Do you biamp your B&Ws or other comparable brands?


Setup:
Marantz AV7005 pre
Parasound A51 amp
B&W 803D fronts
Center channel TBD
Sonance 831VDR rears

Given I have two extra channels on my preamp, does it make sense to biamp my fronts for audio as well as HT playback? Has anyone done this? I believe passive biamping is the way to go with these speakers as I'm certain the internal crossover is of high quality.

Any comments would be helpful and appreciated.
aman4kr4
I did passive biamp and realized that having powerful enough single amp works better.
Passive biamp in most cases stinks except using 2 identical amps. Even in this case one bigger amp wins with better tonal balance and better quiet sound precision.
Internal crossover may be of a high quality, but for biamp you need electronic crossover and built-in crossover removed or disconnected.

Absolutely agree with Czarivey. The best case scenario for passive bi-amping is 2 identical amps in a vertical configuration, however it is better to just have a single larger amp.
Center channel TBD
Isn't the obvious choice a B&W HTM2 Diamond?
Thanks guys.

I am using a 5 channel 250watt amplifier. I believe it is large enough to power the 803s, but I have been told that sending more power to the speaker with my current amp using biamping would improve the sound, especially at lower volumes. The matching is less of a concern here as i am using the same amp for everything.

Is bypassing the b&w crossover easy? Sounds complicated.

Regarding centers, I may get a different center as my cabinet isn't tall enough to house the tweeter for the matching center.
If I do not end up biamping, should I at least biwire?

I would like to biamp as I will be able to better utilize my amp. Otherwise, I'm wasting 3 channels of power in stereo mode, as opposed to just 1. But, I don't need to do biamp just for that reason alone. It must be simple enough to do and be worth the effort in sonic quality.

Adding a center speaker, you will then be using all 5 channels of the A51 for HT. Are you then going to disconnect everything and reconnect for bi-amp to do stereo only listening?

When you drive the 803D with a single channel, the majority of the power is being used by the LF input, with a small amount of the power being used by the HF input. So, to bi-amp, you are just adding more potential of power for the HF input that is just not necessary. I agree that more power can sound better at low volumes, however, that extra potential of power needs to be available for the LF input, not just extra power on the HF input.

Something that you may not be aware of is that the A51 will have more output capability when only using 2 channels as opposed to using all 5 channels. Check the measurements here for 2 channel vs 5 channel.
Is bypassing the b&w crossover easy?
No, as this will require serious disassembly of the speaker since the crossover of the 803D consists of 3 separate boards in different locations inside the speaker.
If I do not end up biamping, should I at least biwire?
This has been debated extensively on this forum with various opinions. IME, I prefer single wire with matching jumpers to replace the factory straps between the LF and HF connections, although I believe the 803D comes with a much better jumper than the typical gold plated brass factory strap. If you bi-wire, I believe most agree that it is best to use 2 separate runs of identical cable.
Regarding centers, I may get a different center as my cabinet isn't tall enough to house the tweeter for the matching center.
Understand, but it will definitely need to be a B&W.
Thanks for the great feedback.

If I did end up biamping, then I was going to use a separate two channel amp for the rear speakers.

Your insight about the a51 offering more power with only two channels in use is priceless. In that case, I don't feel the need to biamp at all.

This may be a dumb question, but since all five inputs to the amp are connected to the preamp, do I need to do anything (setting, etc) so the amp knows only two channels of audio are being sent? Does it matter which channels I use for fronts, center and rears.

Re: biwire, I guess i will just use regular speaker cable and use the wire jumpers that come with he 803ds.

Thanks a ton.
This may be a dumb question, but since all five inputs to the amp are connected to the preamp, do I need to do anything (setting, etc) so the amp knows only two channels of audio are being sent?
See page 46 in the preamp manual. Just press the "stereo button" on the remote is all you need to do. Then only the front L & R will play, and no signal will be sent to center and rears.
Does it matter which channels I use for fronts, center and rears.
Probably not, however, looking at the back of the A51, color coding indicates that,

Ch1 - R front
Ch2 - L front
Ch3 - center
Ch4 and Ch5 - rear, but no indication for R and L, so just make sure you are consistent with connections.

You're welcome, and glad to help.
Thanks again. Love this site!
I will offer a slightly different viewpoint. When I got in this game everyone said not to passive bi-amp, because it would make no difference. I have found a different reality. My home theatre system uses Mirage OMD-28s, and I have them bi-amped, and tri-wired (audio quest gibraltar cables) with a Pioneer Elite receiver. I went from single amped to this setup, and when I did there were significant changes. I had my friend Bill listen to give me an objective opinion.

My speakers the sound plane became much more three dimensional, the bass was tighter and more visceral, and the mids and treble were cleaner. This isn't to say it will have this effect on all speakers, but it did for mine. I say give passive bi-amping a try and see if it makes a difference in your setup.

Even though my speakers can handle a lot more power than I'm feeding them, I can never even come close to using the power limits of the Pioneer. It is just too damn loud at -8 on the dial. The one additional change I made, that I think greatly benefited the setup, was to run two dedicated 20amp circuits. The Pioneer has one all to itself with a PS Audio Premier SC Power Cable. So there is never a limit on power being fed to it.

Hope this helps,
Mot
Thanks Manoterror.

For now, I'm just going to stick with the biwire option using just one output from my amp. They already sound amazing!

Thanks again.