Headphone jack adaptor question.

My preamp has an extra set of RCA outputs, and I want to use the DAC I have, rather than plugging directly into the CD player.
So, is there an adaptor that allows a standard headphone plug to go into the back of a preamplifier's RCA outputs?

Radioshack has both a 1/4" stereo to rca and 1/8" stereo to rca adapters.
The output of your electronics is NOT designed to drive a headphone.
The damage to your equipment could be serious.
It may work, but is is not a good idea at all.
One use for old exceptionally good but mechanically bad cassette decks, is to run them from the output and use the headphone jack from that cassette machine.
(generally it is not gonna be any better sounding that the direct out from your CD.. but it is an alrurnative.
The other option is to buy a dedicated headphone amplifier.
ASL makes a transformer based device called, IIRC, Signature Tools, that takes a line level signal, runs it through a transformer and has headphone jacks. It is about $125, I think. Need to have a pretty high voltage pre-amp to drive it. Or take the extra pre-out and use it to drive a headphone amp as Elizabeth suggested.

(aka the "alien"-->your answer to the abduction thread was hilarious, btw!)

Thanks, I won't. I had wanted to somehow put the Dodson DAC in the chain. Right now, the only jack is on the output of the Onkyo, which is ok, but would have to be considered the system's weakest link. I own a Ramsey SHA-1 (or something like that) headphone amp, which I'd been running from the line level output on my Sony Discman. It USED to sound great to me, but with the acquisition of the Summits and the Dodson, it now sounds,...um.... less satisfactory, even with Sennheiser HD-600's. I own no suitable cassette deck either.

So NOW what do I do? I'm spoiled and want the same phenomenal sound, or at least close, from the headphones, but I'm also a cheapskate, and my wife will probably kill me (or at least give me a stern talking to) if I suggest sinking a few more grand into more "stuff."


Thanks for the tip. After looking on the Manufacturer List, I don't see ASL. Is there some information that you could help me find?

(Trying to decipher your handle, you don't work and/or live near the Everglades, do you?)
This might be the unit Swampwalker is referring to:
Antique Sound Labs UHC-Signature
Sfar- Close, but no cigar: that unit has speaker level inputs. The one I am talking about is this one:
Reference Tools the unit I had was defective out of the box, but was repaired. ASL in the past had some qa/qc issues, but others have said that those days are past.
And to the fine gent who asked about my moniker; you were close. I am a wetland scientist and often spend several days a week marking wetland boundaries and looking at the creepy-crawly things that live therein. But not in FL. I am snowbound in CT these days.
Thanks to all for the great ideas. Now there's another question: How can I verify that the output RCA on my preamp is really line level and not speaker level? Is there a testing device? (Excuse my ignorance here, please). Elizabeth has me thinking about exercising "caution."
Yet MORE questions for all you smart audiophiles (yes, I mean that, not being sarcastic):

Does anyone know, think, or have an opinion about whether either of the two devices recommended {{{(by Sfar and Swampwalker--thanks guys! :) }}}are better than the Ramsey SHA-1 headphone amp (this can be found at Ramsey Electronics and on ebay)?

Artizen65: Do you know whether that Radio Shack device is intended for line or speaker level outputs, and is it safe, given what Elizabeth said?

Thanks for the information! This is really great!

Ok here is what I think is the easiest rout at this point. Y off of the back of your DAC. Take one set of cables to your PRE and take the second set to your head phone amp. Audioquest makes makes a nice set of Y adapters for about $25.00 US. I use one to take a center channel out to a stereo amp for bi-amping my center channel works just fine.

Warning I tried this with a DVD player and monster Y adapters to go to the stereo and to the TV and got distortion out of the stereo. I am pretty sure this was due to an impedence mismatch. So before spending big bucks on an extra set of cables give it a try. IMHO a $25.00 experiment is worth it.


You will need 2 Y adapters 1 for each channel.


Thanks for the tip. Would it also work to use the line level recording outputs from the tape loop on the preamp, going directly to the headphone amp, which has a volume control?
Md- That is the way it is typically done, putting a headphone amp in the tape loop. Many also have a loop out, so you can still insert a tape deck even if you only have one loop.

Thanks for the tip. I'll try that.
OK, I hooked up the Ramsey SHA 1 headphone amp to the preamp via the line level tape loop output, and..........it worked!!! (once I figured out that I hadn't turned the headphone amp on and THAT was why at first it sounded so faint and distorted, then I turned it on and voila.....what a ditz).

Anyway, now the Ramsey SHA 1 doesn't sound anywhere NEAR as good as it used to. I think a new thread is warranted to ask what headphone amp to buy. Or is it better to just go over to head fi and snoop around their threads????