Audio entertainment is an important part of everyone’s life and it was also among the first forms of entertainment in history. There are many gadgets and devices in the modern world that can help people enjoy music and movies even more, and speakers are a vital piece of equipment for audio entertainment. However, speakers require power to convey sound, and that power can be supplied by an amplifier. Although not everyone uses an amplifier at home, more people are getting one for their home speakers because they know that amplifiers can help provide a more exciting experience when listening to music or watching movies.
Installing an amplifier at home can be a daunting task especially for first-time users and for those with little experience in dealing with electronic devices. There are a few things users should know before installing an amplifier in the home such as its compatibility with the home speakers, the various inputs and outputs involved, and tuning the sound system.
Reasons for Buying an Amplifier
An amplifier’s main function is to amplify and supply power to the speakers it is connected to. It is a device that must first be connected to a preamplifier or home theatre receiver. These provide the input signal which the amplifier can then amplify. Although many home theatre systems and HiFi systems can produce powerful and clear sounds most of the time, they might still not be enough for some people, especially audiophiles. For discerning ears, music and movies played without an amplifier may not have great sound fidelity, which means that they are not as clear and intense as the actual sound source. This happens especially with high intensity music and action scenes in movies.
By using an amplifier, more power can be supplied to the speakers without taxing the system, and as a result, the speakers can produce loud, clear-sounding audio. However, before installing an amplifier for the home speakers, users should first be sure that they really need it. If they do not turn the volume on their receiver, chances are they do not need an amplifier. Likewise, if they do not like listening to loud music and movies, getting an amplifier may not be a wise investment. Those who are planning to get an amplifier can shop at various electronic stores, audio equipment stores, as well as online stores such as eBay.
Installing an Amplifier
Home theatre amplifiers are designed to be easy to install, even for users with little experience. They are generally efficient, reliable, and involve a straightforward installation procedure. However, before installing an amplifier, it is important to determine that the amplifier and speakers are compatible with each other.
Checking the Amplifier and Speaker Compatibility
The main thing to consider in terms of amplifier and speaker compatibility is the power output of the amplifier. Users should look at the wattage and also resistance of both the amplifier and speakers. When checking the wattage, users must be sure to look at the watts per channel value on the amplifier, and not the total power output. Next, users should check the resistance of the speakers and amplifier, which is measured in ohms. An amplifier can have any number of channels from one to four, or even more.
When connecting two speakers to a channel, the resistance of the speakers is halved. For example, connecting two 8-ohm speakers to an amplifier channel reduces the resistance of the speakers to 4 ohms. Ideally, the amplifier should have the same ohm rating as the speakers. In this example, a 4-ohm amplifier would be needed. It is also important to match the watt rating of the two devices. Generally, it should be fine to have an amplifier with an equal or slightly higher wattage rating than the speakers. However, an amplifier with too much power can damage the speakers, whereas one with too little power would not able to power them. For more information on the power and resistance rating, users should check their amplifier’s and speakers’ user’s manuals.
Connecting the Amplifier to the Preamplifier
A preamplifier is any device that houses the volume control and other switches, and that processes all the audio signals. Preamplifiers are typically the receivers in the home theatre system. First, it is important to check that all devices are switched off. Next, the users should locate the pre-out terminals at the back of the preamplifier, which usually has RCA jacks. With an RCA cable, the RCA jack on the preamplifier can be connected to the RCA input on the amplifier. This cable sends out a signal to the amplifier, which then steps up the signal and delivers it to the speakers.
Connecting the Amplifier to the Speakers
Every speaker has its own wire, which is usually exposed at the ends. To connect these wires to the amplifier, users should strip about one centimetre of insulation from the ends of the speaker wires, exposing the two separate strands of wires, which are silver and copper coloured. The silver and copper wires should then be separately twisted to form a solid wire core.
Most of the time, the wires are attached to the speakers, but if they are not, users can attach them by matching the colour of the wire to the colour of the input on the speakers. Two common wire inputs are the spring clip and post connection. To open a spring clip, it is necessary to lift the clip, whereas to open a post connection, it is necessary to unscrew the post knob. After ensuring that the appropriate wires are attached to the speakers, they can then be connected to the amplifier. Since an amplifier typically has spring clips and post connections, the same method can be used to connect the wires to the amplifier.
After making all connections, it is important to check that all the wires are attached to the correct inputs. The black wire should be connected to the black connectors on the speakers as well as the those on the amplifier. If the connections are wrong, there is a high chance of a short circuit and signal crossing.
Tuning the Sound System
After completing the installation and checking that all connections are correct and secure, it is then time to turn on the devices. Users should first adjust the volume level on the preamplifier to a normal level, and insert a CD or DVD into the player for testing. While the disc is playing, users can listen to the playback sound and adjust the sound sent to each channel. Many amplifiers have channel gain controllers in the form of small flat-head screws that can be adjusted with a screwdriver to modify the gain level. However, many manufacturers have removed this feature from their amplifiers, and instead, have included knob controllers on the face of the amplifier.
Tuning the whole sound system after installing an amplifier is crucial as it optimises the sound output of the speakers to match the acoustic properties of the room. Without properly tuning their sound system, users can get the best amplifier that money can buy but still only have a mediocre sounding home theatre system.
Buying Amplifiers on eBay
If you are looking for a high quality amplifier for your home theatre system, eBay is a good place to shop for one as it has amplifiers of various brands and models. To search, you can start at the eBay home page, where you can look up amplifiers. Just type the name of the item that you want, such as "amplifiers", into the search bar, and click ‘Search’. eBay will then present you with a list of all available amplifiers, which you can browse through. You can also improve your search by using more specific keywords such as "Yamaha amplifiers".
When browsing through the various amplifiers, you can view a brief description of each product, the price, and postage fee. You can click on any amplifier if the description and price looks attractive enough for you. When looking at the product page, make sure you read all the provided information carefully so you do not miss anything important. You can also look at the seller’s feedback score, which shows how the seller has been rated by other customers. If you are satisfied with the amplifier, you can proceed to purchase it, and after you receive your amplifier, you can rate the seller to help future customers on their purchase.
Besides buying a high-end home theatre system with numerous speakers, it is also a good idea for users to get an amplifier to help them enjoy their audio entertainment system even more. With a good amplifier, users can not only improve the power of the speakers, but also the clarity of the sound produced by them. Before installing an amplifier in the home, users should first esnure that it is compatible with the speakers by looking at their wattage and ohm ratings. A general rule to follow when using an amplifier is that its power output should be equal to or slightly higher than the power requirements of the home speakers.
When it comes to installing an amplifier at home, the first thing to do is to make sure that all devices involved are turned off. Users can then connect the amplifier to the preamplifier using RCA cables, and the amplifier to the speakers with the speaker wires. It is vital to connect all the wires to their correct inputs and outputs, so users should be careful this when installing their amplifiers. Besides buying an amplifier from regular electronic stores, users can also shop on eBay, which has numerous types of quality amplifiers at a range of prices.