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Old 23rd January 2009, 04:36 PM   #1
stoc005 is offline stoc005  United States
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Default Bi-amped speakers? Worth it?

I've had some success building my own design speakers with passive XO. IMHO, it can take almost a year to be totally happy with the sound, using a combination of calculating the XO values, implementing it, tweaking it by ear until it is sounds "OK" and measuring, measuring and measuring things to validate the effects of the tweaks.

While lurking around some BB, I read another speaker builders comment that once he yanked out the XO and tried bi-amping a 2 way system, it was the single best improvement in the sound quality of anything he had tried. Has anyone tried this and feel that this is a true statement? It seems like a logical thing since it would seem that all the driver interact with the passive XO components would be gone. Anybody have any comments?

I sold a Rane MA6S amp (6 channels, 100w/chan into 8 ohms) on Ebay and maybe I should have kept it for bi-amp and tri-amp experimenting......darn.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 04:55 PM   #2
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Hi,

Do you intend passive biamping ?
IMO yes if it is smart!
For example you can put a big solidstate amp on the woofer and a nice
"little" tubey amp on the mid-tw!
But you need that one of the two ( normally that on the woofer) have a variable input to adjust the two different gains of course.
I have similar setup.
Old Threshold 4000 on the wf and nice hybrid tube-monomosfet ( 15W only) on the midtw. It works !!

Cheers,
Paolo
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Old 23rd January 2009, 09:00 PM   #3
adason is offline adason  United States
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Bi-amped speakers? Worth it?

YES!

I sold a Rane MA6S amp (6 channels, 100w/chan into 8 ohms) on Ebay and maybe I should have kept it for bi-amp and tri-amp experimenting......

That's ok, the best results are with high current solid state amp on woofes and class A tube on midrange/tweeter.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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Results will depend on the quality of the electronic XO, but even a cheap unit such as a Behringer CX2310 will give very good results.
I have found the best results when working with 3-way speakers on the bass-mid transition.

Don't forget that you need a seperate pre-amp and all of the associated patch cables, the biggest problem I have is making up Cannon to RCA cables.
See Rod Elliots website for a detailed explanation of the benefits

regarrds
Ted
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Old 23rd January 2009, 11:59 PM   #5
Francec is offline Francec  Australia
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Yes.
I bi-amped one two-way speaker and the non-active sounds as if it has a towel draped over the front of it.
The bi-amped speaker has an active crossover from Rod Elliott feeding two separate amps (P19 from Rod) and it sounds "alive", "dynamic" and "clear" in comparison with the as yet un bi-amped speaker.

Frank
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Old 24th January 2009, 01:25 AM   #6
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Yes, definitely in my experience. So much so that any of the ones I design now are active from the beginning. I don't futz with passive xovers if I can help it.

My forthcoming Unity mains will have a passive xover between the MF/HF as it was already designed for it and didn't want to add to (the already long) development time of the system. Once finished I'll do some experimenting with the DCX though and see if it measures and sounds better.

Passive biamping is a waste of time, and I'm not sure I'd try to modify an existing passive system without measuring to make sure there aren't other corrective measures designed into the passive xover that will need to be accounted for in the active version.
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Old 24th January 2009, 01:40 AM   #7
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I wonder if impedance equalization would improve an active design?
Rising high ends and big spikes need to addressed passively if using simple electronic XOs though, don't they??
Only just thought of this aspect, but my experience is that a simple active system is better than a complex passive one
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Old 24th January 2009, 01:52 AM   #8
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Please its not bragging

But I have heard the top ATC Aniversary, active with 12" woofer and integrated custom made electronics, very rare and expencive
With the top of the line english gear, two part CD and two part PRE (NOT Linn, the other one ?)
Cost so much it makes me sick
And it did sound quite good, better than I expected actually
Only thing, it didnt sound any better than my own DIY PASSIVE 3way with DIY amps
I also heard the big ProAc with big MarkLevinson amp and CD/PRE
Not to my surprice it was very powerfull and loud and clean, but really not too good, not very nice to listen to
Im told that it does sound much better now , with big Gryphon amp
No wonder I love DIY and passive speakers, and I know it can be done, but NOT by force only
I think of it like taming a wild tiger, carefull and gentle...that could be girls too
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Old 24th January 2009, 03:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bi-amped speakers? Worth it?

Quote:
Originally posted by stoc005
I've had some success building my own design speakers with passive XO. IMHO, it can take almost a year to be totally happy with the sound, using a combination of calculating the XO values, implementing it, tweaking it by ear until it is sounds "OK" and measuring, measuring and measuring things to validate the effects of the tweaks.

While lurking around some BB, I read another speaker builders comment that once he yanked out the XO and tried bi-amping a 2 way system, it was the single best improvement in the sound quality of anything he had tried. Has anyone tried this and feel that this is a true statement? It seems like a logical thing since it would seem that all the driver interact with the passive XO components would be gone. Anybody have any comments?

I sold a Rane MA6S amp (6 channels, 100w/chan into 8 ohms) on Ebay and maybe I should have kept it for bi-amp and tri-amp experimenting......darn.

If one spends such a long period of time tweeking they must like it, some of the replies above refer to ESP site for information on Biamping, when I read Rod's article on Bi amping "not quite magic but close", I set out to prove it for myself. There is a few more things to consider in implementation than the passive system unless you make everthing yourself then it is just as engaging.
once you get past the active croosover there is two three or four of everthing in the power amp section, interconnects and speaker cables. For the investment it is worth it if you want enhanced your personal listening pleasure.
The ESP crossover, The Biquad and PSU requirements plus an extra set of O/P amps were the way I went, very hard to look back.
Difficult to implement the balance between tweeter and woofer to attenuate the o/p in the crossover, for an in depth setup see Linkwitz site, very heady for most and requires investment in special Mics and soundcard software to measure SPL, but you get it right and for the Audio pontificators this is essential, however for those of us who only have a multimeter and ears at our disposal 12 months it an adequate if not excessive time to harvest the tumultuous benefits of Bi amping, if you get stuck send me an email and I will endevour to help you. As I am a home brew person please don't quote brands and model numbers they are beyond my experience.
Alfred
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Old 24th January 2009, 11:31 AM   #10
HK26147 is offline HK26147  United States
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Quote:
it was the single best improvement in the sound quality of anything he had tried.
Whenever possible and practical I go active.

RE: Behringer CX2310 - After some time with one, it develops "issues" in the mechanical switches.
I have yet to schedule some down time to determine if some internal cleaning and contact cleaner fixes it.

* I used readily available XLR to RCA adapters.
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