Preamp section or Power amp section....Which one influences the sound more?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Alexander, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 1999
    Messages:
    1,357
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am looking to upgrade my receiver from a Yamaha HTR-5250 to a Harman Kardon AVR-310/320. I am using external amplification to power the pre/pro section of the receiver. Will I notice an improvement in sound because of the more up to date processing in the HK, or will the sound remain pretty much the same?
     
  2. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Selden
    Yes.

    There are some subtle and not so subtle differences in the way preamps aound. I've never heard either Yamaha or Harman Kardon so I can't comment on them. I do know that Marantz and Pioneer equipment sound different. Most solid-state amplifiers, on the other hand, are much more similar than they are different. Tube amplifiers tend to vary a lot more.
     
  3. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed. If you have unusual speakers (in terms of their impedance characteristics), the power amp may have a big effect on the sound, because of the way the speaker's impedance affects the amplifier. Other than that (and I would guess that includes the vast majority of speakers people talk about here), I think the preamp would have a bigger effect on the sound.
     
  4. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the biggest variable in a receiver's sound will depend on the speakers. Therefore, the performance of the amp section will probably have a bigger impact on the sound. However, if the amp section is sufficient, or if an external amp with "amp"le power is used to drive the speakers, the preamp and processor section will indeed have more of a significant impact on movies and music.

    elbrt
     
  5. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    0
    Preamp affects details more than the amp and the amp affects the dynamics more than the preamp, IMHO.
     
  6. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I think it's more of a weakest link kinda thing. If your amp colors or rolls off the sound, then it can't get any better even if your preamp is perfectly neutral. If your amp is transparent, then any noise floor, or coloration from your preamp would be apparent. Finally, if your speakers aren't capable of revealing the flaws of your preamp and amp, then, how would you even know if your amp or preamp is adding anything deleterious?
     
  7. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    Merc:

     
  8. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Larry B:

    I said:
     
  9. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    Merc:

    I see your point and realize that I didn't explain mys point clearly. You are absolutely correct in stating that if an amp rolls off, a preamp isn't going to help. However, and what I guess I was responding to, was the "linkest link" part, my idea being that even if the amp is the weakest link, improving the preamp can still help.

    Larry

    P.S. Any idea how much I would have to spend to get a race-ready RX-7 (for SCCA road-racing)?
     

Share This Page