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Bi-Amping... Placebo or Real

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Preface:
After searching this forum and others I have not found a simple answer.
Bi-wiring, we all agree, is bogus.
You need to use a crossover for effective results.


Scenario:
I have an Onkyo TX-SR607 receiver and Yamaha NS-777 towers. The amp can 'bi-amp' the front L+R speakers. If I wire everything correctly AND calibrate using AUDYSSEY (crossover.) Will there be a difference in sound quality?

I have read pages and pages of discussion on this topic; with people endlessly arguing if it makes a difference. I know everyone's ears are different and the old mantra 'if you CAN hear a difference than there is one', but there have to be some FACTS.


In my situation, will it sound better?


Thanks in Advance,
Russ K.
Indianapolis, IN
post #2 of 32
Quote:


In my situation, will it sound better?

Not as you describe it.
post #3 of 32
If you have the extra channels in your receiver and they're not being used I'd say give it a try. All it will cost you is the price of extra speaker wire.

I doubt passive bi-amping will gain you much unless you have difficult speakers to drive and listen at very high levels. Even then the passive part makes the advantage arguable.

In other words I wouldn't go out of my way to make it happen in your situation but for the cost of some cheap speaker wire you might as well try it.
post #4 of 32
OMFG not again.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by kouack View Post

Warning to prevent risk of injuries, you should always be smarter then the equipment you are about to use.

Ummm, it's 'THAN', dude, not "then".
post #6 of 32
my french side will fix it thanx hee hee
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by kouack View Post

my french side will fix it thanx hee hee

Sorry.
post #8 of 32
This is a simple question. I am not familiar with your towers. I suggest you check their specifications. What is their sensitivity and what are their power requirements? If at their peak they are using more power than 607's modest per channel output, then it means you are clipping the peaks. You want to avoid clipping whenever possible.

If I were in your shoes and had the luxury of extra channels, I would go ahead and bi-amp. I can't see how it can hurt, but it may (or may not) help.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElevatorHappyFun View Post

Preface:
After searching this forum and others I have not found a simple answer.
Bi-wiring, we all agree, is bogus.
You need to use a crossover for effective results.

Just my $0.02 worth. Bi-wiring is like assuming that the cable is a resister (which it is). The second cable (has the same resistance) will half the total resistance of the pair. Is there a decernable difference to a single cable? It depends on the system.

Bi-Amping on the other hand has some real benifits, however you do need active crossovers to limit the bands (Sub/bBass/Mids/High) to send to the amplifiers that power the individual speaker drivers. Running full range signal to a speaker and then relying on its built in passive filter componets works, but you waste power and the system will never be as dynamic as separte powered bands.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

Running full range signal to a speaker and then relying on its built in passive filter componets works, but you waste power and the system will never be as dynamic as separte powered bands.

Somewhat true. But remember that the signals above or below the X-over cutoff frequency will be of such high impedence to not draw any significant amount of power.

IOWs the signals above a low pass filter don't draw much power and those below a high pass filter don't draw much power.

Even then, there is not really any audible benefit to bi-amping with an AVR's unused channels. I just do it because speaker wire is cheap.
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone.

OK, so I gather that using my Onkyo 607 I should not bother with it.

What if I also have a stereo (2.0 channel) receiver and also use that?
Would it be worth it now?

Again thanks for the replies.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElevatorHappyFun View Post

Thanks for the replies everyone.

OK, so I gather that using my Onkyo 607 I should not bother with it.

What if I also have a stereo (2.0 channel) receiver and also use that?
Would it be worth it now?

Again thanks for the replies.

I thought the consensus was you had nothing to lose by trying it
post #13 of 32
Real bi-amping, with a real quality external crossover I find to be superior. The big advantage is allowing the amp to work as a real constant current source. Steeper crossovers may be an advantage. I really wish modern AVR's had pre-out, main -in for ALL of the amps. I have a 7 channel Denon that I wish I could split it up and use the extra amps to bi-amp. But alas, they don't let us be this clever.

Now, a few speaker builders have a reputation for such quality passive covers that my view would not hold. Vandersteen comes to mind.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

Real bi-amping, with a real quality external crossover I find to be superior. The big advantage is allowing the amp to work as a real constant current source. Steeper crossovers may be an advantage. I really wish modern AVR's had pre-out, main -in for ALL of the amps. I have a 7 channel Denon that I wish I could split it up and use the extra amps to bi-amp. But alas, they don't let us be this clever.

Now, a few speaker builders have a reputation for such quality passive covers that my view would not hold. Vandersteen comes to mind.

The problem with using an external crossover and bypassing the speaker maker's crossover is that the internal crossover provides more than just frequency filtering. They provide impedence matching and voicing (EQ)functions. Probably more than that too, I don't know.....I don't design speakers. lol
post #15 of 32
Quote:


I thought the consensus was you had nothing to lose by trying it

No, I think the consensus is that it's useless AND you have nothing to lose by trying it.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

No, I think the consensus is that it's useless AND you have nothing to lose by trying it.

it can be useful under specific circumstances (a.k.a. when you don't supply enough power to your speakers). That said, I don't know his speakers well. If they are relatively less demanding speakers, that would make your conclusion right. That was why I recommended to look up their specifications in my earlier post.
post #17 of 32
Quote:


it can be useful under specific circumstances (a.k.a. when you don't supply enough power to your speakers).

Oh, come on. We're talking about a single AVR here. If it's not supplying enough power through 2 wires, do you really think it's going to supply enough through 4? All the channels are working off the same power supply.
post #18 of 32
forgive me -but its time some of you did some research/real world tests before you draw conclusions- ill start you off.

http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

The problem with using an external crossover and bypassing the speaker maker's crossover is that the internal crossover provides more than just frequency filtering. They provide impedence matching and voicing (EQ)functions. Probably more than that too, I don't know.....I don't design speakers. lol


the situation described is a 'active' crossover not bi-amping- in design it is superior for several reasons- in reality, often it doesnt meet expectations because of the quality of active xo's available for anything like reasonable money.

- a digital xo is the future, i have no doubt about it.- just gotta get behringer to do maximum 'quality' instead of maximum features, (-and stop using other companys patented designs)

they can be modded -sure, but you cant get the jitter down to a reasonable level.

bi-amping is the best option till then imho.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Somewhat true. But remember that the signals above or below the X-over cutoff frequency will be of such high impedence to not draw any significant amount of power.

IOWs the signals above a low pass filter don't draw much power and those below a high pass filter don't draw much power.

Even then, there is not really any audible benefit to bi-amping with an AVR's unused channels. I just do it because speaker wire is cheap.

What I meant was that power amps driving the speakers are still being fed a full range singal so amplify that regardless if it being used or not by the speaker. The best example is actually passive sub Vs an active sub which is why virtually all subs these days are active and why all AVRs have an electronic sub filer - AKA Bass management.

Bi-amped system using passive filters.
LPF Amp: 20Hz - 20KHz. Speaker: 20Hz - 80Hz
HPF Amp: 20Hz - 20KHz. Speaker: 80Hz - 20KHz
(This system just does not play loud).

Bi-amped system using active filters.
LPF Amp: 20Hz - 80Hz. Speaker: 20Hz - 80Hz
HPF Amp: 80Hz - 20KHz. Speaker 80Hz - 20KHz.
(This system produces bass you can feel).
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

What I meant was that power amps driving the speakers are still being fed a full range singal so amplify that regardless if it being used or not by the speaker. The best example is actually passive sub Vs an active sub which is why virtually all subs these days are active and why all AVRs have an electronic sub filer - AKA Bass management.

Bi-amped system using passive filters.
LPF Amp: 20Hz - 20KHz. Speaker: 20Hz - 80Hz
HPF Amp: 20Hz - 20KHz. Speaker: 80Hz - 20KHz
(This system just does not play loud).

Bi-amped system using active filters.
LPF Amp: 20Hz - 80Hz. Speaker: 20Hz - 80Hz
HPF Amp: 80Hz - 20KHz. Speaker 80Hz - 20KHz.
(This system produces bass you can feel).

I know what you meant. Thats why I refuted it. In reality the entire signal is not being amplified, at least not as much. Like I said before the signals above a low pass filter and the signals below a high pass filter are of such high impedence that they essentially draw so little power as to not really be amplified. Yes they are fed to the amplifier and yes there is some amplification, but if you know a little about impedence curves and how this effects speakers you'll understand. Remember that a speaker doesn't act like a resitor, the impedence varies with frequency.

Its not that the speaker isn't using it like you said, its that the speaker isn't drawing power at those frequencies.

Here is what Anthem has to say about it. http://statement.anthemav.com/HTML/T...Support.html#5
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

What I meant was that power amps driving the speakers are still being fed a full range singal so amplify that regardless if it being used or not by the speaker. The best example is actually passive sub Vs an active sub which is why virtually all subs these days are active and why all AVRs have an electronic sub filer - AKA Bass management.

Bi-amped system using passive filters.
LPF Amp: 20Hz - 20KHz. Speaker: 20Hz - 80Hz
HPF Amp: 20Hz - 20KHz. Speaker: 80Hz - 20KHz
(This system just does not play loud).

Bi-amped system using active filters.
LPF Amp: 20Hz - 80Hz. Speaker: 20Hz - 80Hz
HPF Amp: 80Hz - 20KHz. Speaker 80Hz - 20KHz.
(This system produces bass you can feel).

This discussion really has nothing to do with LFE content so all things 80Hz and under go through the Sub Out and obviously subs have their own amps.

Th discussion should really focus on 80hz to 20KHz and if giving the woofer and tweeter separate power improves SQ. I would say it does not improve SQ if the correct amplification is used in the first place.

If someone is using inadequate power amps then maybe but why not have better amps instead?

In the end the only time anyone should have an amp per driver is when they are using an active crossover setup. All other times people should buy the proper amplification and stop wasting time on this silly bi-amping or silly-bi wiring topics.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbaccoustics View Post

the situation described is a 'active' crossover not bi-amping- in design it is superior for several reasons- in reality, often it doesnt meet expectations because of the quality of active xo's available for anything like reasonable money.

