Electronics 101: What is a Preamp and Power Amp?

Electronics 101 Preamp Subwoofer DAC

Whether you think you know everything about electronics, or nothing at all. It’s always good to brush up on the basics. If you have any questions, visit our showroom. Our Electronics Professionals have decades of experience in simplifying electronics for customers. This week, John Higgs talks about a Preamp and a Power Amp. What does it do for a stereo system and why do you want it in your home?

What does a Preamp and Power Amp do for my stereo system?

People often call the Preamplifier a Preamp. They often refer to the Power Amplifier as a Power Amp.

John says the Preamp acts as the control device. Everything plugs into it. It contorls the volume, the EQ parameters, the tone and many other aspects of how your audio will sound.

The Power Amp acts as the motor. The Preamp sends it a signal, and the Power Amp makes the signal bigger. The signal needs to have enough power to reach all of your speakers at whatever volume you choose.

So if you view it as a vehicle, the Preamp provides all of the controls and Power Amp would act as the motor.


Whether you consider yourself an expert or not, our Electronics Professionals would love to show you what we have to offer. When you visit our showroom, they can not only answer your questions, but show you how it all works.

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about Jeff Johnson