Biamping vs Single Amp

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Josh P, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Josh P

    Josh P Agent

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    I was wondering whether biamping (poor mans passive) would produce better results than using a single amp of the same price. Assuming equal total power.

    How about with different power per channel?
    (EG. 2xNAD 270 vs Musical Fidelity's A3CR)

    I know it will probably depend on each individual amp but I was wondering what upgrade path I should go for?

    Cheers
     
  2. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    Josh just curious,

    what do you mean "poor mans passive"???

    ps what speakers are you thinking about bi-ampng?
     
  3. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    I am pretty sure by "poor mans passive" he means passive biamping, which is less costly than active biamping.

    In general, if you don't own an amp to begin with and at the same price, a single amp will generally outperform the two amps used in biamping. Passive biamping is usually seen as an affordable upgrade if you already own an amp and still want to use the current amp. However, if you are starting from scratch, you will generally get superior performance from the single amp for the same $$$.
     
  4. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    I guess Im not getting it. ok, so passive is hooking 2 amps
    to 2 pairs of binding posts right? then what is active?
     
  5. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    Well the way it was described was a bit confusing to me. If you would have said an active/passive crossover with bi-amping, then I have understood much more.
     
  7. Hanwook_K

    Hanwook_K Stunt Coordinator

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    Passive vs Active
    Passive:
    1st Amp -> speaker crossover -> tweeter
    2nd Amp -> speaker crossover -> woofer
    Active:
    Crossover -> 1st Amp -> Tweeter
    Crossover -> 2nd Amp -> Woofer
    (notice that the speaker cross over needs to be bypassed for full potential. Also the Crossover mentioned needs to be able to match the output of the tweeter and woofer - typcially refered to as an active crossover (some even have variable crossovers to experiement with different settings.
    Different Amps in Passive
    Using different amps in passive is not usually recommended due to the different sonic quality of the amps. Typcially people want to use tubes for the HF and SS for the LF, but it is difficult to match them and make the HF and LF blend
    Recommendation
    My recommendation is that if you don't do ACTIVE BIAMPING (Lots more $$$ due to the active crossover) go with a single amp. Consider spending the money on a sub to relieve the power hungry LF from your main amp.
     
  8. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    thank you very much, that explained it.
     
  9. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Just for the sake of completeness, I will point out that some speakers are designed to be used with active, external crossovers. (One company that makes such speakers is Naim.) However, this is by far the exception.

    Larry
     
  10. Hanwook_K

    Hanwook_K Stunt Coordinator

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    nOrh 9.0 also come with a extra wires in the enclsoure so that it can be rewired to bypass the internal crossover.
     
  11. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Linn also,

    Go with a single higher quality amp.

    -rob
     
  12. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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  13. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted...

    Could you elaborate on why one amp is better than two for passive bi-amping?

    Frank...

    That's a nice write up from Cary Audio. There's many audiophiles that will fight the article tooth-an-nail.
     
  14. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted...

    Could you elaborate on why one amp is better than two for passive bi-amping?

    Frank...

    That's a nice write up from Cary Audio. There's many audiophiles that will fight the article tooth-an-nail.
     
  15. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Hanwook This is what I consider passive bi-amping.
    preamp-->passive line level filter-->amplifier-->woofer
    preamp-->passive line level filter-->amplifier-->tweeter
    This terminology has been in use since at least the 1950s and is how my system is bi-amped, with passive filters before the amplifiers that split the signal at 800Hz. Active crossovers are pretty cheap, competant pro-sound units by Behringer and DO are available at $200 but I think my rig sounds a little smoother with 1st order passive filters than with 3rd or 4th order active ones.
    Personally I discourage people with "turnkey" speakers from true bi-amping, whether active or passive, as many speakers have EQ incorporated into their crossovers. Eliminating the speaker's own passive crossover would change the speaker's voicing in such a case.
    www.chicagohornspeakerclub.org
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have a passive biamp set-up in my main stereo system, and it works very well for me. As Ted said, passive biamping made sense for me since I already had an integrated amp that I was very happy with. I am using an NAD C 370 integrated amp with an NAD C 270 power amp. These components share the same amp section, so the gain is matched between them. My speakers are Totem Arro floorstanders. The integrated amp drives the tweeters and the power amp drives the drivers. As a passive biamp set-up, there is no active crossover, and I am using the speaker's crossovers. Still, the biamp configuration sounds noticeably better than the integrated amp on its own.
     
  17. Hanwook_K

    Hanwook_K Stunt Coordinator

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    Clarification: Is there two preamps?
    What would you term, my passive diagram? (useless [​IMG] )
    Works for me ... passive biamping to me is anything that uses non-active crossover network with two amps per side. I'll need to update my brain on the information above - its sleeping right now.
    Just another emphasis on "turnkey", many woofers and tweeters even in the same speaker have different sensitivities.
    ... bottomline is if you're curious try it and stick with it if it sounds better to you.
     
  18. Josh P

    Josh P Agent

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    Thanks for the info fellows.

    Sorry I didn't get to reply sooner Geno but I think the above posts answered it well.

    Josh
     
  19. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Hanwook---One preamp, you use a Y split patchcord from each channel; one leg of the patchcord to the high frequency amp and the other leg to the bass amp. In between the patchcord legs and the amps are the filters. Lots of people have asked me about these filters which were built by a pal of mine, Kurt Chang. I gotta put pictures of them up on my site.
    www.chicagohornspeakerclub.org
     

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