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Stereo & Mono Power Amps

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Hi-Fi Amplifiers and Receivers Guide

An amplifier is essentially the heart of your system – everything in your system will connect to it. It acts as the switching box for your sources and is responsible for controlling and powering your loudspeakers. An amplifier receives a signal to its pre-amplifier section, and must pass on the signal it receives untouched to the power amplifier section, at which point the signal will be amplified. The amplifier must be of suitable quality for the accompanying loudspeakers, and be able to provide them with everything they demand in order to sound as they were intended. Due to budget, quality will vary greatly.

Features

Other than the basics, an amplifier may have the facility to run a second pair of loudspeakers, with switching on the front panel to engage either pair, or run both at the same time. Many are now remote controlled, allowing you to control volume, input, and mute, and sometimes control other products from the same manufacturer, like a CD player or streamer. A dedicated turntable input has made a comeback with the popularity of vinyl, and will now appear on most amplifiers. Tone controls aren’t a necessity, but some manufacturers provide them for those of us who like to tinker. Some amplifier manufacturers feel that adding features to an amplifier compromises quality, and will only provide input switching and a volume control to try and preserve the best quality possible.

 


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