What is more important?

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  • 01-16-2005, 06:05 PM
    dvjorge
    What is more important?
    Hi guys,

    I have had different answers to this question. What is more important the Power Amplifier or the Preamp? I would like to know opinions on this topic. What I mean is which of both has more influence on sound quality and which can improve more a system? For example, If you have a receiver with pre out and you add a power amplifier, it means you can get better improve than add a preamp ?

    Thanks for any answer,
    Jorge
  • 01-16-2005, 08:46 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dvjorge
    \ What is more important the Power Amplifier or the Preamp?

    Well, they matter equally when both are required, IMHO. I use my preamp only with my vinyl source. My CD player has lower output impedance and the same output as the preamp so I use attenuators instead for higher resolution.

    rw
  • 01-17-2005, 05:05 AM
    markw
    Receivers kind of limit your options.
    If your receiver offers pre outs, you can add a power amp but the degree of improvement depends on how good (or bad) the receivers power amp was to begin with and how much "better" the standalone power amp is.

    As far as adding a preamp to a receiver, it ain't that easy. To avail yourself of whatever advantage said preamp might offer, you would need to connect it's outputs to the receiver's power amp inputs, which many receivers lack.

    Receivers don't generally accept preamps "in line" with their other processing.
  • 01-17-2005, 05:13 PM
    dvjorge
    Ok, let us go to a specific case....
    Having an integrated amplifier (Nad C-340) running Paradigm Studio 100. The Nad integrated has pre-out to add a power amplifier if you want.It is only 40 watts by channel. The Studio 100 recomended is 50 watts minimum, I believe. If you add a decent power amplifier using the Nad C-340 as a preamp in direct source mode Can it improve the system?
    Thanks,
    Jorge
  • 01-17-2005, 05:27 PM
    markw
    Depends on the power amp.
    If it has significantly more power and is of at least the same quality, then yes.

    Remember, a barely audiable increase of 3db headroom takes twice the power.

    It does sound like you're pushing that lil amp, though. Shoot for at LEAST 100 clean watts. More if you ca nswing it. Even then, it will be barely audiable but you should have a little more headroom for those power hogs.
  • 01-17-2005, 06:10 PM
    NickWH
    Just trade up to the NAD C352 or C372 and be done with it. Just my opinion.
  • 01-17-2005, 09:30 PM
    RGA
    Hey Nick - did you read the new Hi-fi choice - I was surprised that they really didn't like the C372 - makes me want to listen to it again - It came in last in their listening tests.

    As for the NAD in question - the Paradigms are not that tough to drive - I have listenedwith my Sugden integrated whoich is basically 70 watts.

    Though you may like Musical Fidelity which had a less intimate presentation but it was very open and had more air - but this was another integrated but a 150 watt integrated. It's not my kind of sound but you may like it - and you can add a power amp to it too.

    As for preamp power amp - depends on how good the preamp and power amp sections are - power amps will improve parts of the sound power air maybe clarity - preamp is the stage where it starts the amplifying process.

    Actually a cd player is a pre-pre amp because there is a stage where the cd player has to boost a signal accpetable for the preamp to hear it which is boosted again to the power amp.

    A power amp makes a big difference or it can and I credit Bryston for having gotten me interested in what High end or better gear is all about. So - why not ask a dealer to let you take a Bryston power amp home to try for a weekend - cost is free.
  • 01-18-2005, 03:28 PM
    dvjorge
    Yes, last weekend I was at my dealer but...
    I didn't take my credit card with me and I could't bring to home a Musical Fidelity A 3.2 which they has as a room demo. It was an opcion. Another is an Acurus A-200 which is 200 watts by channel. I want to know what will happen after adding a better power amplifier. I have given a vote to the Nad preamp section but I don't know what will be the result. I am going to let you know.
    Thanks,
    Jorge
  • 01-18-2005, 06:08 PM
    NickWH
    Quote:

    Hey Nick - did you read the new Hi-fi choice - I was surprised that they really didn't like the C372 - makes me want to listen to it again - It came in last in their listening tests.
    No, I am not a subscriber. But, they did like the C320BEE, which you and some others here have noted for having an "out of phase" type of smearing of the stereo image. HiFi Choice recommends it:

    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=2373

    I would be surprised as well. I mean, the C370 is a really solid amp for the money. How much different could the C372 be?