Do they have anything to do with mono (as opposed to stereo)? I'm very new to some of this. How are they different from regular power amps?
I also here alot about mono block amps being used for home theater... Can somebody explain?
An amp which just amplifies one channel, as opposed to a stereo amp which amplifies two channels (left and right) which is more normal, or a multichannel amp which does, say, five and is usually part of a home theatre installation.
A stereo amp is the equivalent of two mono amps; a multichannel amp is the equivalent of four, five or six monoblock amps depending on how many channels it amplifies.
Since a monoblock amp just does the one thing, all the expense goes into doing just that one thing very well (in theory). A stereo amp *might* have more corners cut internally, say, a shared power supply for the two channels rather than one per channel, and a multichannel amp would have even more corners cut ;-) Plus there's a risk of interference, crosstalk, whatever, between channels in a stereo or multichannel amp, and you can site a mono amp close to the speaker it's controlling.
Plain and simple, it's a single channel amplifier. It has connections for one input, and speaker connections for one speaker. Yup, for stereo use, you need two.
Just to keep you from getting confused in case you come across it.... there exists such a thing as a DUAL MONO AMPLIFER. This will be a single chassis component that has two MONO amplifiers on it. The truest dual mono amplifier would have two power cords and two power switches on the chassis - one for each channel. There are some dual mono amplifiers that do share a single power cord and power switch. Once the power is inside the amp, it gets split from there between the two amplification modules.
Another reason to use mono block amps is that it could be cheaper to get monoblocks and shorter speaker cables than to get a stereo amp and the longer speaker cables to go with it. This of course only happens when you're dealing with mega-buck cables as the price can rise dramatically with each additional meter.
marc g. - audiophile by day, music lover by night
Mono blocks are mono amplifiers, not stereo. For stereo, you need two of them.
or just the album to look at pretend ;)
Something I've always wondered. Why don't they just call it a mono amplifier.
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: