bi-amping

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Hi, Ive read posts about people that bi-amp and use one amp for mids/highs and other one for bass. what do they mean and how do you do it. or have i got wrong end of stick. Thank you
 

El Hefe

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Jun 21, 2008
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pedejoe,

In my knowledge, Bi-amp = minimum 2 amps.
Either (not limited to):

a) 4 x monoblocks hooked up to a pre amp output.
b) 2 x stereo power amp hooked up to a pre amp output.
c) 1 x stereo power amp hooked up to an integrated amp output.
d) 2 x monoblocks hooked up to an integrated amp output.

Note: You can use the integrated amp to drive the mids/highs and use the power amp to drive the bass or vice versa.
 

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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Pedej0e:Hi, Ive read posts about people that bi-amp and use one amp for mids/highs and other one for bass. what do they mean and how do you do it. or have i got wrong end of stick. Thank you

You are correct correct for Horizontal Bi-Amplifying, If your speakers have more than 1 set of binding posts you remove the shorting plate or lead that goes between them, and hook up 1 Amp with 1 set of speaker cables to the Upper set, and another amp & cables to the lower set, for this the amplifiers do not need to be the same power but they do need to be the same gain ideally from the same range to keep the tonality the same.

There is also Vertical B-Amplifying where you use 2 stereo amps, one is used for Bass and Hi on one speaker (Upper and lower Posts), the other amp on the other speaker, amps should be identical to go this route.

Some speakers can be tri amplified or more, think the B&W Nautilus need a mono block for each driver 8 Mono-blocks in total
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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As I understand it:

Bi-amping means running two power amp in stereo mode - one driving the HF speaker terminals (so LH HF and RH HF) and the other the LF terminals.

The alternative arrangement requires bridgeing each power amp so that it runs in mono (hence mono bloc) and effectively you have one power amp in mono driving both LF and HF speaker inputs, and similarly one power amp for the RH channel.

You could in theory use 4 such mono blocs: 1 x LF RH, 1 x LF LH, 1 x HF RH, and 1 x HF LH i.e. one for each driver for each channel.

The problem is that not many (budget / mid) power amps are bridgeable. though older NAD amps are. My K2 isn't for example, though I can bi-amp with an additional power amp, running 2 x mono would be much more exciting (2 x 120W stereo could translate into 1 x 240W).
 
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Anonymous

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thanks very much for your help. still a bit confused though. dont know what you mean by 'You can use the integrated amp to drive the mids/highs and use the power amp to drive the bass or vice versa'. does it mean turning up the bass dial on one amp and the treble on the other ?

i will be having a power amp hooked up to an integrated amp. its that bit you mention that interests me most/drives me most to get a power amp, but dont understand still the bass on one and mids/high on the other. sorry to be a bit thick. food is my area of most knowledge.

thanks to everyone for there help.
 

El Hefe

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Jun 21, 2008
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Pedej0e:
thanks very much for your help. still a bit confused though. dont know what you mean by 'You can use the integrated amp to drive the mids/highs and use the power amp to drive the bass or vice versa'. does it mean turning up the bass dial on one amp and the treble on the other ?

i will be having a power amp hooked up to an integrated amp. its that bit you mention that interests me most/drives me most to get a power amp, but dont understand still the bass on one and mids/high on the other. sorry to be a bit thick. food is my area of most knowledge.

thanks to everyone for there help.

pedejoe,

that is how I set up my amps. however, I am using 2 monoblocks. Ok let me try to explain this assuming you would want to use a stereo power amp.

1. Your integrated amp should have a pair of speakers binding post (one for left speaker and one for right). To bi amp, first of all, your speakers must have 2 pair of binding post on each speaker (one for mids/high and one for bass)

2. Using a pair of RCA interconnect, connect the preamp output on your integrated to the stereo power amp input.

3. You will now need 4 pairs of speaker cables. Take out any metal links from your speakers. The links usually comes with your speakers and its attached to the binding posts in the case that you are not biamping them.

4. For the 4 speaker cables, connect them as follows:
- from left binding post on integrated amp to the mids/high binding post on your left speaker
- from right binding post on integrated amp to the mids/high binding post on your right speaker
- from left binding post on stereo power amp to the bass binding post on your left speaker
- from right binding post on stereo power amp to the bass binding post on your right speaker

Hope that helps.

If still in doubt, the power amp that you intend to purchase, should come with a manual and a diagram on how to bi amp your speakers.

Now, assuming that you are a chef as food is the area that you have most knowledge in, maybe you can share the recipe for a good, creamy creme brule :) just kidding.
 

aliEnRIK

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Aug 27, 2008
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Because my old missions sounded so much better when I biwired them years ago, I wrongly assumed all speakers would

Ive since changed my monitor audios from being bi-amped back to single amp, single wired. I couldnt be happier with my set up.

