Headphone + Aux Functionality In Recent Amp Heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dub56, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    I’m curious about the Headphone Amp + Aux In functionality in recent amp heads like the Mesa WD-800 or the Bergantino B|Amp.

    How is the sound quality on these? Though subjective, I’m hoping to get a general idea of how “good” they are. I would love to hear any opinions or experiences.

    Does the headphone amp reproduce the general character/sound/EQ of the amp well?

    How do these stack up against something like a 3leaf Enabler? Are they of comparable sound quality? I currently have an Enabler and I’m wondering if one of these amps could do the same job or better with the Headphone/Aux functionality.

    Thanks for any input!
  2. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    It is more about the quality of the headphones than of the amp. The quality of the amp is unchanged. You are only redirecting the same signal.
  3. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    So for amps with a headphone out, the quality of the amp itself = the quality of the headphone amp?

    So, using a high quality pair of “studio” headphones, I should expect the sound quality and characteristics of these amps to be pretty accurately reproduced through the headphone out? Much like it would through the DI etc.?

    I know some headphone amps are much better than others, some are much more capable of driving higher impedance headphones for example. I’m currently using 600ohm Beyerdynamics and 300ohm Sennheisers with great results through my 3leaf Enabler and I was curious how these amps would compare.

    I’m basically hoping to ensure that using headphones on these amps will reproduce a rich sound experience similar to using the amp itself in regular applications. Rather than the headphone out sounding weak/veiled/thin/sterile/different in comparison.
  4. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    I have one amp that has the feature, of running headphones, it's a Rumble 500 head, don't laugh, it sounds good live, but the headphone option .... is well, not very flexible, I use the 3leaf Enabler, as my headphone set-up, along with a either a pair of Sony MDR7506's or a pair of Koss Pro 4aaa, maybe I'm just spoiled, but using the 3Leaf Enabler, is the gold standard, but that's my opinion, the headphone amp option, on amps, really has no flexibility, like adjusting volume levels, independently, but that's my opinion/experience
    Dub56 likes this.
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Yes, it will sound similar to the DI out set to the post eq mode. The WD-800 can drive very high impedances but you should be aware that with those phones you need to respect their maximum volume level.
    Dub56 and jastacey like this.
  6. GTHintz


    Jan 9, 2018
    Just to ad to this, does anyone have any recommendations for a head or an amp that has both a headphone jack and aux? If you wanted to have a decent amp with eq and be able to mix it to music from your phone what would be some go to gear? Thx!
  7. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    That makes sense to me, that’s essentially what I was worried about. The Enabler does do a great job. Sounds like I’d have to choose the right amp in order to compete with it.

    Thank you! That helps. Makes sense on the volume levels as well.

    Speaking of volume levels, how are the volume levels of the aux input and headphone output controlled on the WD-800?
  8. Here's a signal flow diagram taken from my Subway D800+ manual. agedhorse can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming the signal flow and inputs/outputs are similar with the WD-800.:
    The yellow items are the Aux Input and Headphone Output.
    The green items are the Gain Control and Master Volume.

    I generally use Youtube (or use your desired input) as my Aux Input (left yellow).
    I use the Gain Control (left green) to adjust my bass volume.
    Adjust Aux Input volume (in my case, Youtube) and Bass volume to preferred balance together.

    Use Master Volume (right green) to adjust the balanced bass/aux volume to your headphones (Headphone Output, right yellow).

    I use cheap a** headphones and they sound great. I don't need no stinkin' studio quality headphones LOL.

    As you can see, you can adjust your bass eq to whatever you want. Aux Input comes parallel (not influenced by) the amp eq, so will need it's own eq adjustment, if you prefer.

    I hope the diagram helped.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    agedhorse and Dub56 like this.
  9. SickAura

    SickAura Let There Be Rock Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2013

    Peavey MiniMax. Headphones, Aux and Tuner right on the front. Best bang for the buck at home practice setup I've had and I've tried many.
  10. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Yes that all helps a lot, thank you!
    fig likes this.
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