how to get more gain/volume out of headphones

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by jcnoernberg, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. jcnoernberg

    jcnoernberg Guest

    I have a simple edirol usb powered interface. The output on the unit is of course virtually inaudible. What are my options to boost the output. This is strictly used by myself for maybe monitoring an acoustic track while laying down some vocals. Quality of sound is not an issue at all, since it is only to keep timing. I know I could buy a preamp, but I don't have a lot of cash to invest in this. I found a plan online and built a simple little headphone amp for like 16 bucks via radio shack parts, but it still doesn't have much power. Can anyone recommend a home-brew kit/schematic, or a very cheap alternative? Maybe I'll have to go through a cheap powered mixer, which I may be buying anyhow.... Thanks in advance guys...
  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    What kind of headphones are you using? Try a set with lower impedance, you'll get better power transfer from your headphone amp. You might also try a hotter opamp chip and gain pot in your homebuilt.
  3. Jammer40351

    Jammer40351 Guest

    Try looking around for an old (like an 1980's model) VHS OR BETA HI FI VCR. The important thing is that its HI Fi (80 db dynamic range - near cd quality) AND that it has controlls to turn the input volume up/down. (newer hi fi models mostly all have auto gain circuits that circumvent the purpose propsed here)

    I know many that have older Beta Hi Fi models made by Sony and Sanyo just collecting dust in storage. Most of the models Im speaking of were mid-hi price models back in their day. No adays the sell for $10 on Ebay.

    If you can score one of these old HI FI VCRs for free, your home bound. Just take the headphone and get the RCA adaptors/cables (or simply splice it, being carfull to keep any shielding on- even maybe add some tin foil to wrap around the shield - next wrap with black tape.) - As long as your input is feed to the hi fi vcr's audio input, and the head phones are pluged into either the vcr's headphone jack (few had head phone jacks) or more plausable the audio output jacks (RCAs) - you mearly put a blank tape on record (slow speed- Betas went 5 hours) and adjust the gain on the vcr.

    I know it sounds crazy, but I have done this with much luck. I had so much gain that I could get a heavy metal distortion level from a cheap mic.

    I hope that helped. Feel free to pm or email me anytime if you like.

    Good luck.

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