Cafe Walter Audio

HA-1A Headphone Practice Amplifier

The HA-1A Headphone Practice Amplifier is now available! It is a simple but high fidelity instrument amplifier, designed to allow you to practice your electric instrument through headphones rather than out loud. Musicians use the HA-1A in airports, dorm rooms, tour busses, hotels, classrooms, on stage and backstage, and even in music stores.

Unlike most music equipment, the HA-1A is not designed to make you sound good. Instead, it is designed to tell you the truth about how you sound. If your fingers make squeaky noises on the strings when you move, if your E string is twice as loud as your D, if your intonation is lousy - the HA-1A will tell you. And if you sound great, it'll tell you that, too. There are no tone controls, effects loop, enhance knobs, or subharmonic thingamajigs: the HA-1A tells you what you do sound like, not what you wish you sounded like. Your skills will improve because listening to the instrument in this way points out every little defect in your playing (warning - this may be painful). And your relationships will improve because your neighbors and family won't have to listen to those same defects, over and over and over and over again.


NEW! The HA-1A now includes an AC adapter! (That's why it's called an HA-1A. It used to just be an HA-1.) If you have an HA-1, it can be upgraded to add the AC adapter. The upgrade is handled directly by Cafe Walter, and costs $59 including shipping within the US. For details email

HUM! Some customers with HA-1As in the serial number range 200-237 have reported problems with hum while using the AC adapter. This problem has been fixed in newer units. If you have a unit in this range, and you have experienced any hum problem, please contact me to send in your HA-1A for warranty repair.

How to Purchase

The HA-1A is handmade in small quantities by me and my wife, and distributed by Bass Northwest; if you're interested in purchasing one, please contact them. Thanks!

  • Owner's manual (HA-1A)
  • Owner's manual (HA-1)
  • Schematic diagram
  • Photo gallery
  • Frequently asked questions

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