Small All Tube Amp w Headphone Jack

lawrev

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
539
Reaction score
553
Hi everyone,

I am looking to purchase an all tube amp (new or slightly used), with power between .5 - 4W, and a headphone jack (for practice). This is for at home practice at this point - an apartment so I have to be careful about volume. Any recommendations?
Thanks.
 

CerebralGasket

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
701
Reaction score
2,421
I have a Blackstar HT40 MkII and could not be any happier.

What I really like about it is that it is loud enough to keep up with a drummer and then use at home for silent practice and recording with headphones when connected to a DAW via USB.

I would think any of of the smaller HT series would fit your needs for at home use only.
 

Thunder Dump

That tickles
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
5,070
Reaction score
7,922
For just headphone jack and switchable power (down to .1W), Bugera V5 Infinium 1X8 5W combo.

If you're going to use it for practice with headphones though, I would find one that has an 1/8" input so you can run an iPhone or MP3 player into it and jam along with music. Realistically, I think your best bet would be a modeler, like a Boss Katana, Marshall CODE, Fender Mustang or even better the Yamaha THR-10. You'll never get the tube sound you want through the headphone jack of a tube amp with the power or volume down.
 

no jimmy p

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
91
Reaction score
81
See Cherrysunburst00 comment above ,,,,, any of the Blackstar HT series amps will do the trick nicely ... plenty of tone options , relatively low cost , lots of model options . The HT 1 or the HT 5 models are readily available on the used market . You get a lot of bang for your buck ...
 

CerebralGasket

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
701
Reaction score
2,421
If not mistaken, doesn’t the audio from the headphone jack and USB audio port come from the preamp section which is tube?

I realize that headphones never sound as great as playing through a cranked amp and cabinet loaded with 12” speakers.
 
Last edited:

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
36,939
Reaction score
66,051
Why not just enjoy the tube amps you already own? Plus endless possibilities for cab IRs. And an attenuator when you wanna rock out a bit. Plus record directly to a DAW.

 

judson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
5,788
Reaction score
8,638
Why not just enjoy the tube amps you already own? Plus endless possibilities for cab IRs. And an attenuator when you wanna rock out a bit. Plus record directly to a DAW.

you know thank you for that....as i started looking at some tube amps and asked myself why am i looking to buy a third?

an attenuator like this will do the trick.... :dude: :h5:

dam the new one is pricey...maybe an earlier model will do it for me..

EDIT: after thinking a bit and a few adult beverages..... that isnt crazy money if it keeps me from running down the rabbit hole with amps...i have only have three and really dont want to start chasing those like i have guitars...

that is very reasonable if that keeps me away from the amp chase :hmm:
 
Last edited:

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
36,939
Reaction score
66,051
you know thank you for that....as i started looking at some tube amps and asked myself why am i looking to buy a third?

an attenuator like this will do the trick.... :dude: :h5:
It’s so much more. If you just need an attenuator, you can get there a little easier on the wallet. This thing works with apps so you can switch between cab IRs, has a headphone jack, direct outs (TRS and XLR). I have the V1, which is a much more stripped down version, this one is the bees knees.
 

dmac in SC

Platinum Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
222
Reaction score
467
Just a suggestion, but consider a Strymon Iridium.... Pricey and a bit off the beaten path, but it solves all of the realistics with regards to headphone practice situations, home recording, and even gig activity going directly into the board (oh, that last phrase cuts me to the bone) :rolleyes:

Get one and learn to use it... as with any Strymon pedal, figuring out how to make do exactly what you want is a challenge, but isn't that part of the fun?
 
Last edited:

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
36,939
Reaction score
66,051
FWIW, I just bought a Marshall DSL 1hr. It has a direct out that has a cab sim built in and acts like a headphone jack. And the amp has an internal load so you can unhook the speaker and play silently. I haven't tried it yet.
 

Michael Matyas

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
433
Reaction score
432
I have no suggestions as to amp choice, but use the wrong headphones and you won't like the sound. Try to get full-sized 'phones that cover the entire ear with generous padding around the perimeter. That will give you much better bass response than tiny earbuds.
 

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
36,939
Reaction score
66,051
I have no suggestions as to amp choice, but use the wrong headphones and you won't like the sound. Try to get full-sized 'phones that cover the entire ear with generous padding around the perimeter. That will give you much better bass response than tiny earbuds.
Agreed. Or get some decent IEMs.
 

kysrsoze

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
1,481
Reaction score
603
+1 on the Marshall DSL1HR. It is a wicked little amp.

If you're looking at Blackstar HT1, go for the HT1 MkII series. The MkII sounds much more lively and dynamic than the original (I've owned both), with more versatility. The new voicing switch adds classic and modern modes to both the clean and dirty channels, and you can use a footswitch to change the both the channel and the voice options.
 

MichaelAndrew3435

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
3,338
Reaction score
2,936
The Blackstar HT-1 is the only valve amp I've had with a built-in headphone output that doesn't sound terrible. When I lived in a small apartment during my first few years of playing, I probably tried every dang headphone setup you can think of. I've done load-boxes, modeling amps, and the few small practice valve amps with a headphone option. The best load-box I had was the UAD OX, but those cost an arm and a leg. If you really need to go valve, you're options are going to be limited unless you have a load box with a headphone out. There are much cheaper options than the OX.

There are a ton of small, solid state/modeling amps on the market I haven't tried for headphone use and probably should have. I have a house now with a dedicated music space, so I don't have to use headphones as much anymore. I only use headphones when I'm learning new stuff and it's just easier to focus and hear whatever I'm trying to emulate. Lots of people like the Boss Katana and I've been meaning to give it a try for a new headphone amp.
 

lawrev

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
539
Reaction score
553
Thanks for all these suggestions! They are much appreciated.
 

cybermgk

Singin' the body lectric
Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
15,154
Reaction score
21,627
The Blackstar HT-1 is the only valve amp I've had with a built-in headphone output that doesn't sound terrible. When I lived in a small apartment during my first few years of playing, I probably tried every dang headphone setup you can think of. I've done load-boxes, modeling amps, and the few small practice valve amps with a headphone option. The best load-box I had was the UAD OX, but those cost an arm and a leg. If you really need to go valve, you're options are going to be limited unless you have a load box with a headphone out. There are much cheaper options than the OX.

There are a ton of small, solid state/modeling amps on the market I haven't tried for headphone use and probably should have. I have a house now with a dedicated music space, so I don't have to use headphones as much anymore. I only use headphones when I'm learning new stuff and it's just easier to focus and hear whatever I'm trying to emulate. Lots of people like the Boss Katana and I've been meaning to give it a try for a new headphone amp.
Same experience as far as tube amps and Headphone taps. Varies with modellers too, THOUGH, as a general rule, I find their headphone tap range from usable to excellent. Whereas the tube amps with them ranged from awful to okay (as in the HT1RH).

All of that said, it also depends on the headphones. SOme of these Headphone jacks, tube, modeller, whatever are very impacted by the impedance of the cans.
 


Latest Threads



Top