Connected Distribution: Pre-Amplifiers & Processors
The requirement for higher quality processing and performance in most stereo or multi-channel systems arguably means that a pre-amplifier or processor will be delpoyed to free up a dedicated power amplifier to drive your speakers. Doing things this way means that the two items (pre and power) have dedicated power supplies for doing their respective tasks - which ultimately means that maximum fidelity and pure power can be handled respectively well for sonic benefit.
Most systems arguably deploy products that have integrated circuits that handle both the pre and power sections (integrated amplifiers for HiFi and AVR's for multi-channel etc.), and although there are some outstanding products available that do this well in the stereo and surround departments, the old school way of having dedicated seperates - is still predominantly the desired route for more powerful, higher fidelity and purist approaches.
The range of products within this category primarily focuses on the two channel realms of audio, but with some divergence into the multi-channel world - either with products with HTB (Home Theatre Bypass etc.) or a thoroughbread and dedicated AV processor like a Yamaha CX-A5100.
These outstanding products all offer different feature sets at different price-points etc. and as such are suitable for a diverse range of applications and systems.