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Using amp with headphones - how?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mindabout, May 30, 2004.

  1. Mindabout


    Apr 11, 2004
    I bought myself a Behringer BX3000T amp but have not got a cabinet yet as I thought I would first look at any second hand ones before spending more than I can afford on a new one. Anyway, the salesman who sold me my amp was telling me that I can use the amp with headphones plugged in if I could get something (don't remember the name of it) that puts a pretend load on the amp... apparently something I could get from Tandy or Dick Smith. Does anyone know what it would have been that he was talking about?

    At the time there was money changing hands etc and I'd asked a lot of questions and I hadn't thought I'd be wanting to play through the amp with headphones because I didn't realise I'd get impatient with waiting for a speaker cabinet to come up. Anyway, I really wanna play with my new toy so I'd love to find out what this thing is that I can get.
  2. Tez


    Jan 24, 2004
    you need a 4 ohm dummy load
  3. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    I don't think you need a dummy load with your solid state amp. Maybe try line out?
  4. Tez


    Jan 24, 2004
    most headphone jacks cut the output to the speakers coz why would you need the speakers on if you have headphopes on and the power would perhaps only be from the pre amp anyway so the sales guy was probibly full of Sh8t like many are
  5. there's no special headphone jack on that thing

    could try line out or maybe the send...dunno about that

    I don't see the need for a ghost load...and with the line out you could just plug your cab in and turn the volume of...the line out will keep going anyway
  6. Why do you need a dummy load on a SS amp?
  7. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Ok. Since your amp doesn't have a headphone output, finding a way to run a set of headphones from it will not be very easy.

    After taking a look at the BX3000T, I think your only option is to find an adapter that goes from the DI (XLR) to a stereo female 1/4" or 1/8" (depending on your headphones) jack. Since it's balanced, you should get sound through both headphones, whereas with the line out or effects send, you'd only hear sound through one.

    The only problem with this is that your head's DI output signal will probably not be strong enough to drive your headphones to a very high volume level. If this is the case, you'll need to find some sort of external headphone amplifier.

    I'm in the same boat here. My Aggie preamp doesn't have a headphone output (I have no idea why...) and I've been trying to find a way to use my headphones with it.
  8. No boombox or home stereo speakers to try it out on? Just don't turn it up :D.
  9. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    If it doesn't have a headphone out, fuggetaboutit. It's not worth the headaches and potential broken gear trying to make something work. Go buy a small headphone amp and use that.
  10. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Well now, depending on the circuit in the power amp section, you might be able to plug the headphones directly into the speaker output jack. Of course there is GREAT risk to your headphones when you do this, but from the amp's point of view it'll probably work fine. You can do this on "most" solid state amps (the ones that have complementary or servo output sections), and the exception would be solid state amps with output transformers, on those you wouldn't want to try this trick. The rule on solid state amps is that you can use "equal or higher" load impedances, and since most headphones are 32 ohms, 200 ohms, and 600 ohms, any of those will work just fine. But danger Will Robinson, those headphone elements are real sensitive and generally don't respond well to bass dynamics. Make sure you have a nice powerful set of headphones. Recently I got a set of Sennheiser HD280 pro headphones specifically for loud monitoring purposes, they're 64 ohms impedance and they work fine when they're directly connected to my thousand watt Carvin amp.
  11. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Hey, I just ordered a pair of those Sennheisers the other day. :) How do you like them for bass?
  12. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, what nonsqtr said. Try plugging the headphones into the output of the amp. You can get a stereo-to-mono adapter at Radio Shack for a couple of bucks. That way both sides of the headphones will work.

    When you do this, be SURE to turn the volume completely down, then bring it up very slowly. You'll be able to easily get ear-damaging levels, so be careful.

    I did this for years with a pair of AKG K-240's and a Sunn head when I was a kid still living at home. Really helps to keep the parents happy. And actually, it's a great way to practice - you'll hear every detail, and of course every flaw, of your playing. Headphones are very unforgiving. You can't get away with any kind of sloppiness. When you get to where you sound really good over headphones, playing through a speaker cab will sound fabulous.

    And both the AKG's and the Sunn are still working fine 20 years later.
  13. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    They're okay for bass. They can deliver a LOUD sound though, be careful with your ears! Mainly I got them so the drummer could sync in on tracks that were done with a rhythm machine. So bass, guitar, keys, and a click track are coming through the headphones. They seem to work fine so far, he's a loud drummer but I can still see him wince occasionally on a loud passage. They're 64 ohm phones, so be careful 'cause not all equipment can handle them (the stuff that's made for 600 ohm phones may or may not respond well to the lower impedance). I've plugged them straight into a Mackie 1604-VLZ and they do fine that way, no heat problems or anything. I can't speak for their accuracy or fidelity (didn't get them for that purpose). :)