Best solution for low-volume practice with headphones?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by johnnybassotto, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. johnnybassotto

    johnnybassotto TDPRI Member

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    96% of the time that I'm play guitar I'm practicing with headphones. Currently I'm using an Orange Crush 20-RT, which is a decent practice amp but I'm not in love with the dirty channel on it. I would love to have more options as far as amp tones goes, particularly something that sounds good when playing at low headphone volumes. My requirements are:
    - Must be able to connect headphones.
    - Must be able to connect an aux-in somehow.
    - Not too "fiddly" - I've looked at some of the zoom-type multi effects pedals, and they are cool but I would rather have something with less options but easier to quickly switch (eg. physical buttons over screens, no audio interface + computer, etc).

    I've looked at amp modelling pedals like the Strymon Iridium and the Walrus ACS1, and these seem basically ideal except that they have no aux-in. I'm often practicing over backing tracks, metronome clicks, etc so I need an aux-in. I'm also wondering if one of those little 1 watt tube amps might be good for getting a decent low-volume tone over headphones. Are there any other options I'm missing? Any feedback is appreciated, I'm pretty much a novice at all this stuff so may not even be thinking about this the right way. Thanks!
     
  2. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    What about a tube OD pedal into the Orange? Like the Blackstar Dept 10 pedals.
     
  3. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    Boss Katana. Fiddley at first, then dead simple with presets.

    Mustang headphone amp. Blue tooth connecting to phone saves the aux-in cable. Fairly simple to operate.
     
  4. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Friend of Leo's

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    Check out a VOX Tonelab. ST or EX models. Old, but very serviceable and $100 or so.

    Not nearly as flexible as something like a Helix, but much simpler. 15 minutes of learning and you can get any amp and one of each effect. Effect are switchable right there on the unit.

    If you're in it for the amps (33 models), it's minimal learning and you can get a lot of great tones. Gain, volume, full EQ for each amp per the original amp. Save combos after you find a few amps you like.

    EDIT: You need a 1/4" TRS to 1/8" headphone adapter for it. But otherwise it's ready to play with headphones or amps, as needed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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  5. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Fender Mustang Micro. Slam dunk for the money.
     
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  6. Gimble

    Gimble TDPRI Member

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    I have and use this:

    E3EEF317-1519-4005-A146-B553EF0B78D8.jpeg

    It’s a third of the price of the Fender and it has good effects and tones for practice.
     
  7. guitarmikey

    guitarmikey Tele-Afflicted

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    - Boss MicroBR - ideal for. I use it a lot.
    - Vox AmPlug
    - Micro Terror Orange
     
  8. OmegaWoods

    OmegaWoods Tele-Holic

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    I just use a M-Audio (192|14) audio interface.

    Guitar>pedals>audio interface

    From there, I can
    1. record,
    2. tie in another player,
    3. send it to my DAW,
    4. hook up a microphone,
    5. out to one or two sets of headphones,
    6. direct to speakers
    or any combination of these.

    I have a Spark Amp that I travel with and it has a headphone jack, too.
     
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  9. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    'Nother vote for the Mustang Micro.
     
  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a Fender Mustang LT25 for headphone practice. Very ease to create and save presets. Affordable, sounds very good for what it is.
     
  11. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a mixer with a variety of amps and devices ranging from a SFPR to Hotone Nano heads to pedal based modelers. The line input from the amp or an attenuator connected to the amp goes into the mixer. The stereo output from a sound source also goes into the mixer. The output from the mixer goes to headphones, PA speakers and/or recording.
     
  12. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Cheap used Pod?

    Unless you bought a good amp that is also a good headphone amp, they don't have to do both.
     
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  14. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    We just had this thread.

    Fender Mustang Micro, ticks off all your boxes and sounds great as long as you have a phone with Bluetooth.

    The Mustang Micro does not have aux-in, you use Bluetooth as the audio input.

    It frees you from being tethered to anything except the headphone cable to your ears.

    One of the most annoying things for me about playing with headphones + an amp with a headphone cable is you're getting tangled in a guitar cable + headphone cable.

    Tube amps that can reduce to 0.5W/1W can do the job too but are way more expensive.
     
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  15. johnnybassotto

    johnnybassotto TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone, this gives me a lot to think about and research. I had considered the Fender Mustang Micro + Bluetooth, but the main issue is that I'm often taking an aux in from something that doesn't have bluetooth (eg this thing: https://tascam.com/us/product/gb-10/top). Perhaps though I should switch to software/apps instead of using that device. I also came across the DSM & Humbolt Simplifier, which does have an aux in, but looks like it's not as well received as some of the other amp sim pedals.

    Sorry, I did a search before I posted but I guess I missed it.
     
  16. johnnybassotto

    johnnybassotto TDPRI Member

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    These look super cool. Perhaps a good OD pedal into my Orange amp is the way to go.
     
  17. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    If you were interested in the Orange flavors then the Getaway driver would give you an OD which sounds good into an Orange and has a headphone out.

    Or go full evil and get a Rocker 15. Your wallet will be lighter and the amp is a bit bigger but they sound amazing for dirt at really low volume. The head plus an appropriate cab with a less efficient speaker will go even quieter than the combo.

    Selecting ODs can be tricky with Orange amps. Another solution to the Aux in issue is to put a looper in front of the amp that has an extra input. Basic stuff like the ditto doesn’t do this but fancier ones do. It would really require some kind of FX loop to work best though, so you’d want to check if the Iridium or the Walrus have one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  18. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    For about $20, you can buy a Bluetooth transmitter that will plug into your device's line out and pair with the Micro.
     
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  19. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    You can find Bluetooth Transmitters on Amazon for under $15 that will allow your Tascam to send Bluetooth to the Mustang Micro.
     
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  20. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Friend of Leo's

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    My mentioned favorite (Vox Tonelab) has 1/8" stereo aux in.
     
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