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Integrated Amp?
Buddha's picture
Last seen: 12 years 4 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am

I've got a pair of Paradigm Titan speakers, and I'm looking to add a subwoofer. I'm also planning on hooking up my DVD player and CD player to my system. I've got a casette player and turntable that it would be nice to hookup but is not necessary. At some point I'd like to add 2 more speakers to the system.

I'm looking for an integrated amp and tuner (new to this, always have had receivers).

What "outputs" do I need to make sure that the integrated amp has in order to drive these components?

I am confused when looking at int amps as to what they can drive.

Welcome to hobby!

Given what you want to hook up to your new amp, you will need the ability to accomodate several "line level" devices - CD, DVD, Tuner, Cassette. So when looking for amps, be sure any unit you like can accept at least four line level inputs.

For your record player, you have two choices:

1) An additional line level input that you will use to get a signal from a stand alone phono preamplifier - now we are up to five line level inputs.


2) A built in phono section (preamplifier).

Either way has advantages. The built-in would probably be cheapest, but an outboard phono-pre would offer more flexibility and (usually) better sound.


Many amplifiers have two sets of speaker terminals and allow for choosing to have either pair of speakers play alone, or both pairs play together.

When looking for this feature, you will have to keep track of the "impedance" of your speakers. When you play two sets of speakers, the amplifier sees a different world than it sees with one pair alone.

To over-simplify, one pair of speakers offers a certain 'resistence' to current flow from the amplifier...impedance. Sort of like pumping fluid through a pipe, the amplifier supplies current to the speakers.

If you add a second pair of speakers, the amp suddenly has to send current to more places than it did before, in an interesting way. Again, like pipes, the second set of speakers adds a second set of pipes, making the total resistance to current flow less than it was when there were only two pipes to fill.

This can mean that the amp will need to be designed to handle these two different set of circumstances and be built to accomodate your wishes.

The better the amp design in this regard, the more options you will have with regard to which other speakers you can add to your set-up.


I get tongue (keyboard?) tied sometimes, apologies if that sounds like an odd explanation.

Bottom line: Look for 4 line inputs plus a built in phono preamp, or 5 line level inputs and using an outboard phono preamp.

Look for connection and switching to run your second set of speakers.

When looking at specs, the main one you would be interested in is the amp's ability to deliver current into lower impedance loads (the second set of speakers), so look for an amp that has power ratings into (at most) 4 ohm impedance loads, or even 2 ohms.

You should see the current rating double every time the impedance goes down by half.

So, 100 watts into 8 ohms (the most common rating), 200 into 4 ohms, etc.

I tried not to get to nutty with all the descriptions. Feel free to toss follow-ups at us if I have confused the issue.

Best wishes.

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