Bi-amped or Single Amp

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  • 01-13-2008, 12:30 PM
    SpankingVanillaice
    Bi-amped or Single Amp
    Does it make any difference on sound at all if a studio monitor is bi-amped that has a amp for each driver and has a crossover for each driver or single amp meaning only one speaker has the amp and uses a crossover to divide the tweeter and woofer for both speakers?
  • 01-13-2008, 12:32 PM
    SpankingVanillaice
    I noticed that higher end active monitors always use bi-amped so does that mean that my current Roland DS-30A is much better than any single amped ones like the M-Audio AV 30? I know that the AV 30 sounds really good and clear and bright highs and good punchy bass. Or is it that smaller monitors don't need bi-amp since it's a small speaker?
  • 01-13-2008, 12:35 PM
    basite
    with real high end speakers, I'm sure it makes a difference, especially with floorstanders.

    with your speakers: most likely not. you will only be able to play slightly louder with slightly less disortion, but at that volume level, the 4" 'woofers' will blow, the VC will melt (or shoot out the speakers, planting itselves in something else), and then you got no working speakers left anymore...
  • 01-13-2008, 12:58 PM
    JohnMichael
    In a bi-amped monitor the signal goes first to the crossover and then the low frequencies are sent to the amp for the woofer and the high frequencies to the amp for the tweeter. When the amps are designed for specific drivers and frequency ranges they better couple with the drivers. There is no power loss having to go through a crossover since that was done before reaching the amp. Also eq can be added to extend bass response if the designer sees fit. I would choose a bi-amp monitor over a single amp monitor.
  • 01-13-2008, 07:09 PM
    SpankingVanillaice
    I guess I could ask this but if you have a monitor that is only a 4in or 3in woofer or less do you not need bi-amp? Meaning both speakers and drivers have it's own amp. Also if it was bi-amped will it blow the drivers since it has too much power or will it still be better in small compac monitors too if there is such a thing as a bi-amped AV 30 monitor?
  • 01-14-2008, 07:36 AM
    Feanor
    "Need"?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpankingVanillaice
    I guess I could ask this but if you have a monitor that is only a 4in or 3in woofer or less do you not need bi-amp? Meaning both speakers and drivers have it's own amp. Also if it was bi-amped will it blow the drivers since it has too much power or will it still be better in small compac monitors too if there is such a thing as a bi-amped AV 30 monitor?

    Multi-amping versus single-amping is an additional design decision that the speaker designer has to make when designing self-powered versus passive speakers. There some advantages to multi-amping as some people here have mentioned and these pertain regardless of the size of the speaker but are relatively greater in the case of larger drivers. Cost, on the other hand, is usually a disadvantage.

    But passive crossovers are not free, and indeed, high quality passive crossovers can be quite expensive, so much so that an active crossover could be cheaper. And although, presumably, a second amplifier is more expensive than a single amp, the two amps might share a single power supply so the cost might not be so much more.

    To answer your question, "if you have a monitor that is only a 4in or 3in woofer or less do you not need bi-amp?", no. Nor do you "need" to bi-amp for any size of driver, although there might be advantages to doing so. In any case it would be incorrect to assume that a bi-amped active speaker is necessarily better than a single-amped one.
  • 01-14-2008, 01:40 PM
    Some well-respected companies (i.e. Dynaudio) emphatically deny that by-amping or bi-wiring has any sonic advantages. I've tried it a few times and frankly, I have yet to hear any sonic advantage. Maybe my ears just aren't that good anymore?

    ...Of course, there will always be people who will say that my equipment isn't hi-end enough to hear it, well then, until it is, I'm fine with single wires going to my speakers (and I have $ left over to buy more music).
  • 01-14-2008, 06:44 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    Some well-respected companies (i.e. Dynaudio) emphatically deny that by-amping or bi-wiring has any sonic advantages. I've tried it a few times and frankly, I have yet to hear any sonic advantage. Maybe my ears just aren't that good anymore?

    Multi amping of however many channels most certainly has some advantages.. The lower end of the frequency spectrum requires far more power and tends to clip amps more quickly. Using separate amps for each driver (or section) allows for different, more optimally sized amplifiers for the task. And if the bass amp should clip, it does not cause the top end to smear or screech.

    Another advantage is that one can apply active EQ to the bass section only where it does not compromise the overall fidelity. I use a third octave EQ on the powered subs on my HT system. The satellites run directly off the receiver's power.

    Neither of these advantages, however, has to do with SVI's little computer speakers. Why bother? :)

    rw