Will my power double using 5-channel amp for biamping LR?? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Will my power double using 5-channel amp for biamping LR??

Hi

I tried looking for an answer for all the forum including from the manufacturer but no luck. I have 5 channel Amplifier Anthem A5. Can i use this to bi amp and run my LR and leave one channel blank? The Amp says 180 driving all channels and one channel 225. If i use main and surround for left and right to do the biamp, will the speakers get double the power of 360 instead of 180 watts?
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post #2 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 08:18 AM
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Yes, but do realize that doubling your power gives you a measly +3dB increase.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Russ for the reply. Is there any better option because the 2 channel was providing the same power and I thought 5 would be a better upgrade?
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post #4 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Yes, but do realize that doubling your power gives you a measly +3dB increase.
And even that is unlikely since the power-handling of the HF driver(s) will effectively limit the power input to the LF driver(s).

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post #5 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
Thanks Russ for the reply. Is there any better option because the 2 channel was providing the same power and I thought 5 would be a better upgrade?

Shoving more watts into a speaker isn’t a way to improve the sound unless you are already using all 180 watts (very doubtful).

An upgrade would perhaps be selling that amp and your speakers and then buying better speakers. Not saying you have to, but that is a way to go about this.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #6 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
Hi

I tried looking for an answer for all the forum including from the manufacturer but no luck. I have 5 channel Amplifier Anthem A5. Can i use this to bi amp and run my LR and leave one channel blank? The Amp says 180 driving all channels and one channel 225. If i use main and surround for left and right to do the biamp, will the speakers get double the power of 360 instead of 180 watts?
That A5 is a very good $5000 amplifier that can pump out 180w/channel all channels driven. You'd likely blow out your drivers before reaching the amps limits. An amp that put out 180w/channel will get extremely loud with room to spare so I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve.

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post #7 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
Hi

I tried looking for an answer for all the forum including from the manufacturer but no luck. I have 5 channel Amplifier Anthem A5. Can i use this to bi amp and run my LR and leave one channel blank? The Amp says 180 driving all channels and one channel 225. If i use main and surround for left and right to do the biamp, will the speakers get double the power of 360 instead of 180 watts?
Yes it'll work... give it a go and let us know what your thoughts are..

Just make sure to remove the jumps on you speaker terminals b4 you hook it up.

What speakers do you have?

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post #8 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 12:38 PM
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Due to the way passive crossovers work, no you wont double your wattage.
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post #9 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
Hi

I tried looking for an answer for all the forum including from the manufacturer but no luck. I have 5 channel Amplifier Anthem A5. Can i use this to bi amp and run my LR and leave one channel blank? The Amp says 180 driving all channels and one channel 225. If i use main and surround for left and right to do the biamp, will the speakers get double the power of 360 instead of 180 watts?
With music or typical signals--no.

If you installed a microphone in your system, passively bi-amped it and ran some high level feedback through it---yes, you just blew your tweeter up--congrats!

Passive bi-amping really does not do anything--because it can't--that passive crossover does not allow you to change anything but the gain.

The REAL answer is "active bi-amping" This is going to take some work--a lot of work and knowledge if you don't want to blow up anything--you have been warned!

To actively bi-amp, first you remove the passive crossover and throw it on the bench. Then directly wire the drivers to the input terminals--be a good idea to put a capacitor inline to protect the tweeter from turn on thumps from amplifiers to prevent blowing them out.

Next step, get an active crossover box--two channels for the two speakers. Set the crossover at the stock points with the stock filters as a start. Connect the amplifier channels directly to the drivers--make sure the crossover is turned on first (of course) then turn on the amp channels. Once you verify again that the crossover settings have not been changed, feed it a signal. You now have actively bi-amped your speakers and probably voided all the warranties but such is life.

