Do all amps sound bad when used with headphones?

KISS NATION

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I have a marshall MG30DFX that is pretty much brand new.
but every time I plug my headphones in to the amp, it sounds terrible.
I even took it to a guitar shop to have the line out socket checked, and so I could try a few new pairs of headphones with it before I bought them.
the line out socket is fine and I tried some very expensive pairs of headphones, but every pair sounded terrible.

I know there is going to be some sound difference when the speaker is right in your ear, even more so if you are using noise cancelling headphones.
the last thing I wanted was to spend more money on a pair of headphones and to then find that I had the same problem.

is this just a problem with my amp or is this something you have to think about with all amps?
I also had a line 6 spider IV 15 which also sounded terrible when used with headphones, even though I have changed the headphones since then.
but as I said before, I tried my amp with several pairs of cheap and expensive headphones and they all sounded just as bad.

any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

diesect20022000

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yeah it's normal
first off you don't dial your amp in with your ear to the cones center. if you go to record mic it up and you'll hear a similar shit tone. you have to readjust it.

secondly they don't accentuate guitar freq, they're designed to encompass full spectrum so you pick up undeirable frequencies, second, your headphones need worn in like a good guitar speaker.

and other factors but these are a few that can help you figure out how to get them to sound BETTER.
 

KISS NATION

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thanks mate, but what exactly do you mean by don't dial your amp in with your ear to the cones center?
 

Nochboa

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i guess, it means that you are not sitting or standing directly in front of the speaker, when you play without headphones, your amp is on the ground or on a chair/table, so you are never dead center to the source of sound.

but this conclusion could also be a big semantic failure :)
 

Nochboa

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next conclusion: the sound with your ear right in front of the speaker is not good, but gets better by some distance - adjusting the mic, like you would move your head around, to find a place, where it sounds good!
as I said, amp on the ground and you play standing tall is a totally different angle, from where the sound hits your ear.

ok, this version makes much more sense at all :naughty:
I got it, while typing, haha

how to improve headphones? I have no idea!

the best I could find on google, was this and it is pretty old
Best Headphones for Rock Music/Guitar Amp

I own a ridiculously old pair of AKG K-55, might be something for a HiFi-Forum. hope disect comes back and enlightens us after laughing his ass off reading my guesses ...
 

KISS NATION

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I understand that the further you are away from the amp or where you are in relation to it will make a difference to the sound coming from the speaker.
but how can you do that when the speakers in the headphones are always right next to your ear?
 

Dogs of Doom

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what he's saying is to try wearing your headphones so the ear canal is off axis to the center of the headphone speaker - more so to the edge of the speaker...

He used a mic your speaker analogy. When you mic your speaker, you rarely will mic the center of the cone, but will mic it off axis (at the outside edge)
 

KISS NATION

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are there any headphones that are made like this, with the speaker not directly in line with the centre of the ear canal?
 

KISS NATION

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thanks for all the help guys.
I really thought that there was a problem with my headphones or the amp as it really does sound terrible with the headphones. better headphones might give a better sound but it is still far from perfect.
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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Unless you headphone out has a speaker simulation it it, its gonna sound like shit. And to my knowledge, most headphone outs dont have them. So, as Die said, since headphones are full frequency, youre getting almost all the amp's frequencies blasted into your ears.
 

Nochboa

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it´s the similar thing with combo-amps and cabs, when you play them a lot, they will improve their sound.

"the moving parts in brandnew speakers have little ellbowroom and cannot fully use their soundpotential." got this from a hifi-speaker manufacturers manual out of a german forum.
they need some time to settle, they get used to move about and vibrate.

the guys in the thread even say, play your favorite music through the headphone and just lay it aside. but there is also some voodoo going on and psychoacoustics

they recommend AKG K-271 MKII, AKG 171 MKII Studio, Beyerdynamics DT 770 Pro and others, mainly headphones under 200 euros.
 

thenoodler

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Unless you headphone out has a speaker simulation it it, its gonna sound like shit. And to my knowledge, most headphone outs dont have them. So, as Die said, since headphones are full frequency, youre getting almost all the amp's frequencies blasted into your ears.
This is exactly right. You need a speaker emulater in order to get a truer guitar amp sound. Guitar spearkers have a narrower and less flat frequency response vs. headphones or monitors. The better the headphones you get, the worse it's going to sound because better headphones will have even wider freq ranged and flatter response. An EQ will help but it won't respond dynamically the way that a speaker does. Your much better off with a modeler or something like a "sans amp" product.
 

JAC

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Just an idea, put your headphone signal into a mixer with equalization capabilities. Your earphones can then get plugged into your board. There alot of ways of eq-ing your signal downstream before you pick up the final mix on your earpieces. Some amps have what they call speaker emulation also. Just some food for thought, bro! You have many options.
 

carnada

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If you want to practice through headphones try a Line 6 pod. Those things are better for headphone shit.
 

Australian

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Marshall AVT 50 works well with headphones... on clean channel only.

As Carnada said. Something like a Line 6 sounds much better with headphones.
Even the Digitech units like the 2101 sound good.
 

MaxFrames

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It's been a good while since I last used a combo amplifier with a headphone socket. But I second the opinion that you need a preamplifier output with a speaker emulation circuitry in order to get a good headphone sound (and you'll need a mixer too, probably).
I have my JMP-1 connected this way and it sounds very good.
 


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