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#226286 - 10/21/08 10:38 PM Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp?
72mustang Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 64
Ok... bear with me. Im new to this technical lingo of audio talk.

What is the difference between an amp and a pre-amp?

How do you CORRECTLY use an amp with a receiver to use to run the main set of front speakers?

What does a pre-amp do over just an amp?

In another post i stated that i own a NAD c272 and am aquiring a Elite 82. Im hoping to use the NAD to run my 80's up front so i wont over heat or strain the Elite.

How does one hook this up correctly?

Also... if getting a blu ray player soon... do you just hook this straight up into the HDMI on back of receiver????

Newbie questions i know, but i had to ask somewhere. haha

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#226287 - 10/21/08 10:46 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: 72mustang]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17784
Loc: NoVA
OK, an amplifier merely takes the line level signal and amplifies it to speaker level.

A pre-amplifier is, at its most basic, simplified level, a volume control. The vast majority of them also switch between sources.

Preamp/processors also decode digital signals from DVDs, CDs, BDRs, etc.

Receivers incorporate amps, a pre-amp, and radio tuners in one unit.

To use a receiver with an amp, the receiver must have preamplifier-outs, aka pre-outs. Hook the inputs of the amp to those pre-outs for the front channels.

To your last question, yes.
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#226288 - 10/21/08 10:53 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: 72mustang]
SirQuack Offline
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Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13337
Loc: Iowa
When talking about seperates, the pre-amp (before amplifier) does all the processing, decoding, etc.. The amplifier just takes the signal fed to it by the pre-amp and provides the power or amplification to the speakers.

In a receiver or AVR, everything is in one unit. So your Elite does the processing and also has the amplifier. You can also use an AVR as a pre-amp for certain channels by hooking up the "pre-outs" on the AVR to a seperate amplifier. You may or may not notice any difference, depending on your listening habits, rooms size, etc.

So in your case you would hook up RCA ended cables to your left and right "pre-out" speakers jacks to the left and right "line in" jacks on the amps you purchase. This way th AVR's amps for the left/right channels are not used.

You can't use a pre-amp alone with no amp. There would be no power. There is no reason to assume your Elite can't handle the 80's alone as it has a beefy amplifier section, but it does not hurt to try both configurations to see what you think.
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#226289 - 10/21/08 10:57 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: Ken.C]
72mustang Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 64
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
OK, an amplifier merely takes the line level signal and amplifies it to speaker level.

A pre-amplifier is, at its most basic, simplified level, a volume control. The vast majority of them also switch between sources.

Preamp/processors also decode digital signals from DVDs, CDs, BDRs, etc.

Receivers incorporate amps, a pre-amp, and radio tuners in one unit.

To use a receiver with an amp, the receiver must have preamplifier-outs, aka pre-outs. Hook the inputs of the amp to those pre-outs for the front channels.

To your last question, yes.





Im assuming most receivers have pre-outs for front channels, if not all channels? How does the signal go from the receiver to the amp and bypass the power supply in receiver??? What do the power supplies of the channels your bypassing do? Just sit idle???

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#226290 - 10/21/08 10:59 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: 72mustang]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17784
Loc: NoVA
Many do, although not all by any means. Pre-outs are merely a shunt of the signal before it is sent to the internal amps. Since there is no load on those internal amps, they sit idle.
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#226291 - 10/21/08 11:02 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: SirQuack]
72mustang Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 64
[quote=sirquack].

So in your case you would hook up RCA ended cables to your left and right "pre-out" speakers jacks to the left and right "line in" jacks on the amps you purchase. This way th AVR's amps for the left/right channels are not used.


So to do a mental image here... i go from the front speaker jacks of the receiver to the line in of the amp. Do the speaker wires connect to the amp then??? Do most use banana types or bare wire installation?

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#226292 - 10/21/08 11:06 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: 72mustang]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13337
Loc: Iowa
Nope,

The speaker cables go from the amp to the speakers. You would use cables with RCA ends to go from your "pre out" jacks on the Pioneer to the "line in" jacks on the amp. I like to use bare wire, your mileage may vary.
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#226293 - 10/21/08 11:07 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: 72mustang]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10398

Mustang, the pre-amp, among other things, amplifies the incoming voltage from a player or other source device up to a level where when it's combined with the additional amplification that the amplifier does, the voltage is high enough to drive the speakers at a loud level. The pre-amp typically amplifies the voltage by 12dB or a bit more, which is 4 times, while the amplifier amplifies about 29dB, or 30 times. Besides some amplification, the pre-amp also processes the incoming signals for such things as digital to analog conversion, bass management, etc. Because of the processing function they're also referred to as pre-amp/processors or pre-pros.

To connect the receiver(which has both a pre-pro and an amplifier inside)to a separate amplifier you use regular coaxial cables from the pre-amplifier outputs(pre-outs)on the back of the receiver to the inputs on the amplifier. The separate amplifier then is entirely responsible for powering the speakers to which it's connected, while the amplifier channels in the receiver which were previously used for that just idle.

Yes, with suitable player outputs and receiver inputs, the HDMI cable is just connected to the HDMI input on the receiver.
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#226294 - 10/21/08 11:08 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: 72mustang]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16283
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Not the speaker jacks. You go from the pre-outs on the receiver to the inputs on the external amp. You will use RCA coax cables for this.
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#226295 - 10/21/08 11:09 PM Re: Whats the difference??? Amp or Pre Amp? [Re: SirQuack]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13337
Loc: Iowa
Your NAD and/or Elite manuals should show drawings of how to hook stuff up, it is pretty easy. Calibrating everything may prove to be more difficult. \:\)
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