How to hook-up headphone amp from AVR via digital out - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm planning on getting a pair of headphones to add to my HT for music and movies. I've got an HK 635. I'm probably going to get a headphone amp (+DAC) because I'm 16-18 feet from the AVR. I'm concerned the quality from the headphone jack won't be up to snuff and that the long analog cable run will also be a problem.

If I run an optical cable via digital out on my AVR to the headphone DAC/amp, will that work? In other words, if I'm using the digital in signals from cable box or dvd player will I always have constant output through optical out? And will this be volume independent like an analog tape out would be so I can turn the volume off on the speakers?

Hope this makes sense. Thanks for a helping out a noob.
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakster View Post

I'm planning on getting a pair of headphones to add to my HT for music and movies. I've got an HK 635. I'm probably going to get a headphone amp (+DAC) because I'm 16-18 feet from the AVR. I'm concerned the quality from the headphone jack won't be up to snuff and that the long analog cable run will also be a problem.

If I run an optical cable via digital out on my AVR to the headphone DAC/amp, will that work? In other words, if I'm using the digital in signals from cable box or dvd player will I always have constant output through optical out? And will this be volume independent like an analog tape out would be so I can turn the volume off on the speakers?

Hope this makes sense. Thanks for a helping out a noob.

Hope you can generate some discussin on this, rakster, because I've been wondering about a similar headphone setup as well. I had planned to use one of the pre-amp outs for Zone 2, however. Thought I'd just run a quality shielded RCA cable under my floor (I have a crawl space) and come out by my listening chair. But I'm not sure how that would work with turning the volume off on the loudspeakers. I assume each setup is dependant on which AVR or pre/pro is used.

Surely there must be others who've made long runs out to a headphone amp?
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post #3 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakster View Post

I'm planning on getting a pair of headphones to add to my HT for music and movies. I've got an HK 635. I'm probably going to get a headphone amp (+DAC) because I'm 16-18 feet from the AVR. I'm concerned the quality from the headphone jack won't be up to snuff and that the long analog cable run will also be a problem.

If I run an optical cable via digital out on my AVR to the headphone DAC/amp, will that work? In other words, if I'm using the digital in signals from cable box or dvd player will I always have constant output through optical out?

Yes unless there's a volume control on your DAC or headphone amp.

Kal Rubinson

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post #4 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Yes unless there's a volume control on your DAC or headphone amp.

So...would this be preferable to using something like a Zone 2 pre-out? I would assume either way one could mute the loudspeakers when only headphone listening is desired?
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Shutterman View Post

So...would this be preferable to using something like a Zone 2 pre-out? I would assume either way one could mute the loudspeakers when only headphone listening is desired?

Dunno. I never use headphones or extra zones.

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post #6 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Dunno. I never use headphones or extra zones.

Ahhh...fortunate is the man who does not share his space with another that does not share his listening tastes and habits.
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post #7 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Shutterman View Post

Ahhh...fortunate is the man who does not share his space with another that does not share his listening tastes and habits.

True but there are also issues of time-sharing as well as space-sharing.

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post #8 of 30 Old 07-29-2008, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, but there will still be output to the speakers, won't there? How do I quiet the speakers? Will the volume knob on the AVR affect the output to the headphone amp?
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know the answer to this question??
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post #10 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 05:27 AM
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since you are planning on getting a dac..which means you will be using digital out..
why don't you connect the source directly to the dac via optical cable then to the headphone amp??
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post #11 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakster View Post

Ok, but there will still be output to the speakers, won't there? How do I quiet the speakers? Will the volume knob on the AVR affect the output to the headphone amp?

I doubt it. It should affect only the analog outputs.

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post #12 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by justthinking View Post

since you are planning on getting a dac..which means you will be using digital out..
why don't you connect the source directly to the dac via optical cable then to the headphone amp??

