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can I use retro amps?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was wondering, how about I get myself a retro amp like Yamaha or Denon or something for a few bucks from a garage sale and use them to drive my headphones? these retro amps weight a ton and should have pre amp / dac and everything built into them, right? So I can just take a 3.5mm to RCA adapter from my computers sound card and connect them to the back of the amp which should then be able to drive my headphones and maybe even sound better then what I get with my sound card or most ebay small amps? and on top of it all I get to control the volume and all other stuff on it too. What do you guys think? can these amps drive headphones? modern day headphones? Will it work?

post #2 of 6

Yes you should get excellent quality sound and probably better then alot of current stuff out there for all your computer audio needs from old retro amps (recievers). Just remember it will only be in stereo none of that fancy and overhyped at least to me surround sound etc. I still remember the first time i plugged a Sony amp to my computer and hooked up my Koss Pro-4AA headphones to it to play a game of QUAKE back in 1996 and it was the most surreal immersive experiance i have ever had as i heard my first pc game through headphones. If not for my very old Koss headphones giving up the ghost a few months later i probably would have never gone back to speakers.


Happy audio shopping :D

post #3 of 6

They certainly can. Though there are some caveats. The main one being that many receivers drove their front panel headphone jacks off the speaker outputs through some relatively high value resistors to help prevent blowing up your headphones. This can work quite well with orthos such as the Audez'e and HiFiMAN, but can be problematic with a lot of dynamic headphones.


Here's a thread I think you'll find interesting:





post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Gee, man.. I was worried that I might turn the dial all the way up and blow up my headphones or something, Really. That would suck. The amps I am looking at are from late 80's to mid 90's.

On a side note, the amps I am eying seem to point out that they have Dolby Pro Logic or some surround technology, so hopefully I wont be missing on anything. Not that I care much for surround sound and stuff, I have speakers for that, its for listening to music, so I think even stereo with a good pair of headphones should be great and offer quite a immerse experience.

Never owned orthos but I am planing to use some good headphones that are in the DT880 level. smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 6

I am using a 60wpc all tube power amp to power my headphone, a HiFiman ortho HE-6 straight from the speaker tap with parallel resistors for the output transformers. L3000.gif

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Great! biggrin.gif

So all these years I used the front HD audio ports to connect my headphones while my speakers connected to the Green hole of my xfi sound card. But now when I get a nice amp should I use a splitter cable off ebay and connect both the speaker and the 3.5mm to rca leading to the amp? or will that cause any issues? strains on the sound card or sound quality?



I should be okay with regular ebay RCA to 3.5mm and a 3.5mm Y cables, right? or should I get any higher quality stuff with fancy connectors?
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