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integrated amplifier vs power amplifier?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 CharlieMakavoy

CharlieMakavoy

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Posted April 17 2004 - 02:07 PM

I'd like to connect the M-Audio Audiophile USB soundcard to the amp, then to the speakers.

Since the forum doesn't want me posting a URL, I'll put spaces in the URL to the soundcard... just delete them and copy and paste into URL bar if you want to see the soundcard I'd be using.

ht tp://w ww.m-audio.n et/index.php?do=products.focus&ID=41cf7347b20eff77b69588578a74aa58

This is a bit of a newbie question, so bear with me.. Posted Image

Do I _need_ a preamp with poweramp, or can I just plug the soundcard into the power amplifier and adjust the volume from the soundcard? It seems I can get a better power amplifier for the same price as a budget integrated amplifier, so I'd prefer to get a power amplifier than an integrated one, and I simply couldn't afford a preamp and an amp.

I'd also like a preamp output or something, so that I could plug the subwoofer into that down the line. Do some power amps have that?

Thanks for putting up with the newbie stupidity. Posted Image Posted Image

#2 of 5 Chu Gai

Chu Gai

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Posted April 17 2004 - 04:38 PM

You can go either way.
A couple of good sites are
1) http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/ which has just tons of information on soundcards, recording, playback, ripping, encoding...you name it.
2) Hook Your Sound Card to Your HiFi
Have fun Posted Image

#3 of 5 CharlieMakavoy

CharlieMakavoy

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Posted April 17 2004 - 04:50 PM

I've been a member at HA.org for a while now, so I'll check that out. Thanks. Posted Image

The second link covered a bit of what I've already known.

Yet that still doesn't explain, wheather I would need a preamp to adjust the volume when used with with a normal amp, or wheather I would need an integrated amp to adjust the volume of the output to the speakers.

#4 of 5 Tom Grooms

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Posted April 17 2004 - 06:04 PM

A stepped attenuator will surely sound better than a software volume control. Digital attenuation is pretty far down the food chain. A pre amp or integrated with an alps pot or latter attenuator is what I'd be looking for.

My vote is for the integrated. Whats your budget? What other components are in the path? How big is your room? Typical listening levels and musical preference?

#5 of 5 CharlieMakavoy

CharlieMakavoy

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Posted April 17 2004 - 06:27 PM

The room is small, the components.. I've gone back and forth between so many speakers, even though I've heard so few. The idea of hi-fi shops around here are circuit city and best buy.. sad really.

The budget _was_ $600, then $1000, now it's a bit around $1200 for everything.. I'd really like to keep it under that. Posted Image That's just for the amp and speakers and cables, not the soundcard.

It's a small room, they wouldn't be able to be more then 5.5 feet apart from each other I don't suppose. I listen at many volume levels and to a lot of kinds of music, yet it's usually metal or alternative rock. I've heard Klipsch(exaggerated highs anyone?), Polk(tinny and thin), JBL(cheap sounding), Yamaha(just unimpressive), didn't like. Athena AS-F2s I liked, Infinity Alpha 50s I've liked. I have little to compare it to outside the low quality stuff mentioned, so it doesn't mean much. I'd like to hear the Paradigms and Monitor Audios, yet there's no dealer for miles and miles. Same for most of the audio brands that I hear recommended. It's a tad frustrating that the highly rated companies make it so hard just to get a listen to their speakers.

Anyway, thanks, I think I'll go the integrated path with a Rotel RA-01 or a NAD C352, if NAD ever fixes their site so I can see the specs of it. Posted Image