Jump to content
The Klipsch Audio Community
luddite

Is It Worth It to Bi-Amp Heritage speakers?

Recommended Posts

On 3/16/2020 at 9:40 AM, Chris A said:

This works well, except that off-axis you still have time alignment issues, and typically this moves the tweeter centerline higher off the floor away from the midrange centerline (more than 1/4 wavelength at the crossover frequency), but it's certainly a lot better than not time aligning on-axis.

Yep, it's a worthwhile "tweak" which Paul W Klipsch did not believe in and he told me so rather adamantly when I mentioned I had done it to my Khorns. He did not believe it was audible, but then again he had 81 year old ears at the time as can be seen in my Avatar. He said that a 2 millisecond time delay was inaudible on Speech and Music, but it was (marginally so) on Click tests. (see the shuffleboard experiment).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, kevinmi said:

I have recently purchased a laptop and a Umike, but I need someone like you to help me figure out how to use it properly.

Let me know how I can help when you break them out to do measurements.

 

Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2020 at 9:40 AM, Chris A said:

You can physically move the tweeter backwards away from the listening position until time alignment is achieved on-axis with the midrange and retain the passive network between the midrange and tweeter (i.e., the Bruce Marvel trick that he has used on his La Scalas for many years). This works well, except that off-axis you still have time alignment issues, and typically this moves the tweeter centerline higher off the floor away from the midrange centerline (more than 1/4 wavelength at the crossover frequency), but it's certainly a lot better than not time aligning on-axis.

 

Chris

All of these issues are addressed so well, passively AND optionally, actively by Tom Danley in their flagship SH-50, and it can be scaled up or down. I'm not sure if this is true currently, (our communications occured about 3 years ago) but he did state his preference for passive solutions coupled with active RePhase software that yields the flattest curve I've ever seen on any speaker, EVER. Hybrid solutions can work too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sancho Panza said:

Therefore, NOT worthwhile.

It depends on the listener's sensitivity to such things.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Chris A said:

I've always been a bit puzzled by this part: digitization wasn't mentioned by the OP.  This is not a consideration worthy of discussion because there is no audible effect of this.  I don't mention it because of that.

 

Well, there certainly can be audible effect, depending on the implementation in any case, but specifically so in the minds of some in every case.  It doesn't need iteration that the pre-disposed mind is a huge factor in things audio.  (There is one occasional participant at this site who specifically comes to mind regarding that!)  This OP, our "luddite," does at least occasionally feed his Belles some digital, but his first-mentioned source is a hopped-up record player...

 

What's the sample rate and word size used in your current DSP gear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I do occasionally stream through an older Macbook Pro and Dac Magic.  

But, as has been noted, mostly the music is analog per my TT, or through a well used early generation CD player.  

I even tried to resurrect an old cassette deck, but it had been sitting in the overheated attic so long the belt melted.  

Now what am I going to do with all those tapes, and 8-tracks, and reel to reels, and acetate discs, and Edison cylinders?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could try a miniDSP 2x4 HD for $205 and connect your digital inputs from your computer or CD player (USB or TOSLINK inputs), and also your analog gear (RCA inputs) from your preamp, then use their $5 IR controller to switch from one to the other.  Using a Windows PC/laptop, you can set up "room correction" EQ, then you would have separate means to use each piece of gear, players and amplifiers in a bi-amping arrangement.   The leads to the woofers would direct connect to one stereo amplifier, and the midranges/tweeters would stay connected to their passive crossovers. 

 

A calibration microphone ($75 if bought from miniDSP at the same time) and REW (free software) can be used to dial everything in. 

 

Chris

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2020 at 8:12 PM, luddite said:

I did not want to bring up the potential need for an active crossover with bi-amping with my original question.  

But, as retaining the passive crossover negates the benefits of adding the second, or third amps, the active crossover is part of the deal.  

So now the question becomes:  what adds more to the bi-amping exercise, the amp or the crossover?  

There's no doubt that active crossovers are largely beneficial when bi-amping, but consider the simple benefits of "fool's bi-amping" as mentioned. Separating the high and low frequency sections of your speakers makes each section act as a separate speaker, with its own crossover, frequency response curve, impedance curve, and input impedance. You'll have more control over each section, and if you take the time and effort to learn each amplifier's characteristics (and if the amps have gain controls), you can have even more control. You could implement modifications to each passive crossover section so their impedance curves plot better independently, together with their associated amp, and with the other sections of the speaker, similar to what you can do actively. Running a separate amp and wires is just the beginning. A few resistors may be all you need to make  beneficial changes to crossovers. A measuring mic, measuring software, and crossover modeling software can be tricky to learn but will help you see where improvements can be made, and will help with active crossovers when you're ready. The time and effort you put in and what you learn will be the real benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

9 hours ago, MechEngVic said:

Separating the high and low frequency sections of your speakers makes each section act as a separate speaker, with its own crossover, frequency response curve, impedance curve, and input impedance.

This isn't "fool's bi-amping".  This is passive network bi-amping.

 

9 hours ago, MechEngVic said:

A measuring mic, measuring software, and crossover modeling software...will help you see where improvements can be made...

The calibrated microphone and measurement software (free) is the minimum that's required when making changes with loudspeakers.

 

9 hours ago, MechEngVic said:

...will help with active crossovers when you're ready. The time and effort you put in and what you learn will be the real benefit.

I've done it both ways for years.  Using a good DSP crossover will achieve much better audible results with much less effort and time. And the DSP crossover can be reused when the loudspeaker configuration you're using now is just a memory.

 

Chris

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, "bi-amping" without some sort of active crossover only allows one to adjust high and low levels independently. People who do this usually want to jack up the bass, it seems.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/21/2020 at 10:13 AM, Don Richard said:

Basically, "bi-amping" without some sort of active crossover only allows one to adjust high and low levels independently. People who do this usually want to jack up the bass, it seems.

