hifi engine

preamp ?

do I need a preamp
I listen to music from/on you tube via laptop to Pioneer sx 880 receiver.
I use 3.5 out to rc in aux connection
while this works and sounds great, it lacks in volumne
Is therer where a Preamp would be used?
if so: recommend preamps & proper way to connect

Re: preamp?

A preamp is used to add input switching and volume control to a power amplifier.

The SX-880 is an integrated tuner/pre/power amplifier so a preamp shouldn't be needed.

If the laptop volume can't be turned up high enough to give a satisfactory output, I'd be tempted to use a higher quality USB soundcard rather than a preamp.

Re: preamp?

My solution to the same problem is as follows, being an audiophile, not using a Multi- channel Home Theatre sound system, but having a flat screen Smart TV to which I have my (workstation) PC connected via one HDMI cable.

I bought a "HDMI Converter" (aka HDMI to HDMI + SPDIF/RCA) on ebay for less than USD 15 incl P&P (here in Scandinavia such a converter cost something like 4x that in the shops). You can optionally order that converter with either a USB power cord or an AC power adapter, so you don't have "confiscate" any USB port on your PC / Laptop.

You need two HDMI cables and connect PC - Converter - TV/Monitor and one RCA - RCA cable that you connect between the converter and AUX on you Amplifier (SX-880 in your case).

The only downside is that the HDMI signal cable(s) must be connected all that way through between the PC and the TV screen otherwise the audio signal is also lost. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to set up and is done in only a few minutes. The English user manual is not that good, but after reading through a couple of times it understandable.....

The converter itself (slightly bigger than a packet of cigarettes) have two (blue) LEDs indicating the set-up / connections are OK. This particular converter supports 2 ch and 5.1 ch audio (via a switch) as well as SPDIF (signal out) and have a video resolution of up-to 1080p. I'm absolutely happy with the outcome :-)