#1
Hey guys I'm looking to update my guitar, but with that I need to leave the cheap tones behind. I'm looking to get a les paul studio, but I don't want to get an amp because I always play through headphones. Is there some small device that I can just plug the paul into and get those tones through a nice set of headphones or am I chained to buying a big cumbersome amp?
#2
Most multifx pedals can do this. You'll want something with amp modelling included to get a good sound though. My Zoom G3 works well for this, but there are loads of options.

Alternatively, check out the Vox Amplug.
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Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
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#3
Hey thanks for the reply, erm I already have the zoom g3 and that's kind of what I'm getting away from because its on the cheaper end of the scale (I believe its a pure digital fx box). I'm really looking for more of a clean warm amp tubes type feel without fx but not looking for the amp just something that can pump out the sound. Any other ideas on this?
#4
Oh and Gary I see in your sig you have 2 les pauls. Does the g3 not dampen the tone when you run it through the box? I have a cheapy musicman sub atm and I can't get a good non digital tone coming out ofit.
#5
If you want small and headphones then your only real option is a digital FX box.
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#6
You are looking for a thing that doesn't exist. Multi FX pedal is your only option and all of them are digital. But some of them are better than others. Oh, and you could of course buy an amp and use the headphone output but I think multi FX pedals usually sound better and have more options. An amp with headphones doesn't sound anything like an amp through its speakers.

You need amp/cab modeling if you want to sound good through headphones.

There are some really expensive multi FX processors like Axe FX that many professional guitarists use. But it's really expensive.

I have seen many people suggest Line 6 Pod HD500. They say it's the best cheapish multi FX.

BTW why don't you want an amp?
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 15, 2013,
#7
Well I don't need an amp as I live in a very quiet building. I have no need for it because I always use headphones so as not to get turfed out the building . Like I said I have the G3 unit but maybe I'm doing something wrong here because I'm just not getting a nice clean tone. Hmmmm maybe I should try different headphones, although I do use roland hd60's (at least I think they're 60's, they were budget ones but with a nice long chorde for reaching all the way to the floor).
#8
Quote by jamest1000
Oh and Gary I see in your sig you have 2 les pauls. Does the g3 not dampen the tone when you run it through the box? I have a cheapy musicman sub atm and I can't get a good non digital tone coming out ofit.

Yep

I only actually use the G3 for modulation effects & run it in my amp's effects loop. I only need them for a couple of songs which is why I chose not to buy separate pedals for them. It works fine for that & doesn't impact my tone when it's off.

The only time it does any more than that is if I have a late night practice session, then I plug some headphones in it & use the amp models on there. It's great for that, as you can set something up in the looper with one setting, then jam over it with another.

The only analogue multi effects that I know of are the Carl Martin Quattro (which doesn't have a headphone out, but maybe an Amplug could do it?) and the TC Nova. The Nova could be an option as it claims it has analogue effects with a digital interface, but I've never tried one to know what it's like.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
Last edited by GaryBillington at Aug 15, 2013,
#9
A line 6 POD HD is going to give you the best results for what you want.

I just recently bought a POD XT (older model) for $66 on ebay. This is not as good as the HD series, but for silent home practice it works just fine.

Go used and you will get a better deal.
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#10
Ah okay, tnx guys. Looks like I should just stick with what I got for now then really and when I get some more cash in the bank just pony up for a proper amp (actually I'll take along the headphones and test different amps to see if I can get a "golden tone" out of a tube amp going through headphones, but as mentioned, doesn't sound like that is even possible . Until then I'll just keep turning switches on the g3 till something goes click
#11
There are very few tube amps with headphone jacks and the ones that do are not great at all.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#12
If you really want an analogue multi-FX pedal try to track down an old Boss ME-5. There're still a few knocking around out there because they're solid as a rock.

Rock on fellow quiet apartment buddy!
#13
I run a boss gt3. The od/distortions are horrible, but the effects work nice i just rarelyuse them. I plug headphones into it and keep it on tuner/bypass mode and ignore all effects. Then I run my other pedals through it. Works great and has a great tone.

The tuner function is great too. I also reconfigure the wah pedal to a volume pedal. Frees up the need for 2 more pedals as well.
Last edited by Starcounter1 at Aug 15, 2013,
#14
Quote by jamest1000
Hey guys I'm looking to update my guitar, but with that I need to leave the cheap tones behind. I'm looking to get a les paul studio, but I don't want to get an amp because I always play through headphones. Is there some small device that I can just plug the paul into and get those tones through a nice set of headphones or am I chained to buying a big cumbersome amp?


