Switching between headphone amp and integrated amp - help?

pjaudio8

Novice Member
Hello,
I am looking for help in setting up my hifi so I can switch between my headphone amp and integrated amp when listening to the record player.

Currently I run the phono out into the integrated amplifier. The integrated amplifier does have a headphone amp, however I want to buy a separate headphone amp.

This means that I need to run the only phono out into both the integrated amp (when listening through my speakers) and the headphone amp (when listening through headphones).

Unfortunately my integrated amp only has one preout which I use for the active woofer, so I was thinking of purchasing a Schiit SYS, running it in reverse to be able to switch when needed.

Alternatively, the cheapest and cleanest solution is to just unplug the RCAs from amps every time I want to change but this is a hassle, and probably not good on the cables.

I was thinking about a RCA Y split, but wasn't sure if this has a bigger downside.

What is the most accepted way to set up the hifi when wanting to switch between integrated amp / speakers and headphone amp / headphones?

Thanks, and sorry if my question is very basic, but I really need to know I am doing it the best way.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Does your integrated amp have a 'Record Out'? It would have been helpful if you had given the make and model of the integrated. If it does have a Record Out then that is the connection via RCA to the headphone amp. When you want to listen to the headphones just mute the speakers on the integrated. Record Outs are fixed so the volume will be controlled by the headphone amp. This is how I connect my headphone amp to my integrated amp.
 

pjaudio8

Novice Member
Hi Gibbsy, unfortunately not. The amp is a Peachtree Audio Nova 125 SE (picture attached of back). The phono is a Clearaudio Basic + and headphones are Audeze lcd-2. The Peachtree's internal headphone amp really doesn't bring the best out of the lcd-2's which is why I was hoping that a separate headphone amp would help.
 

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gibbsy

Moderator
That's a fair old amp you have there and Peachtree are pretty confident about the headphone performance. I've got a headphone amp because my Rega doesn't have a headphone jack. You could get a headphone amp that has it's own pre-outs to connect to the Peachtree, the Lehmann Linear has that ability.

Your upgrade in performance will ultimately come down to the headphones that you'll be using and I suggest you audition carefully to listen for any upgrade in performance over the Peachtree's own headphone circuit. I don't believe a headphone amps own pre-amp would be a good move over the switchable options that you get on the Peachtree.

What do you find lacking in the Peachtree's performance?
 

pjaudio8

Novice Member
I have to turn the volume right up to get to a decent listening level, and when there I just don't get the depth I was expecting from the LCD-2s. It is all a little underwhelming.

There is another option, although a more expensive one, and that is to upgrade my phono stage from the Clearaudio Basic+ to the Clearaudio Balance V2, that has its own dedicated headphone amp Clearaudio | High End - made in germany
This option should also upgrade my usual speaker listening, with a better phono amp.

As for headphone amp preamp into the Peachtree, I have considered that but assumed it would colour the signal before it arrives at the Peachtree, which normally results more noise and less clarity. However I know I am quite naive when it comes to these things. So please correct me if I am wrong.

The headphone amps I am considering are...

Rupert Neve Designs rnhp The RNHP Precision Headphone Amplifier — Rupert Neve Designs

Or

Schiit Magnus balanced headphone amp Schiit Audio: Audio Products Designed and Built in California

As for switch boxes, I have considered...
JDS labs ol switcher JDS Labs - OL Switcher - Preamps

Or

Schiit SYS (run in reverse) Schiit Audio: Audio Products Designed and Built in California

I am assuming that I can't just split the signal from the phono (without a switch), into the two different amps? Even if I only had one amp on at a time (would never run the headphone and integrated amps at the same time). I am assuming this setup would significantly effect the performance of the system?

Once again, sorry if these questions are too basic or obvious.
 

pjaudio8

Novice Member
Hi Gibbsy,

I was just looking at the Lehmann Linear (looks like a lovely amplifier), and it gave me a separate idea.
I do have a preout on the Peachtree, but use one channel into the active woofer. Couldn't I disconnect the woofer, plug the Lehmann Linear into this preout, and then plug the active woofer into one of the preout channels in the Lehmann.

With this setup, the only thing I would need to remember is to switch the headphone amp on when listening through speakers, so that the active woofer does turn on. Is that correct?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Hi Gibbsy,

I was just looking at the Lehmann Linear (looks like a lovely amplifier), and it gave me a separate idea.
I do have a preout on the Peachtree, but use one channel into the active woofer. Couldn't I disconnect the woofer, plug the Lehmann Linear into this preout, and then plug the active woofer into one of the preout channels in the Lehmann.

With this setup, the only thing I would need to remember is to switch the headphone amp on when listening through speakers, so that the active woofer does turn on. Is that correct?
I don't know to be honest as it's not something that I've needed to do. You can fire off an e-mail to Lehmann and ask any questions you want and the boss man himself will respond, usually within 24 hours. They have a brilliant customer relations ethos.

[email protected]
 

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