Need suggestions for silent practice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bluebyrd50, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. bluebyrd50


    Dec 6, 2009
    Hello Everyone. I didn't know where to post this so here goes.

    I live in an apartment now and can't be making lots of noise. Is there some device I can get to play my bass thru? Some kind of small amp with headphones kind of thing? Or something different?

    Before I moved into the apartment I just played along to my favorite songs on cd with a Peavey Firebass 700 and 2 cabs. Then loud music wasn't a problem, I lived out in the country and had zero neighbors so it wasn't an issue. Of course now things are different....

    Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks to all.
  2. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I use a line 6 bass pod with headphones, bass multi fx pedal work the same way too. Most multi pedals have drum beats now, almost everything has aux in for iPod or what ever.
    garp and BaileyMan like this.
  3. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    There's all kinds of options. Lots of amps have headphone out jacks. Vox makes the "amplug". There's the iRig and other similar devices that you can plug into an iPad or iPhone. I generally use the headphone out on my A/D converter that's connected to my computer.

    Start with some internet searching there and see what catches your fancy. I'd like one of my next purchases to be the Vox amplug headphones. Plug them straight into the bass and go.
  4. I tried a lot of the usual suspects in terms of headphone rigs, and was left wanting. I now use and recommend any good small mixer. I prefer Mackies as they will drive almost any headphone, from el-cheapo to top-shelf studio or audiophile to headache inducing levels. The VLZ channels are very hard to distort, and it's no problem to fade in CD's or I-tune material, as well as effects. You can even output it all to good studio monitors if you like.
    Luchadorconan, jcsk8, shodan and 6 others like this.
  5. bluebyrd50


    Dec 6, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. I was thinking what I want is something that will play a cd at the same time I can play the bass, like a play along thing. Both volumes would have to be adjustable, like if I wanted the cd louder at times, or to get the bass louder. Is there such a thing? And if it was the size of a shoe box or smaller, that would be great, and it would need a headphone jack of course.

    I do not have an iphone or any kind or iwhatever... no disrespect, but i'm rather old school. i just want something small with adjustable volumes that'll let me play a cd and then play along with a cd with my bass with headphones. I'll check out the Line 6 pod, Vox amplug and Mackie and VLZ options. Thanks for the suggestions.
  6. I picked up the Ampeg SCR-DI for the very same reasons you mentioned in your OP. Many others here on TB have as well from what I've read. It's been getting the job done for me just fine. Even used it's XLR out to feed the board a handful of times when playing out. It could be just what your after as far as a practice tool for playing along to recordings
  7. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    +1 for the Ampeg SCR-DI. Great headphone practice amp and DI for gigs
    SactoBass likes this.
  8. I used to have something called a bass trainer. They make a CD version as well as an mp3 player type version. Just plug your bass in and headphones directly into had adjustable levels for the bass and CD separately. Had built in fx. And you could even pitch correct the music to different tunings like if a song was a half step down you could bring it up to standard, you. An also slow the music down. For learning hard to learn licks and stuff
    chip134 likes this.
  9. A tiny amp like the Traynor SB200 would work. Just plug your CD player into the "aux in" and you headphones into the headphone jack and your bass into the instrument in.

    You could also use it with a separate cab.

    Here's a link:
    Traynor Amps
  10. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    An EBS Microbass II will get you there with bells on :) Depends on what you're spending, I suppose.

    With a pedal or two, a small mixer's not a bad option either - something like this tapcomix50-IcK6bzJKekyXvufC3iHucmh0BDblUfHc.jpg maybe :)
  11. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I use a mixer with a cd in and headphones at times. This is especially good when trying to figure out how to play a song.

    Some people don’t like or can’t use headphones for more than a short time. They like to have some air between the speaker and their ears. Many inexpensive small amps have CD inputs and heaphone outputs. With the headphones plugged in, the speaker is turned off.

