Survey Poll - RE: Bi-amping & Tri-amping. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-22-2002, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a poll and discussion on the following general questions.

1. Do you biamp or triamp your speakers? This means do you use more than one amp to power each 2-way or 3-way speaker? Do you have one power amp per speaker driver?

2. How many of your friends biamp or triamp?

3. What percentage of audiophiles do you think, in your humble opinion, biamp or triamp their speakers?

4. What do you think about this? Do you have any experience with biamp or triamp systems? How did it sound in comparison? What were the setups? Is this something you or any friend is considering trying?
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-23-2002, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
1. Do you biamp or triamp your speakers?
Tri-amp
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Do you have one power amp per speaker driver?
One channel per driver
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2. How many of your friends biamp or triamp?
Most of my Linn friends are active bi-amping/tri-amping
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3. What percentage of audiophiles do you think, in your humble opinion, biamp or triamp their speakers?
No idea
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4. What do you think about this? Do you have any experience with biamp or triamp systems? How did it sound in comparison? What were the setups? Is this something you or any friend is considering trying?
It took me several years to save enough $$$$ to buy one amp at a time. I first started with a receiver. Then I bought my first Linn amp. It was huge improvement over the Sony ES receiver. Then I bought my second amp. I bi-amped my mids and highs with one amp and the woofer with the second amp. The sound improved again and not as quite as upgrading from the receiver to the 1st amp, but it was very good, tight bass, more high/mids detail, increased space between the instruments. Then I bought the third amp. The sound improvement was very subtle but it was there. The sound stage opened up more than anything else.

I had to wait for 4 months before I finally got the Linn AV5140 active crossover modules i needed. After the upgrade I nearly fell of my seat. It was like a comforter was lifted of my speakers and there was no comforter on them.

BTW, my center channel and surrounds are active and bi-amp.

My parting words, bi-amp if you can, and active is the way to go.

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post #3 of 10 Old 04-23-2002, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Hoglund
I'm looking for a poll and discussion on the following general questions.

4. What do you think about this? Do you have any experience with biamp or triamp systems? How did it sound in comparison? What were the setups? Is this something you or any friend is considering trying?
I am presently testing bi-amping main L&R and Center channels of a 7.1 system. This is for my new theater room addition which is still in plan check:mad: .

All I can say at this point is it's as good as you have time to tweak it. Each time I set it up in my prsent family room theater and play with it, it gets better. Of course all the settings go out the window when installed in the new room. To tweak I use a Radio Shack SPL meter and a good condenser michrophone feeding a PC running Spectrum Analyzer Pro. What is technically correct doesn't always sound best but level and flat is the best place to start. I am testing with a Rane variable active crossover. This is a "stage" sound device which has less than ideal noise and distortion. But once I get the proper frequency I like I plan to buy a DIY fixed frequency unit from Marchand Electronics.

The sound stage is much more detailed than my old Boston speakers on that system. If you can afford it, bi/tri -amping is worth it.

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post #4 of 10 Old 04-23-2002, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Pease

BTW, my center channel and surrounds are active and bi-amp.

My parting words, bi-amp if you can, and active is the way to go.
Question: does bi-amping the surrounds really make a difference? I wasn't going to bother but perhaps I should.

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-23-2002, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Glimmie
Question: does bi-amping the surrounds really make a difference? I wasn't going to bother but perhaps I should.
When I toyed with the idea my dealer told me it was a waste of resources. It really surprised me with the level of detail my surrounds can produce, but keep in mind I did not experiment with passive bi-amp. I went straight to active-bi-amp which I know now it produces very different results.

BTW, I invited the person who sold my speakers to my house to check out my active surrounds and would you believe I was there the other days and their surrounds where active-bi-amp.

I guess I was not full you of you know what.

Regards,

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post #6 of 10 Old 04-23-2002, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question?

How do you guys "tweak" your mulit-amp setup? I see the RS Meter post, but what do you use for your signal source? How do you balance the signal to individual drivers in each speaker box? Are you using white noise, pink noise, test tones, etc.?

