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SIMPLE/CHEAPER Headphone Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lburton2, Aug 14, 2012.


  1. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    I just need something that will allow a 1/4 in from a bass or pre-amp and an input for an MP3 player and run it into headphones. Preferably with an adjustable level for master/mp3/bass.

    I've seen a few out on the inter-webs but they're almost $200 for a unit that seems rather simple in design/build.

    The only thing I can think of is maybe a small mixer.. But I'd rather just have a dedicated little box to accomplish what i described.. Ideas?
     
  2. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Vox AmPlug is what you're looking for. They're about $50, and there's a model specifically for bass. I own one, it works, but it's not very good quality, IMO. It has 1/8" headphone out and 1/8" stereo input for practicing with an MP3 player. There's volume, a single tone control, and a gain control. There's also a switchable "compressor" that I don't care for - it completely flattens the tone and dynamics, and adds considerable noise. It also gets noisy if the gain is turned up, or the treble. If you use a standard low-gain, bassy bass guitar tone, it's OK for what it is. Of course the quality of the headphones you use makes a big difference too.

    There are some other options that cost a bit more - the Pocket POD and the Korg Pandora have more features and flexibility, and I'm sure they sound better too. Even though both devices are designed for electric guitar, they should be usable on bass.

    A small 'utility' mixer would get the job done too, and are available between $50 ~ $100. Good luck!
     
  3. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    I have the Vox "bass"plug and picked it up used on here. It is fantastic for home rehearsal and playing along with videos on my phone. I have a set of huge headphones I used with it.
     
  4. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Chicago
    Another +1 for the Vox. For simple rehearsing, it is a great little unit.
     
  5. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    The vox amplugs are definitely not for me. I really dislike the way they sound. Once I get the things up to a decent volume they start to distort.. Not to mention I want to plug in my bass AND an mp3 player at the same time...... And the amPlugs i've seen don't have an input for an aux in.
     
  6. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    They have the 1/4 inch instrument plug. Headphone out. Aux in.
     
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Grab a small mixer. Get it with as many in/outs as you want and you can hook up anything.
     
  8. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    I must have missed the aux in. I haven't tried the thing in months and i'm relying on internet pics.

    I DO remember that I disliked the sound :meh:
     
  9. Balog

    Balog

    Mar 19, 2009
    Bothell, WA
    Yep. I've done a lot of thinking about it myself, and I really do think a small mixer is the best solution for this use case.
     
  10. bobcruz

    bobcruz

    Mar 10, 2004
    CA
    +1 for a cheap small mixer, because then you have a small mixer in case you ever need it for live sound.
     
  11. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    Tascam BT1 Bass Trainer MP3 version.
    MP3- up to 250 tunes
    Tuner / Metronome
    Repeat loop function
    Slow down function --stay in pitch. Useable effects.
    Best gadget I ever bought, Fits in your pocket.
     
  12. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Thanks for the input guys.. The mixer route is probably gonna be the most affordable one for a clean signal with plenty of inputs.. I just don't know why the units i've seen cost so much.. I know sfx makes one and it's like over $200
     
  13. dincz

    dincz

    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    One caution regarding mixers. If there is no dedicated instrument input, the fairly low impedance of the mic and line inputs will cause some loss of highs if you're using a passive bass. Active will be OK.
     
  14. I have the AC-30 AmPlug for guitar, and it works just fine for bass. I can plug in both a set of headphones and my MP3 player. I personally don't care what it sounds like (within reason), since to me it's just a practice tool and I'm the only one who will ever hear it anyways. ;)
     
  15. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    I can understand the AmPlug being useful if it's just practice and tone is irrelevant, but if i'm not just working on my chops and actually working on tunes, I want to know where my settings are most likely going to be and what i need to do to achieve the sound I want.. Which is why I'd be running through my Preamp into a mixer/headphone amp ideally.
     
  16. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Yes!!! Any of the micro mixers will do what you want. Shop around on the net and you can get them for around $40 -60.
     
  17. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    I can get pretty substantial discounts from my local music shop.. So I guess it's a matter of finding the right mixer
     
  18. Balog

    Balog

    Mar 19, 2009
    Bothell, WA
    I really like the simple analog Yamaha models.
     
  19. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
  20. lburton2

    lburton2 Les Is More

    May 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    I also like the Mackie 402VLZ3, but it's up there in price :/
     

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