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Practicing Bass Through Headphones = Distortion City

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JessRobinson, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. JessRobinson

    JessRobinson Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Fairfax, VA
    Hey All,

    As a married father of two with a fairly busy schedule and two active boys, I find that practice time usually occurs around 10 PM, after the kiddies are in bed. As you can imagine, I can’t quite crank up the rig at that time. So I find myself playing through a Korg PX4B and my headphones.

    The tone I get through the headphones is very unsatisfying. Whenever I bring it up to any reasonable volume, I get nasty distortion on the low end. :mad: The headphones I use – Sennheiser HD433’s – are fantastic when hooked to my iPod, but clearly don’t do the job for bass practice. The Sennheisers are open-ear, and are very reasonably priced ($35 shipped).

    Any suggestions for headphones with a decent bass response, a set that won’t distort if a want to blow it out a bit? I’m not an audiophile, so I’m not used to paying $150 for a pair of headphones, but would be willing to up the ante for a comfortable pair of headphones for bass practice. I like open-ear headphones but will move to closed-ear if necessary.

    Must crank it up, must crank it up……..

    FYI – I’m playing a Reverend Rumblefish XL and fretless Fender Jazz Bass Special (MIJ) these days.

    Thx - Jess
  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I like my audio-technica ATH-M40fs headphones. They are closed back studio monitor headphones. They are *not* audiophile headphones. Perfectly flat from 5Hz to 28 kHz.

    They also have a version that boosts the bass.

    I think I saw them somewhere for $80 US?
  3. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    Check over at The Dudepit. I remember reading a thread over there where Steve was selling some headphones and a lot of people were satisfied with them, though some people felt they either cut or boosted (can't remember, sorry) the mids too much.
  4. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Don't mean to disagree with you seanm, for the sake of dissagreeing... But it's very (*very*) rare for a headphone to have a perfectly flat freq response. You're going to get peeks and valleys with anything. In this case, the M40f has a wide range, from -60 to -40 (c.f. Head-fi).

    Don't get me wrong, I *love* my ATH-W1000's, and they work fantastic for bass practice, but even they're not flat.

    Best bet for you Jess, is to try what you can get your hands on. But if your bass is distorting I don't think it's because of your cans, unless you're realllllllly cranking it. If you want, get a pair of Koss PortaPro's, they're what I use When I'm Mobile ((tm) The Who). Or a pair of Sony Eggo's (you'll have to order them from Audiocubes). Or maybe the Senn HD580, or better yet.. the Beyerdynamics DT-770's... Reigning king of the low end. I had them but sold them because they were a little uncomfortable for casual listening.. But Crystal method through them was an eye (ear?) opening experience.

    Anyway, I think it might be your Korg, not your cans.
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    That's ok, I am only quoting the docs. And on further reading, they *are* a bit vague :confused: Reading again, I think what they really say are 5Hz to 28Khz frequency response.

    Flat *as opposed to* bass boost version.

    Grrrr, I hate marketing. But I still love the headphones.
  6. groovejam


    Apr 26, 2005
    I use Ultrasone HFI-650's. I have havn't had much of a problem with them distorting. They cost alot, but you might be able to find a pair on ebay thats in your price range.
  7. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    No doubt, no doubt. I love mine too. I'm the biggest AT fan you'll find. :)
    I kind of love the mid boost they have. A bit of rock n' roll, compared to the Senn HD600 or HD650's.

    Never believe the marketing. ;)

    Even the 4K (USD) Sony "woodies" (RS1 I think they're called) aren't flat. I don't think you'd want a "flat" headphone, even if it were possible.
  8. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004
    I use Nady QH560 headphones. They are NICE and a low price (open too, so you can hear CD's in the room.. or your wife complaining about something). When I got mine, they were 2/$50 through musiciansfriend. Our percussionist uses the Nady headphones as his stage monitor and swears by them. I am listening to some songs pretty loud as we speak (wife is asleep) and it sounds great.

    I sometimes use KOSS "the Plug" as stage earbuds and they reproduce everything real nice and deep too.

    I would recommend either of those for home practice. No distortion here for me.
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    If your distorting that easily your signal may be too hot @ input, but anyway, Grado Labs SR-80's!! Some of the smartest $$ I've spent on anything. Comfortable for hours on end and they sound great, they're also open so nobody can sneak-up on you. I got no specs for you but these cans sound really nice!!
  10. JessRobinson

    JessRobinson Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Fairfax, VA
    Thanks, folks. :smug: I'll check out your suggestions and make a purchase soon.