A preamplifier (also called a “preamp” for short) is an electronic device that is used for increasing the strength of an audio signal—for instance, from a microphone or electronic instrument—before it’s distributed to a component such as a speaker or power amplifier. In other words, an audio preamp “prepares” an electronic signal so it’s ready for further processing. This enhances the quality of the resulting sound.
Preamps commonly boast extra features such as equalization (EQ), signal-routing, or providing voltage gain without adding significant current gain. While some preamps are integrated into other audio gear such as headphones, mixing consoles, DJ mixers, or sound cards, preamps are also standalone pieces of gear that can be incorporated into sound setups.
Ideal for modulating the signal quality of audio in recording studios of all sizes and types, preamps are often used in sound systems and are also an indispensable accessory for vocalists or for musicians who play electronic instruments such as guitar or bass. They’re also a great addition to sound setups for music lovers or someone assembling the perfect audio for a home or recording studio.
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