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  1. #1

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    Default Should I Bi-amp or Bridge mono my center channel

    I picked up a Parasound HCA-1200 II amp that I am going to use to drive my center channel. The center channel can be bi-amped. The Parasound is 205 wpc @ 8ohms X 2 channels or can be bridged mono. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with both hookup options and can provide guidance as to what would provide cleaner sound:

    Option 1: Use Y cable to send Center Pre-out signal to both amp channels and bi-amp the center speaker

    Option 2: Use one input on the amp, set it to bridged mono and use a single speaker cable to connect the center channel.

    I will be using 2 additional HCA-1200 II amps to drive the mains (1 per main)
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  2. #2

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    Dont have experience but in theory mono would have the cleanest sound I think and make best use of power .... some may disagree

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    That was my initial thought as well. I should add that I have a single MIT Terminator 2 speaker cable for the center channel and if I were to bi-amp, I would have to use "cough" "cough" Monster cable for the time being on the second connection.
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    Home Theater: polkaudio Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's, LSiM706c, 4 X TC265i Rears, SVS PB12 Plus/2
    Pioneer Elite SC-67, Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400, Oppo BDP-83

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    You still have time to edit your post lol

  5. #5

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    Biamping almost ALWAYS results in cleaner sound than bridging mono...
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    I found this in the Parasound manual. Very interesting:

    Dual "Half-Stereo" Operation
    For a sonically superior high power alternative to mono bridging, you can enjoy the best possible sound by using a pair of HCA-1200IIs, and operating each unit on one channel rather than bridged mono. You will gain substantial reserve power, since only one channel is now drawing upon the enormous power supply.

    While you will not obtain the full 625 watts at 8 Ohms available in mono bridging, you can obtain approximately 250 watts at 8 Ohms, or 450 watts at 4 Ohms. The audio signal is not required to travel through the additional phase inverter circuits required for mono bridging, and the resulting clarity will more than compensate for the slightly lower available power. Unlike mono bridged operation, with Dual Half-Stereo operation, you also have the option of using speaker loads of 4 Ohms or less. For Dual Half-Stereo, simply connect only one channel's input and output of each HCA-1200II. Leave the Mono Bridge switch in its Stereo (down) position. Leave the other channel of both amplifiers disconnected. It doesn't matter which stereo channel you use on each amplifier.
    Last edited by dpowell; 05-22-2010 at 12:54 PM.
    _____________________________________________
    Home Theater: polkaudio Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's, LSiM706c, 4 X TC265i Rears, SVS PB12 Plus/2
    Pioneer Elite SC-67, Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400, Oppo BDP-83

  7. #7

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    In my experience, there are very few amps that sound better in bridged mono configuration. Now if this is for home theater & not critical music listening, that difference may not be very noticeable. It sounds like you have some extra speaker cable lying around to try it out. Go for it & let us know what you think.

    -Dave

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    well i tried bridging my 1200ii to my 4ohm snell xa1900 center speaker, the manual states you can , but not for long extended peroids.so far the sound is good. any others tried.
    receiver- pioneer elite sc-37 thx ultra w/kimber kable.pk14.
    mains-lsi15 4ohm 250w modified&db840 nordost blueheaven spk/rca
    center : snell xa1900 4ohm 250w,nordost flatline
    subs-klipsch-ksw10/athena asp-4100
    rear-OWM3 - 8ohm 100w
    surrounds-klipsch rs-7 150w
    amp-5ch.-aragon 3005 thx ultra 2 nordost blue heaven ls pc
    power.c-bpt cpc/ps.soloist ci.

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    OK - probably a stupid question/observation, but I would think you'd want to bi-amp the speaker rather than bridge it just to keep the power the same across all channels? Otherwise you would be overdriving the center (compared to the fronts) and you would need to dial it back anyways for an accurate soundstage wouldn't you?

    Or am I completely off my rocker on this one?
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  10. #10

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    He is looking for loud not clear if you read his other posts.

    Bridging an amp is never cleaner than biamping.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  11. #11

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    Wow! My old thread resurrected. There's plenty of power in dual half stereo mode. No need to mono bridge.
    _____________________________________________
    Home Theater: polkaudio Modded SDA SRS 2.3TL's, LSiM706c, 4 X TC265i Rears, SVS PB12 Plus/2
    Pioneer Elite SC-67, Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400, Oppo BDP-83

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by deseroner View Post
    well i tried bridging my 1200ii to my 4ohm snell xa1900 center speaker, the manual states you can , but not for long extended peroids.so far the sound is good. any others tried.
    Check your manual carefully. I recall reading that mono bridge on the parasound 1200ii does not support anything less than an 8Ohm speaker. Half Stereo mode does support 4Ohms.

    From the manual page 8:
    Continuous Power Output - Stereo
    205 watts RMS x 2, 20Hz-20kHz, 8 Ohms, both channels driven
    315 watts RMS x 2, 20Hz-20kHz, 4 Ohms, both channels driven
    Continuous Power Output - Mono
    625 watts RMS, 20Hz-201kHz, 8 Ohms
    Current Capacity

    More from page 5:

    While you will not obtain the full 625 watts at 8 Ohms available in mono bridging, you can obtain approximately
    250 watts at 8 Ohms, or 450 watts at 4 Ohms. The audio signal is not required to travel through the additional phase
    inverter circuits required for mono bridging, and the resulting clarity will more than compensate for the
    slightly lower available power.
    Unlike mono bridged operation, with Dual Half-Stereo operation, you also have the option of using speaker
    loads of 4 Ohms or less.
    Last edited by dpowell; 08-19-2011 at 12:18 PM.

