I was wondering why my ah-d7000's sounded so good from the headphone out of my hk3490 so I emailed HK to ask what kind of amp it has. The response was....
"Thank you for your inquiry. For this model, the headphone jack is powered off the main amps, but has a 270 ohm resistor in between the speaker outputs and headphone output. The power amplifier in this model is discrete circuitry and the preamp is op-amp based.
Technical Support Specialist II"
Unless I'm not understanding right the headphone jack has direct access to 120 watts rms per channel with a 270 ohm resistor in between putting it somewhere between 10-15 watts available for 32 ohm phones according to a sloppy math equation. The processor seems to do a fine job as well with a toslink straight from my motherboard. I'm still making up my mind but I think my essence stx just lost it's purpose in life. Let me know if I'm full of crap please.