Owning a separate pre/power amp combo is the dream of many music lovers as they generally offer better performance than a single box integrated amplifiers. Both stereo and mono models are available (doubling up 2 mono's rather than 1 stereo should offer even greater performance). Some power amplifiers can be used directly with source (CD player, etc) if your source component includes a built in pre amplifier. In most cases though, you will require a separate pre amplifier that also offers source selection and volume control. We also sell multi channel power amps for home cinema. Need help choosing an amplifier and with speaker matching? Please call us or email for expert advice. We offer Free UK next day delivery on all of our in stock items.
Using a separate power amp and pre amplifier is considered to be the pinnacle of audio, and most high end systems and no expenses spared hi-fis use separate power and pre amplifiers. The splitting of equipment into as many separate boxes as possible is a principle used in most aspects of hi-fi, due to the sonic benefits that can be achieved. When using a one-box product such as an integrated amplifier, power supplies for both the pre and power amp circuitry are both housed within the same unit. Power supplies are typically regarded as “noisy”, and can add unwanted resonance and noise into audio signals when poorly isolated. By separating these components as much as possible, the power supplies are also separated, which prevents unwanted resonance from affecting the overall sound quality.
Power amp receive an input from a pre amplifier via RCA input, with some models offering alternative inputs such as balanced XLR. Output to speakers is then taken from the speaker terminals also known as speaker “taps”. Speaker terminals typically accept spade plugs, banana plugs as well as bare wire. However, some brands such as Naim and Cyrus only accept either proprietary BFA connections or banana plugs, so it is worth checking before purchasing if you wish to use existing pre-terminated cables with your amp. Most of the power amp we offer are designed for stereo usage, and therefore are suitable for driving a pair of speakers. Some power amplifiers may be able to drive two pairs of speakers, though if you require a multi-channel setup such as a home cinema surround sound speaker system, an AV Receiver may be more appropriate.
Power amp connect to your speakers with output quoted in watts (e.g. 50W per channel or 100W per channel). When choosing a power amp, refer to the recommended amplifier power for your speakers. Ensuring that speakers are delivered suitable and appropriate power is key in getting the most out of them and getting the best possible sound quality from your system. Using an amplifier with too little power for your speakers can result in a lacklustre and underwhelming performance, while an amp with too much power can result in overdriving your speakers and potentially damaging them. Some amplifiers, particularly those which are valve-based or Class A designs will be rated with a lower power rating, due to the nature of their designs and their efficiencies. Such amps can deliver stunning sound but can be harder to pair with speakers based on statistsics as a lower power rating may not equate to the same power rating on a solid state design. Feel free to get in touch to discuss pairing or to arrange a demonstration of one of these models.
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