Weird. How would you control volume in concert?
Kr4 - I'm guessing since I have volume controls on both I can regulate spl from treble and bass. By trial and error at worst, I'd expect I could find optimal settings.
Peter_s...yes, one unit does have a pre-out and this is the unit I'd be using to drive the woofers. Should I plug sources into this unit alone?
i did exactly that with two ps audio control amps some months ago. the results were somewhat marginal as compared to running just one amp. in point of fact it was a bit of overkill; not much gained other than ability to control highs and lows independently. also, noise became an issue with more interconnects required.
Ghosthouse: I'm guessing since I have volume controls on both I can regulate spl from treble and bass. By trial and error at worst, I'd expect I could find optimal settings.Tricky and unreliable. More than likely you will get variations in LF/HF balance as you try to reset levels. Besides, how will you know if they are set correctly especially as you change the level? Most dual VCs don't track accurately and two different VCs are likely to vary even more.
Does not seem to be worth the bother for any marginal improvement possible.
Doing it with Y-connectors, as you propose, is possible. However, there will be volume control difficulties, particularly if the amps have different gain.
Doing it with a pre-out and daisy-chaining the amps is also possible, but both of the amps need to have a pre-out and power-in.
If both amps have a pre-out and power-in, here is what you do. Signal goes from source to amp 1, then from pre-out of amp 1 to line-in of amp 2, then from line-out of amp 2 back to the power-in of amp 1. If you only use the pre-out from amp 1 into amp 2 and don't bring the signal back into amp 1, you will not be biamping. The power section of amp 1 will be bypassed and unused when you use its pre-out. You will have pre-amp/power/amp set-up. It will identical to using a single integrated amp, only with the addition of another interconnect.
Passive bi-amping is too much trouble and money for too little improvement in my view. And it sounds like your amps probably don't both have all the ins and outs. Better to have your money in one good amp rather than spread the same funds over two lesser amps. Active biamping is a different story however.
S7horton - Sorry I wasn't clear in my original post...unfortunately, I have 2 different "amps". One all tubes, the other an old but refurbished Yamaha R-1000 ss receiver (100 wpc). Horizontal looks to be the way I'll have to go if I try this. I might get an SPL from R Shack to help balancing lows and highs. Take some before "bi-amp" readings off each driver at various volume control levels using a "reference" CD. See what volume knob positions are needed to duplicate those readings with 2 amps in place.
We need more info. Same amps? Different? Which ones? I would go to Integrated "A" with all sources then line out (fixed tape out not variable preout) to Integrated "B".
Integrated A = the one with a better sounding preamp section if A/B are different
If the power levels are different on the amps the higher one to the woofers of course.
Sorry but I only read all your follow ups after I my first post. Yes go horizontal and use the tube integrated as "A" in my first post and use the tape out to the other amp. Tubes on the HF, SS on the LF. Don't worry about the SPL thing, adjust it to the way you like it. You put the amount of salt and pepper you like on your food (if any) and not what someone else says right? Also don't worry about what Kal says he thinks passive(horizontal) bi-amp is a waste. Those of us that have it know better. It sounds better at all volume levels especially in an optimum passive setup where the amps are power amps and are the same input impedance, gain and sensitivity. LF having about 2X the HF amp is good depending on the actual X-over frequency and type of speakers. Good luck-please report back.
Electroid - see my reply to S7horton but yes, 2 different amps. Jolida 502B (60 wpc) & a mid '80s Yamaha R1000 receiver (100 wpc). Was thinking exactly as you suggest to run upper range drivers with the JoLida and lower range drivers with the Yamaha.
Thanks for your suggestion. I do indeed have a "tape out" on the JoLida (an input to my Nakamichi tape deck that I don't use much). Is this what you have in mind? (not sure what 'fixed tape out not variable preout' means). If yes, it does seem better than running Y splitters to each amp from all sources. If this works, I'll buy you a (virtual) beer and shop around for something better to replace the Yamaha. Thanks again.
Yes, use tape out on the Jolida. Tape out is "fixed" meaning regardless of where the volume is set on the Jolida the level coming out of the tape out is the same. This way it doesn't affect the volume on the other amp.
It will work fine and as you said no Y adapters needed. Let us know how it works out. Also, enjoy the flexibility of the two volume controls you'll have to make things sound to your liking.
If you want to be anal you can connect a tuner, tune it to "dead air" and measure the outputs of your amps with a voltmeter (set to AC) and tweak the volume control(s) to equal the output of each amp. You'll at least have somewhat of a reference for where each volume control is in relation to the other for equal output. In the end I still say set it the way you like it!
I did a similar setup for the Magnepan 3.5. I use the Jolida 1051 int amp 100W for Bass and it's tape output to a Opera EL34 40W tube int amp for treble.
Operation wise - you just turn up the treble volume first and adjust the bass to fit the song style.
Not the best sound one can get but it's workable and for the Magnepan this setup actually by-pass the passive pre-amp for the treble but added extra pre-amp stage. I would say it's about 80% of a good active bi-amp setup which I tried with a Lyngdorf.