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post #91 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:03 PM
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Ollie, from a certain point of view one could say they doubled their amp power when using two seperate amps to passively bi-amp. After all one would have gone from a single 100 watt per channel amp on their shelf to having two 100 watt per channel amps sitting on the shelf....looking at it this way you have doubled your amp power. Now being able to comprehend how passive bi-amping works, you can see how I pointed out in my above post that the speakers wont see or know about all the available power reserves. They will just see the same 100 watts no matter how you hooked the amps up. It comes down to semantics and understanding of bi-amping with regards to the amp, speaker and crossover relationship.

Keeping with our two seperate 100 watt per channel amps example, if one truely desired more power it would probably be more benificial to bridge the amp rather then bi-amp them (assuming they can be bridged) and connecting one amp to each stereo channel monoblock style.

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post #92 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

Can you explain what exactly the benefits would be to using an active crossover.

The advantages of active speakers: instead of a passive crossover soaking up power and introducing phase changes across the frequency spectrum, separate amps with custom designed response curves that power the separate drivers. Powered speakers can sound amazing but the problem is that this control requires a lot of engineering expertise to pull off.

 

Also, because the designer knows exactly which amp will be used with which driver, he can match them perfectly and 'push' them to the full extent of their performance capabilities, which isn’t wise where the designer has no idea which amps will be used with his speakers. On re-reading your post, I think that is actually what you meant by 'custom-designed response curves' :)

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post #93 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 67jason 
They will just see the same 100 watts no matter how you hooked the amps up. It comes down to semantics and understanding of bi-amping with regards to the amp, speaker and crossover relationship.

So the amps will push out double the power but the speaker won't notice double the power because ...? Of the crossover network?

But then why didn't the author just say that? Sounds misleading if you read the article.
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post #94 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You are clearly describing active biamping, and that is a good thing, but apparently by not saying "active crossover" every second word, you confused poor Ollie!

That equally applies to passive bi-amping as well.
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post #95 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

For example, I use my HT for movies only, so the loudest I ever want the system to play is 105dB on peaks (115dB LFE peaks).

On your music system, how much headroom have you calculated for?
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post #96 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

So the amps will push out double the power but the speaker won't notice double the power because ...? Of the crossover network?

But then why didn't the author just say that? Sounds misleading if you read the article.

Ollie,

My understanding is that the hi/mid and low drivers will each get the available 100 watts. So the woofer will never get more overhead than the 100 watt amp provides. However, the hi/mids might benefit by having their own 100watts without the bulk of the demand from the lows eating up available power (if there is that much demand to begin with).

So their might be a bit of benefit from passive bi-amping with two 100watt amps if some clipping occurs with a single 100watt amp powering both highs and lows. I understand that you are looking at this theoretically as, in practice, it doesn't make a lot of sense to go this way unless you already have the extra amps. If starting from scratch, buying a more powerful single amp, say 200wpc, would provide more benefit as the lows would have access to more than 100watts, if needed.

This help any? @experts: Do I have this correct?

Edit:
I just recalled some experience with this a couple of years ago. I used to have an Onkyo 5008 AVR rated at 140wpc. It had something like seven amps in it and I only needed five (for my 5.2 channel system at the time). I wasn't happy with the sound. The Onkyo could be configured to use four of its amps for bi-amping the front channels. I tried this. Thought maybe it helped a little, but not enough to be sure. It also allowed for bridging two pairs of amps. I tried this and was confident I got a less irritating, smoother sound. No DBT, but went back and forth from standard config to bridging and liked what I heard.

This experience is replicating the two 140wpc amps per channel for passive biamping vs. one 280watt (?) amp for each channel scenerio.

Keith, I recall you were in on that discussion way back when, if you recall. Did you try anything like this?

(I now have the 5508 Onkyo pre/pro and external amps instead of the 5008).

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post #97 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:25 PM
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I have a 200-horsepower car in my garage. If I buy another 200-horsepower car, I'll have a total of 400 horsepower available! I'll be able to go faster!
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post #98 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason 
They will just see the same 100 watts no matter how you hooked the amps up. It comes down to semantics and understanding of bi-amping with regards to the amp, speaker and crossover relationship.

So the amps will push out double the power but the speaker won't notice double the power because ...? Of the crossover network?

But then why didn't the author just say that? Sounds misleading if you read the article.
No the amps do not double their power at all just because they are hooked up in a passive bi-amp configuration. Think about it for a second, how is that possible? All it means is that there is a dedicated amp channel to power the tweeters and a dedicated amp channel to power the woofers. Like I pointed out earlier the woofer cannot draw power from the tweeter amp channel in a bi-amp connected setup. While it is true, with our example we have been using that sitting on the shelf is a total of 400 watts among two amps and four total channels, but the drivers will only ever be powered by 100 watts per channel.

