Matching Preamplifiers and Amplifiers

When you purchase a preamplifier from a different manufacturer than the amplifier you need to be sure they are compatible. The amplifier will need a certain number of volts to drive it to full current. The preamplifier needs to supply that level of voltage for the amplifier to deliver its power rating. This specification is frequently found at the back of the user manual. If it is not there you need to check with the manufacturer.

For example the Marantz AV8003 is rated at 1 V unbalanced and 2 V balanced. A McIntosh MC501 needs 2.1 V unbalanced and 4.2 V balanced. The McIntosh would not be a good match for this preamp processor. An Anthem A5 needs 1.5 V balanced or unbalanced. The Marantz AV8003 is a good match for the Anthem A5 when connected balanced, but not unbalanced.

W. Jeff Meier

ISF and THX Certified Home Theater Consultant

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