What's the best option for headphones?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by TheWayfarer84, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. TheWayfarer84

    TheWayfarer84 Silver Supporting Member

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    Baby on the way, and as much as I think my playing will be sweet serenading - in reality, it will probably just lead to wailing and an upset new mom.

    So what's the best option for a headphone set up these days? Last time I even tried was back in the early days of the POD. The new Yamaha THR10C looks cool and I can use it with or without headphones. Or is there something software based I could use with my Mac and my interface. This is a temporary solution, so would prefer it not be pricey. But I'm also a tone junky and if sounds like a toy, I'm never going to want to use it.
     
  2. lespaulnmarshall

    lespaulnmarshall Member

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  3. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Member

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    What is your price range, and is home the only place you'll be playing?
     
  4. slugworth

    slugworth Supporting Member

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    @TheCiscoKid784, You will definitely enjoy the THR10 of your choice. No fuss, just tone. They are by far the easiest path to low- or no-volume happiness. Beyond that, there are neverending possibilities with hardware modelers, or software modelers for PC/Mac/iOS. Every single one of them is going to be more complicated than the THR10. And as a father of small kids, I'll tell you that sometimes you have to start playing very quickly or else it's not going to happen.

    Incidentally, the THR10 doubles as a pretty good USB audio interface that lets you monitor through it as well. So if you got the THR10, you'd already be 2/3 of the way to a PC/Mac-based rig, with the other third being the actual software of your choice. But that would keep you stuck to your computer whenever you want to play. If you do decide to look at software, know that S-Gear installs a third-party rootkit on your machine for copy protection purposes. That doesn't mean anything to most of the people around here, but if it means anything to you, then avoid accordingly.

    If I had to suggest a reasonably-priced hardware modeler, I'd recommend a used Digitech RP360 or RP360XP. I've owned literally all of the sub-$1000 modelers out there. The RP360 is dirt cheap used, is easy to get great tones, has a great looper, and comes with the best built-in rhythm section for practice jamming. You could combine an RP360 with a THR10c and have tons of quiet fun. Which is not to say the THR10 amps aren't plenty on their own.

    If you don't already have studio monitor headphones, then you'll need those, too. My choices are Yamaha RH5MA or Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Although honestly, you can do well enough at very low volume with the THR10 that you might not even want to use headphones. All the Bose or Beats-By-Rapper cans are optimized for pop music and will not sound accurate for guitar purposes.

    I'd say to get a THR10c first, then if you feel you need to add headphones and/or more effects + foot control + looping/percussion, then you can add the other pieces later.
     
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  5. TheWayfarer84

    TheWayfarer84 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes this is just a home setup
     
  6. ThePenwellCrash

    ThePenwellCrash Supporting Member

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    I second the Yamaha THR10C, but if you're going to use headphones, get a good set. The best value for performance I've found in my research seems to be the Audio Technica ATH-M50. They significantly improved my enjoyment of late night playing through my own THR10C
     
  7. hippietim

    hippietim Silver Supporting Member

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    What about using an iPad or Windows tablet? Lots of great software options and anywhere you can find a bluetooth speaker you've got a rig.
     
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  8. Elantric

    Elantric Silver Supporting Member

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    Unusable due to the continued high audio over Bluetooth latency which in 2016 never gets below 90 milliseconds- even with Bluetooth LE or APT-X
     
  9. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    If your budget is $600 or more, Amplifire would be where I'd start.
     
  10. hippietim

    hippietim Silver Supporting Member

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    Good point - although most of those BT speakers have a 1/8" stereo in as well so you can still use them.
     
  11. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Even those can have issues. My UE speaker must do some DSP magic on the TRS input because even that adds latency. Not as much as BT but enough to tick me off.
     
  12. slugworth

    slugworth Supporting Member

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    It's true. Also some bluetooth speakers are more flat response than others. I had a fairly expensive Sony one that sounded like crap with modelers/guitars, but I have a cheap, tiny JBL one that sounds pretty good.

