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Bi-Amp and what are the benefits???

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by longyp, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. longyp

    longyp
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    I have purchased an Denon 1906 AV and Acoustic Energy speakers.

    The speakers have 4 connection points (2 red, 2 black) and the amp manual talks about supporting Bi-Amp.

    Can someone explain (basic terms please :thumbsup: ) what Bi-Amp and 4 wires into a speaker gives you? - (btw - I have a 5 speaker config)

    Many thanks
     
  2. narcoticsuite

    narcoticsuite
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    Biwirable speakers (those with four connections instead of two) can be biwired or bi-amped.

    Bi wire = running two lengths of speaker cable from your amp's outputs, one goes to the top set of connectors, one to the bottom set. Benefits are debatable and I cannot say I have noticed any benefit when trying this. If you do try this remember to remove any bridge (see below) between the two sets of connectors.

    Bi-amp = taking it a step further and instead of having the two sets of cables running off the same amp, you introduce another power amp to the equation. If you wanted to do this with your 1906 you could connect a stereo power amp to your front preouts and run one set of connections off the 1906 and the other off the power amp. You could do this for all 5 channels if you wanted to with an array of external power amps or an all in one 5 channel power amp. Going down such a route can have advantages, you can use higher quality power amps than are contained in the receiver and so it is a way of upgrading. Also, if the internal amps are doing less work they may perform better. Whether or not it would make economic sense to do so vs buying a better receiver in the first place is debatable.

    It is not essential that you do either of the above, the speakers will work perfectly well when conventionally wired the only thing you have to do is make sure the two sets of connections are bridged. If new, your speakers are probably already bridged, look out for a bit of cable or something running between the two sets of connectors. If not, just use a short length of speaker cable.

    See if you can borrow a stereo power amp and do a quick test using your main fronts, if you notice a difference and think it's worth the extra then go for it.
     
  3. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    i think the 1906 supports using the 2 surround back channels to biamp the fronts with the main front outputs. if its in the manual, try it!
     
  4. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    i bi-amp a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 7.3's (the ones they sold around the late 90's) from a mid 90's Aiwa separates amp that has a A+B setup internally, and its sooo much better compared to running the speakers on just the A or the B in single wire mode......i tried biwire but from just A or B and it was a little bit better, but not as much as bi-amping....

    my current Monitor Audio Silver S6's run biwired off my Denon 3803 and i do notice enough of a difference for it to be worthwhile than single wiring them.....i will probably bi-amp them eventually so i can run them through a dedicated hifi power amp for CD use....but thats not gonna be for a couple years thanx to my 7205 purchase recently...lol
     
  5. longyp

    longyp
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    Thanks for the responses.

    I purchase 4 wired speaker cabling but only have the 1 amp - so I guess bi-amp is not an option but bi-wire is.

    There are gold coloured bridges on the connectors of the speakers so I leave these on/ or remove for bi-wire??

    I will double check the manual! (It's not possible to blow anything up if I get it wrong :eek: is it?)
     
  6. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    remove them for biwire
     
  7. Matt306

    Matt306
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    Bi-amp is possible, I'm running it on my 1906 with Mission 702E's. Just connect the Low Freq cables to the Surround Back terminals and the High Freq cables to the Speaker A terminals. You then need to go into the menu and go 5 (option setup) then 3 (power amp assign) then change the option from S. Back to Bi-amp. If that doesn't make much sense look at pages 6 and 39 of the manual.

    I've noticed a reasonable difference, it's made the 702's less boomy and strings seem to come through a bit clearer.
     
  8. koshatnik

    koshatnik
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    I may have missed something here, but unless you disable the passive crossovers in your speakers you will gain very little if any benefit from bi-amping.

    This explains in detail
     
  9. jessmith

    jessmith
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    Hi there,
    i have acoustic energy speakers, they are really designed to be bi-wired and to not do so loses a lot of transparency. Bi-Amping is expensive and requires specialist knowledge/dealer and unless you are buying real high end stuff (talking well over £1K on amp and then £10pm plus on cables) the effects can usually be bettered by buying a better integrated amp in the first place. Also if you have a powered sub woofer with the frequency crossover set correctly (using auto set up) the demands on the power stages of the amp are considerably reduced.
    My recommendation for cost effective upgrade; bi wire (centre and front more important than rear) and on centre and front get good quality cable IXOS bi wire is particularly good value if you don't mind the chunky looks, look on ebay also tip for saving money, buy a roll of cable and puton your own banana plugs, people seem to charge an awful lot to make up for you, and unless they are pressure fitted there is no advantage to shop finished items..
     