    If using the amp without the headphones, place it close to your ear level. That allows you to keep the volume level at appartment levels and still hear well.

    Ampeg has aux in level control, headphone out. There are several options in terms of power levels and speaker size for the BA series amps.

    Note the Rumble 25 does not have a volume for the aux in (CD). If you have a level out on your CD player, you can use that. Like the Ampeg, there are different options available.


    Bass Player summary:
    Roundup: 7 Micro Combo Amps


    Small amp, aux in and headphone out. An optional mini speaker is available. The problem with some small amps is that they can be noisy.

    Thunder Bass_Hotone. The amp is tiny. Some nice clips available.

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
    P-oddz and Lvjoebass like this.
  12. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    There are a number of options. If you already have a practice amp, chances are that it will have a headphone out jack for silent practice and an Aux In jack for connecting an external sound source. Another option is to use your smartphone - you can connect a small guitar interface like the iRig from IK multimedia to it, and practice through your earbuds. You could also get a dedicated headphone amplifier, Vox make several that plug directly into the output jack on your bass, and there's even a version where the amp is integrated into a pair of headphones. There are also fancy headphone amps like the Phil Jones Bighead (pricey) and with more features, like the Yamaha Session Cake, which allows you to have silent practice sessions with your band. All of these allow an external sound source, like a CD or MP3-player to be connected.
    randini likes this.
  13. My silent practice rig is a computer/iTunes and Bass>pedalboard (if needed) to an Art USBMIX and a set of headphones. I have control over levels of each source independently and a master volume. Works great, takes up hardly any space no AC to the mixer required.
    ART Pro Audio

    BurnOut, johnpbass and Aaron Mc like this.
  14. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
  15. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I used to use a Korg Pandora PX5D, then a Pandora Mini. After several years of use, it finally crapped out. So now I use a Korg Pandora Stomp. Any of those will meet your needs. The Mini is small and light and can fit in your pocket. The Stomp is like any small effects pedal you might want to use. All have built in tuners and various effects. The effects can be combined and customized. The Stomp can be used in line at gigs as a tuner and/or effect since it is as robust as other pedals.

    Maureen M likes this.
  16. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I have two options. Both of my amps (Mesa Subway and TC 250) have headphone out and aux in. I've used them both for practice just as you describe, but with my iphone in using mp3s. Also can use a metronome on the iphone. Second option when travelling s a Vox amplug used the same way - bass and iphone in, headphones out. A bit more cumbersome as you have several cables coming into/out of the amplug but works fine. Inexpensive too at around $40.
  17. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I'm apt. bound now as well and have been getting away with my Roland Micro Cube RX which is for guitar and handles the highs on my Roland mini rig or the whole load during the night yet is surprisingly sufficient for lite bass and provides the perfect Felix / Mountain grind when pushed that I need and seems indestructible. it allows input for your playalongs and has bells and whistles to tailor your bass' tone / sounds. plus there's the same sized Bass RX which is cool too, but maybe find the used units to stay budget-friendly.
    Roland Micro Cube RX - Google Search
  18. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    I use an Ampeg BA108 . It's a small combo with an 8" speaker and has an aux input with a volume control for a mp3 , CD or any other device . It has a headphone output that deadens the built in speaker when used . It does exactly what you are looking for . I use mine with my computer and headphones for silent practice and can mix the volume of my bass and the music separate . It's been mentioned already . Costs about a hundred bucks new .
    SactoBass likes this.
  19. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Unplug or get a acoustic bass for true (more) silent practice.
    neal davis likes this.
  20. bluebyrd50


    Dec 6, 2009
    Wow, there are a lot of options now. I haven't checked on gear in ages, and there are almost too many choices. I also stumbled on a device called the Bass Ace the seems good and is under $90. Some of the Ampeg products seem interesting also. Thanks for all the suggestions, I have a lot of homework to do now and I appreciate the help.
    SactoBass likes this.
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