How do you tri-amp?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Philip____S, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. Philip____S

    Philip____S Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm interested in getting Kef Ref 201s and a 202c. They can be tri-amped, which I'd like to do. I know how to bi-amp, but I'm not sure how to tri-amp. To bi-amp I'd do one of the following:
    1. Buy a pre/pro with both RCA and balanced preouts and run each set of outs to a different amp.
    2. Use metal RCA splitters (essentially a 'Y' cable) to split the RCA signal to two amps.
    Is the only way to tri-amp a combination of the two? Do XLR cables come in a three way split? Do RCA splitters come three way? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    If you aren't going for active bi or tri amping, IMO you'd be better off putting the money you would have spent on 2-3 amp channels per speaker into one channel.

    To split the signal into three just buy two Y adpaters for each pre-out. Plug one Y into your pre-out, with one output going to an amp channel and the other going to the second Y which will then go to your other two amp channels.
     
  3. Philip____S

    Philip____S Stunt Coordinator

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    I've thought about two inline Y adapters but that seems to introduce a double degradation of signal to one channel, which may or may not matter. I figure if I'm going to the trouble of doing this I don't want to unnecessarily add 'noise' to the system. As for tri-amping being a waste, it might be, I don't know for sure. All I know is most of the really expensive, and therefore reasonably good quality, speakers have multiple sets of binding posts. If the speaker manufacturers thought bi- and tri-amping was worthless I can't see why they'd spend the extra money of the posts. Again, I have no idea if it helps though.
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Think it was Wilson Audio a number of years ago at a trade show had there speakers hooked up with plain Jane good quality 12 guage speaker wire. Everybody coming by was complaining about it so they broke down and went and found some fancy looking speaker wire. Not because they thought it made a difference but because the majority of their consumers did. If it doesn't make much difference to them (binding posts are cheap) but it make the product look better to the consumer, you're guarenteed the manufacturer will do it.

    If you want to triamp properly, look into some Marchand active crossovers. But you'll have to pull your speakers appart and remove the passive crossovers in there.
     
  5. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Phillip,

    If you want to tri-amp then go get a good 3-way electronic crossover. That will attach to your pre-amp via a left and right channel. The crossover will have three line level outputs for each amplifier, per channel. Then take three amplifiers and connection them to these outputs.

    Take your speaker apart and disconnect the crossover so you have individual leads going to each driver. Attach those to your amps separately.

    Adjust the active crossover accordingly (i'd start out with something similar to the crossover in the speakers). tweak and tune to your hearts content.

    Just keep in mind that some speakers cannot be disconnected from their internal passive crossovers.

    Good luck! Its a very tedious undertaking, but worth it if your speakers are of high quality.
     

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