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What the heck are Amps?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm totally confused on what they are and what they do? I know they make the music sound better somehow??

post #2 of 10

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_amplifier

 

Or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headphone_amplifier


Edited by 4-HGeek - 3/1/12 at 1:41pm
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenvneck View Post
I'm totally confused on what they are and what they do? I know they make the music sound better somehow??

In simple terms it amplifies an analog audio signal.

Audio is processed using very little electricity, which is not enough to move the diaphragm in a speaker or a headphone.

So the amplifier increase the juice/power (amps, I believe) to a level where it can affect the diaphragm.
 

 

 

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenvneck View Post

I'm totally confused on what they are and what they do? I know they make the music sound better somehow??

 

They turn data into electricity, which is then turned into air!

 

If you can hear music, there is an amplifier involved.

 

post #5 of 10

DACs turn data into electricity. speakers turn electricity into air. just because you hear something doesn't necessarily mean there's an amplifier involved (although there probably is, and you go by the standard definition of amplifier as a hardware analogue-analogue converter, eg you can plug your headphones into your iPod's line out and that bypasses the amplifier. your recording probably went through an amplifier or 2 3 4 or 5 tho)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

They turn data into electricity, which is then turned into air!

 

If you can hear music, there is an amplifier involved.

 


strictly, an amplifier is a device that takes an input analogue signal at a high impedance and presents an identical signal at low impedance. it does not necessarily make it more powerful, as there are passive preamps that are used only for volume control.
 

 


Edited by bellsprout - 3/1/12 at 6:16pm
post #6 of 10

Correction:

 

A DAC converts an electric digital signal into an electric analog signal.  Electricity (i.e. the flow of electrons (aka current) induced by an electic potential (aka voltage) is there all along.

 

An amplifier increases the power of an electric signal, raising its current and/or voltage.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellsprout View Post

eg. you can plug your headphones into your iPod's line out and that bypasses the amplifier.

 

I believe any digital source that makes sound is using an amplifier, the line-out still uses an opamp (operational amplifier), whether it is a seperate chip or integrated into the D/A chip itself...

 

If you mean optical line-out, well, you can't listen to light, the light is data and has to be sent to a D/A.

 

Any RCA (the red and white connectors) has an amp behind it, for example on the PlayStation2, you can listen directly to the RCA, or you can connect it to an amp, or you can connect the optical line-out to a DAC, connected to an amp.

 

However, the DAC will be limited to the signal received from the PS2 and optical decoders, the D/D process.

 

etc.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenvneck View Post

I know they make the music sound better somehow??


Yes high quality amplifiers make the music sound better, it's like the lens of a camera or quality of your TV screen, except amp's cost less.

 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post



Yes high quality amplifiers make the music sound better, it's like the lens of a camera or quality of your TV screen, except amp's cost less.

I love this analogy.......great stuff. probably quote it in future!!!

Thanks
post #10 of 10

 

Yes, however on second thought the lens of a camera is more like a microphone (recording quality), and a TV screen is more like an IEM, speaker or headphone...

 

An amp is more like the paper or ink quality in a printer, or the quality of the image sent to the TV screen, I'm not sure... haha. =p


Edited by kiteki - 3/2/12 at 4:18am
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