Most speakers would probably sound better single amped, single wired as the crossover isnt designed to facilitate biwiring/biamping. Its true that bass and treble might 'jump out' a little more. But theres usually a 'hole' where the crossoverpoint is (Usually affecting voices)
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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aliEnRIK:
Because my old missions sounded so much better when I biwired them years ago, I wrongly assumed all speakers would

Ive since changed my monitor audios from being bi-amped back to single amp, single wired. I couldnt be happier with my set up.

Most speakers would probably sound better single amped, single wired as the crossover isnt designed to facilitate biwiring/biamping. Its true that bass and treble might 'jump out' a little more. But theres usually a 'hole' where the crossoverpoint is (Usually affecting voices)

Hmm, I'm not sure you can draw that conclusion based on just two speakers. It's certainly true that some manufacturers have admitted they've made speakers bi-wire/amp-able solely because the market expects it but it's equally true that some speakers are specifically designed to be bi-amp.

So the only general answer anyone can give is: Try it and see, every speaker will be different.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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I do not understand why there would be any big benefits in bi-amping, let alone bi-wiring which made no difference in my system (nor has removing the plate and putting jumper cables in) so why would having a separate power amp for the tweeter improve things? In my system, adding another 120W PCH just to drive the tweeters seems like overkill, and not just financially. The crossover is not bypassed after all, and I would have thought that the different load that each power amp "sees" doesn't have that much of an effect.
 

pete321

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Aug 20, 2008
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SteveR750:I do not understand why there would be any big benefits in bi-amping, let alone bi-wiring

I must admit I've never heard any great improvement with bi-wiring, but bi-amping has always produced much better results for me. Either with Cyrus kit in the past, or more recently using the extra amplification in home cinema 7.1 receivers to bi-amp the fronts. Obviously your speakers will have more grunt to drive them with one amplifier for the treble and another for the mid/low drivers, but the main benefit I've found from it is a big improvement in seperation between instruments, it tends to make what you listened to before sound muddled. Having said that, if you want more power, or your speakers are difficult to drive, you might find you get better results by using 2 mono amps, one for each speaker. I don't think this is technically called bi-amping as one amplifier is driving both the treble & mid/low drivers, but in one set-up I had this produced better results than seperating the power to the treble & mid/low drivers. As has been said, it's trial and error depending on your set-up, but I would never doubt that using 2 (or more) amplifiers in a set-up is greatly beneficial to what comes out of your sepeakers.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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I can understand why (and more importantly heard) the benefits of bridged mono amps, after all the power output, current capability are massively increased, reduced crossover interference.

From what I have read, you need to use an electronic crossover to get the real benefits of bi-amping, most of which seem to be about increasing effective power availability.
 

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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I think greater benefits come when presented with difficult to drive speakers if you can separate the amplification, it is more often the LF stage that has large impedance swings, thease swings can cause swings in the amplifier if you can separate the amplifiers these swings are less likely to affect the HF stage of the speaker (Horizontal Bi Amping), or for Veritcal Bi-Amping the LF Transients of one speaker are less likely to affect the other speaker same theory goes for Dual Momo or Mono Blocks (infinate Channel Seperation).

I simple terms hat is how I understand the benefits of Bi-Amplification please feel free to correct me.

Again the benefits would vary from speaker to speaker and of course listening tastes listening levels etc. also I think that amplifiers today are generally very capable so you notice less benefit of adding more/separate power.
 

aliEnRIK

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Aug 27, 2008
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the_lhc:Hmm, I'm not sure you can draw that conclusion based on just two speakers. It's certainly true that some manufacturers have admitted they've made speakers bi-wire/amp-able solely because the market expects it but it's equally true that some speakers are specifically designed to be bi-amp.

So the only general answer anyone can give is: Try it and see, every speaker will be different.
Its not just based on 2 speakers
 
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Anonymous

Guest
enormous thanks for all your good advise. thanks for being patient with me. I actually now understand bi-amping. now i need to meditate with the idea of mono blocks. more costly than a power amp but possible more effective in improving sound quality, especially when i get better speakers in march. If i go for the M.audio gs20, a powr amp or mono blocks will help. but mono blocks, the cost,compatibility with my c370 nad amp is something i will have to learn about.

thanks again to all and happy new year.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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aliEnRIK:the_lhc:Hmm, I'm not sure you can draw that conclusion based on just two speakers. It's certainly true that some manufacturers have admitted they've made speakers bi-wire/amp-able solely because the market expects it but it's equally true that some speakers are specifically designed to be bi-amp.

So the only general answer anyone can give is: Try it and see, every speaker will be different.
Its not just based on 2 speakers

How am I supposed to determine that based on your post though?
 

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