Bi-Amping Question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by WillieM, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    First, I own a Denon AVR-882 which sports 3 pre-amp outs (L/R/C) plus the subwoofer.

    I am looking to use a separate amp for the front L/R speakers and would preferably like to bi-amp them (PSB Image 5T’s with bi-amp posts in the back).

    When I hook up to the Denon's pre-outs L/R, will this disable the amplified L/R speaker outs, eliminating my ability to use the Denon receiver amp as one of the speaker drivers?
     
  2. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Willie:
    What exactly are you trying to achieve? The reason I ask is that, IMHO, bi-amping in your system is overkill, to the nth degree. Biamping is most often done in the setting of very high end music systems.
    BTW, while bi-amping your speakers is possible, the double binding posts on your speakers are most often used for bi-wiring.
    Larry
     
  3. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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  4. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    Larry B

    What I am trying to achieve is to:
    1) Improve the tonal qualities and soundstage by introducing a higher quality amplifier.
    2) Improve the overall performance of my speaker during complex movements s**tkicking action movies.
    3) Reduce the overalll drain on my reciever amp by taking a big load off (the main drivers).

    Regarding bi-wiring...not much (if any)improvement to the sound if you already use high quality wire like I do.

    Actually, Bi-amping a tower speaker that has the woofer on one set of posts (especially one that can produce around 40kh)and the mid-range and tweeter on another set of posts can have some major sound improvements while using less expensive amps (typ A/B amps vs some high-end type A amps).

    Also, I'm not saying that I WILL use my reciever in a bi-amp situation...the question is, can I?
     
  5. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul Clarke

    Have you tried it the other way around(using the Parasound for the mid/highs and the H/K for the lows)?

    I know this still puts more strain on the reciever, i hear the Parasound has great ability to open up a soundstage with super wide midrange clarity.
     
  6. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Willie:
     
  7. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    Larry B

    1)Improve the tonal qualities and soundstage by introducing a higher quality amplifier.[/quote]

    "I think you’d have more success by changing you preamp."

    **Agree in principal, but a nice amp will cost me far less than a nice 5 channel pre-pro and still give me a noticable improvement (I'm trying to sneak in a system improvement allowing for a WAF).

    "Depends on the system, the wire, and whether one’s main focus is music or HT. Out of curiosity, what type of speaker wire do you use? Also, as you may know, shortening the length of speaker wire to
     
  8. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    willie,

    If you were indeed going to bi-amp your left and right speakers you could use one stereo amp for the left and another for the right.

    Keeping your speaker wire very short.
     
  9. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Willie:
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    your speakers are 4 feet apart?
     
  11. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Chu Gai:

     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    That makes sense now however I don't see where keeping wires say 2 feet or so in length as opposed to 6-10 is going to have any meaningful effect upon controlling the bass.
    Willie, I can't tell if what you're really looking to do is to sneak one past the wife [​IMG] and looking to justify the amp instead of a prepro on a cost basis! Let's see the 882 is an 80watt x 5 unit (don't know what its' true capabilities are though) and your speakers are 3 feet tall, have an ~ efficiency of 92 dB and could take a couple of hundred watts on peaks. Suffice it to say, they can play pretty loud. Now while an external amp is not a bad thing per se, unless you're constantly driving your Denon into clipping, then the external amp is quite unlikely to make any significant improvement in the areas of soundstage or make major improvements. My suggestions to address your stated concerns would be
    1) the addition of a sub if you don't have one.
    2) work a bit with your speakers placement as well as that of your distance from them. Seeing as how they're 3 feet tall, which puts the tweeter somewhat less, consider first raising the speakers till the tweeter is ~ the same height as your ears are when sitting in your preferred spot. You can have a friend or your wife use a tape measure to estimate the distance. After that, works on toeing the speakers in and out to play with the soundstage. You can also investigate varying the distances of the speakers from both the back and side walls however that may well be subject to comments from the other half so its best to define the tolerances by asking.
     
  13. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Willie,

    If you have a good quality amp, then using a receiver to biamp will actually provide worse results.

     
  14. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Chu:

     
  15. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    QUOTE]Have you tried it the other way around(using the Parasound for the mid/highs and the H/K for the lows)?[/quote]

    Hi Willie,

    Yes I have. Actually I started out with both mains being powered by 4 of the 855A channels and the 5th went to the center.

    Here's a portion from a previous post on the subject:

    "Personal Note:

    I always thought of H/K as warm but whenever I A/B the sound from my 510 amps vs the 855, the 855 is a good bit warmer still. Both pieces have similar power ratings but this is what I found when making a direct comparison. The 510 on it's own has a more delicate delivery. This accurately conveys details like voice quavering and other similar sounds of decay and transience with a slightly greater degree of fineness. But the 510/855, which provides more brute force and power, more than compensates for any perceived loss in subtlety. The soundstage is larger, imaging is even sweeter, off-axis is much improved and the Music projects with far greater air and presence overall."

    That is the difference for me in a nutshell.
     
  16. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Paul:

     
  17. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Larry,

    I'm pretty sure he's talking about his H/K 510 receiver.
     
  18. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Chip. [​IMG] I seem to be spreading a lot of confusion lately.:b
     
  19. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M Second Unit

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    Hi there,
    Before I get too carried away, you may want to check out the excellent article here:
    http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm
    OK, now MY thoughts on the benefits of Bi-Amping:
    1. Amps IMHO have little effect on the sound quality coming out, unless they are operating outside of there intended parameters (ie. don't have the power required etc.)
    2. Bi-Wiring has little sonic improvement compared to BiAmping.
    3. BiAmping without an electronic crossover is essentially a waste of time. Each amp will be driving a lesser load, but that's the only benefit you'll get. As long as the amps in question aren't too underpowered (Amps above are not) then the sonic differences will be minimal.
    4. Biamping with an electronic (active) crossover and NO PASSIVE CROSSOVER AT ALL in the speaker WILL have a sonic improvement, and it will be much better as long as the xover is configured correctly for the speakers and the passive xover in the speakers is removed altogether. This will mean that you need to be able to put the xover between the pre-outs on the receiver and the main ins on the receiver (Assuming you wish to use the amps in the receiver). Very few receivers (especially at the low end) bother with this feature. I can never understand why!
    5. Biamping improves almost any speaker system. The main goal is to eliminate the need to have a passive xover - anyone who has designed a speaker knows the benefits here.
    6. Biamping need not be expensive. Many single chip amps are now in production (eg LM3886) that are powerful enough for mids and tweeters (60W) and only cost around $5 each. I am personally building a power amp based on these chips and estimate the cost will be around $200. This includes active xover + 10 channels of amplification.
    That's all for now.
    Cheers
    Jonathan
     
  20. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Chip:

     

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