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Connecting HPs to Stereo Receiver (RCA Outs)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

Was curious of the process in potentially doing this as a less expensive upgrade.  I am interested in using a Harman Kardon HK-3490 as a headphone amp (currently still have my Denons, but am looking to upgrade to the HE-500s).  Now, I'm thinking outside of using the HK's headphone out, rather using either the RCA outputs (worth it?) or the speaker terminals directly to power the future HE-500's.  My initial thought was to use something like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/HOSA-STEREO-PHONE-1-TIP-1-RING/dp/B000068O5C

 

Is this a worthwhile upgrade path over the LD1+ I currently have?  Or for the HE-500's, would connecting to the speaker terminals be a better option to power them?  I'm not sure how that process would work, but seeking opinions for now.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyWaj10 View Post

Was curious of the process in potentially doing this as a less expensive upgrade.  I am interested in using a Harman Kardon HK-3490 as a headphone amp (currently still have my Denons, but am looking to upgrade to the HE-500s).  Now, I'm thinking outside of using the HK's headphone out, rather using either the RCA outputs (worth it?) or the speaker terminals directly to power the future HE-500's.  My initial thought was to use something like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/HOSA-STEREO-PHONE-1-TIP-1-RING/dp/B000068O5C

 

Is this a worthwhile upgrade path over the LD1+ I currently have?  Or for the HE-500's, would connecting to the speaker terminals be a better option to power them?  I'm not sure how that process would work, but seeking opinions for now.!

Driving headphones off the Little Dot 1+ Hybrid is your best option.

Speaker terminals are not designed for headphones, way too much juice for headphones, Way Too Much juice.

 

Do you know anyone still alive that plugged their headphones into the speaker outputs on the their receiver, I don't.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey there,

 

My question was based off of my hesitation towards the matter to begin with...despite reading in other threads the concept as being relatively common, especially for orthos.

 

That being said, I've now read that (since the HK already has a headphone output) if I needed more power to come through the jack for power-hungry orthos, like the HE-500, I could simply remove one of the resistors prior to the output jack, which would bring it closer to line-level.  It seems this may be the best option.  But of course, no mods will be attempted until I've thoroughly compared my LD1+ to the headphone output of the Harmon Kardon.

 

Additional thoughts/opinions?

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyWaj10 View Post

My question was based off of my hesitation towards the matter to begin with...despite reading in other threads the concept as being relatively common, especially for orthos.

 

That being said, I've now read that (since the HK already has a headphone output) if I needed more power to come through the jack for power-hungry orthos, like the HE-500, I could simply remove one of the resistors prior to the output jack, which would bring it closer to line-level.  It seems this may be the best option.  But of course, no mods will be attempted until I've thoroughly compared my LD1+ to the headphone output of the Harmon Kardon.

 

Additional thoughts/opinions?

From my understanding, when you plug headphones into the headphone jack on a receiver, the speaker amps stop powering the speakers and start driving the headphones.

So there should be more then enough power for driving headphones.

 

Your welcome to tinker with your HK all you want, but I really doubt there is anything you can do to the HK to make it drive headphones better then the Little Dot 1 + Hybrid.

Your could sell off your Little Dot I and get a Little Dot MKII or MKIII.

What are you using for a DAC? Is the Little Dot plugged into the HK's RCA outs?

What source(s) are you feeding into the HK?

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

My chain is PC --> Bifrost --> LD1+. 

 

The idea for the HK as a greater power source is from several other threads/posts that state as such, especially for orthos.  The LD1+ may end up being sufficient, I'm simply exploring the knowledge of those who have done this for demanding headphones such as the HifiMan, LCD-2, etc.

 

Of course I could go with something like a Schiit Lyr, but since the HK will be readily available as an option, I'm simply reaching out for the opinions of those driving orthos.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyWaj10 View Post

My chain is PC --> Bifrost --> LD1+. 

 

The idea for the HK as a greater power source is from several other threads/posts that state as such, especially for orthos.  The LD1+ may end up being sufficient, I'm simply exploring the knowledge of those who have done this for demanding headphones such as the HifiMan, LCD-2, etc.

 

Of course I could go with something like a Schiit Lyr, but since the HK will be readily available as an option, I'm simply reaching out for the opinions of those driving orthos.

Have you tried switching around the digital connect between the PC and the Bifrost, Coaxial-Optical-USB?

Schiit says Coaxial>Optical>USB (Quoted from someone else)

I would guess receivers have lots of power to drive headphone, but I would would think it be more in a "crude" way.

The headphone jack could have a high impedance, which is not the greatest for driving low Ohm headphones.

There are many on Head-fi who know way more about headphones and amps then me. One of them might have ideas.

post #7 of 7
It's quite common for Head-Fi'ers to power their orthos (esp. lower efficiency ones like HE-6, HE-5LE's, etc) from the speaker outputs of receivers, using a speaker tap that costs $20-50, depending upon the wire used and labor of the supplier - there's a couple of Head-Fi'ers who will do this within that range. I bought a Mogami based speaker tap (bare wires on one side, 4-pin XLR on the other) for $20 shipped.

I'm using a 15wpc vintage Yamaha CR 220 receiver from the 70's that I picked up locally for $35. I use it for both my HE-5LE's and HE-500's, even though the HE-500's are marginally more efficient.

You just need to make sure your volume is low before playing the music - I only use the CR 220 for headphones, so not an issue because it's always set low (between 1-3 on the dial). Doesn't have to be a vintage receiver, but many prefer the sound and they can be picked up cheaply from Craigslist, Goodwill, garage sales, etc. and whereas you might shy away from a 15-25wpc receiver for speaker use, it's more than enough for even inefficient headphones.

The nice thing is you can get away with this very cheaply and have all the power you'll need. I prefer the speaker taps/CR 220 to my EF5 and NFB-12, but never tried other commonly recommended high power HP amps like the Lyr.
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