2 mono amps
- being close to the speakers you significantly shorten the distance traveled over speaker wire resulting in less entry points for distortions....AND....
- since the length is shorter, you can opt for better-sounding speaker wires that may cost more than you'd otherwise be able to afford for long runs from the amp.
If there are mono amps of which you can afford four, you can bi-amp with mono blocks. But not all speakers benefit from bi-amping, which has more to do with the speaker's crossover than the amps. And not all speakers CAN be bi-amped. Many bi-ampers like to use a tube amp for the midrange and high-frequency driver(s), and solid state for the woofer(s), while others like to use identical amps. Do you plan to use an outboard electronic x/o? Bi-amping is more involved than just using two stereo power amps.
i just bought a German made horn speakers call Odeon Accoustic no#30 ultimate. They are 93db 8ohms 3 way configuration ( serparate enclosure for each drivers. The tweeter are compression drivers say 1.75 inches, the mid are 5.75 inches and the bass are 12inches. Each of the drivers has it own enclosure separately with passive crossover built in. Here is my dilemma: is it better for me to run mono amps ( 100-250watts per side) or i should buy two stereo ( 100watt bass ) & (100watt midrange/tweeter) run it bi amp. Price is no object; what would be the optimal that i can utilize my money, my resource to get maximum performance?? Please give me your advise??
You do not need 100-250 watts to drive those speakers! The whole point of horns and high efficiency is to allow you to use better lower powered amps. I would be far less concerned about monoblocks versus bi-amping and more concerned with finding the right amp. These are some nice looking very high quality monoblocks:
Also it looks like Odeon speakers were initially imported by Axxis Usa longtime importers of Air Tight tube amps from Japan. Presumably the two brands would work together well. From the listings:
Awesome looking speakers btw I bet they sound fantastic! Good luck and have fun!
Zipost, it sounds like the biamp alternative you are asking about is what is referred to as a horizontal passive biamp configuration, meaning one stereo amplifier for the mid/hi sections of the speakers and another for the bass sections, without using an electronic crossover "ahead" of the amps. While some audiophiles use such a configuration successfully, it has many potential pitfalls that can lead to unsatisfactory results, especially if the two stereo amplifiers are different models. And if the two amps are identical models, a better way to biamp them would be in a vertical passive biamp configuration, meaning that each amp would power a single speaker, with one channel of the amp serving the mid/hi section of the speaker, and the other channel serving the bass section.
In contrast to a horizontal biamp configuration, a vertical configuration would allow you to use shorter speaker cables, as in the case of the monoblock alternative. And perhaps more significantly, it would also mean that both channels of each amp are processing the same signal, which can potentially reduce inter-channel crosstalk effects within the amp.
That said, with a biamp approach you are of course paying for four channels of amplification, while if you purchase a pair of monoblocks you are paying for two channels of amplification. So assuming comparable power ratings for the two alternatives (and keep in mind that the difference between 250 watts and 100 watts is only 4 db) it would seem that whatever amount of money you decide to spend on amplification stands a good chance of getting you better quality amplification in the case of the monoblock approach.
Good luck. Regards,
Are speakers bi-ampable? Some speakers come with a provision for bi-amplification by offering bi-amp switching on the backside, this allows bypassing the internal passive crossover and will require external active crossover instead.
The main advantage of true bi-amplification is reduction of distortion caused by internal passive crossovers at high volume playback volumes.
A good stereo amp is just as good as two mono blocks, mono blocks make sense only if very high volume playback levels are needed, I would personally avoid then to reduce clutter and keep things a bit simple.
Another advantage of bi amplification is much reduced power requirement from each amp compared to conventional systems, this again is another good reason for choosing stereo amp instead of monoblocks.
I have JBL 4350 speakers, these are designed strictly for bi-amplification, the hi and low ends are internally not connected and must be bi-amplified. I use two 200 watts stereo amps with active crossover, the low end is 96 dB and the high end is 99 dB. My music room is very large 18' x 27' with high sloping ceiling, the loudest sound level that I can tolerate requires 30 watts per channel max, I see absolutely no reason or justification for monoblocks with this setup, high quality stereo apps are more than adequate.
The biggest benefit of bi-amping is the filtering of the signal that is sent to each amplifier channel, and then to the speaker drivers. A 2-way outboard line-level crossover takes the full-range signal from the pre-amp, divides that signal in two, sending a low-pass filtered signal to the amp driving the woofers (the mids and highs removed from the signal), and, more importantly, a high-pass filtered signal to the amp driving the midrange and tweeter drivers (the bass removed from the signal).
Keeping bass frequencies out of the amp driving the m/t drivers greatly reduces the distortion produced by the amp, as well as providing much more available power for the m/t drivers, both of which results in cleaner mids and highs. Using a high-quality line-level x/o also provides cleaner sound by virtue of it eliminating the often-poor quality parts used in the construction of speaker-level crossovers, the greatest weakness of many speakers.
If done well, bi-amping will provide a greater improvement in sound than will mono-amping. But like I said, if you can afford to do both, so much the better!
I have two choices on amps!
I am thinking either getting a Zanden 9500 mono block at 60watts push pull 845 triode per side
getting a Viva Verona xl mono block single ended using 845 output tubes at 28watts per side.
Do you all think this will be enough power to run the Odeon Speakers. What's your thoughts??
Assuming the speaker specs are accurate, which can often be a big "if," and assuming about 3 db of "room gain," it can be calculated that 28 watts into each of the two speakers will produce an SPL of about 106 db for a centered listener sitting 10 feet from the speakers. 60 watts would produce about 3 db more than that.
Either number is more than enough volume for most listeners on most recordings. Exceptions are likeliest to occur on material having extremely wide dynamic range (i.e., a particularly wide difference in volume between the highest volume and lowest volume notes on the recording, such as some large scale classical symphonic recordings that have been well engineered with minimal or no dynamic compression), or if you routinely listen at the levels that are often encountered at live rock concerts.
Just want to say thanks for all the inputs from Audiogon members.
I want to keep you all posted. I decided to buy the Zanden 9500 mono block, 845 triode output/push & pull design. The amp gets around 50watts pure class A. To mate with that i bought a Zanden 3000 tube preamp. I will see how it goes. Happy Listening!