Amateurs singing in karaoke just for fun are usually not concerned about the quality of signal coming from a microphone to speakers. In an attempt to bring their hobby to the next level or even turn it into the source of income, they stumble upon multiple confusing nuances, seek instructions on the basics of sound engineering, and assemble their first audio systems through trial and error.

In particular, many newbies muddle up the types of amplifying equipment and do not understand whether a preamp can be used without an amp. This article is to clarify this issue. First of all, you should get an idea of the preamp’s and amp’s operation principle.

What a preamp is?

The main task of a preamp is to bring the signal to a level suitable for processing by a power amplifier (final amplifier). Also, a preamplifier changes the sound timbre.

It is challenging to get high-quality vocal sound without this unit. It is well known that each voice has its own peculiarities. Therefore, additional tonal coloring is needed to make vocal pleasant to hear.

Many preamps are available as part of karaoke systems. But external devices provide better sound quality than built-in options.

What an amp is?

Power amplifiers are critical for the smooth operation of any device that reproduces sound signals. The initial audio wave always has low power that is insufficient for transmitting to speakers. Amps adjust electrical signals to an audible range that the human ear can perceive (from 16 to 22 kHz). They can be found in every tape recorder, mobile phone, computer, karaoke system, and even talking children’s toys.

As a rule, amps have no special settings changing the character of the sound. All tuning operations are performed on a preamp.

It is possible to use a preamp without an amp?

No. Even if you have the best mic preamp, there is no way to use it without an amp. A preamplifier is a supplementary device, while an amplifier plays a critical role and cannot be excluded from the system.