Pre-amp / Power amp: Does either affect rhythmic drive?

Timberr

Standard Member
I have a question regarding pre and power amps: In general terms, is rhythm / pace affected by the addition of a power or preamp to an integrated amp? In other words, is there likely to be an increase in timing / pace?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
You want your music to play faster??

Just joking, I think you are talking about attack and dynamic response, so you music sounds tighter?

This is normally the domain of the power amplifier, as it exerts more control over the speaker - and a decent power supply, ideally switched mode (and without big reservoir capacitors, which take time to recharge and can limit dynamic response unless they are really big) will improve the timing.

The preamp needs to have a similar dynamic range, as they are normally voltage amplifiers rather than current drive - as power amplifier tend to be, but this is easier to achieve without large and complex power supply designs.

What you will almost always get adding a more powerful power amp is a greater sense of scale. Additional bass weight might be more down to the way the power amplifier has been "tuned", but this is not normally a bad thing.
 

Timberr

Standard Member
You want your music to play faster??

Just joking, I think you are talking about attack and dynamic response, so you music sounds tighter?

This is normally the domain of the power amplifier, as it exerts more control over the speaker - and a decent power supply, ideally switched mode (and without big reservoir capacitors, which take time to recharge and can limit dynamic response unless they are really big) will improve the timing.

The preamp needs to have a similar dynamic range, as they are normally voltage amplifiers rather than current drive - as power amplifier tend to be, but this is easier to achieve without large and complex power supply designs.

What you will almost always get adding a more powerful power amp is a greater sense of scale. Additional bass weight might be more down to the way the power amplifier has been "tuned", but this is not normally a bad thing.
Yes, that's what I mean. I didn't express it very well, it's late in the day. :) I have an Audiolab 8300a which sounds great but I feel it lacks a little attack, and this is particularly noticeable with higher tempo music. Thank you for the advice.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
In general terms, is rhythm / pace affected by the addition of a power or preamp to an integrated amp?
Not in my experience. Some pre + power amp combos will have more attack than others. Likewise, some intergrateds will have more attack than others. I don't think pre+power vs. integrated is the issue here.
I feel it lacks a little attack,
Best check out a different technology - active speakers. Actives will give you the impact, dynamic swings, transient attack and coherence that passive setups often lack, IME. However, such sonic honesty may not suit listeners accustomed to the (generally) more forgiving, softer sound of passive setups - IMO of course. I'd investigate using a preamp to feed active (and I don't mean powered passives) speakers. If the active speaker idea is new to you, research the subject and you'll see what I mean.

You may also be able to improve the system's impact by changing to different passive speakers because some passive speakers are worse in this respect than others. IME, passive speakers tend to make more of a difference than the amp.
 

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