Also, I don't see how 'much bigger gains' are to be made that way. I thought the first amp in the system was the dominate factor. If I amplify by 25dB gain with a 1dB NF, then most items coming after the pre-amp don't matter afaik
Sorry, I am confused.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Just that mlord is also pointing out the fact that no matter the preamp, sometimes it's really hard to get over that cliff using some of the early generation tuners. I can attest to that.
My usb pc tuner quite often can't get over the cliff on weak stations, yet every other tuner in the house can.
Also kinda depends on what environment ur in, Like if ur in a rural area, far away from nearby transmitters, urban trash,
A pre-amp will help immensly, because your are most likely "noise limited". When your in the city, close by to transmitters
and other sources of trash, you may be "interference limited" when using a pre-amp. No pre-amp is gonna help ya overcome interference.
in fact may just make a bad situation worse. There is also the factor of some tuners are not able to handle really strong signals as well as others. At least I think that's what he's gettin at.
I live in the suburbs south of Buffalo, and there is no way I can receive canadian digital stations reliably without a pre-amp.
(Very low Noise Margins, 1 EDGE IN MY tvfool)
I'm almost there, but still room for improvement in my setup. Mainly due to sloppyness/laziness on my part.
Noise limited: Where reception is most limited by the noise floor, i.e. - just plain weak signals
Interference limited: Decent strong signals in the area, yet still poor quality / bit errors.
Everyone's environment is different which is why you'll get so many seemingly contradictory results/opinions.
What really matters is what works for you, not what works for the other guy...
have a look at this sheet, and try plugging in ur own numbers...