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Wife says I need headphones/headphone amp...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jakeman, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Jakeman

    Jakeman Swamp Thing Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    So this past weekend things got a little loud at the homestead, at around 7 in the morning. My wife has suggested that I look into headphone options so I can practice at my odd hours. I don't even know what's out there or where to begin, so asking the hive-mind.

    This would be just for solo practice - I don't use in-ears live or anything like that, so it can be pretty basic. I'm not currently recording much, and don't have a laptop to use for this purpose. I'm just looking for a small pedal device that I can plug into the end of my chain and some quality headphones that will allow me to approximate the sound of my Ampeg for my own enjoyment. I guess cab-sim stuff would be cool so I can try out a variety of "tube amps"? Would cab-sim also allow me to get a more realistic image of how my pedals would sound through a real amp? The ability to play along with an AUX in would be very cool. I'm looking for something simple, as I don't really have an aptitude for menu-diving and programming. What's out there? Recs for both the pedal device and particular headphones would be excellent.

    Here's a pic of my current signal chain, for reference. Bass is either a 1980 Fender fretless P or 1996 Alembic fretless 5 Epic. My amp of choice is an Ampeg V4B or SVT.

  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Sony MDR headphones get consistently high marks for sound and value/price ratio. Mine are the MDR 7506 -- got 'em through Amazon. When I first tried them I thought they were tinny and too loud. Then I realized that I was listening to tracks I'd recorded with my other headphones: I had made them tinny by compensating for the inferior response! Once I did some A/B with third-party material, I realized Sony was clearly better. They were a bit more expensive than my others, but not by much. They were under $100, and it looks like price has dropped since I got 'em a couple/few years ago.

    Fortunately for me, my little home rehearsal combo (a Fender Rumble 40) has a headphone out, and so does my Darkglass 900v2 amp head. Because of all that I haven't needed a headphone pedal, so I can't help you there.

    P.S. You have some sweet gear! :bassist:
  3. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    It's not a pedal, but I just use a basic mixer. Got one used on craigslist years ago for pretty cheap...

    Another option... Recently I got a Zoom R8 digital 8-track. I mostly use this just for practicing headphones, but it's nice to be able to quickly switch from 'shed' mode to record mode :) Headphone monitoring, plus recording tool!
  4. Jakeman

    Jakeman Swamp Thing Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    Currently doing my due diligence with the search function, and I'm seeing things like the Darkglass Element and the DSM OmniCabSim Deluxe. This might be the direction I go. For those in the know - do these type of devices do what I'm looking for as described above?
  5. Hi there,
    I'm using a Zoom B1 Four? Works well for silent practice. Amp/cab sims, effects, aux in,headphone out drum machine, etc
  6. Get these for your wife:

    Bose 700 Noice-cancelling headphones.


    I'm like you, I maintain ...odd... hours.

    For yourself, I recommend AKG 240. Mine were comfortable for more than a few hours, sealed well, and I had an extra-long cable with them so I never felt fettered, and they lasted seemingly forever.


    I tried a few others such as Sennheiser, Sony and a few more but its been so long ago I don't recall. There might be better headphones out now, the K240s are a couple decades old at least (that's when I got my first pair), but I'm planning on getting another pair.
    Naturally, YMMV, as your ears/noggin/circumstances/preferences etc will likely differ from mine.

    If you were considering getting a Beat Buddy drum machine, now is the time to get it — stick it at the end of your chain and plug the K240s into the Beat Buddy. You can still get something like the Omnicab-sim or whatever and stick it 2nd last in the chain.

