This just blew my mind, and im not as educated when it comes to the gear; so if anyone could explain this is would be great.

I bought a guitar with EMG 81/85's like 6 months ago. I had been saving up and always wanted to try them due to being a fan of alot of the musicians that use them like the obvious Metallica; and many others. The amp I was using was a friends and he sold it so he took it before I could use it with this guitar. A family member had a Fender Mustang I, still in the box. Knowing it probably wouldnt get the sound I was looking for I decided it had to be close; these are EMG's they should make anything sound great, right?

So with the EMG 81/85's, Fender Mustang I Amp, and my Metal Muff distortion pedal I set it all up. The amp didnt have a completely clean channel, so I connected it to the PC and used the Fender software to download a custom "clean" channel that a user created. The sound was great, and better than my old generic guitar. But it still didnt sound like that killer tone that I was looking for. Assuming it was "studio tricks", or the obvious "lower quality Fender amp" that was the problem I blew it off. Playing past the 12th fret would sometimes produce a tone that wouldn't hold, and sound like a traveling unmusical screech; instead of a steadily held note. This would disappoint me when trying to learn solos, and felt like such a buzzkill.

Here's where the story gets interesting. I was just about to get in a couple of exercises before bed tonight, and everyone else was asleep. I noticed there is a "phones" jack, and decided to try it out so I could play without waking people up. Plugged everything in as normal, but also this time plugging in my $10 crappy earbuds. And as I worked up the neck on one of my favorite exercises I was completely blown away. It sounds absolutely amazing, typing this message is difficult when I could be playing. I have never knew such an amount of electricity could be held so stable. The best way I could describe it is, imagine Zeus zapping butter onto a slice of toast. Everything sounds incredibly powerful, while being so damn smooth at the same time. And sweeps? Wow. I cannot imagine any couple-thousand dollar amp making it sound better than these dumb cheap earbuds. (tried it with an even cheaper pair of earbuds, still about the same)

Where i'm confused at is. Why it can't sound this way without the earbuds. Why is it $10 earbuds make it sound x4 better than a $130 amp? I am completely baffled at this. I had the guitar for like 6 months, and i'm just now hearing the way its supposed to sound. I know its probably a simple answer, but I just can't understand why it sounds SOOOOOOOOO much better using stupid earbuds.
It's because the Mustang doesn't have a great speaker, although from what you're describing it might even be broken. Also when you use headphones on an amp like that then the signal runs through cabinet emulation which is likely emulating not only better speakers but also more. If signal that comes out of the headphones is emulating a 4x12 cab then it often will sound better than whatever comes out of the amps speaker.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

At what volume did you run your Mustang when playing via speaker? Mostly you need to set the volume at about 10-14 o'clock on amplifiers in order for the speakers to develop its full potential. No need to do this for headphones. I actually discovered somethign like this myself. I have a Peavey Vypyr 15 for home practice and even before I bought it I was warned about its poor speaker quality. Turns out those people were right. But I still don't care because I mostly play it via my 25€ Sennheiser headphones, which sounds amazing.
Ibanez S570DXQM-BBB
DiMarzio Evolution HSH
Ibanez RG927WBBZ-TGF
DiMarzio Evolution 7 & DiMarzio LiquiFire 7
Peavey Valve King 112, Peavey Vypyr 15
Harley Benton NG-100, Ibanez Weeping Demon

Quote by metalmingee
In fact, wanting different tunings is one of the best reasons to convince others that you need more guitars.
Last edited by Dragonfyre137 at Jan 3, 2014,
Yeah, as steven said, it may just be that the Mustang has a crappy speaker. Through a different speaker it could sound better. And yeah, the headphone out is speaker emulated output (if it wasn't, it would sound like crap). As steven said, it models a better speaker than your amp has.

Maybe get a new amp if you are not satisfied with your tone. And I'm sure a good quality amp will sound better than guitar through headphones.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Everything that Steven said, plus the fact that your headphones are much more hyped in certain areas of their EQ, which makes things appear to sound better.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.

If you really liked the sound through headphones. then could you not just plug in some computer desktop speakers if you think that'll make the amp sound better?
Schecter C-1+
PRS SE Custom 24
Ibanez RG7321 w/ Seymour Duncan Invader
EHX Metal Muff
Blackstar ID Core 20