Some can. I don’t think yours can. I see nothing in the specs that indicate it. Nor is there a switch on the front labeled accordingly. And I cannot see the back to look at the inputs.
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Used to be very common for integrated amps to be wired with Pre- In and Power-Out in which case they really can be used as two separate components.
Hardly any have that feature any more. Still, it can be used as a power amp, with one very big caveat. Without a Pre-In the incoming signal will go through the pre-amp section and be subject to its volume control. In many integrated amps the "pre-amp" section can be nothing more than an attenuator. In this case you could turn the volume all the way up and run your preamp signal into any input. You want the volume turned all the way up because then it will be passing the full signal, and also no risk of the volume being turned up while running, which could potentially drive the amp into clipping real fast.
HT bypass (when available) will allow an integrated amplifier to behave as a power amp, and the preamp (or HT receiver) will connect to one of the L/R inputs on the integrated amp.
I couldn't find the owner's manual for the OP's model on-line, so not sure if it has this option.
Some brands/models allow every input to be used for this feature, and some designate one particular input for this. For some brands/models, it is enabled with a switch on the back of the unit (Naim). Others may enable automatically on just one input, while others will allow any input to be set for HT bypass (software controlled on the amp).
@atorres53, do you see anything in the owner's manual regarding HT or Home Theater Bypass? I don't know how common this is for tube integrated amps.
OP is trying to use his Hegel H390 as a preamp?
Perhaps trying to access the DAC output of the Hegel, into the tube integrated? If so, are there other/better options to do so?
Some people use the HT bypass on an SS integrated to incorporate a tube preamp into their system, without having to replace an existing integrated amp. Or to evaluate the use of tubes.
It's looking like this option doesn't exist on the Trafomatic, unfortunately.
My other idea wouldn't work either, where I was thinking you could feed an output of the Hegel (if it existed) into the Trafomatic. In the end, you only want one of them connected to your speakers, so this idea doesn't get you there either.
looking at an image of the unit with the bottom open and looking at the number of tubes in and that it has no phono section, it appears to be a power amplifier with a passive volume pot in the front of the power amplifier input. (I'm perfectly willing to be wrong about this so caveat emptor. I seriously doubt any problem would erupt either way, though)
which is called a ’integrated’ these days, at times. all due to not needing phono equalization circuits in most integrateds.
in the old days, this was simply a power amplifier with a level control for the inputs. these days, add a switch for a few extra inputs and they call it an ’integrated.’
this is what your amp appears to be. a power amp with a switch and level control.
so it could be fine as a power amplifier, as that is what it is.
The Hegel has a pre out, so yes it can be used as a preamplifier. I also confirmed with Hegel.
I looked at a photo of the H390 tonight and saw the Line Level Outputs for use as preamp and DAC. Too bad there isn't an Analog Out in addition to the Digital Out, to allow the H390 to be used as a source component.
You did your due diligence and now moving on to new adventures. Good luck and hope you enjoy the process along the way.
One final thought. You mentioned buying a tube power amp to use with the H390.
Another option is a tube integrated with HT bypass or other method of using it as a power amp, to provide the flexibility to remove the H390 in the future, if desired.