Jul 23, 2018711 views

What am I doing wrong? HD 58X and a Schiit Magni 2

I am just making my first forays into hifi and headphones specifically. I use several Koss headphones and a Sony MDR-V6 through my iPhone. I don't generally don't use headphones with a computer audio source. I wanted a headphone for listening to a turntable/receiver setup and I bought the 58X to start.
I am listening to a Philips GA312 turntable>Yamaha RV303 receiver. I think the 58X are enjoyable enough at 10-15% volume when plugged directly into the receiver. I was curious about dedicated headphone amps, so I picked up a used Schiit Magni 2. Here is where my confusion begins.
When nothing is playing, the Magni 2 hums loudly in the headphone when turning the Magni volume knob. When something is playing on low volume at the receiver, the hum completely drowns out the audio. If you put the receiver up to 75-100%, the Magni volume knob is extremely sensitive, and the audio is blownout/distored sounding at the lowest audible volume.
Any advice is appreciated. What am I doing wrong here? Thanks!

Update 11/15/18: A) I was incorrectly plugging the Magni right into the headphone jack of the receiver (forgive me) B) No built in phono preamp on the TT, so I go TT to phono jack on the back of the receiver, then run the Magni out of the Tape out jack. I'm not sure why exactly, but here are no RCA out for speakers, only the copper wire clips. C) I ended up bypassing the receiver all together via a Rolls phono preamp, to the Magni, to Sennheisser 58x. I did this bc I was just on a must-isolate-components kick. Not sure of the benefits. I have a Vali 2 on the way and thinking about the digital setup now. Thanks for all of the input!

Do you have everything that is connected to the amp at 100% volume?
yeah, I agree about the loop or connection fault. Sometimes, just shifting the wires away from the base or making sure that other electric devices are further away can fix you right up and identifye which is the culprit.
A lot of people tend to stack all of the stereo rig into a single outlet. Very likely candidate for problems. Go for a well grounded, high quality power source that is separate from the rest of the gear. You will be glad of it.
Can you say a bit more about how you have it connected? Only thing I can think of based on the description, besides a faulty amp is if you connected it to the headphone output of the receiver instead of a line level output. Amping an already amped output can cause some crazy distortion.
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I don't know that you get much value out of a preamp. I don't know anything about your receiver, but Yamaha generally makes good stuff, so I'd be surprised if you didn't get a clean signal out of the line out (or zone 2, which is what I do for my wireless theater headphones).
That right there is your issue... don't connect the headphone amp to the headphone out on the receiver. Receivers have RCA analog outs, which is what should be used instead. The 'easiest' way to fully integrate a headphone amp into a HT/Stereo receiver system would be to connect it to the pre-outs for the L/R channel and use a switch to choose between headphone amp and speaker amp. This requires you to have a receiver with preamp outs and use separate amps for your speakers though, which you don't.
The other way is get a DAC that will accept inputs of the all the gear you want to listen to, assuming you have digital outputs on the gear which are not currently being used - coax, optical, BNC, or I2S connections. Analog inputs in a DAC are not very common at all (because DAC...) Here's one with phono and analog inputs though, and amp/headphone jack included:
Sounds like ground loop or bad cable connection. Remove all interconnects and reinstall them, try to get the magni on a different circuit/outlet if possible.
Hey, thanks for the link! I am going to try rewiring and see how that turns out.