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Recently we've been chewing the fat on bi-wiring, now it's time to take it up a notch: bi-amping. Bi-amping is the ultimate bi-wiring. Not only do you have two separate loudspeaker connecting cables, one for the top end and one for the bottom end of the speaker, you also have separate power amplifiers connecting each.

It's pretty hard to mess up a bi-wire situation. The same cannot be said for a bi-amp setup. Now the chances for error go up dramatically.

One of the issues I've seen is when people willy nilly connect their favorite power amp to the top end and a different amp for the bass. Here's an example. Let's say your favorite amp is a little sweet sounding tube power amplifier. Maybe a single tube that has but a few watts available to it. Sure everything sounds warm and rounded, but the bass sucks. It'd have to, these kinds of power amps have output transformers, near zero damping factor and, of course, very few watts. So you decide to bi-amp: use this little tube amp on the top end powering only your tweeter. Then you drag out the old beast of a solid state amp you had laying around and throw it on the woofer. Great choice! Now you have all the power in the world for the woofer, a sweet sounding tube on the top end. Life should be good. You turn the system on and it sounds dreadful. What happened?

The biggest problem with doing this is that each of the two power amplifiers likely have different gains. So, now what do you do?

Tomorrow I'll start to detail out the advantages and disadvantages of bi-amping and we'll get into this interesting subject.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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