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I have a Cakewalk FA-66 FW audio interface, Do I need a headphone amp for my HD650s?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Lurker here. First time poster.


I have a question. I recently acquired the Sennheiser HD650's and i have a Cakewalk FA-66 firewire audio interface. Do I need a quality headphone amp?


here is my firewire audio interface


I want to mix and attempt to master certain aspects of my songs with them. I have yamaha hs80m monitors that I will use for final mastering/mixing, but at nights I want to use my headphones for my wife sleeping.

Anyways, people say HD650's do justice with a proper headphone amp. However I already have the FA-66 audio interface. Does this double as a good amp? Do I even need a headphone amp? I tried to search the specs of the output power of the headphone jack on the interface but I couldn't find it on the website or the manual.


The only reference towards any amp is the preamp for the xlr inputs.  im a newbie please help.


-Purchased Sennheiser HD650's
-I have Cakewalk FA-66 firewire audio interface
-Do I need a headphone amp, or will the interface do?


If I do need an amp, could you recommend one for around $250?  I seen good review of the Schiit Asgard, but they are backordered.

Thanks a ton in advance

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

If I do need one, i was thinking about the Matrix M-stage v2



does the voltage matter? (100-120v, 220-240v)


And to hook it up I would need stereo 1/4 cable from the headphone output of the fa-66, into into RCA jack splitters going into the back of the headphone amp right?


Please help my sorry tail

post #3 of 7

Wow, your FA-66 look so much like my Edirol FA-101! I guess they should be since they are both made by Roland. ;)

Whether you need an amp is up to you, if you can get enough sound level on your HD650s from the headphone out I wouldn't bother. A headphone amp will make some difference but not enough that it'd matter much I think. If you are using your headphones to do mixes I'd suggest an amp designed for reference purposes like the SPL 2Control which can be used to control your Yamaha monitors too. wink.gif

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Danz03, thank you so very much for your reply. 


I also read that the fa-66 has good headphone output as a DAC, so what I think I will do is just wait it out and see if the hd650's flow well with the output of the FA-66. 


Also thanks for the input about the other amp.  I will definitely look into it.  The HS80m are powered with some nice ampage to it already, but since i want to mix really good, i will explore that option as my finances permit lol

post #5 of 7

You are welcome. I suspect your FA-66 must have the same DAC and HP amp as my FA-101, mine is sufficient to drive my LCD-2s and HD800s, so it should be OK for your HD650s. in my opinion, if you are mainly using it to do mixing, any amp that doesn't add any coloration would be fine, but tube amps would be a big No-No. The SPL Phonitor is designed for monitoring with headphones which I think would be perfect but it's not particularly cheap, that's why 2Control is quite a nice alternative.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Dan thank you again.  Your input is very much appreciated. 


Feels great to have an answer to my question after so much searching lol.

post #7 of 7

Hi Perplex1 and Danz03, I came across this thread when I was doing my research on the Roland Quad-Capture UA-55. It seems to me that a pro/semi-pro audio interface is such a good value when compared to audiophile oriented DACs. 


I have a couple of questions:

- have you experienced any problem playing back music using Foobar on your audio interfaces?

- how was it driving the HD650?

- can you think of any drawbacks using an audio interface vs a DAC?



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