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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This preamp features separate audio and control sections, each relegated to its own chassis. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 11 Nov. 2022 Handmade in England, the rack-mountable preamp is intended for professional use in studios but is equally suited to the best home stereos. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 2 Oct. 2022 Moving-coil cartridges, which have a lower output than moving-magnet versions and other types, require intermediate amplification or a transformer to step up the output voltage sufficiently to drive the preamp. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 2 Aug. 2022 The phono preamp can also be turned off for connecting the turntable to an amplifier that already has a dedicated phono input. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 3 May 2022 In addition to two sets of speaker outputs, the C 389 has two subwoofer outputs, preamp outputs, plus a dedicated headphone amp. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 17 May 2022 However, bear in mind the turntable would need to have a phono preamp as the speakers don’t include a phono stage for turntables. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 In addition to two sets of speaker outputs, the C 399 has preamp output jacks and dual subwoofer outputs for attaching to a power amp or adding some low-level grunt. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 There’s even a preamp output stage for those people who might want to connect the Cyrus One Cast to a larger power amp. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preamp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 6 Dec. 2022.

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