- a digital xo is the future, i have no doubt about it.- just gotta get behringer to do maximum 'quality' instead of maximum features, (-and stop using other companys patented designs)

they can be modded -sure, but you cant get the jitter down to a reasonable level.

bi-amping is the best option till then imho.

Not sure you understand what you're talking about here.

If you use an external, active crossover you are indeed bi-amping or tri-amping or whatever. There are at least 3 kinds of bi-amping: active with external, electronic crossovers; passive using external, passive crossovers and passive using the speaker's internal crossovers with the straps removed from the terminals.

The only way to use an electronic crossover without bi-amping would be to use one with speaker level inputs. I'm not aware of anything like that, but I have also never looked for one.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

This discussion really has nothing to do with LFE content so all things 80Hz and under go through the Sub Out and obviously subs have their own amps.

Th discussion should really focus on 80hz to 20KHz and if giving the woofer and tweeter separate power improves SQ. I would say it does not improve SQ if the correct amplification is used in the first place.

If someone is using inadequate power amps then maybe but why not have better amps instead?

In the end the only time anyone should have an amp per driver is when they are using an active crossover setup. All other times people should buy the proper amplification and stop wasting time on this silly bi-amping or silly-bi wiring topics.

I agree that using a better amp is the first place will yield supperior results. But this discussion was about using an AVR's unused channels.

The only time someone should use external crossovers is when they also incorporate EQ somehow. Either within the crossover or in another component. EQ is a very important part of internal crossovers. Or when the speaker is specifically designed to be used that way.

Also lets not confuse bi-wiring which really is a waste, with bi-amping whether passive or active.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

This discussion really has nothing to do with LFE content so all things 80Hz and under go through the Sub Out and obviously subs have their own amps.

Th discussion should really focus on 80hz to 20KHz and if giving the woofer and tweeter separate power improves SQ. I would say it does not improve SQ if the correct amplification is used in the first place.

If someone is using inadequate power amps then maybe but why not have better amps instead?

In the end the only time anyone should have an amp per driver is when they are using an active crossover setup. All other times people should buy the proper amplification and stop wasting time on this silly bi-amping or silly-bi wiring topics.

Your point is well-taken, but in this specific case OP already has a receiver and speakers. Thus, buying better amps is not a possibility. The question we are trying to answer is whether bi-amping will help to his current speakers since he has 2 unused channels in Onkyo.

Edit: Just saw Easyaspie's response. Sorry for the repeat
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Oh, come on. We're talking about a single AVR here. If it's not supplying enough power through 2 wires, do you really think it's going to supply enough through 4? All the channels are working off the same power supply.

What if he had 7 speakers then? In that case Onkyo would supply less power than what was advertised if we go by your argument, correct?
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

What if he had 7 speakers then? In that case Onkyo would supply less power than what was advertised if we go by your argument, correct?

Actually it would. The rated power is with 2 channels driven. Driving more speakers does decrease the power available for all speakers individually. But, not all channels are asked to deliver max power simultaneously, so it's not really a concern.
post #28 of 32
Quote:


Actually it would. The rated power is with 2 channels driven.

Or maybe only one! AVR manufacturers are getting away with murder on their spec sheets these days.

Quote:


Driving more speakers does decrease the power available for all speakers individually. But, not all channels are asked to deliver max power simultaneously, so it's not really a concern.

Same thing in this case, as the mid/woofers are pulling the bulk of the power already. I would think the additional power available to them via "biamping" would be marginal at best.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Or maybe only one! AVR manufacturers are getting away with murder on their spec sheets these days.


Same thing in this case, as the mid/woofers are pulling the bulk of the power already. I would think the additional power available to them via "biamping" would be marginal at best.

Thing is, they're not lying.....just getting creative witht the writing.

I have a theory about that 2nd part. First off I don't know the anatomy of an AVR or amp. But my theory is that driving the separate parts of a loudspeaker with different AVR channels is that even though one channel could possibly be clipping, most likely one of the mid/woofer channels, the high section channel wouldn't in all probability be clipping as well. I know that all channels are fed by one power supply and like I said I don't know the anatomy of an AVR, but is that a possibility? Just because one channel clips does that mean the others suffer as well?

I know clipping is a result of taxing the power supply too much, but are there additional caps in there to still get adequate current to the other channels?
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Thing is, they're not lying.....just getting creative witht the writing.

I have a theory about that 2nd part. First off I don't know the anatomy of an AVR or amp. But my theory is that driving the separate parts of a loudspeaker with different AVR channels is that even though one channel could possibly be clipping, most likely one of the mid/woofer channels, the high section channel wouldn't in all probability be clipping as well. I know that all channels are fed by one power supply and like I said I don't know the anatomy of an AVR, but is that a possibility? Just because one channel clips does that mean the others suffer as well?

I know clipping is a result of taxing the power supply too much, but are there additional caps in there to still get adequate current to the other channels?

Doesn't that bring us back to the same old mono-block vs. multi-channel discussion?
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