Connecting Headphone Amp


I want to add a headphone amp to my system, just can't figure out how to. I don't want it connected to a particular source input component. I want to be able to use it with various sources. Here's the problem. I have a Conrad Johnson CA200 which I am definitely not replacing. It has a pre-out, perfect for a headphone amp, but when you mute the amp, the pre-outs are muted as well. Any brilliant thoughts out there. I'd really appreciate a suggestion.
adeep42
After looking at the CA200 manual it appears to me that you can simply connect the input of the headphone amp to either of the "EPL" outputs (not inputs), and that should do the trick. The mute function (and also the volume control) on the CA200 will then apparently have no effect on the signals provided to the headphone amp. You would control headphone volume exclusively with the control on the headphone amp. Also, I’m pretty certain that you would NOT have to select either of the EPL inputs on the CA200 in order to use the headphones, although doing so would have the effect of essentially muting the signal path to the speakers (perhaps not quite as effectively as using the mute function, however).

Regards,
-- Al

Post removed 
Thank you Al.

That's brilliant!

Alan
Al, still think your idea was brilliant, however, C-J told me the mute mutes everything. I’m back to square one.
Thanks, Alan! But hope is by no means lost.

First, I would give it a try anyway. It can’t hurt to try, and it’s always possible that the person was either misinformed or misunderstood the question. And in fact the manual says that activating mute "will silence the preamplifier main outputs," without mentioning the EPL outputs. Perhaps what the person was thinking is that the mute function would mute signals that would otherwise be supplied to the pre-outs in response to signals received from the EPL **inputs**.

But if the CJ person was correct, I’m quite confident that the following alternative will work: Connect the EPL1 outputs (left and right) to the inputs of the headphone amp (left and right). Select the source you want to listen to. Using the EPL/Thtr button select EPL. Turn the volume control on the CA200 all the way down (although that may not be necessary). Do NOT select "Mute." That should do it!

If by any chance a little bit of low level sound is still heard from the speakers, do everything as above except try selecting Thtr rather than EPL.

Good luck. Best regards,
-- Al

Al, Thank you again. really appreciate your excellent thoughts. You are definitely an example of what makes Audiogon such a terrific community.

Best,

Alan
Al, don't know if you're still watching, but I thought I'd let you know what's happening. I decided that the only thing I could do was experiment. Borrowed a headphone amp and some phones. Tried every possible connection I could think of. All to no avail. The C-J CA200 just is not meant to connect to a headphone amp in any way.


Thanks for your input and good thoughts.


Best,

A frustrated Alan



Hi Alan,

Thanks for the update, and for the very nice words.  I must say, though, that I'm surprised and puzzled.  When you tried the last of my suggestions (quoted below) was the problem that no sound was heard through the headphones, or was the problem that the speakers weren't silenced?
Connect the EPL1 outputs (left and right) to the inputs of the headphone amp (left and right). Select the source you want to listen to. Using the EPL/Thtr button select EPL. Turn the volume control on the CA200 all the way down (although that may not be necessary). Do NOT select "Mute."
Best regards,
-- Al
 
Hello Al,

You are my new guru. It worked. Thank you so very much. My plan is now to build a Bottlehead Kit. In the summer of 1958 I built my first hifi. A 12 watt mono Eico kit. The later stereo version is now regarded as a classic. Restored, they can go for up to $1500. It served me well for many years. Hopefully, I can experience that fun and satisfaction again.

By the way, looked at your system. A superb mix of new and classic.

Best,

Alan






Great! Glad I was helpful. And thanks for the nice words about my system. Yours was clearly chosen and assembled thoughtfully and well, and I’m sure is a delight to listen to. Best of luck with the Bottlehead kit.

Best regards,
-- Al