Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Here Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    4

    Amp's and preamps.

    I have been lurking around here for a while, and I have learned alot about home audio. But one thing i still dont understand is what amps and preamps are meant for. Are they used with a stereo receiver or are they standalone components? and what are pre amps and what are power amps.

    any clarification would be nice

    thanks

  2. #2
    Here Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    4
    also, are there any books out there you would reccomend to a complete audio noob to learn the basics?

  3. #3
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,275
    Welcome to AR, Jayth Eman
    I'm gonna over simplify it:

    Pre Amp + Power Amp = Integrated Amp.

    Integrated Amp + Tuner = Receiver

    Receiver + 50 different functions = Crap

    Crap + JRA = "______"

    Pre amp is like a distribution center, and Amp is like 18wheelers.. Cargo is fill with stuff for ARers to argue about...

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127

    To keep it simple

    Quote Originally Posted by jaytheman
    I have been lurking around here for a while, and I have learned alot about home audio. But one thing i still dont understand is what amps and preamps are meant for. Are they used with a stereo receiver or are they standalone components? and what are pre amps and what are power amps.

    any clarification would be nice

    thanks
    Most people are more familiar with receivers. Think of a stereo receiver as beening comprised of (1) a tuner, (2) a preamplifier, and (3) a power amplfier all in one box; (audio-video receivers are a little more complicated). In fact each of these three sections comprising the receiver can and do exist as separate components.

    It's pretty obvious what the tuner does: it tunes AM/FM radio signals.

    The preamp section provides controls, viz. source selector -- tuner, CD, phono, tape monitor, volume control, and often, tone controls.

    The power amp section provides the, umm, power which drives the speakers.

  5. #5
    tahoe joe
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    5
    Yes and most of us here would argue that, in general, when all of these pieces are separate in their own boxes, you will have better quality than if they are all in the same box. Think about it from a design/engineering standpoint: you've got a wonderful power amp that you've designed to work and fit inside a box...then you want to add a preamp to it, and maybe a tuner, etc. Each time you add something, you have to redesign the whole box to find space for it, and make other compromises as you have to deal with heat distribution, magnetic shields, etc. So as this goes on the original power amp is design is compromised, and eventually will turn to, as it was so nicely put earlier, crap.

    There's a reason they don't have stereos, climate control, and heated seats in Formula 1 race cars...

  6. #6
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally Posted by tahoe joe
    Yes and most of us here would argue that, in general, when all of these pieces are separate in their own boxes, you will have better quality than if they are all in the same box. Think about it from a design/engineering standpoint: you've got a wonderful power amp that you've designed to work and fit inside a box...then you want to add a preamp to it, and maybe a tuner, etc. Each time you add something, you have to redesign the whole box to find space for it, and make other compromises as you have to deal with heat distribution, magnetic shields, etc. So as this goes on the original power amp is design is compromised, and eventually will turn to, as it was so nicely put earlier, crap....
    Yes and No..... Those points are all valid but there are also counter arguements in favour of a one box solution (at least for an integrated amp, probably not for a receiver - especially one with 50 useless functions).....

    The main counter points are that an integrated has shorter signal paths between pre and power amp (meaning less opportunity for the signal to be degraded and it gets rid of the need for exotic (expensive) interconnects....

    Also....

    There is the question of whether the the need for an additional enclosure and a seperate power suppy provide enough value to justify the increased cost.... just look at how many manufactures from entry/mid to high end only offer seperate pre and power for their most expensive offerings.... eg.... NAD, Marantz and Musical Fidelity....


    I'm all for seperate pre and power (preferably monoblocks) when U need hulking 500 + watts per channel Amplification (since that would likely result in a backbreakingly heavy Integrated amp).... But for a simple 1 - 250 watts U can probably get by with an integrated....

  7. #7
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,056
    Quote Originally Posted by jaytheman
    also, are there any books out there you would reccomend to a complete audio noob to learn the basics?
    welcome to AR, if you want to read books, fine. Not that I have an 'guide to audiophilia' book nearby but I'm sure there are some books out there though...

    But I do suggest you to read this:

    http://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html

    the big stereophile audio glossary, alot of pages with alot of words.

    Happy reading &
    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  8. #8
    tahoe joe
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    5
    Good points Carl, and absolutely correct. I myself use an integrated amp for those reasons. I think I may have been oversimplifying a bit...

  9. #9
    Here Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    4
    thanks for the help guys.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •