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What is a Pre-Amp ?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by naturally, Mar 18, 2003.

  1. naturally

    naturally
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    As a newbie to HT, I lack lots of information about the terminology and equipment. So far I have been using an integrated AV Reciever, currently have the Denon 2802.

    But, I am reading a lot about people going for separates instead of integrated and using Power Amps, Pre Amps, Processors, and god knows what else.

    Are there any documents or places where I can get some information on what a Pre Amp is and what a Power Amp is and why do we need both ?

    I would appreciate any help.
     
  2. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    A Pre-amp handles volume control and maybe has things like tone controls and left/right speaker balancing, a pre-amp works in conjunction with a power-amp which feeds power to your speakers pure and simple based on what it gets from the pre-amp.

    Think of a power-amp has the power generator and the pre-amp as the control centre.
     
  3. naturally

    naturally
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    Thanks for the info.

    So what I understand is that the connections would be as follows:

    DVD Player --> Processor --> Pre-Amp --> Amp --> Speakers

    is this right ?

    What are good brands for Processors, Pre-Amps, and Amps ? I would appreciate some Web links to sites.
     
  4. Timmy B

    Timmy B
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    Yes, but the pre-amp normally includes the processor.

    Your 2802 currently houses the processor and amp, but it should have pre outputs which will allow you to add a seperate power amplifier.

    For amps, Rotel are good, go here:

    http://www.rotel.co.uk

    For processors go here:

    http://www.tagmclaren.com

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. naturally

    naturally
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    Thanks to all for the help. I have enough to go on.
     
  6. Reiner

    Reiner
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    In AV world a preamp usually equals to a processor. It will do all the decoding, DSP, video switching, volume control and provide inputs and outputs (digital and analog).
    A power amp just amplifies and is usually connected to a preamp/processor though you could also use a DVD player with analog outputs as long as it provides volume control (only a very few do).

    More known AV preamps/processors come from Rotel, TagMcLaren, Meridian, Theta, Proceed, Arcam, Lexicon etc.

    Power amps are made by most manufactures, incl. Denon, Marantz, Bryston and those mentioned above

    There are too many to list down here ... :)
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    You can find multi-channel pre-amps that have no processor-capability, but they're rare. I don't think there are any processors that can't also function as a pre-amp.
     
  8. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    There's a couple of Processors out there with no volume control..

    Denon AVD-1000 (DTS only)
    Millenium 2.4.6 (DTS only)

    You put them beween the DVD and 5.1 input on your old AV with 5.1 input (amp has just got Pro-Logic)
     
  9. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Those aren't processors but stand-alone decoders. :lesson:

    You can add Yamaha DDP-2, Denon AVD-2000, Technics SA-CH500 and a few others to the list but none are in production anymore.

    I agree with NicolasB, some older units have 5.1 input only with virtually no (digital) decoding or DSP capabilities, analog DPL decoding perhaps, and those can also be considered AV pre-amps but then I said "usually" ... ;) :)
     
  10. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I was thinking of something like the rather nice 5-channel valve-preamp made by Copland. It is simply that: a pre-amp with 5 channels rather than the usual 2. I guess you could use it as the pre-amp stage in a DVD-Audio system.
     

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