If you want to "improve" your speakers and make them "better" than the stock crossover points, you can start with using steeper crossover filters--that can help protect the drivers or why active processing is used with pro sound speakers. If you can, look up your specific drivers and get the "white papers" or the tech specs on the drivers--very common in pro sound. They might state the mid is good for say 100 watts when crossed over at 500 watts at 12dB per octave filter but can handle 200 watts when crossed over at 800 Hz at 24dB per octave filter. Adjust the crossover to those settings and now you gained 3dB more output! This does not mean it will sound good but if the degredation of sound quality does not bother you, enjoy your increased SPL.

You can also put limiters on the amplifier channels, say the woofer handles 500 watts and the tweeter (compression driver) handles 50 watts. Now you can put limiters of 500 for the woofer and 50 watts for the tweeter to protect your speakers. You can play with the gain controls on the amplifiers to get the balance right, good to run a quick sweep when setting gains for best results--check it with a meter. Dumping the passive crossover also is more efficient, you don't waste power heating up the "L-pad" or power resistors which saves on electrical draw and heat generation (another of the reasons it is used in pro sound)

So if you get all the required knowledge to safely do active crossovers/amps correctly so you don't blow up the speakers--well worth the hassle.

Now if you think a passively "bi-amped" speaker gains anything--it can--if you want to boost the treble or the woofer range past the stock settings--that is up to you. However, if you think you gain real, actual power or anything in real world use--you won't. Well, unless you want to make the tweeter louder, softer or whatever. In reality, you are just wasting electricity, stringing extra wire around and an attempt to gain something that is reserved for ACTIVE bi-amping--you won't get it.

I had a pair of 3-way pro sound PA speakers back in the day. On the back there was a switch for bi-amping. It would disconnect the passive crossover from the woofer completely and the high pass filter from the midranges. This allowed me to set whatever I wanted for the woofer to mid crossover point, allowed to change the levels of them and I ran a 750 watt amp to the woofers and limited the mid/high amp to 250 watts from the other amp. I went with a steeper filter at the crossover point and if I needed max power, I would move the point from 500 hz to 800 Hz and push the limiter higher. That was off the manufacturers information on those mids. The tweeter was protected by the passive crossover between the mid and tweeter with overload protection. My big gain was from the woofers--I could run much higher power to them. Not a good idea to have a 750 watt amp hooked up full range when they can be exposed to feedback at 750 watts per channel! Those frequencies will blow up the mids (don't ask me how I know!)

What the speakers did not do was allow "passive bi-amping" or using the stock passive crossover with two amps. It had connections on the back specifically for active biamping and the switch had to me moved to that position for them to work. I would of blown the mids quickly if I didn't have an electronic crossover doing the filtering--read the manual! There was no option for passive bi-amping for good reason, it would not do anything in reality. I've never heard of a pro sound speaker that could be passively bi-amped--although it is easy to do that--just never heard of one. Your choices are full range or active bi-amping with switches, different connectors and the warning to read the book! Probably why they call it "professional sound" so aim away from face and do at your own risk.

In summation, passive bi-amping really does not do anything of value past adusting the levels of the drivers with amp gain. If you are happy with the balance, then passive bi-amping is a waste of electricity and wire--don't waste money on it. Now if you want to actively bi-amp your speakers, now you need the manufacturer specs on the drivers, need to fully understand crossover filters, know what range you can change the frequencies or filters and ways to protect the unprotected drivers from amp thump and other things. Is the juice worth the squeeze? That is up to you, generally speaking for consumer sound if there are no provisions for active crossovers stock--probably be a good idea to avoid that. You can always contact the manufacturer for information to properly actively bi-amp your speakers--they might tell you---or not. Generally speaking, doing that will voic your warranty and they don't want to be on the hook for sending you new drivers--so don't get annoyed if they pass on your request.

For more information, there are books and web sites that will give you more information how speakers work, how to configure them certain ways and what works--and what does not. Very interesting if you ever want to step over to the dark side of active speakers, just be aware that things can go badly if you do it wrong. Good luck and enjoy your system.
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post #10 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 02:15 PM
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I have a set of Klipsch KLF-20's that I run a Carver tfm 35 to the tweets and mids and a Caver tfm 55 to the two 10's.... this setup kix butt... heck of a lot better the just the tfm 55 running the complete speakers. Its even better the the tfm75 doing all the work ...
Go figure

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post #11 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by WOKNROX View Post
I have a set of Klipsch KLF-20's that I run a Carver tfm 35 to the tweets and mids and a Caver tfm 55 to the two 10's.... this setup kix butt... heck of a lot better the just the tfm 55 running the complete speakers. Its even better the the tfm75 doing all the work ...

Go figure


Some speakers just seem to like (passive) bi-amping. My old Infinity Kappa 80 speakers really did.


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post #12 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 03:47 PM
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Will my power double using 5-channel amp for biamping LR??

No.

If you have a 100 W amplifier the most any driver can see is 100 W.

If you split into two frequency bands, say treble and bass, and bi-amp with two 100 W amps, the most any driver can see is still 100 W. Neither the bass nor the treble are "seeing" a 200 W amplifier anywhere.

For passive bi-amping by an AVR the same signal is sent to both amps, so they both have the same voltage swing, so you do not gain any voltage headroom. You do gain current headroom, but in practice there is no power increase.

If you need 200 W, you need to buy a 200 W amplifier. Or two.

And as stated above, doubling the power is only 3 dB, is just audible, and only at the very highest output level. Doubling the perceived loudness (in the midrange) is 10 dB and takes 10x the power. Assuming your speakers can take that much.

FWIWFM - Don
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post #13 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 05:34 PM
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Well one thing to think about here.. not sure what speakers you have but it applies to most all speakers though. Yes the answers you are being given are both right and wrong.
Yes your speakers won't see double the power but... you will be giving individual amplification to the top end and to the lower end of your speakers. Most speakers have different ohm loads/swings making them easier or harder to drive the mids and tweeter/s versus the bottom end woofers.
Having these loads divided separately between two separate amplifiers can make a huge difference and will keep the demands of one part of your speakers from impacting the other.
Kinda like having two guys picking up a heavy object instead of only one.

Just another way to look at this.
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post #14 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by WOKNROX View Post
Well one thing to think about here.. not sure what speakers you have but it applies to most all speakers though. Yes the answers you are being given are both right and wrong.
Yes your speakers won't see double the power but... you will be giving individual amplification to the top end and to the lower end of your speakers. Most speakers have different ohm loads/swings making them easier or harder to drive the mids and tweeter/s versus the bottom end woofers.
Having these loads divided separately between two separate amplifiers can make a huge difference and will keep the demands of one part of your speakers from impacting the other.
Kinda like having two guys picking up a heavy object instead of only one.

Just another way to look at this.
The problem is that passive bi-amping by an AVR does not really split the load. A true active system will. A "passive" bi-amp system by an AVR does not gain any voltage headroom; both amps will clip at essentially the same time.
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post #15 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 07:12 PM
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The problem is that passive bi-amping by an AVR does not really split the load. A true active system will. A "passive" bi-amp system by an AVR does not gain any voltage headroom; both amps will clip at essentially the same time.
No the problem is ...is that he's not using the amplification of an AVR.

He has an external multi channel amplifier...and a good one at that.

Have you ever done this or are you just repeating what you've read on the net...?

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post #16 of 42 Old 08-26-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by WOKNROX View Post
No the problem is ...is that he's not using the amplification of an AVR.

He has an external multi channel amplifier...and a good one at that.

Have you ever done this or are you just repeating what you've read on the net...?

Hmmm... In that case you are right. Too quick a read and I do not know what an Anthem A5 is; I mistakenly assumed it was an AVR (too many folk use "amplifier" generically whether it is an AVR, stereo receiver, integrated amp, etc.)