  10. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    Very enlightening article, if perhaps a little too technical for the most part for me.

    The diagram for the bi-amp set up shows high and low pass filters between the source and the power amps, and then a single passive crossover on the mid-high drivers with a direct connection to the bass driver. This is not how the typical home cinema amp like Denon's implements power amp assignment.

    In the case of the 3805 there is no facility to filter the signal into high and low feeds from the pre-out and feed both signals back into the amp for amplification by two amps. You could filter in this manner and then feed in one of the filtered signals (low frequencies) for the "power amp assignment", but the other "normal" amp will, internally, get the full range of frequencies from the source signal. The diagram also does not reflect the case of bi-wirable speakers, which is shown in further diagram down the page, with their in built high/low pass filters.

    In the case of bi-wirable speakers the high and low pass filters are in built in the speaker. With the jumpers in place the same signal gets fed to the directly to the high/mid crossover(s) (read high and low pass filter(s) for the tweeter and mid range respectively), and to the single low pass filter for the Bass driver. When the jumpers are removed you decouple the filters/crossover, which is not the same as disable. And by decoupling you still get high/low filtering of the signals prior to passing to the drivers. By decoupling the passive crossovers (high/low pass filters) you will get the advantage of bi-amping where you have discrete power amps driving each set of speaker drivers indpendently.

    I don't know whether there are any inherent deficiencies in a power amp receiving a full range signal for amplification but only dealing with the load that is pressented to it is only for "bass" frequencies. All I know is that bi-amping my speakers has improved my set up. Whether that is due to using a second amp to deal with the higher current load of driving bass drivers, or for the decoupling of the filters in the speaker, I haven't a clue. And TBH it doesn't matter!! I like what I hear!
     
  11. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    Malice hit the nail on the head. You have to have crossovers somewhere, otherwise you'll be feeding, for example, your tweeters low frequencies like 100Hz which would probably destroy them.

    The article shows an active configuration, which is ideal, but bi-amping simply lightens the load on each amplifier whilst maintaining the same total output, improving the quality (hopefully).
     
  12. guli

    guli
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    Malice,

    I think you misunderstood the article.

    Don't worry about it as long as you're happy with what you have.

    Alex
     
  13. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    Whether or not I am happy with what I have is irrelevant and has no bearing on whether I understood the article or not. I always welcome opportunities to learn more or correct any misconceptions I may have.

    I'm intrigued as to why you think I misunderstood the article.

    Do you concur with the inference of Koshatnik's post and the article that without disabling passive crossovers on speakers that bi-amping has questionable benefits in a HC multi-channel amp set up?
     
  14. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    I agree with Malice, you gain masses from biamping, and if you "disabled" the passive crossovers you would destroy your speakers unless you add active powered crossovers elsewhere in the system - very expensive and very high end. This just doesn't happen in the AV Reciever field, its aimed at HiFi and maybe some AV processor/power amp convos (as the crossovers must be placed between processor and power amp - i.e. inside an AV Reciever).

    Even if the only thing you gain is more power, its still a big gain.

    I don't see any errors in Malice's post relating to the article, so to assume he has misunderstood is a bit assumptive (word? :D )

    As Matt306 stated, bi-amping with a 1906 is no extra expense, apart from the second run of cable. just remove the bridges of the AE's and connect the SB channel to the bass and speaker A to high freq, then tell the amp what you've done. simple and cheap :thumbsup:
     
  15. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    Cross over on speaker end, not amp end?
    I tought the speaker took care of the cross over, and although the top binding posts are generaly considered to be for high feq and the bottom ones for all else, the speaker it self will determin what power goes where.
     
  16. koshatnik

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    To quote the article:

    ""Do I need to disconnect the passive crossover in my speakers?"
    The answer is ... Yes, otherwise you are not really biamping at all."

    Maybe that is just hifi specific, I don't know. I don't really know a great deal about bi-amping, its just when I looked into it and asked around, all the responses I had confirmed the above. But if you are getting better results from bi-amping without disabling the passive crossovers then cool. :)

    I just thought that article was interesting, and thought it might help some people out.
     
  17. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    Maybe one persons definition of bi-amping to anothers, but using two amps on one speaker would satisfy most peoples needs.

    Removing the internel cross over and then appling power directly to the drive units, sounds like how to fry your speakers and be left without a warranty.

    If you know what your doing then fair enough, and i suppose with a 3 way unit you could even tri amp, although a tweeter would fry if anywhere near the power was given to it for which a bass unit would receive.

