AskDefine | Define preamplifier

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a voltage amplifier for amplifying a low-level input signal; its output is the input to a higher-level amplifier

Extensive Definition

A preamplifier (preamp), or control amp in some parts of the world, is an electronic amplifier which precedes another amplifier to prepare an electronic signal for further amplification or processing. The preamplifier circuitry may or may not be housed as a separate component.


In general, the function of a preamp is to amplify a low-level signal to line-level. A list of common sources would include a pickup, microphone, turntable or other transducer. Equalization and tone control may also be applied.
In a home audio system, the term 'preamplifier' may sometimes be used to describe equipment which merely switches between different line level sources and applies a volume control, so that no actual amplification may be involved. In an audio system, the second amplifier is typically a power amplifier (power amp). The preamplifier provides voltage gain (about: 10millivolts to 1volt) but no significant current gain. The power amplifier provides the higher current necessary to drive loudspeakers.
Preamplifiers may be:
  • incorporated into the housing or chassis of the amplifier they feed
  • in a separate housing
  • mounted within the or near the signal source, such as a turntable, microphone or musical instrument.


See also

preamplifier in Danish: Forforstærker
preamplifier in Spanish: Preamplificador
preamplifier in Hebrew: מגבר קדם
preamplifier in Italian: Preamplificatore
preamplifier in Dutch: Voorversterker
preamplifier in Polish: Przedwzmacniacz
preamplifier in Swedish: Förförstärkare
preamplifier in Turkish: Pre amplifikatör
preamplifier in German: Vorverstärker
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1