A preamp is a key component to experiencing true home theater surround sound and a critical element to recording music, yet few people really understand the function a preamp plays. OSD Audio's Pre-1 is a unique and, yes, affordable preamplifier that accomplishes the subtle audio tasks that transform an ordinary home theater surround sound system into, 'wow, I hear every detail,' from a dog barking, to the whooshing blades of a helicopter. A preamp delivers similar benefits to music recording by boosting the low-level output on microphones. Because mics generally have a weak output, adding a preamp will deliver a better recording signal level verses simply plugging the mic into a computer and standard recording gear. Preamps do more than add volume, however. Like the home theater experience, a preamp in recording can finesse the subtle 'color' of sound by adding tonal quality. Let's start with what a preamp is and then we'll cover the attributes of OSD Audios' Preamp-1 so you can make the wisest buying choice.
What Is A Preamplifier and What Does It Do?
Simply put, a preamp is a separate processor within the audio command chain that accomplishes detailed audio tasks. A decent home theater will typically have one or more amplifiers and an AV receiver. While an AV receiver has amplifier power, power is not its primary function. An AV receiver 'receives' audio and video signals from a variety of sources (TV, DVD DRV, etc.) and routes the signals to the speakers. Power is where the amps kick, which supply the juice needed to move the signal with enough amperage so your surround sound speakers produce the best sound for which they are designed. That should be enough, right? Well, not exactly. The amp may add power, but it can be a bit of a clod because that's all it's doing is add power. (Okay, audiophiles, we know it does more, but let's keep it simple). Enter the preamp. A preamplifier is a low-level amplifier. What that means is that it takes a line level signal (that's the strength of an audio signal used to transmit analog sound between audio components such as CD and DVD players, television sets, audio amplifiers, and mixing consoles) and amplifies it enough to drive the power amplifier to its rated output. If an amp is receiving a signal at its rated output, it will perform better and your surround system will pick up detail you never thought possible. The same can be said in sound recording where an audio interface enhances the sonic capabilities of a computer. While an audio interface includes an internal preamp, an external preamp gives you more control over tonal quality.
Home Stereo/Home Recording Pre-Amplifier
There are many preamp manufacturers that range from bizarrely cheap to bizarrely expensive. We look at our OSD Audio Preamp-1 Home Stereo/Home Recording Pre-Amplifier as the middle ground, or an affordable preamp that adds front-end system control to two or multi-channel audio systems and home recording systems without having to load up on credit card debt. OSD Audio Preamp-1 home stereo/home recording Pre-Amplifier is not shy on features for the price, and we encourage you do research the specs. Our preamp provides four selectable unbalanced analog RCA inputs, Phono, AUX1, AUX2 and CD/DVD and a '' Mic input jack on the front panel with adjustable mic level control. Other front panel variable control knobs feature three tone controls: Bass, Mid and Treble, plus Balance, Master Volume and Loudness Contour Knobs with Min to Max settings. Additional front panel controls include Power Switch, Tape Loop, Mono/Stereo, Low Filter and Mute Buttons. We back this preamp with a 2-year warranty because the Preamp-1 Pre-Amplifier is as solid as it gets.
- Mic Level Control
- Bass/Midrange/Treble/Loudness/Balance Control
- Microphone Jack Input
- Input Selector
- Low Frequency Filter
- Frequency Response: 5Hz - 30kHz +0 -3dB
- Phono Pre-Amp for moving magnet cartridges
Warning: California's Proposition 65
This product can expose you to chemicals, including vinyl chloride, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
- Mic 0.5V/600 Ohms
- Phono 3mV/47k Ohms
- Tape,Tuner, CD/DVD, Aux 150mV/47k Ohms
- Tape Rec 150mV/100k Ohms
- Pre Output 500mV/47k Ohms
Total Harmonic Distortion
- Mic less than 0.4%
- Phono less than 0.4%
- Tape,Tuner, CD/DVD, Aux less than 0.2%
Signal to Noise Ratio
- Mic more than 50dB
- Phono more than 70dB
- Tape,Tuner, CD/DVD, Aux more than 80dB
Frequency Response 5Hz - 30kHz +0 -3dB
- Bass ± 12dB @ 100Hz
- Midrange ± 6dB @ 1kHz
- Treble ± 12dB @ 10kHz
Loudness Control: +4/0/+2dB @ 100/1k/10kHz
Power Requirements: AC 120V 60Hz / 220V 50Hz
Dimensions: 18.9" x 2.36" x 8.25
44 Questions asked
What's on your mind?
