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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My goal is to have a 5.1.4 set up where the 5 main speakers are all bi-amped. An awesome member of this group named James brought to my attention that I cannot do this with my Pioneer LX-701 alone, since there are not nearly enough amplified channels.

So I am now wondering if I can accomplish this goal by purchasing a multi-channel power amp where I would use it exclusively for the 2 Fronts and Center, all bi-amped. 6 channels, right? I would then run the 2 surrounds (bi-amped) through the LX-701, along with the 2 height channels.

Even before knowing if this would work, I started to look at power amplifiers and the comments associated with them and now think I am realizing I can't bi-amp from all power amplifiers? Is that correct? If so, is there something I should be looking for in the specs to know if it can be done? I was hoping to avoid the big brands and the $ 3000 cost, but I did notice that the Yamaha MX-5200 has a feature called "Bi-Amping Channel selector". I couldn't find anything similar on any other mutli-channel power amplifiers. Any models or brands you suggest checking out?

Any help anyone can lend here, would be really appreciated. As a newbie, I am thoroughly confused.

Thank you, in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Do I need a "special" power amp to bi-amp my speakers?

My goal is to have a 5.1.4 set up where the 5 main speakers are all bi-amped. An awesome member of this group named James brought to my attention that I cannot do this with my Pioneer LX-701 alone, since there are not nearly enough amplified channels.

So I am now wondering if I can accomplish this goal by purchasing a multi-channel power amp where I would use it exclusively for the 2 Fronts and Center, all bi-amped. 6 channels, right? I would then run the 2 surrounds (bi-amped) through the LX-701, along with the 2 height channels.

Even before knowing if this would work, I started to look at power amplifiers and the comments associated with them and now think I am realizing I can't bi-amp from all power amplifiers? Is that correct? If so, is there something I should be looking for in the specs to know if it can be done? I was hoping to avoid the big brands and the $ 3000 cost, but I did notice that the Yamaha MX-5200 has a feature called "Bi-Amping Channel selector". I couldn't find anything similar on any other mutli-channel power amplifiers.

Any help anyone can lend here, would be really appreciated. As a newbie, I am thoroughly confused.

Thank you, in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Set Up Advice: AVR, Power Amp and Bi-Amping Speakers

My goal is to have a 5.1.4 set up where the 5 main speakers are all bi-amped. An awesome member of this group named James brought to my attention that I cannot do this with my Pioneer LX-701 alone, since there are not nearly enough amplified channels.

So I am now wondering if I can accomplish this goal by purchasing a multi-channel power amp where I would use it exclusively for the 2 Fronts and Center, all bi-amped. 6 channels, right? I would then run the 2 surrounds (bi-amped) through the LX-701, along with the 2 height channels.

Even before knowing if this would work, I started to look at power amplifiers and the comments associated with them and now think I am realizing I can't bi-amp from all power amplifiers? Is that correct? If so, is there something I should be looking for in the specs to know if it can be done? I was hoping to avoid the big brands and the $ 3000 cost, but I did notice that the Yamaha MX-5200 has a feature called "Bi-Amping Channel selector". I couldn't find anything similar on any other mutli-channel power amplifiers.

Any help anyone can lend here, would be really appreciated. As a newbie, I am thoroughly confused.

Thank you, in advance.
 

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What benefit do you hope to get with biamping?

Sent from my LG-H931 using Tapatalk
 

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Bi-amping (passive) should never be undertaken by any individual in any scenario whatsoever. This is because of the added expensive, time, wiring, and electricity used yet there being no discernible improvement in the sound quality nor quantity*, other than via the placebo effect. It is a massive and pervasive myth designed to sell people twice as many amplifiers (and wiring) as they need.

Active biamping, on the other hand, is legit and a completely different animal. This involves sending a limited bandwidth signal into each amp via an electronic crossover which separates the highs from the lows, in substitution to the speaker's internal crossover ideally, whereas in passive bi-amping (the more common variety consumer gear "offers" and which is discussed in consumer forums like this), each amp receives the exact same incoming signal: full bandwidth.

*"quantity" as defined by the defacto standard we all use: FTC 1974-B guidelines in describing the channel's watts per channel over the full bandwidth signal
 
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My goal is to have a 5.1.4 set up where the 5 main speakers are all bi-amped. An awesome member of this group named James brought to my attention that I cannot do this with my Pioneer LX-701 alone, since there are not nearly enough amplified channels.

So I am now wondering if I can accomplish this goal by purchasing a multi-channel power amp where I would use it exclusively for the 2 Fronts and Center, all bi-amped. 6 channels, right? I would then run the 2 surrounds (bi-amped) through the LX-701, along with the 2 height channels.

