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I just got my HT system components (Paradigm Ref Studio 60s, Ref Studio CC, Denon 3802, Hsu vtf-3, and a Sonamp 1230 amp (12 channels, because in addition to the HT, the amp will drive in-ceiling spkrs in five other rooms of my house.


The Paradigm spkr manual says that bi-wiring and passive bi-amping will improve clarity, detail, etc. It also talks about "vertical" vs. "horizontal" bi-amping.


As I have no idea what any of this means, can anyone recommend what configuration I should go for? (I am having a professional installer come in tomorrow to set up my system.) BTW, my usage would be 90% movies/10%music.
 

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The improvements due to bi-wiring (connecting the amplifier outout to the speakers using separate wires to the high and low frequency drivers in the speakers) usually aren't dramatic. Many people claim to get comparable improvements by just using heavier guage wiring.


Passive bi-amping (connecting the preamp outout for a speaker to two separate amps driving the high and low frequency drivers in the speaker) can produce somewhat better performance. Again, many people claim to get comparable gains by simply using an amp with twice the power.


Vertical bi-amping is using a stereo amplifier for each speaker: it powers that speaker's high and low frequency drivers. Horizontal uses one stereo amp for the high frequency drivers of both speakers, and another stereo amp for both low frequency drivers. (or maybe I got that reversed :) )


I'd say that bi-amping might be most useful if the low frequency driver (and its crossover) actually has a much lower impedance than the high frequency driver (and its crossover). Then you could optimize the configuration by using an expensive "high current" amp for the low frequencies and a less expensive one for the higher frequencies.


To first approximation, I'd say don't sweat it.
 
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