Steven Hirsch • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PM I am interested to know if this pre-amp can take (input) turntable and cd player signals and output at line level with enough amplification for connection to a Sonos connect? The idea is to interface my old audio equipment with a new Sonos speaker system setup in several rooms throughout my house and not only work, but sound good at various volume levels. Thanks.
Customer Service • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PMHi Steven: The new Pre-One would be an excellent addition to your application. As you may know, the SONOS Connect features a right and left RCA stereo input that would connect with the Pre One allowing you to add a phone, CD player and two additional inputs. It also has a mic mixer (a 1/4" input featured on the front panel) input as well. You also have Bass, Mid, Treble, loudness and balance control knobs plus Mono/stereo switch and Low filter switch. Note the master volume control has 1.5V maximum gain compared to the typical 500mv output of other components. The SONOS and Pre-One would be ideal for you. My only question; what are you doing for the rest of the system. What amplification or distribution are you using or planning to add? Let me know if you need additional help. [email protected] TL/5210
Frank • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PM Is this unit switchable to either mc or mm turntable? Thank you.
Customer Service • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PMHi Frank: The fact the Phono input has dual RCA (right and left) plus a ground wire tells me it has a Phone preamp for at least an MM cartridge. There is no switch to choose between an MM and an MC cartridge. I am trying to confirm with the factory. The new Preamp-1 now has a 1.5V output which might make it work with the MC cartridges with their lower level output. We amend the answer and update bullet points. TL/5222
Jim Fitting • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PM I have been trying to find some specs for this unit. Phono input load, signal to noise ratio, Intermodulation distortion, harmonic distortion etc. Please post them so we can make an educated decision. Thanks
Customer Service • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PMHI Jim: These are specs listed in the Owner' Manual. Note: Phono Preamp is for Moving Magnetic Cartridges Input Sensitivity/Impedance: Mic 0.5V/600 Ohms Phono 3mV/47k Ohms Tape,Tuner, CD/DVD, Aux 150mV/47k Ohms Output Level/Impedance: Tape Rec 150mV/100k Ohms Pre Output 500mV/47k Ohms Total Harmonic Distortion: Mic less than 0.4% Phono less than 0.4% Tape,Tuner, CD/DVD, Aux less than 0.2% Signal to Noise Ratio: Mic more than 50dB Phono more than 70dB Tape,Tuner, CD/DVD, Aux more than 80dB Frequency Response: 5Hz - 30kHz +0 -3dB Tone Control: Bass ± 12dB @ 100Hz Midrange ± 6dB @ 1kHz Treble ± 12dB @ 10kHz Loudness Control +4/0/+2dB @ 100/1k/10kHz Power Requirements: AC 120V 60Hz / 220V 50Hz Dimensions 18.9" x 2.36" x 8.25" TL/5249
Mar • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PM Can I pair this one to Crown xli1500 power amp? Thanks.
Customer Service • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PMHI Mar: The Pre-One will work with the Crown amplifier. The Pre One has an unbalanced connection. It has all the features including four inputs one being a phono input with a Phono preamp for an MM moving magnetic cartridge. It also has a tape loop for an Equalizer and Mic mixer input. It depends how critical your application is for sound quality. You lose 6 to 10dB and virtually no noise by not connecting with a preamplifier with Balanced Line differential connection. Good economical choice but there are better available TL/5352
Ronel • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PM Hi, I already ordered one and its now on the way for delivery. Im thinking of adding an equalizer on it. How is the wire connection to connect an equalizer, and what equalizer do I need to purchase that will work on it. Thanks. Ronel P. Honolulu, Hi
Customer Service • 12/17/2019, 2:17:43 PMHi Ronel: Connecting a two-channel stereo Equalizer to your pre-one preamplifier is very easy. It connects to the Tape Loop of the Pre-one using two RCA Stereo patch cables. The first connection is from the Rec to the input jacks of the EQ. And connect the output jacks of the EQ to the Play jacks of the Pre-one. As far as two channel EQ to use with the Pre-One, it will have to have an unbalanced connection (RCA). Typically it will be 15 bands; 2/3 octave and be under 125.00 dollar cost, Check out the Berringer Mini FBQ800 around $69.00. There is also an ART EQ341, and they have three models under the 400 series as we including two 1/3 Octave units. Good luck TL/5382