Instructables

headphones for a guitar?

About five minutes ago one of my friends brother told me my friend was annoying him by playing his electric guitar at 7:30PM as loud as he can so it got me to thinking, to make headphones that work on a guitar it couldn't be as simple a swapping the jack right? if i made the cassete player amp instructable and just plugged normal headphones into that, the headphones would work so only the guitar player could hear it right? my music teacher told me that plugging headphones into an amp was a bad idea for some reason so im just using that to try and make headphones for an amp another way

CapnTac4 years ago
They make these wonderful products now, I think they're called pocket amps. They're very small amplifiers, about the size of a small book, and they're made to plug headphones into them and be able to jam without disturbing anyone. Look into the Hello Kitty one by Fender (that is, if you don't mind a pink amplifier...), I think it's only like 30 bucks.
Not sure if this problem is solved or not, but.... this is my opinion...

1) plugging straight into the guitar: whether or not you have an adapter on your headphones...(1/8in to 1/4in plug) you will not get a sound out of them becuase you need electricity to make the pickups work... unless there is a pre amp?

2) casset adapter... tried it, it's WAY quiet, you get no distortion and risk detaching the cable from the adapter if you pull it too hard. you need more cable and hardware then it is worth...

3) best solution... plug the headphones into your amp... it won't hurt you i promise. you can use ipod headphones with a jack adaptor (1/8in to 1/4in) or use studio headphones that are meant to be plugged into an amp
gmoon6 years ago
Headphones directly into a guitar amp speaker jack ? (not a aux headphone output?)

If it's a solid-state amp, you might be OK. 600 ohm impedance or so, for an average set of headphones VS. 8 ohms or so for the speaker = a very low load. Low load (or even no load) is usually doesn't hurt SS amps.

For a tube amp, BAD. Low load is worse than too high a load. The power tubes are pumping energy into the output transformer, and if you remove the load, that reactance has nowhere to go--the transformer windings fry.
craig3 (author)  gmoon6 years ago
well thats what im trying not to do, i mean if i buy a jack adapter or even funner solder on a new jack to a pear of head phones to plug straight into a guitar or if i make this insructable here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cassette-Player-Guitar-Amp/

would i be able to plug the cassette amp into the guitar and then headphones into the cassette player? Hows this, if i get a cassette player and solder on a guitar lead to the two roller points? that way i could plug the headphones into the cassette player like you normally would and it had the option to play from the cassette players speaker
gmoon craig36 years ago
I've never tried it, but the cassette player -to- headphone amp conversion should work. Mind you--it isn't going to sound as good as through a speaker, but who cares? Have you tried plugging headphones into an FX box? I plug in regular walkman-style headphones to my old Zoom 505 unit all the time. It's got plenty of volume, if you set it right.
craig3 (author)  gmoon6 years ago
FX box? im not sure what that is actually, it is the pedal thing to plug in and you can change the different sounds the guitar has? i know them as guitar pedals, but even still i think our one doesn't have a headphone jack but once again you'd be able to buy a jack adapter and put it into where the cable to put it into the amp would go right? Excuse my lack of guitar terms but i play drums so im not hip and down with the guitar lingo
gmoon craig36 years ago
Yep, FX box == stompbox == guitar pedal. But not all pedals have enough gain for headphones. My Zoom does, but something like an analog phase-shifter wouldn't. My zoom, in fact, has mono input, but stereo-out, and a normal 1/4 in headphone plugs right in....

You can use old-skwl (1/4 in plug) headphones, or buy a 1/4-to-3.5mm adapter. A cassette player would already have a 3.5mm jack. A typical guitar pedal would have a 1/4 in mono output, and a 1/4 in stereo plug might work, or you might need a mono-to-stereo adapter (easy to make.)

The advice others are giving about building a small amp from scratch is good; but I don't know your level of commitment to the project.

At least search instructables for "headphone amp" to see a few options.
craig3 (author)  gmoon6 years ago
although i do admit myt level of commitment isnt rated in the top ten, i would still like to try and make a small amp from scratch, its just a bit hard because its a bit harder to find the pieces for it in Australia
. Not sure what you mean by "solder on a guitar lead to the two roller points," but, if you use a cass recorder all you should need is a patch cord with a "guitar plug" (1/4"?) on one end and whatever jack the cass player microphone input uses on the other end.
. You may be able to modify some of the "Altoids" amps. IIRC, they get their input from something like an iPod earphone jack, so you'll need to boost the gain.
Well surely a simple OP-amp for the guitar output to headphones could do the job, the other thing that could do just fine is a combination of an in-line op-amp and a tape converter like the ones for MP3s, using a stereo or old personal tape player as the amp.... My friend records on to an MP4 player with a modded jack input instead of a mic when he's on the fly, it does a good recording especially for being tiny...
craig3 (author)  killerjackalope6 years ago
thats what i wanna hear, thanks man
It's not all simple though, I'd say using a little op-amp or the like would be enough to run it through a bog standard cassette player, which is about a dollar and uses little amounts of battery, the old sony ones had a good little speaker too...
craig3 (author)  killerjackalope6 years ago
what do you think of it? if i soler on a guitar jack to the two metal points that a cassette tape rolls onto? to then if you plug in the cord into that jack and press play on the cassette player you could plug headphones into there?
It might work but it might be too quiet, if it is then just add a little Op-amp in-line with the guitar... Try it though, can't hurt...
'my music teacher told me that plugging headphones into an amp was a bad idea for some reason so im just using that to try and make headphones for an amp another way'

wtf is ur teacher on cuz i want some... amps have a headphone jack for a reason
craig3 (author)  teaaddict3146 years ago
i don't think our one does, just two guitar jacks, the new one might but i haven't used it and i don't play guitar anyway so i don't look at the amps. drums represent, needing no amp!
NachoMahma6 years ago
. Should work. . Re bad idea: Only thing I can think of is that it's easy to damage your ears with headphones.
craig3 (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
i though she said it was a bad idea because it would be super loud in the headphones but i just though headphones with their own volume controller would work so you turn the volume down on the amp and just turn it up loud on the headphones but id rather make me own sort of thing cos its more funner and i haven't done soldering in a while now, i used to do a kit every week but ran out of kits and things to make and i miss it