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Bi-amping questions (1 Viewer)

thrca

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First off, sorry if this isn't quite the proper forum, but it seemed the most logical to me.

I am trying to plan out my speaker arrangements for my HT, and had some questions about bi-amping that I hoped someone could shed some light on.

First, let me prepare you with a little information about the speakers and their capabilities, then I will move on to the questions..

For my mains, I have a set of Acoustic Research AR1 Hi-Res. They are a full range speaker with a seperate LFE input to operate the 15" side-firing woofer and dedicated 500W carver sunfire amp.

For center, I have an Acoustic Research AR2C. (Not going into detail, as I didnt really have any questions on this.)

For mid-surrounds (or rear, undecided yet), I have a set of Acoustic Research AR15s. These are bi-wire capable, via bridged binding posts.

For the other set of surrounds, I have Acoustic Research AR17s. These are not bi-wire capable.

In addition to the AR17s, I also have a set of bi-wire capable AR11 mains. These have a 8" side firing woofer, but no dedicated amp like the AR1s.

Now that you know the specifics on the speakers, let me get to the questions...

First, does anyone know if it makes more sense to put the better surrounds in the mid position or the rear position, assuming the the mid position is approximately even with the first viewing row. In a 7.1 setup, which carries more information, the mid or rear surround? I could probably find a second set of AR15s if it would be optimal to have the same speakers for both sets of surrounds.

Secondly, is there A) any reason, B) any advantages to using the AR11 mains in addition to my AR1 mains, in the front of my HT soundstage. IE, have AR1 mains on the outside as a front A channel, and AR11 on the inside as a front B channel. If not, they will get relegated to a room where they rarely get treated with the respect they deserve.

Next, I am planning on splitting the binding bridges and bi-amping the AR15s and AR11s (if used). In this setup, I would feed the low voltage outputs for their respective channels to an electronic EQ, then to a stereo amplifier. IE, from the main amp, leave the mid-surround output connected to the mid+high of the AR15, then run the low from the eq, thru the stereo amp, to the low on the AR15. Likewise for the AR11s.

Would it be unwise to split the low from the mid+high into seperate amps? Will this introduce any type of delay that will cause the audio to lag behind one or the other? Will a difference in output setting from the main amp and low amp cause damage to the speakers or negative acoustic issues?

If it helps, I could draw out a diagram of what I am thinking, then maybe we can get a better idea of what the best way to set it up would be.
 

JohnRice

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It is definitely not a good idea to use dual front speakers. Just pick the better speakers and use the others somewhere else. As far as bi-amping surrounds, it is debatable if it is a benefit on mains and I seriously doubt it is any benefit on surrounds. You are much better just getting one better amp for the surrounds than two cheaper ones to bi-amp. A lot of people seem blindly intent on bi-amping these days, and laws of electronics show it is of negligable benefit for the cost. I believe in almost every situation you are better off using a better, more powerful single amp than two cheaper ones.

As far as the surrounds, I would tend to put the better ones on the sides and the cheaper ones in back.
 

thrca

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Thanks for the suggestion on the surrounds.. Any reasoning behind the better ones in the mid, or just preference?

On the rear surrounds, how about this thought... Using the AR11 as the rear surrounds, but splitting the low out by unbridging the bindings. Then, take the LFE passthru from the AR1s and feeding it into a stereo amp to feed the lows on the AR11s, as a set of subs for the rear of the room.
 

thrca

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Specifically, I was thinking something like using an Onkyo M-282 to run the lows off the LFE signal, then let the Onkyo 7.1 receiver run the mid+high as surround rear.
 

JohnRice

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My only reasoning on the surrounds is that when you have a 7.1 system, the side surrounds are typically the "main" ones.

As far as your other ideas, the surround channels don't have that much bass, plus it is typically split off to the sub anyway. If the rest of the system is properly set up there is really no need. The main disadvantage you have is the LFE being fed to the mains, rather than a separate sub which can be placed for optimum effectiveness. Bass reproduction is tricky and having multiple sources can result in them cancelling each other out. More bass sources often does NOT mean more bass.
 

thrca

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I suppose I will setup a secondary HT (living room) and use the extra set in there. Thanks for the input John.
 

JohnRice

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I would consider selling the second set of speakers and using the funds to buy a good sub. Emphasis on "GOOD". SVS or HSU is the way to go.
 

thrca

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Or I could just keep the set and buy a good sub. :D If I already own the set, my wife wont complain about it.
 

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