in a tight space subject to jostling (briefcase), I take out the battery. I upgraded to the Radio Shack in-ear headphones, which are portable and sound decent, certainly better than those airline headphones.

    For travel, I put it in an old CD player bag, along with a tuner, George L cable, 1/8" to 1/8" headphone adapter, the headphones, and a Rio 1.5 gig MP3 player. Along with my Zon 519, it really makes those hotel stays less painful (unless you're in the next room when I'm working on vocals). :bassist:
  18. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    This thread sparked my interest to see what Ctech is doing as far as new versions of their pocket Rockit line. Looks like they've just come out with a new headphones amp for bass.

    Pocket Rockit V2b:

    * Built in metronome with sampled drum sounds
    * Built in tuner
    * Three tones/EQ Settings (improved sound also)
    * DSP effects (Delay/Chorus)
    * Aux-In

    $149.00 retail.

  19. It's all been said before, but the Cafe Walter is a great headphone amp. It's incredibly clear and, for better or worse, really lets you hear the pure sound of your bass. I love to mix my iPod into the Cafe Walter with the second input and jam along with it. The two places that I know carry it are Bass Northwest and Steve Barr (Vintage Bass Trading Company). Walter has more info on his webpage here.
  20. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I don't know about that AJ. For $50 mine has chorus, bright and distortion settings with a tone control (filter). My tuner was only about $30 back in the 80's.

    Quite a difference in price, with more complexity (more to go wrong?).