Building your first hi-fi system? Not sure what amplifier you need? There are a few different types of stereo amplifier available that all do slightly different jobs, but you do need one in your system. Think of it as the beating heart of your system, as every unit in your system is connected to it and also powers the speakers. There are three different types of amplifier you’ll probably come across:
Pre-Amplifier – The preamp takes the low level audio signal from your music source of choice and prepares it for the power amplifier.
Power Amplifier – Once the signal reaches the power amp, it’s given that extra drive needed for it to be heard through your speakers.
Integrated Amplifier – An integrated amplifier does both of these jobs in one handy unit. Perfect if you don’t have the space or budget for separate pre and power amps.
Before you pick an amp for your hi-fi setup, there are some other things to think about too. Make sure you pick one that lets you connect everything you want to it. Also consider the power output, you don’t need a huge amp for a standard listening session. This is especially true if you pick a huge amp and use it in a small room.
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