If there’s one thing the audio industry has made an art form, it’s using terminology that means almost… but not quite the same thing. A good example of this is with the terms ‘amplifier’ and ‘receiver.’ At times, it can seem that these are completely interchangeable terms but there are differences between the two. We’re going to cover them to see which is best for you.
An amplifier is the device that turns the low voltage signals from your source equipment into a signal with enough gain to be used to power a pair of speakers. The functions of an amp can be split into two main sections. The first allows you to collate and select multiple inputs and select the required level of gain and is generally referred to as the preamplifier. The second does the ‘heavy lifting’ and adds the gain to the signals in order to be used to power a pair of speakers. This is the power amplifier. If the functions are split into two boxes like the 851E and 851W, these are referred to as pre and power amps. With amplifiers like our CXA80, both functions are placed in a single chassis and referred to as an integrated amplifier.