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Newbie question about Phil Jones Big Head

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I'm looking at getting a Big Head. I've read the rave reviews (including some on this forum) and watched Phil Jones walk me through it on Youtube. However - and I realise this is a bit embarrassing - I'm still not 100% on what it actually is, and what it actually does. Could someone kindly explain in straightforward terms how I would go about using this thing?

In case it helps, I have a Vox Adio Air BS and use headphones almost all the time. The Vox is handy for playing along with tracks via Bluetooth, but the sound quality is not great and the volume seems really low - I can barely hear it! That's why I'm looking into the Big Head, but I read reviews like this from Bass Player ...

PJB has introduced a high performance multi-function headphone amplifier/digital audio interface: the BIGHEAD PRO (Model HA-2). The HA-2 is the second model in the Bighead series and is a step up model of the popular HA-1 Bighead with added technology and features. The HA-2 is a high resolution USB audio interface that supports PCM playback with up to 384 KHz sample rate/24 bit resolution. On DSD playback, sample rates of 2.822MHz and 5.644 MHz are supported, making it the ideal choice for musicians and engineers that desire high performance and the purest sound quality.

... and I'm lost. 

Do I use it with the Vox? Would it replace the Vox? Does it need to be plugged into a laptop? Anything else I need to think about?

Please help and sorry for being such a Luddite.

Thanks in advance.

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It's three things in one box.

It's a high quality headphone amplifier. Connect your bass, adjust gain, volume and EQ to taste, plug headphones into it and play. You can also plug in an additional audio signal, such as your phone, useful for playing along with tunes. So it will replace your Vox and should be noticeably better.

It's also a USB audio interface. Connect it to a computer with a USB cable and it will show up as an input, allowing you to record into an application like Pro Tools or Garage Band. All the blurb in that review is about this functionality - converting analog (your bass) to digital and back again.

And it's also a pre-amp, so you can use its output to go straight into a PA, for example.

Mine sits on a table and is used for headphone practise only, and I really like it.

 

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Thank you very much, already a lot clearer! 

Two more questions if I may -

Can I plug it into the mains or does it run on battery only?

And is it worth getting the Big Head 2 or is the original fine? 

Thanks again. Very helpful as I would most likely need to buy without seeing one in the flesh first.

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You can power it with a general micro usb cable / phone charger. The battery is internal, not easily removable, and charges over USB. You can leave it plugged in permanently if you wish.

I'd say the original is fine, new one seems to be overkill!

But it looks like the Vox can do everything this can do. Is there a particular reason you're looking at the PJB? You can use either of them alone, using both together would only serve a purpose if the headphone out on the Vox was not loud enough and you wanted to boost it with the PJB.

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1 hour ago, dannybuoy said:

But it looks like the Vox can do everything this can do.

This is a good point. Regarding poor quality and low volume, are you using Bluetooth headphones with the Vox? If so, try a set of wired ones. 

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