So in that case it is up to what the preamp/processor does. If it includes a crossover, or he adds an external crossover, that actively splits the signal bands then as you said he still will not double the power unless he doubles the individual amplifiers' powers. But, as you said he will gain headroom to each set of drivers, and he will gain the isolation as you described it. Sorry I misunderstood! For active bi-amping, the woofer to mid/treble crossover is often low enough that power splitting is not too far off a 50-50 split, so there is an advantage although it is more typical to size the amplifiers for the load (bigger bass, smaller treble).

I have worked with pro and consumer sound systems since the early 1970's or so, as a soundman, tech, installer, etc. so yes I have done it, many times. My day job involves electronics (analog IC design EE) though not audio (much higher in frequency), so I do understand the theory and practice. Although, to me "passive" bi-amping until recently meant a passive RC or RLC line-level crossover instead of an active op-amp design, and not the new-fangled AVR way of doing things...

My problem is not lack of experience or knowledge, it is reading comprehension.
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We still dont even know what speakers he has or anything about the rest of his system for that matter.

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post #18 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. I am still trying to digest some information before I do any biamp and blow my speakers which I dont want to :-)

I have Martin Logan Vista which has the following:
Impedance "4 Ohms, 1.2 at 20kHz Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.
Nominal: 4 ohms
Minimum: 1.2 ohms @ 20 kHz "
Recommended Amplifier Power 20—400 watts per channel
Crossover Frequency 450 Hz
Sensitivity 90 dB/2.83 volts/meter

i had tried using Anthem MCA 225, Parasound A23 and my receiver MRX 520 but could not get the right sound from these speakers that I was hoping for. So I thought if I was able to bi-amp, it could use the right amps and bring out the sound that these speakers are capable of producing.

So I am going to try without any bi-amp and see the results.

Also if I just use 2 instead of all 5 channels, does it still produce 180 watts or have changes calculation accordingly?
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post #19 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 08:27 AM
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Due to those speakers being di poles, placement will make the biggest difference. Ask in the ML thread how to set them up perfectly. There are some that have dedicated months (years even) to getting the absolute perfect position.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #20 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I am still trying to digest some information before I do any biamp and blow my speakers which I dont want to :-)

I have Martin Logan Vista which has the following:
Impedance "4 Ohms, 1.2 at 20kHz Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.
Nominal: 4 ohms
Minimum: 1.2 ohms @ 20 kHz "
Recommended Amplifier Power 20—400 watts per channel
Crossover Frequency 450 Hz
Sensitivity 90 dB/2.83 volts/meter

i had tried using Anthem MCA 225, Parasound A23 and my receiver MRX 520 but could not get the right sound from these speakers that I was hoping for. So I thought if I was able to bi-amp, it could use the right amps and bring out the sound that these speakers are capable of producing.

So I am going to try without any bi-amp and see the results.

Also if I just use 2 instead of all 5 channels, does it still produce 180 watts or have changes calculation accordingly?

Bi-amp with the Anthem A5. You already own the A5. The manual for the Vista certainly describes using a bi-amp connection, which means damage is unlikely. There are some small technical advantages in general to bi-amping. In addition, in the case of the Vista the loads to the power amplifier presented by the conventional woofer and the electrostatic upper-range range driver appear to be quite different, so driving each section with a different amplifier may provide added benefits.

Bottom line, you already own the A5, other than a few feet of speaker cable, and perhaps a couple y-cables for the inputs to the A5, the cost is minimal, so why not?
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post #21 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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With music or typical signals--no.

If you installed a microphone in your system, passively bi-amped it and ran some high level feedback through it---yes, you just blew your tweeter up--congrats!

Passive bi-amping really does not do anything--because it can't--that passive crossover does not allow you to change anything but the gain.

The REAL answer is "active bi-amping" This is going to take some work--a lot of work and knowledge if you don't want to blow up anything--you have been warned!

