Vox Amplug, Korg Pandora, iRig, other?

Fenderplayer

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What's the best option for a headphone amp going these days? I like to play the L.P. in other rooms of the house on occasion but it'd be nice to get to plug in without dragging my amp and pedal setup downstairs.
 

DHC

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iRigHD and Amplitube on your iPad or phone. Loads of fun.
 

EndGame00

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I still use my trusty ol' Pandora PX2....
 

StormJH1

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I'd be happy offer insight on this, since this is basically the primary way I play (through headphones, either with a portable solution or modeling software). I'm in my mid-30's, total hobbyist, full-time job, and a newborn. It just isn't feasible for me to even pull out a small combo amplifier and play guitar with my wife at home. But with headphones later at night, yeah, I can do that a bit.

Vox Amplug - I'm a big fan of these. I actually started a thread here to document some of my thoughts on the first-generation models (think I ended up with five of them)

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/pedals/237545-vox-amplug-appreciation-thread.html

In some ways, though, it's a bummer that these didn't come about 10 to 20 years earlier, and I think they REALLY would have been appreciated then. It's analog circuitry, not digital modeling, and it would have blown away the sound quality of cheap solid state amps I used in the 90's.

But even though I have access to better equipment now, they still sound pretty good to me. In terms of being able to plug in and play in literally 15-30 seconds, there's nothing better. The new second generation ones are still $40-$50, but add reverb/delay/chorus, plus some different mods so you have more tonal flexibility.

Apple/iOS Apps - This actually was what drove me away from the forums for much of 2014 - I basically stopped buying physical gear, and in its place, picked up tons of tonal options through the great guitar modeling options in the App Store. Yeah, there have been PC versions of this for many years now, but it's a whole new ballgame when the phone in your pocket or the iPad in your backpack suddenly becomes a guitar amp and recording studio all in one.

The key to getting started is a good interface. Stay away from the headphone jack ones. You want a good digital interface that uses the 30-pin or Lightning Jack. Apogee JAM and Line6 SonicPort are two popular options. This will convey crystal clear signal without uncontrollable noise/feedback.

Some of the best modeling apps are Positive Grid's JamUp XT and BIAS products, along with "ToneStack" by Yonac. There are other very solid alternatives, such as Flying Haggis, Mobile POD, and Agile AmpKit+. You can try out the base programs free usually, and then add a base package for under $20. Recently, they've started offering the whole amp and effects suites as an unlock for $50 (or less on sale). Sound expensive? $50 is the stock price of a BOSS DS-1. It's absolutely mind-blowing the variety of sounds you can get through your fingertips at the price of a pedal or two. No, it doesn't capture all of the aural qualities of the real-life gear, but I'm also never going to own an actual MESA Boogie or Marshall stack.

And the best part of it is that it finally offered a way for me to record my own playing, use my bass guitar, and play along with backing tracks.
 

tenchijin2

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For >$30 the Amplug is a convenient and good sounding way to sit on the couch and play guitar without bothering anyone. I have one, I like it. I don't use it much but that's because I don't need to. I like that I can connect an Ipod or even my laptop to it and play along with songs or youtube. Good practice tool.

If you need more functionality- effects, recording, etc., then you'll need to use a mobile device with an app.
 

Mexicanbreed

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I need to setup my home office, but since I don´t play outside the house, it made more sense to me to start building up a little "home studio" of sorts. I work a lot at the computer, so it makes sense to me to use it as the central component in the office. It´s great to have everything "in the box": Youtube, video tutorials, courses, applications, backing tracks, recording, etc. plus the processing power itself.

I normally use GR5, which is still a challenge to me in understanding how to get good sounds. It´s a powerful software, but this path is not for everyone. Most people will give you solutions to play through a tube amp at home,



but it´s not for everybody. I decided to try the modelling route and it´s an interesting one. If you just want something small to plug into and start playing, I don´t think it is the right route for you. But, it´s an interesting option. There are many software options, but one I tried and sounded great out of the box was S-Gear. If you have an interface, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try.

