#1
Hey guys,

I've read the stickies, I did some research. However I think a post could enlighten me about this topic. So basically I'm gonna travel for a while and want to keep playing, but I don't want to carry my amp (it's a bit bulky). So I went around and did some research on how to practice without the amp and get amplification (with or without headphones - although the option is good if I need to be quiet). So the ways I found were:

- An interface that I can hook up to my laptop and get some sims in there (Foxrite i.e)
- Purchase some sort of tiny amp (Roland Microcube for example)
- An headphone amp that I can just plug in the guitar, some headphones and I'm good to go

I'm from europe and my budget would be around 100-200 euros. I'm looking for:

- Decent quality even with headphones on (assuming they're decent or else this gets messier) for cleans mainly to fix mistakes in my playing
- The option to add another input (mp3 or a metronome signal) it would be cool
- A distortion channel that does it's job

The first one is the most important. So what would be the best way to do it? And what gear/brand would you recommend?

Thanks
Love the Guitar
Gear:
- Ibanez SZR520
- Peavey Vypyr 30w
- Alhambra 2C Classical Guitar
- Tortex .88mm/Jazz III 1.38mm
- Elixir Nanoweb Strings (.009)
#3
If you have a computer, they make a couple of freeware guitar software's that are plug and play if you even just have a1/4" -1/8" cable. Not the best, but it works.
#4
(I wrote this up a few years ago, and post it here largely unaltered. Some of the devices described are discontinued- possibly replaced by newer models- but can still be easily found.)

If you're only planning on playing through headphones and/or interfacing with your PC for the forseeable future, consider a portable digital modeler like a Line 6 POD device, something in the Boss Micro BR series, Korg's Pandora family of products, Tascam's GT-R1 or the like.

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player, all resting on a 9"x12" manilla mailing envelope:



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. 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.
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!
#5
So with the Boss Micro BR, I could play with or without a PC near me (just the headphones if I wanted to), or connected to a PC and using those plugins? That sounds promising. I digged around thomann and they don't sell the Micro BR - they have the BR80's. Do they function the same way? Just the size and a couple of features added?

And do these devices (not only the Boss) only record? Can't I use them like a mini-amp? I looked around the BR80 and the reviews only mention recording.
Love the Guitar
Gear:
- Ibanez SZR520
- Peavey Vypyr 30w
- Alhambra 2C Classical Guitar
- Tortex .88mm/Jazz III 1.38mm
- Elixir Nanoweb Strings (.009)
Last edited by Strat'z at Oct 21, 2015,
#6
My favorite of the above group is the Korg PX5D. I've currently got one of those, a Korg Mini and a Pandora PX3D. All you need for amplification is a small powered speaker, and the range on those runs anywhere from an external computer monitor through a good powered recording monitor all the way to a full-bore powered PA monitor.

Otherwise, it's designed for headphones (over-the-ear non-DJ types recommended).
The tuner, metronome, slower-downer, phrase trainer, pitch shifter, bass lines, drum stuff, MP3 input, etc., are all built in, as are a bunch of amps/cabs/FX and the ability to set a whole lot of user presets. And it runs on batteries. The PX5D includes a USB port designed to allow you to record direct to your computer and mine came with free DAW software.
#8
I have the Micro Br (older version) - got it for $60 off EBay. It has recording capability, mp3 import, phrase trainer slowdown, some basic beats, metronome, modeling. Can't be used as audio interface to PC but you can plug the sound out into line in on the PC and play that way

http://www.bossus.com/products/micro_br/

The BR80 is a lot more advanced and bigger. If the size is not an issue.


Maybe this as it is also a PC interface:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R8zoom/
#9
Quote by Strat'z
So with the Boss Micro BR, I could play with or without a PC near me (just the headphones if I wanted to), or connected to a PC and using those plugins? That sounds promising. I digged around thomann and they don't sell the Micro BR - they have the BR80's. Do they function the same way? Just the size and a couple of features added?

And do these devices (not only the Boss) only record? Can't I use them like a mini-amp? I looked around the BR80 and the reviews only mention recording.

Most PDRs (portable digital modelers) are set up to be portable practice tools first, with recording as an additional feature, so they almost all have headphone jacks, metronomes, tuners, and so forth built in.

In a pinch, you can even use them as MFX devices, but they generally don't have as many good modeling selections as true MFX pedals.

The Tascam has a pair of decent external mics, and diabolical helpfully provided you the link on the current Boss line. Korgs- and as I recall PODs- can both be used as direct interfaces with computers.
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!
#11
I saw this thread a few weeks ago, and just thought of something.

Since the OP mentioned using a laptop, if you buy RockSmith 2014 I'm pretty sure there's a mode (Tone Designer?) that allows you to set up a 'virtual' pedal board / Amp combo. The game also comes w/ the USB cable you'll need to connect the guitar to the laptop, and is currently selling for around $40 US incl. the cable. Probably won't sound great compared to a real amp, but the only extra thing you're carrying around is the cable, and it's a cheap solution. Worth a shot?
#12
I use that RockSmith cable on my laptop and it works great for practice.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .