Adding Headphone amp to my vinyl setup

diderot

Active member
May 9, 2021
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Hello,
I am thinking about adding a Headphone amp to listen to vinyl quietly at nights, but I also want to listen through my speakers during the day.

Currently I have this: Turntable -> Preamp -> Amp -> Speakers

Would it be possible to connect a Headphone amp between the Preamp and Amp? I see that most Headphone amps have a RCA input and output, so not sure if adding this in the middle would impact the sound reaching the amplifier.

Thanks!
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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Welcome to the forum Diderot.
The best way to drive a headphone amp is from a fixed line level output.
If you can give all your model numbers, we will come up with something.
Also, say how much you'd like to spend on a headphone amp.
(I've just thoroughly checked out the Topping A50S at £200).
 

diderot

Active member
May 9, 2021
6
3
25
Welcome to the forum Diderot.
The best way to drive a headphone amp is from a fixed line level output.
If you can give all your model numbers, we will come up with something.
Also, say how much you'd like to spend on a headphone amp.
(I've just thoroughly checked out the Topping A50S at £200).
Thanks for replying!

I have a very very modest setup:

Turntable: AT-LP120 USB
Phono: Project Phono Box II USB
Amp: Vincent SV-129

And I'm yet to buy the dedicated headphones for this, but I'm looking at Sennheiser's HD600 as a cheap starting point.

As for Headphone amps I've seen the Schiit and Pro-Ject ones as outperforming their price range but haven't decided yet on anything.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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You have a phono stage connected to an integrated amp. That’s slightly - well, actually, very! - different to preamp - power amp which is what I understood from your first post. I shouldn’t have assumed!

Anyway, use the Tape out from your Vincent to the headphone amp you choose. I’ve never owned a separate headphone amp, but there are umpteen models and prices. Frankly, I’d be drawn to a recent used one from eBay as you’ll save a bunch.
 

diderot

Active member
May 9, 2021
6
3
25
You have a phono stage connected to an integrated amp. That’s slightly - well, actually, very! - different to preamp - power amp which is what I understood from your first post. I shouldn’t have assumed!

Anyway, use the Tape out from your Vincent to the headphone amp you choose. I’ve never owned a separate headphone amp, but there are umpteen models and prices. Frankly, I’d be drawn to a recent used one from eBay as you’ll save a bunch.
Sorry for the confusion! Still a beginner :D

Any suggestions for the Tape out cable? In terms of brands, price range...
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
867
538
19,770
Sorry for the confusion! Still a beginner :D

Any suggestions for the Tape out cable? In terms of brands, price range...
Amazon Basics for under a tenner. If you buy something like this, from a dealer, they might throw in something to get you started for free.
 

anort3

Moderator
Dec 8, 2019
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Oops, missed it. HD600s are a very good choice and were my first 'good' headphone. I ended up selling the 600 and the 650 after getting the 660S. To my ears the 660S fixes the ( small ) problems of the 600 and 650 and is the best of the series. Don't pay full retail for it though. Only get it if it's similarly priced to the HD 600. Another great choice in the same price range would be the HiFiMan Sundara.

You really can't go wrong with any of the ~$100 range headphone amps. Schiit, iFi, Topping, SMSL, JDS Labs, etc. If you wanted to up that a little bit the class A Aune X7S has amazing synergy with Sennheiser headphones. Most likely that would be true with any class A amp. Senns love anything with a little warmth. Tube amps as well.
 
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diderot

Active member
May 9, 2021
6
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25
Oops, missed it. HD600s are a very good choice and were my first 'good' headphone. I ended up selling the 600 and the 650 after getting the 660S. To my ears the 660S fixes the ( small ) problems of the 600 and 650 and is the best of the series. Don't pay full retail for it though. Only get it if it's similarly priced to the HD 600. Another great choice in the same price range would be the HiFiMan Sundara.

You really can't go wrong with any of the ~$100 range headphone amps. Schiit, iFi, Topping, SMSL, JDS Labs, etc. If you wanted to up that a little bit the class A Aune X7S has amazing synergy with Sennheiser headphones. Most likely that would be true with any class A amp. Senns love anything with a little warmth. Tube amps as well.
Could you elaborate on the 600 and 650 problems that the 660S fixes? Thanks!
 

anort3

Moderator
Dec 8, 2019
721
442
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The 600 can be a little 'shouty' in the mids. It also has a very small soundstage and the bass rolls off. There is no sub bass presence at all. In certain genres that doesn't really matter so much but in pop or electronica it makes them less than satisfying.

The 650 has the Sennheiser 'veil'. It has a bigger soundstage than the 600 and better bass but everything just sounds warmed over and veiled. Some people love it and it's an endgame headphone for many people but I always preferred the HD600.

The 660S has better staging and better bass extension than either of the above while retaining the tonality and timbre that the 6xx series in known for.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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19,770
So... it turns out my Amp doesn't have a Tape out output (silly me for not checking :D ).


Do I have any other options?
As the others said Rec Out = Tape Out, which was my generic description above. Sorry to confuse you!

The difference between the Pre Out and Rec Out is that Pre Out will have volume adjustment from your Vincent volume control. Rec Out will be at a fixed output, and the volume would be adjusted on the headphone amplifier.
 

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