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Why Do I Need A Power Amp?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by RockerBug17, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. RockerBug17

    RockerBug17
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    Hello everyone! I am new here to AV, as well as to Pro Audio.

    I'll cut right to the chase; I play guitar and sing in a band. I talked at a man at a local community college and he recommended I purchase a power amp. Now, I have no idea what exactly I would need, or why I even need a power amp. He explained it to me, but I didn't really comprehend.

    Thankfully, I have found this place, where I can find out everything I need to know about Pro Audio. Thanks for the help...
     
  2. number 8

    number 8
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    Hi, I'm new to this aswell so hopefully I won't be the only one to reply.
    I find that by drawing parallels between computers and audio equipment I get a better understanding of why I might need two seporate units to perform the function of what one can do. For example a software/internal modem is an internal component in your computer and farms out a lot of its processes to the Operating System causing a relative drain on system rescources where an external/hardware modem on the other hand takes care of these processes on board. So by isolating a component and creating a dedicated rather than integrated unit it's easier for the people who make it to impruve on its function.
    Like I said...hopefully someone who knows what there talking about will answer aswell..... :)
    Cheers,
    [8].
     
  3. Knightshade

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    Hi Rockerbug,
    A power amp has no controls. It requires some kind of pre amp stage to function. Either an integrated or dedicated Pre amp.
    A pre amp (put simply) gives you the ability to control volume, balance, bass etc.
    A power amp is the final stage before the speakers.
    Depending on whether you want a dedicated CD/Vinyl system or an AV type setup will determine what amplification you go for.
    Integrated amps tend to be a compromise on performance but offer good starting point as they combine pre and power stages and often include a phono stage (For vinyl) as well.
    For example all you really need to start with, if you're listening to CD's only is the following:
    CD player
    Integrated amplifier
    Speakers
    To connect it all together you would need an Analogue Interconnect to connect the CD player to the amplifier and speaker cable from the amp to the 2 speakers.

    Adding a power amp to the above system would offer an improvment in performance because one amplifier (Integrated) could drive the High Frequency, the power amp could drive the Low Frequency. This effectively doubles the power, improving the amps control over the speakers.

    Power amps come in two types: Stereo and Mono.
    1x CD Player
    1x Pre amp
    1x Stereo Power amp
    To drive 2 x Speakers
    or
    1x CD Player
    1x Pre amp
    1x Mono Power amp
    1x Mono Power amp
    To drive 2x Speakers.

    Mono Power amps generally give the best sound quality but take up more room and generally cost more.
    I hope this gives you a slightly clearer picture.
    Best advice is to find a friendly Hi Fi dealer and go and listen to some systems that are within your budget and see what you think but don't be pushed into buying anything.
    Good luck.
     
  4. whats_this

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    You can also get power amps in the 3, 5 or 7 channel variety’s for home cinema duties. Rotel 1075 is 5 channels for example, not the best but a good place to start
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I may be wrong here, but I don't think RockerBug17 is after advise on HC or HiFi amps but a stage amp for his guitar & singing.

    Right you will need not only a power amp, but also a mixing desk, microphone and speakers. Plug the mic into the mixer and control the volume from there. You could also plug the guitar into the mixer and control the balance between the mic and guitar on the mixer.
    This way you will have far more control over the sound that gets pumped out to those listening to you. I assume from your post that this is basically what the origional person giving you advise was suggesting.
    I have a fair bit of experience of sound engineering (sitting behind a mixing desk at gigs) so if this is the type of advise you are after then I will do my best to help you out with any further questions you may have.

    Mark.
     

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