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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    amplifier vs preamplifier Im confused

    Right!! what is the difference between a amplifier vs pre-amplifier ? like why do u need a pre amp for vynil?? why wont the power amp boost the signal, afterall its an amplifier right,
    help???
    Cheers
    R

  2. #2
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    I believe you're talking about two different types of preamps a phono preamp used for turntables and a component preamp. The purpose for a component preamp is to provide connections for multiple sources, provide volume control since many amps don't have them, connections for signal processors and to provide tone controls.
    I believe you're talking about a phono preamp. You can use only a turntable connected to an amp, but many phono cartridges don't have enough output and requires an additional boost from a phono preamp to bring the signal to line level. Many component preamps have a phono preamp built into them.
    An amplifier usually only amplifies the signal from the source and provides output protection for your speakers. Some provide volume control.

  3. #3
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    A power amp is designed to take a voltage source in the range of (usually) one to two volts (also known as "live level) and amplify it to the level needed to power speakers. Most stand-alone power amps do not have (or it isn't user friendly) a volume control nor do they typically have switchable inputs for a variety of music sources.

    A preamp does a couple of things. First it allows you to easily select from multiple music sources - tuner, phono, CD, tape, etc. Second, it will boost the signal to the level needed by the power amp. A typical turntable needs such a boost. Third, it'll provide you a convenient way to adjust volume.

    If the power and pre amp are combined into a single unit, this is called an "integrated" amp. Also, If your music source provides a standard "line level" output voltage and also contains a volume control, you can bypass the preamp. In my system I go directly from a Squeezebox/DAC to the power amp. Having no preamp works fine for me since I have no other regular music source.

  4. #4
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    aahh!! i see, thanks for the info guys, thats cleared a few thing up. cheers again

  5. #5
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    I hope bfalls' reply is enough to answer your question. That post is quite comprehensive. I couldn't think of anything else to add.


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  6. #6
    Forum Regular Blue Meanie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangemuse
    I hope bfalls' reply is enough to answer your question. That post is quite comprehensive. I couldn't think of anything else to add.
    Then why even bother replying?
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  7. #7
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    In addition...

    ...to providing boost to your moving-magnet type cartridge's output, a phono pre-amp also provides RIAA equalization to the signal, boosting the lows and attenuating the highs...Without EQ it will sound like cr@p...

    For a moving-coil cart, an additional head amp is required to boost the MCs even lower output to the required level in order to input it to a phono-pre which further amplifies/EQs to line level...two stages of boost required...You can go head-amp to phono-pre to pre-amp/control center or simply look for a combined unit that is switchable for either MC or MM-type carts and plug it right into a line-level input...

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  8. #8
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Meanie
    Then why even bother replying?
    I think it's funny when a persons question is answered and they have commented on how they got the info that they requested that people still respond.

  9. #9
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    Pot, meet Kettle.
    Kettle, pot.
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  10. #10
    Forum Regular Blue Meanie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Pot, meet Kettle.
    Kettle, pot.
    To whom are you referring?

    Jeff
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlsstl
    If your music source provides a standard "line level" output voltage and also contains a volume control, you can bypass the preamp. In my system I go directly from a Squeezebox/DAC to the power amp. Having no preamp works fine for me since I have no other regular music source.
    I have read though, that for example connecting a CD player direclty to a power amp is dangerous because it can produce spikes that could damage, not the amp, but your speakers.

    What do you make of this?

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