Amplificadores Kenwood Home Audio Integrado

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How to Boost Power and Signal

When you hook up your Hi-Fi components into a single stack, you need an amplification solution that does two separate jobs. First, it has to amplify all the input signals to the same level to produce clear sound; second it has to push out enough energy to drive the speakers.

What is an Integrated Amplifier?

While the most obvious thought might be that it is an amp with a receiver or tuner built in, the fact is that an integrated amplifier is actually a device with two separate amplification stages. One stage handles signals, the other stage handles power:

  • Signal Stage: Also known as the preamp, this stage takes the low power phono input along with other signals and boosts them for clarity. Some turntables have an integrated phono stage to balance that signal. The preamp then generates a consistent output signal with all sources at the same level and outputs that to the next stage.
  • Power Stage: This is the amplifier itself, a power amp that converts the low power music signal into something that has enough power to drive the speakers. Rather than simply amplifying the voltage, they boost the wattage.

Whats the Difference Between Tubes and Transistors?

Most vintage amps rely on vacuum tubes to produce sound, while later models are more likely to use solid state circuitry. This is one reason why vintage components often produce a clearly recognizable sound which is nothing like that of more modern transistorized electronics. There are several factors that produce this difference:

  • Tubes: The biggest advantage of vintage Kenwood stereo equipment is distortion. Tubes produce a harmonic distortion that works with the music, providing a fuller experience. However, they are also larger, hotter, and often more expensive.
  • Solid State: Transistorized amplification is more technically accurate and provides better power handling capabilities. The catch is that some people dont enjoy listening to transistors as much as tubes.

Building a Stereo

A good stereo system requires more than just an integrated amplifier. It requires a complete stack with a full range of audio components. As long as you stick to analog, you can mix modern and vintage equipment with ease, so your vintage amp can pick up the sound from a turntable, a receiver, or even a CD player without difficulty. It also provides the power to drive a subwoofer along with a full set of speakers. A vintage Kenwood stereo integrated amplifier may look a little different among modern gear, but the music it produces fits right in. After all, a good stereo is far more about the music you hear than it ever has been about appearance.  

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