AMPLIFIER TYPES - INTEGRATED VS STEREO POWER VS MONOBLOCKS

AMPLIFIER TYPES - INTEGRATED VS STEREO POWER VS MONOBLOCKS

Tom Danus Tom Danus
3 minute read

Which is best for you? We look at the different amplifier types, the pros and cons of each...and the options for upgrading.

Integrated Amplifiers

This is where the pre-amplifier and power amplifier sections are fitted into the same case. Examples of integrated amplifiers are our AP10P (above) and our new 70 watt integrated amplifier (launching in June at the North West Audio Show).

Pros - affordability, the space saving convenience of one case, fewer cables (no need to connect preamp to power amp), short signal paths can help sound quality.

Cons - less upgrade potential, power supply shared between channels, the number of inputs may be limited, the power rating is limited by what size of transformer and capacitors that can be fitted into the case.

Upgrade options - the new 70 watt NVA integrated amplifier will have options to upgrade the volume control and the power supply.

Pre-Amplifier w/ Stereo Power Amplifier

This is where the pre-amplifier and power amplifier sections are separated into 2 cases. Examples of this combination are our P50 & P50SA passive pre-amplifiers with one of our S80 (above, with P50 stacked on top), S150 or S300 stereo power amplifiers.

Pros - the choice of partnering power amplifier gives flexibility regarding power requirements and budget, there are more upgrade options, dedicated pre-amplifiers may have more inputs than some integrated amplifiers, a dedicated pre-amplifier may have a better quality volume control.

Cons - an additional case, an additional set of interconnects is required to connect the pre-amplifier to the power amplifier.

Upgrade options - the NVA P50 pre-amplifier can be upgraded to P50SA specification, at any time - read more. The NVA S150 power amplifier can be upgraded to S300 specification, at any time - read more.

Pre-Amplifier w/ Monoblock Power Amplifiers

This is where the pre-amplifier is, again, separate and the power amplifier section is now split into 2 separate cases - one case for each channel. Examples of this combination are our P50 & P50SA passive pre-amplifiers with either our M300 or M600 monoblock power amplifiers (above).

Pros - all the advantages of stereo power amplifiers, plus...a separate power supply for each channel improves current delivery, which increases dynamic headroom and gives the capability to drive a very wide range of speakers, there are more upgrade options.

Cons - additional cases, more space required, additional cost.

Upgrade options - the NVA P50 pre-amplifier can be upgraded to P50SA specification, at any time - read more. The NVA M300 monoblock power amplifiers can be upgraded to S300 specification, at any time - read more.

Summary

When considering the different amplifier types, think about your immediate budget, the type of speakers you want to use, the volume levels that you want to listen at, whether you want the flexibility to upgrade your system, and what balance of convenience vs sound quality that you prefer. Most items in the NVA range can be upgraded, and without losing your initial investment. Try NVA at home, in your own system, for 30 days, and take advantage of our buy-now, pay later option (Klarna).

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