Pre-out question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Why don't I still understand what pre-out means and how it works??? I am so frustrated and feel like everyone here knows what they are talking about but no matter how much I read up on it I still don't get the picture.

All I know is that I will need an amplifier to drive bigger speakers. Is there some place on the web where there's examples and diagrams or something?

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post #2 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 08:48 AM
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I'm certainly no expert, but I believe pre-outs are used when you want to drive your speakers with an external amplifier. You can choose to do this on one or all the speakers to reduce the load on the receiver's amplifier or if it is not putting out enough power to one or more of the speakers. I think pre-outs can be called "line out" - no amplification.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 08:50 AM
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A Pre-out simply passes the preamp signal to external amplification (all preamps/processors need these) and/or bypasses the internal amplification stage (if a receiver is preamp). The volume is still controlled by the preamp device however. All preamps/processors have pre-outs but not all receivers (usually lower end do not...these are limited as all-in-one packages).

External amplifiers may have gain knobs for each input channel to ensure proper volume control but many do not. Input/output signal voltages have to be a good bit out of whack for this to matter much nowadays. If gain controls are present most set them to maximum anyway to start which is proper in the vast majority of cases. On some occasions some tweaking of the gain is necessary between components.



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post #4 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 08:52 AM
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Well technically.. pre-out and line out are not the same thing...

Line outs are or at least should be fixed. I know many displays allow for them to be variable though.

Pre-outs are pre-amplified so your volume control works when using them.

Inside every AVR there is a hand off from the pre-out section to the power amp section. The pre-outs give you access to the pre-out section.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok it's beginning to make more sense. So all the speakers will connect to amp and not the receiver and I can control the volume with the receiver and not have to touch the amp? Sorry if I sound so noobish but I really appreciate all your help. Thanks everyone!

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post #6 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 09:26 AM
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You got it!!!!
Understanding is always a good thing...

Not to confuse you any further, but an additional FYI on it?
Older AVR's had a really cool feature, There was a physical jumpewr on the back for each channel that physically connected the channel pre-out to the power amp in.
This was cool because then you got access to the pre-out as well as each power amp for an external pre/pro, inline EQ, or easier true active bi-amp, ect..ect..
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 10:59 AM
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I miss the old Main Ins. I understand why they're largely a thing of the past...but my trusty HK 510 served me well as a separate amp at times.



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post #8 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitu View Post

All I know is that I will need an amplifier to drive bigger speakers.

Why?

There ARE reasons to run outboard amplifiers, but why do YOU think you need to?

What speakers? What is your current receiver?

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post #9 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER View Post

Older AVR's had a really cool feature, There was a physical jumpewr on the back for each channel that physically connected the channel pre-out to the power amp in.
This was cool because then you got access to the pre-out as well as each power amp for an external pre/pro, inline EQ, or easier true active bi-amp, ect..ect..

If I'm not mistaken, the correct term for this jumper is a shorting pin.

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post #10 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post

If I'm not mistaken, the correct term for this jumper is a shorting pin.

I think most people simply call them "jumpers". Because, ......well................, that's what they are.

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post #11 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Why?

There ARE reasons to run outboard amplifiers, but why do YOU think you need to?

What speakers? What is your current receiver?

I had the HK AVR247 running Klipsch Quintet III but I returned them. I just haven't heard anything else from other than driving larger speakers and taking the load off of the receiver.

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post #12 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 11:56 AM
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Preouts can also be used to send a line level signal to another device, such as a special processor, recorder, or separate analog preamp, or a powered subwoofer. But most often they are used for a separate power amp. The other thing to keep in mind is the preout or line out send a "line level" signal as opposed to a "speaker level" signal, which is what goes to the speaker from the power amp and is much higher current.

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post #13 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitu View Post

I had the HK AVR247 running Klipsch Quintet III but I returned them. I just haven't heard anything else from other than driving larger speakers and taking the load off of the receiver.

Why do think you need to "take the load off of the receiver"? What do you consider larger speakers? The size of the speaker doesn't really determine the amount of power that they need. Less efficient speakers need more power to drive them to similar levels as comparable but more efficient speakers. The size of the room you are trying to fill as well as the listening distance from the speakers are more determinant of how much power you really need. But for reasonable volumes in the usual reasonably sized room with reasonably efficient speakers, a good receiver can often provide all the power you need.

When you say you returned them, do you mean the speakers or the receiver AND the speakers? Are you still in the early stages of building up a system? Unless you are just looking to spend money, why don't you try a receiver with some speakers, first, before you decide you need an outboard amp. If you think you might want one further down the road, make certain you get a receiver with pre-outs. Otherwise, spend the money you would spend on an outboard amp on a nicer (and maybe more powerful) receiver and speakers for now.

You may also want to start a new thread asking about the benefits of using an outboard amplifier. Of course, there can be benefits, else people would not use them, but the real question you need to ask yourself is do you really need those benefits and are they really a major priority at the particular stage in the game you are at right now. Sometimes you can read a lot of stuff at boards like these and lose track of what is really important to YOU right NOW.

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post #14 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 12:39 PM
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I agree. unless you really like it or need it loud? Most any AVR can acheive desired levels with at least OK fidelity.
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I returned the receiver and the speakers and started looking into getting B&W speakers and a future proof receiver. The B&Ws will come later in life when I can afford them but for now I am looking into the Sony receivers but the ones I looked at don't have pre-out so I am now looking at other models.

Do any of you have a receiver and outboard amp setup? If so, do you mind sharing what the setup looks like in the back? I went to my local audio store called Audio Connection in hopes to gain some knowledge and hear some of the speakers that you typically don't see or hear like at Best Buy or something and I have to say that I was disappointed at their setup and they way some of the speakers sound.

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post #16 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 01:05 PM
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I use a Marantz SR7001 as a pre/pro....

Not much to see in my setup...

Here is the setup without the curtain that goes across the front of the basic racking / shelving. The power amp stacks are on each side of the AVR behind it. If you enlarge this you can just make them out. Looks messy without the curtain for sure. I could cleanit up some, but the curtain was easier.

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post #17 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitu View Post

Do any of you have a receiver and outboard amp setup? If so, do you mind sharing what the setup looks like in the back?

What is it you are wanting to see? What the pre-outs look like? Of course, you can determine if a receiver has them by looking, but the literature and any description of a receiver that you find online at a manufacturer's site should clearly tell you that it has them.

HERE is the back of a Denon 3808CI, for example. The pre-outs are circled in red. They are simply R/L pairs of RCA outputs for the front L/Rs, center, surrounds, and subwoofer. The subwoofer pre-out is where you would connect the subwoofer to theis receiver whether you used the other pre-outs with an outboard amp or not. One thing that the pre-outs can be confused with are the receiver's the external inputs which, in this picture, are the group of inputs immediately to the left of the pre-outs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jitu View Post

I went to my local audio store called Audio Connection in hopes to gain some knowledge and hear some of the speakers that you typically don't see or hear like at Best Buy or something and I have to say that I was disappointed at their setup and they way some of the speakers sound.

Doubtful you are going to find a store where they are using a receiver with an outboard amp. An outboard amp in a store would most likely be set up with a pre-amp as the usual "separates".


Again, I think that at this stage of the game you should not be worrying about an outboard amplifier. Sure, get a receiver that has pre-outs just in case you want to add one but, for the time being, spend your money on the receiver and speakers. Many receivers feature pre-outs nowadays, btw. That is not something that is going to be hard for you to find.

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post #18 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! thanks guys this has been really helpful =]

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post #19 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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sivadselim, I just saw your setup and wow those kef looks awesome! how do you like them?

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post #20 of 20 Old 04-30-2008, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitu View Post

how do you like them?

they're OK

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