How to run two bi-amp speakers with a 2-channel amp? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-30-2012, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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First post here. I am new to audio and need some guidance.
I have this amp:
http://goo.gl/XnjB7

I have two "bi-amp" Panasonic speakers that I want to run with it.
They have two separated circuits on each cabinet, one for "high" and one for "low", so there are four wires coming from each speaker cabinet, but I only have two channels on the amp.
Each channel is rated at 6 ohms. and 30-35 watts. How can I run both speakers on the amp?

Can someone please give me a step-by-step guide me in how I should set up this system? Do I need to get anything else?

I need detailed instructions on what to do.
Thank you!
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-30-2012, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pascal210 View Post

First post here. I am new to audio and need some guidance.
I have this amp:
http://goo.gl/XnjB7
I have two "bi-amp" Panasonic speakers that I want to run with it.
They have two separated circuits on each cabinet, one for "high" and one for "low", so there are four wires coming from each speaker cabinet, but I only have two channels on the amp.
Each channel is rated at 6 ohms. and 30-35 watts. How can I run both speakers on the amp?
Can someone please give me a step-by-step guide me in how I should set up this system? Do I need to get anything else?
I need detailed instructions on what to do.
Thank you!

I'm not so sure that Panasonic even makes a speaker like this. If it is bi-wire-able, it will have double binding posts, one for the lows and one for the highs. Hooking them up normally, you would install metal "jumpers" connecting both the "+" and the "-". If Bi-wiring, you would remove the jumpers and use a pre-made Bi-wire that has two wires at one end (+ and - to the amp) and four at the other end (+ and - for the highs and + and - for the lows). Or run two separate wires. If Bi-amping, you need two amp channels for each speaker...one channel drives the low speaker and one channel drives the high speaker. You only have a two channel amp, so you can't go forward with your plan. I would make absolutely sure that the speakers are capable of Bi-amping before making any connections. Make and model of the speakers is needed for more help.

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post #3 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 04:50 AM
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Post a pic of the back of one of the speakers. It's possible that they're just regular speakers (with built-in crossovers) that have two sets of binding posts per speaker. If that's the case, and if there are already jumpers in place between the upper and lower sets of binding posts, you can connect your amp to either set of posts. If there are no jumpers in place, you can make your own jumpers using short lengths of speaker wire.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Post a pic of the back of one of the speakers. It's possible that they're just regular speakers (with built-in crossovers) that have two sets of binding posts per speaker. If that's the case, and if there are already jumpers in place between the upper and lower sets of binding posts, you can connect your amp to either set of posts. If there are no jumpers in place, you can make your own jumpers using short lengths of speaker wire.
+1. Bi-amped speakers have no crossovers and must be driven by a dual amp rig that has an electronic crossover. Bi-wiring is a marketing gimmick that doesn't do anything.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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It's the Panasonic SB-PM31. They came with a full stereo system but I don't want the receiver. It's huge and the screen is too dim.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 11:06 AM
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Page 4 of the owner's manual (PDF) does make it seem as though the speakers have no internal crossover / are meant to be bi-amped.

It seems, therefore, that if you intend to connect them to your new amp, you'll need either:
- to replace your amp with an amp that has a built-in crossover and two sets of speaker-level outputs (above and below the crossover) per channel; or
- to purchase a second amp plus a passive "crossover module", so you can feel your source in that module and send the output to the two amps, which can then power the four speaker drivers.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for all the info. Like I said, I am new to audio, so would you recommend I keep the amp and look for new speakers or keep the speakers and look for a new amp?
Or maybe just get a whole new system?
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 11:47 AM
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Since you already have a new amp, I'd start with a new pair of speakers. Then, if you find that the amp isn't cutting it - not enough power, not enough inputs or other features - I'd replace the amp.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. So if I'm looking at bookshelf speakers on ebay, will most of them have the problematic wiring configuration that I have now? Or do most just have one channel? Apologies if I am using incorrect terminology.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 12:01 PM
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Most speakers have built-in crossovers, which means you feed a full-range signal to each speaker - i.e., your run a pair of wires from the L channel on the amp to the left speaker, and a pair of wires from the R channel on the amp to the right speaker - and the crossover in each speaker takes care of sending the higher frequencies to the tweeter and the lower frequencies to the woofer.

So, in short, no, you won't have the same issue as you do with your current speakers.

Your budget will determine what speakers you buy, but:
- if you buy cheap, you will likely want to upgrade before too long, so don't hesitate to invest in better main (L+R) speakers;
- if you buy bookshelf speakers, you will almost certainly require a subwoofer to handle the lower frequencies.
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