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Pre-out or Tape-out

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have a Yamaha integrated amplifer with a pre-out and a tape-out. I have heard if you want to connect one amp to your headphone amp to use the tape-out. I was wondering is there any difference between the pre-out and the tape-out? and if so which is preferred?

Thanks,
Devin

Ps. I have the Yamaha Ax-596
post #2 of 25
SQ should be no different, but the Tape-Out is a fixed level, and the Pre-out level will vary depending on the volume control.
post #3 of 25
Tape-out. You want the input to your headamp to be at a fixed volume level, not one that changes everytime the volume pot on the integrated changes position.

Regards.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelamvr6
SQ should be no different, but the Tape-Out is a fixed level, and the Pre-out level will vary depending on the volume control.
I am not so sure about that... In principle, the Tape-out is just looped from the input signal, while the pre-out goes through the whole pre-amp stage of the amplifier, so you would be dependent on the quality of the pre-amp.
In any case, using the tape out is the right one.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cribeiro
I am not so sure about that... In principle, the Tape-out is just looped from the input signal, while the pre-out goes through the whole pre-amp stage of the amplifier, so you would be dependent on the quality of the pre-amp.
In any case, using the tape out is the right one.
Well some pre-amps have buffered tabe outs and some don't. So in reality there's really a lot of info missing, I probably shouldn't have made such a generalization.

But in any case I would always opt for the tape loop over the pre-out.
post #6 of 25
I just realized that for recording on my Luxman tube integrated amp using the pre-out is preferable because the sound is much better and I can adjust the volume so I don't need to normalize! It seems like the tape record out takes a small portion of the final output, because it slightly lowers the volume of speakers/headphones when it is hooked up. When the pre-outs are hooked up, I have to disconnect the main-in and pre-out and there is no sound at all (except whats being sent through the pre-out.) So you actually might want to try both, however you will need to find the right volume level to match the line level when using the pre-out.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys, it sounds like the tape out is the best option but I'm going to try both.
post #8 of 25
im not quite sure what youre trying to do, your first post was a little strange.

if you are asking if you can connect your headamp to your integrated amp, yes you can, but you need a passive out from the integrated. presumably, the tape out is passive and so youd use that. you cant amplify a signal twice, the pre amp out would be active. passive means it is passing the signal without any amplification or volume change. active mean its using the integrated's amplification and volume prior to passing the signal.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_cs
im not quite sure what youre trying to do, your first post was a little strange.

if you are asking if you can connect your headamp to your integrated amp, yes you can, but you need a passive out from the integrated. presumably, the tape out is passive and so youd use that. you cant amplify a signal twice, the pre amp out would be active. passive means it is passing the signal without any amplification or volume change. active mean its using the integrated's amplification and volume prior to passing the signal.
Your post confuses me. Do you know what the Pre-out was designed for? It was made so you could hook-up a volume controlling, source switching, pre-amp, to a power amp.

On all receivers and integrateds, there is both a pre-amp section and a power amp section. By using the Pre-out, you're bypassing the power amp section of the receiver/integrated and only using the pre-amp section. So essentially if you hook up your Pre-out to your headphone amplifier, the head-amp will act as a power amp. That is of course assuming that you won't be turning both volume pots! If you turn both then it will be double-amping, which could introduce the possiblity of distortion in to your system.
post #10 of 25
does he have a pre out or preamp out.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_cs
does he have a pre out or preamp out.
They're the same thing.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline889
On all receivers and integrateds, there is both a pre-amp section and a power amp section. By using the Pre-out, you're bypassing the power amp section of the receiver/integrated and only using the pre-amp section. So essentially if you hook up your Pre-out to your headphone amplifier, the head-amp will act as a power amp.
Using the pre-out would not be the best idea then, no? As I understand it, using the volume on the integrated will alter the volume level being sent to the headphone amp, which isn't the greatest idea. I had assumed that the most common use for pre-outs on an integrated was to hook up a sub and create a 2.1 system...?
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Rymer
Using the pre-out would not be the best idea then, no? As I understand it, using the volume on the integrated will alter the volume level being sent to the headphone amp, which isn't the greatest idea. I had assumed that the most common use for pre-outs on an integrated was to hook up a sub and create a 2.1 system...?
For the few who use integrateds as part of a home theater system yes, the pre-out is oft used as a link to a powered subwoofer. If you have a high-quality pre-out (Not sure of the quality of the receiver the OP is using) then it shouldn't affect the sound quality though it will color it. For better or for worse, it'll add it's own sonic flavor. But yes, the pre-out will be able to adjust volume input to the head-amp.

I'm not trying to say that the Pre-out is the better way to go, the tape-out will probably be the best in this situation, since it'll offer a more direct route from the source to the head-amp and will not be affected by the volume level the receiver is set at. I was just confused why alex_cs said that you couldn't have a signal sent from the pre-amp section through the pre-out than have that signal sent to another amp.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline889
But yes, the pre-out will be able to adjust volume input to the head-amp.
Which is usually not desired. Most people want a fixed level into their headphone amps.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelamvr6
Which is usually not desired. Most people want a fixed level into their headphone amps.
I was editing in my explanation at the same time you wrote this . For most people I agree, they would rather adjust the volume knob on the head-amp then the receiver/integrated. For me, it up until recently was the opposite.

My receiver used to have a smoother adjusting volume pot then my NAD integrated (Was using the the NAD as a headphone-amp at the time) so I would always adjust the volume level via the Pioneer receiver. The same was true for my Marantz 1060B, it was damaged during shipping so the pot would crackle when you turned the volume knob. Because of this, for a while I was using my receiver as a pre-amp and integrateds as power headphone amps. When I had the integrated and the reciever in my rig, I tested both the pre-out and tape-out and there was no negative audible difference in sound quality so I just stuck with the pre-out. The Pioneer also added a much needed touch of warmth to the sterile and analytical sounding NAD, so it was a double plus for me.
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