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#6440 - 10/15/02 09:53 AM bi-amping question
craigb Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 16
Loc: Indianapolis
I've seen a few people talk about bi-amping their speakers on this forum, and in speaker reviews on other review websites, and it's prompted a question:

Some of these folks say they're using the Speaker A and Speaker B outputs on their receivers (for those that have multiple speaker outputs, anyway) to "bi-amp" their speakers. Does this make any real sense? Can it possibly provide any benefit beyond bi-wiring? After all, the signal is most definitely *not* coming from two different amplifiers, right? It seems to me the only thing they're doing is providing separate leads to the woofers and the midrange/tweeters (or to the woofers/midrange and the tweeters - depending on the speaker's design), precisely the same thing as bi-wiring, but with the addition of another bit of circuit run inside the receiver being added to the signal path.

Am I nuts here? Is it me, or is it them? I mean, I know that actual bi-amping can have the potential for sonic benefits, but surely this way can't possibly have that effect, can it?


#6441 - 10/15/02 10:20 AM Re: bi-amping question
alan Offline

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3188
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi Craig,

Nope, you are entirely lucid. It makes no sense whatsoever, and produces no audible benefits, other than lowering total resistance in the cables to the speakers. But you can accomplish exactly the same thing using biwiring or a thicker gauge of single cables. Of course, if someone goes to all this trouble, his or her active imagination may stimulate notions that there are audible differences when none exist. They have the expectation of an improvement, so without experimental controls in place (an A/B/X comparator or double-blind setup with instantaneous level-controlled comparisons), they'll likely hear an improvement.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

#6442 - 10/15/02 10:56 AM Re: bi-amping question
craigb Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 16
Loc: Indianapolis
Thanks for the affirmation, Alan. It's good to know I'm still (relatively) sane.

And you're right - psycho-acoustic phenomena can be pretty powerful stuff when it comes to perceived differences in sound.



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