Glossary of Product Categories


An electronic device used to increase an electrical signal. Power amplifier is the name applied to the last amplifier in the audio chain, used to increase the line-level signals to whatever is necessary to drive the loudspeakers to the loudness required.


Preamplifier is the name applied to the first amplifier in the audio chain, accepting inputs from low output sources such as CD players, tape recorders, turntables, etc. The preamplifier increases the input signals from tape-level, for instance, to line-level.

line stage

A line stage is a preamplifier without a phono section.

phono pre·am·pli·fi·er

Turntable pick-up cartridges output signals at much lower levels than other sources. The phono preamplifier increases the phono signal to a higher level. Records are encoded and need to be decoded. This pre and de-alteration of the signal is done according to a standard called the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) curve.

dig·i·tal com·po·nent

A device used for reproduction of sound stored in a digital format.


A component that divides an audio signal into two or more ranges by frequency, sending, for example, low frequencies to one output and high frequencies to another. An active crossover is powered and divides the line-level audio signal prior to amplification. A passive crossover uses no external power supply and may be used either at line level or, more commonly, at speaker level to divide the signal after amplification and send the low frequencies to the woofer and the high frequencies to the tweeter.

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