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Hookup Issue - Multiple digital sources through headphone amp

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Been searching for several days for a solution to this issue. I'm sure I'm not the first to experience it, but my search skills are failing me miserably.

 

I have 3 digital sources (Dish STB, Xbox 360, and Panasonic BD player), all hooked up to my Denon AVR-3802 using optical connections.

 

I would like to be able to utilize my Sennheiser HD-600 + V-CAN amp for late-night listening so as not to disturb the rest of the house with my speakers. I have the V-CAN's hooked up to the tape loop connections on the AVR, as suggested. However, the recording loop won't output digital sources. Additionally, the optical output on the AVR is simply a passthrough for optical input 3, so that won't work either, as it will only let me listen to a single source, and only if I add a DAC.

 

Short of manually switching the optical cables to an external DAC, is there any way I can get this to work through the AVR?

If that's not possible, can anyone recommend an additional piece of hardware that would allow me to get this working?

 

I did happen to find this item on Amazon that seems like it'd work because the two outputs would let me keep everything hooked up to the AVR, yet switch to a DAC hooked up to the V-CAN. However, it seems kinda cheap and not well-made.

 

I don't currently have a DAC or this switch device, and with my first child on the way in 2 months, I'd like to not make any unnecessary purchases. If a purchase is necessary, I'm not averse to buying what's needed.

 

Any suggestions on how to get this done?

post #2 of 8

have you tried hooking to the front pre-out's instead of the tape outs?  Or maybe the multi-zone outs?

 

edit:  and by front pre-outs I mean the rca's on the back in the pre-out section labeled front.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

The main pre-outs are hooked up to my speaker amp.
I have tried the Zone 2 pre-outs, but couldn't seem to get that to work. I may give that a shot again tonight to see if that'll work, since I'm not using Zone 2 for anything.

 

post #4 of 8

I'd give the pre outs a try also.  I appreciate you not wanting to spend any money at this point but a pair of cans that work with your AV receiver might be the easiest solution.  I keep a pair of Grado SR 60s near mine for late night listening.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I hooked it up to the pre-outs, and reset the speaker configuration. However, still no sound from the headphone amp.

 

Further research after this step reveals that the multi-zone outputs suffer from the same problem as the analog tape loop... they won't output digital sources.

 

Sources:

http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=564738

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53224

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/258714/denon-avr-3802-multi-zone-operation

 

So back to square 1... any ideas?

post #6 of 8

get a switch, and use it to switch from your pre-outs to either your headphone amp or your speaker amp.  Or just manually plug and unplug the rca's every time you switch between headphones and speakers.

post #7 of 8
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Worked on this a bit more.


Seems I was grossly overthinking things, and the solution was as simple as just hooking up analog interconnects while leaving the digital interconnects in place. The AVR is now happily playing digital surround content through speakers, while simultaneously sending the stereo downmix out through the multi-zone preamp outputs. For headphone listening, I just need to switch the main input to something not in use. I tested this with my Xbox 360, and it worked exactly the way I was hoping it would.

 

I'm out of analog interconnects after hooking up the Xbox, and waiting for some connectors so I can make some new ones, but it seems like this setup should work fine with the BD player as well.

 

Thanks for helping me work through my stubborn "stuck on digital" thought process.

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