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  1. #1

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    Default Basic Bi-Amp Question

    I'm amazed that I can't find the answer to this anywhere. I am bi-amping my Monitor 60s with an Onkyo reciever.

    Which set of terminals goes to the tweeter and which set goes to the woofer?

    I'm a bit surprised they aren't labeled and it isn't discussed in the product manual.

    I assumed that the bottom terminals were for the woofer, but I've seen some stuff posted that makes me second guess myself. Can I get a definitive answer on this?

    Thanks.

    From the Onkyo Manual:
    For bi-amping, the FRONT L/R terminal posts connect to the front speakers' tweeter terminals. And the SURR BACK L/R terminal posts connect to the speakrs' woofer terminals.

    So, on the speaker, which posts are the tweeter terminals, and which ones are the woofer terminals?
    Last edited by brentj; 12-11-2008 at 03:35 PM.

  2. #2

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    Even if it's not labeled anywhere it's very easy to find out.
    Hook power to the bottom terminal and see what speaker plays, and them the top.

    Bottom = woofer
    top = tweeter

    Welcome to the Forum

  3. #3

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    so- from what I read, doing this is called bi-wiring, and is different from bi-amping which uses 2 different amps for each driver, is that correct? I noticed the same thing in my Onkyo manual and was thinking about doing this too, until I read a bunch of stuff about the difference between bi-wiring/bi-amping, and most sources I've read said doing it this way doesn't provide any real advantage... something about true bi-amping actually separating the signal into low and high frequency? Can someone shed some more light on this?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by manman View Post
    so- from what I read, doing this is called bi-wiring, and is different from bi-amping which uses 2 different amps for each driver, is that correct? I noticed the same thing in my Onkyo manual and was thinking about doing this too, until I read a bunch of stuff about the difference between bi-wiring/bi-amping, and most sources I've read said doing it this way doesn't provide any real advantage... something about true bi-amping actually separating the signal into low and high frequency? Can someone shed some more light on this?
    No...it is bi-amping. Just without external amps. You're still driving the low and high arrays seperately. Hook up the main channels to the tweeters inputs, and the surround back channels to the woofers inputs. The power that would be driving the surround back channels is now driving the woofers only, and the power from your main channels will just be driving your tweeters.

    This method doesn't yield the same results as using seperate dedicated amps for both lows and highs, but it will still give you a decent improvement from what I've gathered.


    To the OP, I'm not positive of which is which, but I'd imagine the top terminals would be for the mids/tweeter, and the bottom terminals for the woofers.


    edit-Whoops...I see leroyjr1 already answered that question for ya. :D
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  5. #5

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    and when you thought it made sense,, there is vertical and horitontal bi-amping. We'll talk later about tri-amping:DOne thing to do,is remove the stock jumpers and replace them with decent guage wire,if you can't bi-wire. Good luck in your journey.:)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  6. #6

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    Personally,I don't see the benefit,your still useing the same amp in the receiver.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Personally,I don't see the benefit,your still useing the same amp in the receiver.
    Yes...but the power that otherwise would have been driving the surround back channels is now driving your mains...rather than having an empty pair of terminals there that aren't powering anything at all. It obviously doesn't have the same benefits as true bi-amping, but it's still a nice feature to have.
    The nirvana inducer-
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  8. #8

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    Yes...but the power that otherwise would have been driving the surround back channels is now driving your mains...rather than having an empty pair of terminals there that aren't powering anything at all.
    but- when you have that empty pair of terminals don't you have more power going to the whole system? By using them, then there is a voltage drop across all speakers isn't there? Also- I think i've heard "bi-wiring" refered to as passive bi-amping. Are those the same thing?

    I don't know a whole lot on this stuff, but what I was reading was just saying that with bi-wiring you are basically sending the same full range signal to both sets of terminals as opposed to it being split into high and low frequencies. Here is one of the articles I took a look at:

    http://www.audioholics.com/education...ng-vs-biwiring

  9. #9

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    I think TonyB is right. Bi-amping/wiring from a mid-priced AVR is a waste of time. TRUE biamping would require you to disable the speaker's internal xover for a dedicated external unit anyway. As you can probably tell, I'm not a fan of bi-wiring or bi-amping.