This is the best way to do it and how I have my setup. Source is connected to the receiver however you want it and then you use either another coax or optical from the source to the external DAC of your choice and then connect that DAC to whatever headphone amp it is you're going to use.

The receiver simply does not need to be part of the equation. Avoid this needlessly complicated kind of situation.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/index.php?

^^ These guys will help you spend a lot of money on getting your headphone setup done well.

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #13 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ View Post

This is the best way to do it and how I have my setup. Source is connected to the receiver however you want it and then you use either another coax or optical from the source to the external DAC of your choice and then connect that DAC to whatever headphone amp it is you're going to use.

The receiver simply does not need to be part of the equation. Avoid this needlessly complicated kind of situation.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/index.php?

^^ These guys will help you spend a lot of money on getting your headphone setup done well.

Hmmm...would seem to make the most sense. I suppose it would depend on what kind of inputs are available on the headphone amp? At this point, I've got one shot at running cable under my floor (35') and need to tell my installer what kind of cable to run.
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post #14 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Shutterman View Post

Hmmm...would seem to make the most sense. I suppose it would depend on what kind of inputs are available on the headphone amp? At this point, I've got one shot at running cable under my floor (35') and need to tell my installer what kind of cable to run.

Headphone amps typically are going to have RCA analog inputs and/or XLR inputs. You'll have that plus the power chord, of course. Typically the RCA will be unbalanced audio and the XLRs will be for balanced audio.

It really is going to depend on which headphone amp you ultimately decide to buy but far and away what I've described is the most "typical."

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #15 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ View Post

Headphone amps typically are going to have RCA analog inputs and/or XLR inputs. You'll have that plus the power chord, of course. Typically the RCA will be unbalanced audio and the XLRs will be for balanced audio.

It really is going to depend on which headphone amp you ultimately decide to buy but far and away what I've described is the most "typical."

Thanks, Q. However, if one wanted to go the balanced route, i.e., use the XLR inputs on the headphone amp...I assume the source must provide balanced outs, no? I realize some CD players and DACs or Slim Devices Transporter offer these...but how would one connect up to a balanced pre/pro? Say, something like the Integra 9.8? Then what about phono preamps? I assume one would need to search for one with balanced outs?

All that said, it would seem the OP's idea of using an optical out off his DAC would be good, but how would that connect to a headphone amp with only RCAs or XLR's?

Perhaps to be safe, perhaps I should run RCAs, XLRs, and optical when I do the install?
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post #16 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Shutterman View Post

Thanks, Q. However, if one wanted to go the balanced route, i.e., use the XLR inputs on the headphone amp...I assume the source must provide balanced outs, no?

Yes.

Here's an oddball situation where the answer may be "no.":

If you had my Apogee MiniDAC and you were using a headphone amp that ONLY had RCA inputs, then you would do one of two things:

1.) Buy RCA cables and put an RCA-XLR adapter on the end going into the DAC

or

2.) Buy XLR cables and buy XLR-RCA adapters that go into the headphone amp.

^^ That's kind of a rare situation, though, and you'd be aware of anything like that going into it anyways.

The way the experts talk, though, if you want to go balanced, everything in the food chain needs to be balanced.


Quote:



I realize some CD players and DACs or Slim Devices Transporter offer these...but how would one connect up to a balanced pre/pro? Say, something like the Integra 9.8? Then what about phono preamps?

Again, not necessary, although some of these headphone amps can be pre amps in and of themselves.

http://www.headamp.com/home_amps/gsx/index.htm

^^ This is my headphone amplifier. The website is a bit out of date. These have long since been available.

You can see by all the pictures that it has RCA and XLR inputs and even outputs for using this thing as an outright pre amp.

I've never been clear what "loop output" is for vs. "pre amp" output.

http://www.headamp.com/home_amps/gs1/index.htm

^^ This is the little brother to my headphone amp, the GS-1. My headphone amp is admittedly overkill but I love the thing.

This one is a lot simpler.

Quote:


Inputs/Outputs 2 RCA inputs, 1 RCA loop out, 1 RCA pre-out,
2 1/4" headphone outputs

Pretty straight forward. This is a lot more typical of what's out there.


http://wooaudio.com/products/wa6se.html


http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-...ag=mncol;title

Those last two links are an example of a completely different kind of headphone amp. This one uses tubes but you'll see that for all that it doesn't bother with anything but RCA inputs either.


Quote:


I assume one would need to search for one with balanced outs?

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/

Start here.

Quote:



All that said, it would seem the OP's idea of using an optical out off his DAC would be good, but how would that connect to a headphone amp with only RCAs or XLR's?

We're talking about two channel DACs. All it needs is at least one digital input for a source and at least one analog output to go to a headphone amplifier or whatever. That's your most basic two channel DAC design you can count on no matter what.


The source plugs into a digital input on the DAC. The analog outputs can be either RCA, XLR, or even both depending on what you buy.

http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/dac1/

^^ Some DACs double as headphone amps. This is a favorite as is my Apogee MiniDAC.

http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/minidac.php

^^ This only had XLR analog outputs so I connected XLR cables from this to my headphone amp's XLR inputs that you can see in the pictures.

You're going to find there's a lot of choices and configuations out there.

It's really easy when you get down to it.

Quote:



Perhaps to be safe, perhaps I should run RCAs, XLRs, and optical when I do the install?

Shouldn't be necessary once you know exactly what you're getting.

All of the above will depend on your budget and what gear you finally decide you want to buy.

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #17 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 01:59 PM
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Outstanding info, Q. Thanks so much for taking the time. I've actually been spending a good bit of time over at a couple of places you've linked to. The Woo Audio unit looks especially nice.

I've been concerned about trying to stay balanced because of the long cable run (about 30' to 35'). But in talking with some folks like Drew of Moon Audio and others, this may not be as big of a criteria as I thought. Then too, balanced headphone amps do seem a bit on the pricey side. Nice looking setup you have, btw.

Once again...thanks...this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ View Post

You're going to find there's a lot of choices and configuations out there.

It's really easy when you get down to it.



Shouldn't be necessary once you know exactly what you're getting.

All of the above will depend on your budget and what gear you finally decide you want to buy.

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post #18 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Shutterman View Post

Outstanding info, Q. Thanks so much for taking the time. I've actually been spending a good bit of time over at a couple of places you've linked to. The Woo Audio unit looks especially nice.

Did you read that review yet?

If you look through the sponsors over at the head-fi forum you're going to quickly realize how much is really out there now and it's easy to get lost in all of it.

My advice to you is: Set a budget for yourself and try and keep it as simple as you can.

It's been my experience and I think most of the "head fi" folks would agree with me on this: Your money can go a lot further and a lot faster in headphone world vs. speakers/amps/receivers land.



Quote:


I've been concerned about trying to stay balanced because of the long cable run (about 30' to 35'). But in talking with some folks like Drew of Moon Audio and others, this may not be as big of a criteria as I thought.

I don't think it is IMO.

You'll see heated debates on forums like head fi about balanced vs. unbalanced...honestly, unless you're planning to run long lines like 50 feet or something? I wouldn't sweat going balanced myself.

Quote:


Then too, balanced headphone amps do seem a bit on the pricey side. Nice looking setup you have, btw.

Mine was somewhat expensive, there are less expensive balanced headphone amps out there but it gets a little murky and it may not be worth it.


http://www.headamp.com/order/index.htm

^^ You can see what the pricing is on his available models. Mine was the GS-X. I don't remember paying that much for mine when I bought it but maybe I did. I honestly have never looked back.

But you could buy either the Gilmore Lite or GS-1 or that Woo Audio unit and I'll guarantee you'd be easily just as happy with anything like that vs. the admittedly overkill but awesome unit that I bought.

You can spend $500-$600 and still do very well in terms of a headphone amp.



