Guitar to headphones somehow?


New member
Username: Maceman11

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-05
Is there anyway i can somehow route my electric guitar to my headphones? i have a computer with some bose speakers, and an amp to try to do this.

Unregistered guest
Depends on the amp and whether it is an integrated one with a pre-amp built in.

If you are talking about a hifi consumer amp...
All you need is an amp with headphones out and pre-amp inputs and some adapters to connect the 1/4 jacks from the guitar cord to RCA or phono jacks (you can get this at RadioShack). It would also be useful to have an input volume control on the pre-amp so you don't land up blowing it depending on the output of your guitar pickup coils (humbuckers can put out a lot compared to single coils).

While you can hear the guitar, the sound will be very unsatisfactory in most cases this way with most hifi units.

If you actualy have a guitar amp and it doesn't have a headphone out then you are out of luck.

My suggestion is to locate a small guitar amp (used or new) you can buy which can be as low as $50 with a headphone output and use it instead of all the adpaters and chances of blowing the amp.

There are also some gizmos you can buy that will allow you to plug in the guitar cord and the headphones and listen to it for less than $100 new.

What kind of an amp is it? More details you can provide, more likely someone can help.

Silver Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 504
Registered: Mar-04
i'm pretty sure there are dedicated guitar headphone amps that include distortion and possibly other effects like EQ. i can't recall their names, but you should be able to find one easy enough if you google it.

i found 3 right away:
danelectro E15 ($20)
and two "rockmans" one of which is for heavy metal for $70 each. that was the original headphone amp that i was thinking of i bet.

the danelectro also has a line out so you could connect it to your stereo. it has overdrive and echo.

dean has the "stack in a box" for $40 and i bet there's a few others out there. search engines can help you find info quickly if you use the right keywords. i just typed
guitar headphone amp
at google, nothing fancy

i think you can also just get a 1/4" jack to RCA adapter and run your guitar into your stereo direct, but you won't have any guitar effects. if you think strats are twangy... listen to one direct.

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 729
Registered: Dec-03
get a used pignosed guitar amp. They should be fairly inexpensive and have headphone jacks.

Bronze Member
Username: Fps_dean

Williamstown, MA USA

Post Number: 91
Registered: Oct-05
^^ What he said. I have a Marshall Studio 15 with a headphone jack and a built in attenuator so I can unplug the speaker and play through headphones and not damage the amp, but those are running near $1000 these days.

Silver Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 506
Registered: Mar-04
if you want to use your guitar amplifier itself (better tone than an SS headphone amp for sure), you'd need to get some sort of "power soaker" device to absorb the amplifier's power. those are expensive if you buy them, but if you're going to open your amp and start DIYing anyways, you could probably build a similar device for $20 or so instead of a couple hundred dollars.

i don't do circuits, so i can't tell you how to do that, but as to getting a headphone level signal out of the amp that you already have, a cheap speaker to line level converter like the pair i paid something like $4 for at MCM electronics would work, but you'd still need to be able to turn your speaker off by inserting a switch into the circuit and give the amp the proper load when your speaker is out of the circuit.

it sounds like you want to mod your amp now.

if you're only practicing, a $20 headamp is cheaper than several amp to headphone mods.

Silver Member
Username: Fps_dean

Williamstown, MA USA

Post Number: 134
Registered: Oct-05
^^ I think pignoses have an attenuator built in.

But if you want a real good all around practice amp, try to find a Marshall studio 15. It has an attenuator built in so you can unplug the speaker, and the amp through the speaker sounds quite good... very much like an older Marshall! It sounds so good that I would record with it if I did not have a 1969 Major.

I paid a total of $500 for mine including shipping on ebay, back in 2002 or 2003 used. I thought I overpaid as they have often sold for $300-400, but they are older and rarer and still sound good so I didn't care. They have since skyrockted in price to $800-$1000 but you should be able to still find one for $500 or so.
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