Question: What's the difference between an amplifier and a receiver?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by GregRus, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. GregRus

    GregRus Auditioning

    Feb 24, 2004
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    I'm sorry, I have a stupid question that I'm sure is an easy answer to anyone reading this but, what is the difference between an amplifier and a receiver? thanks in advance
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

    Feb 21, 2004
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    an amplifier alone just provides power and requires a separate pre-amp/processing unit to "control" it and provide connections for your components. you can use a preamp to control one or more separate amplifiers. there are also "integrated amplifiers" that have the preamp/processor built-in. either way requires a "tuner" in order to receive radio signals. (there are preamps with built-in tuners, too)

    a receiver consists of an amplifier section, a pre- amplification/processing section, AND usually a radio tuner (hence the name receiver), all in the same housing.

    very generally speaking, "separates" are considered the higher quality, but more expensive, route.
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    We usually have to move model-specific questions from the Basics area to the appropriate hardware-related area rather than true Basics area-type posts to the Basics area!

    Greg, this is perfect for this area, and I've retitled your thread so that other beginners can be helped. 'Sides, there's no such thing as a "stupid question," in our view. We all have to start somewhere.

    Welcome aboard.
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Greg.

    In the 70's and 80's, all the audiophiles went with separate amplifiers and pre-processors. It was the only way to get good sound. All-in-one units were cheaply made (pressed-wood cabinents) and offered poor performance.

    In the 90's the equipment manufacturers started making "Integrated Amps" or "AV Recievers" that dramatically improved the quaility of these all-in-one units. While a separate pre-processor and 5-channel amp still is considered 'better' for audiophiles (music), a name brand AV reciever does a fantastic job for movies.

    One feature to look for in a reciever: "Pre Outs" or "Line Level Outs". This gives you flexability. You start with the reciever, but a few years later you can add some external amplifiers. You just feed the amplifiers from the Pre-Outs and you have a very good pre-processor/amplifier system.

    While pre/pro systems are a bit more expensive than a AV reciever, they can be had for not much more.

    You can go to our Reciever & Amplifiers fourm and click on the "Outlaw Audio" link to find a internet-only company that makes these units.

    Good Luck.
  5. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator

    Jul 31, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Cees Alons

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