pre·​amp ˈprē-ˌamp How to pronounce preamp (audio)
variants or less commonly pre-amp
plural preamps also pre-amps
: preamplifier
On a fundamental level, a preamp makes sound louder without adding noise. Plug a smartphone into a stereo with the volume maxed out and you'll likely get a lot of distortion. A preamp adds that volume without the noise.Thorin Klosowski
The goal was to assemble a transportable machine that would pick up the specific nuclear signatures associated with materials used in nuclear weapons while screening out materials that might trigger a similar reading, a lab spokesman said. … The systems' parts, though not all available from Radio Shack, came from components on hand at the lab … including a hand-held computer, a pre-amp, an amplifier and a solid-state detector.Inside Energy/with Federal Lands

Examples of preamp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Almost every integrated amplifier, preamp and streaming receiver features a ¼-inch jack on the front panel, and headphone amplification circuitry which is generally an afterthought and not remotely capable of extracting the capability of a device like the Solitaires. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 Dec. 2022 The insider lingo, such as counterweight, cartridge, preamp and rumble rating, is enough to make your head spin. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 8 Aug. 2023 This single-channel preamp from Universal Audio is a modern, cost-effective version of the legendary 610 preamp from the late 1950s, designed to bring a timeless tone that’s since been used on everything from Frank Sinatra to Arcade Fire into your own studio. Popular Science, 24 June 2020 The takeaway here is that a sound system consisting of an amplifier based on the 3e board—which costs $49—along with a good digital-to-analog converter and a preamp can give you sound that can hold its own against a high-end amp. IEEE Spectrum, 31 Oct. 2018 Offering the advantages of an all-in-one system, the Nines feature Bluetooth connectivity, plus an integrated phono preamp, HDMI-ARC, digital optical, analog RCA and USB inputs. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 20 Jan. 2023 One input is a dynamic microphone: It’s plugged into a preamp that uses a 6SL7GT dual triode to amplify its audio signal by 60 decibels. IEEE Spectrum, 25 Jan. 2019 An affordable tube for a guitar preamp is now roughly $30, meaning the company can spend about $90 to get one tube that meets its standards. Roy Furchgott, WIRED, 28 Mar. 2023 Incorporating a dedicated power supply unit for the pre-drive stage (voltage amplification stage) that handles extremely low-level signals from the preamp, the M1X eliminates the influence of the drive stage with its large current fluctuations and this improves resolution. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 1 June 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preamp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preamp was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near preamp

Cite this Entry

“Preamp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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