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Integrated headphone amp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by LennyPenny, Aug 12, 2012.


  1. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine has a Dean Edge with a built-in headphone amp, which allows you to just plug you headphones into the output.

    I was wondering if there are any 6-string basses that have this feature, and if it would be difficult to have it installed in my current bass?
     
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I don't know, however headphone amps frequently draw a lot of current and that would discourage their use. Perhaps class D headphone amps would draw little enough current to be practical but I would suppose that since there are so many external headphone amps you can buy and plug right into the output jack that there isn't much call for bass manufacturers to include one in the bass itself.

    Ken
     
  3. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    A few good points, especially the last one. I've heard some good things (and some very bad) about the Vox Amplug, so I'll look further into that.

    This isn't supposed to be another thread about (external) headphone amps, but any additional info about integrated ones is always welcome.
     
  4. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I certainly agree that it would be handy, expected really, to have a headphone amp in an active bass. If you hang out here much you will see that a great many people are obsessed by the fear that the battery in an active bass will die on them in the middle of a performance. So I think that any active bass with a headphone amp and a single battery will have market acceptance problems. All it takes is on person mentioning that the battery life is short and hordes will stay away. Nothing says the headphone amp can't be powered by a separate battery though. I just don't know of any basses that have them, I was surprised to hear that there is a Dean model with one.

    Ken
     
  5. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Apparently Dean doesn't make basses with this feature any longer, just had a look on their website. My friend's was an Edge 5 fretless, can't seem to find that exact model anymore.
     
  6. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Funny you should say that actually, as I'm one of those. I'm having the preamp taken out of my bass for fear of the battery dying.:bag:

    Wow, very interesting! Can't imagine you could get a good sound by plugging straight into a cab, though, without an amp. Especially without an on-board EQ.
     
  7. Yeah, no kidding :p Wouldn't be a bad choice as a headphone practice amp, though.

    --Silvie
     
  8. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    It wouldn't. Can't seem to find those anywhere near Belgium, though. Would it drain the battery if plugged in but with the amp turned off?
     
  9. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Are you sure your friend had an actual headphone amp in his bass and not just an active pre?

    FYI a lot of active basses will push enough current to power a pair of headphones.
     
  10. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Didn't know that, thanks for letting me know. I'm pretty sure it was passive, just checked with him.
     
  11. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Just tested plugging headphones into bass (LTD B-206 with active preamp): crackle when plugging in but no sound. Yes I did make sure the volume was on.
     
  12. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Active basses have a stereo output jack with the ring prong on the jack acting as a switch to ground the circuit when a mono plug is inserted.
    So to run stereo headphones off your pre you would have to have a stereo female to mono male adapter
    otherwise your preamp won't be on to push anything into your headphones.

    Also FYI depending on your pre amp the end result may be less then desirable in overall sound quality and may still not have enough juice to power your headphones.

    Notice I said a lot of active pre's will power headphones not all, and further more in most cases they still don't have quite the output of most headphone amps.

    I guess I should also clarify that the reason for my last post was because it was the first thing that came to mind when you said your friend's Dean did this, as on board amps are quite rare and I've never heard of Dean doing such a thing.
     
  13. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Turns out it wasn't a headphone amp at all, just a regular active bass... Guess an Amplug (or similar HP amp) or that 2.5W onboard amp is the way to go for me.

    Thanks for all the quick responding action and useful information.
     
  14. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
  15. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I think you probably need one of these, plus one of these. I think the one you show will adapt to an "RCA phono plug", which is not want you need if you want to plug headphones directly into your bass. I'm not sure what the chances of success are when you plug headphones directly into an active bass, it has never worked for me. You should be able to find an adapter that goes directly from the stereo headphone mini-jack to the mono 6.3 mm plug but I don't see one on that website.

    Ken
     
  16. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009

    Remember this is a GUITAR headphone amp. Guitars take a lot less power for a given volume than a bass. Also there is the question that someone will have to fork out 50 bucks to answer as to just how low in frequency this "guitar' amp goes. Will it actually go down to bass frequencies? Obviously they are trying to sell this thing to gui****s calling it a "mini-tube" amp! Ha! There isn't a tube within 50 yards of that thing! How ever the distortion and overdrive of the front end MAY pose a problem in bass use.


    Still, 2.5 watts for a bass headphone amp is a very interesting idea. If I wanted a "practice bass" with a built-in headphone amp, I'd install something like this mini-amp, but I sure wouldn't run it from a standard 9 volt battery. That would sure be wishful thinking! I'd use six lithium or nickle-metal-halide rechargeable AA batteries where I could draw some power for a reasonable time and the bass 9 volter would not get inadvertently drained by practice. And of course a wall-wart charger would make the practice-bass complete. If you have an active bass, obviously you could wire this so the active preamp and EQ works when the amp is on.

    Note that the problem with Lithium batteries is cost and life (only a few years) and with Metal halides that they tend to go dead by themselves if left sitting for a month or so. (I have them in my camera and the thing is ALWAYS dead whenever I decide to use it) and the obvious problem with ordinary alkalines is you have to keep buying them and feeding them to the bass.

    Still, the idea of a "practice bass" is an interesting one.
     

  17. Sure, but I've got a ton of Li-Ion rechargeables that I use for my flashlights, they last a while and seriously, recharge in 20mins. Granted most of them are RCR123A or 18650, but someone has to have a battery holder for 'em somewhere, and they sure take up less space in a control cavity than 6xAA.

    Plus, I think any reasonably intelligent individual could figure that the 'tube' claim is bullsh!t :D

    --Silvie
     
  18. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
  19. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    So, I clicked on an odd looking bass in a GC ad that appears in the TB sidebar today and found this:

    http://www.travelerguitar.com/products/bass/tb-4p/

    It is a bit odd looking but that is because it was designed to fit in an airline overhead bin. Personally if I were to get a short scale bass I would probably modify it in some way so that it could use long scale strings and wrapping them around the end of the bass as this one does is one way to do that. In this case they did it so that they could eliminate the headstock and save its length and I am not sure about burying the tuners in the middle of the body as they do, although it could work just fine I suppose.

    But it does in fact have a built in headphone amp with an aux input for an external music source you can play along with. So there is at least one after all.

    Ken
     

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