How should I route my setup?
Jan 20, 2020 at 4:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Peter Z

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Hi! I just received my ESP-95X, which is a fantastic pair of electrostatic cans powered by an energizer with a 3.5mm input and only one RCA input, which is problematic. It's problematic because I have two sources--a turntable and a Schiit Modi 2 Uber, both of which produce RCA outputs. Why not use splitter cables? The reason is that I also use an RFTLYS eA1A tube amplifier, which has two RCA inputs and a 6.5mm output (for headphones).

I switch between my sources and between headphones and speakers fairly often, so plugging and unplugging is not a viable solution. I just want to ask, is it a good idea to route the signal from the headphone output of the amplifier into the energizer? Or is it better to use splitter cables? I'm just wondering if it is good practice to use the headphone output as an auxiliary signal, since it's already amplified for headphone use.
 
Jan 20, 2020 at 9:51 PM Post #2 of 9

PurpleAngel

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While running a cable from the headphone output jack, to the line-input on something, will sometimes work decently.
It's better to not daisy chain headphone amplifiers.
 
Jan 21, 2020 at 1:35 PM Post #4 of 9

gimmeheadroom

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The easy answer is you need more sources :D

I have the same problem and I didn't find a good answer. I did buy more sources and it helps to some degree. Ultimately especially if you don't have a bottomless bank account you have to bite the bullet and get a switch box and live with multiple cable connections and path loss. Whether you can hear it or not, it's not optimal. I got some RCA T-connectors from Meier in Germany. They're Chinese as far as I know but pretty heavy duty. They allow you to run two amps off one source. In the end I decided not to use them but it might be a quick option that could solve some problems and if you don't like it you didn't lose much money.

Jan Meier did tell me that running an amp off the headphone jack is a bad idea so I didn't try it.

I'm living with the occasional cable dance rather than going the switchbox route.
 
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Jan 21, 2020 at 1:56 PM Post #5 of 9

Peter Z

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especially if you don't have a bottomless bank
Ah, what I was thinking--the answer is almost always more money. I was hoping that fellow head-fi people would have some perfect solution unbeknownst to me, but I think I just made a fool of my self hoping for an answer that doesn't exist. I got a switch box already and with the help of a friend, discovered that there is noticeable path loss through a blind test. :frowning2:
Cable dance, though? Nah.
 
Jan 21, 2020 at 1:59 PM Post #6 of 9

gimmeheadroom

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So try the RCA splitters. It gets you double the outputs for a few bucks. Worst case you hate them and sell them on Reddit for 2x what you paid :D
 
Jan 21, 2020 at 2:08 PM Post #7 of 9

Peter Z

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So try the RCA splitters. It gets you double the outputs for a few bucks. Worst case you hate them and sell them on Reddit for 2x what you paid :D
I already brought a 4 dollar passive switch box from China, and it's surprisingly not so bad. I honestly would pay 20 dollars for the build quality, if I saw it in a store. The only dubious thing about it is the fact that it is meant to be a video switch box. But it ain't stupid if it works, right? Maybe if I get really good headphones I'll be able to see the sound.
 
Jan 22, 2020 at 12:05 AM Post #8 of 9

PaganDL

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Hi! I just received my ESP-95X, which is a fantastic pair of electrostatic cans powered by an energizer with a 3.5mm input and only one RCA input, which is problematic. It's problematic because I have two sources--a turntable and a Schiit Modi 2 Uber, both of which produce RCA outputs. Why not use splitter cables? The reason is that I also use an RFTLYS eA1A tube amplifier, which has two RCA inputs and a 6.5mm output (for headphones).

I switch between my sources and between headphones and speakers fairly often, so plugging and unplugging is not a viable solution. I just want to ask, is it a good idea to route the signal from the headphone output of the amplifier into the energizer? Or is it better to use splitter cables? I'm just wondering if it is good practice to use the headphone output as an auxiliary signal, since it's already amplified for headphone use.


Hi @Peter Z,

Personally, splitter cables or a splitter box isn't a great idea either as feedback & signal distortion will occur, I suggest instead looking into the Presonus HP 4 or better yet, Drawmer MC 2.1 especially if you have speakers with either RCA or XLR inputs though ideally, I would suggest both as I use both HP 4 & MC 2.1 daily to manage my setup.

With Presonus HP 4
For audio output, use either or both the following :
- Use the speaker passthrough at the back with TRS adapter plugs for RCA on one end of your RCA cable to whatever head amp with RCA input.
- From the front head outs, using a 6.3 plug with either Stereo Male 3.5 mm to Female RCA adapter
OR
Cordial 3.5 mm to RCA plug Cable.

As a side note, if you want to use your own cables, the Stereo Male 3.5 mm to Female RCA adapter is a better option though the Cordial cable will make it easier & take less space.

Most pro audio shops should have all I have suggested above & will more than likely give you a good deal too.

In answer to your other question, nothing wrong with using a head amp to route the audio signal as I have suggested & actually doing myself though it will depend on the head amp.
So @PurpleAngel isn't wrong but a head amp has to be able to support multiple audio signals & not many can do that well or at all.
For example, the HP 4 can actually be infinitely stacked via the stereo passthrough in the back.

Not to mention the following :
- The audio signal from my audio interface's head out goes to the HP 4
- Which in turn has the audio signal sent via the stereo passthrough in the back
- to a hifi amp running passive speakers.

Hope this all makes sense.

Feel free to ask more when you need.

Hope you have a great day !
 
Jan 22, 2020 at 2:53 AM Post #9 of 9

ProtegeManiac

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Ah, what I was thinking--the answer is almost always more money. I was hoping that fellow head-fi people would have some perfect solution unbeknownst to me, but I think I just made a fool of my self hoping for an answer that doesn't exist.

The other solution is 'just lower requirements and expectations.'

Like how I don't feel like selling my headphone amp to get an amp with a preamp, so my casual listening speakers on my laptop work desk are on a completely separate audio chain than my reference headphone rig.
 

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