If you have Apple devices, they have a lot of options, as the other guys mentioned above. Apparently, Android devices will start having the capability to process on the same level in the next generation. I´ll wait and see until it´s tried and true...but it would be cool.
 

Flyfish-mt

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I've owned several Rockman's and a pocket Pod but have always preferred my Pandora PX4.
 

Fenderplayer

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Can I ask, what's the battery life like with the Amplug? I really hate buying batteries. That's one thing that makes the phone and app option seem more attractive.
 

StormJH1

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Can I ask, what's the battery life like with the Amplug? I really hate buying batteries. That's one thing that makes the phone and app option seem more attractive.
Results vary probably on settings, model, temperature, battery brand, etc. But the number I hear from Vox and other users is 15-18 hours. Which, in my book, is freaking incredible. Keep in mind that this is two AAA batteries, not four, so it's pretty inexpensive.

Like I said above, I had several of the Amplugs, so since my time was split between them, I rarely recall ever changing the batteries. It would get to the point where I suspected they were getting low, so I would maybe change them expecting them to run out. But they continue to function for a pretty good long time.
 

Fenderplayer

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@StormJH1

How do they compare to your Pathfinder? Which one is the closest? The AC30?
 

KenG

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I have a VOX Amp plug gathering dust. I found when you cranked it it got muddy. I beliee it's the AC Model.
 

DADDEO

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I have an Amplug "Lead" in my SE Tremonti, and for what I play, it's almost perfect. Nice crunch at low gain settings, good rock sounds in the middle but gets a bit fizzy near the end of the dial. Don't use the delay option, doesn't add anything useful IMO.
 

campbellcj

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I prefer the Vox AmPlug over the iRig. For some reason the iRig sounds like crap to me. Although my best (not-very-portable) headphone setup is probably the Fender Mustang I amp.
 

So What

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iRigHD and Amplitube on your iPad or phone. Loads of fun.
This is what I do.

I also take it on overnight trips in hotels, so I can play, but not get kicked out.

It's great!

:dude:

.
 

KenG

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I prefer the Vox AmPlug over the iRig. For some reason the iRig sounds like crap to me. Although my best (not-very-portable) headphone setup is probably the Fender Mustang I amp.
If you're using the cheaper IRig interface I'm not surprised. The good interface is $90+ and has high quality audio.
 

Ronaldo

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Get the iRig HD. It's not "crap".
Team it up with Bias and Jamup and explore unlimited amp models, recordings and other fun stuff.
Not sure if OP claimed to have an IOS device(s) so if you do, Garageband for IOS or the desktop version, Amplitube, and others can deliver a great sound.
But yeah, definately stay away from plugging into the headphone port.
Save that for for the headphones.

Good luck!
 

Fenderplayer

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I went ahead and ordered an Amplug 2 AC 30 model. The biggest selling point for me was when someone in this thread mentioned it's the best for being able to just grab it and get playing within 15 to 30 seconds. I hate having to mess with a bunch of extra stuff when I just feel the need to rock. Hope it sounds good. Will report back after I've tested it out a bit. :dude:
 

DADGAD

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I have the Amplug classic rock version. It gets more play than my AD30 because I only really ever get to play at night and I can't disturb the house. Very portable and the batteries last a long time. It's nice to be able to jam with my iPod. I had an iRig and didn't gel with it. The Amplug is made in Japan too. It has quite a versatile array I tones.
 

Bigfoot410

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I have the AC30 Amplug as well. Great little thing for what it is. I use mine late at night after the wife goes to sleep, I'll sit up in bed and jam away on my tele for an hour or so. I think it sounds awesome with my Sony earbuds :)

Had mine for 3 years now and it still is running on the original batteries. Still works great.
 

Roman4405

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I've been wanting an Amplug for a while now.

If anyone is interested in trading one for an Eno BMF Muff clone let me know. Cool fuzz pedal but I prefer the Fuzz Face tone.
 


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