OK to use a 4 or 5 Channel amp to bi-amp?

Hi guys,
I auditioned a pair of Mission 753 Freedoms and decided that they will do for my Harman Kardon Signature 2.0 Pre-amp and Signature 2.1 Five-Channel amp, set up. My question now is. Since I am more into music than home theater, I was thinking of using 4 of the 5 channels in a bi-amped mode. Will this be a good idea? Or does true bi-amping require 4 separate monoblocks? I checked the h/k Signature 2.0, it uses a single large toroidal transformer to feed all 5 channels (which are discrete apart from this).

Other choices I have in mind are:

A) Get another Harman Kardon Signature 2.0 and bi-amp from there (i.e. only use 2 channels in each of the amps)

B) Get 4 Marantz MA700 or MA500 monoblocks to bi-amp.

C) Get a Citation 7.1(which has 4 separate power supplies/transformers for each of the 4 channels and bi-amp from there) http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?ampsmult&1025555427

D) Get a pair of Citation 22s, unbridge them, and bi-amp from there. http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?ampstran&1025564178

I am a bi-amp virgin, so someone teach me the ropes here?
I don't even know where to look for crossovers... and what the heck is the passive vs. active debate?


I used 4 Marantz MA 500s to bi-amp my Paradigm Ref 100s, and thought it was an amazing setup, especially for how inexpensive the MA500s are (if bi-amping, I'd recommend the MA500s over the 700s, and take the money saved on buying the 500s and put it towards something like interconnects or speaker wire. The 500s will have enough juice, especially in a bi-amp config). I would recommend the Marantz route if your budget limits you from other amps. I have also used HK stuff, and found Marantz to be MUCH more musical than HK. Of course if budget allows, I'd just buy a high end amp like Bryston, Levinson, BAT, Pass, too many to mention them all...but in the $2k (used) range.

In biamping, your speakers need to have at least 2 sets of binding posts, and you will of course need the appropriate amps as well as 2 sets of speaker wire. You will also need 2 'Y' adapters, 1 male end to 2 female ends, and 2 sets of interconnects. Be sure to remove the jumpers on your speakers that would be used to connect the 2 sets of binding posts, and your off to the races. In that set up you are using the crossover in the speakers. I dont know much about external crossovers, so I'll avoid advice in that area.

Good luck.


There have been several threads recently about bi-amping. For active bi-amping you will need an external crossover. As Mdomnick says above, you can use the crossovers installed in your Missions and passively bi-amp. Connect your preamp to your amp in the usual way (use Y-cables if your preamp doesn't have two sets of outputs) and then connect one channel of your 5-channel amp to each set of binding posts on each speaker (using 4 of the 5 channels).

Sure, having monoblocks will sound better. But will it be "better enough" for you to justify the expense? You're the only one who can answer that.