Biamping revisited: Am I a good candidate?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Nov 13, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last week, I started a discussion here about biwiring that turned to biamping. I tried biwiring speakers in my two stereo systems with Monster MCX-IS biwire cables, but returned them to Tweeter after a few days. Biwiring seemed to work well in my main system (NAD C 370 integrated amp with Totem Arro speakers) in comparison to my second system (NAD C 350 integrated amp with Energy e:XL 25 speakers), where I was terribly disappointed with the results. In the end, I decided to forego biwiring with the Monster cables.
    For the main system, I am leaning towards biamping, and for the second system I may try biwiring with a different cable. I just received a 10-foot pair of BetterCables Premium Speaker Cables with banana plug connections (non-biwire) for my Totem Arros. They are great speaker cables, so I would probably get another pair if I were to biamp the main system. I would also consider a pair of the BetterCables Premium Biwire Cables for the second system (I'm not going to biamp that system). Anyway, that was just a little background. On to the subject of biamping and my question.
    I am interested in biamping my NAD C 370 integrated amp with the NAD C 270 power amp. They have the same amp section, so they are ideal for biamping together. Here is the thing. If you read my biwire thread, you know I have an Energy Active Crossover box (EAC; by the speaker company, Energy) that allows me to integrate my Energy e:XL-S10 10" subwoofer with my stereo system since the NAD C 370 has no direct subwoofer input. Here is how I have the EAC integrated with the C 370 currently:
    * pre-out 1 on C 370 to inputs on EAC (with RCA cables)
    * outputs on EAC to main in on C 370 (with RCA cables)
    * sub output on EAC to XOVER INPUT on e:XL-S10
    Note that I removed the stock jumpers on the C 370 that bridge pre-out 1 and main in to connect the EAC. The EAC allows me to dial in the crossover and works very well.
    The question I have is whether biamping will work well for me because I am already using a subwoofer to handle the bass (
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    KeithH: With 10 channels of 250wpc power, I too am considering bi-amping my front channels. With this in mind, I emailed the Mirage folks and here is the response I got. I was all set to bi-amp until I saw the answer to my last question...
    Hello,
    Let me try to answer your questions:
    Q:What happens if I remove my speaker post straps and either bi-wire or bi-amp my M-3si speakers?
    A:The amplifier no longer sees a common impedance and allows a smoother transition from low to highs.
    Q[​IMG]o the ohms that my amp(s) sees now change from 6 ohms to 12 ohms, 3 ohms or stay at 6 ohms?
    A:There is no modification; nominal impedance stays at 6 ohm.
    Q[​IMG]o I lose the onboard speaker crossover?
    A:No.
    Q[​IMG]o I now need to use an outboard crossover?
    A:No.
    Q:If I bi-amp, how can I control the gain for the tweeter/mid section versus the woofer section?
    A:There shouldn't be a need unless the amps you are using are completely different from one another.
    Q:Where is the crossover set for the onboard M-3si speakers crossover and what type of crossover is it: two way, three way, 12db, 24db etc???
    A:The M3si is a 3-way design, crossover points of 350Hz and 2kHz, 12db/octave.
    Q:If the onboard crossover is always in place(with ot without the straps), does bi-amping offer any advantage versus just bi-wiring?
    A:No.
    Now, I don't know if this is of any help to you with your particular gear, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
    ----------------
    [​IMG]
    God Bless America!!!
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    John, I guess I don't understand why biamping wouldn't benefit you. In my current situation, it is true that I have a subwoofer in the system to handle the extreme low frequencies (
     
  5. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 1999
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey John,
    Did you suffer much remorse over not buying the Cal? My buddy bought the Cal pre/pro, the switcher and the Contour 3.3s and is now in heaven [​IMG] Back to the topic. I am now bi-amping (passive) my Magnepan 1.6s with four channels of my EAD Powermaster 1000, and boy do they sing. Give it a try and lets hear what you think after you do!
    Jason
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    My interest in biamping could be moot by the end of this weekend. I am set to inherit my parents' vintage Marantz stereo tube pre-amp and tube power amp. My parents bought these component in 1962, and my brother has had them in his possession since 1990. I am going to visit him this weekend to help him with speaker and DVD player shopping, and he said he would most likely allow me to take the Marantz gear home. He is not using the Marantz separates these days, as he bought a Yamaha RX-V3000 receiver a few months ago. He knows how into stereo music I am, so he knows I would put the Marantz gear to good use. I know that the Marantz gear is in perfect working order and they are killer pieces, so the NAD biamping idea could die as a result. On the other hand, given that the Marantz pieces are vintage, I am not going to abuse them, so the NAD biamp idea is still a consideration. My brother and I are going to hit the Harvey Electronics store in Paramus, NJ over the weekend, and they sell the NAD C 270. I'll definitely check it out. Decisions, decisions. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  9. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Saurav to Keith's rescue again [​IMG]
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Saurav, you definitely know your stuff, especially in the areas that I have been investigating lately. I have been delving into many new areas lately such as turntables, biwiring, and biamping. These are areas where I definitely have a lot to learn. Actually, there are many areas in audio and video where I have a lot to learn. Until November 1999, I was using a Kenwood stereo rack system that my parents bought for me in 1989. Back in late '99, I knew nothing at all about hardware. As a result, I bought some meager equipment then such as a $250 JVC RX-778V A/V receiver that didn't have a DTS decoder and lacked 5.1-channel inputs, a 27" GE TV that had no RCA or S-video inputs, and a Sony DVP-S330 DVD player (entry-level model). It wasn't until about February 2000 that I started getting into this hobby more seriously. So, I am still learning, and I am glad to have a great resource such as the HTF available to me. Without it, not only would I not know things, I wouldn't know what I don't know. [​IMG]
    I could certainly try biamping with the Marantz gear. That could be interesting. I'll see. The NAD C 370 is being used with the Energy Active Crossover (EAC) now, but maybe I could work in the Marantz equipment. I certainly agree that the Marantz power amp would driver the tweeters in such a set-up.
    You said:
    quote: If you're comparing a 270 + 370 to just a 370, of course there's going to be an improvement.[/quote]
    I would think so too, but I was just wondering if the presence of my subwoofer would render the improvements afforded by the C 270 more subtle than if the subwoofer weren't being used. The only way to determine this is to buy the dang C 270 and try it out. All in time.
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
    [Edited last by KeithH on November 15, 2001 at 11:25 PM]
     
  11. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, before October of last year all I had was my wife's boombox. Looks like we're both learning about the same things, I guess I waste more time at work than you do [​IMG] I bought my first set of equipment last year, and now all of it is slowly getting upgraded too.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Saurav, you've come a long way in a short period of time too, seeing as you were using a boombox last year. Once the upgrade bug hits, there is no cure, I'm afraid. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  13. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  14. Jaehoon Heo

    Jaehoon Heo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a little theoretical information for you:
    Bi-amping can be done either with existing passive crossover, or with electronic active crossover. Bi-amping will surely have some or great effect on the sound quality.
    Bi-amping or Multi-amping were originally intended to eliminate the drawback of passive crossover in the speakers. However, bi-amping(I assume this to be with existing passive crossover in the speaker) can not eliminate the passive crossover, so the effect is quite less significant than the multi-amping with active crossover.
    The actual effect of bi-amping with passive crossover, I think, is the more power to the speaker drivers, easing the amplifiers' load somewhat(not as much as with active crossover). You may use your favorite-sounding amplifier for bass and mid/treble separately, but you need to match the timber of 2 frequency bands for seamless transition between bass and mid/treble, or between midbass and treble.
    In the other hand, the actual drawback of the current passive crossover should be taken into consideration. I don't remember exactly what Arro(from Totem acoustics, right?) is. But if it is a two-way design with the crossover frequency above 1kHz, the passive crossover can be quite small and less power-wasting than those of 300Hz crossover. In case of quite low crossover frequency, poor-sounding electrolytic capacitors should be used in the signal path, to implement that low crossover frequency, degrading the sound quality quite a bit.
    The higher the crossover frequency is, the smaller, more efficient and higher-quality the passive crossovers are. In case of Arro(1" metal dome tweeter + Dynaudio midbass?) I think drawback of the passive crossover is quite small.
    Bottom line is, I recommend you to use bi-amping with active crossover, eliminating passive crossover in the speaker, for speakers of 3-way or more-way design.
    [Edited last by Jaehoon Heo on November 16, 2001 at 10:11 AM]
     
  15. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 1999
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    No,John, the neither of the two guys that were with me the day we met bought the CAL gear. The guy just getting into H/T buys all of my gear when I upgrade. In fact my VT1.2s are in the guest bedroom waiting for him to pick them up.Not the same caliber, but Sony ES and NHT is still nice for a starter system [​IMG].
    SACD is sweet aint it. Did you know that Best Buy is now selling SACD? Only Sony music selections at this time though. The prices are pretty good at 16.99 and up.
    Jason
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jaehoon,
    Interesting information there. I am very happy using the subwoofer with the Totem Arros via the Energy external crossover. It would be interesting to try biamping the NAD C 370 with the C 270 while using the external crossover. That could be a very exciting tweak.
    Jason,
    Best Buy stores across the country started getting in SACDs back in August along with the Sony SCD-CE775 changer. Now most Best Buy stores have SACDs along with the 'CE775, DVP-NS500V single-disc DVD/SACD player, DVP-NC650V five-disc DVD/SACD changer, and the DAV-S500 and DAV-C700 Dream Systems. Best Buy's prices on SACDs are great, but the selection was stale by the second or third time I checked it out. By then, I realized that all the Best Buy stores got in a set inventory were not adding much in the way of new titles. One Best Buy I was in had the Earth, Wind & Fire Gratitude multi-channel SACD, which is a relatively new title. That surprised me. In any event, if Best Buy's set inventory has a lot titles that interest you, you can't beat their prices.
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  17. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 1999
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    You know Keith,now I see why Best Buy has been selling SACD since August and I just found out.They keep them in a part of the store I never go...... The hardware section [​IMG] Multi ch SACD demoed on soda can size Sony speakers. YECH! How very "Best Buy" of them.
    Jason
     
  18. Jaehoon Heo

    Jaehoon Heo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your attention. I see that you love to tweak your system with many possible solutions. But, according to the specification of Arro speaker, I don't expect much improvement with passive or evena active bi-amping. Your 3-way system consisting of Arro's and Energy Subwoofer has already gained a lot of improvement by the active bi-amping you have done. Not much room to improve, I guess.
    Active bi-amping requires you quite a bit of investment(active crossover, power amplifier) and lots of your time(to match or exceed the performance of passive crossover designed very well by audio expertes of Totem Acoustics). I'd like to suggest you to invest your money for larger 3-way speaker or better power amplifier to improve your system's sound quality.
     
  19. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guy's, i was in Best Buy this afternoon...picked up a couple dvd's (Legally Blonde & Final Fantasy) and then headed straight for the SACD section (lol, yep, right next too those soda can speakers!). Keith your right about the stale selection but, i did lay my eyes on the new Roger Waters multi channel SACD "In The Flesh" and snagged it. It is new isn't it? It wasn't there two weeks ago.. I'm a little dissappointed its live but i'm going too listen to both discs tommorrow.(its a two disc set $32.99) Man, their's some great old songs..
    Sorry to get off your topic.. [​IMG]
    Keith BTW, Tweeter's having a private customer sale tommorrow so, i'm heading over to the Kirkwood HyWy store tommorrow around noon. I may trade up my 307 for a Ref 30 & Ref 7250 amp (i'm itch'n [​IMG] )
    - Chip
    ------------------
     

Share This Page