Headphones / no amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Black 'n Tan, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. Any of you practice with headphones? My amp doesn't have a headphone jack and I was wondering if there are any solutions besides practice amps with headphone jacks for practicing with headphones.
  2. bassisten


    Sep 15, 2004
    Bergen, Norway

    Get a Raven Labs PHA-1 headphone practice amp!

    Raven Labs.com

    They've stopped producing them, but you should be able to get a 2nd hand unit.

    Very nice in deed, 2 x 9v batteriers or external power supply. 3 band EQ, insert, send, output.

    What more do you need?
  3. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I have a cheap Zoom 708II multieffects for these purposes (besides playing smal "combo-class" gigs). It has a second input for playing along with a CD or MP3 player. Nice as a practice setup! And cheap too!

  4. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I used to use the Raven, but I wasn't ever truly happy with the sound. Now I use a Cafe Walter for headphone practice - it's absolutely amazing. Highly recommended, and he's a great guy as well.
  5. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    A cheap Behringer Mixer for $50 will do the trick.

    And do a few other tricks too.
  6. Mixers will only work well with active basses, since their input impedance on 'line in' is often fairly low. A passive bass on a lowish input impedance device will sound muddy and dull.

    I compared the low end Behringer and Spirit mixers, and went for a Spirit notepad. Its main advantage for me is that it has balanced outputs, so that it is compatible with the 'professional' gear that I use.
  7. Warwick player

    Warwick player

    Dec 31, 2002
    Bucks, UK
    Hate to say but I don't agree with the above coment. :smug:

    I have a Beheringer Mixing desk (got it as a present) and have used it alot of time to play my bass straight into the stereo and get a great bass sounds out.

    I also have a kit headphone amp from a company over here called Maplin. I'm sure there must be an equivalent company in the states which offer the same kit. It has a input socket and headphone socket out, as well as a seperate line in and out. It also has a gain and tone control built in.
  8. I use a Kor Ampworks bass.

    When I bought it I didn`t know it could be used as a headphone amp, but it works great, you can use all the amp modeling presets and effects and sounds very good. it`s also stereo and a lot cheaper than the Fodera, Raven Labs and Cafe Walter. It is nos as good as those but it`s fun and a lot cheaper.

    PS: the ampworks can be a little noisy sometimes, but that`s the only bad thing about it...

    I hope this helps...
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I picked up a Korg Bass Pandora for about 100 bucks about 6 months ago. I think it's great...Not only does it have a pile of amp and cab modeling, effects etc...it also has a full compliment of metronome and beat options...all of which are adjustable. I find it helps me practice and makes practicing more fun. It's definitely helped my playing. These things are pretty easy to find, and you should be able to turn up a used one online pretty easily too.
  10. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Same here. I have recorded bass through two Behringer mixer with really good results from each (the MX602A and the MX802A). Either could easily be used as a practice amp IMHO.

    But then I also own a Raven Labs PHA-1 which I like fine but honestly does not knock my socks off.


  11. thanks for all the great suggestions!
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    if your mixer doesnt sound good with your bass plugged straight in use a direct box.........
    i used to use my old fostex x-15 4 track to do headphone practice with.
    my swr electric blue head has a headphone out so thats what i use now. my eden 400 had one too. both sounded nifty. i use akg k240 cans.

    personally, tone isnt a huge issue for me when practicing with headphones. heck, i'm using headphones because it's late or i'll bother somebody. and, i'm practicing for crying out loud. i don't need a killer amp induced tone. if i need an improved tone i'll work on it myself with my fingers, and i shouldnt be paying attention to the tone of my amp anyway, i should be improving on the bass. no?
  13. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    Do a search for ruby amp. I posted some pics anf info on a headphone amp I made.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I've used the Pandora PX3B, An old Digitech GPS21 Guitar Preamp/Multi-effector and Johnson J-Station. For travel the Pandora is tops. It's very small, has some entertaining sounds and is in general a pleasure to have around. Down die is that it is next to useless in a live environment so basically a 1 trick pony...

    The J Station is a pain to lug around (like a POD) it's a weird shape. The upside is that it is a great recording device for either guitar or bass. Smokes the earlier POD's IMO. I haven't tried either the POD XT or the VOX Tonelab. I would guess that they are better but the J-Station will only run you $100 used ... If you aren't going to be lugging it around town, then it's a good choice.

    The Digi - is a rack unit. Not real portable unless it is racked but then it is a cool unit to have around. I loaned it to a bassist in a band I was working with (as guitarist) and it was his full time pre for quite a while. I've used it in a pinch as a pre, but I really keep it around for the 'verb, flange, chorus and delay. With headphone out it is also a reasonable option. Downside is it's ancient, Upside is it's cheap! (50 to $150 condition & footswitch depending) - the rack format is helpful for meight not be for everyone as those sharp metal edges aren't exactly 'furniture friendly' for the living room ...
  15. bassthumpa


    Aug 31, 2004
    Austin, TX
    If you've seen any around up for grabs, let me know. I've scoured the net the best that I could, and couldn't find one. Looks like everyone is keeping the ones that they have!
  16. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA

    He beat me by a minute/hour(s)...
  17. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Two minutes :)
  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Someone has to say it, so I will:

    Please be very, very careful about the levels you use with headphones, especially with bass as it's in a range where headphones are usually pretty weak and you typically have to turn it up too loud in order to hear the lowest stuff.

    Headphones can be very damaging to your ears. Pay attention that you're not experiencing ANY discomfort or tinnitus when practicing with them.

    I know a lot of us harp about this stuff, but it's important --- as some of us have found out the hard way. :crying: