Amplificadores integrados Onkyo Vintage

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How Stereo Amplifiers Work

One of the fascinating things about home audio is that vintage audio equipment is often just as desirable as more recent equipment. It may not have the same features, but the sound quality is often as good or better than more recent units.

What is an Integrated Amp?

When applied to amplifiers, the term integrated means that the chassis contains two components: the amp and the pre-amp. Adding a radio tuner turns it into a receiver. Regardless of the specifics of your particular device, they all exist to take inputs from your various audio sources and feed the output to your speakers. An Onkyo amp can often handle two separate stages of amplification:

  • Signal Amplification: This is the job of the preamp. It balances the signal levels from the various inputs and controls the overall volume of your stereo system before feeding it to the next stage.
  • Power Amplification: This is what drives your speakers, increasing the power enough that they can move enough air to produce sound.

What Features in Amps Should You Look For?

Whether you're looking at the latest all-digital stereo amplifier or a vintage Onkyo integrated amplifier, there are some aspects that every audiophile needs to pay attention to:

  • Technology: Both digital and analog amplifiers do the same job, even if they do it in different ways. One thing every digital amp needs is a DAC or digital-to-analog converter as you need analog outputs to drive your speakers.
  • Channels: A stereo amp has two channels, one each for left and right. It does not need additional speakers for surround sound because its entire job is to create soundstage from just two sources.
  • Impedance: Always match your power amp to your speakers. Impedance reflects the resistance of your speakers to your output signal, and low impedance speakers can be more responsive providing your amplifier supports them. Be careful when trying to use 4-Ohm speakers on an 8-Ohm amplifier.

Building a Home Stereo

The key to building a stereo is remembering it's a system. You need both good quality sources and a clear signal path through your amplifier to the speakers. The sound you get from a system is only ever as good as its source, especially after running it through a power amplifier. You can take a phono input and feed it directly to your power amplifier, but unless you have a preamp stage that can give it the level it needs without sacrificing definition, you won't get the hi-fi output you're looking for. Always take the time to make sure that your individual components can work together to ensure that you get the listening experience you want out of your sound system. It takes time and mental effort, but it's worth it.

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