Silent Practice; Mackie 402 or Cafe Walter HA-1A

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MicG, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Title says it.

    I've got both now. Have had the Cafe Walter for awhile and picked up the Mackie thinking I'd experiment with blending clean and dirty channels. Now it would appear that I'm going in a different direction and may not necessarily need 2 channels anymore. I picked up the mixer recently from GC so it's got the 30 days.

    Thoughts or opinions on which route to take? Return the mixer? Sell the Cafe Walter?

  2. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Get a budget priced interface that serves as a recording tool as well.
  3. Good thinking, I forgot to mention I do have a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6. The trouble is I can't always be tied to my computer when I want to play -ya know?
  4. Bump... in leaning towards hanging on to the cafe Walter and returning the mixer.. probably doesn't make too much of a difference though is what I'm guessing.
  5. If you're considering stepping up from the Cafe Walter take a look at the Phil Jones Bass Buddy. It's a little more money but you get a lot of cool features and it sounds great.
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    It too bad the Phil Jones Bass Buddy is only mono as far as the aux in/HP out. Or, is it stereo?
  7. They're both stereo. The aux is 1/8" stereo on the rear panel with its own level control and the headphone jack is 1/4" stereo on the front panel and is controlled by the master volume.

    The only "downside" is that the aux input is only sent to the headphones, not the DI or line/speaker outputs. It's not really an issue for me. YMMV.

    The preamp and eq sections are really great. The headphone amp is also excellent (assuming you're using good cans). The comp is so-so but I rarely use compression in the shed so I haven't spent much time with it.

    All in all it's the best sounding self-contained practice setup I've tried.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Thanks for this bit of info, I can see one of these for me in the future as it would be great for use as an IEM/More-Me type of device. :cool:
  9. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Silent practice for me is the Tascam BT1 , MP3 version.
    Best gadget I ever bought.
  10. Man I keep flipping back and forth over this. As nice as the Phil Jones sounds, I can't swing it.
  11. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    I think that they can serve different purposes.

    The Cafe Walter is convenient for silent practice anywhere but all you can hear is the instrument. It is good when practicing to play along.

    I have a Mackie mixer with a firewire port to interface with a computer. I use the computer to play or slow down tracks and mix the bass in or for recording. It helps when practicing to record what you are playing and critically listen to it later. So a mixer can allow you to do much more.

    If you aren't running the mixer into a computer, one or the other will do the same job if you are simply using a single channel.
  12. Well the thing, I have an interface but I can't be at the computer all the time to practice, which is why I originally got the Cafe Walter.

    I still record to the interface, which has two channels. I [would like to] run one channel clean and one dirty. The Cafe Walter is simple enough with it's one input, but forget experimenting with dual channel work unless you get something like a BOSS LS-2 and a bunch of cables.

    I guess the objective here is to practice how you perform, right? I mean if I record in two channels then it's probably equally useful to practice in two channels as well.

    At the same time, I know the Cafe Walter is high fidelity equipment.
  13. 1dreday


    Nov 22, 2009
    I got the zoom b3 its a multi pedal with drums. tons of pedals, and has a headphone jack, for silent play, also a/c or batteries. well made of metal also
  14. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    I've got both. The CW is simple and sounds great. The Mackie seems maybe just a hair noisier, but I can use the second channel for a mic when rehearsing vox. I like them both.
  15. jimmys15


    Nov 7, 2012
    Check out the Vox amPlug Bass too. I think it would be great, just you, your bass and headphones, rockin' out.
    I have the Tascam BT1MkII, and it has been very useful tool but is noisy.
    And keep the Mackie, it can be very useful when connected to your interface, paired with Amplitube 3 and PC speakers for low volume practicing.
  16. Emprov


    Mar 19, 2003
    I use a BOSS DB-90 Metronome, it's got a ton of metronome features, an instrument input, headphone out and can be battery operated.