the 352 on its own should drive your speakers using only a fraction of its rated power withsweet mids and highs. bi amping in this case may be overkill.
10 responses Add your response
Hi Larry, you seem to be a mac fan like myself. I owned the 800N and didnt care for it, powered it with a mc402 and just couldnt get the bass to do anything. Previous owner had a pair of levinson 336's bi amped with similar poor results. Bi amping without an active crossover wont help here. If your prepared to spend $$$ on a 2102 / MC352 and are not married to the 802N sell both and treat yourself to a beautiful used MC2000. Sell the 802 for a better and efficient speaker. Be prepared for the different powercord/cables suggestions...load a crap. Whatever I tried on my 800N was always the same result..anemic bass and a wide overpowering imaged midrange, no linearity at all.
Thank you for the input, but can anyone help me with the pairing of tubes and solid state, along with different output power? Plus, with out adding a crossover and utilizing the seperate input terminals on the speakers, am I getting closer or further away from optimizing my equipmet's potential. My preamp, a Supratek Cabernet, has two set's of rca outputs. Currently I am using the singel set of balanced outputs. So, I am really trying to get to the best set up I can, using the gear I have, while adding an additional amplifer. Confusing, yes, but interesting, definatley!
I have done something very similar - a McIntosh MC7200 SS amp and a Conrad-Johnson MV55 tube amp on my JM Lab Electra 926s. Getting the gain to match is the tricky part but in my case, it ended up working out pretty well. The 7200 has gain controls but I had to max them out and still didn't quite have enough gain to match the CJ. Then I realized I could switch the input sensitivity to 1.4V to get a little more and it turns out, it was just enough.
In your case however, the MC352 and 2102 have neither option so your only chance is that they "happen to have" the right amount of gain to work well together. If you don't get the gain to match correctly, you definately won't be getting your system's full potential and will be better off with simply one or the other amp, as Jaybo suggested.
Otherwise, as John said, you need an active crossover which will really complicate things. For me, I didn't keep the biamped setup very long. I now use bispeakering and that works much better with the amps I have. Good luck! Arthur
I have a MC352 powering my McIntosh LS360's. They can play at concert levels with no distortion and sound amazingly sweet. I plan on getting another MC352 and use them as monoblocks. You might consider unloading that 2102 and getting another MC352. You'll be doubling your power output and if that isn't enough, you should sell it all and buy a boat ;)
Larry,you may want to visit AudioKharma for some detailed advice on bi-amping with a Mac tube amp. Apparently you have to limit the frequency the amp sees at the imput level or the amp will experience heat and distortion. This can be done with an active or passive filter on the line input. Also in reference to input level matching, the MC275 has 2 line pots, one for each channel which should facilitate this, otherwise you will need a filter with level control (Marchand) or a filter and a line pot.
I am biamping a pair of N801s with MC1000s and an MC2000. I love the way it sounds, the tube amp smooths out the highs and has a sweeter midrange than the solid state amps. By itself, the MC2000 just didn't have enough balls for the 801s. Although McIntosh told me over the phone that the amps would match output-wise, this was not the case and I have to pad down the input to the MC1000s a bit to tame over-heavy bass. I had a pair of in-line pads made for the job and they work well but am currently exploring equalizing the bass response in my living room, and am therefore able to control the bass level through my equalizer, eliminating the need for the pads.
All in all, I think the setup you suggest could sound great but you will in all probability need to match the amp levels somehow.