Hello. I’m thinking of using two Halo A23 plus amps run through the Halo P6 preamp biamping into Paradigm Prestige 85 speakers. Or, I could also just go with one Halo A21 plus without biamping. Any thoughts on the advantage of going one way or the other? Thanks.
Rus, you are correct. The only advantage with biamping with two of the same amp is having an additional seperate power supply. I really would not hear a difference and the A21plus has advantages the A23plus doesn’t. I’m thinking of using a tube hybrid, the Vincent SP332 for the mids and treble and the A23plus for the bass. Otherwise, I’m going with the A21 plus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks.
When I biamped my Paradigm Reference Studio 20 speakers with 4 channels from a Carver 5 channel amp it was astounding when I sat in the far field. In the nearfield not so much. I would recommend if you have a larger size room by using a single Parasound A51 5 channel amp, just use 4 channels.
Seems there’s some confusion over what bi-amping entails. Two amps, yes, but configured how? There’s passive bi-amping, and then there’s active bi-amping - the latter goes without saying, because you need more amp channels running speakers actively. Run passively, bi-amping (or tri-amping, etc.) is an option when the driver sections have separate terminals that could also be used for bi-wiring (or tri-wiring, etc.). Outboard active configuration is often just (insufficiently, if you ask me) referred to as "bi-amping" when a pair of stereo amps is necessitated to run two driver sections per channel, but in this case we’re dealing with a passive scenario, and so merely ’bi-amping’ would seem a prudent description.
Actively or passively, bi-amping with a pair of similar stereo amps offers the opportunity to go with either a horizontal or vertical configuration. In the passive scenario however, i.e.: with only two stereo amps, there’s a third option: bridged mode. Generally not well regarded in audiophile circles bridging amps can nonetheless be a clear winner sonically, and one will only be the wiser trying it out in the specific case. Which I would here with a pair of A23+ amps, even going so far to say it’d be my preferred scenario (vs. bi-amping horizontally or vertically) comparing it against a single A21+. Place each a23+ close to their speaker, run a single pair of short speaker wires per channel (and longer XLR IC’s), and see how that fares next to a single A21+ with longer speaker wires - if such a comparison is even possible. Just going by a hunch I’d put my money on the dual, bridged A23+ combo (and with the Paradigm’s being regarded as an 8 ohm load, that shouldn’t be an issue), but that’s just me.
Technically I’m tri-amping actively in my own setup, and while a bridged configuration here would be a tempting solution it’d necessitate six(!) stereo amps, which is simply out of the question. As is I prefer running the two stereo amps feeding the mains in a vertical config., and the remaining third amp for the subs as it can only be configured here: horizontally.
If you are already in possession of said amp and pre, use any old amp laying around and give it a shot. Use the parasound for the low frequencies and the other unit for the high frequencies. It will not be an exact comparison, yet the results may be surprising.
Thanks for the advice and interesting discussions my friends. I’m very happy to be a part of the thriving audiogon community sharing a common bond through a love and passion for music. I’m seriously thinking of going with the Parasound for the bass drivers and a tube amp for the mids and highs. Rogue Audio has an interesting 100% tube amp at 100 watts and a hybrid at 300. I’m sure the hybrid at 300 would be fine alone yet I’m also in this for the excitement and biamping is exciting. It gives more options too. I have a lot to think about and am looking at more tube amps and hybrid amps for the top end. Excellent discussions.
Bi-amping offers more advantages than just an additional power supply. Vertical bi-amping can offer the same benefits of monoblocks, plus the benefits of bi-amping. Bi-amping reduces the responsibility of each channel, and can offer a lot of flexibility for using active or passive crossovers. Separate amps on each channel reduces crosstalk.
I’m currently running tube monoblocks on the mids and tweeters, and a solid state amp on the woofers in a horizontal bi-amp configuration. I still use the passive crossovers on the speakers, but have the option of adding an active high pass filter for limiting the bass into the amps that drive the mids and tweeters.
With good equipment and a decent system, you should definitely hear a difference. Bi-amping with something like a modest AV receiver is less likely to offer much improvement.
Bi-amping requires 2 amps plus an active crossover adjustable to meet the frequency, level, and slope of the original passive design. The benefits are many, most notably a 6dB increase in dynamic range and better woofers control by eliminating the series LP inductor(s) and it's associated resistance from the equation. The drawbacks are of course cost and the potential of accidentally bypassing any shaping network elements. To avoid the latter, the biamp insertion point must be prior to the shaping network, or the shaping network simulated by a DSP prior to the associated amp.
So called 'passive' bi-amping, feeding both LF an HF full range and still maintaining the stock passive crossovers is simply a waste of money. It maintains all the drawbacks, eg cost and complexity, while providing none of the benefits of actual bi-amping.
I’m also in this for the excitement and biamping is exciting. It gives more options too.
I would bi-amp. I agree with, @knotscott he gives good advice about passive bi-amping. I have no experience with passive bi-amping, as my speakers can only be actively bi-amp. When I horizontally bi-amped my speakers with an analog active crossover design by the same manufacturer (of the speakers) it brought my speakers two notches above the passive crossover in sound quality. A good external crossover is very important when actively bi-amping. See crossover below:😎
That said, passive or active bi-amping should not be undertaken without first asking the manufacturer’s advice. Hope that helps.
So called ’passive’ bi-amping, feeding both LF an HF full range and still maintaining the stock passive crossovers is simply a waste of money. It maintains all the drawbacks, eg cost and complexity, while providing none of the benefits of actual bi-amping.
There are pros and cons with every option. That statement immediately dismisses the separation advantages of using a separate amp on each channel that occurs with a vertical bi-amp setup or monoblocks... with active or passive crossovers. It also dismisses some exceptional well designed passive crossovers that bring a performance level that can rival or surpass some active crossovers. Neither active or passive crossovers are created equal...there are excellent and poor examples of each. Doing an active crossover well still requires some user input to get it right, and there’s certainly no guarantee it’ll happen. With a good passive crossover you know exactly what you have.
I’ve been running my tube amps full range as monoblocks for a while. I just recently added a used integrated amp for $50 to drive the woofers (horizontal bi-amping) Not expensive at all, and still offers an audible benefit and a ton of flexibility without active crossovers. When I was running them in a vertical bi-amp configuration (still with the passive crossovers) the soundstage was incredible.
The point is you can start very simply even with passive crossovers and still get some benefit from bi-amping, and have the option of adding active crossovers down the road if and where you choose, or use a combination of passive and active crossovers. Bi-amping offers tons of options and flexibility, and can let you get pretty creative.