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  1. #1
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    Jan 2004

    amps,re amps,and intergrated amps?

    I have always owned receivers,does anybody have the time to explain the differences of power amps,pre,and intergrated....and tuners also.

  2. #2
    My custom user title This Guy's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    Power amplifier: it takes a small input signal from a pre-amp and makes it loud enough to be heard by sending this power signal to speakers.

    Pre-amplifier: It's basically a source selector and connects everything together. You hook all your components to it (tuner,tape,cd player,etc...) and it allows you to pick which one you listen to. You also change the volume of the whole system with the pre-amp.

    Integrated amp AKA stereo receiver: It is a power amp,pre-amp, and tuner all underneath one chassie. Therefore there is no need to by a power amp, pre-amp, or a tuner cause it's already in there.

    Tuner: Obviously this is what gets all the radio stations via antenna or satelite transmission. If you didn't have an integrated, you would hook this up to the pre-amp using the provided input.

    H/T receiver: Basically an Integrated anplifier but with surround decoding (DD, DTS, DPL), and 5 to 7 channels of amplification and a sub pre-out. It also does video switching if you have a lot of video components in your system. Some of the higher end units may habe pre outs for all the channels.

    If you have any more questions please ask.


  3. #3
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?
    To put it simply, here's a brief rundown of the main functions ofthese items, starting from the top.

    1) Tuners - as the name implies, these exist simply to capture radio signals and convert them into a "line level" audio signal. A "line level" signal is generally around a volt but can be up to around 9 volts or so, depending on the unit. This is not able to drive a loudspeaker.

    2) A preamp is basically a control center for your system. All "line level" inputs channel through here before being output to the power amp. The preamp takes several inputs, allows you to select which one you wish to listen to, allows you to control the volume, balance and in some preamps, tone controls.

    It also provides "buffering", which is a term that means one device cannot adversley affect another.

    In some cases, it can take a very low level phonograph cartridge output (millivolts) and provide a "pre-preamplification" stage to bring it up to a "line level" signal. This used to be standard but seems to be a rarity lately forcing many who still spin vinyl to purchase these as separate units.

    It can get more complex when tape recorders are involved, but that's a separate discussion.

    Ultimately, the preamp does what is needed to provide a "line level" signal to a power amplifier.

    3) The power amplifier is generally a simple box with no controls exceptan on/off switch. It's sole purpose in life is to take that weak "line level" signal and amplify it enough to be able to drive a loudspeaker.

    These can obviously be purchased separately but various combination exist.

    A preamp and a power amp on one chassis is an integrated amplifier. Add a tuner to that and you get your receiver.

    You might even see a tuner and a preamp on the same chassis. This is not as common as the others but they do exist. My NAD 1600 is a tuner/preamp.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2004
    Thanx Joey,and I do have another questionfor ya,I have a Denon receiver with pre outs,what is the pre outs for,can I hook a power amp to it for additional power?...thanx man

  5. #5
    RGA is offline
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    Nov 2003
    Yes. Your Denon would then function as a preamp/tuner and processor if it is a surround receiver. The Power amp would then take care of the power supply.

    Many receivers provide this option because the receiver company had to make compromises to meet a given price. Add on power amps may add weight scale and improved sound quality depending on the speakers you have. I had good success adding a Bryston to a Pioneer Elite receiver. Interestingly the power amp was lower in Watts but far outdid the Receiver. I only had it for a weekend though just to see what the fuss was about with external amps. Quite a nice thing to learn.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2004
    the best thing you could do is to have separates.

    having pre and power separates is also benifitail as you can chnage either of them to upgrade sound quality. Since the pre and pwer sections are separate and having different power supplies they sound better. Another reason they sound good becuase there is no inter circuit interference like in an integrated. Both of them are complete discrete.


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