Tape Monitor Line-Out direct to amplifier solution

Is it possible to use the line-outs from a traditional pre-amp's tape monitor to go directly to an amplifier, then attach an inexpensive volume attenuator (like niles audio makes) between the speakers and the and the amplifier to attenuate the sound? or... will connecting the tape monitor's line-outs just overload the amp, with no chance of attenuating the volume without first connecting a pre-amp or passive volume attenuator to the line-out's signal path? I am trying to avoid having to buy a second pre-amp in order to add a zone 2 set of amp/speakers to a traditional single zone preamp.
Hello Andron,

This would be a bad idea. The constant high level signal from the Tape Out would cause the amplifier to run full blast. Your attenuators, and more than likely your amp would burn up in a short time.
While i'm not familiar with the Niles unit that you mention, i don't see a problem with this at all. Only variable that i see coming into play would be the output level of the tape out being too low to drive an amplifier that lacks input sensitivity to full output. Even then, so long as you weren't looking for roof raising levels, you should be able to obtain at least reasonable spl's. I've never measured the output level on a tape output loop, so maybe someone else can help. I'm not certain if it is line level or not. Sean
Hello Sean,

Most Tape Outs that I have measured have about same signal strength as a main out, when running the volume control of most preamps at full.
I would be afraid that if Andron tried this he may find that the amp is running flat out, and if there was speakers, and or the attenuator hooked up at the time, bad things could happen faster than the amp could be powered down.
If you have a preamp, and a scope handy, you may want to check to confirm this.
Why would the tape out being run at full line level into a passive attenuator feeding an amp be any different than a CD player running into a passive attenuator feeding an amp? It is not like the passive attenuator has to dissipate high levels of contant wattage, it is only a matter of 1 - 3 volts at max. Obviously, one would want to start off with the attenuator at minimum volume ( maximum attenuation ) and step up from there. The attenuator itself would have to have enough range to pad the line level output to the desired level, so that would be the only major concern that i can think of. Sean
I was running a CD player directly into the Placette remote volume control (RVC) which was connected to my amplifier. I could not listen to my LP turntable this way, so I connected the tape-out from the preamp to the line-in of the RVC and left the line-out of the RVC connected to the amplifier. The main output of the preamp is not connected to anything.
To listen, I select from the pre-amp but leave its volume control off. I control volume using the RVC and find that the CD player requires a little less volume than my high-out MC cartridge to get the same levels.
The CD player and LP turntable produce a cleaner sound this way than by running them through the preamp main output. I suspect that the signal isn't going through the entire pre-amp and is less affected by this.
Sean, he wants to run the tape out full strength and pad the output of the amp. In this case I agree with Audioak, there is a danger of clipping the amp, overheating it, and a lot of wasted power into the pad.

Better to add a passive between the pre and power amp.
Wow. Thanks for pointing that out / clarifying the situation Herman. I guess i didn't catch that Audiok was hinting at the same thing. I somehow overlooked that in the original post, probably because i wasn't ever expecting to see something like that. I jumped to conclusions thinking that the attenuator would be used like a "passive preamp" to attenuate the volume between the source and the amp, not between the amp and speakers. While such an approach is used for guitar work ( Tom Scholz' Power Soak ) in order to create massive sustain, distortion and overdrive due to severe clipping of the amp, you definitely would not want to do this with a home audio system.

Good catch guys and thanks for covering for my lack of attention. Both I, and especially Andron, owe you one : ) Sean
Another option is to switch to an preamp that has dual main outs. I did this recently in an attempt to run two pair of speakers as a "super-speaker" (for lack of better term). If you check my threads, I asked which preamps have dual main outs.
Interestingly, I ended up going with none of the great suggestions given me. I saw a Rogue Magnum 66 for sale; the owner told me that the tape out is internally switchable to a second line level out! It was, and I'm using it as such.

Another possibility (you may want to discuss with someone who knows more of the technical aspects) is to split the signal using an Audioquest RCA "y" adapter. They're only $25 per pair, and might do the trick. Lot's cheaper than second preamp!