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#384896 - 10/30/12 07:57 PM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: PaulCanada]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4800
Loc: western canada
JohnK seems to be doing alot of "chiming" based on a few reads in this thread.

So i googled "john chime" and some of the top images were:





It was a slow day.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#384900 - 10/30/12 09:57 PM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: PaulCanada]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10372
Paul, there are two stages of amplification that take place, regardless of whether a receiver or a separate pre-amplifier plus amplifier are being used. The pre-amplifier first increases the voltage coming in from the player or other source component about 4-5 times; the amplifier then increases this voltage about 25-30 times more, so the net result is an increase of about 100-150 times, which is enough voltage to drive speakers to very loud levels.

The pre-amplifier section of the receiver or separate unit also controls the various functions which other replies have listed. The volume, for example, is controlled by a variable resistor which varies the amount of the incoming voltage which is subject to the fixed 100 or so times "gain" mentioned above from almost 100% to almost none.

A separate amplifier can't improve the sound unless what you have is inadequate for the volume levels needed. Your 3311 is rated at 125 watts per channel, and this is the one area of audio that can be relied on as accurate, since it's subject to legal regulations of the FTC. Your 3311 can drive your speakers to beyond safe(to your hearing)listening levels, and more isn't needed. As Kruncher quoted me above, unused headroom is simply that: unused.


Your equipment, with one exception, is excellent, and it's agreed that a quality sub is what will improve your listening experience.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#384913 - 10/31/12 12:00 AM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: dakkon]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 987
Originally Posted By: dakkon
Originally Posted By: PaulCanada


My questions are what is the purpose of a pre-amp?
2) will an external amp make my speakers sound better?
3) if I were to buy an external amp what would I buy a mono, stereo, etc?

Paul


2) no, it won't... amps "Should" simply amplifier the input signal. However, is another topic all together.. The simple answer is no....

3) in my system i have 3 amps. 2 stereo amps, and a three channel amp.

My small my stereo amp is rated to 500W @4ohms, as is my three channel amp. My second stereo amp is rated for 1,200W @ 2ohms...

My "small" stereo amp/three channel amp weigh about 50-60lbs.. my "large" stereo amp weights about 110lbs...

I am sure JohnK will chime in here, me and him have polar opposite opinions to your question.

I have the amps i have for 2 reasons.. one, because my previous 5 channel amp was being driven into the clipping region on a couple channels (indicated by the clipping lights lighting up like a Christmas tree), so i bought bigger amps... The other reason, because i wanted a big amp, and i could afford it, so why not... Right?


What amp visually confirms clipping?
_________________________
Married 14 years today.

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#384916 - 10/31/12 05:28 AM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: PaulCanada]
J. B. Online   content
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1263
Loc: Quebec, Canada
brwsaw, the great majority of pro amps have clipping indicators along with a few audiophile amps.
_________________________
See:http://www.blu-ray.com/community/gallery.php?member=Gelli
or: Axiom Gallery

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#384927 - 10/31/12 11:14 AM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: PaulCanada]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 987
The search begins.
_________________________
Married 14 years today.

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#384935 - 10/31/12 02:02 PM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: brwsaw]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
Originally Posted By: brwsaw
What amp visually confirms clipping?


The amp i was referring to is a Marantz MM9000 135W @ 5 channels. It has an LED for each channel to indicate if that channel is clipping, so you can see which channel is clipping...


Edited by dakkon (10/31/12 02:02 PM)

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#384937 - 10/31/12 03:06 PM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: JohnK]
cohesion Offline
local

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 209
Loc: Maple, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: JohnK
Paul, there are two stages of amplification that take place, regardless of whether a receiver or a separate pre-amplifier plus amplifier are being used. The pre-amplifier first increases the voltage coming in from the player or other source component about 4-5 times; the amplifier then increases this voltage about 25-30 times more, so the net result is an increase of about 100-150 times, which is enough voltage to drive speakers to very loud levels.

The pre-amplifier section of the receiver or separate unit also controls the various functions which other replies have listed. The volume, for example, is controlled by a variable resistor which varies the amount of the incoming voltage which is subject to the fixed 100 or so times "gain" mentioned above from almost 100% to almost none.

