Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

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Dubmaniac
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Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by Dubmaniac » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:44 am

I'm at the point in my little studio where I need a better headphone amp. My little 4 channel Rolls headphone amp can only take one stereo input, giving everyone the same mix. The drummer in my band is complaining about not having his own custom mix. He may be a prima donna, but it would be nice to customize my cue mixes for the whole band, as well as shutting him up. I'm running Cubase through a Tascam US-2000, which has two pairs of TRS line outs that I'm not using at all now. I figure they could feed a couple of stereo ins on a headphone amp and that would give at least two different mixes if I set up two cue mixes in Cubase. So... what would you suggest? Bear in mind that I'm just a poor boy from a poor family. I'll probably get something used, and I really don't like Behringer stuff much. Too unreliable, even though I can afford it. What would YOU get if you were in my shoes?
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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:29 pm

I'm not a Behringer fan at all but their headphone amps are hard to beat. The 8 channel 1U rack version will take two different mix inputs, is plenty loud and reasonably sturdy (even for a Behringer). It's cheap new but I've also bought then used for almost nothing and had no issues. I currently own two and have been using them for years with no issue.

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by Nathan Barley » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:04 pm

The presonus rack mount thing isn’t bad. It’s a little noisy at high gain but not terribly so. It has a talkback input with a remote relay as well, two stereo inputs to switch between plus each channel has its own mono input you can mix in to the stereo feed. I am using one here with HDX and it works well....

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by markjazzbassist » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:20 am

tascam over the years has many different models, used they are usually cheap and decent.

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by Magnetic Services » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:41 am

I know this is not a cheap solution at all (oops), but if you were planning on upgrading your interface at any point, the MOTU Monitor 8 is a great interface AND a 6-channel headphone amp. Other brands might also make something like this, but my experience with the MOTU has been awesome. My first headphone amp was a tiny Behringer box for like $50, then I upgraded to this thing and never looked back. Paid for itself a million times over in sessions.

If you subtract the cost of the interface (by selling your current one), it's actually a pretty economical solution! Save a ton of cables too!

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by Brett Siler » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:22 pm

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:29 pm
I'm not a Behringer fan at all but their headphone amps are hard to beat. The 8 channel 1U rack version will take two different mix inputs, is plenty loud and reasonably sturdy (even for a Behringer). It's cheap new but I've also bought then used for almost nothing and had no issues. I currently own two and have been using them for years with no issue.
I'll 2nd this recommendation. I have one of their newer 8 channel headphone amps for a mobile rig of mine and I've had zero problems. Very clear, very minimal coloring of the siginal, loud as fuck. For tracking its perfect. I've even mixed some stuff with headphones using that amp and it was totally fine.

That said if you have enough sends on you Rolls headphone amp and it's sounds fine you should be able to set up separate headphone send using the auxes in you DAW. I don't have Cubase but I could give a general run down that should be fairly universal no matter if it's an analog mixer or a DAW if you would like.

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by standup » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:23 am

I haven't done this, but I've seen people recommend getting several tiny mixers so everyone can do their own headphone mix from whatever outputs you give them.

Isn't there a little Behringer mixer for like $30? But then you've got all the wiring to set up, and splitting off the submixes that make sense. But everyone can just mix their own headphone feed.

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by The Scum » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:58 pm

I've got an Oz Audio HR-4 I'd sell you cheap. Oz got bought by Mackie, they gave the thing a facelift and continued selling it as the HM-54.

4 outputs, each switchable between a master input or a per-channel input. Heavy steel box, internal power supply.

No complaints about it, I just upgraded to a Furman HDS6 rig.
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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:44 pm

My experience with the Behringer was only with an older unit, and the closer a channel was to the internal power supply, the more mains hum was audible in that channel. Behringer has probably addressed this issue by now. Other than that, it was fine.

Oz Audio Q-Mix HM6 can be had pretty cheaply 2nd hand. I have one & like it--I think I paid about 50 or 60 bucks used.

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by Dubmaniac » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:03 pm

The Scum wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:58 pm
I've got an Oz Audio HR-4 I'd sell you cheap. Oz got bought by Mackie, they gave the thing a facelift and continued selling it as the HM-54.

4 outputs, each switchable between a master input or a per-channel input. Heavy steel box, internal power supply.

No complaints about it, I just upgraded to a Furman HDS6 rig.
PM sent, Scum.
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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:59 am

I've had the Behringer's and they worked fine, but I've had a Nady HPA-8 now for a few years and it works great for me. I still put it in the cheap category.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-aud ... ne&index=1

I use it with an Apollo 16 which has 4 cue mixes. this HP amp has 3 separate stereo inputs split as Ch-A 1-4, Ch-B 5-6 (or 5-8 if not using channel C), and Ch-C 7-8. that's usually enough so that I can make everyone happy.

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by wing » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:40 am

If it's just the drummer who wants a different mix and the rest of you are fine with the same mix, and you're on a budget, why not save yourself the money for now and just get a long headphone extension and run it from one of the line outs or an aux/bus channel? I'm not familiar with your mixer but it would seem to me the easiest solution would just be to separate the mix for him right at the board. If the headphones your drummer is using are around 32 ohms, you probably won't actually need an amp for it anyway, especially since the application is merely for tracking and not critical mixing.

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Re: Cheap but good headphone amp recommendations

Post by Dubmaniac » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:24 pm

I decided to get the Oz Audio Q-Mix 6 channel headphone amp. I can take four independent sends (like drums, bass, guitar and vocals) and let each person choose their own headphone mix. Even my drummer seems to like it! This thing sounds great, and I got mine on eBay for about $60 with a case. I highly recommend it if you need more than a stereo mix going to your headphones, or you need more flexibility in your headphone mixes.
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