A couple years ago I plugged my headphones directly into my RCA line outs from my DAC. My DAC uses a single OPA2107 at 16V on the output to direct feed the RCAs. The line output was ear-bleedingly loud, serious tinnitus-ville. I forget which headphone I tried this with... I think it was the HD580.
So I came to realize my amps aren't really amp-ing anything... they are active signal attenuators, impedance matching boxes. They are there more for "color" and their tonal signature than anything I think.
So my question is, do I even "need" an amp circuit? Can I just use low wattage transformers between my RCA line outs and headphones? So my 32-300 ohm headphones with the transformers would present a high impedance load to the OPA2107 RCA line out.
If I need to attenuate the output, I can just (in the digital realm) turn down the volume on my DVD player, which I am using as an optical transport to feed a bitstream to my DAC.
Anyone ever tried this?
Edited by kramer5150 - 2/18/14 at 12:06pm