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''PC'' amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by krstko, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    In few months, I'm leaving for university. Due to lack of money, I'll live in a dorm. I won't be able to take my amp with me, so I was thinking about a good set of headphones and my laptop. Will this work and do I need special software?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It will work, but you need some sort of interface or preamp to plug into your computer to set levels and tone, otherwise it'll sound very weak.
  3. Einherjar


    Dec 1, 2012
    Lakewood, CO
    Yeah, I'll go ahead and suggest the m-audio fast track. Don't get the bottom of the line model. But it should probably run $200. OR. You could get a small practice combo like the ampeg ba108. It goes for $100, has a head phone jack, and RCA audio input so you can plug it into your laptop and run the headphones out of the amp so you get your bass and any tracks you're playing along to.
  4. AngusHasMoxie


    Mar 11, 2013
    Easthampton, MA
    Formerly endorsed by Carvin, Basson and Dimarzio
    Wouldn't something like a Zoom multiFX work? not the full featured ones, just the bottom of the range things?


    It even comes with a drum machine to jam along with. When I went to college I took along my crappy RP unit to play guitar with, which worked pretty well
  5. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    You might also consider a used Boss BR 600 8 track. You could probably find one for around $200 but it is a pretty nice little unit. I can't post a link right now but just Google it.
  6. Megazap63


    Apr 12, 2009
    London, UK
    I use a Mackie 402-VLZ3 mini mixer for late night practice, hooked up with a set of Audio-Technica ATH-D40fs headphones. Works great. Try doing a search on past threads, I bought these after doing the research..

    You could also try one of these from SFX for a smaller option: http://www.sfxsound.co.uk/mainpage.asp?page=h1
    I haven't actually tried one yet but have heard that the tone/clarity is excellent.

    The advantage of the Mackie is that you can also hook up a drum machine or recording device.

    Best wishes

    Edit: I also own a SFX Microthumpinator which is EXCELLENT....so I imagine their headphone amps are of a similar outstanding quality
  7. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    An Amplug and Amplitube are your friend.
  8. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
  9. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    I, for my needs need to be able to blend 2 sources: my bass signal and a stereo signal coming from a Mac/PC/Mp3 player....
    So the Vox Bass headphone thing/amp is not good enough for me.

    I've been experimenting with the Line6 UX2 interface (and the included software) but on the fly control is not as easy as with a simple external headphone amp or a small mixer...
  10. BBQV


    Feb 13, 2010
    Uppsala, Sweden
    The Vox Amplug Bass has an auxiliary minitele jack which lets you blend your bass and computer. I use that setup for practising myself. Super simple!
  11. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    A lot of I, me and my in your post. It's what may be right for the OP not you ;)
    And you are wrong about the amplug anyway, your can plug in you computer or MP3 player.

    Sounds to me like he is just after a cheap and easy way to practice in a dorm situation so he asked about his computer. People have been focusing on the computer part. The $50 amplug is just another idea that may suit his needs better then $200 software based program
  12. SneakerTrigger


    Mar 12, 2013
    Aren't there still latency issues when using the computer for sound modeling? Haven't tried that for a while, but the last time (~1.5 year ago) i found it unplayable ...

    So, direct input monitoring on an audio interface is a must for me ...

    Wouldn't a Zoom B3 or similar be the right tool ? Bass amp modeling siutable enough for practice AND recording interface ...
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    That's entirely dependent on your interface and settings. It has nothing to do with modeling.
  14. Megazap63


    Apr 12, 2009
    London, UK
    Bear in mind that you get what you pay for...a $50 amplug might be a cheap alternative but may not last long. Years ago I had a similar headphone device (Ibanez) that crapped out after a few months, and I never bothered replacing it. Spending a bit more may give the OP something he could use for many years, beyond the 'dormitory days'
  15. SneakerTrigger


    Mar 12, 2013
    Sure, but i've never used an audio interface where i could crank the latency/buffer/etc settings low enough to use my computer as a LIVE effects unit for bass playing ... the latency was always disturbing and killed the 'feel'.

    And the more processing power the effects need (i.e. modeling amps/effects), the worse it gets.

    So, without the direct input monitoring (that many interfaces offer), an audio interface is not a goot tool for practice ... WITH direct input monitoring, it's cool because you can play jam tracks etc ... but you have to use outboard equipment to influence the sound ...

    I basically use my SansAmp in combination with my firewire interface for practice ... works great !
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    OP never said anything about modeling or using effects, they just want to practice.

    I use an interface for practice all the time. It has direct monitoring, but it's disabled because I don't need it. It works great.

    If it doesn't work, why do most studios record this way?
  17. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    a headphone amp, something like the Vox bass as shown in the post above...

    firing up the laptop simply to practice makes zero sense to me.

  18. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    That's exactly what I was trying to say:) Just a subjective view from my side and not trying to impose a "best" device....

    Sorry for getting it wrong about the Vox device......
    A guitar playing friend of mine got the guitar version and claims the output level is quite weak depending on the headphones used.
  19. SneakerTrigger


    Mar 12, 2013
    OP never said anything about using an interface as a headphone amp, either ... OP was simply talking about 'laptop' and 'headphones' ... which COULD also mean to plug the bass directly into the laptops soundcard and use the headphone jack ... bad idea ... with interface and direct input monitoring ... good idea, definitiely.

    The advantage of using the computer (as compared to some cheap headphone amp) is that you can use playbacks or drum sequencers to enhance practice fun and effectivity.

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