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BillyBass

headphone amp...Zoom BI Four or TC Electronic Spectradrive?

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Hi all,

Apologies, I know the subject of headphone amps has come up a fair bit but I would like some input regarding my need for a practice set up at home.  I need an Aux-in and a headphone out, I don't need it to be portable, it will be mainly used in one room.  

I don't need all the effects on the Zoom B1Four (but might use them if they are there) I just want the practice amp facility.  it is very cheap, this is its attraction. 

Likewise with the Spectradrive, I have a compressor and dirt pedal already but the Preamp could come in handy and I'm sure I would use this into the FX return of my MarkBass sometimes.  It would also fit on my board, just.  Not as cheap as the Zoom but not outrageous.

A concern I have about buying something for the headphone out, that isn't an actual headphone amp, is that the sound quality will be poor.  What are BCers experiences of using either of these devices for the headphone-out and aux-in?  Would there be a big leap up in sound quality with the Ashdown Tonepocket or PJB Bighead?

 

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26 minutes ago, BillyBass said:

I don't need all the effects on the Zoom B1Four (but might use them if they are there) I just want the practice amp facility.

I used Zoom pedals happily for many years for home practice.  I switched only because I needed to do some recording so got myself an interface, which also has a headphone amp and aux in - maybe that's another option to consider, if you might ever do some recording at some point?

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11 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

I used Zoom pedals happily for many years for home practice.  I switched only because I needed to do some recording so got myself an interface, which also has a headphone amp and aux in - maybe that's another option to consider, if you might ever do some recording at some point?

An interface!  Don't know much about these.  Any recommendations, something small, that can sit on top of my amp or next to the pedal board would be nice.

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I don't know much about different makes/models - others can probably provide better recommendations. The one I have which seems fine is a Behringer UMC204HD. It's not that big, but there are smaller models within the range. From a connection/logistical perspective, mine sits on the desk next to the computer. It has one USB cable to connect to the computer, which provides the power as well as audio from mp3s/YouTube etc; or you can use the second input channel to connect a phone or other physical device.  My bass connects via my pedals to the first input channel using a normal guitar lead. You could place the interface on the bass amp if you have a long-enough USB cable to reach the computer. However NB the computer needs to be on, since it is providing the power; the interface has no other power option.

Back to the topic of practising - I bought the interface because I needed to record some isolation tracks, but for practice purposes it's really quite good (or bad, perhaps!) as I can record myself and then listen back, and I hear a lot of things (i.e. mistakes) which I didn't hear at the time.

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I bought the Spectradrive recently and it's great for headphone practice.  It's quiet, the aux in works well an the preamp was good too.  The compressor and tube sim worked well too but I couldn't find a drive I liked really.  In the end I returned it because I already have a Markbass and didn't see the need for another preamp but if you want a preamp pedal with headphone out it'll do the job well.

I now use a VOX Amplug and for the money it's great.  Simple and light, good tone and drum patterns.  It can be a little hissy but turn the tone down a little and it's fine, and once you play along with the drums or the aux in track you wouldn't notice it.  

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8 hours ago, CliveT said:

I bought the Spectradrive recently and it's great for headphone practice.  It's quiet, the aux in works well an the preamp was good too.  The compressor and tube sim worked well too but I couldn't find a drive I liked really.  In the end I returned it because I already have a Markbass and didn't see the need for another preamp but if you want a preamp pedal with headphone out it'll do the job well.

I now use a VOX Amplug and for the money it's great.  Simple and light, good tone and drum patterns.  It can be a little hissy but turn the tone down a little and it's fine, and once you play along with the drums or the aux in track you wouldn't notice it.  

I ended up buying a Spectradrive and I am very pleased with it, it is perfect for my needs.  I haven't put it on my pedalboard, I just use it on its own.  It fits on my music stand, next to my iPad or I can plug it into the fx return of my MarkBass for a change (I do like the tone).  For £145, its a bargain.

I downloaded a couple of toneprints for the compression and drive, but as I will be mainly using this for home practise, I'm not too fussed about this.  I will play around with these later.

I'm just pleased to have something to practise with without disturbing the neighbours.

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