I don't know why the author allded to the power doubling in the article. You would have to ask the author regarding his motivations.

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post #99 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I have a 200-horsepower car in my garage. If I buy another 200-horsepower car, I'll have a total of 400 horsepower available! I'll be able to go faster!

Maybe if you link them together with a driver in each car, you will! wink.gif

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post #100 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

So the amps will push out double the power but the speaker won't notice double the power because ...? Of the crossover network?

But then why didn't the author just say that? Sounds misleading if you read the article.

You go from two 100w channels to four 100w channels. There is double the power available in total but each driver can only tap into 100w.

In some setups (no subs, full range speaker, high crossover to the tweeter) the woofer may use up all of that available 100w to it while at the same time the tweeter is only using 1/4 of its available 100w. In such a case it is not the same as having a 200w amp.

In my case with my particular speakers being high pass filtered at 80hz and having a low crossover to the tweeter, I got better utilisation of the available power when adding the second amp.
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post #101 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not trying to be difficult and I've said in the past that I find it difficult to soak up technical concepts. I guess I'm just that kind of person that doesn't "get it".

But I'm starting to understand a bit better now. So now I need reassurance on something. With two stereo amps, the total power doubles but the speaker will not see double the power. That is because of the passive crossover network?

So the maximum power the speaker will see for all intents and purposes is still 2 x 100 watts. I can't believe the crossover could prevent such a loss in power but then I'm not an EE. Can someone please just confirm this for me?

Why does the crossover ignore the other half of power? I'm asking out of ignorance.
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post #102 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

I'm not trying to be difficult and I've said in the past that I find it difficult to soak up technical concepts. I guess I'm just that kind of person that doesn't "get it".

But I'm starting to understand a bit better now. So now I need reassurance on something. With two stereo amps, the total power doubles but the speaker will not see double the power. That is because of the passive crossover network?

So the maximum power the speaker will see for all intents and purposes is still 2 x 100 watts. I can't believe the crossover could prevent such a loss in power but then I'm not an EE. Can someone please just confirm this for me?

Why does the crossover ignore the other half of power? I'm asking out of ignorance.

The speaker will see the 200w, but each driver will only see 100w.

You have two sets of terminals on a speaker. When the shorting connector is removed, you connect one 100w amp to the terminals for the woofer. It sees 100w. You connect the other 100w amp to the terminals for the tweeter/midrange. They see 100w. So, technically, the loudspeaker as a whole sees 200w. But the woofer still only sees 100w, same as when powering the loudspeaker with a single 100w amp. The woofer can't access the other 100w from the second amp because it is not connected to it.

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post #103 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 
Exactly. Whereas a single 200 watt amp, hooked up in a normal (non biamped) way will actually have additional useful power.

Ok, let me see if I get this right. 2 stereo 100 watt amps = 4 x 100 watts.Bi-amped means 100 watts to the woofer and 100 watts to the tweeter. If I had a 1 x 200 watt stereo amp then it would be 200 watts to the tweeter and 200 watts to the woofer? But because of the crossover network the tweeter will never see anything close to 200 watts.

But there would be more power available to the woofer in a non bi-amped set up, if such power was required. Am I getting a little closer?
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post #104 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
 
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

For example, I use my HT for movies only, so the loudest I ever want the system to play is 105dB on peaks (115dB LFE peaks).

On your music system, how much headroom have you calculated for?

 

Oh my music system is ancient. It is stereo only for a start and uses a pure Class A 55 wpc amp that I have had for well over 20 years, along with a couple of equally old, but good, tower speakers. It is also in an untreated (although nicely furnished) room. I guess it is like the proverbial pair of old slippers - I have just become so comfortably used to its sound over the years that I always enjoy using it and have no inclination to change it. It's like an old friend - you accept the faults because the relationship goes deeper. I have never even felt the need to measure the room the music system is in - I probably fear what it will reveal :) I tend to listen mostly to a very specific era of Jazz music, from about 1953 to 1965, with some more modern jazz and jazz fusion material going on from the 60s to the present day. My system, seems to suit that sort of music and it works very well. But I would be the first to admit that it is far from SOTA and could certainly be improved on - it's just that I have no inclination to change it - any more than I am inclined to replace old friends, with all their faults, for new friends that on the surface are perhaps more attractive. So, a long answer to your question, the real answer to which is: IDK how much headroom there is in that system, nor even what SPLs I play it at really. It goes 'loud enough' for a realistic presentation of the kind of music I like, with no evident distortion. And the Class A amps double as room heaters, which is useful in England :)

 

In my HT, I am the exact opposite. Everything has been measured to the nth degree, the gear is all up to date stuff, the room is heavily treated, electronic EQ is judiciously used and I have goals and targets for SPL, decay, ETCs etc etc. 

