To Biamp or not ?


New member
Username: Brejeshvarma

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-08
Hello everybody,
I was seriously thinking about BI AMPING my system and came across this forum.If my understanding is correct,most of the time people do passive biamping which only reduce the work of the single power amp with non specific amplification of all signals and nothing more (as set by the speakers internal crossover).Active bi amping means use of an external cross over and splitting the signal,thin sending to different power amps.But this is more comlicated and confusing.
I just tried the same idea with my old Graphic equaliser connected (MARANTZCD PLAYER...NADPREAMP...TECHNICS Graphic equaliser 12 times 2 = 24band,...ROTEL poweramp..200W RMS..Wharfedale speakers 150rms.There seems to be an improvement in specific frequencies and can be adjusted better if you want to.Audio purists may disagree though !Is not this a better method with less complications ?I just wanted your valuable opinions and corrections if needed,in this regard


Gold Member
Username: Touche6784


Post Number: 1228
Registered: Nov-04
I am not sure if it is your personal understanding of the terms or how it came to writing but what you wrote does not seem correct. Passive bi-amping utilizes any passive crossover network to split the audio information after the amplifier. Active bi-amping utilizes an active/electronic crossover to split the audio information between the pre-amp and the amplifier. IUsually active bi-amping will produce better results since the amplifiers are directly in control of the movement of each driver. Passive bi-amping can sound better if the crossover network was a bit more complicated with many tweeks implemented to derive a certain sound or character. There is also vertical and horizontal bi-amping which can lead to certain results. I am sorry, but the description of what you did to your system makes absolutely no sense. It seems that all you did is use the equalizer to adjust frequency response.

Silver Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 657
Registered: Feb-07
I'm with Chris. Are you saying you "simulated" bi-amping with an EQ? I don't even really see how this is possible.

New member
Username: Brejeshvarma

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-08
Dear Christopher & David,
Thanks for your prompt response.
My understanding (probably incorrect)on a croosover is that it splits your signal and sends high frquencies into tweeter and lower ones into woofers.With biamping (Horizontal),theres a seperate power amplifier for low and mid-high frequencies.So it has to do something with selectively enhancing certain frequency responses.(Please correct me if i am wrong at any point.).
In graphic equalisation ,we selectively enhance or depress certain frequency signals.My thinking was this should help the purpose (perhaps incorrect!).
Moreover my confusion,whether to biamp or not is still there.Can you please explain and clarify.

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 1107
Registered: May-06
bv, bi-amp, think two amps.

That would be a basic starting point is what David and Christopher are telling you.

Either one amp for each speaker or one amp for low frequencies and a second amp for mids and highs.

Gold Member
Username: Touche6784


Post Number: 1229
Registered: Nov-04
Biamping/triamping/etc is not for this purpose of enhancing any frequencies. It is for the purpose of separating the duties of running each driver within a specific loudspeaker system. By powering each driver separately, assuming that the drivers can be driven separately, you reduce chances of the high frequency driver's signal degrading the low frequency driver's signal, especially that of midrange, and vice versa. Also, like I said above by powering each driver separately you increase the amplifier's ability to control the movement of the drivers especially in an active setup where the amplifier is connected directly to the driver. What my confusion on your setup is I do not see two amps which would be necessary for BI-amping. I only see that you have a single Rotel amp. Now this can be different if say the Rotel amp is a 4 channel amp. I believe where the confusion is arising is that your understanding of passive/active and bi-amping/biwiring is complicating things. Your assessment of equalization of the system I would say is right on. Equalizing for room acoustics and personal preference can make a big difference in what you hear.

In your original post, what do you mean by an "external crossover"? Are you meaning to say "active crossover"? I ask because I am using homemade external crossovers for my Magnepan speakers but they are still of the Passive type.

I believe your assessment of "passive bi-amping" is really bi-wiring.

I think the point we are most confused about is what did you exactly do? We do not know what the "idea" is that you tried. Again, I am not sure if it is a language barrier or a knowledge barrier that is preventing us from helping you. Once we determine what you know, what you need to know, what you are asking and what exactly you did then we can assist you with opinions and such.

New member
Username: Brejeshvarma

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-08
Dear Christopher,
Thanks a lot for your kind brotherly advice.

After I had an exposure to HI-FI Audio about 15 to 20 years ago (My childhood), I was totally out of touch with them.Perhaps the spark was inside me !,I am along the process of building a good audio system.In these parts of India,people are after All in one systems and its very difficult even to discuss these things.
I changed my old Pioneer DVD player with a CD4 NAK (OLD) and recently upgraded to MARANTZ 6002.My pioneer AV Stereo receiver was replaced with NAD C160 preamp & ROTEL 990BX power amp (200W,2channel)(Currently i dont have a second power amp).Local speakers,interconnects and speaker cables replaced with Wharfedale evo 8 Bookshelf(150W RMS),PROFIGOLD ic,Kimber cables (used ones).These have been a slow process over the last 3 years.
Now my local dealer suggested on bi amping.I wanted to know the meaning and details of bi amping.Then I was searching the net&hi-fi magazines available,where I came across this forum.I see a lot of opposing views regarding bi amping and is much confused.
After your explanation,things seem to be lot more clearer regarding the technical aspects.But the question whether it is going to give a substantial boost in quality (Better warmth, clarity,dynamics & seperation...& I know these are very subjective terms !) remains.Are there better alternatives for improving my system ?.I hear Indian classical music and its variants a lot apart from Vintage Film Music .Occasional pop,western instrumentals and no rocks !(So softer kind of music in general).
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