1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Silent practice : micromonitor+headphone amp OR basic multi-effects pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by vivek_abhi, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. vivek_abhi


    Nov 4, 2012
    I was looking for a way to get some gear for silent bass practice at home so as to not disturb the family. I started looking at headphone amps and after some analysis found BOSS TU 88 to be the best of all worlds - headphone amp/metronome/tuner/aux in and portable.

    But, for the same price or 20$more I could get invest in a entry level multi effect pedal by Zoom/Pod which will supposedly have all the above features and effects too.. the only thing missing could be aux in to practice with songs

    My main aim is to practice along songs silently with headphones. Can anyone suggest their experience with the same?
  2. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    I'm on a similar quest, though totally broke for new gear at the time, and a complete snob with respect to sound/build quality...

    No experience with it, but I know Spencer does good work (tried a couple of his pedals myself), so check out the Enabler and see if it's up your ally.

    It's not cheap, but then again, it's not cheap. ie, it's a high quality build, and in this game, you usually get what you pay for.

    Good luck.
  3. yaksonator


    Apr 16, 2011
    Branson, MO
  4. MatthewC


    Nov 4, 2012
    I'm not familiar with the TU88, but I just looked it up. I think you're absolutely correct in your choice. When practicing to recordings, either silently or through any other means, the most important thing--the only important thing--is the ability to balance the mix between the live signal (you) and the track (the recording). The fact that the TU88 does this, and has a tuner, and is under 60 bones.... do it.
  5. vivek_abhi


    Nov 4, 2012
    @Vlad5/@yaksonator - thanks for the links... they both look good and sound very tempting but I wish I was a good bass player to justify a pricey(>200$) headphone amp. Nonetheless, thanks for the info. Since I am just looking for basic home practice,do you have something else to suggest?
    Also, if I have to end up spending >100$, would it make sense to buy a multi-effect pedal that does the job of headphone amp too.
  6. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Dude check out zoomb3 or.korg Pandora mini. The zoom b3 can be used as audio interface and looper, so much more versatile. The Pandora mini is also much more portable. They both has drum machine and you can practice songs through headphone.
  7. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I don't know about the Pandora, but the B3 has no aux input.
  8. hufe


    Mar 21, 2011
    Tijuana, Mexico
    I practice using my Zoom B3 and it works great. I plug in my headphones, my bass, connect the B3 to my computer with a USB cable and I'm all set. I can play along with songs in my iTunes player, or follow something in YouTube, and do it in silence. The B3 also has some drum patterns you can practice with, as well as a looper. And, of course, plenty of amp simulators and effects. Price is about $200 or less.
  9. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Yup just like hufe says,
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Tascam BT1 MP3, check it out.
    I can't say enough about it.
    I used it last week in the dark when we out of power due to storm SANDY.
    Holds 250 tunes, metronome, tuner, effects, loop feature for tricky licks.
  11. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    Something else to consider is the Mackie 404-VLZ3. I own and use one of these at home all the time for middle of the night practice and recording. I should have suggested this yesterday. :rolleyes:

    It is small(ish), about the area of a mousepad, and has plenty of inputs for playing mp3's into, plus mic inputs. It's $100 most places (like Amazon), and of rather good build quality (made of metal). No USB out/in though, so you still would need a A/D converter if you want to incorporate a computer (I'm currently using a Behringer something or other AD converter for that, @ $30). And no batteries, runs off of an AC plug only.

    If you don't care that your headphone amp isn't pocket sized, and you don't need all the (IMHO, cheeseball) effects that come with the little plastic units, I recommend a small mixer like this. Opens up other possibilities beyond silent practice. I actually play with my lady friend (guitarist) late at night using this unit; both of us plugged in at once...

    Guitar > pedalboard > mixer > headphones > late night noise making! Heh, togetherness.
  12. Charley Umbria

    Charley Umbria I'm Really a Drummer Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Rock City, TN
    I also use a small mixer for headphone practice. I found an Alesis MultiMix 4 USB on sale dirt cheap, but you can get them all day long on line for $70.00-80.00. The link above is to B&H, who has them for $68.00 right now.

    The mixer sounds great and it also has a USB converter, in case you ever want to do some recording (or upload sound clips to TB ;)).

    The Alesis unit has switchable input gain, so it works well with passive instruments or pedalboards/active instruments. I plug my iPod/iPad/iPhone/whatever into the third channel and can get a nice balance going in the headphones. As Vlad mentioned above, you'll also have the option of hooking in a second instrument.
  13. yaksonator


    Apr 16, 2011
    Branson, MO
    I've used the tascam bass trainer before for practices.. it actually has effects built in too, I don't know if they're usable in a band setting though. I paid 149 for it new several years ago.
  14. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    Vox Bass amPlug


    It doesn't get any simpler or more portable than this.
  15. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    What I use for practice while travelling, is a Zoom B2 and a USB audio card + Headphones. Not the best solution in the world, but nice and small to throw in my PC bag. I was going to go for the B2U (the B3 wasn't available at the time) because of the USB, but the expression pedal made it slightly too big for me.
  16. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin

    bass > pedal board > $40 mixer > either headphones --or-- mic input of my Macbook Pro for recording in Garageband

    This way I can do headphones, headphones with my mp3s playing, or record straight to the computer. It's not terribly portable and it does require a couple of cables to hook everything up, but I get a lot of options.
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I have 2 Tascams, the older MP3 one and the newer. They are great.

    But, lately, I've been using my iPod Touch with an iRig. The iRig is $40 in the stores, but I think I paid $17 w/shipping for one from eBay.

    If you already have an iPhone or iPod, the iRig is a darn good and cheap solution.
  18. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    if you like to play with effects, the Boss ME-50B is good- has aux in for your iPod or other source and headphone out

    more expensive is Boss GT-10B which you can connect to laptop via USB to play along with iTunes, listen with headphones, and record direct digital via USB to your laptop
  19. Just get a GK MB200. It does everything you want, plus it's a killer head for small gigs. $200 and you will likely have a new favorite head. If you spend $70 to $100 on some other device, it will only do that one thing well. The GK is a great multi-tasker. I had a Phil Jones Bass Buddy, and it was great, but the GK is terrific.
  20. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    +1 to Groove Warrior's advice. The Phil Jones Bass Buddy is great though.