An amplifier, a pre-amplifier processor (pre/pro) and a separate tuner are the equivalent of a receiver or AVR.
- A pre-amp cannot amplify, and has no speaker connections.
- An amplifier cannot process source material, and cannot be connected to source devices.
- A pre-amp is useless without an amplifier.
In a receiver setup, both the amplification capability and processing capability are combined in one machine, along with a radio signal source tuner. Every external source device (not the internal tuner) will have at least an audio (and, increasingly, also a video) connection to the receiver. Every speaker will be connected to two +/- binding posts (one pair of posts per channel, sometimes two pairs of posts, for so-called bi-amping).
In a processor setup, the processor will not (usually) have any tuner capabilities. It will receive and process sound and/or video from sources such as CD players, DVD players, radio tuners and satellite or cable decoder boxes etc. The processed signal will then be sent via pre-outs to an amplifier. The amplifier itself will only have channel input connections for each channel, and as many +/- speaker binding posts as there are channels (usually two, five or seven channels for two, five or seven speakers). The signal from the pre/pro will be input via one RCA type connection (usually, but there are specific "balanced" connections also) per channel. The amplified signal will be output via the speaker wire binding posts.
Higher quality receivers also have the capability to act as pre-pros, in which case they will use a pre-out connection to an amplifier, bypassing their own internal amplifier for those channels. If only pre-outs are used for all channels, and no speakers are connected to the receiver at all, then its internal amplification capabilities are left unused.
Preamp is like the brains, controls everything.....u use it as a control center for what u want to do...play music, watch tv, just like u do with your AVr
Amplifier is like the heart, or muscles 🙂 whichever you relate to best.....it doesn't have to think, just pass a nice clean amplified signal to the speakers.
(Over-simplified) An amp and preamp combo replaces a receiver, so it is either one or the other. A receiver is cheaper and all inclusive. An amp and preamp combo will cost you more, but produces better sound because the amps tend to be more powerful and the preamps sound better because they have good decoders and processors. Basicly, the amp/preamp combo is more specialized then a receiver, so has the opportunity to be better. As far as HT goes, a preamp processor (prepro) is required. This is because the signal needs to be split and processed into your 5.1 or 7.1 system. It also provides you lots of control over the entire system. You could in theory run a 2 channel off of two speakers, an amp, and an iPod, although not recommended.
HK are very quality receivers that most people on this forum respect when it comes to HT. Obviously, they are not an amp/prepro combo, but better than a lot of stuff out there. The AVR247 isn't high power, but has all the decoders and should sound good.