Skip to main content

Hi gang !
I'm aiming in all directions with my current headphone amps for the artists.
I do have a Behringer Powerplay Pro-XL HA4700 but it's design makes it receive only one stereo signal and/or 4 analog. I currently use my old (preamp defective) Focusrite Liquid saffire 56 via ADAT for 2 more headphone amps and I keep my RME FF800 headphone out for me..

I wish I could use those ADAT port to power 2 or 4 headphone amp without breaking the bank.
Any suggestions ?

Topic Tags


bouldersound Thu, 05/02/2019 - 19:42

I'm not sure what you mean by "only one stereo and/or 4 analog."

The 1/4" front panel channel aux inputs are TRS for unbalanced stereo signals (tip=left, ring=right, sleeve=ground). When you connect signal to the channel aux inputs the balance knob changes function to balance the aux input with the main input (instead of balancing left and right).

Boswell Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:23

I don't know of a simple stand-alone device that takes an ADAT lightpipe in and produces 4 analogue stereo headphone outputs. Some audio interfaces such as the FF800 can be set up to do that and run stand-alone driving headphone amps, but you might as well use your existing FF800 for that purpose.

Another possibility is that you use an ADAT -> 4x S/PDIF output converter and then something like four Focusrite VRM boxes for performing the conversion and headphone drives (using the S/PDIF input rather than the USB). This scheme would have the advantage that these boxes have a volume control and could be placed adjacent to the respective performers.

I believe that Graham-Patten Systems produces an ADAT -> 4x S/PDIF converter, but their website is currently unresponsive, so I can't look it up.

pcrecord Fri, 05/03/2019 - 11:24

Hi Boswell, thanks for the suggestions
I currently use the FF800 outputs as this :

  • 2 main monitors
  • 1 Reamp and 1 mono reverb (for headphones only)
  • which leaves 4 output (currently going to the HA 4700 in mono) Or they could go to 2 stereo headphone amps.

Thing is I often get more than 2 persons in the studio either artists themself or even spectators that want to listen to the live recording.
So currently the 2 headphones outputs of my old Saffire 56 (powered via ADAT) are very handy but it's a bulky and untrustable unit I'd like to replace for a better solution.
That's why I thought of using those adat outputs to get up to 4 headphone mixes..

I saw the MOTU Monitor 8, which has 2 adat inputs and many TRs so I could have 6 headphone mixes and still have one more for me.. But it's $1341.00 CAD is a over I'd like to pay !
For an operation that won't give me better recording results that is ! ;)
I guess I could try to find a used one...

At this point if I don't find a used or another less expensive unit, I may resolve to make a few DIY headphone amps and go for shared mixes !!


kmetal Fri, 05/03/2019 - 15:13

Behringer makes a headphone distribution system.

The main unit - (P16-i)

And the personal mixers - (P16-m)

Each artist gets there own personal mixer, from the main unit via Ethernet. The main unit gets signal from up to 16x 1/4" plugs/channels from your interface.

Its not super duper cheap, but is scalable. A friend of mine likes his system alot. I thought it sounded fine. Davedog uses this system as well i think.


This also connects to either p16 unit, and might be useful as well.

Unfortunately none of them have adat digital in, so you'd still need something like boulder suggested.

bouldersound Fri, 05/03/2019 - 15:38

Boswell, post: 460887, member: 29034 wrote: That would do the ADAT -> analogue conversion, but you would still need headphone drive amplifiers.

He's got a Behringer HA4700. With the right cables he can go from the ADA8200 to the HA4700. The first two channels of the ADA8200 could go to the main inputs of the HA4700 and be available to all the outputs. The remaining outputs of the ADA could feed any of the aux inputs of the HA as needed, as either mono or stereo signals. The aux inputs could be used for "more me" along with the main input or for entirely unique mixes. It would be incredibly versatile.

Not only that, it would provide an additional eight mic inputs to the system.

kmetal Fri, 05/03/2019 - 16:57

bouldersound, post: 460891, member: 38959 wrote: Good point, but wouldn't going higher reduce the channel count?

In most interfaces yes. If i remember correctly the scarlett gen 2 and newer motu interfaces allow full channel count at 192k. Not sure about ff800. This sample rate/channel count spec was very important to me a couple years back, and i remember emailing quite a few manufacturers.

bouldersound Fri, 05/03/2019 - 18:09

kmetal, post: 460892, member: 37533 wrote: In most interfaces yes. If i remember correctly the scarlett gen 2 and newer motu interfaces allow full channel count at 192k. Not sure about ff800. This sample rate/channel count spec was very important to me a couple years back, and i remember emailing quite a few manufacturers.

I may be behind the times a little, but I recall that going to higher rates required more ADAT connectors to keep the channel count. The interface may already have that limitation.

pcrecord Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:54

Hey thanks guys ! I looked into the P16 system, it's kinda neat but could be intimidating for some amateurs/artists and buying a 5-6 musicians kit is kinda over my budget (don't forget we pay 30% more in canadian dollars..)

You are right on point with the 8200 since I'm recording in 96khz and it only have one ADAT input, it would give me 4 channels so 2 stereo headphone mix...
But I'll keep it in mind if my saffire 56 dies (it only gives me 2 headphones mix now anyway, but If I buy a different amp, via 2 ADAT, It could go to 4 st mixes)

Follow up :

This weekend I made some changes to my setup.
The problem with the 4700 is that it only allows one stereo input (the main) and the rest of the inputs are mono (the aux in front)
So I decided to take 2 mono outputs from the FF800 and send them to the main input (which I wasn't using before) instead of 2 aux in.
I also kept the 2 mono.

So here's my Headphone count now :

  • 2 stereo from the Saffire 56
  • 1 Stereo from the 4700
  • 2 mono from the 4700
  • 1 stereo from the RME FF800

User login