Drew's awesome. Moon Audio sells a lot of awesome stuff.

I've done business with him before several times. He'll steer you right.

I love my headphone setup!

If you start posting over at head-fi forums, you're going to see in short order that someone greets you with "Welcome to Head-Fi, hold on to your wallet/sorry about your wallet" or some variant thereof.

They ain't kiddin'!

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #19 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I doubt it. It should affect only the analog outputs.

Well, if this is set up as we've discussed, there are going to be times when I want ouput through the speakers and times when I want to use the headphones. I'm assuming (hoping actually) that both will always be on. I can always turn the headphone amp off if need be. But if I'm using the headphones, what do I do about the speakers? They must still be receiving a signal, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ View Post

This is the best way to do it and how I have my setup. Source is connected to the receiver however you want it and then you use either another coax or optical from the source to the external DAC of your choice and then connect that DAC to whatever headphone amp it is you're going to use.

The receiver simply does not need to be part of the equation. Avoid this needlessly complicated kind of situation.

This is good advice, Q, but I only have 1 optical out on my source. Also, I'd like to be able to use the headphones for more than one source. So the easiest thing for me to do would be to run it from the receiver. I'm just not 100% sure how to do it. My guess (hope) is that with the digital out, both the speakers and the headphones will always get the signal. I can either turn off the headphone amp -or- use the headphones and turn the receiver volume knob down all the way. Hopefully that will not affect the signal to the headphone amp.

Do I have this right??
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post #20 of 30 Old 07-30-2008, 09:52 PM
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What sources are you planning to listen with your headphone?
From what I read off your HK635 manual, the digital output appears to be a bypass only feature..
It will ouput whatever digital siginal your sources are sending it and it will not convert analog to digital..
Honestly, I don't think hooking up a receiver to dac/headphone amp or headphone amp only is a good idea..
Headphone amp itself already is like pre-amp...actually many quality headphone amp also works as quality pre-amp (melos sha series to be one)
When you hook it to receiver, it's like connecting pre-amp to another pre-amp...
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post #21 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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You're right, JT. That makes perfect sense.

Well, I see that there are optical switches and splitters available. Anyone have experience with these? I'm a little skeptical of this approach.

I suppose the other option would be to use coax from Oppo 970 to receiver and optical to headphone dac/amp.
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post #22 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakster View Post

Well, if this is set up as we've discussed, there are going to be times when I want ouput through the speakers and times when I want to use the headphones. I'm assuming (hoping actually) that both will always be on. I can always turn the headphone amp off if need be. But if I'm using the headphones, what do I do about the speakers? They must still be receiving a signal, right?

Sure but that's what the volume control on the AVR is for.

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post #23 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rakster View Post


Well, I see that there are optical switches and splitters available. Anyone have experience with these? I'm a little skeptical of this approach.

I was, too, but this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Has worked perfectly for me. All I needed was a simple pass through switch and this has been perfect for me.

At that price, I had nothing to lose and Monoprice gives you 30 days anyways.

Quote:


I suppose the other option would be to use coax from Oppo 970 to receiver and optical to headphone dac/amp.

That's exactly what I'm doing with my source. Coax to receiver, optical to DAC, if you even need one. Some DACs offer you both optical and coax inputs. It just isn't going to matter.

Before you even buy a DAC and get into all that, if you buy a headphone amp, connect the Oppo's L and R analogs directly into the headphone amp's analog inputs and see how it sounds to you. You may not feel the need for anything else.

What kind of gear are you considering buying at this point, you and whoever else is looking to get into this?

That would help us all a lot better to know what kind of equipment is being considered so we can help you streamline and simplify as much as possible.

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #24 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ View Post

What kind of gear are you considering buying at this point, you and whoever else is looking to get into this?

Well...until the OP chimes in, and if he doesn't mind, I'd like to take you up on your offer by telling you what I have in mind for my equipment.

