UR44 and external headphone amp to line out distortion

Pretty simple problem here. My main monitors are plugged into the main outs of the UR44 and my Creek OBH-21se headphone amplifier is plugged into the 1/2 line outs. The problem is, that the signal from the 1/2 is so loud that once ran into the headphone amp, it distorts during high peaks in audio material. I can only adjust the volume of the main outs of the UR44 but not the 1/2 line outs. So when I connect the headphone amp to the main outs instead and make sure the main volume knob on the UR44 is not turned open much, I can crank up the headphone amps own volume knob as loud as I want without distortion. This proved me that the reason for the distortion is that the line level signal from the UR44 is just too loud for the headphone amp.

A simple solution would be to be able to control the volume of the 1/2 line outs, but there is no way other than putting something in between the UR44 and the headphone amp that attenuates the audio signal. An attenuator? Is there any other way to lower the line level signal from the UR44’s line outs? Like from the software? I mean I can also turn down the master volume in the software mixer and that also removes the distortion, but I wouldn’t want to have my studio’s master fader be at -4 dB or something like that. It would mess up mixing.

If you use Cubase and Control room, you can keep the master at zero but turn down the monitoring level in Control room.

If you use other Daw, you could try to do the same by turning down the master fader in UR Dspmix.

Just a suggestion, why not feed your headphone amp from one of the two headphone outputs, each has its own control…

Thanks for the suggestions. I overcame the issue in Cubase by enabling the control room monitoring and lowered the monitoring level -10dB. Accordingly I raised the hardware’s volume roughly the same to compensate. So what is now going out from the line outs 1/2 and main outs is -10dB quieter but is again raised back roughly the same amount by the external headphone amp connected to line outs 1/2 and the monitor speakers volume is raised back with the UR44’s main out volume knob.

In Windows environment when listening to music with media players I simply lowered the Windows’ own mixer’s master volume slider to half way.

No distortion anymore when listening with the Creek OBH-21se headphone amplifier, even if I crank it’s own volume up a good deal.

I tried that with a stereo plug to 2xRCA adapter cable, but it didn’t work properly, the sound became mono in the headphone amp and very faint. I don’t think you can connect the Creek amp with a stereo adapter, you need to use two cables, one for each channel. I don’t know what happened with the adapter turning it to mono, something to do with balanced connections?

Are you sure you are using a stereo cable?

Yes, I am sure. :slight_smile:

But it could be the 3.5mm - 2xrca cable too being faulty, who knows, I’d need to try another.

For what its worth, I have used various iterations of that same cable you show above, some work well and others are troublesome, what are the inputs on your headphone amp? RCA?

I should definitely try a more quality cable then to make sure. The Creek amp has RCA inputs for L and R yes. When I try the rca adapter cable to connect an ipad to the headphone amp, I get the same mono+quiet sound issue.

That sounds like a cable issue to me. By any chance does the Creek have a +4 / -10 switch on it anywhere?