Bi-Amping My Axiom M60s With My Parasound 1205A...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Dave Simpson, May 30, 2003.

  1. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Hey gang,

    Once again, I turn to you for information. I'm currently running my speakers (Axiom M60 mains, VP-150 center, PSB 3LR surround) with a Parasound 1205a (Yammie 795a as pre-pro). I've also got a Parasound HCA1000 gathering dust in the basement, so I'm thinking I might want to try bi-amping my M60s with the 1205 (fifth channel for center), and use the 1000 to power the rears. Here's a couple of questions:

    1. Is bi-amping the real deal? That is to say, will it likely produce a signifigant improvement? I understand the controversy surrounding bi-wiring speakers, but it's my impression that bi-amping involves less voodoo, and smoke and mirrors (apologies to all bi-wiring fans; I tried it and couldn't tell the diff, but that's just me).

    2. According to this article from SoundStage, the "vertical" configuration is favourable. Correct? This, to my mind, makes perfect sense. Before doing a how-to Google search, I figured I'd use two channels to power each speaker, as in the "vertical" set-up (channels 1 and 2 powering left, 3 and 4 powering right, as opposed to the "standard" connection in which channels 1 and 2 power L&R tweeters, channels 3 and 4 power L&R woofers). Also, in the vertical config, does it make any difference which end of the cable from the pre is split? Precisely, do I need a Y-splitter (one male, two female) plugged into the pre-outs of my Yammie receiver thus using two cables to the amp, or can I just as well have the splitter (one female, two male) going into the amp, therefore using just one cable from the receiver?

    3. This article suggests that the practice above is known as "passive" bi-amping, and is a waste of time. In order to acheive true benefits, the author insists on the disconnection of the the passive cross-overs in the speakers. And that's where I'm out; it all becomes too much for a bulb as dim as myself. If this cross-over business is truly required, then I'll just enjoy things in their current state. But I'm no different than anyone else on this board; always looking for an improvement...

    4. Lastly, my M60 mains are rated to handle 250w. Does bi-amping double the power going to the speakers? [​IMG] At 140wpc, is the Parasound amp too much for the speakers? I'm thinking it's not, but you may know plenty that I don't.

    Thanks for any help you may offer, and cheers!

    DS.
     
  2. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Hello Dave,

    I have found this webpage to be useful. While many will recommend only active bi-amping for useful results, this article is aimed squarely at the passive approach.

    http://www.caryaudio.com/articles/bi_amping.shtml

    I did much the same as you plan to do except my situation involved the 855A. Now I have switched out the 855A 5 channel for a more powerful 3 channel Chiro amp and am currently only bi-wiring the frontstage. I plan to reinstall the speaker binding post connector clips and reduce the wiring to single 13ga. to test for any perceptible loss.

    So much of what we do and why is based on personal perception...what does it matter what others think?
    The arguments against bi-wiring and bi-amping (passive) are generally geared towards saving money with no measurable gain involved in either 'improvement'. I could argue that using such measures are a form of 'audio insurance'. You may never need it and might be hard pressed to justify any expense but it's nice to know that it's there.

    Give the the M60's all the juice they can handle, which is considerable. I've gone from H/K receiver power alone to the 855 to the Chiro C-300. Each step along the way has brought audible change in the sound of familiar Music. Whether all of this could pass a DBT or is just gossamer floating in my head is up for debate. [​IMG]
     
  3. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Passive biamping increases power, little more. The only way you would exactly double the power is if the two sections of your speakers (ie, mids/highs vs lows) are use the same power at the same volume levels.

    What are the sensitivities and bass extension of your mains? Do you run them as large?

    If you don't want to sell your 1000A for ~ $300+, you might as well use it. Two y-splitters would only be a few bucks at Radio Shack (do you already have extra speaker wire?).
     
  4. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Paul and Ricky,

    Thanks for you help, fellas. I've now got the M60s passively bi-amped with the 1205, and all is well. Does it make any difference? Honestly at this point, I can't really say for sure. I don't detect as great an improvement as when I initially added the 1000A to the mix (powering the mains, prior to the purchase of the 1205), or as when I added a pair of used AudioQuest Crystal cables a few weeks ago. But the cost of a couple of Y-splitters is negligable (sp.?), and I surely don't suppose that bi-amping will produce a negative effect. Besides, it's great having the 1000A back in the rack, powering the surround channels. Thanks again, guys.
    Cheers.

    DS.
     

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