    I also have an iLoud which sounds awesome with modelers. It plus my iPad actually made me sell off my first THR10 because it sounds so awesome. But right now I am building a house, and in the meantime living in a 3-bedroom apartment with 4 kids ages 1, 2, 6, and 8. The iPad thing was just too much hassle. I got another THR10 (with Panasonic Eneloop batteries) and it has been a godsend due to its utter simplicity.
     
  13. Imerkat

    Imerkat Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. TheWayfarer84

    TheWayfarer84 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks or the suggestions everyone.

    I don't have an ipad/tablet, so that's out. I do have a pretty powerful Mac and an M-Audio Kontrol, so if I go that route all I would need is the software and headphones. Probably the cheapest method, but that's pretty limited use. Something like the THR10C doubles as a second amp, and could even run in stereo with my DR when I can turn up the volume.

    Amplifire is sweet, but way too much for just some noodling.
     
  15. Cgkindler

    Cgkindler Member

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    THR10 (regardless of the type/amp style X,C, ect) is a GREAT option man....

    Seriously...the headphone tones are excellent
    The tones without headphones are even better
    It can double as a computer speaker/DAW interface via USB
    It can be a great music speaker in general via headphone jack input
    It's got 5 preset buttons
    Great Tuner built-in
    Awesome Carrying case available
    Plus, it looks SICK

    Not to mention the computer software editor, allowing for a lot deeper dive into the effects themselves, reverb types, ect...(which I rarely use, if ever, because I'm very happy with what it's got going....though being able to choose different speaker cabinet simulations is pretty cool!)


    Over all, I just can't recommend it enough for the situation or others like yours - it's the PERFECT solution.

    :-D
     
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  16. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    same boat, 2 years ago. Tried & liked the Mustang III, Roland Cube, Peavey VIP, and seems like there was something else.... eventually settled on THR10C. Love it. Does clean, does bass, does mid-gain (bluesy), does ripping leads (not metal). Sounds great at quiet volumes or headphones. I'd prefer to spend my big dollars on big gear, and smaller dollars on smaller gear. I have no desire to have a $600 practice amp. Which is another reason I kept the THR10C instead it's bigger brother THR100HD which I really liked too....
     
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  17. green72

    green72 Member

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    S Gear. $129 bucks. Sounds as good or better than anything else. Super easy. Try the full working version free for 15 days.


    http://www.scuffhamamps.com/product/s-gear

    Congrats on daddyhood BTW. It' s the best thing ever.
     
  18. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

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    Personally, I don't like wearing headphones for very long. I found Ultimate Ears superfi5 universal buds with Comply foam tips to be very comfortable and sound excellent.

    IIWY, I'd buy a software VST like Sgear and jam out on the Mac.
     
  19. minty901

    minty901 Member

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    whatever you do for your amp sim sound, make sure you get a boss rv-5. its the only reverb, plugin or pedal, that has such short predelay that it takes your mono "in your head" guitar sound and transforms it into an "amp in front of you in the room" guitar sound. its completely magical. put it on room mode, put the decay on 9:00 or less. mod, hall and plate modes also similarly transform your dry signal. The RV-5's room mode is really special for headphones and completely essential IMO. The only thing that comes close to it is Zoom's AIR patch on their MFX units, but i still find the RV-5 to be a lot more natural.

    Other than that, if you DO go the computer route (using an interface and DAW), then definitely check out the Sonarworks Headphone Calibration software. it takes your headphones and flattens their frequency response to get the truest sound of your guitar. You need headphones that are supported. I use audio technica ATH-m50x and it works so well.

    Good luck!
     
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  20. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    Wearing headphones for an extended time can be very uncomfortable, whether cans or buds.... but, that's actually another reason I liked the THR10C -- because it's great at super-low volume right in front of my head/on a table.
     

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