Right now, I'm considering the Denon AVP pre/pro. In addition to far more inputs and outputs that even the Starship Enterprise could ever use, it has a total of 12 balanced pre outs. Beyond the usual 7, it has XLR preouts for an extra "middle pair" of surrounds (i.e., a 9.1 system), plus an extra 3 XLR preouts for additional subs.

From what I understand, one can "assign" these extra preouts to any channel one desires. What I'm considering doing is assigning the extra middle pair to be an additional Front Right and Front Left channel...then plugging in my XLR cable...and running that cable under my floor to pop out at the balanced headphone amp feeding my balanced phones by my chair.

Now, if I went with a non-balanced headphone amp instead, like the Woo Audio, I would imagine their is a pair of RCA single ended line outs SOMEWHERE on this beast of a pre/pro that I can use instead.

Somehow or another, I will need to feed the headphone amp from the Denon pre/pro because I plan to stream FLAC files from a NAS instead of using a separate CD player or DAC (at least for now). Also...getting FM or HD radio and possibly television sound from the pre/pro to the headphones would be a plus, but I'm guessing that would be too much to hope for.

For times when I only want headphone listening (i.e., all speakers silent) I thought I'd set my universal remote so that the pre/pro turns on but the amplifiers stay off.

So, Q, if you (or anyone else) has any input on how such a concoction could work, I'm all "ears".
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post #25 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutterman View Post

Well...until the OP chimes in, and if he doesn't mind, I'd like to take you up on your offer by telling you what I have in mind for my equipment.

Alrighty.

Quote:

Right now, I'm considering the Denon AVP pre/pro. In addition to far more inputs and outputs that even the Starship Enterprise could ever use, it has a total of 12 balanced pre outs. Beyond the usual 7, it has XLR preouts for an extra "middle pair" of surrounds (i.e., a 9.1 system), plus an extra 3 XLR preouts for additional subs.




Quote:

From what I understand, one can "assign" these extra preouts to any channel one desires. What I'm considering doing is assigning the extra middle pair to be an additional Front Right and Front Left channel...then plugging in my XLR cable...and running that cable under my floor to pop out at the balanced headphone amp feeding my balanced phones by my chair.

Seems sound if you don't mind being dependent on the receiver and you can turn the speakers on and off at your whim.

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Now, if I went with a non-balanced headphone amp instead, like the Woo Audio, I would imagine their is a pair of RCA single ended line outs SOMEWHERE on this beast of a pre/pro that I can use instead.

I'd be shocked if you couldn't, otherwise you'd simply get those RCA cables and buy the appropriate pair of RCA-XLR adapters and that would take care of that on the Denon end.

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Somehow or another, I will need to feed the headphone amp from the Denon pre/pro because I plan to stream FLAC files from a NAS instead of using a separate CD player or DAC (at least for now). Also...getting FM or HD radio and possibly television sound from the pre/pro to the headphones would be a plus, but I'm guessing that would be too much to hope for.

Maybe I'm oversimplifying this but if everything works the way you say it will, then the setup you're talking about should cover all of this.

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For times when I only want headphone listening (i.e., all speakers silent) I thought I'd set my universal remote so that the pre/pro turns on but the amplifiers stay off.

Sure.

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So, Q, if you (or anyone else) has any input on how such a concoction could work, I'm all "ears".

If everything does what you say it does and you get that Denon and all that is as you expect it to be, I think you're all set.

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #26 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ View Post

If everything does what you say it does and you get that Denon and all that is as you expect it to be, I think you're all set.

Thanks, Q...I'm hoping this will be the case. Actually, I've been in the planning stage for the last couple of months for my HT install. If it all comes together like I'm hoping, I will be the most surprised person on the planet. Thanks again for your input.
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post #27 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Shutterman View Post

Thanks, Q...I'm hoping this will be the case. Actually, I've been in the planning stage for the last couple of months for my HT install. If it all comes together like I'm hoping, I will be the most surprised person on the planet. Thanks again for your input.

