What is preamp/pro?


I think I will get separates but dont know nothing about it. I need preamp and amplifier. what is pre preamp/pro. what is integrated amp.


Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 378
Registered: Sep-04
Believe me, it sounds like you need an integrated amplifier!

All amplification uses a power stage which boosts the signal to the level you will listen at. It also has a pre-stage, where the signal is controlled, by bass, treble, balance and volume. This is also known as the 'control' stage but I don't think this post will benefit from an indepth explanation of this.

To 'integrate' means: put together - as one. An integrated amplifier is one unit which has integral pre/control stage amplification gear and the power amp gear together. Most amplifiers below a certain price bracket are integrated. They are still classed as 'seperates' because you will also need a source: such as CD Player, cassette deck and so on.

The higher up you go in quality and expense, the more you will find that amplifiers are less likely to be integrated, rather the pre and power sections have been split into two boxes, for reasons which would take a lot more explanation. They are sold as a pair when you buy them.

Best thing to do is go into your nearest hi-fi dealership and ask to hear systems which are within your budget. Ask them about pre-power combinations if your budget will allow and I'm sure they will be happy to explain it. Before you buy anything, make sure you get a demonstration, to help you with your choice.

There are some very good integrated amps out there and there are some even better pre-power combinations, which will cost you more money.

Best of luck,



Thanks for your detailed explanation. If only you would have ommitted your first sentence...

You first slapped me then patted me...arrogance is never good.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Varney did a good job of explaining the basic pieces of an audio system. I wouldn't be offended too easily, since you admit you are beginning to learn about better audio systems. If you get offended too easily, you find yourself offended too often. There's quite a bit to learn; ask questions and accept the answers gracefully.
If that isn't too arrogant, let me add a few things to Varney's comments. Your question about a pre/pro refers to a pre amp and processor in one chassis. Separates allow the individualization of almost every component part of your system. In the case of a pre/pro, you normally have no need for the processor portion if you are going a two channel system approach. Processors today mostly refer to the circuits designed for surround systems. In years past they meant other things that were in fashion.

Integrated amps have become the darlings of the high end set. As those who have completed their numerous systems in their home look to carry high quality sound to the second or third home or the office(s), the market has allowed them to take a simple integrated amp to these locations. This allows those who wish high end sound without the major expense of true separates to buy an integrated amp that costs lees than the best separate pre/power combinations but still at a hefty price. One of the best reasons to buy an integrated amp instead of a pre/power set up is the integrated amp has been designed to operate together and there are no additional cables between the pre and power amp. The shorter the connection between points the better is a good rule. An integrated makes for a compact way to get good sound without the numerous boxes of true separates. On the other side of the coin, some people prefer the number of boxes they can manage to put into a system.

Of course, it's up to you to decide where you want to go with your system.


Mr Vigney

Did you not read the first sentence of mr verney reply? How does he know what I neeed? His assumption is arrongant.

I do not feel at all offended. I am dissapponted, do not confuse my reaction.

My first answer to him was to thank him for the information provided. However Mr, Vigne the wisdom of a man lies not on his knowledge but on his actions.
Now I thank you for your reply which actually answers my question.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Glad to help. Why don't you stick these in a bookmark?





Thanks. I will check them out. I have plenty to learn.

Thanks again, they will be very usefull.

I would like to ask you a question.

I just bought receiver arcam av300 to drive dali suite 2.8 the speakers impendance is 4ohm
in the manual it says that the receiver should be used only with speakers of impendace above 4ohm.

I am concerned the unit is no good enough for the speakers. I am thinkig of exchanging but dont know which receiver can manage that load and still be very musical. Thought about adding an amplifier to drive the fronts but how about the sourrounds and the center they are also 4ohm.
If I do that should I change the receiver for a less expensive one say denon 3805?

I see some people taking about an emotiva combo for about 1300us which can handle 4ohms.

I also saw a tube by onix very inexpensive. Can i use that to drive the fronts? how will that affec the music quality?

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

You're asking questions I cannot answer in some cases. What you prefer in the way of sound is your choice just as what you consider musical may not be the same for me.

Concerning the impedance of the speakers, read about impedance on the "definitions and descriptions" site and then ask your dealer. Speakers are not just one impedance load and impedance actually takes into account many things that affect how the amplifier will react to a certain speaker. One four Ohm speaker might be a much easier load on an amplifier than another four Ohm speaker. I don't know the specifics of either peice you now own. The dealer should be able to assist you or you can call Arcam for better advice.


Bronze Member
Username: Tevo

Chicago, IL USA

Post Number: 19
Registered: Feb-05
Another resource that you may find useful is:

"The Complete Guide to High End Audio" by Robert Harley (3rd edition).

As with most any work, this text is not without its flaws (and detractors) but it is a good comprehensive source for the neophyte audiophile.

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 386
Registered: Sep-04
Mr. Anonymous,

I may as well point out, it is of little consequence to me how someone views my character on an online forum, when I know inside that my main impetus is to help wherever possible, using what little knowledge I have in this field.

Your opening question suggested to me that you know little to nothing about mid-range to high-end audio. I for one, started out with the budget for an integrated amplifier.... but it's place in a beginners hi-fi rack is more than just about budget, I believe.

When you have come to understand who makes what; who does it well and who offers value for money with an eye to your pleasure and tastes in sound, then you are in the postition to spend the larger budget more wisely. It was not out of arrogance I suggested you need a integrated amp, but out of consideration for a beginer.

For instance, in my teens, I started out with the brand 'Technics' because I honestly thought they were the best makers of hi-fi in the world. How wrong I was. They make some very expensive kit, dabble in the high-end and do in fact offer some very acceptable pre-power arrangements. Had I posessed the budget to buy higher up their food-chain, I might have blown my lifesavings on one of these, not being aware that there are better, more dedicated pre-power makers out there, which are in fact cheaper. The higher your spend bracket, the more complicated it gets both in brand/model choice and connection/unit-matching for optimal use of said budget.

For what it's worth, I am sorry if I made you feel you were being talked down to. I really hope that you find a hi-fi arrangement that you enjoy owning and listening to and that it gives you many years of solid service, whether or not you decide to buy into integrated or seperated electronics.


No hard feelings. It is true the road to high five is complex. That is why people come to this forums so it also does not feel solitary.

Thanks for the information.

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2810
Registered: Dec-03

Arcam AV300 is a quality receiver and it would be a surprise if it did not drive those speakers well. You can try it; the worst than can happen in the short term is that the receiver will go into protection mode. "Above four Ohms" can mean "minimum four Ohms" that is "equal to or greater than". Arcam should be able to let you know, if the manual is not clear on this point.

What would happen if I added an extra amplifier?
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