Even before knowing if this would work, I started to look at power amplifiers and the comments associated with them and now think I am realizing I can't bi-amp from all power amplifiers? Is that correct? If so, is there something I should be looking for in the specs to know if it can be done? I was hoping to avoid the big brands and the $ 3000 cost, but I did notice that the Yamaha MX-5200 has a feature called "Bi-Amping Channel selector". I couldn't find anything similar on any other mutli-channel power amplifiers.

Any help anyone can lend here, would be really appreciated. As a newbie, I am thoroughly confused.

Thank you, in advance.
Bi-amping is a complete waste of time and money since it provides no increase in sound quality. Your AVR is a flagship class D amp fully capable of driving your speakers well beyond comfortable listening levels. Spending the money on subs (if you don't already have a sub(s)) would be far more beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What benefit do you hope to get with biamping?

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Thank you for asking. My speakers are capable of it and I thought it would provide more detail and potentially separation between the instruments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The only type of bi-amping that actually makes a bit of difference is ACTIVE bi-amping. And it's rather complicated.

PASSIVE bi-amping is about as useless as $200/ft magical voodoo speaker cables.

Technical details here:
https://www.audioholics.com/frequent-questions/the-difference-between-biamping-vs-biwiring
Thank you! This is definitely over my head and dissuades me. I was just hoping to improve my sound quality. If you have a moment, can expand upon how power amps do that? If not, thank you for your help thus far!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bi-amping (passive) should never be undertaken by any individual in any scenario whatsoever. This is because of the added expensive, time, wiring, and electricity used yet there being no discernible improvement in the sound quality nor quantity*, other than via the placebo effect. It is a massive and pervasive myth designed to sell people twice as many amplifiers (and wiring) as they need.

Active biamping, on the other hand, is legit and a completely different animal. This involves sending a limited bandwidth signal into each amp via an electronic crossover which separates the highs from the lows, in substitution to the speaker's internal crossover ideally, whereas in passive bi-amping (the more common variety consumer gear "offers" and which is discussed in consumer forums like this), each amp receives the exact same incoming signal: full bandwidth.

*"quantity" as defined by the defacto standard we all use: FTC 1974-B guidelines in describing the channel's watts per channel over the full bandwidth signal
Please forgive my lack of understanding, being new to this. I am 99% sure, I am not going to pursue this as you and others have made it abundantly clear that unless I am going to do this actively, it is not worth doing it at all. And as far as doing this actively, it appears to be way above my ability, but just for my own clarity, how does one send "a limited bandwidth signal into each amp via an electronic crossover"? Is this something some components are capable of being programmed to do or is it a matter of adding an additional specific piece of equipment? MANY THANKS!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bi-amping is a complete waste of time and money since it provides no increase in sound quality. Your AVR is a flagship class D amp fully capable of driving your speakers well beyond comfortable listening levels. Spending the money on subs (if you don't already have a sub(s)) would be far more beneficial.
Thank you for your response! I do indeed have a sub (SVS SB-3000). Would I realize much improvement by adding a second sub?
 

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Thank you for your response! I do indeed have a sub (SVS SB-3000). Would I realize much improvement by adding a second sub?
SVS has a cost free return policy, try a second SB-3000 and return it if you are not satisfied.
 

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I was just hoping to improve my sound quality.
Bi-amping is very, very far down the list of effective sound improvement measures.

If you provide a photo of your setup as well as a list of the primary components, room dimensions and usage habits (% music vs HT/TV/gaming), that would be a good start.

And I would *NOT* recommend blowing $3K on a receiver under any circumstances...that is also a relatively inconsequential factor. I'd roughly prioritize them like this:

1. Speakers
2. Speaker placement
3. Subwoofer(s)
4. Subwoofer(s) placement + calibration/integration
5. Room acoustics + room treatments
(big distance)
6. Receiver settings (esp. auto-EQ tools such as Audyssey, et al.)
7. Power source
8. Music/Video sources
 

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Thank you for your response! I do indeed have a sub (SVS SB-3000). Would I realize much improvement by adding a second sub?
It goes without saying that speakers will play the biggest role in sound quality. If you have good speakers, adding a sub or two will bring to another level. Unless I missed it, what speakers do you have? What percentage of movies vs music do you use the setup for?

A 2nd sub will even out bass response throughout the room. You'll also gain about 6dbs with dual subs. They do however need to be properly placed and setup to take full advantage of the benefits. For me it was a big improvement going with dual subs.
 
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Please forgive my lack of understanding, being new to this.
No problem. The owners manuals of consumer gear lie so there's every reason to think many people will be influenced by it. I happens to us all. The people who should be ashamed of themselves are the people who manufacture this gear and knowingly perpetuate the myth.