    *edit extra stuff

    I thought the reason that bi-amping gave a benifit was that you are pushing more power to the speaker, use 2x 100watt amps = the same as using a single 200watter (altough the quality may differ but ignore that for now) hence more autority and maybe cheaper and more scalable. I'm guesing that the two binding posts are somewhat independed (so the amps don't interfear with each other) otherwise you could just stick as many amps onto a single binding posts. Also you have thinker wire going to the speakers, less resistance and all (this is the supposit benifit of bi-wire, altohugh you might as well just use one big fat cable instead).
     
  18. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    thats called a passive crossover, which most speakers have (top of the range Linn speakers don't - if they did have crossovers they would require 1000watts of amplification - 900 for the crossover, 100 to drive the drivers.)

    Some top end systems allow crossovers to be added before amplification (eg Linn Aktiv), this means each power amp handles just the frequencies it has to, obviously improving the sound.

    However standard biamping just has two amps both amplifying full range. each binding post has its own crossover, filtering out the frequencies it doesnt want (as opposed to "sending" the frequencies to high or low etc). this means if you decouple them, the bass crossover will take the bass amplified signals from one amp, not interacting with the other amp at all. likewise the HF binding posts have their own crossover to filter out high frequencies from their own amp. :)

    EDIT: i was referring to below post, lots of replies since i wrote the above :smashin:

     
  19. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    exactly, you would need external crossovers, before power amps.


    yerp, they are indeed:D
     
  20. koshatnik

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    yes, you will, thats why you need to have a bit of electronics knowledge to do it by disabling the passive crossovers. i think what happens is you disable the crossovers in the speakers and run the amp through another set of crossovers, but how you set all that up is beyond me. I was looking into getting a power amp and bi-amping, but I've read alot of comments that say that there isn't a great deal of benefit to be gained unless you have really expensive gear and you bi-amp properly. Anyway, I know the dangers of reading to much "advice" on the internet :smashin: So, whatever works for you.
     
  21. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    bi amping does not require active crossovers to be biamping. thousands of people have biamped systems, Dfour is biamping AE Evo 3's for one. About 1% of those will be active crossover configs, i _think_ alexs2 has a Linn Aktiv system, or has done in the past, and advised me on many of the details.

    If this isnt real biamping, then why are so many people happy with it?

    In conclusion, you do not have to disable or add any crossovers to bi amp, and the results will be stunning in most cases
     
  22. Bugblatter

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    I understood that the main advantage of bi-wiring and bi-amping is that the speaker cables carriy a reduced set of frequencies.

    Yeah, I know, the amp's sending the same signal down both wires...only it isn't.

    With the individual crossovers on the separate pairs of binding posts what we have is two separate tuned circuits. The one going to the bass speaker is tuned for low frequencies, and therefore that's all that can easily travel down the wire. Likewise for the wire going to the mid/high crossover.

    The upshot is that the mid-high frequencies effectively have their own cable and won't be swamped by the low frequency signal, which is far more powerful.

    Some of that's what I read years ago and some of it's what I worked out so it isn't gospel, I think it's right though.

    Here's a question: when I connect my front speakers to the A+B outputs on my amp does that count as bi-amping? Are the outputs driven by separate stages or are they the output from the same stage but with separate connections and mute buttons?

    BTW here's a 7.1 amp for £450 that allows you to configure it as 5.1 with true bi-amping: http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo-2.cfm/Product_ID/2396
     
  23. koshatnik

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    Ah cool. I'm going to buy a power amp at some stage in the future, and I'll have a play see if there is a difference in sound for me if I bi-amp my set up.
     
  24. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    Yes, but the amp is still amplifying all frequencies, which is where the main advantage is gained with active crossovers, as lower frequencies require more oomph to amplify.

    the original poster has a denon 1906, which has the same feature as the EDIT: Pioneer, using the surround back amps to bi amp the fronts.

    Using A+B outputs is usually just an easy way of biwiring, as they share an amp, but in higher end amps they may have seperate amps as well.
     
  25. Bugblatter

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    Sure you don't get the full benefit of what you're describing but you still get the separate signal paths, which is a big benefit. Active crossovers are better but that's a whole new ballgame, a step on from bi-amping.

    I figured the A+B was really just bi-wiring, but it was described earlier as bi-amping so I figured I'd check. Hell, I could have been bi-amping all these years and not realised! :D
     
  26. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    where?
     
  27. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    I thought the A+B share the same amp section and are infact 4 binding posts connected to the same amp, thus only bi-wire not bi-amp.
     
  28. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    they do, on most amps
     
  29. Bugblatter

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  30. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    cant explain that, maybe it has 2 seperate amps :confused:
     

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