headphone amp setup question

Here's the situation. My First Sound Presence preamp doesn't have a headphone jack, and the only way to listen is through my cassette deck jack. Am thinking about getting a good headphone amp. My question is this: to connect the amp, do I have to use the tape pre-out jacks, or can I use the unused pair of outputs from the preamp and just set the preamp volume controls low and use the head amp control to adjust the sound level. Thanks. JimL
use the preamp out jacks. You can use either volume control. If your preamp is remote control use the vol on the headphone jack to set the gain permanantly, and use the preamp from then on. Think of the headphone amp as just another amp, and all will become clear.
PS- if you set pre-amp low, the loudest you'll get is low.
I have the same issue w/ my integrated amp. I decided to use the Tape outputs from the Krell to keep the integrated amp's volume separate from my headphone amp's volume. By doing this you can turn off the sound from your preamp and control the headphone's volume independently for discrete listening. The only disadvantage is no remote control over the headphone's volume adjustment.
Been a question for me, too. Best case solution is to use the tape loop, as that (often) bypasses the volume pot on the preamp and allows you to have only one in the circuit (the one on the headphone amp). Folks can certainly disagree whether having the extra volume pot in the circuit will noticably degrade the sound quality, but on the theory that less is more, there is really no reason to put it in there if you don't need to. If that isn't an option (as it hasn't been for me since I switched to a preamp that doesn't have a tape loop) you can also use a second line level out from the preamp. This does, however, create the redundancy mentioned above--namely the second volume pot. My answer to this has been to dial in the preamp at rougly zero gain (on the theory that it will then have the least effect on the signal, positive or negative) and then to control the volume level at the headphone amp. To do as you suggested (keep the volume on the pre low and then use the headphone amp to turn it back up again) is likely not the best idea when it comes to fidelity (though it will certainly "work"). By turning down the volume at the preamp (thus attenuating the signal to a minimum) and then taking that reduced signal and amplifying it back up again at the second volume pot you are effectively creating the maximum possibility of altering or degrading you signal given the setup. (Hope this isn't confusing). Short answer is, sure, any of the suggestions will work fine -- some may sound better than others, though. Try it and see what sound best.
Use tape outs if ya got em. Otherwise, Mezmo's got the idea.
Many thanks for all of your great responses. Since I haven't recorded any cassettes in years, the tape loop option definitely seems the way to go. The head amp I'm thinking about has both in and out jacks, so I can just set it up in the chain. JimL
Call me lazy Jim, but I'd use the pre-amp out just so I could use my remote control. If you listen to classical, as I do , sometimes the orchestra swells to ear crushing levels at a crescendo. Of course, sometimes I listen to Dire Straits and want to be able to crank it up at times. Either way, I hate getting up with headphone cabling attached to me.
Hammy, I agree. Getting up to alter the volume from accross the room is a pain. Reminds me of my old B&W TV when I was a kid. I do it though, because headphone listening is an occassional late night affair for me. Are there any decent remote controlled headphone amps out there?