Often abbreviated to 'pre-amp'. An electronic device or circuit designed to amplify low-level signals to a level suitable for feeding into a power-amplifier. It is the job of the pre-amp to provide precise high quality amplification, and often filtering or other optimisation of the signal prior to further operations.
An electronic device used to match an input signal (such as that from a microphone or guitar pickup) to the input of a power amplifier. Often built in to mixing console channels as an initial stage, and generally has tone controls (EQ) to modify the signal.
The control amplifier featuring source switching , volume and signal processing circuitry.