Please Explain The Use Of Pre-amp!!

Dr Force

Distinguished Member
Hi guys

Can you please explain in plain english what the use of a preamp is?

Say I use my Sony 3200ES as pre-amp, what sort of kit does it connect too and how?

Also what benefits does it bring to my sound and overall set up?

If I was to spend another £1000 what sort of kit will it get me?

Only watching HD & SD Movies using Monitor Audio Radius speakers.

Sorry for all the questions but your expertise is appreciated.




Distinguished Member
You Sony 3200 is an INTEGRATED receiver. This means it contains both the preamp/processor components and the power amplification required to drive the speakers.

Further up the quality chain you tend to see these two components spearated out into two boxes, with the Preamp/Processor in one box and a 5,6 or 7 channel power amplifier in another box. This usually allows each of the components to be built to a mauch higher standard and without the design space contraints that a single box AV Receiver presents to a manufacturer. A good example of a high quality Preamp/Processor and Power amplifier would be the Arcam FMJ AV9 Processor and the P7 7 Channel Power Amplifier. This combination retails for just over £6000.

The only advantage in using your Sony 3200 as a preamp/processor would be to use higher powered and better quality amplification. This will give you better control of large loudspeakers in your system. The benefits of this would be limited however by the relatively basic and low quality of preamp built into your Sony 3200. You are likely to gain more significant improvements in sound quality at this stage by just getting a better quality AV Receiver such as the Yamaha RX-V2700 or the Arcam AVR350. Beyond that I would start considering units such as the Arcam AV9 and P7 but I suspect that those are outwith your planned budget for any upgrades.

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