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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I probable opening up a Pandors Box, but here goes...


understand the debate over the X-Over, but will my 703's sound better at high volumes in a 200w Biamp mode over a 200w single amp. I was thinking about purchasing a used Sunfire Cinema Grand (5x200w). Use the 4 channels to power the fronts and the 5th for my center. As I understand, this can be done. After this debate, I can borrow one for test, but I don't want to spin my wheels if this is a dead end issue.


Thanks


Your thoughts...
 

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Will they sound better? With the same amp power?


No.
 

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There is no definitive answer. There are several schools of thought that are accepted by very knowledgable people. The best advice that I could give is this: Don't count on bi-amping to give you a lot more power or make a huge difference. Buy your system with everything else in mind, and if you have the extra stuff to do it, try it out and see what you think.


I have a 5.1 system, but got a heckova deal on a seven channel amp. My processor also allows me to re-assign the sixth and seventh pre-out to mirror the L/R for bi-amping. I do it because I had the extra speaker cable and... just because I can I guess. My own experiments have been inconclusive. It's kind of hard to A/B test since you have to keep reconnecting the bridges. Both my speaker manual and my processor manual say that it will improve the speaker response. Do I believe it? Not sure, but I like the sound of my system so much, I'm leaving well enough alone!


Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your input guy's, anybody else?
 

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It depends a lot on the speakers themselves, because some seem to work better with passive bi-amping than others do. But there is also a chance that just the Sunfire amp by itself if used normally may even be a noticeable upgrade for you, even without using it in a bi-amped configuration. If you can get the amp with a decent return privilege, it may be worth getting it just in order to try it out and demo it in both ways. First as normal setup and then as a bi-amped setup. That way you will find out what differences it may or may not make for you.
 

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Johnla is right. People express mixed views about the merits of biamping and for good reason...it depends greatly on the speakers themselves. I've had some speakers where it made no difference and others where the sound seemed to open up and blossom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Johnla /Jakeman


Thanks for your info. Has anybody biamped B&W 703'S?
 

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There's also a lot of very sloppy biamping going on where the user isn't especially careful matching the gains and the attendant level imbalances are perceived as an improvement when all they've done in reality is screw up the FR of their speakers.
 

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Good point. Any suggestions on how you would minimize this problem?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by B&W700guy
Johnla /Jakeman


Thanks for your info. Has anybody biamped B&W 703'S?
Don't have B&W, but do have Paradigm Studio 40's which I passively bi-amp with my NAD T773. Did it because I had the extra cable and speaker wire from a previous setup that I also bi-amped. Since you have the option to borrow an amp, try it out for yourself.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeman
Good point. Any suggestions on how you would minimize this problem?
I don't see how it can be a problem if it is the same amp and the only volume control is on the separate preamp.


I tried doing a biamping at the dealer's store with the N805's and couldnt hear a difference. I used 2 Rotel 1070 amps and a Rotel 1070 preamp.


When I simply used the Krell $2500 integrated amp (400xi I think), there was an immediate improvement in sound quality.


Granted, the Biamp setup comes to roughly $1800 and the Krell is more expensive.


Unfortunately, I was unable to do this with the 703's nor do I have experience with the sunfire amp.


My ignorant guess and naive recommendation would be: "Get a better amp, and skip the bi-amp".
 

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That's my recommendation, too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
I don't see how it can be a problem if it is the same amp and the only volume control is on the separate preamp.


I tried doing a biamping at the dealer's store with the N805's and couldnt hear a difference. I used 2 Rotel 1070 amps and a Rotel 1070 preamp.


When I simply used the Krell $2500 integrated amp (400xi I think), there was an immediate improvement in sound quality.


Granted, the Biamp setup comes to roughly $1800 and the Krell is more expensive.


Unfortunately, I was unable to do this with the 703's nor do I have experience with the sunfire amp.


My ignorant guess and naive recommendation would be: "Get a better amp, and skip the bi-amp".
Was there really an improvement in sound or were you just hearing the different footprint the Krell places on the sound. When you did the bi-amping at the dealers did you the hookup yourself or did the dealer do it without you knowing which was which? You had the perfect opportunity to do a DBT.
 

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Initially I was a bi-amp sceptic but having gone to the dark side, I am convinced it does benefit certain speakers especially ones with lower impedance. I know some of you are going to post that I am wasting my time and money but I have already passed that threshold so if we can skip that part I would like to know what steps or configurations some of you have deployed to keep the lf/hf balanced and optimize overall sound quality.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin. W
Was there really an improvement in sound or were you just hearing the different footprint the Krell places on the sound. When you did the bi-amping at the dealers did you the hookup yourself or did the dealer do it without you knowing which was which? You had the perfect opportunity to do a DBT.
Kevin,


All of the testing was done blind. It was a real pain for the dealer to switch between biamp and normal wiring and unfortunately this process took a few minutes.


The electronics were on a rack in between the speakers. A Krell SACD Standard player was used for audio playback. All playback was done on a pair of B&W N805 speakers.


We kept the time in between each test identical and the dealer tried to trick me many times by unplugging then replugging in the same setup without changing the amplification. I guess this is similar to A/B/X blind testing.


In the end, I failed when it was between biamp rotel and normal rotel. I could only guess correctly twice out of 10 trials. I did better when it was krell vs rotel (both biamp and normal). I passed 9/10 times. The failure was the very last test for the day. Perhaps it was due to me being exhausted.


In the end I went with Rotel Separates (1 amp, 1 preamp) and N805. I really enjoyed the Krell, but I already was spending 300% beyond my budget and there was absolutely, positively, no way I could fork out the extra 1200$ or so for the krell. I spent the 1200$ on an ACI Titan and to me, this was the right way to go. I have reasonable clearity, and full range. The krell would have given me excellent clarity but I woud have lacked the bottom octave. I hate pinning arbitrary words to timbre because its just not possible, but I would say that the Krell made the music (a little) more enjoyable. I felt a (little) bit more at ease when it was driving the speakers.


Being an avid pipe organist and pipe organ listener, that bottom octave is very important to me and the krell can wait :D


Hope this helps!


P.S. Everybody's ears are different so I wouldnt be surprised if someone (perhaps even the OP) comes back and claims that the biamp is worth it and sounds better than normal single wiring. If biamping does make a difference, then imho, the B&W 703 would probably be where you might start geting the results. I wouldn't even bother biamping on less expensive models.


P.S.S. If anywhere in my statement I claimed "huge benefits" that is purely by error and a mistyping. At this level, everything sounds excellent. There are just slight audible nuances that make the music sound different. Perhaps not theoretically better or worse, but more "fit" for me.
 
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