And as far as doing this actively, it appears to be way above my ability, but just for my own clarity, how does one send "a limited bandwidth signal into each amp via an electronic crossover"?
I have done this in the past, no longer, and the benefits are slight, mostly an added element of control, sort of like a newly added "bass" or "treble" control [you overly boost or cut (suppress) the level going to the tweeter or the woofer with the electronic crossover controls, for example] but this is actually rather primitive in this day and age because of the advanced room EQ (equalizer) you have in the receiver already which offers markedly finer and more varied control.

Here's an example of an external crossover which would be placed in the signal path before the power amp stage, so not easy to do except for people using outboard power amps connected to their receiver's preamp outs: https://dbxpro.com/en/products/223s

In a sense if you use a powered sub and set your receiver controls appropriately (you tell it the main speakers are "small", that is), it will activate an internal electronic crossover, often set to around 80Hz or so, which will indeed send a limited range of frequencies, "bandwidth", to the main speakers and divert the low bass it excludes from the mains (below 80Hz) sending off to the separately amplified subwoofer instead. Setting it up this way is technically using two amps (one in the sub and one for the mains), with an active electronic crossover in the path diverting highs from lows, hence "active bi-amping".
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No problem. The owners manuals of consumer gear lie so there's every reason to think many people will be influenced by it. I happens to us all. The people who should be ashamed of themselves are the people who manufacture this gear and knowingly perpetuate the myth.



I have done this in the past, no longer, and the benefits are slight, mostly an added element of control, sort of like a newly added "bass" or "treble" control [you overly boost or cut (suppress) the level going to the tweeter or the woofer with the electronic crossover controls, for example] but this is actually rather primitive in this day and age because of the advanced room EQ (equalizer) you have in the receiver already which offers markedly finer and more varied control.

Here's an example of an external crossover which would be placed in the signal path before the power amp stage, so not easy to do except for people using outboard power amps connected to their receiver's preamp outs: https://dbxpro.com/en/products/223s

In a sense if you use a powered sub and set your receiver controls appropriately (you tell it the main speakers are "small", that is), it will activate an internal electronic crossover, often set to around 80Hz or so, which will indeed send a limited range of frequencies, "bandwidth", to the main speakers and divert the low bass it excludes from the mains (below 80Hz) sending off to the separately amplified subwoofer instead. Setting it up this way is technically using two amps (one in the sub and one for the mains), with an active electronic crossover in the path diverting highs from lows, hence "active bi-amping".
Thank you very much for your time and thorough explantion. I really appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It goes without saying that speakers will play the biggest role in sound quality. If you have good speakers, adding a sub or two will bring to another level. Unless I missed it, what speakers do you have? What percentage of movies vs music do you use the setup for?

A 2nd sub will even out bass response throughout the room. You'll also gain about 6dbs with dual subs. They do however need to be properly placed and setup to take full advantage of the benefits. For me it was a big improvement going with dual subs.
Thank you for asking....my set it up consists of the following:

Fronts are Polk RTI A7
Center is Polk CSI A6
Rear/Surrounds are currently Polk FXI A6, but thinking of changing them to Polk Audio RTI A3
Height Channels are inexpensive Sonys and Pioneer (Andrew Jones)

Receiver is Pioneer Elite LX-701

Single Subwoofer is SVS-SB-3000

I realize my speakers are at the upper end of entry level, but all I can afford for the time being. That said, IF I can make everything shine more with a second sub, I am open to exploring what I might be able to get on the secondary market. It should be noted, I don't really have many placement options in the room where the "theater" is located. Also, I couldn't spend anywhere near what I spent for the SVS-SB-3000, so I don't know if adding another that is less powerful/inferior would just bring that one down and should be avoided. I had been looking into bi-amping the speakers through the use of a power amp and have been largely discouraged from doing so here due to the fact it will be costly with minimal, if any impact.

I listen to mostly music but was hopeful of also having a fairly dynamic movie watching set up too.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bi-amping is very, very far down the list of effective sound improvement measures.

If you provide a photo of your setup as well as a list of the primary components, room dimensions and usage habits (% music vs HT/TV/gaming), that would be a good start.

And I would *NOT* recommend blowing $3K on a receiver under any circumstances...that is also a relatively inconsequential factor. I'd roughly prioritize them like this:

1. Speakers
2. Speaker placement
3. Subwoofer(s)
4. Subwoofer(s) placement + calibration/integration
5. Room acoustics + room treatments
(big distance)
6. Receiver settings (esp. auto-EQ tools such as Audyssey, et al.)
7. Power source
8. Music/Video sources
Thank you SO MUCH again for sharing your time and expertise to try and improve my set up. You have already taught me how to prioritze with my purchases going forward.

