Denon 3312 and Onkyo 809 Bi Wire Fronts and Zone 2 at same time?

Dave79

Standard Member
Hi everyone,

Im looking at getting a new amp and Im torn between the Denon 3312 or the Onkyo 809.

My main concern is that I really want to Bi Wire my fronts in the main room, but according to the Onkyo's manuals then I can't have powered speakers in zone 2. The Denon manual also says the same but something different but on their website.

Can anyone confirm that I can do both.

I used to have a Denon 1906 which I thought was great, is there a big difference between sound/video quality between 3312/809 and their lower models ie 2312 and 709? If there isn't then I might be tempted to get the cheaper option then buy another lower spec amp for zone 2.

EDIT, Speaker wise ive got some (cheap but good) TDL studio 10s up front and similar surround. I will probably be looking at upgrading them in a year or so and I will listen to music more than cinema.

Thanks in advance

Dave
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
You can't both bi-amp your front speakers as well as power second zone speakers or run a 7.1 setup because the bi-amping or powering the second zone uses the onboard amplification used for the back speakers. You can either have a 7.1 configuration with 2 back speakers powered by the amp, 2 second zone speakers powered by the amp or use the onboard amplification to bi-amp your front pair with. You have to configure the amp accordingly in order to utilise any one of these three options and you can utilise the onboard amplification for any more than one purpose at a time. If you bi-amp then you can only use a 5.1 speaker configuration and you cannot power speakers in a second zone.
 
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Dave79

Standard Member
Thanks dante01, that’s kind of what I was thinking. I don’t think I can really justify the extra cash for the higher end models if they cant do both at once.

It’s a shame that you cant assign some of the other channels that you don’t use, ie front wides
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It's a shame that you cant assign some of the other channels that you don't use, ie front wides
Again, if powering additional width speakers then you are limited to 7 speakers in total. The amps only have 7 onboard amplification modules so this is the number of speakers they are limited to powering at any one time. You'd be limited to 5.1 plus the width speakers.

I'm not sure, but I do believe that there is an option to add external power amplification if wanting to have more than 7 speakers powered at any one time?
 
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Dave79

Standard Member
Thanks dante01,

Just to clarify, im not intending to run both rooms at once. Would that make a difference?

Thanks
 

TimmyBee86

Novice Member
Hi. My mate (also called Dave, also with studio 10s...) is looking to do something similar. I think.
He wants his 10s bi-wired for stereo listening, and use them as the fronts of a 5.1. Is this in any way possible using just one amp? I think, based on this, the answer is no?
 

Dave79

Standard Member
Hi Timmybee86,

You defiantly can bi wire a pair of fronts and run a 5.1 system, I did this with a Denon 1906 (or 1907 cant remember model), I highly recommend doing this with your friends studio 10s it greatly improved the sound quality.

What im after is to do the same again but also have the option of running a second zone, it would be nice to run it at the same time but its not essential. Ideally I would like to run zone two with a TV and have the main room with a projector.

Im surprised that its not possible to assign some of the wide or high speakers that I wont use to another zone. Even looking at some of the high end dennons 43?? Models it does not look possible, and to run their zone 2 and 3 at the same time you can only use one speaker in each room and set it as mono which I think is quite misleading.

Unless someone can advise of an amp upto around 1000 pounds that I can do what I want on then I will probably for a cheaper model, probably the Denon 2312 although ive read some reviews to say that the music is not top notch (although I probably wont tell the difference, especially if I don’t upgrade the speakers).
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Bi-wiring (as opposed to bi-amping) is a waste of time in my opinion. Any perceived difference can only be accredited to the additional combined thickness of cable used due to it being doubled and it is negligible as to whether even this has any effect given the short lengths commonly used for wiring front speakers. There's no scientific foundation to bi-wiring. Even conventional speakers with dual sets of terminals still share those terminals with the one same crossover within the speakers and the power for the drive units is sourced from the same amplification stage. You may as well invest in thicker wire as bother to bi-wire.
 

Dave79

Standard Member
I must admit that I am still a newcomer to AV so I cant back up my opinions with too much details/facts but in my opinion it defiantly made a difference to my (cheapish) speakers and I assumed it would make a difference to a more expensive set, hence why I was so keen on my next amp having that function.

I will have to go away and do some research as if it really doesn’t make any real difference then that will make a big difference in what AMP im after.

Thanks
 

TimmyBee86

Novice Member
I looked into this myself a while ago, and I think I remember that what I think is bi-wired is actually bi-amped. Can someone please explain the difference?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Bi-wiring is required in order to bi-amp, but bi-amping uses separate amplifiers for each drive unit in the speakers. The Hi frequency tweeters have their own amplifier as do the lo frequency woofers.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I must admit that I am still a newcomer to AV so I cant back up my opinions with too much details/facts but in my opinion it defiantly made a difference to my (cheapish) speakers and I assumed it would make a difference to a more expensive set, hence why I was so keen on my next amp having that function.

I will have to go away and do some research as if it really doesn’t make any real difference then that will make a big difference in what AMP im after.

Thanks
You are confusing bi-amping with bi-wiring. The two are not the same thing. You were enquiring about bi-amping and not bi-wiring.
 

TimmyBee86

Novice Member
So when the speakers (eg studio 10) and the amp have 4 terminals for each speaker, that is bi-amping. That's what I (and I assume Dave) was talking about. Is this a UK/US thing? I'm sure I have seen shops advertise bi-wire eg richer sounds
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
So when the speakers (eg studio 10) and the amp have 4 terminals for each speaker, that is bi-amping. That's what I (and I assume Dave) was talking about. Is this a UK/US thing? I'm sure I have seen shops advertise bi-wire eg richer sounds
As I said, you need to bi-wire in order to bi-amp, but bi-wiring without the bi-amping is no better than simply doubling the thickness of the wires running between your speakers and your amp. AV amps have several onboard amps and the manufacturers have facilitated the means by which to use some of these internal amps for bi-amping if they are not being utilised for other purposes. You'd still use bi-wire to wire between your amp and speakers, but each speaker would be using 2 amplifiers rather than one amp.

Bi-amping was and still is traditionally done via external amps by audiophiles. The whole bi-wiring without bi-amping thing started in the late eighties, probably instigated by the speaker wire manufacturers to sell more wire and helped along by a sudden increase in the manufacturing of speakers with bi-wirable terminals.
 

Dave79

Standard Member
I think I was confused….

I was under the impression that bi-amping was when you used a separate amp whilst bi-wireing was only using one amp.

I was assigning the surround back channels to my fronts and I thought that this made a difference.

I cant see how running two sets of wires from the same output on the amp would make any difference.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I think I was confused….

I was under the impression that bi-amping was when you used a separate amp whilst bi-wireing was only using one amp.

I was assigning the surround back channels to my fronts and I thought that this made a difference.

I cant see how running two sets of wires from the same output on the amp would make any difference.
Your initial plan was correct and you would have been bi-amping, but you would also be bi-wiring your speakers in order to use the additional amps. You can't bi-amp without utilising bi-wiring, but bi-wiring is a pointless excercise without bi-amping. Many peole seem to get the impression that simply bi-wiring without bi-amping will yield improvements. Many do not even know what bi-amping is and mistakenly refer to it as bi-wiring, but the two are not the same thing.

The issue you have is that you only have a total of seven integral amps at your disposal at any one timeand you want to use two of them for two different purposes. You can either use them to bi-amp with or you can use them to power a second zone, but you cannot do both. THe height and width speaker options also use the same spare amps so you cannot use them and a second zone or bi-amp if using the height or width speakers.

You can have one of the following:
5.1 plus bi-amp your front speakers
5.1 plus a second powered zone
5.1 plus height speakers
5.1 plus width speakers
7.1 without any of the above
 
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Dave79

Standard Member
Thanks, I think it has now become clear, so in essance I would need a 9.1 system to bi amp the fronts in a 5.1 and run zone two. Thats probably outside my price range for what i need, especially due to my low end speakers.

Does bi amping (with the same amp) make much difference to mid range speakers ie around the 400-600 pound (fronts) range?

Thanks
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Thanks, I think it has now become clear, so in essance I would need a 9.1 system to bi amp the fronts in a 5.1 and run zone two. Thats probably outside my price range for what i need, especially due to my low end speakers.

Does bi amping (with the same amp) make much difference to mid range speakers ie around the 400-600 pound (fronts) range?

Thanks

In my opinion a difference can be perceived, but the difference is slight and not worth investing large sums of money into. At this level, you'd probably get better results from better speakers than from say buying power amps just to bi-amp with. The thing about using the unused amps onboard an AV amp is that those amps would otherwise go unused, but if you're intending on using them then you shouldn't fret about not being able to also bi-amp.
 

TimmyBee86

Novice Member
Is it the amp that would decide what signal to send to the speaker? I assume so.
I ask because my tv has two sets of speakers - 2.0 on set A and 5.1 on set B. If I plugged my speakers into set A and the fronts for set B, would this be bi-amped or would it just duplicate the signal?
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Is it the amp that would decide what signal to send to the speaker? I assume so.
I ask because my tv has two sets of speakers - 2.0 on set A and 5.1 on set B. If I plugged my speakers into set A and the fronts for set B, would this be bi-amped or would it just duplicate the signal?
That makes no sense at all. Your TV has two sets of speakers? Presumably you have a pair of stereo speakers hooked up to B and 5.1 speakers hooked up to A on your AV Receiver? This isn't bi-amping. See the diagram link a few posts up which explains what bi-amping.
 

TimmyBee86

Novice Member
Sorry - my amp has two sets.
I have always assumed set A is identical to the fronts on set B.
 

andystratton

Standard Member
Sorry to resurrect an old thread there seems to be a fundamental confusion for me here!

With the 3312 I am aware that only 7 channels can be driven at once and that to either bi-amp or use zone 2 the surround back amp needs to be assigned.

So does this mean the speaker cables from the fronts and zone 2 speakers also need to be swapped into the surround back amp as well? For me this would be a pain in the **** as the 3312 will be housed in a cabinet - actually a buffet - with an enclosed back (albeit with large holes in the back for cables & cooling) that is too big and heavy to move.

If the front high and wide speaker terminals could be used and just the assigning done on the amp then I would be much happier.:thumbsup:
 

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