Is a Preamp necessary with a Powered Amp??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Ped, Oct 4, 2001.

  1. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    If I want an amp (Carver 500t) to power a subwoofer, do I need a preamp? I'm not even sure what they do, I just remember reading somewhere that I needed a preamp to adjust volume or power or something like that. Thanx for any help.
    Mike
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  2. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Look at a pre amp as your brain. Your body may have all the power it needs but without the brain to regulate the power and associated signals you then become what some would call a human vegetable. It's alive but non functional. Since you are using it to power a sub woofer, I would say get a Paradigm external crossover (X-30). This unit acts as the brain for the power amp by controlling volume, frequency cutoff and phase.
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  3. JonDeutsch

    JonDeutsch Extra

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    Your Carver amp will have one RCA input for each amplifier.
    In theory, you could connect ONE unit (CD player, tape, VCR) to your amp and it would play.
    It's likely, though, that you have a bunch of audio components (tape, cd, dvd, vcr, etc.). You most likely don't want to unplug each device from the back of your amp every time you want to listen to something different.
    This is the primary reason you need to mate a pre-amp or receiver with your amplifier. A pre-amp (or receiver) will "switch" between multiple sources for you, usually by remote control. Additionally, a pre-amp (or receiver) usually provide processing options (Dolby Digital, DTS), Equalization, and, of course, volume control.
    So, a pre-amp (or receiver) does provide the "brains" for the "brawn" of your amp.
    It's important to understand that if you already have a receiver, it may do just fine as a pre-amp to your amplifier, providing it has multi-channel "line outs" to handle an external amp to replace the usage of its internal amp.
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  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    ..also if your CD player doesn't have variable outputs, you're forced to listen to it at a certain level (unless you do a little Radio Shack DIY varister thingy). The only thing I ever hear of people doing is those ultra-purists who buy a CDP and an amp who just listen to CDs or people who upgrade a CD player and have a spare amp and speakers around who might put it in the Den or something...
    I've considered it cause I have an old Denon DCD-2560 with variable outputs and a spare amp lying around...
    Jay
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  5. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    Thanx for the replies guys!
    Just so I'm clear...
    I have a Yamaha HTR-5460 receiver. From what I got for you guys is that this CAN act as my preamp by regulating the amp. This will be my "brains." Im building a DIY Sonosub so thats why I needed to know this info.
    Thanx again,
    Mike
     
  6. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    In the simplest case, your receiver's LFE output would feed the external amp and that would drive your passive sub. The bass management settings in your receiver would control what sounds get sent to the LFE channel. In this case, there's no need for an additional preamp or external crossover.
    There are more complicated configurations (like connecting the sub to the front left and right speaker outputs to augment their sound when playing music in "stereo direct" mode) which would require an external crossover. I suspect that's a topic for discussion after you've enjoyed your new speaker for a while [​IMG]
     
  7. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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