bi-am vs better monoblock?


I have old school Infinity Kappa 8.1 vII's which are very powerhungry speakers. I have a adcom gfa-5500 that use to power these speakers & they were never enough for my liking. My fiance just moved in so I used her parasound hca-1500's on my kappa's & since she had enough I bi-amped the speakers. Definantly a HUGE improvement over the Adcom...... I still wouldn't mind a little more power so I was wondering that if I do go with better amps am I better off bi-amping these again (or keep them the way they are) or should I go with something like a 600w bryston amp or something else similar?

Definantly a huge improvement from adcom to 2 parasound amps.... would I get a similar improvement going from parasound to bryston/ whatever amp ??
viggen900
I think the Parasounds should be bridgeable...if you have two of them, try that and see what the speakers do with the 400 or so watts per side. Other than that, most of the time I think the better approach is one better amp rather than bi-amping with two lesser ones, so if Brystons (or Krell, McKormack, etc.) are in your price range...go for it, but they may be overkill for those speakers.
If you like the Parasound HCA 1500 then I recommend getting the Parasound Halo JC-1 mono's a huge step from HCA series.
You might want to look for a used parasound HCA 3500 amp. Its monoblocks in one case, with tons of power and very close in sound quality to the JC1s (JC1s had a more refined treble/upper midrange) But the HCA3500 had better bass/midbass responce. Plus a lot cheaper. I used it for about three years and never had any problems with it. however, over the course of two years with the JC1s i had three break downs.
Always thought Aragon was a good match for Kappas.
It is very interesting question and I will try to answer it.

1 With monoblocks you double your peak power (usually peak voltage but not peak current) so your music is more "relaxed", you hear less distortion for most speakers, presentation is more "effortless"

2 If monoblocks are fully balanced, as Spectron monoblocks are - it is extremely important and helpful as you bring "positive" and "negative" distortions (caused by any amplifier itself), both with equal amplitude, into your speaker where they cancel each other and you have "distortion free" music - more 3D, more emotional involvement etc. However, it is the case when parts tolerance MUST be extremely high - otherwise distortions do not cancel each other but could add to each other. Not good for your ears (and wallet).

3 In some speakers/amp combination the demand for very high peak current by speaker (usually the bass module) is not met by the power supply of the amplifier - be it monoblock or stereo in bi-amp mode.
As a result of this unfortunate situation you will have ugly distortions which will:

a) if you use bi-amp configuration then distortion will stay with bass and your midrange will be free of these distortions. Human Ear is much easier on the distortions in the bass then in midrange. So its half bad.

b) if you use monoblock configuration then these distortion effect entire spectrum (even if origin is in low frequencies or in many electrostatic very high frequencies) and it will be rather annoying in most sensitive for our ears area: midrange.
So, in this case you are better off with bi-amping.

Number of manufacturers, Spectron including, produce amplifiers which can work both in stereo bi-amping as well as monoblock modes. Its the best of two worlds and if you are in doubt you test both modes and choose whichever you like. Most of listeners will choose monoblocks if they are fully balanced.

Hope it Helps

It is very interesting question and I will try to answer it.

1 With monoblocks you double your peak power (usually peak voltage but not current) so your music is more "relaxed", you hear less distortion for most speakers

2 If monoblocks are fully balanced, as Spectron monoblocks are - it is extremely important and helpful as you bring "positve" and "negative" caused by amplifier distortions, both with equal amplitude, into your speaker where they cancel each other and you have "distortion free" music - more 3D, more emotional involvment etc. However, it is the case when parts tolerance is extremely high - otherwise distortions do not cancel each other but could add to each other.

3 In some speakers/amp combination the demand for very high peak current by speaker (usually the bass module) is not met by the power supply of the amplifier - be it monoblock or stereo in bi-amp mode.
As a result you will have ugly distortions resulting:
a) if you use bi-amp configuarion then distortion will stay with bass and and your midrange will be free of these distortions. Human Ear is much easier on the distortions in the bass then in midrange
b) if you use monoblock configuration then these distortion effect entire spectrum (even if origin is in bass) and it will be particualrly annoying in most sensitive for our ears are: midrange.

So, in this case you are better off with bi-amping.
Number of manufacturers, Spectron including, produce amplifier which can work both in stereo bi-ampling and monoblock modes. Its the best of two world and if you are in doubt you test both modes and choose whichever you loke the most. Most of listener choose fully balanced monoblocks

Hope it Helps
thanks for all the info.... very helpful!

I can't afford a new amp from bryston so it would be used. I might end up with something like the 14b st or possibly 14b sst which might be a bit cheaper for me vs 2 monoblocks. I checked out the parasound jc-1 & it seems to be available for a similar price compared to the 14bsst's & having the extra warrantee with the bryston definatly appeals to me.

Like someone mentioned would amps like this be overkill for my speakers? Possibly someday I might go with the larger kappa 9.1's