To actively bi-amp, first you remove the passive crossover and throw it on the bench. Then directly wire the drivers to the input terminals--be a good idea to put a capacitor inline to protect the tweeter from turn on thumps from amplifiers to prevent blowing them out.

Next step, get an active crossover box--two channels for the two speakers. Set the crossover at the stock points with the stock filters as a start. Connect the amplifier channels directly to the drivers--make sure the crossover is turned on first (of course) then turn on the amp channels. Once you verify again that the crossover settings have not been changed, feed it a signal. You now have actively bi-amped your speakers and probably voided all the warranties but such is life.

If you want to "improve" your speakers and make them "better" than the stock crossover points, you can start with using steeper crossover filters--that can help protect the drivers or why active processing is used with pro sound speakers. If you can, look up your specific drivers and get the "white papers" or the tech specs on the drivers--very common in pro sound. They might state the mid is good for say 100 watts when crossed over at 500 watts at 12dB per octave filter but can handle 200 watts when crossed over at 800 Hz at 24dB per octave filter. Adjust the crossover to those settings and now you gained 3dB more output! This does not mean it will sound good but if the degredation of sound quality does not bother you, enjoy your increased SPL.

You can also put limiters on the amplifier channels, say the woofer handles 500 watts and the tweeter (compression driver) handles 50 watts. Now you can put limiters of 500 for the woofer and 50 watts for the tweeter to protect your speakers. You can play with the gain controls on the amplifiers to get the balance right, good to run a quick sweep when setting gains for best results--check it with a meter. Dumping the passive crossover also is more efficient, you don't waste power heating up the "L-pad" or power resistors which saves on electrical draw and heat generation (another of the reasons it is used in pro sound)

So if you get all the required knowledge to safely do active crossovers/amps correctly so you don't blow up the speakers--well worth the hassle.

Now if you think a passively "bi-amped" speaker gains anything--it can--if you want to boost the treble or the woofer range past the stock settings--that is up to you. However, if you think you gain real, actual power or anything in real world use--you won't. Well, unless you want to make the tweeter louder, softer or whatever. In reality, you are just wasting electricity, stringing extra wire around and an attempt to gain something that is reserved for ACTIVE bi-amping--you won't get it.

I had a pair of 3-way pro sound PA speakers back in the day. On the back there was a switch for bi-amping. It would disconnect the passive crossover from the woofer completely and the high pass filter from the midranges. This allowed me to set whatever I wanted for the woofer to mid crossover point, allowed to change the levels of them and I ran a 750 watt amp to the woofers and limited the mid/high amp to 250 watts from the other amp. I went with a steeper filter at the crossover point and if I needed max power, I would move the point from 500 hz to 800 Hz and push the limiter higher. That was off the manufacturers information on those mids. The tweeter was protected by the passive crossover between the mid and tweeter with overload protection. My big gain was from the woofers--I could run much higher power to them. Not a good idea to have a 750 watt amp hooked up full range when they can be exposed to feedback at 750 watts per channel! Those frequencies will blow up the mids (don't ask me how I know!)

What the speakers did not do was allow "passive bi-amping" or using the stock passive crossover with two amps. It had connections on the back specifically for active biamping and the switch had to me moved to that position for them to work. I would of blown the mids quickly if I didn't have an electronic crossover doing the filtering--read the manual! There was no option for passive bi-amping for good reason, it would not do anything in reality. I've never heard of a pro sound speaker that could be passively bi-amped--although it is easy to do that--just never heard of one. Your choices are full range or active bi-amping with switches, different connectors and the warning to read the book! Probably why they call it "professional sound" so aim away from face and do at your own risk.

