audio amplifier with output power not sufficient to control a loudspeaker; circuit that prepares an audio signal for processing or further amplification

Preamplifier is a type of electronic amplifier. It doesn't have enough power to feed speakers. Rather a preamplifier amplifies weak signals, for example from a microphone, for electronic processing or distribution.

SWTPC PreAmp.jpg

Early preamplifiers used vacuum tubes. Since the 1960s, most electronic amplifiers have been built with transistors. Transistors are lighter, less expensive, and more reliable.

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