Some Time for Romance
A few days ago, I asked George Kaye to provide me with the pros and cons of using a passive preamp in conjunction with his 401HR, and to also go into some detail regarding the benefits of keeping the connections between the amp and preamp short. The italic bits that follow are George's, as filtered through Jonathan Scull.
George began: Here's the 20/20 on passive preamps. It won't be as voluptuous or sumptuous as the amp, I'm sorry to say....
For a moment or two there, while the crowd gathered around with their excited cheers, as my hopes for a stop to this mess were answered only by random kicks to the head, I really did think that Jose Quiros was going to kill me. Why is this happening to me, and how will it end? Who will save me because I can't save myself?
The commonly used term "passive preamp" is a misnomer to begin with, but it does roll off the tongue more easily than "passive volume controller." If a "control" device is "passive" then it doesn't actually amplify the signal, so "passive preamp" (pre-amplification) is the wrong term. But everyone uses it.
I don't know how it happened, but I survived. I was again on my feet. Jose Quiros was washed away in a wave of flailing limbs, unfortunate hair, and white teeth. A blurry-faced black girl pointed at me and demanded: "Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry..."
And that, of course, is when
The left eye was first to let loose its tears. It's always the left eye. I don't know why. How could I know why? I have no communication with this easy-flowing left eye of mine; It never listens when I ask it to please hold back.
Consider the flow of an audio signal as similar to the flow of water in an oversimplified but useful analogy. Let's say in this case we have two hoses, a smaller one located within a larger one. The inner hose/line represents the "hot" side of our electrical signal, and the outer hose neutral or return. Yep, the signal returns to the source. So, here it is: The effect of capacitance is like having two-way "seepage" from one hose/line to the other.