  7. DSM Omnicabsim Deluxe ticks all the boxes and will add speaker simulations to your setup. Very easy to dial a great tone.
    Obese Chess, ahc, JES and 4 others like this.
  8. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    The question is do you want sealed or open headphones. Sealed you do not hear the outside world, open you do. I prefer open so when the spouse's lips are moving you can hear her, also if you are watching tv and playing the open are nice. You can hang with the family and not be isolated. If you are playing say in the living room and the tv is on and you are trying to play along with aux then that is too much and you will want sealed. Or go n another room. I also use the AKG K240's, have a pair of lower price Beyerdynamic DT231's but after 5-6 years of bass they are ragged and distort. For an amp I use either a Fender Rumble 150 head or a Bronco 40 combo. You can use any small combo that you can find chap. I also have a Vox Amplug but am not thrilled with the toan.
    GroovyBaby, Nuage420 and Jakeman like this.
  9. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    If you have a computer already, you might just get an interface with headphone out. I’ve heard good things about Motu M4. I use Universal audio Solo, which also has DSP.
    I’ve tried many headphones over the years... K240, Sennheiser 280, KRK, some higher end AKG and others, and never could get into the sound. Lots of boom and lots of sizzle, but somehow couldn’t get the bass to sound right. Other folks really like them so might just be me.

    Someone recommended me the Focal Listen Pro, which is not the most expensive but by far the best sounding one I’ve tried. I can happily use them for hours on end, although I still prefer monitors or an amp.
  10. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I ordered the Mesa TT800 for this exact purpose.
    Bassngtr, MordBass, Jakeman and 4 others like this.
  11. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I practice this way all the time. I used the DSM for a long time and it was awesome. Now I have the Darkglass Element, which is very cool because i can play along with my music wirelessly. The Torpedo Cab M is another choice I think.
  12. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    OmniCabSimDlx. Just do it and be happy. Such a useful box. KRK KNS8400 headphones as well.
    ahc, Jakeman and PlatoFunFactory like this.
  13. Corigan

    Corigan Addicted to Shaking Walls Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2021
    Outside of Atlanta, GA
    I DI out to a small board (yamaha mg06x) then use akg k240s for my headphones when I want to use cans. Also have the pc on a different channel, so can pump that into the cans as a backing track.

    I hope you find what works for you
    Jakeman, jobu3 and Nuage420 like this.
  14. Nuage420

    Nuage420 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Jakeman, jobu3 and Corigan like this.
  15. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    For bass practice I slightly prefer the OneOdio headphones to the Sony MDR 7506. They are bassier and have a neat design feature that let's you plug into 1/8 and 1/4 without an adapter, which is handy.

    I also like my Rumble Studio 40 for practice, which is a modeling amp, with Bluetooth, aux in, USB out for recording. Also very handy.
    Jakeman likes this.

    MAXSPINRUN Supporting Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    Knoxville, Tn
    Sony MDR 7506 I have used and like them hooked up to this which has aux in and a very nice DI, extensive EQ as well as drive and compression. Check it out! C4DCFC30-9C1C-43FA-ABA5-029CB3C22118.jpeg D9B25029-40A6-4EAD-A089-7BF67FE6896D.jpeg FFE21648-F46D-466A-9F23-D01A44090C47.jpeg
  17. Hambone70


    Jan 31, 2018
    My previous wife thought it was too loud, too.
  18. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Hahah - I was thinking, give her a set of car keys and tell her to get lost for a couple of hours.

    Seriously, though @Jakeman, you've got the right idea - Darkglass, tc SpectraDrive, SansAmp, Ampeg SCD-DI are the types of things you're looking for in a pedal. All have a headphone out. You won't be satisfied with a mixer unless you have a decent preamp going into the mixer. So why bother, unless you already own a mixer.

    You'll need a good set of closed back headphones - you don't need anything terribly fancy. Something like the A-T ATH50Mx would suit what you're doing. Those headphones have a bit of bump in the lower frequencies. I like them for tracking bass.
  19. jobu3

    jobu3 ¿Huevos?! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    I use a Presonus tube DI into a cheap Alesis mixer with AKG K240’s.

    Sounds great with effects. Plenty of length on the cans’ cord.

    The mixer does double duty with studio monitors to jam along to or play through including at home karaoke with the family. More multi purpose than a pedal preamp that has a headphone out. YMMV
    Jakeman likes this.
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