  13. #13

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    it states on page 4 bottom .safe operation mode

    Quote Originally Posted by dpowell View Post
    Check your manual carefully. I recall reading that mono bridge on the parasound 1200ii does not support anything less than an 8Ohm speaker. Half Stereo mode does support 4Ohms.

    From the manual page 8:
    Continuous Power Output - Stereo
    205 watts RMS x 2, 20Hz-20kHz, 8 Ohms, both channels driven
    315 watts RMS x 2, 20Hz-20kHz, 4 Ohms, both channels driven
    Continuous Power Output - Mono
    625 watts RMS, 20Hz-201kHz, 8 Ohms
    Current Capacity

    More from page 5:

    While you will not obtain the full 625 watts at 8 Ohms available in mono bridging, you can obtain approximately
    250 watts at 8 Ohms, or 450 watts at 4 Ohms. The audio signal is not required to travel through the additional phase
    inverter circuits required for mono bridging, and the resulting clarity will more than compensate for the
    slightly lower available power.
    Unlike mono bridged operation, with Dual Half-Stereo operation, you also have the option of using speaker
    loads of 4 Ohms or less.
    receiver- pioneer elite sc-37 thx ultra w/kimber kable.pk14.
    mains-lsi15 4ohm 250w modified&db840 nordost blueheaven spk/rca
    center : snell xa1900 4ohm 250w,nordost flatline
    subs-klipsch-ksw10/athena asp-4100
    rear-OWM3 - 8ohm 100w
    surrounds-klipsch rs-7 150w
    amp-5ch.-aragon 3005 thx ultra 2 nordost blue heaven ls pc
    power.c-bpt cpc/ps.soloist ci.

  14. #14

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    i am trying a combination of half stereo mode and mono bridging. trying to figure out which is best for me.
    receiver- pioneer elite sc-37 thx ultra w/kimber kable.pk14.
    mains-lsi15 4ohm 250w modified&db840 nordost blueheaven spk/rca
    center : snell xa1900 4ohm 250w,nordost flatline
    subs-klipsch-ksw10/athena asp-4100
    rear-OWM3 - 8ohm 100w
    surrounds-klipsch rs-7 150w
    amp-5ch.-aragon 3005 thx ultra 2 nordost blue heaven ls pc
    power.c-bpt cpc/ps.soloist ci.

  15. #15

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    It doesn't have a rating for 4ohm Mono in the descriptions I have seen.

    You may be causing more harm than good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe08867 View Post
    It doesn't have a rating for 4ohm Mono in the descriptions I have seen.

    You may be causing more harm than good.
    read the manual http://downloads.nakedresource.com/h...ca-1200_ii.pdf
    page 4.
    receiver- pioneer elite sc-37 thx ultra w/kimber kable.pk14.
    mains-lsi15 4ohm 250w modified&db840 nordost blueheaven spk/rca
    center : snell xa1900 4ohm 250w,nordost flatline
    subs-klipsch-ksw10/athena asp-4100
    rear-OWM3 - 8ohm 100w
    surrounds-klipsch rs-7 150w
    amp-5ch.-aragon 3005 thx ultra 2 nordost blue heaven ls pc
    power.c-bpt cpc/ps.soloist ci.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by deseroner View Post
    That said, I don't see the point. You are running bridged mono to get more power which to me equals desire for higher volume. If it's for HT, you're potentially running at high volume for 2 hours or more. Parasound doesn't state 'how long' is safe. Not worth the risk to amp or speaker, nor the loss of signal quality IMO.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpowell View Post
    That said, I don't see the point. You are running bridged mono to get more power which to me equals desire for higher volume. If it's for HT, you're potentially running at high volume for 2 hours or more. Parasound doesn't state 'how long' is safe. Not worth the risk to amp or speaker, nor the loss of signal quality IMO.
    ok i am running it half stereo mode sounds good so far, when ran in bridged mode , sound was fuller . snells are hungry.
    receiver- pioneer elite sc-37 thx ultra w/kimber kable.pk14.
    mains-lsi15 4ohm 250w modified&db840 nordost blueheaven spk/rca
    center : snell xa1900 4ohm 250w,nordost flatline
    subs-klipsch-ksw10/athena asp-4100
    rear-OWM3 - 8ohm 100w
    surrounds-klipsch rs-7 150w
    amp-5ch.-aragon 3005 thx ultra 2 nordost blue heaven ls pc
    power.c-bpt cpc/ps.soloist ci.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by deseroner View Post
    ok i am running it half stereo mode sounds good so far, when ran in bridged mode , sound was fuller . snells are hungry.
    Hmmmmm.....The LSiM707's are 8Ohm speakers, maybe I'll try the parasounds on bridged mono mode and see if they sound even better.

    It would be interesting for you to contact Parasound and see if you could get clarification on what a 'safe' amount of time is to run 4Ohm speakers on bridged mono. If they sound that much better, it might be worth finding out how much of a good thing the amp can handle. Certainly it would be nice to go with what sounds best to your ears.

    Do you hear any differences in the clarity of the sound between the two settings?

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