What Is The Difference Between A Mixer And A Pre-amplifier?

An amplifier is used to enhance sound signals. It is electrically powered and operates when connected to a power supply. The amplifier increases the amplitude of a signal. They are necessary when sound needs to be transmitted in a large room. This is quite difficult to accomplish with some speakers.

Preamplifiers are devices that transmit strong output signals to amplifiers. They do this by converting a weak signal into the strong output signal. As such, the output signal is supposed be strong enough to be noise-tolerant. Without it, the noise will be deafening. Therefore, the preamplifier produces strong output signals which are used to amplify sound by the amplifier. 

The Difference Between A Mixer And An Amplifier?

Mixers are devices used to combine different sound signals. This is done to produce one coherent sound. The coherent sound is then sent to the amplifier as a signal. Mixers can have inputs such as microphones which are used by singers. They are used in many applications. Some of them are;

  • Sound reinforcement systems Nightclubs
  • Recording studios
  • Public address systems

There are so many others in which mixing consoles are used. They are very common especially in areas of entertainment. Mixers are very important in developing the desired sound. It is used to convert and mix different sound signals into one seamless and perfect sound.

On the other hand, amplifiers are needed to enhance sound signals to further distances. When entertaining many people some speakers, are not able to transmit the sound signal to everyone. Amplifiers are therefore needed to get the job done. They receive the needed sound signals from the mixer. Then, they amplify the sound signal to reach further areas

The main difference between the mixer and the amplifier is that; the mixer is used to combine two different sound signals to produce one seamless signal. While the amplifier is used to increase the sound signal reach further areas.

What Is The Use of an Audio Amplifier?

An audio amplifier is used to increase the power of a signal. The signal is a time-varying current or voltage it is a two-port electronic circuit that uses an electronic power supply. The power supply is used to increase the amplitude of the signal. It therefore produces a generally more powerful signal at its output. The amount of amplification is given by its gain. The gain is the ratio of the output voltage to the input. The power gain of an amplifier is usually more than one.

An amplifier can be an independent device on its own. It can also be within a certain piece of equipment. Amplifiers are very important in today’s modern days. It is therefore widely used in very many technologies. Amplifiers are therefore essential in sending sound signals in far areas. Therefore, they come in handy in enhancing the audio experience, especially when sound is needed in further areas.

What Does a Pre Amplifier Do?

A preamplifier converts weak signals into strong output signals. The output signal must feature enough strength for a noise-tolerant output. It should also be strong enough to be processed by a speaker or a power amplifier. The preamplifier is important or else the sound will be too loud or distorted. What it mostly does is to amplify the signal from analog sensors. It is also placed close to these sensors to prevent the effects of interference and noise.

An ideal preamplifier should have a constant gain, high input impudence and low output impudence. It is used to increase signal strength without degrading the signal to noise ratio. The noise performance of a preamplifier is quite critical. When the gain is high, the sound to noise ratio (SNR) of the input signals determines the SNR of the output signal. It is also determined by the noise figure of the preamplifier.

How to Connect a Mixer to an Amplifier and a Pre Amplifier

The following can be done according to the following processes;

  1. The mixer and the amplifier should be off. This prevents shot-circuiting the devices.
  2. Connect the plugs on the end of the stereo cable then connect the white plug in the left jack and the red plug in the right.
  3. Insert the plugs on the other end of the amplifier.
  4. Turn on the equipment and set the amplifier selector knob.

Later the amplifier can be connected to the preamplifier as follows;

  1. Inspect your equipment to be sure of compatibility.
  2. Connect the cords of the amplifier and the preamplifier into the designated plug-ins.
  3. Plug one end of every connector cable into the output plugs on the back of the preamplifier.
  4. Connect the cable’s other end into input plug holes of the amplifier.
  5. Connect your source equipment to the preamplifier’s input plug-ins, and connect the speaker’s to the amplifier.

Connecting Mixer to Amp to Speakers

The mixer should first be connected to the amplifier as follows;

  1. The mixer and the amplifier should be off. This prevents shot-circuiting the devices.
  2. Connect the plugs on the end of the stereo cable. (The white plug should be connected in the left jack and the red plug in the right).
  3. Insert the plugs on the other end of the amplifier.
  4. Turn on the equipment and set the amplifier selector knob.

After connecting the mixer to the amplifier, the amplifier should then be connected to the speaker in the following ways;

  1. On the back of the amplifier, one should look for the speaker inputs.
  2. Connect your speaker wires to these outputs, one on each output.
  3. The speaker wires are usually just bare wire ends. Make sure the left and right output speaker wires are connected to their corresponding left and right speakers. 

Mixer to Amp Cable

This process is easily broken down into four easy steps as follows;

  1. The mixer and the amplifier should both be turned off. This helps in preventing the short-circuiting of the devices.
  2. Connect the plugs on one end of the stereo cable to the audio jacks on the mixer. (The white plug is to be connected to the left audio jack and the red plug to the right).
  3. Insert the plugs on your other end into the amplifier’s audio jacks.
  4. Turn on the equipment and set the amplifier selector knob to the set of audio jacks connecting it to the powered mixer.


The amplifier and the preamplifier might seem to be similar devices because of their similarities in names. However, that is not the case. These two devices have proved to have to independent roles. Moreover, there is no device which is more important than the other. They are all very important in providing the ultimate audio experience. When both device are used correctly and connected well, the outcome will be one that will never be forgotten.

Those that use these devices in their everyday lives are witnesses that these devices are incredible. They should all be appreciated for their importance.

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