Audio integrated amplifiers to suit any system
Audiophiles across Australia swear by integrated amplifiers as the way to achieve perfect sound simply. An audio integrated amplifier, sometimes called a pre/main amp, combines the functions of a preamplifier with the main power amplifier, achieving both in a single unit without needing any kind of separate converter. In effect, you can plug the audio outputs from your turntable, stereo, tuner, or other audio sources directly into your amp.
A modern integrated audio amplifier will usually also contain a DAC, or digital audio converter, which converts digital signals into an audio waveform that your speakers and headphones can use. Many even accept input from asynchronous USB or Bluetooth sources. This also provides a single, convenient phono or headphone jack for all of your signal sources. Top brands include Marantz, Rotel, and Topaz' AM10 line.Class A audio integrated amplifiers
Class A models are the most common type of this audio amplifier. These deliver a large voltage gain, perfect for larger, high power speaker sets. This is in comparison to Class B amplifiers, which route only half the waveform across each transistor. This is preferable for weaker signals and delivers less overall distortion.
These are best for use where high linearity is vital, but pure efficiency can be compromised.Class B audio integrated amplifiers
Class B amplifiers use a 'push-pull' architecture. As each transistor only handles half the waveform, one positive and one negative, the amplifier can idle without expending current. These amplifiers are very efficient, but they are known to distort audio signals noticeably.Class AB audio integrated amplifiers
Class AB integrated amplifiers are often seen as the best of both worlds, as they can switch back and forth, operating as class A or class B amplifiers depending on the nature of the incoming signal. They are high fidelity, and overall very efficient.Class D audio integrated amplifiers
Class D models are also known as 'switching amplifiers'. They use a different architecture entirely than class A, B, or AB amps, using the transistors as switches rather than linear, pseudo-analogue devices.