Need amplifier to bi-amp front speakers.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by greggor, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Greg
    I am seriuosly considering adding an amp to my existing setup.
    Currently I am running paradigm studio 60's and the Studio-CC all powered by a Sony-777ES reciever. Now since only my three front speakers are designed to be BI-Wired I am mainly interested in a 3 channel amplifier. I have heard great things about Parasound, though I will admit that I haven't done my homework to research exactly what I need to achieve the results I desire.
    Heres my budget: I would like to spend no more then $500.00 for a 3 channel amplifier. What would you all recommend?
    BTW, I would be very interested in hearing comments from current Paradigm owners who are Bi-amping.
    Greggor
     
  2. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Hold on there babalouie.If you want to biamp that setup, there are 2 things you have to do that will probably be unsavory. First, you must crack the cabinets on the paradymes and change some internal wireing to disable the onboard passive crossovers. Then, you will need to feed the preouts of your receiver (assuming it has them) to active 2 way crossovers (one per channel) and feed the output of these crossovers back to the amp in of your receiver and to the 3 channel amp. A stereo 2 way crossover will run at least $150 and that would only cover 2 channels. You will need 2 of those to cover the center as well. That doesn't leave much for the amp, and biamping with a dirt cheap amp defeats the purpose.
     
  3. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian is right. Active Bi-amp would be the only way to use the amps in the Sony in a bi-amp scheme. If you wanted to add 6 more channels of amplification, you could do a passive bi-amp set up and not use the front three channels of the 777es at all. Might be a sonic improvement and you would not have to go into the speakers to re-wire. On the other hand, you could buy one, 3 channel amp of more power than the Sony and probably see some improvement. Though the 777 es is quite good, adding a 200wpc amp might make sense. You would also, already have an amp to use if you decide to go the complete separates route. There is a good deal on e-bay on an Acurus 200x3 with a 500.00 "buy it now" price. A good deal, even with the u-bid blow out on Acurus a month ago. The seller is a forum member here, so he is family [​IMG]!
    Just so you know, I switched to separates after adding an Acurus 200x3 to my Sony 30es and that same amp is still in my system.(Ignore my systep pics as about the only thing current is the 200x3!)
    Jason
     
  4. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Wow, I had no idea this was going to be such an indepth process. I thought that all I needed to do was buy a 3 channel amp and run each channel directly into the front three speakers. I thought that this was a relatively simple process since my three front speakers are designed to be powered by to separate amps. I guess I don't fully understand why I can't do this. Thanks for the lesson.
    greggor
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Greggor,
    I too would like to know why you would have to "crack" the
    speaker cabinents open. If they are designed to be Bi-Wire
    and Bi-Amped then you should not have to "crack" anything
    other than your wallett (to buy the amps).
    I would like Brian to elaborate as to why you would have
    to open the speakers up. The internal crossover(s) are
    totaly seperated into Low and Mid/High thus they are
    ready for Bi Amplification. Or at least this is how my
    AR9's are. I can not vouch for the Paradigms and this is
    why I would like to see Brian go into further detail on
    this matter.
     
  6. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    There are two types of biamping. Active and Passive.
    Passive biamping means you just use two seperate channels to power the speaker and let the internal passive crossover network of the speaker sort it out. In my opinion this has the exact same affect as just using a more powerful amp. Each amp will still have to produce the exact same signal. In other words little to no strain will be taken off of the receiver. The bigger issue though is getting the two different amps to provide the right amount of power so that the tweeter, and the mid.bass/bass drivers' output is matched. That is why people recommend using identical amps to passively biamp. Using a receiver for the tweeter and an outboard amp for the mid.bass/bass drivers will cause you great difficulty when attempting to get an even response. You might dial it in for one volume level, but as soon as you increase or decrease the gain on the receiver, the amount the receivers amp increases in output will be different than the outboard amps and you won't have a proper calibration anymore.
    Active biamping involves active crossovers at the line level stage. In other words the two amps only receive the frequencies the driver they are powering is to produce. So the one amp doesn't amplify any bass info, taking a lot of strain off of it and making it so it doesn't need to provide as much power. The mid.bass/bass driver's amp then doesn't have to amplify the higher frequencies and can apply it's greater power to just the lower two drivers. Active crossovers make it a lot easier to match the output of two amps with different power ratings. They also make it kind of pointless to use identical amps since the tweeter doesn't need anywhere near the power the mid.bass/bass drivers do. However, if you put an active crossover before the amps and then feed the amps output to a passive crossover network you are asking for all kinds of trouble.
    So to sum it up, if you are going to passively biamp do it with identical amps, or just get a more powerful amp. If you are going to actively biamp, you have to defeat the internal passive crossover network (just the portion between the tweeter and mid.bass driver, you still need that 400hz LP filter for the bass driver) and get an active crossover to replace what you disabled.
    This still leaves the issue of getting an active crossover properly setup, and how you do that without descent measuring equipment and lot more knowledge than I have I don't know. Although, I suppose if you can find an active 1500hz 3rd order electro/acoustic crossover that should almost just be plug and play (whatever an electro acoustic crossover is, but that's what Paradigm lists on their site).
    ------------------
    Dustin
    [email protected]
    My Adire Tempest Sonosub
     

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