Power Amplifiers

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Power Amplifiers

You have a lot of decisions to make when choosing an amplifier. One of the first and most important of these is to decide if you’re going to go with an integrated amp, or purchase separate a pre-amplifier and power amplifier. An integrated amp (or receiver) does the job of both a preamplifier (which accepts the source connections and allows for controls), and a power amplifier (which does the heaving lifting of amplifying the signal for your speakers). But when you split these two components up, a lot of really awesome things can start happening.

A jump in sound quality is the first thing you’ll notice when you’re using a dedicated power amplifier. There are a couple of reasons for this, which we’ll explain here (don’t worry, we’re only going to get mildly technical, stick with us). See, a drawback of integrated amps is that the two functions they’re simultaneously performing can actually contradict each other, because taking care of the inputs uses delicate and low voltage circuitry, while the actual amplification requires higher voltage and currents. An integrated amp has to pull double duty, and a lot of the circuitry for the preamp has to work around the power amp section. But with a power amplifier, the internals can be laid out in the best way possible for performing its single task. Signal paths are shorter, and components can be placed where they need to be. It takes out all the compromise of an integrated amp and gives you pure, glorious sound in return.

So what should you look for in a power amplifier? As with any amplifier, you need to make sure, first of all, that you’re matching the power output to your speakers’ ratings. Ignore this, and you could damage your speakers. You also need to decide if you’re looking for a tube amp (like the ones here from PrimaLuna) or solid state. And don’t forget about aesthetics! There’s an impressive range of sizes, shapes, and finishes available, and some of these amps, like the Pathos Adrenalin, are just downright beautiful.

As always, we’re here to help you understand all the ins and outs of all our equipment and help you find the one that’s just right for you. Combine that with our free shipping and unbeatable prices, and you’ve got everything you need to pick out the perfect amp.

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