You're right on target! The Tympani 4s sound awesome biamped. Go for the monoblocks (all your choices sound great, the Tympanis were often demoed by Magnepan with that era of Levinson amps so those might be my first choice. In theory you can have tubes on the highs and solid state on the lows, but you may find that the sound is not cut from the same clothe this way and even with an electronic crossover, may not blend very well. I think it would be better to use the same types of amps throughout the sound spectrum. I know this from my experiences in biamping both Magnepans, (Tympani 4s, MG-IIIs, MG 3.6 and Revel Salons.
Hope this helps,
I have tried bi-amping my tympani 4a's without a lot of sucess. The crossover network is critical, I like the mono blocks better. I have a pair of brystons now, so let me know what you have decided and what you have discovered.
I've used Carver Silver 7t with very good results about 7 years back. IT was very interesting experience to see Maggie use up all of 600 watts time to time. Not to long ago Jeffssoundvalue sold a pair.
In general, active bi-amping is very difficult proposition. Half of the x-over's duty is to split the signal but the other half (or more) is to supress (because its not active) many areas of frequences to smooth out the voice. In general making x-over is the last development cycle. They call it the 'voicing'. When you do active bi-amping you are throwing out the designer's careful voicing effort of the speakers (many hundreds of hours). This is why most of modern speakers give you an option to do vertical bi-amping. You can use two different amps as long as their gains are same. Or use two of the same amp.
I disagree with Zt1000. Have you tried active bi-amping?
I am actively bi-amping my Magnepan 3.5 with a Tube Marchand electronic x-over. The results are spectacular.
See my review at the following site:
wait - how can it be active if you're using the maggie's internal passive crossover?
Perhaps I am using the expression incorrectly, but I was assuming I would abandon the internal crossovers and use an "active" crossover, perhaps an Audio Research or Pass Labs.
My understanding is that the signal is then split at the external crossover, so the power amp in question only receives the lows or the mid/highs and each amp powers only its respective bass or mid treble panels.
Did I say that correctly?
Possibly elaborate and definitely expensive, but intuitively it seems like it would be pretty good.
well, that's an active design, alright! i didn't know you could bypass the passive crossover network on the maggies. that's gotta be difficult, no?
anyhoo, the are a lot of benefits to active crossovers. i use active speakers, as well.
Gmorris, you have one of the best active x-over box money can buy and the panel speakers are much easier to do active bi-amp than conventional speakers. So, what you have is a winning combination. I was speaking in general terms. Yes, I've done active bi-amping, vertical bi-amping and horizontal bi-amping. Now, I simply have no x-over speakers. No signal spliting in my system at all. Transport to digital volume control to DAC to SET to no x-over speakers. As pure as I could make it and the best sound in my thirty years of experimentation.
This write up has some marketing purpose. Good information nontheless.
My experience supports following as well:
I have done this with MG 3A's and 3.6's ( and pre ribbon Tympani's) with tube and SS on top and it sounds great.
The only people who don't like it seem to be dealers that don't sell electronic x-overs, which are most these days.
One Person who heard the 3.6's biamped bought a x-over the same day.
All this Biwire Biamping may help, but there is nothing like a real active x-over
I'm biamping my MG 20's. Matchand XM26S tube crossover, Krell 300MDA monos for the lows, and 845 tube power for the midrange panel and ribbon.
I've bypassed the MG fuses, and the jumper, and replaced the binding posts with Cardas. The internal caps in the MG crossovers are replaced with V-cap oils.
The thing you really need in the crossover if you are mixing amp types is a gain control for each amp, many only have gain for the treble.
Thanks for the description, but how does it sound?
So you are also an advocate of active biamping?
and Lbmp, a very astute comment about dealers, I think.
I also get really irritated when the latest, newest, much more expensive technology is always vastly superior to classics which can be purchased for a fraction of the price.
If you want a truly clean amp that is world class then you should look at Sim audio w-10's or a pair of w-5's. These amps have great control over Martin Logan SL3 offering a huge stage with great dynamics as well as delicate nuiances.If you can afford two w-5 LE (limited edition) amps, these offer a true glimpse of sonic bliss. I think that this would be a match made in heaven, so good hunting Dennis