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Cambridge CXN V2 + Schiit Magnius + HifiMan HE400S = No sound



I just bought the streamer and headphone amp listed in the title, and intend to put them in a rack I'm going to build on Saturday.  For now, I'm just trying them out...  Or trying to try them out.  I am getting zero sound here.  See the pics attached; yes, I know that in the one with the balanced cables the amp is switched off.  I promise I tried with it on. :)  I talked to my dad by phone after texting him these pictures, and he recommended connecting another source to the amp and seeing if it works.  I have an old JVC CD player, but found that I misplaced the power cable for it.  I'm looking for something else to attach by RCA cable, but while I chew on that I thought I'd ask here to see if there's anything I might be doing wrong.


I realize that the unbalanced headphone connection largely defeats the balanced XLR cables between streamer and amp.  Again, I'm just getting started here, and figure I'll upgrade later.  The amp also costs a fraction of what the streamer runs, and may be a bottleneck too.  I'm also open to ideas for another amp/pre-amp/external DAC to attach to the CXN.  Before I think about that though, I want to get this setup working.  I'm going to attach a 4 TB HDD via an enclosure, and stream by ethernet once I get everything where I want it (including a wall fish/data relo by cable internet techs on Saturday, so I can set it up where I want it).


Any ideas on what's wrong?  Thanks in advance!

Back balanced.jpg

Back unbalanced.jpg


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Hi TJMAximus,
Just some add ons to Chris' observation:

Looks like the balanced cables were connected correctly.

In that case, check the manual of the CXN:
- Test out if your USB is recognized at the frontend (having Enter Sandman on the screen indicates that the source had been accepted),

- choose the correct input
- verify the CXN is in the correct audio state (should be digital pre amp mode-> OK)

- if everything is tuned correctly, follow the Schiit manual.
- Eventually try the golden TRS adapter directly with the Schiit input (both 1/4?), without another cable in-between to minimize sources of failure.

- The Magnius is known to perform to its best via Balanced Output, there's a lot of power available and this should drive the HE-400i well, however I doubt that for the 1/4 socket because it has significantly less power  
- The HE-400i- 2020 I have at hands require a busload of power to sing ... and I already came across a headphone amp (even with balanced outputs) that doesn't provide enough juice to drive them correctly..

- To check out if the HP amp itself and if it  does what it should you may use an adapter for mobile phones headphone sockets / USB3 out to RCA for easy functional testing.

Good luck, Tom

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