Headphone outlet on SET amplifier


I have an A.E.S.(Cary) 300B SET amplifier which has a headphone outlet. This is a secondary amp & hence is not connected to a pair of speakers.

I would like to to listen to my headphones through this amplifier using the second pre-out of my main preamp to run this amp. I don't want to remove & reconnect my speaker cables every time I want to listen to headphones.

My question, since the amp sees no load, will it be harmful to the amp in anyway, listning WITHOUT any speakers connected?

Thanks in advance,
You want to listen to your headphones through your preamp or your amp?
In almost all cases you want a load connected to a tube amp. You could hook up a dummy load to it so you wouldn't have to reconnect all the time. I'm not sure how to do it but maybe someone here can explain how.
It very well could be harmful. Most tube amps will object strongly to being fed an input signal without being connected to a load.

I would definitely contact Cary about it before taking a chance. Maybe connecting your outputs to a dummy load would suffice?


Just about every amp/integrated I've come across, with a headphone output jack, merely switches/diverts the output, retaining all speaker connections. Does this not apply to your amp?
Hi all, Thanks for the replies.

The headphone outlet is in the poweramp.

Onemug, Loonytunz,
What do you mean by a 'dummy load' ? A seperate pair of speakers just connected?

I was thinking the same thing. As you mention, there is a switch which changes between the speakers & phones. So generally in other amps the load is diverted to the phones?
For the sake of expedience, try this.

A headphone jack is usually an afterthought and will often have its own separate amplifier. In looking at the owner's manual of a Cary 300 SEI, I see that unit has a switch used to connect the main amplifier to the headphone jack. How that relates to your unit, I don't know. Just be sure that the main amplifier outputs are indeed connected to the headphone jack, or a load of some kind, before using it.
Do solid state amplifiers ever object to being powered on without a load?