Will this work, and at what sonic cost?


Short version: Theoretically, what should I expect in the way of sonic degradation from running a signal through the tape out of the SS pre into the line in of my new tube preamp? Is it just going to be like a buffer stage or what?

here's the background for details: I just got a Yaqin MS-12B mm/line stage preamp. It has one MM input and one line input, dual outputs of .7V and .25V, volume control, and NO other features (balance, mono, etc.).

I'm running the .7V output through a Sherwood AM-7040 mosfet amp. So far both CD and TT (denon dl103 through a denon transformer) sound good.

But I tried running the .25V output through my headphone amp (Meier Corda Pro); there's nowhere near enough gain -- I have to turn both pre and 'phone amp way up to get even a listenable volume. This is nearly as true running the .7v output through the 'phone amp, which I just don't understand.

Anyway, my first bright idea is to plus my headphone amp into the tape 2 out on my full featured ss pre.
This of course does no good if my source is going direct into the Yaqin, So what if I plug my CDP and tuner (as well as the second arm for my TT) into my SS pre, and plug the tape 1 out into the line in from of the Yaqin. The tape out should be a pretty straight line from the selected source, (except phono) no? I've done this, and the headphone amp now has gain, but I'm not sure of the quality yet. And I do get sound from the SS tape out through the Yaqin on my other sources, but haven't had a critical listen yet.

Did I do good, or is this a terrible compromise?


If it passes the 'initial' sound test - no horrible speaker-blowing noise, or no/very low sound - if yes, then listen and enjoy. If YOU are happy with it, well there you go.
Well, I was actually looking for a moer technical analysis, as I don't know all that much about what tape outs do to signal.
The level of a tape out signal is constant - not affected by volume control. Lets say for example you have an Integrated amp and a tuner. The amp has a tape loop. Then lets say you want to add a subwoofer. The Tape output for all practical purposes follows the input - in this case the Tuner. You could Not use the Tape Out for the Subwoofer, because the signal level is constant. When you turn up or down the volume on the amp, the tape output stays the same. It has to because it is designed to drive a tape recorder input which needs constant signal level independent of the volume control.

Hope that helps.
Thanks Joeylawn. I actually knew that much. I'm wondering about the effect of the ss pre's circuitry and/or wire, switches, etc, on the signal from my sources before it gets to the tube pre. If it's basically a source selector and otherwise has the effect of a slightly longer interconnect, then fine. if it amplifies or conditions the signal in any significant way, then maybe not fine.
That sounds normal. What you are looking for is a "tape out" type output on the Tube Pre, or some other send that sends at the full -10db like a tape out would (which, unfortunately it doesn't have). I suspect that your headphone amp has it's own volume control, so it's expecting a hot input, like a tape out. If you turn the volume up all the way on the tube pre, it will be close, if not the same, as the tape out would have, so you could just turn it up all the way to drive your headphone amp and it should be fine. I thought I read that that Yaqin can be used as a pre or just a phono-stage, but I don't know how you switch it, unless turning the volume up all the way bypasses the whole volume control circuit (which I hope it does, because I ordered one just to use as a phono stage and not as a pre with volume control.) I would check the documentation on the pre if it came with any and see if they have a suggestion.