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post #105 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 
You go from two 100w channels to four 100w channels. There is double the power available in total but each driver can only tap into 100w.

Does it matter how many drivers are available? Whether it is 2-way or 3-way? As an example, I have Paradigm Studio floor standers. I think they are 3-way speakers. But each speaker has like 6 drivers. So in the above configuration, would the lows be 100W distributed towards all bass drivers and 100W distributed to the highs?
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post #106 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pstrisik View Post
 
 
This experience is replicating the two 140wpc amps per channel for passive biamping vs. one 280watt (?) amp for each channel scenerio.

Keith, I recall you were in on that discussion way back when, if you recall. Did you try anything like this?

(I now have the 5508 Onkyo pre/pro and external amps instead of the 5008).

 

I even remember it! :)  I have tried bridging but I didn’t notice any benefit. But this was probably because I had sufficient power anyway, without bridging. In a similar way as to the rest of the back-and-forth discussion in this thread, if you have enough power, you have enough power and adding more won't be useful. Just for giggles, I did passively biamp a pair of 'audiophile' Canadian speakers I had at one stage, as I had the amps going spare in the AVR anyway, and wire doesn't cost much. I didn't notice any audible difference there either (surprise, surprise!). However, what I did notice was that when you biamp the Onkyo (it was the 5007 at that time) it automatically puts it into the 'low current mode' which it also uses if you're silly enough to engage its '4 ohm mode', so effectively you castrate the amp section and turn an AVR that can deliver 140 wpc or something jnto one that delivers about 50. It is interesting that even this castration made no audible difference usually which seems to show that 50 wpc was sufficient for my needs at that time.  I currently have the 5509 and three Emotiva amps.

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post #107 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

With two stereo amps, the total power doubles but the speaker will not see double the power. That is because of the passive crossover network?

No. It's got nothing to do with the passive crossover. It's about the available power to each driver.

Take my speakers for example where their 30" tall ribbons that play down to 1khz and the woofer that has been high pass filtered from 80hz. They are getting closer to drawing about the same amount of power each. It may be a 60/40 split but let's just say for simplicity sake it is a 50/50 split.

With one 80w 2ch amp, each speaker only has one 80w channel to itself. So the tweeter would have 40w available and the woofer 40w available.

When I add the second identical amp, the woofer and tweeter now have 80w each available to it, so that would be doubling of available power.

But that is only if there is a 50/50 split in power demand between the woofer and tweeter. The further you get away from that the less gain there is.
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post #108 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by OllieS View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 
Exactly. Whereas a single 200 watt amp, hooked up in a normal (non biamped) way will actually have additional useful power.

Ok, let me see if I get this right. 2 stereo 100 watt amps = 4 x 100 watts.Bi-amped means 100 watts to the woofer and 100 watts to the tweeter. If I had a 1 x 200 watt stereo amp then it would be 200 watts to the tweeter and 200 watts to the woofer? But because of the crossover network the tweeter will never see anything close to 200 watts.

But there would be more power available to the woofer in a non bi-amped set up, if such power was required. Am I getting a little closer?

 

Pretty much, yes. The tweeter will likely never need more than 20 watts anyway - probably much less. Think how big the driver is in a tweeter! The mid range and/or woofer will need lots more power. If you hook up a single 200 watt amp, then you have at the very least 180 watts available for the mid/woofer. OTOH, if you biamp two 100 watt amps, the mid/woofer cannot possibly ever have more than 100 watts, can it?  And the 100 watt amp connected to the tweeter will never use at least 80 of its watts - ever! Those watts just go to waste. This is one of the reasons 'passive biamping' is pointless. As has been said several times, if you need more power, get a more powerful amp.

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post #109 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

Does it matter how many drivers are available? Whether it is 2-way or 3-way? As an example, I have Paradigm Studio floor standers. I think they are 3-way speakers. But each speaker has like 6 drivers. So in the above configuration, would the lows be 100W distributed towards all bass drivers and 100W distributed to the highs?

