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Old 2010-01-05, 06:37
BlkMgkNitez's Avatar
New Blood
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6
Headphones For Amp?

I can't seem to find headphones for my Line 6 amp that'll give me a good sound and ones that are actually made for Guitar Amplifiers. I have plenty of headphones and extra jacks that I can add-on but they just don't sound good. Could I get some help on which headphones I should buy for my amp?
Old 2010-01-07, 18:00
the_bleeding's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,816
headphones dont work. And i'll tell you why.

A HUGE part of guitar tone comes from the guitar speakers, and the guitar cabinet.

foreword: guitar amps are designed to give you a tone through guitar speakers. You do not use regular speakers with guitars, so every amp will be designed with guitar speakers in mind.

First: The speakers themselves are designed for a specific frequency response in order to keep guitar's within their frequency slot in the band, more or less. So guitar speakers are designed to have reduced bass, tamed highs, and lots of mids in comparison to regular speakers. If you run a guitar through a regular stereo speaker, it will sound muddy and fizzy and just bad.

Second: the cabinet: the size of the cab, material, shape, etc etc, all determine in shaping how your speakers will respond.

Headphones have 3 problems when it comes to guitar.
1. Speaker size, headphone speakers are only a few millimeters in diameter compared to your regular 10" or 12" guitar speaker, and have a much different response
2. speaker design, headphone speakers are designed to have a very flat response along a large range of frequencies. Guitars are mid-frequency intruments, and do not occupy the same space as the cymbals on a drum, or a bass instrument.
3. Enclosure design: headphone speakers are put into headphones, not large cabinets, which changes the response.

So, when you run your amp into headphones, you will lose all of those necessary attributes that give your guitar its sound.

Now, line6 and axefx have made work-arounds for this, called "cab sims", which re-equalize the frequency response of your amp to sound like it is being put through a cabinet before it hits your headphones.

hope my post is informative.
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Old 2010-01-07, 18:48
Def's Avatar
Master Killer
Alumni Staff
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Posts: 11,372
The Bleeding has a point.

However, I have run into this problem as well. I just need to play through headphones at the place where I live. For practise I have to 4x12's but that just won't fly in the appartment block where I live. I use a Soldano preamp with headphones.

After a lot of testing I decided on AKG K701 reference headphones. Pricey but worth every penny, excellent sound and a lot of comfort. Plus if you're an audiophile you will love these as well for regular music.

Be warned though: they have a very neutral sound and will expose all the weak spots of your amp.
Old 2010-01-08, 05:10
BlkMgkNitez's Avatar
New Blood
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6
Thank you guys for the help. I feel very enlightened after reading those responses. I'll be looking into that pre-amp and the "cab sims" from now on and see if I can find anything useful. Thanks for taking the time to write and respond.

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