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sikorskd's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: Aug 21 2019 - 4:44am
Advice on headphone amp connection


I apologise in advance if this is a stupid question. I have on order the following setup: NAD M12/M22 that I will use mostly with Bluos to stream Tidal and a record player. The combo will drive Focals Kanta 2. I'm considering investing as well in a nice pair of headphones and hp amp.

My question is how best to connect the cans to my preamp? I see 2 options: 1) buy a hp amp with a integrated DAC and connect it to my M12 via digital out, 2) buy a non-DAC hp amp and connect it via analogue pre-outs of the NAD (which does not have a tape out). Option 1 is a more expensive proposition and redundant as there Is already a DAC in the M12. Also, this approach raises 2 questions: is the output from the digital out of the M12 fixed or variable? To listen to the headphones without having sound coming out of the main speakers, do I just need to turn the power amp (M22) off?

Option 2 seems better, but I would then have volume control from both the M12 and the hp amp, which doesn't seem ideal. In that case, does it make sense to turn the volume to minimum on the M12, 50% as I have read elsewhere?

Any enlightenment from this community would be great. By the way, I would also take recommendation on the hp amp or hp DAC/amp :). It will probably be used to drive Focal Stellias.

Thanks a lot!

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