Help me Upgrade - Micca RB42

I currently have an Matrix M-Stage HPA-1 amp and an Audinst HUD-MX1 USB DAC powering Sennheiser HD600s. I like the sound signature, and this combo works well.

But, I recently upgraded my desktop speakers to the Micca RB42s. The amp does power the speakers, and it sounds good, but the line-out really is not designed to power speakers, especially low impedance Miccas, so the volume is at the max position for reasonable output… which of course isn’t close to where HD600s need to be for most listening.

I did try the Topping MX-3, but didn’t like the sound signature on the speaker output – too bright. Headphones was okay, but the matrix was better.

What would you recommend, adding as few components as possible, since I like the headphone sound on the Matrix. I’m open to replacing the whole lot if that’s what needs to happen. The key thing is that I need a switch to alternate from speaker to headphone out. No unplugging the headphones. Which seems to rule out the more popular options on the market at the moment.

What’s your budget? I figure you could run from your source to your headphone amp, and onto the speaker amp

Budget is pretty flexible, but around the $300 mark would work. Problem with chaining from the Matrix to the speaker amp is still not being able to switch off the headphones from the Matrix.

Well, I personally can’t think of any products in your price range that have that feature.

The schiit ragnarock 2 has that feature but it’s way out of your price range.

Edit: I actually think the audio GD R2R 11 has a switchable headphones or line out feature. It’s a headphone dac/amp with either fixed line outs or pre outs. You can turn off the headphone output I think when using the fixed or pre out. You would need a speaker amp too though

Not a bad idea. I do have an old Denon integrated I could use off the GD to power the Miccas. Interested to hear other solutions though.

Actually if you wanted to you could get an rca switcher (like this one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056DQT1A/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_DpQuDb9VSYH8G?tag=hififorums-20) and just route the audio either to your headphone amp or a separate speaker amp, but that’s a clunkier setup

If you wanted to take an interesting solution, what about just buying a makie big knob passive and an Onkyo M-5010. You would connect your dac to the makie and switch between the headphone amp and the power amp. You could use the big knob passive to control the volume of the speaker amp and the headphone amp. Not really desk friendly though. You could swap the power amp out for something like a parasound zamp v3 though.

RCA switcher is a killer idea for this situation. Right out of the DAC, into the RCA switch, then over to the existing Matrix for headphones, or I can hook up my old Denon for the speakers. Neat.

Before I go that way, anyone think of other solutions? Are there really no switch based headphone/speaker desktop style amps?

The limitation of having to keep the headphones plugged in really limits you alot on your choices

The one you linked is nice, but I just came across this piece of techno-art… solution found!

Which is odd – tough to imagine that playing headphones and speakers from the same unit is an edge case.

There you go. A real statement piece

It’s the fact that you need the headphones to stay plugged in. Most manufactures design that either plugging in headphones silences the speakers and routes audio to the headphones, or have it where the line or pre outs are always on and having the headphones plugged does not do anything and the headphones still play music. Since you have your headphones plugged in all the time and don’t want to unplug them, either they will divert audio to them instead of the speakers or still be on when the speakers are playing. Most manufacturers don’t want to integrate a separate switch to control this, and those that do tend to be in the higher end price range

The Emotiva would be a great speaker and headphone amp for $250. The only issue is that it does not have a DAC and it is pretty basic as far as features go, but it does look really great and it is built like a tank.

EDIT: Emotiva BasX A-100 is what I meant to say as “MON” stated.

Agree with this for sure, the emotiva a100 basx is a solid speaker/headphone amp. Taking the jumpers out on the headphone out can really give you a great speaker amp with a headphone amp with gobs of power.

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Thanks for clarifying what amp I meant to say. LOL. It was in my head when I was typing it!

I have heard from a lot of people that this is the end of the line for headphone amps due to how much power it can give with the jumpers off, but I personally do not own a set of cans that needs the power.

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I personally wouldn’t say its anything like endgame or something of the sort, but it is a crap ton of power for a headphone (8.5 ish watts at 50 ohms). There are better sounding headphone amps, but many of them just can’t touch this power output for headphones, but then again, do they need to lol? Still nice to have on hand though. The ability to power whatever

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As far as sound signature goes it may not be for everyone, but if you wanted something that could power everything you threw at it without having to make any other purchases down the road, this would be the way to go.

Does the Emotiva have switchable headphone/speaker output?

No. It would output to the headphones as long as they are plugged in

No, you just unplug the headphones you are using and the speakers automatically switch on and then speakers switch off as soon as you plug headphones in.