Generally with 3-ways that are bi-ampible with two sets of binding posts, one set goes to the lowest bass driver and the other one goes to the midrange and tweeter drivers. It's done that way to try to get closer to a 50/50 split in power demand.

edit.. Actually in a 3-way, the bass driver might be crossed from 250 - 500hz and that is in the region of equal power demand for a full range signal so you probably would get good utilisation of bi-amping.
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post #110 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:29 PM
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With one 80w 2ch amp, each speaker only has one 80w channel to itself. So the tweeter would have 40w available and the woofer 40w available.
I don't think so. Each driver has 80w available. Now, if both drivers suddenly require 80w simultaneously, you might have a problem. But you might not, if (as is likely) it's just an instantaneous peak, and your amp can handle it. (Remember that amps are rated using continuous power.)

Most of the time, both drivers won't require maximum power at the same time, and the driver requiring more oomph will be able to draw it.

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post #111 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:36 PM
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But I would be the first to admit that it is far from SOTA and could certainly be improved on - it's just that I have no inclination to change it

Wow. I find that surprising.

12000 posts in these forums as some kind of resident expert yet it is only really relevant for watching movies and TV. You never listen to music on your HT system..??
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post #112 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 
With one 80w 2ch amp, each speaker only has one 80w channel to itself. So the tweeter would have 40w available and the woofer 40w available.

When I add the second identical amp, the woofer and tweeter now have 80w each available to it, so that would be doubling of available power.

So in my example, that 4 x 100W amp is 100W per driver. But a single 100W amp non bi-amped would be 50W per driver?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 
Whereas a single 200 watt amp, hooked up in a normal (non biamped) way will actually have additional useful power.

Okay, but why would there be more power non bi-amped? I don't understand that. If you bi-amp using 2 x 100 stereo watt amps, then why would a single 200w amp non bi-amped offer more power. Wouldn't the 200W amp still only be delivering 100W per driver?
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post #113 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:39 PM
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I don't think so. Each driver has 80w available. Now, if both drivers suddenly require 80w simultaneously, you might have a problem. But you might not, if (as is likely) it's just an instantaneous peak, and your amp can handle it. (Remember that amps are rated using continuous power.)

Most of the time, both drivers won't require maximum power at the same time, and the driver requiring more oomph will be able to draw it.

So the woofer and tweeter won't require power at the same time even though they are both playing the same signal...??? rolleyes.gif

Oh boy...
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post #114 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:41 PM
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Wow. I find that surprising.

12000 posts in these forums as some kind of resident expert yet it is only really relevant for watching movies and TV. You never listen to music on your HT system..??
Given what you've admitted about your own system in this thread, I would not go throwing stones.

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post #115 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:42 PM
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So the woofer and tweeter won't require power at the same time even though they are both playing the same signal...???
They aren't playing the same signal. That's what the crossover's for.

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post #116 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

So in my example, that 4 x 100W amp is 100W per driver. But a single 100W amp non bi-amped would be 50W per driver?

Only if the woofer and tweeter draw the same amount of power. That doesn't happen on most systems. It could be that the woofer draws 75 - 80% of power.


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Okay, but why would there be more power non bi-amped? I don't understand that. If you bi-amp using 2 x 100 stereo watt amps, then why would a single 200w amp non bi-amped offer more power. Wouldn't the 200W amp still only be delivering 100W per driver?

Because usually one driver requires a lot more power than the other driver.
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post #117 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 
Because usually one driver requires a lot more power than the other driver.

So bi-amping passively forces each driver to "see" a given amount of power. Whereas non bi-amped, there is the same amount of available power but more power from that same pool can be allocated to the woofer, as the low frequencies require more power compared to the high frequencies, so there is more headroom available non bi-amped?

Is that sort of correcf?
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post #118 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 01:58 PM
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Case in point:

My triamped system has:

350W per channel for subs crossed at 80hz, 70w per channel for mids, and 10w per channel for highs crossed at 1khz

And it doesn't clip even at 85db.

You do not need equal power at the drivers, in fact quite the contrary.

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post #119 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

So bi-amping passively forces each driver to "see" a given amount of power. Whereas non bi-amped, there is the same amount of available power but more power from that same pool can be allocated to the woofer, as the low frequencies require more power compared to the high frequencies, so there is more headroom available non bi-amped?

Is that sort of correcf?

A speaker is a linear electric motor. Now how much do you need to move the cone for 40hz, and how big does that moving cone need to be?

Now the same question for 12khz?

It simply takes far less electrical (or rather mechanical) power to produce high frequencies at the same SPL as lows.

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post #120 of 1044 Old 09-29-2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

So bi-amping passively forces each driver to "see" a given amount of power. Whereas non bi-amped, there is the same amount of available power but more power from that same pool can be allocated to the woofer, as the low frequencies require more power compared to the high frequencies, so there is more headroom available non bi-amped?

Is that sort of correcf?

Yes.

What particular model Paradigms do you have? Do you employ bass management to subs?
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