Can You Hook Up An Amp To A Home Stereo?
The simple answer to this question is yes, but what are the benefits of doing this? If you do choose this as an option, how should you go about it? Read on for the answers you need.
Benefits of connecting an amp to your home stereo
Your home stereo will normally have arrived with its own built-in amplifier to drive the speakers and power the system. You may decide, however, that you need more power than this offers, which is why you might be thinking about connecting a new amplifier to your stereo. This could supply the extra power that you need to drive more speakers or bigger versions.
What do you need to hook up an amp to your home stereo?
In order to hook up a wired amp, your home stereo will need audio output jacks. These would traditionally be used for connecting a second deck, for example, but this time, the output jacks will be used to connect the amp. You will also need standard audio cables for your stereo to complete the connection.
Connecting the amp and home stereo
1. Make sure both the amplifier and your stereo are not connected to the electricity source.
2. Get your audio cable and plug these into your output jacks. The red plug will go into your stereo’s right output jack, and the white plug will go into the left one.
3. The other plugs on the opposite end should then be fixed into the matching right and left audio input points on your amplifier. You should be able to use any available sets of inputs. Just take note of which ones you decide to use and whether they are labeled CD or turntable, for example.
4. Set your component selector on your stereo to tape 2 and make sure that the component selector on the amplifier is set to the right jacks being used to connect it your home stereo system.
Of course, there is also the option these days to go for a wireless amp, such as the Sonos Amp Wireless Amplifier. This type of amp is a hugely versatile choice that can be used to power all types of speakers, including floor-standing, bookshelf, outdoor, and ceiling varieties.
Choosing an amp for your home stereo system
Connecting your amp or going for a wireless version may sound reasonably simple, but before you get to that stage, there are things you need to ensure so your plans will work out as you’d hoped.
If you’re looking to buy an amp, you will need to decide whether to go for an integrated version or pre/power boxes. The Linn Majik DSM Integrated Amp/DAC has pre- and power amplification in a single chassis, while pre/power versions have two boxes splitting power and features such as volume control and input selection. The idea of this is to separate delicate audio signals from the noisy power section.
You will also need to consider the partnership between your amp and your speakers in terms of the amount of power the amplifier can output and how this complements factors such as sensitivity (measured in dB) and impedance (ohms). The latter measures how hard it will be for an amplifier to drive a speaker. It is generally better to go for more sensitive speakers instead of excessively powerful amps.
Placing your components
Once you have your match, you need to think about positioning. The surface your amp sits on is likely to make a massive difference in terms of its performance. This is why real music aficionados will also have their amp on a proper hi-fi rack and will have considered the material this is made from. This is because different materials will provide various acoustic properties. Wood will often offer a warmer, more rounded sound when compared to glass, for example. You also need to make sure that you give your amp enough breathing space as its power can create quite a lot of heat.
Before positioning your amp, you should also familiarize yourself with its rear panel so you know what your options are if you want to connect sources in the future, such as extra speakers. You’ll also be able to see if it has a phono input, which is designed specifically so it can handle the extra equalization and low signal levels of a turntable. High-end products will also have XLR connections to carry the most balanced audio signals and reduce the impact of electrical noise.