An audio power amplifier or power amp is an electronic amplifier that reproduces low-power electronic audio signals such as the signal from a radio receiver or electric guitar pickup at a level that is strong enough for driving loudspeakers or headphones. This includes both amplifiers used in home audio systems and musical instrument amplifiers like guitar amplifiers. It is the final electronic stage in a typical audio playback chain before the signal is sent to the loudspeakers and speaker enclosures. The audio amplifier was invented around 1912 by Lee De Forest, made possible by his invention of the first practical amplifying electrical component, the triode valve tube in 1907. The triode was a three terminal device with a control grid that can modulate the flow of electrons from the filament to the plate. The triode vacuum amplifier was used to make the first AM radio. Early audio power amplifiers were based on valve tubes and some of these achieved notably high audio quality.
Audio power amplifiers based on transistors became practical with the wide availability of inexpensive transistors in the late 1960s. Since the 1970s. Most modern audio amplifiers are based on solid state devices. Transistor-based amplifiers are lighter in weight, more reliable and require less maintenance than tube amplifiers.
In the 2010s, there are still audio enthusiasts, musicians, audio engineers and music producers who prefer tube-based amplifiers, and what is perceived as a "warmer" tube sound.
Amplifiers classes explained
- Signal Booster, SLx TV Two Output Amplifier 27822HSR With Integrated 4G Filter. This freestanding or wall-mountable unit is designed to increase and distribute TV and FM aerial signals It also provides the best in TV and FM signal reception. The SLx range of aerial amplifiers are built to the exacting standards of the professional and yet easy-to-use. They have a fashionable, gun-metal grey finish to match existing TV/VCR/Hi-Fi units and come with ultrasonically molded mains plugs.
- Labgear LDA2061LR 6 Way Distribution Amplifier - 4G Filtered Amp For TV/FM/DAB Signals For 6 TVs RED Compliant. This fully screened general purpose 6-way Amplifier is ideal for distributing TV and FM/DAB radio signals. This may be used in conjunction with additional passive accessories to allow additional outputs to be fed or to feed other distribution amplifiers.
- Onkyo A-9010 (UK) Integrated Amplifier. The latest addition to Onkyo's Pure Hi-Fi lineup, the affordable A-9010 Integrated Stereo Amplifier was tuned in the UK with specially modified circuitries and four audio-grade capacitors to deliver the warm, full-bodied sound European listeners prefer. Unlike many stereo amps at this price, the A-9010 features a built-in MM phono stage and phono inputs so you can connect a turntable and enjoy your record collection with pure and dynamic analog performance. Sounding rich and lush-but not at the expense of detail, the A-9010 is an excellent place to start your love affair with vinyl records.
- Digital Stereo Amplifier With Bluetooth. QTX KAD-2BT stereo amplifier delivers attractive looks, sound quality and good performance. The built-in media player gives an array of options from Bluetooth connectivity, USB and SD card inputs, and an FM radio receiver. The ideal setup for this compact, yet punch-packing amplifier would be living quarters, office, home cinema or small to medium public house.
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