OK, total noob warning..
I'm just starting to stick my big toe into the PC audio hobby. I am also on a tight budget and would like to learn as much as I can without spending too much money.
So I first purchased some headphones and ended up with the well regarded Monoprice 8323 and sure enough, they sound great right out of my laptop (thinkpad X61) and Sansa Clip +.
Ok, so as an experiment I took the headphone out of my laptop (and clip+) into the Tape input on the SA-EX140 and tried listening to both speakers and the headphone out. Well the headphone out sounded horrible and I have no way to compare the speaker's audio, but I guess that was also retched.
Here is my big question. Shouldn't the signal from my laptop, into the SA-EX140, and out the headphone amp of the SA-EX140 sound at least as good as straight from the laptop? OR.. is it being distorted due to double amplification or.. whatnot? Or is just a crappy phone amp?
Thanks for any guidance, I know this sounds like a simple issue, but I think it will help me get my brain around what I need to do next.