Biamping, yes or no?


My upgrade bug is here again!!!

My speakers: Tyler Acoustics D1
Amps: Emotiva XPA-1's monoblocks
Preamp: W4S STP/SE

I'm considering leaving the Emo's for the bass and getting a pair of tube monos for the mids and highs.

Do you think the Rogue M-180 monos will be a good choice?

Thanks you all.
leog2010
The chances of doing something like that and having it sound good is almost 0. If you want to upgrade, why not just go with the M180's by themselves? That would probably sound a lot better.
Two pairs.
you'll need to add an active crossover to get real benefits of biamping.
You might get a second W4S STP/SE preamp, and use one preamp each for left and right channels. Use the balance control on the preamps to fine-tune the balance of low and high pass. Use one stereo amp each for left and right channels. You'd have to use Y-splitters on interconnects from sources to preamps.

I've never done this, but I imagine the Tyler D1 speakers would like it. Make sure to use star-grounding to avoid ground loop. Also, if using a power regenerator, connect line-level sources and preamps, but not amps, to the regenerator.
"You might get a second W4S STP/SE preamp, and use one preamp each for left and right channels. Use the balance control on the preamps to fine-tune the balance of low and high pass. Use one stereo amp each for left and right channels. You'd have to use Y-splitters on interconnects from sources to preamps."

No offence at all, but I disagree. The preamp is so vital to good sound, you would be far better off upgrading to whatever you can get for 2x the price of the W4S, instead of buying 2 of them. Same thing for the amp. I think you would have much better results if you just upgraded to 1 really good stereo amp or a pair of mono's. There are a lot of technical issues you have to deal with when you biamp. For example, you will almost certainly need to get an active xover. Just putting something like that into your system can do more damage to sound quality than the extra amp(s) can provide from the biamp in the first place.
"For example, you will almost certainly need to get an active xover. Just putting something like that into your system can do more damage to sound quality than the extra amp(s) can provide from the biamp in the first place."

But, generally, passive XOs have a more deleterious effect that active XOs.
My point was that you might be able to use the balance controls on your preamps to perform the same function as an active crossover. Also, the channel separation is perfect with separate preamps for each channel. Lastly, you use the volume controls to adjust balance between left and right speakers at the listening position.
Biamping is useful for live pro sound, but not so much for home audio, unless using "active" speakers with built in amps which can work fine (home recording studio monitors...save space). Otherwise, there are many good reasons why almost nobody does that, one of which is it usually doesn't sound better. I'm in the camp of using well designed smaller amps to get more bang for the buck, as lower powered amps from the same maker can have the tone mojo without wasting money on unnecessary extra wattage. Modern well designed passive crossovers from well regarded designers usually sound great...to believe otherwise is silly.
Wolf_garcia: Just to clarify, the method which I propose DOES IN FACT use the passive crossovers in OP's Tyler Acoustics D1 speakers.
Edwyun,

"But, generally, passive XOs have a more deleterious effect that active XOs."

Do you mean an external passive xover or just the ones inside the speaker? Either way, what kind of deleterious effects are you referring to? I'm not saying that you are wrong, I'd just like to know.
Ever notice how all threads about bi-amping, regardless of the OP's intent, devolve into contention?
I agree with both Csontos and Edwyun. Four identical mono amps and an external XO. You will need to know the factory X-over point and slope of the D1s. Using these parameters as a starting point, with the external XO's. The internal passive X-overs will need to be by-passed completely. As you can see, bi-amping involves more electronics, speaker cables,IC's, power cords, footers, etc. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that. Is there an improvement in sound? Absolutely!
In my experience...

Bi-wiring: Use 2 sets of cables from the amps to the M/H terminals and to the L terminals on the speakers. Of course, this uses the passive XO inside the speakers. I didn't notice any benefits.

Bi-amping #1: Use 2 IDENTICAL amps, one for the M/H terminals and the other for the L terminals on the speakers. Tried using the passive XO inside the speakers. I didn't notice any real benefits in my setup.

Bi-amping #2: Use 2 DIFFERENT amps, a SS amp that has tube qualities for the M/H terminals on the speakers, and a SS amp for the L terminals on the speakers. Again, tried using the passive XO inside the speakers. Definitely sounded "different," but in my particular case, the gain of the two amps were different so there was unevenness in the FR of the speakers (which led to...).

