Actually, all Vandys that I am aware of, are all capable and recommended for bi-wiring/bi-amping. The subs are a separate time, and the "bass" amp in the 5As drives the subs only, not the woofers. Based on RVs typical recommendations, I imagine the Zeus' were being used in vertical bi-amp mode, with each amp taking one channel, and each side of each amp driving either the woofers or the mid/tweeters. 'Course, I wasn't there, but I would be willing to put money on that, if RV were involved in the setup.
The Vandersteen 5a's are among my favorite speakers. Unfortunately, the setup at HE 2004 did not do them justice...even though they were using great sources and excellent amps. What was the problem?? I think it was the room and not enough attention to setup details. Luckily, I already know how great the 5a's sound.
When you run an amplifier like that, (vertical) is there any harm being done to the amp as both channels are being driven differently. Obviously, if one channel is driving the woofer and the other channel is driving the mid's and hi's, the loads on the amp are not balanced. I realize it would involve more cabling, but would it not be better to use one amp to drive the woofers of both speakers and the other amp to drive the mid's and hi's. And with regards to the connections on the Vandy's, your saying there are two sets of terminals, one for the woofer and one for the mid's and hi's?
Thanks for your input.
I've read that Richard is strongly opposed to horizontal bi-amping (what you described), with the claim that it sounds like crap. In fact, most people who bi-amp seem to recommend vertical bi-amping. I have no experience with it, but those who have tried both always seem to end up with a vertical setup.
Zippyy- themadmilkman is correct that RV recommends vertical bi-amping. I have absolutely no electrical engineering knowledge, but I can say that I used a vertical bi-amp system with Vandy 3Asigs with great success for several years. Many others as well. And yes, there are two sets of terminals on each speaker, one for the woofers and one for the mid/tweets. This is true for all Model 2 and 3 speakers that I have seen. The Model 4s, which had a passive sub, had three sets and required bi-amplification (at least). Conceptually, you can think of the 5s are an extension of the Model 4 design, with built-in subwoofer amps, or a 3Asig, with built-in 2Wq subs.
The 5As are designed to be bi-wired, and if you want, bi-amped. Just to digress for a minute, the 3's on down the Vandersteen line are also designed this way. However, with them, the division is between the woofers and the mids/hi's. Since the 5's and 5A's have a powered sub the division is between the mids and the tweeter. There is no speaker wire going to the sub woofer in the 5 or 5A. Which, if I understand some of the above posts, is what is confusing some of you.
When I had 3A sigs. I went from a bi-wire configuration to a vertical bi-amp configuration and the improvement was dramatic. So much so, I would advise anyone with 3A's to give it a try. Since I had the amps available I continued the vertical bi-amping with my 5A's. In this case the difference is very slight and not worth purchasing a new amp to try it.
I certainly hope the article said more then they "sounded like crap", that's not much to go on. Some backround information. I have a pair of Aerial 10T's that I power in the follow way. I am using two BAT VK1000 monoblocks for the botton end(s) and two BAT VK60 monoblocks for the top end(s). This is uniquely "horizontal" bi-amping, and not vertical. Why then would it matter (sound wise) if you used two stereo amps and wired them so that each channel of one amp powered the lows (of both speakers) and each channel of the other amp powered the hi's (of both speakers) verses using one amp for the hi's and low's of one speaker and the same for the other channel. In horizontal, one amp is producing only low freqs and the other amp is producing only the upper freqs. In vertical, one half of each amp is producing low freqs and the other half in doing the hi's. How can one way sound any better or worse then the other?
If you are vertical bi-amping (btw, what amp(s) are you using) have you tried to horizontally bi-amp them. If so, how did it sound, if not, why not?
Aren't the 5's a four way speaker? Since they have a powered subwoofer built in, doesn't that leave the woofer, mid and tweeter left to be powered. So wouldn't the x-over point be between the woofer and the mid/hi freqs and not between the mid and hi as you suggest? In your scenario, the woofer and the mids are combined and the tweeter is separate.
I hope all this isn't too wordy!
Zippyy- I used a pair of McCormack DNA 0.5 Rev A+ (soft recovery diode). I only used them vertically bi-amped, since the designer strongly recommended it. IMO, the primary benefit for vertical bi-amping is increased channel separation, imaging, soundstaging. BTW, I also had a pair of 2WQ subs, so the bass was rolled off below 80 hz, therefore not putting too much of load on the amp in that regard.
I can't remember his exact words, and don't have the time to drag up the interview again. I've also heard it from other sources.
Thanks everyone for all your input. I appreciate it. Swampwalker, I've heard great things of those amps. Maybe in another system, some day!
Themadmilkman, I apologize in advance if I offend you, but you had time to respond. If you should come across the article in the future, perhaps you could be so kind as to post it, maybe here.
Good luck wilth all your music listening!
Zippyy-- no offense taken, it would just take me a LONG time to find the article again. I'm sure I'll come across it again, but right now, between finding work, preparing to take the LSAT, preparing for my brother's wedding this weekend, and getting ready for the first kid, my spare time comes in small spurts.
I do enjoy it when it comes, though. Music certainly relaxes the soul.
Well good luck and congrats four times. Sounds like your going to need all the music you can get.
Zippyy- check out the Vandersteen web site; I suspect that there is a white paper on this. I am pretty sure there is a discussion in the Model 3 owners manual, which may be available to download as a pdf.