In summation, passive bi-amping really does not do anything of value past adusting the levels of the drivers with amp gain. If you are happy with the balance, then passive bi-amping is a waste of electricity and wire--don't waste money on it. Now if you want to actively bi-amp your speakers, now you need the manufacturer specs on the drivers, need to fully understand crossover filters, know what range you can change the frequencies or filters and ways to protect the unprotected drivers from amp thump and other things. Is the juice worth the squeeze? That is up to you, generally speaking for consumer sound if there are no provisions for active crossovers stock--probably be a good idea to avoid that. You can always contact the manufacturer for information to properly actively bi-amp your speakers--they might tell you---or not. Generally speaking, doing that will voic your warranty and they don't want to be on the hook for sending you new drivers--so don't get annoyed if they pass on your request.

For more information, there are books and web sites that will give you more information how speakers work, how to configure them certain ways and what works--and what does not. Very interesting if you ever want to step over to the dark side of active speakers, just be aware that things can go badly if you do it wrong. Good luck and enjoy your system.
Thats a wonderful explanation. Even though i did not complete understand it, i can take this and do some deep dive and avoid blowing my tweets.

Thank you so much
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Originally Posted by bigguyca View Post
Bi-amp with the Anthem A5. You already own the A5. The manual for the Vista certainly describes using a bi-amp connection, which means damage is unlikely. There are some small technical advantages in general to bi-amping. In addition, in the case of the Vista the loads to the power amplifier presented by the conventional woofer and the electrostatic upper-range range driver appear to be quite different, so driving each section with a different amplifier may provide added benefits.

Bottom line, you already own the A5, other than a few feet of speaker cable, and perhaps a couple y-cables for the inputs to the A5, the cost is minimal, so why not?
when i read the manual, it talked about the vertical passive bi-amplication. Since i am using the same amplifier to drive both, would this be under this category?

Vertical Passive Bi-Amplification
The very nature of vertical bi-amping dictates that both
amplifiers be identical. With vertical bi-amping, each
of the stereo amplifiers is dedicated to one speaker. For
instance, the left channel of each amplifier drives the low
pass (WOOFER) section while the right channel drives the
high pass (ESL) section. To vertically bi-amp your Vista’s
you must loosen the binding posts and remove the jumper
clips from both speakers. Starting with one speaker, connect
the right channel to the lower binding posts and the
left channel to the upper binding posts. Repeat the same
procedure for the other speaker. Connect the left preamplifier
outputs to both inputs of the left channel amplifier
and the right preamplifier outputs to both inputs of the
right channel amplifier
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Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
when i read the manual, it talked about the vertical passive bi-amplication. Since i am using the same amplifier to drive both, would this be under this category?
Cough, cough (marketing!) cough, cough!

Going back to active bi-amping, "vertical" bi-amping or one amp for each speaker VS the typical way of having one amp driving the woofers and one amp driving the tweeters. Board the train! Next stop: the rabbit hole.

Technicallly, say you have a pair of two-way speakers that offer active bi-amping (generally pro sound) the woofer is rated 500 watts and the tweeter 50 watts for example. One two-channel amp drives the woofers and one two channel amp drives the tweeters with limiters to prevent sending 500 watts into them from microphone feedback (as an example. You have two of the same amps, say 500 watts X 2 channels. The two-channel amp driving the woofers is now running full throttle driving the woofers while the tweeter amp is just idling along.

Is this the most efficient and effective way to actively bi-amp? No--for the following reasons. Typical 2 channel amps share a power supply and they have a cooling system that deals with the heat generated at full output. Not a good idea to hammer a power supply at max or run a cooling system at max for reliability reasons. In that case, they would "vertically" actively bi-amp with the same 500 X 2 channel amp--one amp for each speaker. This means one channel is lightly loaded with the tweeter at max of 50 watts while the other channel is loaded down with the woofer max of 500 watts. In theory, the maximum the amp can push is 550 watts with the limiters set that way. Now the power supply can provide more power to the woofer amp because it has more power/current to spare AND you generally get more peak output for the woofer that way. (every little bit counts) The power supply is not running hot, will last longer, give a bit more juice to the woofers and should be more reliable running at a lower level. Also, since the cooling system does not have to deal with max heat, it should run cooler which is always a good thing.

