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TommyK

Silent practicing thingys...

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Hi all.

Been out of bands for a couple of years (2 kids added to the me and MrsTK unit). Just getting going again but now i can't practice much sense at night cos the kids are asleep innit....

I need some sort of device you can plug headphones, a bass and an ipod (other MP3 players are available) into for some decent but non disturbing 9pm+ practicing. I'm sure there is something suitable out there, any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks TK

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There are a few good options. If cost is an issue Vox do a little device called an Amplug which sockets directly into the bass and allows for an mp3 in too. Runs on batteries and even has some drum patterns built in. The down side is that the build quality is aweful and they are notorious for breaking.

Another option would be a di box of some kind. My money would be on a zoom b3 as for the price you'd get a looper, rhythem tracks loads of amp models and it would double up as a handy pedal for live stuff too.

Or you could just go for a class D amp. I use an Ashdown MiBass for just this reason. It can run without a cab connected and has a dedicated line in volume control. Many (but not all) other class d heads will also offer aux in and headphone sockets for silent practice.

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Line 6 Sonic Port

Plugs into your iOS device.

I comes with the Mobile POD software but is also compatible with Amplitude (Free) - and then you can get an excellent Ampeg B15 sound.

Amplitude will grab tunes from your iTunes library so you can play along

I use mine all the time - great bit of kit

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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Belcat-Guitar-Headphone-Mini-Pocket-Amplifier-w-Distortion-and-Clean-Sound-/121256621341?var=&hash=item1c3b75351d

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The Mrs bought me a Tascam GB10 trainer, and I like that a lot. The sound of the bass through it isn't fantastic to be fair, but being able to load mp3s, then slow them down or change the pitch, and the facility to loop sections has proven really handy.

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I've been using the Vox Amplug for a while and think it's great - has an aux input if you want to practice with a metronome/backing tracks/whale noises. Also takes up very little room in a gig bag and is perfect for warming up before a gig. The newer ones are slightly better build quality than the original ones (I broke the first one I had fairly quickly).

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I use one of these:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DIGITECH-DOD-GENESIS-3-GENETX-GUITAR-MULTI-EFFECTS-AMP-MODELING-/201441319194?hash=item2ee6d6991a

Lets me plug the PC or laptop into it & play silently along with numbers through headphones. Also still a very useable FX box for live use.

I have a 3 and a couple of Mk 1s. MK 1s are cheaper and in some ways more flexible if they turn up.

G.

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Cheap audio interface to plug into your computer or most eq/di boxes or most non-tube amps will easily do the job.

Though none of them will stop the kids hearing the twanging of strings.

Edited by Lw.

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1444207364' post='2881047']
I just treated myself to a Phil Jones Headphone amp. Covers all the requirements that you listed.
[/quote]

I like the look of those, how does it sound?

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Zoom B1ON

[url="http://www.gak.co.uk/en/zoom-b1on-bass-effects-pedals/104730?gclid=CPmG_f6UsMgCFWaK2wodAO0AOw"]http://www.gak.co.uk...CFWaK2wodAO0AOw[/url]

Link inludes free headphones!

Best £40 you'll ever spend - aux in, phones out, amp modelling, fx, tuner, looper, drum machine. Easy to use, batteries last ages.

Edited by Mudpup

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1444214012' post='2881125']
I like the look of those, how does it sound?
[/quote]

I'm impressed with it Rob. It certainly gives IPads and IPods etc. a boost. I've tried a little bit of recording my bass using it onto Audacity on the P.C. which worked well.

When using it to play bass and listen via headphones, I've found that I have to back off the volume and gain and also keep the bass lowish, otherwise there is a little too much distortion. Be interesting to know whether things can be turned up more, if using the Phil Jones headphones.

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1444214668' post='2881140']
I'm impressed with it Rob. It certainly gives IPads and IPods etc. a boost. I've tried a little bit of recording my bass using it onto Audacity on the P.C. which worked well.

When using it to play bass and listen via headphones, I've found that I have to back off the volume and gain and also keep the bass lowish, otherwise there is a little too much distortion. Be interesting to know whether things can be turned up more, if using the Phil Jones headphones.
[/quote]

Thanks for that, sounds positive then :) ... It looks very neat and tidy.

I'm thinking of asking Mrs C for one with the Phil Jones headphones when the inevitable question of Christmas presents comes up a few months down the line.

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I'd buy a cheap 2 or 3 inpiut mixer with XLR, phantom power and a phono in...

It may not be as hi-tech as you can get, but it's a useful bit of kit, generally.

I'm always a little wary of buying things that only do one job - I've got an Alesis MiniMix 4...it's a USB music interface as well !

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I bought a TC electronics 250 bass combo which has a lovely full sound, a headphone socket which also sounds great and a built in tuner. Basically it does everything.

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[quote name='Mudpup' timestamp='1444214325' post='2881135']
Zoom B1ON

[url="http://www.gak.co.uk/en/zoom-b1on-bass-effects-pedals/104730?gclid=CPmG_f6UsMgCFWaK2wodAO0AOw"]http://www.gak.co.uk...CFWaK2wodAO0AOw[/url]

Link inludes free headphones!

Best £40 you'll ever spend - aux in, phones out, amp modelling, fx, tuner, looper, drum machine. Easy to use, batteries last ages.
[/quote]

Quite right.

I've tried a few options, this is the best, complete stand alone solution, sounds good Drum machine/metronome is useful as is tuner and iPod sounds great through it. Tidy little package as well. Can't believe it is so cheap.

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My RH 750 does all that but for portability purposes, I am considering the Phil Jones Bighead headphone amp. It gets good reviews in last months Bass Guitar magazine.

Alternatively my Scarlett 2i4 should also do that via my Mac and would be cheaper than the Bighead.

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I'd say a wee mixer with USB or an audio interface & you can use your computer to play along with & even record some tracks too.

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1444220802' post='2881241']


Quite right.

I've tried a few options, this is the best, complete stand alone solution, sounds good Drum machine/metronome is useful as is tuner and iPod sounds great through it. Tidy little package as well. Can't believe it is so cheap.
[/quote]

Another +1 from me too. Best forty quid you will ever spend. Giggable effects too.

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If you happen to already own an iPhone/iPad, the Line6 Sonic Port is what I would go with. All of the other cheap multis have infuriating interfaces, I'd much rather touch and swipe on a nice screen, plus there's so much more you can do with it.

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Vox also do headphones which are suitable for guitar and bass practice
There are several models, one has effects for guitar (but you can still use it with bass)
another has a built in metronome. They each have a minijack socket for MP3 players / CD / Tablet input too

Also, you may want a small amp which has a headphone socket
I have a Marshall MB30 amp, which has a headphone Jack socket, and MP3 / CD input socket too

EDIT: The bonus here is, you can also use it for small, acoustic type gigs too
(i.e. where you have no drummer, or at least a quiet drummer)

Edited by Marc S

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[quote name='Mudpup' timestamp='1444214325' post='2881135']
Zoom B1ON

[url="http://www.gak.co.uk/en/zoom-b1on-bass-effects-pedals/104730?gclid=CPmG_f6UsMgCFWaK2wodAO0AOw"]http://www.gak.co.uk...CFWaK2wodAO0AOw[/url]

Link inludes free headphones!

Best £40 you'll ever spend - aux in, phones out, amp modelling, fx, tuner, looper, drum machine. Easy to use, batteries last ages.
[/quote]

Another vote for the B1on. Features for the price are unbeatable.

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