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Yes, you want the strongest possible signal, but you are stuck with what
you get. Amplifiers generate noise, but feedlines also generate noise.
Having an amplifier at the antenna results in an improved
signal-to-noise ratio at the receiver, compared to having the same
amplifier at the receiver end of the feedline. This is especially true
for signals that were marginal to begin with.
You may be raising the signal higher above the
line & receiver noise, but you are also amplifying
any noise *in the signal itself*. THAT is why I
advocate maximizing gain first, via the biggest
antenna you are able to/are permitted to install.
Again, the only situation in which I would
recommend an amp is when feeding multiple
receivers(TVs, recorders, FM tuners, etc). NOT
to make up for a dinky(read: low-gain) antenna.