Thomas,with all due respect,due to the problem you had figuring out how to connect your speakers in a previous post,I sure would not be worrying about this right now.
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Using a mono amp on each speaker is no different that using a stereo amp. The speaker connection is the same. Bi-amping requires two amplifiers per speaker (one connected to the low and one connected to the high speaker inputs). You may or may not need an external crossover depending on the particular installation and whether or not all four amps are identical.
Hi Narrod. I see, I always thought a mono amp on each speaker was bi-amping. Four amps then, wow. For all the reading and internet googling I have been doing I missed that. OK, here is a list - what do I actually gain moving up the list:
(1) A stereo amp
(2) Two mono amps (one for each speaker)
(3)Bi-amped (two mono amps for each speaker)
Lets say these were all good quality amps of the same brand, what is the advantage of moving through the list (and the added expense) and is there a great increase in sound quality?
You don't necessarily need 4 separate amps to do biamping.
You simply have 2 stereo amps. One powers the woofers on both speakers, and the other amp powers the tweeters on both speakers. Of course, you need speakers that are capable of being biamped. You can tell this because they have 2 sets of speaker inputs on the back (and often have a jumper between them so that you can connect it to the amp with a simple single connection speaker cable).
I haven't done it myself, but if I understand the theory correctly, the advantage, besides additional power is supposed to be that the one pair of amps that is only producing the mid/treble frequencies can do a better job with lower distortion if it doesn't have to produce bass frequencies. Some also like to do it so that they can use tube amps for mid/treble and solid state for the bottom end.
Sufintanil - thanks, this is some very basic info but very enlightening to me as a beginner. I would have thought using 2 amps on each speaker would have more appropriately been called "quad amping"
Roxy54 - Yes, you are probably right but it surprises me that people can justify going to all that added expense for what seems to be not a great increase in sound quality. Then again, maybe there is a great increase.
Having recently tried bi-amping for the first time, with excellent results I must say, I'll take a crack at this.
Although the link Rodman provides is excellent, it is a lot of reading. So here's a beginners explanation. Bi-amping provides one amplifier channel per set of terminals on your speakers. The 1.6 has terminals for high and low frequencies so bi-amping them requires 4 channels of amplification. You could use 4 monoblocs, 2 stereo amps or a single 4 channel amp to get one channel per speaker driver.
Also, you would need to split the output from your preamp to provide an input to each of the channels. In my case, the amps (PS Audio) have a switch on the back to route the input to both channels. Some amps have a line input and output to provide chaining the amps together for bi-amping. Linn and Musical Fidelity are two that come to mind.
I won't address inserting filters as I did not do it that way. I ran each amp full range and let the speakers crossover provide the filtering. Just to be clear on that, your speakers provide filtering (crossover) to ensure only the desired frequencies reach each driver. The crossover is basically 2 filters that keep the drivers from reproducing frequencies they are not intended to produce.
I hope this helps.
Timrhu - Thanks for saving me the reading in the link which I am sure would have confused me, though i do appreciate Rodman sending me the link. Your response perfectly answers the question for me. OK, here is another question - do you guys find a BIG improvement when bi-amping? Now, if so, what if I were to use 2 monoblocks total, one for each speaker - would I gain anything more than power than I would using a powerful stereo amp (Pass Labs 250.5).
After moving my system from room to room and battling room treatments in every room over the last couple of weeks I finally have my system sounding good enough to give me goose-pimples and I am sure I can get it better. I am going to be a wimp and try bi-wiring first.....do you guys think this makes much of a difference? One problem I see is I am using an attenuator to shave off the sharp highs on my Maggie 1.6s and the jumpers from these go into where the bi-wire cables go - how do I do this?
Thanks to everybody so far for your help - much appreciated.