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Practice devices (TU-88, Amplug etc)

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Hi, bass newbie here. Can anyone suggest a small portable practice device that I can use with headphones please? I'm looking for something that can take an audio input or maybe a media card and can be powered by mains as well as battery, preferably. I've already got an amp with a headphone out but I'd like something portable/smaller.

So far the most likely candidate is a TU-88 if I can find one, but I've also found Tascam GB-10, Boss Micro BR but I was wondering what else might be available. My understanding is the Vox Amplug 2 Bass goes through its batteries pretty quick.

Would love to hear about any other products that should fit the bill. Used is preferred as I'd like to keep the cost down to about £50 if I can. I've got a Zoom H2N I could press into service but I'm wondering if there's something a bit more dedicated to bass that would be a better fit. Any thoughts on older practice gear please?

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Maybe have a look at the Zoom B1 Four.

Might be a bit more than £50, but it'll certainly enable you to practice with headphones, and it's small.

Zoom B1 Four Bass Multi Effects Pedal | GAK

Zoom B1 FOUR | DV247 | en-GB

Zoom B1Four Bass Multi Effect – Thomann UK

Zoom B1 Four « Multi Effects Bass | Musik Produktiv (musik-produktiv.com)

 

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The audio quality on the Vox Amplug is...a little questionable in my opinion. Lots of noise/hiss which just isn’t pleasant! It’s cheap and cheerful but I’d say there are far better options out there at all price points. 

A little over budget but check this out:

https://m.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_custom_line_bass_di_expander.htm?o=15&search=1606672049

Looks to be a versatile bit of kit which would potentially serve you well even if you wanted to expand to a more complex setup.

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I had the HB one and sent it back; it was really noisy. 

I had the Vox bass amplug and moved it on as I didn’t like the sound, now I use the Clean amplug and it’s great.

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1 minute ago, paul_5 said:

I had the HB one and sent it back; it was really noisy. 

I had the Vox bass amplug and moved it on as I didn’t like the sound, now I use the Clean amplug and it’s great.

Ah, fair! The Harley Benton looked decent on paper but I suppose for the price I’m not surprised it was noisy :|. I shall retract my recommendation!

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Thanks for the advice and comments, a used Zoom B1X Four also looks really interesting as well, I like the expression pedal, shame it doesn't do MIDI out for other uses but never mind. But first I think I'll see if I can get anything out of the H2N in case it has some kind of use as a trainer. If anything else comes to mind, would love to hear about it.

 

Thanks for the links Skybone + CameronJ

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I'm a fan of the Tascam GB-10, just because of it's flexibility. It's tiny, pretty easy on batteries, pitch change, tempo change, tuner, overdubbing onto tracks, etc. The effects aren't particularly great, better on guitar, but I use it for playing along with tunes mostly, or recording rough takes on acoustic recordings to send back to collaborators for feedback, so I don't really use them. I mostly do what I do at the computer nowadays, but as a portable, all in one solution it's great.

 

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Can't recommend the Zoom B1on highly enough as a rehearsal tool. Certainly the most affordable option, second hand shouldn't cost more than £20

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I got one of those little Yamaha things with the daft name (Sessioncake?) that everyone here was jumping on a while ago. Handy little box for practicing, although I've not used it as much as I thought I would. 

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I should have updated, already had a Zoom B1 Four delivered so have been messing around with it today. Quite a bit to get used to but some of the presets are definitely good enough as a new player.

One thing that I would like to change, is it possible to reduce the aux input signal? I've got a headphone out from a hifi going into the aux in and the bass itself is drowned out - I'd rather not hammer my ears by increasing the bass output level to match the input - can anything be done because I can't see a trim for the aux?

 

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On 01/12/2020 at 20:46, soundhound said:

Amazing value if they really are available at £9.99:

https://www.kennysmusic.co.uk/news/yamaha-sessioncake-guide/

"we are currently selling them both for £9.99 (the RRP is £124)"

I got the red one from Kenny's Music for a tenner. There was a thread in here at the time and half the forum seemed to buy one. Was a few months back, don't know if they're still stocking them at that price now!

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Had one of those rechargable Vox-a-likes... OKish but not great, and wouldnt fit the Ibby SR600 recessed jack.

Got a Zoom B1xFour, the model with the Vol / Expression Pedal from a fellow Basschater a couple of months back after um-ing and ah-ing, convinced myself, but has gone mainly unused.

I likes the simplicity of the EHX Headphone amp https://www.ehx.com/products/headphone-amp and a short 1m lead.

No fuss 'n gimicks or sim, just the sound of the bass, but can be used after an effects pedal or two, I have a cheap Chorus and Phaser by Wholenote, Ibanez Tank Series Clones.

Edited by PaulThePlug

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I use a Tascam GB 10. It's loaded with the set list plus new songs. You can balance the output of the guitar against the recorded songs as well as adjusting the input. It has a lot more features as mentioned in the thread above but is handy as you can run it off batteries, the mains and I am currently powering it from a 7800mAh powerbank.

It's a highly versatile and compact device.

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