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Someone Please explain to me the difference between a PRE-AMP and an AMP


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Jakarta Tom

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Posted May 06 2003 - 02:53 PM

I am not quite sure I know the difference. If I already have a "receiver" (Marantz7200) and I am looking for more power, is what I need a "Pre-Amp" and not an "AMP" ???
What is the difference.
Thanks for the info

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   RobWil

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Posted May 06 2003 - 03:12 PM

You're looking for an amp. In very simple terms, the amplifier is strictly that, a device that amplifies a signal supplied to it and passes it on to the speakers. The pre-amp has the audio (and possibly video) connections and passes the signal from the source (CD, DVD, Tape, Satellite Receiver) to the amp, in the case of audio, or video display. The preamp also usually has tone controls, volume controls, etc. and may or may not modify the signal in some manner.
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#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted May 06 2003 - 05:37 PM

A "Receiever" is a PreAmp and Amp and Tuner all in one box.

A Pre Amp is a source switching and gain stage. Pre Amp's
do not increase or generate current they simply take a line
level signal and offer the flexibility to switch between
numerous line level signals plus they offer Boost/Cut of
the output line level signal being fed to the Amplifier via
means of Stepped Attenuators or digital circuitry.

An Amplifier is a unit that takes a line level signal of
10 volts or less and amplifies that signal generates wattage
and current and sends that out to the speakers.

An Integrated is a Tuner a PreAmp and an Amplifier all in
one box (sort of like a Reciever but without the whole
surround sound processing).

What you need is an external power amp.
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#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Burke Strickland

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Posted May 06 2003 - 06:37 PM

Quote:
An Integrated is a Tuner a PreAmp and an Amplifier all in one box (sort of like a Reciever but without the whole surround sound processing).
Actually, an "integrated amp" is the pre/amp, amplifier and often a digital signal/surround processing facility, but without the tuner. (The tuner is what makes a combo box a "receiver".) As an example, my Yamaha DSP-A3090 integrated amp came without a tuner, but has a lot of DSP (digital signal processing) modes, such as "cathedral", "jazz club", etcetera, as well as Dolby Digital 5.1 processing.

However, the conclusion remains the same. You need a power amplifier if you are looking for more wattage to drive your speakers than is available via your receiver's built-in power amps.

One other concern -- does your particular model of receiver have "pre-outs"? That is, are there line level jacks on its back panel which allow connection of an external amplifier? Some models use these jacks with a "bridge" connection to input jacks for the built in power amps. If the "bridge" is removed, the internal power amps do not receive the signal from the receiver's pre-amp section. Others have the jacks for optional use, but the "bridging" is handled internally and in some designs it is "defeated" when the external pre-outs are used. If your receiver does have pre-outs, adding a power amp can take your system to a new level of performance without the expense of both a separate pre/pro and power amp all at once.

OTOH, if no such jacks exist on your receiver, the alternative of extracting the signal for the power amp from the receiver's speaker outputs is not the recommended way to pursue better performance, although it is technically possible with certain add-on devices. In the case of no pre-outs, it would be better either to step up to a more capable receiver or go with a separate pre/pro in addition to a power amp.

Good luck!
Burke

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted May 06 2003 - 06:39 PM

Burke,

D'Oh! Your 100% Correct about the integrated.. I screwed
that'n up Posted Image Thanks for the correction! Posted Image
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