A/D converter in a preamp


New member
I've just been browsing some decent preamps and I notice that some have an A/D converter and some don't.

When does one need a converter? Does it depend on the kind of music you record - or must you always have an A/D converter?

Thanks :)

Massive Master

If you want the signal to be digitized for whatever reason (recording, etc.) you're sort of up against a wall without a converter in there somewhere...

Now if that converter resides in the same box as the preamp is basically moot.
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New member
The A/D converter is going to convert what comes out of the preamp into something the computer can understand.

The only time you WOULDN'T need an A/D converter would be if you were running analog, like if you were going from the preamp to a tape machine.

If it doesn't have a converter built into the preamp, you can just feed the output of the preamp into the line input of an audio interface. The AI has converters in it, and that will get it to your computer.


Well-known member
All soundcards and interfaces worth the name USED to sport S/PDIF inputs and outputs* (even cheapies from Trust!) . Thus, any piece of extra gear that had a digital output immediately gave you two extra tracks.

One pre amp that has such as stock is the Audient Mico and has by all accounts really good analogue electronics and an excellent converter in it. It is also something of a steal pricewise!

*Many now do not have MIDI either but that is h.horse of a different hue!