YOU SHOULD USE YOUR INTERGRATED TO DRIVE YOU WOOFERS, AND THE POWER AMP TO DRIVE YOUR MIDS AND TWEETS. THIS IS THE BEST POSSABLE CONFIGURATION FOR MANY REASONS.
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You should use your best amp to run the Mid/Highs as that is where most of the music lies and where you will notice the greatest improvements. Quantity of power is not as important as the quality of that power.
In my particular case, I am using the same size and brand of amp. But, I am using the newer version of that brand for the mid/highs.
Well funny thing is that it sounds best using the Rotel to power everything rather than the Arcam powering the tweets?
(I have not tried it using Rotel to power just the tweets yet..)
Perhaps it is because I am using to completely different amps, so there is a missmatch or unevenness to the sound?
My B&W P4 speakers have 1 tweeter and 1 main driver each.
They have a what I lead to believe is a rather good and unusual 1st-order crossover at 3.5kHz.
So I am using the Arcam purely as a preamp, so it should have plenty of overhead just doing preamp duty :)
I had an ARCAM A22 integrated and ARCAM P25 power amp hooked intially to B&W 603 S2 and later to B&W CDM 9NT.It was always the integrated for HF and the power amp for LF.It sounded pretty awful the other way around.Eventually got rid of the whole lot since I don't think this bi-amp business using an integrated/power combo is a patch for a proper pre/power combo as I discovered when I switched to a Bryston BP25/4BST.Some Brit manufacturers, notably Arcam, tout this form of bi-amping.Believe me its not entirely cheap nor good value.Its better to stick to conventional wisdom and use a pre and mono blocks(obviously more expensive)or a good power amp.I am wiser for having travelled the wrong road !!
I would go with Option 2, I have used that configuration many times with various MF products. I have two MF systems and also currently have A3 integrated.
Although it is true you want best signal to go to tweeters, your bass also needs much more power and the 3.2 amp is significantly more powerful vs A3 integrated. MF specically designs integrateds to used as you describe in option 2.
Sunnyboy makes some good points that ideally you would get bigger better integrated by MF or preamp/amp set, but option 2 will improve upon the sound of using A3 integrated by itself.
The new MF 308 integrated sure looks nice, or you could eventuall get A3.2 preamp to go with A3.2 amp......many options with MF gear.
I would say you should check the sound with both configurations and then decide. It depends on weather you like warm sound or bright sound. Thumb rule use the amp that gives you better transparency to drive the Tweet and mid and the other to drive the base.I use the Arcam FMJ to drive the highs and mid and the Arcam alpha 10 power amp to drive the lows of my Proac D15s. Blissfullll
Drrdiamond...Thanks for the info. Your reason #2 is really just an extension of the biwire argument. Reason#1 means that the amps can be located right at the speaker (like monoblocks), and with the price that people pay for speaker wires you could probably buy that second amp!
It still seems to me that omitting the crossover gives up most of the advantages of biamping.