pre·​amp | \ ˈprē-ˌamp How to pronounce preamp (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pre-amp
plural preamps also pre-amps

Definition of preamp

: 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 The phono setting delivers the unaltered signal from the phono cartridge, which must be used with a phono preamp or the phono input of a receiver or amplifier. Star Tribune, "Sound Advice: Office microphone works great at home, too," 31 July 2020 Wrapped in an insanely sturdy rack mountable metal chassis and stylish to boot, this preamp-EQ-compressor combo excels on any source and is great for bringing life to otherwise dull-sounding material. Popular Science, "Tube preamps for lush-sounding vocals, guitars, and more," 24 June 2020 Recording serious audio through a microphone tends to require a bounty of equipment: XLR cables, preamps, audio interfaces, and more. Popular Science, "USB microphones for easy, high-quality audio recording," 21 Jan. 2020 But more seasoned stereophiles may want to curate their own preamp choice. Jim Allen, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Turntables at Any Price You Can Buy Right Now," 30 Dec. 2019 That requires a preamp, either built into your turntable, as part of your stereo system’s amplifier, or as a separate device. Popular Science, "Turntable preamps for every budget," 23 Jan. 2020 The Apollo Twin has built-in preamps and works with both Windows and Mac computers. Billy Cadden, Popular Science, "Home studio gear to help scratch your musical itch," 5 Feb. 2020 The turntable goes into our preamp, which is a Conrad Johnson. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "4 Music Experts on How They Listen When Nobody’s Watching," 19 Dec. 2019 With onboard preamps and pickups, these let artists play large venues with acoustic guitars without putting a mic directly on the instrument, which is a logistical hassle that can result in volume inconsistency and feedback issues. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "Fender's 'Acoustasonic' Is a True Acoustic-Electric Hybrid Guitar," 22 Jan. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of preamp

1944, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of preamp was in 1944

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preamp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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