A separate amplifier can't improve the sound unless what you have is inadequate for the volume levels needed. Your 3311 is rated at 125 watts per channel, and this is the one area of audio that can be relied on as accurate, since it's subject to legal regulations of the FTC. Your 3311 can drive your speakers to beyond safe(to your hearing)listening levels, and more isn't needed. As Kruncher quoted me above, unused headroom is simply that: unused.


Your equipment, with one exception, is excellent, and it's agreed that a quality sub is what will improve your listening experience.




With all respect to JohnK I have to go against the prevailing wisdom here and say that a new amp would likely make the biggest improvement in your listening experience. I'll explain why but it's a bit of a long story...

First of all, I was until recently in a very similar (and happy!) situation to Paul. I have a Denon AVR4802, which is a ten year old receiver also rated at 125Wpc -- a bit older than Paul's but also somewhat higher in the Denon food chain in its day. My front speakers are a pair of M80v3's and a VP180. I had no amp and it was good! The Axioms are truly a fine set of speakers!

Then I heard on the forum about the newly released LFR1100's. I had to jump on the pre-order pricing and am now the owner of a set, although I've not finished setting them up. Of course, part of the reason for that is that I now need four channels of amplification for the LFR's. I was in the process of acquiring some good Bryston amps on the used market when, wouldn't you know it, Axiom announced the new ADA amps. Of course I jumped on the pre-order pricing for that and have recently received a new four channel ADA 1500 with the idea that, if I didn't like it for driving my main speakers, I could use it for the rear channels of my HT when I eventually get a new room built in my basement and spring for a set of QS8's.

Anyway, I of course became curious: how much of a difference would the amp alone make in my existing system? I, like some of the others on this forum, didn't think there would be much difference, if any. But why not give it a try as I build up my system in preparation for the LFR's?

So I did. I took the front L & R pre outs from my 4802 and connected them to two of the inputs on the ADA1500. Then I disconnected the speaker outs from the receiver and re-connected them to the outputs of the ADA1500. Then I gave a quick listen... which became a long listen... and WOW!

There was an immediate and obvious improvement in sound, both for stereo music (from CDs) and surround sound music (the Peter Gabriel Secret World concert DVD). This improvement included much tighter, punchier bass, improved clarity, and more pronounced highs. Actually the bass was so much better I had to check if I'd accidentally changed a setting on my subwoofer but the improvement was still obvious even with my sub turned off. (It didn't seem to add too much, which I guess makes sense given that the M80's and VP180 can go quite low on their own. Note that I'd already set the 3 front channels as "large" in the receiver setup and that did make a big difference compared to "small".)

I'm quite honestly amazed at how big a difference just adding two channels of ADA1500 power to my existing system made!

I hope this posting helps.

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#384953 - 10/31/12 08:08 PM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: cohesion]
AdrianD Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 85
Loc: Maple, Ontario
Originally Posted By: cohesion
With all respect to JohnK I have to go against the prevailing wisdom here and say that a new amp would likely make the biggest improvement in your listening experience. I'll explain why but it's a bit of a long story...

I also have respectfully disagree; a good amp will make a big difference, even disregarding the raw power benefits. I have a fairly decent receiver (Yamaha RXV567) and a pair of cheap-ish monoblocks (Emotiva UPA-1).
The difference in SQ is huge. To my ears anyway.
_________________________
M80 v3, 2 x Emotiva UPA-1 Monoblocks, XPA-5, UMC-1 PrePro
Pro-Ject RPM Genie, Carver C2 Phono Preamp

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#384954 - 10/31/12 08:28 PM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: PaulCanada]
cohesion Offline
local

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 209
Loc: Maple, Ontario, Canada
Hi Adrian,

Thanks for backing me up! I actually understand that the Emotiva monoblocks are quite good. It would be interesting to compare to the ADA1500.

Actually I'm in Maple too. Perhaps we should arrange a mutual listening swap? I should have my LFRs working soon too...

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#384961 - 10/31/12 09:42 PM Re: Pre-Amps and Amps questions. [Re: cohesion]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10372
Even in Maple the amplification process has no capability to change the characteristics mentioned if other factors, especially sound level, are held constant. Amplifiers make the sound louder. That's it. No magic.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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