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Another bedroom amp query...


barrycreed
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Hi all. I have been looking around at some small bedroom amp options. Current scenario is the following: I have a small Orange Crush guitar amp, and I plug bass into it sometimes. I keep the volume so low that I will never blow the speaker with a bass. I am living in an apartment with tiled floors, so a small bit of volume gets loud pretty quickly.

I don't want to have to set up and plug into the laptop etc just for jamming.

I was thinking about one of those headphone amps like the Vox amplug 2. Seems useful. Maybe.

I don't own a bass amp, so could kill 2 birds and get one with a headphone input, and once gigs are back, I could use it for gigging.

Other option is one of those small 108 or 110 combos. Are those Roland Cubes any good. Always thought the guitar and vocal Cubes were decent enough for the money and for what they were.

Finally, another option could be to buy a powerful head, say 200w etc, with a headphone input, and just use this as my bedroom amp, and purchase a cab when I get back gigging. e.g. the Trace Elliot ELF head. (or combo)

There's a lot of gear out there, and I'm just looking for something basic and don't need effects etc. I have some pedals knocking around for that. I also have an EHX nano battalion.

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If you only want it for bedroom use, a small mixer with reasonable eq is a good option. You can feed the music you want to play along with into it, balance it and your instrument and listen via headphones, an amp or even your hi-fi. Plenty of cheap used small mixers to be had.

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57 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

If you only want it for bedroom use, a small mixer with reasonable eq is a good option. You can feed the music you want to play along with into it, balance it and your instrument and listen via headphones, an amp or even your hi-fi. Plenty of cheap used small mixers to be had.

Didn't think of it. A bass straight into the mixer would be a bit odd sounding though? Or do you mean I go into the nano battalion and then into the mixer etc.

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1 hour ago, barrycreed said:

Didn't think of it. A bass straight into the mixer would be a bit odd sounding though? Or do you mean I go into the nano battalion and then into the mixer etc.

You can run a bass into the line input on a mixer if you push the input gain sufficiently. A Di box is a better option. 

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1 hour ago, Dan Dare said:

You can run a bass into the line input on a mixer if you push the input gain sufficiently. A Di box is a better option. 

Ah yes, I forgot about the DI option. Something with a headphone related might be more suitable. I just don't want to be unpacking the audio interface, computer etc all the time to set up, but yes, the DI would be the easiest option into a mixer....

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3 hours ago, barrycreed said:

Ah yes, I forgot about the DI option. Something with a headphone related might be more suitable. I just don't want to be unpacking the audio interface, computer etc all the time to set up, but yes, the DI would be the easiest option into a mixer....

Try a mixer on it’s own first. I’ve used both a Soundcraft Folio Notepad and (currently) an Allen and Heath Zed 10FX and they’ve worked perfectly well, either into headphones or small powered monitor speakers. Mate of mine has a small Alto mixer and that is fine too.

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I've an old Phonic- branded 12 track mixer.

It has plenty of gain without a DI box in front of it. Turn the gain up and it even distorts quite acceptably. It drives headphones with ease and the onboard EQ is pretty good,  too. I use one of the in unused to run a tuner, and mix in a "music source" via a 3.5 stereo jack to 2 phono cable. The mixer has phono sockets for the last pair if stereo channels. 

Playing through headphones can be a bit of a culture shock. Lots of string noise, and undamped strings ringing.  These are good t things.  Teaches you to eliminate them from your playing. A good pair of headphones will easily cover the entire frequency range that a bass can produce,  but it does lack the physical element of the lower frequencies that amps & cabs generate. 

Think it cost me £80. Has no onboard effects that some do. Another bonus;  the first 4 channels have gain controls and XLR inputs. It's possible to configure each channel for a different bass and just plug into that depending upon what instrument you're using. It also allows the use of stereo effects and also instruments with more than one output; Rickenbackers, Yamaha Attitudes, Chapman Sticks, anything driving synths with midi, or even just a wet/dry mix from a pedal that has a clean output but no control of its own.

Edited by Lfalex v1.1
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Here is my home playing set up. Bass into the MXR DI (which is crap for plugging into my RCF speaker-no volume when used live. Bought second hand so that might have something to do with it.)

MXR into Berhinger mixer. A good bit of kit that cost £50 odd quid. I have the laptop on one channel, an old pc tower into another, a Alto 10" powered speaker from the line out and headphones.

Sometimes I plug into a Beringher BDI 21 instead of the MXR and it does the same job for £22! As I live in a tenement flat, the speaker only gets used during the day on low volume.

20210721_192423.thumb.jpg.3faaa9398222383d82d94b7b92a83fd0.jpg

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Or you could try the Zoom B1-four. Headphone output, amp and cab emulations drum tracks and fx, Stereo input for jamming along and loads of other stuff too. I run mine off batteries but it runs off a USB supply and has a dc input also. 

It's my go to practice machine and with the sims and fx built in you can sound great. if only I sounded like that live :)

Edited by Phil Starr
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I use an old(ish) Line 6 LD15. I have it in my home office. If I'm trying to learn stuff my PC plugs straight in via a mini jack and off you go. It has plenty of different sounds and usual Line 6 type effects bundle so can make all sorts of noises. I'd imagine you could pick one of these up for peanuts.

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7 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

If the guitar combo works for you then no point in spending up on gear until you need a rig.

True. I was thinking the same. Thought I did look at the likes of the TE Elf and the Ampeg Portaflex 350. I could put my pedal board through them, and use headphones etc, or I could use them as a head for recording and just apply a virtual cab. But that is possibly just putting something else in the chain that doesn't need to be there for recording.

But the Ampeg Portaflex 350 for example could be combined with a cab once I get back to gigging, and could be used for home silent practice as well.

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On 21/07/2021 at 19:34, jezzaboy said:

Here is my home playing set up. Bass into the MXR DI (which is crap for plugging into my RCF speaker-no volume when used live. Bought second hand so that might have something to do with it.)

MXR into Berhinger mixer. A good bit of kit that cost £50 odd quid. I have the laptop on one channel, an old pc tower into another, a Alto 10" powered speaker from the line out and headphones.

Sometimes I plug into a Beringher BDI 21 instead of the MXR and it does the same job for £22! As I live in a tenement flat, the speaker only gets used during the day on low volume.

20210721_192423.thumb.jpg.3faaa9398222383d82d94b7b92a83fd0.jpg

 

I've got the same 4 track - allows the use of a drum machine into the same amp. 

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There are a few options available:

 

Search the small ads - FB marketplace, Gumtree, etc. for a small amp. I managed to pick up a little Marshall MB 15 for my son the other week off the local Gumtree, for the grand sum of £25. It was in great nick, sounds excellent too. Way better than my first amp, that cost me a lot more.

 

Pick up something like a Hotone ThunderBass, a Phil Jones Headphone Amp or similar.

 

Aternatively, something like a Zoom B1 Four.

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