Best headphones practice amp?

Clifdawg

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Gonna second Gunner64’s recommendation of the Blackstar ID:Core 10. Very simple to use, sounds great as a little grab-and-go amp (mine gets taken to the beach every year for vacation), and the headphone/emulated out is fairly good.

HOWEVER… one thing you may not think about is the pair of headphones themselves.

a cheap pair of earbuds will always sound like a cheap set of earbuds. Because you’ll never get that “amp in a room” feel with headphones, you’ll want something that can accurately replicate the sound a good amplifier recorded. Preferably something large and on-ear or over-ear so it can also stimulate the bones in the ear rather than just the eardrum.

I have a set of Grado SR60E headphones. Fairly neutral with a 2K spike for that sparkly top end. They’re lovely for listening to music, but absolutely amazing for movies and games. They also very accurately replicate the natural EQ curve of Marshall amps, making them ideal guitar practicing headphones. I think the latest design is the SR60X which are about a hundred USD. Only downside is that they are open-back headphones so people around you will hear what you’re playing - a comfortable but loud volume for the listener will sound like an iPhone turned up to about halfway to other people in the room, so if you need dead quiet performance, they won’t work for you.

Still, it’s something worth considering. You can buy all the modelers and apps and emulated outputs on earth but without a good set of headphones they’ll all disappoint.
 

pedecamp

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I need to find a way to practice using headphones for late night. I don’t really have a good computer or software or a setup like that i can use with plugins or whatever. I also don’t particularly like the little vox mini plug in amps very much: i always bump them and get tangled and such:

I know the spark is a popular choice as i’m sure it has bluetooth, but honestly i’m not a huge phan of app and computer style amps with a million presets and options and such.

i was looking at the orange micro terror which has an output as well as usable with my 1x10 little cab for practicing.

The dsl 1 has aux in and out jacks, not sure if that means headphone usable or if you can just use 1/4in jack as a headphones.

The dsl1 is ideal for me since it’s a grab n go practice option and a little more versatile than the micro.

are there any other good options out there? head, combo, or other i haven’t thought of? again don’t want to go more than a few hundred, the dsl 1 as much as i’d want to go.

also if there is some kind of tech option that you could explain to me as someone who is just awful using computer, let me know. Thanks guys.
Most people dont realize you can plug a pair of headphones into your pedalboard and guitar in the other end and instant headphone amp! Another cheap option is get a used Digitech multieffects pedal like the RP55 or RP90 or RP255 or any RP series they made, it has a headphone jack, setup a few tones in the pedal, lots of effects and its footswitchable.
 

JohnH

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My son has a Roland Microcube. It sounds great and is simple and versatile, with or without 'phones
 

scozz

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The best emulated out I’ve ever heard is in the Bugera G5 Infinium!!, it really sounds great! And they have a choice of a 2-12 virtual cab or a 4-12 virtual cab.

i use mine me for late night silent recording mostly.
 

SkyMonkey

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To use a PC or Mac for headphone practice requires a USB Audio Interface and some standalone VST software.

The cheapest decent AI I would trust is a Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
There are several free introductory versions of standalone guitar amp sims you could try.
My go-to sim is Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6.
The 'Player' version of Guitar Rig 6 only comes with one amp sim, but it is a Marshall JMP :dude:
There are also enough effects (OD, TBE's, noise gate, EQ's, etc.) to get a decent tone out of it.

https://focusrite.com/en/audio-interface/scarlett/scarlett-solo
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/guitar/guitar-rig-6-player/
 
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headcrash

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I have this one:
https://www.nuxefx.com/mini-studio.html

In terms of realistic sounds, good IR's are hard to beat. Also the "Space" feature reduces the "in your head" feeling quite a bit.

The stock IR's are kinda muffled or artificial, but do the job. You can however load other IRs (there are loads out there) onto it using a PC, which you don't want, but do it once, and be pleased :)
 

fitz288

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I have a little headphone /practice amp that does all these amp and effect sims.
About the price of a high end pedal.
upload_2021-11-30_8-41-37.png
 

Gunner64

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I got my Id core stereo 10 for $39 at a pawn shop. Bought another for $10 more at the same place. Bargain. The one watt Blackstar head I have has a great headphone out, but has just Reverb.

I have the newest dsl1h, a 5150 ii lbx iii, Peavey 6505 mini, Avt50h, mg and the little Blackstars emulated/ phones out slays them all without a doubt. And for cheap.

Don't ignore checking them out just because of Blackstar phobia.
 

Riffraff

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I had this one which was built like a freakin' tank but sounded like crap because of the tiny speaker. You could use it to overdrive your amp too but that didn't sound too good when I tried it.

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I also had a Boss HA-5 Play Bus in the '80s. That one kicked ass! It had distortion, delay and chorus. I used it through powered speakers to jam outside and it rocked. I remember the first time I ran it through the Leslie speaker in my mother's Hammond organ. My Judas Priest riffs never sounded better. :rofl:

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I have Danelectro Honeytone now which sounds like garbage like most of those little sh!tty amps.

I also have this. It doesn't have the portability of a headphone amp but it's a tube amp, has a headphone jack and sounds great. Single ended EL84 and one 12AX7. The most fun I ever had with it was rolling vintage preamp tubes from my stash. With a single 12AX7 you can really hear the difference between tubes. A long plate Sylvania won the battle of the tubes. :lol: Even beat out a Blackburn Mullard, Amprex & Raytheon black plate. I tried it in my DAW a while back. It sounded kind of crazy through that.

 
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Jethro Rocker

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I have one of those Boss Playbus somewhere too.
I use a Yamaha THR-10x. Amazing. Awesome amp. Use decent phones or buds. Great little amp with or without phones. I record ideas with mine running headphone out into multitrack recoorder. Sounds very good.
 


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