Best of Both Worlds, or Man, what was I thinking?

I want to run a tube on the mid & tweeter, & use a ss on the mid bass and woofer. got a 250w krell, need the tube amp. will be using an 8 ohm load.

Any experience here, in matching amplifier (s) output voltages would be greatly appreciated.

As well as, with biamping different amps? (overcoming differing voltages in unlike amps)

Definitely need to get some insights here.

What is your experience, “Do” & “Do Not “.

Is your preamp tube or ss
Likelihood is that the "nominal" 8 ohm load has lots of variation from driver to driver, and even at various frequencies within each driver's range, so even if the amps were identical, which they are not, horizontal bi-aamping would still require an active crossover. This is not something to attempt lightly and will require lots of tweaking on your part. If you are looking for the so-called power and control of ss with "tube-like" mids and highs, you might want to consider a hybrid. Or just a better single amp, since when you add in the additional cost of the crossover, ics, speaker cables and amplifier, you could probably sell your existing amp, take the $ and just get a more well-rounded amp. The Krell could be worth as much as $3K, add in $1-2$ for a tube amp, $6-700 (or more, just guessing) for a crossover, $500 for additional ics, pcs, and speaker cables (conservatively) and you could have maybe $5-6000 for a top notch power amp. At that price in the used market, you could be looking at some really top notch gear.

Your really close with your figures. Found out about a new dealership in my area dedicated to analog. Lots of tube amps. talked to them Monday. yep. Needd a cross voer thihnbgy. 500.00, Talked about Cary, 3K or so, there. Yep, Wouldn't be hard to go in to the 4 - 5K neighborhood with all that. Advantage? Don't ahve to lay it all out at once. If I could afford to, "lay it all at once", I'd definitely go with better solid amp, and tube pre. Well, there's always the lottery. . . . .

Wires, don';t get me started. Anything over 20 or 30 bucks is to dogone much for wire. More than I would like to spend theree as well. I understand good Oxy free copper, . . but past that. . . just can't retionalize the money some folks want for wire. Amazing!

In spite of what I just said......yeah, I'll probably give in there too.

But to who? Bunch of them out there.

About the Krell, just hate to part with it. Probably won't. Can use it in the bedroom, with different speakers. Something with a soft top end, like Phase tech, got a pair of them, ......there's a thought.

Yeah, it comes down to money, nearly every time. For me, anyway. . . and usually waiting a good while to boot.

I added a tube pre to my system a while back. I have a Krell ksa-250 mated with the tubed pre...sounds great IMO. You can pick up a used tubed pre-amp for not a lot of money and re-sell for little or no loss if it does not bring your high/midrange response towards what you are looking for.

A good active crossover will run anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. You don't want to skimp on the crossover because _everything_ in your system will be going thru it. You will be adding another link to the chain on the signal path so you want to take care that the link is "pure" and doesn't take away more than it benefits. _Everything_ you put in the signal path will have some effect, so you want as high a quality crossover as is comparable to the quality of the rest of your system.

The active crossover will take care of gain matching and crossover duties.

Generally, one of the major benefits of active bi-amping is better control of the transducers and flatter impedance ( and ensuing flatter response) without the passive crossover components in the signal path.

You did not mention your specific speakers and drivers, and crossover points. I am uncertain as to the benefits you would have from bi-amping your current speakers _grin_ Depending on your configuration it may well not be practical in terms of costs to benefits ratio.

For more on biamping go to AA and search for John C Aussie biamping FAQ


Ken L
Super response!

you folks win. i give up. I'll do the tube preamp, with a solid state amp, thing.

if that does not get it, i'll go all tube.

probalby, B.A.T.

Hey Blindjim,

I have walked the path you're on. I started by vertically bi-amping Aerial 10t's with a pair of Classe CA-301's. Note that in this configuration I do not run the amps bridged. (I found by experiment that what I heard was true, bridging does take away the smoothness and detail.) This allowed me to run very short, 2 foot, speaker wire. A small step to getting more air around things.

Next I added a BAT VK50SE tubed pre. Another improvement in the 3D nature of the soundstage. Since then I have added/upgraded to Rhea tube phono stage and a VKD5SE CP player. More improvements in soundstage in the direction I want to go in.

Now I am considering what you inquired about. That is, is it better to bite the bullet and change out the speakers and amps or try to add tube amps to the tops? The Aerials are power hungry so it will take a very high dollar tube amp to get even close to the power they like if I just go to tube amps. Thing is I like the way SS handles the bass. But if I just add lower powered tube amps to the tops then as people have posted here it may cost almost as much by the time I buy the crossovers and other things.

This hobby is fun but not always easy!