Good luck!

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #28 of 30 Old 07-31-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ View Post

I was, too, but this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Has worked perfectly for me. All I needed was a simple pass through switch and this has been perfect for me.

At that price, I had nothing to lose and Monoprice gives you 30 days anyways.



That's exactly what I'm doing with my source. Coax to receiver, optical to DAC, if you even need one. Some DACs offer you both optical and coax inputs. It just isn't going to matter.

Before you even buy a DAC and get into all that, if you buy a headphone amp, connect the Oppo's L and R analogs directly into the headphone amp's analog inputs and see how it sounds to you. You may not feel the need for anything else.

What kind of gear are you considering buying at this point, you and whoever else is looking to get into this?

That would help us all a lot better to know what kind of equipment is being considered so we can help you streamline and simplify as much as possible.


This switch looks great, Q. MUCH appreciated. I think it might be simpler for me to use the coax from Oppo to HK and optical from Oppo to headphone dac/amp. I may need to add the switch if I want to setup my cable box or if I get a BD player though.

The reason I feel I need to use digital instead of analog is the length of the cable run. It'll be 30' or so. Looking at possibly a Zero DAC and Little Dot MK V or Musical Fidelity X-Can V8. With Denon AH-D2000 (or D5000) cans. Still not sure about amp or dac. Need dac that has optical input.
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post #29 of 30 Old 02-05-2013, 04:44 AM
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I'm still trying to figure out how to hook the output from my Arcam rDAC to my DENON 1913, I have optical to my Sony Blu-Ray 590, USB to my computer and I will run Coax to my cable box I guess???
Thats for inputs, now for the output, I have the two RCA's, I'm not sure where to plug them into? I plugged them into the CD RCA jacks for now, when I use the source select on the front of my AVR I see ARCAM, but i'm not sure its really working...Waiting on my new DISH 922K slingbox to come in, then I will figure out more from there.

Any feedback is appreciated.

I see why the ARCAM wireless could be more appreciated, its kind of tough to run a 10' USB 2.0 cable from my rDAC to my computer, luckily I have a nice Monster THX optical cable to run back to the DAC, the digital COAX should be no problem to the Slingbox...

Just those outputs, I see the high end Macintosh and Bryston have a dedicated D/A rca connection for an external DAC to hook into, since I am not running a CD player, I am hoping that the CD part can be assigned ARCAM as it shows on the front panel source selector...

I'm still running speaker wires, I went with Monster HPXP-CI, I should have a beautifual sounding 7.1 system in a few minutes.

Any input is apprciated.

I will eventually upgrade to a Marantz, 5007, 6007 or 7007 since they have 4k capability and preouts for an amp, my 1913 does not...
But it has all other kinds of bells and whistles, I am more than happy with the 3D passthru, ARC HDMI, network connection.

I just got my rear speakers reconed, so I have only been listenting in two channel, ready for 7.1 now, cant wait....
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post #30 of 30 Old 02-21-2013, 09:22 PM
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Well, I kind of figured it out, My 1913 has inputs in the front, I rant the two rca out at the back of the rDAC to the front rca input on he front of the 1913 and it seems to work fine.
I have the USB output on the rDAC going to my computer to play .MP3 and .AAC, ect and the optical to my 590s Bluray player, when I get my Denon SACD I will run the COAX output on the rDAC to that and it will be all set.

When I upgrade to the Marantz SR5007....SOON...then I can hook up a 5 or 7 channel Marantz amp to really rock things, but everything is sounding great as it is now.

Or I see the new Oppo has a DAC built right in the back, maybe a Sony ES5800 would be cool with the control 4 system, I love Sony, I always thought they were garbage when it comes to home theather, I guess becasue of their vast selectioons of HIB "Home theather in a box" set ups. But that ES5800 with one of the new XBR TV's...that would be the way to go...

Thanks,
Ivan
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