In that case, vertical active bi-amping does provide benefits--not really sonically but more for amplifier protection and reliability. I've seen it done that way because if the person ran the same amps, then the "spare" could be one amp instead of having a spare mains amp and a spare sub amp. There is a method to the madness, amps get heavier over time--as does everything.

Will "vertical passive bi-amping" be a benefit? Well, technically if you hold your mouth right. Be aware that since you are using a 5 channel amp--it won't matter because they all share a common power supply. Vertical bi-amping means one aphysical amp for each speaker and you have one amp feeding many speakers so it won't be "vertical".

Back in the day when I rode a dinosaur to gigs--the 90's, I did actively bi-amp my 3-way PA speakers to protect the mids while providing enough power to the woofers. I pondered "going vertical" but the size, WEIGHT and cost of using two 750 watt per channel amps was not worth the squeeze (or back pain) These days with Class D amps--not a big deal as 10 pound amps are more back friendly than 60 pound beasts stacked three high. I had to ride my dinosaur uphill pulling the trailor BOTH ways in the middle of winter--get off my lawn!

Granted, passive bi-amping really does not do much BUT--tehnically, you can gain around half or up to a full dB (one dB) of output to the woofers VS just using the passive crossover and one amp. This is because, generally speaking a two-channel amp will have around 10% more power output when running one channel instead of two. This is because the power supply has half the load so can provide more current to one channel. A 10% power increase is around half a dB--not something you might detect but it shows up on bench testing. You might find the results of single channel powe output testing in the documentation--so you DID gain something! To get that big, fat, juicy massive ONE dB of output, you'll need to pump up the power around 25% and that is usually behond what the amplifier will do--but it might. The manufacturer's specs or inedpendent testing will verify one vhannel VS 2 channel power actually measures. In audio, more power is .... well.... MORE!

In summation, for active bi-amping using the vertical trick works very well for long term reliability and cooling (and amp standardization) For passive, it will give you slightly more power to the woofer thanks to the lightly loaded power supply IF you use a completely seperate 2 channel amp for each speaker--if that half dB is important to you--go for it. For your 5 channel amp, you can't "go vertical" unless you have a 3 to 5 way speaker and only use one amp for each speaker. You could but how much is that half dB worth to you?

For the record--I use "active vertical bi-amping" when I test speakers I refurb for friends. My boddy had an old 1964 PA speaker that was fully horn loaded and wanted to bring it back to life. The speaker was rated 30 watts RMS so he wondered if he could use his 100 watt per channel amp safely. The compression driver only had a capacitor for a filter and a coil for the woofer. I proposed chaning the long dried out passive crossover with a new 12dB/octave second order filter to make it much steeper to protect the tweeter. To test his dusty speaker, I used a single Crown XLS1500 pro amp as it had a crossover function so I tested it at 12dB per octave at the stock crossover point of 800 Hz. Ran the amp up to around 50 watts or so, the tweeter did not distort with the stronger filters--we called it good. I then measured the impedance of both drivers, calculated out the crossover filters to fit, built one, measured it and it worked well. Really NICE to know if a proposed crossover change will work before you go to the hassle of building one. That is an exampled of "vertical active bi-amping" and it works very well. I've never tried to do that passively, in my case I don't worry about half a dB as I bake my SPL, power requirements and distortion demands before I start the burning money process. I'm not trying to scare you away from ACTIVE bi-amping, it can and does provide benefits as long as you do it correctly. To me, passive bi-amping would bother me because I would not have the fun of screwing around with it like I did back in the day. Then again, I'm weird which would be obvious so take it for what you will. Good luck!
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post #24 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
when i read the manual, it talked about the vertical passive bi-amplication. Since i am using the same amplifier to drive both, would this be under this category?

