Jump to content
Why become a member? Read more... ×
Soledad

Headphone amps

Recommended Posts

Is there such a thing as a flat response headphone amp around - I mean gain only so the bass onboard controls all sound shaping. Or just something really simple, no gimmicks or effects etc. And not silly money. Part of the idea here is to practice in private (ha, ha) but to know the true sound of the bass before any amp system adds its own colour. I've seen a Vox thing around but it has built-in rhythms FFS, and it looks so naff it'd give me a headache.

Actually, just thought, wireless bluetooth would be fairly cool...?!  And I could send my grooves to Alexa in the kitchen - she'd like that.

Edited by Soledad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil Jones Big Head. Certainly not the cheapest but, all things considered, probably the best thing for what you’re looking for. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes, seen that, very neat - but too ££ for what I have in mind. All the simple cheaper ones seem to require a DC power supply, so more leads all over the place. Sounds simple but can't find one: must be small, flat response amp + vol control (output for phones only), 6.3 jack in, 3.5 out, battery or rechargeable. 50 quid ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, the Vox amplug is actually quite decent for around £35. I never use the rhythm stuff on mine but it functions as a perfectly decent headphone amp.

I’d strongly advise against trying to beam your live bass playing to a speaker via Bluetooth - the latency (delay) will do your head in and hinder any sense of timing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a pair of Vox amphones - ideal for home noodling. Hunt about and you can find them for around £80

See below

Edited by TheGreek
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got an AmPlug and although it's not bad for the money, it doesn't play nicely with low B strings or high output basses :(

I'm making do anyway though, as it's very convenient, and the next level of this kind of product is prohibitively expensive, sadly...

Eude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a new Ashdown headphone amp/interface out now, but again not that cheap - but it does do a lot.  I use the PJB Bighead and think its great..makes learning songs much more fun and doesn't get in the way of the family.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, BassBod said:

There is a new Ashdown headphone amp/interface out now, but again not that cheap - but it does do a lot.  I use the PJB Bighead and think its great..makes learning songs much more fun and doesn't get in the way of the family.  

They have indeed, but it's crept into the pricey area much like the PJ one, and to be fair, bar needing a power cable, there's not going to be that much difference in real life than just using my Ashdown Class D head with headphones.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just looked it up - Thomann  have the PJB at £200 now, that's a lot more than it used to be..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, BassBod said:

Just looked it up - Thomann  have the PJB at £200 now, that's a lot more than it used to be..

There's a Bighead Pro now too >> http://pjbworld.com/cms/index.php/product-ha-2/
Wonder what price that will come in at?

I do like the idea of these BigHeads and the Ashdown version, just not sure I can really justify one right now, I've got lots of other odds and sods that bridge the gap, sadly...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had mine for about two years and really enjoyed it.  I don't record much at home, but have used it for a few things and its really good quality (and of course you can put other preamps in front for a more coloured sound).  Just for playing along to tracks its real fun, as it really does put your bass into the music, with no hiss or annoying background noise and no heavy battery use.  I had a Cafe Walter before...was very good, but ate batteries (2x9v) and did hiss quite a bit.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, BassBod said:

I've had mine for about two years and really enjoyed it.  I don't record much at home, but have used it for a few things and its really good quality (and of course you can put other preamps in front for a more coloured sound).  Just for playing along to tracks its real fun, as it really does put your bass into the music, with no hiss or annoying background noise and no heavy battery use.  I had a Cafe Walter before...was very good, but ate batteries (2x9v) and did hiss quite a bit.  

You can find the PJBH for about £150, so it's not THAT pricey in the grand scheme of things I guess...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing the Thomann price reflects new stock, so any that have been here for a while should be cheaper.  It seems headphone amps are tricky things to get right, especially for low cost.  The Cafe Walter designer has been working on his next version for a few years now, it seems the on board battery and re-charging circuitry makes it all a bit more involved and that's without any digital conversion magic added.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, BassBod said:

I'm guessing the Thomann price reflects new stock, so any that have been here for a while should be cheaper.  It seems headphone amps are tricky things to get right, especially for low cost.  The Cafe Walter designer has been working on his next version for a few years now, it seems the on board battery and re-charging circuitry makes it all a bit more involved and that's without any digital conversion magic added.  

In my head, as soon as you can buy an actual amp for similar money, the case for a high end headphone amp starts to weaken.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some situations where they are very useful - when you have small kids in the house, and a lot of songs to learn for dep gigs, and when you travel a lot for gigs..again, that hour in the hotel on headphones can really help later!! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, BassBod said:

There are some situations where they are very useful - when you have small kids in the house, and a lot of songs to learn for dep gigs, and when you travel a lot for gigs..again, that hour in the hotel on headphones can really help later!! 

All true mate.

I've limped along thus far with what I've got though, so I'll bow out for now, until I get annoyed with how badly the AmPlug deals with low B again ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to rig up a fairly compact setup for about £70-80 including headphones...you may want something more Hi-fi than I'm about to describe, but here goes:

 

- Small Behringer mixing desk (Xenyx-502) - probably not exactly FRFR, but gives you a pretty dry signal and less colouration than a regular guitar/bass amp

- Behringer BDDI-21 to make it sound like I'm actually playing through an amp - which it sounds like the OP may not want/need

(- A bass...not included in the above price, but still kind of essential)

- Pair of Sony MDR-ZX100 headphones - surprisingly clear and balanced sound for the money - plugged into the headphone out on the mixer.

 

Not as satisfying as firing up the real amp, but given young Master Mooseblaster's early bedtime, it beats practising unplugged.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd avoid the Amplug, the standalone units have more of an amp sim quality to them rather than clean and transparent, I assume the headphones would be the same?

The EHX headphone amp does not have an aux in btw, which you'll need if you want to play along with anything.

Bluetooth isn't worth looking into as the processing delay renders it unplayable. However it's rare but some units can accept an aux input over Bluetooth, which is handy for playing a backing track via your laptop or mobile etc.

If you have a DI box or a preamp with an XLR out, the Behringer MA400 is a good choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is getting interesting - I suppose a part of this was flat from the bass - no shaping / coloration, partly to see what the native sound out of the bass is.

I'll take a look at the Behringer desk - after all it's not like I move around a lot :)

lot of good info, thanks to all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounded like you have an active bass already which would be fine, but just be aware that most mixing desks do not have a high impedance input suitable for plugging a passive bass straight in. For that you'd want something designed with bass/guitar in mind, such as the Bighead.

Edited by dannybuoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, both active (fretless and fretty). Just ordered the Bheringer - about £38 from Amazon. Seems fairly amazing for that price - I'm hoping / assuming I can plug a bass in and set mixer flat eq, out to phones. Least that's the idea. All ref Mooseblaster above. See how it goes soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×