Best Next Step - Bi-Amping ??

Excitable Boy

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2011
30
0
18,540
My current system is the Audiolab 8200CD, KEF Q500's, KEF Q400b, and the NAD C 356BEE amp. I am generally happy with it, and like the sound in my long narrow room with wooden floors. The bass is great, and the system has plenty of punch if you know what I mean. The problem is a slight lack of clarity and sharpness which I believe comes from the amp as the Audiolab and KEF's are great at both of those. I also have access to a Rotel 1520 amp. Using it in the system improves the crispness and defintion at the top end, but at the expense of the bass and overall drive of the system.

I am therefore thinking of trying to get the best of both worlds by bi-amping them, using the NAD for the low end and the Rotel for the top end. Does this make sense ? Alternatively, I could try trading them both in for a better integrated amp or a pre-power combo. Would that be a better bet, and if so what should I look at amp wise ?

 
Excitable Boy said:
My current system is the Audiolab 8200CD, KEF Q500's, KEF Q400b, and the NAD C 356BEE amp. I am generally happy with it, and like the sound in my long narrow room with wooden floors. The bass is great, and the system has plenty of punch if you know what I mean. The problem is a slight lack of clarity and sharpness which I believe comes from the amp as the Audiolab and KEF's are great at both of those. I also have access to a Rotel 1520 amp. Using it in the system improves the crispness and defintion at the top end, but at the expense of the bass and overall drive of the system.

I am therefore thinking of trying to get the best of both worlds by bi-amping them, using the NAD for the low end and the Rotel for the top end. Does this make sense ? Alternatively, I could try trading them both in for a better integrated amp or a pre-power combo. Would that be a better bet, and if so what should I look at amp wise ?

Hi EB

Although bi amping will grip, control and energize your Q500's more effectively and lead to better overall performance however i would not recommend you do this by mixing the C356BEE and the RA-1520 as these amplifiers will have (amongst other factors) different gain levels. I think your choices are -

look at a matching NAD/Rotel power amp and then bi amp your Q500's (something worth bearing in mind with this route is that even when the integrated amplifiers are being used with their respective power amplifiers you might end up getting more of the same tonal presentation)

or look at alternative amplification. Naim Nait XS, NAD C165BEE/Audiolab 8200P or a Densen B110 Plus are amplifiers also worth a look.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
By all means try active bi-amping.

Are you able to by-pass the bass drivers' passive crossover?

If you use an adjustable active crossover, such as an Ashly or a Pioneer SF-700 you'll be fine for using 2 amps with different amounts of gains.

When I actively bi-amped my system - with 2 very different power amps - I gained dynamic ease, but lost a little bit of midrange detail due to the active crossover adding a bit of transistorised hash to the signal.
 

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