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What is the headphone amp/DI/preamp?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have a nice battery powered Vox headphone amp, but for obvious reasons, this is a great time to upgrade my headphone amp game. Something that would work as a preamp or DI would be nice for versatility. Although I definitely have a price limit in mind, for discussion purposes, price is not an issue.
    SactoBass likes this.
  2. grillman


    Dec 15, 2014

    That one does the trick for me.
    Very good value.

    Also through a decent cab it’s loud enough for home use.

    The size is about the size of a pedal.
    It has a nice headphone out and aux in.

  3. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    franvarin and alanloomis1980 like this.
  4. jellymax

    jellymax Don't fry any wooden fish Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SF CA
    there are a number of stompbox style preamps now with excellent quality headphone amps and aux input
    jacks. the GK plex is a good example.
    your vox is old school like a rockman and is not known for its audio quality lol.
    steveksux, packhowitzer and hbabels like this.
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Audio interfaces have great headphone amps. Many interfaces can do direct monitoring without going through the DAW.
    Some of the high end ones have built in effects that work directly on the interface also without going through the DAW.
    TheLowDown33 and InhumanResource like this.
  6. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yes the GK is very good as well, I had one for a while has the benefit of a built in tuner and compressor and lots of tonal options. The reason I kept the Ampeg over the GK is the Ampeg can powered off a 9 volt making it super portable and easy to setup an use in places like venue's where I want to warmup or go over material.

    Both great options also depends on your tonal preferences.
    The Newest B7k Ultra's and Alpha Omega versions have added aux in jacks and have cab sim enabled headphone outs which is a great feature. I think X7 Ultra has this option as well
    packhowitzer likes this.
  7. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    I have a TC Electronics BQ500 Class D amp with a DI and headphone jack.
    TC.jpg TC 2.jpg
    westrock and Playbyear like this.

    MAXSPINRUN Supporting Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    Knoxville, Tn
    This works for me. Plenty of I/O flexibility. Great DI, compressor, O.D. if some grit is needed, headphone amp sounds great and is built very well 6A60F883-F8C8-4017-8269-46D310FC7511.jpeg AF3A2830-9C4C-413F-A140-D4BC8BC0CCEF.jpeg 57EA153B-3EFD-4725-A51B-C54DD2B6609A.jpeg
    Ethereal Thorn and 31HZ like this.
  9. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    I use a Digitech BP200 multy FX unit a headphone amp. Bought it used on the cheap about 14 years ago. I have invested more on headphones in that same time period. IMO anything with aux in (for your music source) and headphone out will work. Let your budget and needs determine the features you want. But I would put the lions share of the budget towards good headphones unless you already have a nice set. The the world is your oyster :)
    31HZ and MAXSPINRUN like this.
  10. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    The Zoom B3 is excellent but lacks an aux in, you’ll need to usb it to your computer for playback of media. Bonus is the usb powers the unit, and serves as an interface. The newer Zoom B3n adds the sux in. The B3 is huge bang for the buck. Scads of amp sims, cab sims, fx, drum machine and a surprisingly useful looper.

    I’m using a Line 6 HD500x, which has more bells and whistles but is exponentially more complicated.

    Some decent in ear monitors can be had on Amazon for under $40.
    InhumanResource likes this.
  11. I second that emotion. Picked one up here in the classifieds a few months ago and it works really well for headphone-based practice. I had a DI already on my board, so I've only used the SCR-DI as a headphone amp so far.
    Aqualung60 and alanloomis1980 like this.
  12. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    I use a zoom B3 for this, great functionality live or for practice and a DAW in one box. Maybe one of their newer bass offerings would suit your purposes.
  13. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    I suspect isolation, or periodic isolation will be the new normal for a while. If I were investing in anything bass-wise, I'd look carefully at how well a solution contributes to recording bass and/or streaming it live. Getting a good interface is an excellent place to start. I'm using a Focusrite solo and it works great, and has a headphone jack (1/4 inch with adapter or 1/8 inch). I also have a Zoom F8 with eight inputs that can double as an audio interface. It too has a headphone jack. I'm sure there are other options that do a good job.
    seamonkey likes this.
  14. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    DSM OmniCabSim Deluxe.

    It's killer... headphone amp, DI, speaker simulator... and it's battery operated so you can hang on the couch, pop on the headphones and jam out.

  15. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I use my Focusrite 2i2 or solo as a headphone amp even when not recording or running GarageBand. I like the quality of of the clean sound, the 2i2 is an older generation and does clip easy but does still sound excellent. I can also run it out to a power amp via 1/4” output jack. They do not have low Z direct line output however ( if that is a must for you ). They are really good bang for the buck. Good luck with your hunt !
  16. I use my Mesa D-800 with no cabs connected when I’m practicing with headphones. It has an aux in that I use to connect my phone or laptop. And a headphone out. Makes jamming along to music super convenient. 251817C3-84E4-4E86-B6EF-3283F51B5017.jpeg
    DJ Bebop, Troy Eggen and Aqualung60 like this.
  17. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I bought the MXR M80 and then a little 5 channel mixer. I have my bass going into one input and a computer/ipod going into another. I can mix to my liking and then both to the headphones. Allows me to play by myself or along to songs. The whole setup cost me less than $150
    dramatwist and Dr. Cheese like this.
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That sounds good!
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That price sounds good!

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