I currently play my iPod through the Aux input of my intergrated amplifier/receiver. The problem is I have to turn the iPod volume up to about three-quarters (after that it distorts) and the stereo's volume up pretty loud too just to hear it at the volumes I'd listen to if this were a CD. Wondering if I should get a pre-amp. Would this improve the signal from the iPod and potentially improve the audio I'm getting out of this thing? Or should I just continue to use my CD player and give up on mp3 technology?
You already have a pre amp built into the integrated amplifier. The basic rule is don't worry about where the volume controls are set as long as you can drive the amplifier to full volume. This is nothing more than a bit of a mismatch between output voltage of the Ipod and input sensitivity of the integrated amplifier's pre amp section. Check your manual for the integrated. Some pre amps will have slightly different sensitivity specs for different inputs. If there is another input with a lower sensitivity spec, try it. Do not use the phono input.