Bi-amping #3: Use 2 DIFFERENT amps, a SS amp that has tube qualities for the M/H terminals on the speakers, and a SS amp for the L terminals on the speakers. Added an active XO between the preamp and power amps. This allowed me to match gain in the different amps. Also, due to the high pass filter in the active XO, the amp connected to M/H terminals would only be amplifying the M/H frequencies, while due to the low pass filter in the XO, the amp connected to the L terminals would only be amplifying the L frequencies (this is what I see as the main benefit of bi-amping). This was tried with the passive XO still in the speakers. I noticed some improvements and definite differences in sound, especially fiddling with slopes, crossover points, phase, etc.

Bi-amping #4: Use the same setup as #3 above but removed the passive XO in the speakers. Tried different settings on the active XO. I noticed much bigger changes, better control, and - more importantly improvements in my setup.

Personally, my bi-amp setup allowed me to use an amp better suited for M/H frequencies for those frequencies and an amp with bass slam for those L frequencies. By having an active crossover upstream of the amps, these amps were not being required to amplify the full bandwidth signal. Instead, each amp is only presented with the signal needed for the job - either the M/H frequencies or the L frequencies.

Compare the above situation with a passive XO in the speakers that is downstream of the amps. All amps are then required to amplify the full bandwidth signal, only to have most of that signal discarded at the passive XO's filter networks.

By bi-amping with an active XO, you are able to dedicate the amps for specific parts of the signal, thereby getting (hopefully) optimum performance.

YMMV.

So, IMHO, bi-amping does take a lot of time, patience, and listening to dial in, and requires investment in an active XO, additional amps, and measuring equipment to get the most benefits. But the differences in sound that an active XO or passive XO can impart in a system really needs to be heard.

But Bi-amping isn't for everyone. If you're a person that wants to plug it in and just listen, it may not be for you. Indeed, it's not as simple as adding additional amps or even adding an active XO. There's a lot more to it than that. I got confused a lot and did a lot of trial and error even after reading about XO theory. But if you like tweaking and getting that last bit of enjoyment out of a system, you may want to give it a try.

Also, bi-amping is nothing new. People having been bi-amping since the 80s as far as I know (pro and consumer). More so now perhaps because people are creating their own DIY speakers.

Have fun listening!
^^^ Yeah, using the speakers' existing crossover point is a good place to start. If you can get more info as to the slope (e.g., 6/12/18/24 dB/Octave), that would also help in testing the settings on the active XO.

Though with steeper slopes, I often get phase changes, which is not a good thing.
Yes, its worth the effort exploring whether you can coax more out of your system. May not work in all systems but sure did in my case. However I am sort of a gear hog and had almost all the additional components to try bi-amping, first passively(using the stock crossovers) and finally moving to active with an electronic crossover.

You should first do some research, start here: http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm

In my case I started with simple passive biamping, 2 identical amps. Then I tried a tube amp on my mid/hi with a SS amp on the bass. The tube amp had a volume pot which helped with level matching (luckily it was also the more sensitive amp) which is essential when biamping. My speakers had first(on the bass>mids) and second order slopes (on the mid to hi).

WHen I went to an active crossover, I simply kept the mid to hi crossover and removed the bass coil and part of the mid crossover and used a Marchand electronic crossover to split the bass freq. from the mid/hi. You need to know technical details about your speaker crossover, like are there any EQ networks for any drivers, etc...
Sine I am DIYer, I enjoy the hands on experience plus maximizing the performance of the gear I own.

So yes, it can be beneficial, but its takes time and effort and resources(money or otherwise).
Each 'slope' adds 90 degrees of phase chift.....so you ALWAYS get phase changes with a crossover. 6db=90degreees......12db=180degrees and so on.
It is even possible to need to wire the mid/tweet out of phase with the woofer if you use a 12 db slope. That puts 'em back in mechanical phase.

As for SS / Tube for biamping? Other considerations exist. For example....does the sound take the same amount of time to go thru each amp? This will be a real issue at and around crossover where it would be nice if the music was all 'of a piece'......

Another consideration is power to each amp. If the crossover is around 500 to 600hz....you will need equal power above and below the crossover. Higher frequencies of crossover progressively use a smaller percentage of total power needed. Above say....10Khz, you may only need 15% of the total power.

I think 'active' is the way to go. But be sure to use amps with matching gain structure.