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  • Preamps

    A record player preamplifier (“preamp”) is an electronic amplifier which prepares an electronic signal for further amplification or processing. The preamplifier circuitry may or may not be housed separately from the device for which a signal is being prepared. In general, the function of a preamp is to amplify a low-level signal to line-level. A list of common low-level signal sources would include a pickup, microphone, turntable or other transducer. Equalization and tone control may also be applied.

    In a home audio system, the term “preamplifier” may sometimes be used to describe equipment which merely switches between different line level sources and applies a volume control, so that no actual amplification may be involved. In an audio system, the second amplifier is typically a power amplifier (“power amp”). The preamplifier provides voltage gain but no significant current gain. The power amplifier provides the higher current necessary to drive loudspeakers.

    Many companies manufacture preamps, including Radial Engineering, Creek, music hall and NAD among others.

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