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Bi-amping?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by glenlee, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. glenlee

    glenlee
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    Hi all, I'm looking at buying a new amp/receiver.

    My old sony str thingy has long since passed its best and I'm now swaying towards the Denon 3803. IS THIS A GOOD CHOICE?

    I have B&W 60x front and centre and Monitor Audio Silver Bi-pole surrounds.

    WHAT IS BI-AMPING? I've been reading through the posts but can't find a proper explanation. Some people appear to be confusing it with Bi-wiring.

    I assume Bi-amping must mean powering the 2 different inputs of bi-wireable speakers (such as the ones I have) from 2 seperate channels on the amp. IS THIS CORRECT?

    If so is the 3803 ok for this job?

    Does it not throw the balance of the rest of the speakers out? i.e. having 4 channels of power going towards 2 speakers.

    Thanks for everyones much appreciated input.
    GlenLee
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    You are right on what biamping is...... but the 3803 will not do it. To biamp with this, you would need to buy additional amps

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  3. glenlee

    glenlee
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    Hi, if the 3803 is only used as 5.1 can it be done then, using the spare surround outputs?

    Is the 3803 a good amp though? Does it perform well without bi-amping? will I notice a huge difference if I get an amp which would support Bi-amping? What would you recommend?

    I bought lots of stuff a long time ago and was up to date, I've now come to upgrade and feel like I've been left behind!!!!!

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  4. buns

    buns
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    I dont know if you could use the spare surrounds for biamping. They will obviously output a signal correcponding to that surround channel, so you would need to find if you can get it to output the same as the channel you wish to biamp...... i certainly wouldnt take this as read!

    Even if you could, well I wouldnt. Chance are the spare surround amplification isnt really good enough to warrant you doing it and in any case, you are putting alot more strain on the amp.

    The 3803 i gather is a very good mid range machine. I suspect that you are best to use it as it is and save other money for later.

    If i were honest, i dont consider this price range to be biamping territory. I think you are much better spending more on an amp to single wire (at this price) than go specially seeing a combo to biamp with. If you really need to biamp and are starting from scratch, the way to do it is with a processor and power amps. The main reason for people biamping with an all in one is that they had the all in one to start with.

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  5. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Try this thread here for starters.
     
  6. glenlee

    glenlee
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    Cheers for the link NicolasB
    I agree with the top line on the other post you directed me to. ["We really need a Frequently Asked Questions section for questions like this"]
    I did search before I posted (honest) but never found that post, I guess I'm just no good at computers either!!!!!!!

    Thanks buns,
    I don't really need to Bi-amp I just started reading about it and as I will not be using the spare rear outputs (my room is not deep enough to put rear speakers behind the chairs) I thought it might be possible to put them to use elsewhere.

    I didn't even think about what type of sound would be coming from them. I suppose on higher end amps you have the option to direct a different source (ie front left and right) to the second surround output. Is that right?

    What price am I looking at to get a does teh job well enough kind of bi-amp able machine? and which one does it well?
    Cheers again.
     
  7. buns

    buns
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    I presume the spair you mean are the rear centre speakers and you will still have side rears working?

    I dont know you can do what you suggest with any integrated amp, irrelevant of its cost. I could be wrong, but it doesnt strike me as something that many people would want thus is unlikely to be something the manufacturer will go to the hassle of allowing.

    Really the only way of biamping would be to have your 3803 when get additional amps. Say if you bought a stereo power amp, you could connect it to the front pre outs on the 3803, then you would have the signal for the fronts coming from the speaker terminals on the 3803 and from those on your additional stereo amp. I think it is likely that the most common set up that would be biamped will be one which uses a processor with separate power amplification. In this instance, you simply take the preout from the processor and route it to 2 channels of amplification (i currently do this with my front centre).

    You could biamp the front pair with the 3803 for a couple or 300 more than the 3803 alone, but you will be reliant on the preamp styage in the 3803. I suggest that better quality would be obtained simply by spending that cash to get a machine better than the 3803.

    For my cash, I wouldnt biamp until you get to the stage of separting the pre and power..... you can probably achieve a single amped setup of this nature, second hand, for £1200 to £1500 (this would be 5 channel). If you wanted to biamp the front pair with this, add the same £2/300. My feeling is that you should keep all 3 at the front the same, if anything, the centre the best, so i would biamp all 3 so that would be £1500 to 2k ish. or if you want to be totally consistent, you could probably achieve a fully biamped 5 channel for not a million miles from £2k.

    Of course all that said..... you may again get better results by simply having a better amp to single wire rather than the ability to biamp. The results will likely vary from amp to amp, speaker to speaker, set up to set up. So in other words, there is no 'best' way of doing it

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  8. glenlee

    glenlee
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    Ok thank you,

    So for a temporary measure I can buy an amp like the 3803 (is this ok for around £700?) and then when I have some spare cash buy another 2 channel amp and use the pre outs? I think I got that right. I'm starting to feel a bit left behind by technology!! how old am I?

    Do I need to bi-amp at all?

    I don't think I can afford to go up to 2k but feel that my current amp is letting my system down
    Will the new amp on its own, in single amp config, make all the difference I'm looking for? I'm currently using a Sony str 940 which I know is old . How much improvement will I hear?

    This site is full of wise people! Thankshttp://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=794725#post794725]Just posted this question about a problem, feeling a bit needy![/URL]
     
  9. Brogan

    Brogan
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    The AX5 does exactly this.
    The rear surrounds can be used for 6/7.1 surround or as an additional pair of fronts.
    Personally I've never noticed any difference doing both bi-amping and bi-wiring but that's just me...
     
  10. buns

    buns
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    so I stand corrected..... but as Brogans experience shows, the value of biamping as the AX5 allows is questionable.

    You dont NEED biamping, if i were in your position I would just buy a normal amp, single wire and forget about it for a year...... then consider whether you want to biamp.

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  11. glenlee

    glenlee
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    Thanks to everyone for their input, the link posted by nicolasB really helped me to understand bi-amping.

    and the rest helped me to know that I can't afford it and would probably set it up wrong if I could!!!!

    Guess I'm going to just shell out for the Denon 3803. (that is a good choice right?)
     
  12. buns

    buns
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    yup!

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  13. bobbypunk

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    the Pioneer Vsxax3 also offers a biamp instead of 7.1 feature
     

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