4 Mono s

Hi there:

I know alot of folks out there are using Monoblocks and are Biamping. However, are any of you using 4 Mono's? If so, can you compare the sound quality to either regular Monoblocks(2)or biamping. I know I may be crazy, but with good quality Amps at $1000 apiece (like the Odyssey Stratos), the option of One Amp per Channel does not seem as outrageous as it used to be.
I'm using 4 mono's. I'm using different amps for the top and bottom, based on the characteristics of the amp and the sound I'm trying to acheive. I use Levinson Reference 20.0 on top, and Krell KMA 160 on bottom. The Levinson's are smooth, well defined, and excellent image presentation. The Krell's provide the bass authority needed and have a high damping factor, which improves the bass timber. It's an active cross-over system. I wouldn't recommend different amps without an active cross-over.

The Odyssey is relatively new, but the reviews are amazing, and I agree, at that price it makes bi-amping very affordable. The benefits greatly depend on the speaker. I'm using Martin Logan Monoligths. The combined demand of the low impedance from the panel and the high output demands of the woofer make bi-amping a huge benefit by separating these demands to separate amplifiers. Other speakers may not have as much benefit from bi-amping.
Abstract7, I'm glad to hear of your success with different amps on the ML Monoliths, my brother's just finishing his house and plans on using a pair of the monolith III's with the active crossover, a Krell KSA 300s and an Aragon 4004 Mk II (I planned on using the Krell for the highs though-we'll see how it sounds!)

I'm curious, any problem with different volumes and tone balance?? I've found different amps respond to pre-outs differently, could you comment on this? This will be especially important for my bro' as he tends to listen to his system at extreme volumes. He does have two B&W 15" subs he'll be using with, so it may not be such a problem...

As for other speakers, I run Linn 5140's tri-amped with three of their 5105's (on my way to an active system myself) I did find significant improvement with triamping versus single amping (especially in bass extension and clarity), though it'd be hard to justify the price vs. improvement had I not been on the road to an active system, and were it not for Audiogon to allow me to buy them cheap!
Kenny: There are some differences in the amps, but in my case that is exactly what I was looking for. The Krell's are very fast, dynamic, and have a high damping factor to control the bass. I would not use them on the panels as I find they are a bit harsh. The Levinson's really worked well for me on the panels. They are smoother. Keep in mind my amps are closely rated: 100 & 160 Watts. I do have to compensate by lower the bass by 1 dB on the cross-over. I did all of this and still wasn't satisfied with the bass. It was soft, ill defined, and just didn't have the realism I was looking for. So my next step was to change out the bass driver. This can only be accomplished with an outboard cross-over with enough flexibility to do this (I'm using the Bryston 10B). Also, mine are the Monolith IIs not IIIs. If you use the IIIs and the Martin Logan cross-over you should be aware that there is a phase inversion in that cross-over and changing the driver could be a bigger problem than antcipated. Anyway, I changed the drivers to Focal Audiom drivers. These are really spectacular drivers. I did have to modify the cabinet slightly. These drivers are pretty expensive $650 a piece. I gambled a bit on making this work, and was somewhat lucky (I did have the help of an audio engineer--but he said the acid test is once you have them in you just have to listen). The result now is a Monolith with fast, articulate bass that's well matched with the panel. Hope that helps.
Years ago I went from one BEL 1001 in stereo to two in mono, then to 4, two per channel. (None of these were the current 1001.) Each time there was an improvement. As long as you are talking apples to apples, fine; but this does not mean 4 BELs are better than two of something else; you'd have to make a direct comparison for that.