Thanks, this thread is really getting informative.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-24-2002, 12:46 AM
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Don,

I agree with Jerry, active crossover and one channel per driver is clearly the way to go. The technical as well as subjective benefits are quite pronounced. Based on my own experience, I would say that multi-amping is not very common among audiophiles.


Glimmie,

If you are trying to equalize your in-room response, remember that the mic measures the total response from direct and reverberant sound. For mid to high frequencies, our hearing system does not work quite this way and separates the direct sound, which arrives first. The direct sound should ideally have a flat response while the reverberant sound should have a gradual roll-off for higher frequencies. Unfortunately, unless you are using special test signals (MLS), separating direct and reverberant sound is virtually impossible. Without access to MLS measurements, I would recommend using the most important signal processing in this case - your own hearing system.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-24-2002, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Hoglund
Another question?

How do you guys "tweak" your mulit-amp setup? I see the RS Meter post, but what do you use for your signal source? How do you balance the signal to individual drivers in each speaker box? Are you using white noise, pink noise, test tones, etc.?Thanks, this thread is really getting informative.
this is why I highly recommend you bi-amp using the same amps. If you use different brands you end up with a mess. Also, since I use Linn's electronic crossovers design for my speakers. There is no calibration required, except for I can tweak the treble and bass level by .5db.

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post #9 of 10 Old 04-24-2002, 04:06 PM
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I have Waveform Mach 17 speakers, which are designed from the ground-up around a custom Bryston 3-way active cross-over. I power the bass and mids with my EAD PM2000 amp, while the tweeters are powered by my Cinepro 3K6-III amp. A benefit of the Cinepro is that it has level controls for all 6 of its channels. The Bryston cross-over also has "tone"controls for each of its bass/mid/treble sections.

I bought these speakers based on their sound, the design concepts , and their very unique aesthetics. FYI: At the time, the next $cheapest Stereophile A-Rated speaker was 3 times the cost of the Waveforms.

I like adjustability in my speaker, depending on the music I am listening to, and my mood. I like having the ability to adjust my amps gain, or play with the "tone" controls of the Bryston cross-over. These are further benefits of an active tri-amped design system. I balance levels & tone by what is appealing to my ear, not by my RS meter. I did have a TacT RCS at one point too, which was a very cool product.

Though I question taking any speaker, removing the passive crossovers, and substituting an active crossover ( Bryston, Marchand ) in its place. The components used in a passive crossover, and the slopes chosen ( 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc ) do impart a signature on the speaker sound. This is all taken into consideration by the speaker's designer to accomplish their design/sound goals. This is part of the "sonic charm" that attracted you to a speaker to begin with. So substituting an active will change that "sonic charm" you first bought into. Whether it is better or worse is up to the listener to decide, but it is a departure from the original designers goals.

Tri-amping is a big investment in $dollars and space -> amps, interconnects, speaker cables, and induced clutter :) However, I do not see parting with my Waveforms for a long long time. They are also very short, and do not interfere with my projector screen.

- Andy
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-25-2002, 12:16 PM
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I am another unabashed Linn active (aktiv in Linnspeak) proponent. But just the fronts and center (5140's with Espek driver upgrade and 5120 center with Ekwal driver upgrade). Moving to active crossovers and an amp channel per driver made a significant difference particularly in the imaging, sound stage and detail. Another major difference was a sense of expansiveness in the sound, not feeling the sound being restricted when there was a loud explosion or orchestral crescendo; it just keeps getting bigger as in real life.
I am using 3 Aragon amps of similar power (400 watts per driver @ 4 ohms) and design (8008 series).
Can't say how many others are doing the same, only that I like what I hear. It takes the Linn's into a totally different category (of course the price went way up too)!
I was interested to read about Jerry Pease's experience including the surrounds in the deal. I can't say that's my top priority but I can see a time coming when I will make that move.
There was no tweaking involved. Everything just worked fine. Is this strange or unusual? Could it be due to my use of the same speaker and crossover mfgr and then having the 8008xx amps all from the same mfgr?

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Open mind, open ears. There are no absolutes!
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