Amplification & Switching

Many types of “amplification” exist such as, pre-amplifiers, power amplifiers, integrated Amplifiers & Receivers.

The Amplifier can be referred to as the heart and the brains of a sound system. All source components are connected to it, it powers the loudspeakers and controls the entire system. The confusing thing about buying a new Amplifier is that there are so many terms and specifications used to describe the unit. These specifications may be used as a guideline but at the same time your final decision should also come from the ability to use your ears and listen to the performance. Therefore there is little value in reading the spec sheet alone.

The quality of an amplifier is more important than the wattage output. However this output needs to be matched to the demands from the speakers, the size of the listening area and the volume levels you like to listen to. As we are dealing with watts and decibels the need for correct recommendations from an experienced consultant could save you a lot of money. Our ears are sensitive to a wide range of sound levels from 0 decibels to about 140 decibels (clarity at conversation level is about 60db). An Amplifier should then be able to deliver a very low distortion level of sound rather that a loud noise causing the music to blur.

So there is a distinct relationship between loudness and amplifier power, watts and decibels. Are there sufficient and modern input facilities for the source components, e.g. CD player, iPods, multi media player, perhaps a turntable or the other extreme like of a game console? What tone controls are needed if any?

After establishing your needs carefully AVG will then be able to direct you to the best suited option for you to purchase. You can then relax and enjoy the experience of knowing that you did not have to make a decision completely on your own and that the Amplifier you eventually choose will be the best for you.

In bigger sound systems, a pre-amplifier (preamp) has the function of switching between many different input sources. These low level signals are boosted, processed and then fed into the “power amplifier”.

Power amplifiers boost the processed audio signal received from the pre-amplifier into a level that is able to drive the speakers.
Power Amplification

Integrated Amplifiers
Integrated amplifiers incorporate both the signal processing function and signal boosting amplification functions in one single component.

A/V Receivers just have to be the most exciting modern day sound component ever developed.

From the introduction of home cinema, the entertainment industry has inexhaustibly lifted the bar continuously higher in the pursuit of sound excellence and authenticity. Multi track technology began with four channels compressed to two on old Hi-Fi Stereo VHS recorders and played back through Dolby Pro-logic decoders built into the early receivers. Today we have receivers with not only multiple decoders e.g. Dolby Digital in many formats and DTS variations, but also the options of Digital Sound Processing which can be selected with infinitely more personal satisfaction and fun for the end user.

Not only can these amazing units process sound but they can also convert video images to maximize picture quality reproduction and simplify the distribution of the signal from many input variations like Composite, Component and the latest HDMI formats.

Here are also a few extras that could be used:

  • Multi Zone Functionality – means having the ability to distribute sound and picture to different rooms with separate independent controls
  • Networking Functionality – integrating multi-media source information from your computer to play throughout the house
  • Video up-conversion for component and HDMI
  • Improved bass management of the Sub-woofer
  • Room acoustic analysis and calibration settings for optimum performance in the given environment

What do we then buy?

At this point we have not even discussed the performance. The receiver power compatibility with the chosen speakers, room acoustics and expected playback volume levels. The listening demo test for the quality of the sound also has significantly more value than just reading manufactures specifications to help sell their product. You need the help! AVG can certainly give you experienced recommendations which should enable you to make a wise choice.

The correct investment will certainly give you the most pleasure and excitement for a long time.