Vertical Passive Bi-Amplification
The very nature of vertical bi-amping dictates that both
amplifiers be identical.
With vertical bi-amping, each
of the stereo amplifiers is dedicated to one speaker. For
instance, the left channel of each amplifier drives the low
pass (WOOFER) section while the right channel drives the
high pass (ESL) section. To vertically bi-amp your Vista’s
you must loosen the binding posts and remove the jumper
clips from both speakers. Starting with one speaker, connect
the right channel to the lower binding posts and the
left channel to the upper binding posts. Repeat the same
procedure for the other speaker. Connect the left preamplifier
outputs to both inputs of the left channel amplifier
and the right preamplifier outputs to both inputs of the
right channel amplifier

Yes, two amplifiers (channels) would be feeding each speaker, one channel to esl and one channel to woofer. These amplifier channels would be the same (identical). See figure 5 in the manual. Don't forget to remove the jumpers.

You could connect your left speaker to channels marked L and LS on the back of the A5, and R and RS to your right speaker to make it simple.
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Thanks for all the replies. I am still trying to digest some information before I do any biamp and blow my speakers which I dont want to :-)

I have Martin Logan Vista which has the following:
Impedance "4 Ohms, 1.2 at 20kHz Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.
Nominal: 4 ohms
Minimum: 1.2 ohms @ 20 kHz "
Recommended Amplifier Power 20—400 watts per channel
Crossover Frequency 450 Hz
Sensitivity 90 dB/2.83 volts/meter

i had tried using Anthem MCA 225, Parasound A23 and my receiver MRX 520 but could not get the right sound from these speakers that I was hoping for. So I thought if I was able to bi-amp, it could use the right amps and bring out the sound that these speakers are capable of producing.

So I am going to try without any bi-amp and see the results.

Also if I just use 2 instead of all 5 channels, does it still produce 180 watts or have changes calculation accordingly?
I might be wrong but don't the ML Vista's have an amplifier built in or should I say powered woofers?

Do you have to plug the speakers into an electrical outlet?

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The ML Vista does not have an internal bass amplifier.

If you are not achieving the sound you think you should I agree with the posters above that placement and room treatment is likely to make much more difference than bi-amping.

Since you have a separate amplifier, does your preamp include an internal crossover you can use to separate high and low frequencies? If not then I would suggest picking up a dbx 223 analog crossover (~$200, probably the easiest option), miniDSP, or some other crossover to insert between the preamp and power amp to split the frequencies. That will increase the roll-off which may be good or bad (often helps the distortion but integration might not be as good -- depends on how the panel and woofer blend). I would start with it set at 450 Hz to match the crossover frequency of the speakers.

preamp out -> crossover -> (high -> panel amp, low -> woofer amp)

But again I think bi-amping is not going to help; I think the problem is elsewhere.

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post #27 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I might be wrong but don't the ML Vista's have an amplifier built in or should I say powered woofers?

Do you have to plug the speakers into an electrical outlet?
Yes they are powered into an electrical outlet.
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post #28 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOKNROX View Post
I might be wrong but don't the ML Vista's have an amplifier built in or should I say powered woofers?

Do you have to plug the speakers into an electrical outlet?
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Originally Posted by iliasmd View Post
Yes they are powered into an electrical outlet.


Based on the manual, there is no internal power amplifier for the woofer and no external 120V power is required:

https://www.martinlogan.com/uploads/...nual_vista.pdf

Are the speakers misidentified? What is the reality here?
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post #29 of 42 Old 08-28-2019, 01:31 PM
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Yes they are powered into an electrical outlet.
Ok... that's what I thought.
In this case (I have a set of Mirage OM-5's with powerd woofers) I would just suggest running one set of speaker wires to the "bottom" terminals on the speakers and use the jumpers to connect the other terminals. I found that this works best and this will allow the internal amplifier of your speakers to gain the sound signature of your preamplifier and amplifier while not drawing any power but sending it off to the rest of the speaker.
Sounds like placement and accustic treatments in the room might be your best and only real option.

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What preamp or receiver do you have?

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