Pro Audio Preamps

The term ‘pro audio preamp’ is short for professional audio preamplifiers. A preamplifier is a device that prepares a signal for further amplification. The purpose of a preamp is to amplify low-level signals to line level, which is the standard operating level of your recording equipment.

Preamplifiers are placed close to the sensor, to reduce the effects of noise and interference to improve the quality of sound that is emitted from the amplifier. They can be sold as an individual device or can be built into audio devices. Preamps are commonly used to amplify signals from microphones, instruments and phonographs.

The important reasons for purchasing a preamp is to have clear and improved sound quality as well as allowing you to obtain more sound.

Benefits of an external pro audio preamp

There are many benefits of purchasing an external preamp, including:

  • Improved sound quality
  • It will pick up more sound that is often missed and give you more gain
  • A preamp picks up lower noise
  • It can help you to give the sound a different character

Features of a preamp

One of the first considerations when choosing a preamp is to decide on the number of channels you require. 

Preamps commonly have between one and eight channels. Depending on how many devices and units that you want to connect to the preamp will determine how many channels you will require.

As well as channels, preamps often boast many other features such as:

  • Phantom power – This allows condenser microphones to be powered from the microphone input without another cable
  • Phase reverse – It helps to balance the sound when recording an instrumentusing two microphones
  • Gain control – This helps to bring signals to full operating level

There are many different types of preamps available, which can include a variety of different features. 

Other features of preamps that you may want to consider are high impedance input, limiter, modular and vacuum tube valve. It depends on what you want your preamp to achieve as to which features you choose.