That said, this is my current set up:

Fronts are Polk RTI A7
Center is Polk CSI A6
Rear/Surrounds are currently Polk FXI A6, but thinking of changing them to Polk Audio RTI A3
Height Channels are inexpensive Sonys and Pioneer (Andrew Jones)

Receiver is Pioneer Elite LX-701

Single Subwoofer is SVS-SB-3000

I realize my speakers are at the upper end of entry level, but all I can afford for the time being. That said, IF I can make everything shine more with a second sub, I am open to exploring what I might be able to get on the secondary market. It should be noted, I don't really have many placement options in the room where the "theater" is located. Also, I couldn't spend anywhere near what I spent for the SVS-SB-3000, so I don't know if adding another that is less powerful/inferior would just bring that one down and should be avoided.

You requested a picture, I can provide one if you still think it would be helpful, but it is pretty standard in terms of the traditional Front/Center placement. The sub is between the center and left speaker. The room is generally about a 20' x 10' rectangle with approximately 10 foot ceilings. The theater set up is located on one of the 20 ft. walls, not centered but rather on the 2nd "half" of the wall, or basically at one end of the room, but on the long wall. Hopefully that makes sense. There is furniture around most of the perimeter of the room, making subwoofer placement for 1, let alone 2, tricky.

Thank you AGAIN!
 

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Fronts are Polk RTI A7
Center is Polk CSI A6
Rear/Surrounds are currently Polk FXI A6, but thinking of changing them to Polk Audio RTI A3
Height Channels are inexpensive Sonys and Pioneer (Andrew Jones)

Receiver is Pioneer Elite LX-701

Single Subwoofer is SVS-SB-3000

I realize my speakers are at the upper end of entry level, but all I can afford for the time being. That said, IF I can make everything shine more with a second sub, I am open to exploring what I might be able to get on the secondary market. It should be noted, I don't really have many placement options in the room where the "theater" is located. Also, I couldn't spend anywhere near what I spent for the SVS-SB-3000, so I don't know if adding another that is less powerful/inferior would just bring that one down and should be avoided.

You requested a picture, I can provide one if you still think it would be helpful, but it is pretty standard in terms of the traditional Front/Center placement. The sub is between the center and left speaker. The room is generally about a 20' x 10' rectangle with approximately 10 foot ceilings. The theater set up is located on one of the 20 ft. walls, not centered but rather on the 2nd "half" of the wall, or basically at one end of the room, but on the long wall. Hopefully that makes sense. There is furniture around most of the perimeter of the room, making subwoofer placement for 1, let alone 2, tricky.
Totally enclosed 20 x 10 room with no open adjacent spaces? Then the SB3000 might be ok, but I would do a "subwoofer crawl" (google up the instructions, there's probably a YouTube video how-to) to find the best position for it in the room---it usually is NOT in front of the screen, though that's where most people unknowingly put it. Since a sealed sub by definition has much less output than a ported sub, I would try putting it in a corner at the very least, to get maximum room boundary reinforcement.

Yes, a picture of the front 3 would be useful because you'd be shocked at what a difference small adjustments in speaker placement can make.

I suspect that upgrading your center speaker would make the biggest difference during TV/movies. Make sure that all of your speakers, especially the RTiA7, are set on "small" with an 80Hz crossover. (If you ran MCACC calibration and just kept its suggested settings, there is at least a 50/50 chance that it screwed up your speaker settings, so I would double check and manually re-calibrate to taste.)
 

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Thank you for asking....my set it up consists of the following:

Fronts are Polk RTI A7
Center is Polk CSI A6
Rear/Surrounds are currently Polk FXI A6, but thinking of changing them to Polk Audio RTI A3
Height Channels are inexpensive Sonys and Pioneer (Andrew Jones)

Receiver is Pioneer Elite LX-701

Single Subwoofer is SVS-SB-3000

I realize my speakers are at the upper end of entry level, but all I can afford for the time being. That said, IF I can make everything shine more with a second sub, I am open to exploring what I might be able to get on the secondary market. It should be noted, I don't really have many placement options in the room where the "theater" is located. Also, I couldn't spend anywhere near what I spent for the SVS-SB-3000, so I don't know if adding another that is less powerful/inferior would just bring that one down and should be avoided. I had been looking into bi-amping the speakers through the use of a power amp and have been largely discouraged from doing so here due to the fact it will be costly with minimal, if any impact.

I listen to mostly music but was hopeful of also having a fairly dynamic movie watching set up too.

Thanks again!
It's very difficult to integrate 2 different subs into your system and you'll be limited to the weaker sub. Adding a 2nd SB-3000 would be a lot easier and more beneficial.
 
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