I remember a brief visit to a colleague in accounting who was NOT an audiophile but had a pretty good stereo setup nonetheless. I can't recall exactly what he had, but his receiver did have bass and treble controls. So he walks up to it and cranks the bass control all the way up as far as it can go. As he does this does this, he points out to me that most of his guests walk up to his stereo and do precisely that while saying "Listen to that Bass." I laughed and pointed out that his observation about the general public was accurate, while their listening preferences were NOT when they preferred this type of gross exaggeration of Bass. Now we have subwoofers to do that instead of cranking up that 100 Hz. "headache bass!!"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few different systems where each individual Klipsch speaker with factory installed dual input, split passive crossovers, is each passive bi-amped. Each separate treble speaker/amp and bass speaker/amp circuit needs less power and is less affected by back-EMF than if each combo were mono-amped. They sound great and I see no reason to discourage the idea for anyone who wants to buy speakers and amps, run more wire and have fun experimenting with their audio system. It is also true that many people are perfectly satisfied with their mono-amped speakers and I respect that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Khornukopia said:

I have a few different systems where each individual Klipsch speaker with factory installed dual input, split passive crossovers, is each passive bi-amped. Each separate treble speaker/amp and bass speaker/amp circuit needs less power and is less affected by back-EMF than if each combo were mono-amped. They sound great and I see no reason to discourage the idea for anyone who wants to buy speakers and amps, run more wire and have fun experimenting with their audio system. It is also true that many people are perfectly satisfied with their mono-amped speakers and I respect that.

I agree with this philosophy. Especially for those of us who have too many speakers, speaker parts, and too many power amplifiers than we need for our main sound systems. Go forth and play to the max!

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very interested in this subject.  At the same time I am a plug and play guy.  A lot of what I just read doesn't help me with my lack of education in this field.  I purchased Khorns new in 2012.  I drove from Minneapolis, MN to Indianapolis, IN to audition them.  Jim Hunter and Trey Cannon ran the audition, I had no idea who they were at the time.  I digress.  I would like to keep my Khorns stock.  The following is my thought.  Buy a tube amp for the mid and tweeter cabinet and a Xilica type unit.  Plug sources to Xilica and from Xilica to my Mac C50 preamp.  C50 to tube amp and my Mac MC302 for the base bin.  Will the Xilica do the time aligning for me or not?  I use my system for 7.2 video as well as 2-channel listening.  This is what my noodling through your and other threads has boiled things down to.  Be kind please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the Xilica will make delay adjustment possible between the bass amp and its associated bass horn and the mid/hi amp and its squawker and tweeter. I would humbly suggest you go all the way to a 3 way setup so you can adjust the delay between the squawker and tweeter also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/18/2020 at 10:13 AM, Chris A said:

You could try a miniDSP 2x4 HD for $205 and connect your digital inputs from your computer or CD player (USB or TOSLINK inputs), and also your analog gear (RCA inputs) from your preamp, then use their $5 IR controller to switch from one to the other.  Using a Windows PC/laptop, you can set up "room correction" EQ, then you would have separate means to use each piece of gear, players and amplifiers in a bi-amping arrangement.   The leads to the woofers would direct connect to one stereo amplifier, and the midranges/tweeters would stay connected to their passive crossovers. 

 

A calibration microphone ($75 if bought from miniDSP at the same time) and REW (free software) can be used to dial everything in. 

 

Chris

I concur with this recommendation 100%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, D Jenson said:

I am very interested in this subject.  At the same time I am a plug and play guy.  A lot of what I just read doesn't help me with my lack of education in this field.  I purchased Khorns new in 2012.  I drove from Minneapolis, MN to Indianapolis, IN to audition them.  Jim Hunter and Trey Cannon ran the audition, I had no idea who they were at the time.  I digress.  I would like to keep my Khorns stock.  The following is my thought.  Buy a tube amp for the mid and tweeter cabinet and a Xilica type unit.  Plug sources to Xilica and from Xilica to my Mac C50 preamp.  C50 to tube amp and my Mac MC302 for the base bin.  Will the Xilica do the time aligning for me or not?  I use my system for 7.2 video as well as 2-channel listening.  This is what my noodling through your and other threads has boiled things down to.  Be kind please.

You can use the Xilica as a full band PEQ device, but with no time delay, so you can still flattent out the Khorn's magnitude/frequency response in your room and even add a subwoofer while keeping the Khorn all stock passive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

You can use the Xilica as a full band PEQ device, but with no time delay, so you can still flatten out the Khorn's magnitude/frequency response in your room and even add a subwoofer while keeping the Khorn all stock passive.

This is what I did with my 1979 Cornwall surrounds for a few years: used the extra channels on a Xilica XP8080 to mono-amp them and correct their SPL response, with bi-amped Jubilees and center K-402-MEH taking the balance of the output channels from the Xilica, and 5 input channels.  It made a big difference in the 5.1 sound quality.

 

When I went to Belle surrounds and tri-amping the center (a new BMS 4592ND being two of the three channels), I added a miniDSP 2x4HD DSP crossover to bi-amp the surround Belles with AMT-1 tweeters on top.  That happens to be my current configuration.  It works well. 

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Chris A said:

It made a big difference in the 5.1 sound quality.

 

When I went to Belle surrounds and tri-amping the center (a new BMS 4592ND being two of the three channels), I added a miniDSP 2x4HD DSP crossover to bi-amp the surround Belles with AMT-1 tweeters on top.  That happens to be my current configuration.  It works well. 

 

Great evolution. Excellent tweaks to an already great setup. The law of diminishing returns if fully in play, but still worth it to those who want to approach sonic nirvana.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...