Bi-amping with integrated and power amps

Hi everyone,
I would like to passively bi-amp my speakers with integrated amplifier (mid & high frequencies) with 1.6V output, and power amp (woofers) with 1.0V input. Would you have any suggestions what to add between them to match the volume level? The woofers are significantly louder when driven by the power amp. I was thinking of attenuator (e.g. Rothwell) or passive pre-amp/volume control.
Cheers
 

rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
Would you have any suggestions what to add between them to match the volume level?
The woofers are significantly louder when driven by the power amp.

Yes, add a 10k stereo attenuator before the woofer amplifier inputs.
An adjustable control would be best to set the level you want,
but you can replace the control with a pair of resistors in each channel
after you decide exactly what level you want.
 
Last edited:

rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
Is it possible to define resistors value simply based on ohms law? I would need 10k ohm & 6.04k
ohm resistors (in theory) to reduce the Voltage to 1.0.

Sure, that's how you do it, this is a voltage divider. It's best to take into account the input impedance
of the amplifier also, which is in parallel with the resistor to ground, since that will affect the result.

A 10k in series is fine, then calculate what R to ground (in parallel with the input impedance)
gives you the loss that you want.
 
Last edited:
A 10k in series is fine, then calculate what R to ground (in parallel with the input impedance)
gives you the loss that you want.

The integrated amp output is 1.6V/250ohm, while the power amp input is 1.0V/33kohm. Am I right with my calculations that resistors 4k7 and 10k would provide 1.0V output and approx 4.1dB damping? I used Voltage divider online calculator.

I will try to measure the sound level of the integrated and power amps and see if the difference is somewhere near 4dB.
 

rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
The integrated amp output is 1.6V/250ohm, while the power amp input is 1.0V/33kohm.
Am I right with my calculations that resistors 4k7 and 10k would provide 1.0V output

I think that the 1.6V and 1.0V figures are the amplifiers' input sensitivities,
which is the input voltage needed for full output.

Even with 1V into both (different) amps, that does not assure equal output voltages.
Even with the same output voltages, that does not assure equal acoustic outputs
from the main speakers and the woofers.

However, you can still try that attenuator at the inputs of the woofer amp.
With the 4.7k shunting the 33k input impedance of the woofer amp, this would give a net 4.11k to ground.
Then the series 10k would give a loss factor of: 4.11 / (4.11 + 10 ) = 0.29 loss factor,
or a dB loss of -10.75 dB. That would make the woofer sound roughly about "half" as loud as before.
 
Last edited:
For passive bi-amping you are better to start with 4 amplifiers that have the same gain.

If later you decide to experiment with different amplifiers for the upper frequencies from the lower frequencies, then you may have to look at equalising the gain of the different amplifiers.
Hopefully by the time you have tried 4 equal gain amplifiers and found how well they work (or not) you will have learned how to work out the gain of any of your amplifiers and how restricted your options are in altering the amplifier gain. Changing gain changes the stability margins !!!!!!!!!!!

Changing the sensitvity by adding on a fixed attenuataor at the input is an easy option.
 
Last edited: