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Headphone amp/setup for vinyl?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

A little help would be appreciated.

 

I'm currently listening to vinyl on my turntable though a Sony receiver (from the '90s), and mainly using Grado 225i headphones.

The receiver headphone jack sounds terrible, and I'd like to use a proper amp. But I'm not sure how a turntable setup would differ from a CD player setup. Do I need a pre-amp (why?), and can I use any of my current gear?

 

My current inventory: [AMPS]= Little Dot I+ Hybrid Amp & Fiio E9i; [RECEiVER]= Sony STR-AV370; [Turntable]= Dual CS 630Q; [HEADPHONES]= Denon AH-D7000, Sennheiser HD 600, Grado SR225i.

 

 

Thanks for any help.

 
   
 

Edited by Bee inthe Attic - 6/16/12 at 9:03pm
post #2 of 12

Basically a CD player has a higher output, so it can be plugged directly into a headphone amp.  Turntables are much lower output, so they need to be run through a preamp to boost the output.  I'm guessing that your Sony receiver probably has a built in phono preamp.  If you picked up an inexpensive phono preamp, you could then run your turntable directly into your little dot and enjoy all of your headphones directly.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

1) someone once told me that i shouldn't (couldn't?) use my little dot because it's a hybrid amp, and that i would need to use purely a tube amp. is this correct, or is this just a recommendation for best sound quality?

 

2) the only output on my Sony receiver is the tape deck record output. i ran that to the little dot and it works. turntable>sony receiver>little dot. is this a bad way of doing things for any reason? because if its ok, i'll stick with it.

 

3) a problem with using my receiver (or any phono pre-amp) into my little dot is that I have to use a splitter (or piggy back cables, which is what i'm using now) to split the signal of my DAC and the turntable into the little dot. would this degrade sond quality?

 

I'm not sure what the best way to do this is. any recommendations? thanks.

 

 

 

ps: for a pre-amp, i've read up a bit, and like this one if that's the route i should go:

http://www.amazon.com/ART-II-Preamplifier-Outputs-Switchable/dp/B000AJR482/ref=lh_ni_t


Edited by Bee inthe Attic - 6/17/12 at 11:16pm
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

deleted


Edited by Bee inthe Attic - 6/17/12 at 11:27pm
post #5 of 12
Bee

1) sound only. No reason you can't use your little dot. Hybrid is fine, just a different sound from pure tube or pure SS.

2) Great idea...I should have thought of that! Tape out is high gain so that should work fine.

3) I do believe that any type of splitter will degrade the sound...but if you have one try it both ways, splitter and wired direct. You could always just unplug when you are going from LP's to DAC.
Edited by kev pfeifle - 6/18/12 at 7:17am
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks for the feedback kev. 1 more thing, if i may:

 

- do you think using a phono pre-amp (like the one i linked to in the previous post) would have significantly better sound than using the receiver output? i have no experience with these and don't want to buy it if it'll do the same thing as my receiver.

post #7 of 12
Ok...here is where it gets sticky. Along with increasing the output a phono preamp is also reading the "code" engraved on the record and outputting it as a normalized signal. So the question is if a different one would sound better then the one built into your Sony receiver....no question you could get one that sounds better, but I believe you would have to spend a few hundred to get an improvement, I doubt very much if you would notice any difference with the one you linked to. I would take that money and invest in more records!
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kev pfeifle View Post

Ok...here is where it gets sticky. Along with increasing the output a phono preamp is also reading the "code" engraved on the record and outputting it as a normalized signal. So the question is if a different one would sound better then the one built into your Sony receiver....no question you could get one that sounds better, but I believe you would have to spend a few hundred to get an improvement, I doubt very much if you would notice any difference with the one you linked to. I would take that money and invest in more records!

 

please don't encourage me to buy more records - i have a slight problem.  atsmile.gif

(i walked into the record store last night to buy 1 album, and left with 5.)

 

thanks for all your help. much appreciated.

post #9 of 12

Get a vintage Marantz, Pioneer, or Sansui form the 70s.  They drives headphone better than some of the dedicated amps out there and also have a killer phono preamp built in.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post

Get a vintage Marantz, Pioneer, or Sansui form the 70s.  They drives headphone better than some of the dedicated amps out there and also have a killer phono preamp built in.


ya, i've been casually looking for one.

problem is they are real hard to find in thrift shops, and the ones I do occasionally see are beat up.

reputable stores and people on craigslist know they are valuable, and are charging a couple hundred dollars and up for them.

the search for a hidden-gem continues... hope to find one soon.... (thanks for the advice)

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee inthe Attic View Post


ya, i've been casually looking for one.

problem is they are real hard to find in thrift shops, and the ones I do occasionally see are beat up.

reputable stores and people on craigslist know they are valuable, and are charging a couple hundred dollars and up for them.

the search for a hidden-gem continues... hope to find one soon.... (thanks for the advice)

If you don't have any hard to drive headphones (HE-6, LCD-2/3. etc), a 15 or 20 watts is plenty for headphone.  With my Marantz 2265B, the HE-6 sounds much better from the speaker tap over the headphone.

post #12 of 12

if i had to pick one vintage for headphones that i've spent a decent amount of time listening to it would be the Marantz 2245.  And to my ears its a pretty clear winner.

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