I got two different things for that, and *learned how to use them.*

One was a Korg Pandora (the 5 series, below). The new Mini has most of the same stuff but is even smaller.


What's good? It's got an MP3 input, a slowerdowner, a pitch shifter,metronome, tuner, a phrase trainer, drum machine, bass/drum tracks and a whole ton of other practice goodies. It's battery powered (OR A/C powered). It's the size of a pack of cigarettes (the Mini is smaller). Tons of FX, amp and cab emulations. What's bad? It takes a while to figure out how to use it and even longer to figure out how to get the best tones out of it. Take heart, however, because you can get some AMAZING stuff out of it and use it for recording as well (USB output). It's just that it can be a bit frustrating at first. There's a learning curve. The people who dis it haven't been patient enough to work through it.

The other is a Pod HD (the "bean"):



My first Pod was an XT bean. Still have it. Over the years, I've also had both bean and footpedal versions of the others, including the X3 and the Bass Pod XT. Still have all of those. IMHO, the bean is actually the most versatile of the bunch, which is why I got the HD bean before I bothered with the foot pedal version, which is more popular.

One, it'll fit in the pocket of a gig bag with a good set of over-the-ear headphones (I recommend the Sony 7506, the AKG 240D, the Sennheiser 280, the Beyerdynamic 770) and practice anywhere. Two, you can add footpedals to taste when you need them. I've gigged with both the FBV Express and the Shortboard out front and the Pod sitting in the backline.

Two, you can actually walk into a gig with the Pod, run it straight into the FOH system and play. No amp necessary. No miking.

Three, you can plop it on a desktop and tweak it with the computer, or just practice with it right up where you can see it.

The new HD is very very good. Folks are doing albums with it right and left. I've got around 15 tube amps (most in storage, but a half dozen of them in my den). Mostly I practice with the HD and mostly I gig with the HD. The tube amps are getting dusty. I love them, but about all I use them for is an occasional comparison to see if I can get a particular tone out of the HD.

The bad news? You're going to have the same kind of learning curve that you do on the Korg. It's not plug and play like a tube amp. It's also not that tough AND you have options you never had with the tubes.

Is the tone good enough? I played a gig with another band right after us, their gear tucked behind ours, ready to go. I used the Pod HD on a mike stand with the FBV Shortboard on the floor, making changes during the songs on the floorboard, making whole channel changes between songs on the POD, up where I could see it. The whole thing ran direct to the FOH sound system. Afterwards, I had some folks complimenting the sound and one asked, "Is the bulb on your amp burned out?" He thought I'd been playing through the amp left onstage by the next guitar player.
#15
Quote by jamest1000
I'm really looking for more of a clean warm amp tubes type feel without fx but not looking for the amp just something that can pump out the sound. Any other ideas on this?


If you're allergic to anything digital, just pick up a good tube preamp. They're still out there (most rackmount items) left over from the 80's and 90's, and you can often pick one up for the cost of a premium pedal. Just plop it on your desk, plug in the headphones and go.

I have two left over: One is the Mesa Triaxis (five 12 AX7 tubes), which essentially has all of the sounds of the older Mesas.

The other is my dirty little secret, the Carvin Quad-X. These are here and there on eBay, usually around $350 (make sure you get the original foot pedal with it) or thereabouts. Four channels, nine 12AX7 tubes, up to 11 cascading gain stages, active parametric EQ, built in boost, bass cloaking, spring reverb, a separate assignable 5-band EQ, MIDI, much more, including a 4x12 cabinet emulation. Oh, and six FX loops.

Last edited by dspellman at Aug 15, 2013,
#16
Here's my standard post in this kind of thing:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Pocket-POD-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104391875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-GT-R1-Portable-Guitar-Bass-Recorder-105125306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DR-1-GT-R1-Accessory-Kit-105020473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-Mini-PXMINI-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-H70754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX4D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-103381554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX5D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104821715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. The PX4 is discontinued, but it can still be easily found. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.
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#17
Vox Amplugs sound like ****.

As do most of the stuff suggested here. Get an Eleven Rack.
#18
Quote by Mephaphil
Vox Amplugs sound like ****.

As do most of the stuff suggested here. Get an Eleven Rack.

You're right about the sound, relatively speaking- the Eleven Rack beats the sound on the portable digital modelers, hands down. But:

1) an Eleven Rack costs 2.5-9x the cost of the portable digital modelers.

2) an Eleven Rack can't be attached to a belt or guitar strap.

3) Eleven Racks don't fit in a guitar case.

It just depends in how you intend to use it the most.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!