  10. #10

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    Yes, with the terminals empty, you would be getting more power on each channel. With it in bi-amp mode, all of that extra power is now also going to your mains...rather than each channel just getting an extra 10 watts or whatever, your mains are now getting an additional 60 watts(or whatever the actual figures are).

    It still crosses it over so that the high freq. drivers are getting high frequencies and the low frequency drivers are getting low frequenceies. In this case though, the crossover is internal. A true bi-amping setup would involve a preamp signal going into a crossover with a low pass filter and a high pass filter, with amps connected to both the high pass and the low pass seperately.

    Here's a diagram of a true bi-amping setup.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    This is a superior setup, because being crossed over before the amps, the respective amps are only reproducing the frequencies which their connected drivers are reproducing. Where as with a speakers internal crossover, the amplifiers are still reproducing the entire frequency range, but the speakers are still either reproducing highs or lows. So it is still true bi-amping, the Polk speakers are designed with two pairs of terminals for just that reason. To simplify bi-amping, without having to design/buy external crossovers.

    I'm not a bi-amping expert by any means, but that's just what I've managed to accumulate. Here's an interesting article about bi-amping if anyone wants some reading material.

    http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm
    Last edited by comfortablycurt; 01-01-2009 at 06:34 PM.
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  11. #11

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    I see... interesting stuff. Well, I'm about to go 7.1 anyway as soon as I can get these dang fxi3's on my wall, so I guess I'll have to wait to get my hands on another amp and experiment with it myself. Anyone around here selling an xpa-5 for saaay...200 bucks?:p

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablycurt View Post
    Yes, with the terminals empty, you would be getting more power on each channel. With it in bi-amp mode, all of that extra power is now also going to your mains...rather than each channel just getting an extra 10 watts or whatever, your mains are now getting an additional 60 watts(or whatever the actual figures are).
    Set aside for a minute that you're drawing through the same power supply and probably getting 0 more total watts from the amp either way. What power are you really getting after the crossover when you give it two dedicated channels (or even two separate amps)?

    Wired normal you have band limited full power of 1 channel to each driver (crossover just splits bandwidth, not power, right?). Bi-amped you have... band limited full power of 1 channel to each driver. Or am I wrong?

    I'll say that it definitely sounds different, either with two real amps or using the back channels. A guy I work with has the same speakers and amps as me, but "bi-amped" like this. He loves it, says it sounds much more "airy" then mine. When I listen to his setup, I guess airy is one way I could describe it. Something's out of phase is another way I could describe it. Do the crossovers lose control when you do this, or is it possibly some difference running extra (different) wires could cause, or what? I don't know. We listen to some jazz with very delicate high frequency percussion (brushes, shakers, etc.) and you can hear in perfect detail every move of the individual instruments on mine; his just sounds like a swishy mess. But it's airy, I'll give him that.

  13. #13

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    does the guy you're talking about have them wired up to the same amp using rear channels, or two different amps?

  14. #14

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    Where do I begin? Please excuse my ignorance with speakers. And of couse
    I am new on here.

    So, I own an Onkyo TX SR605 (7.1/ 90w a/Channel)
    And for the front L & R I am placing two Polk Audio Monitor 50s
    for the Center a Polk Audio CSi 30, and for the surround two Polk Audio
    Monitor 30s and finally for the sub a Polk Audio DSWMicroPRO 1000.
    (12 Gauge Monoprice.com speaker cable)

    So my questions are, since the R50 are rated at 150watts, does that mean that when I will be biamping them (which my receiver can do by taking the two rear channels for the "bi" aming) does the tweeter take 75 watts and the woofer take the other 75 watts? And Does that mean trouble since I would be sending 90 watts for the tweeter and 90 watts for the woofer since that is what my receiver pushes per channel? And then, am I ridiculous for having the Polk Audio CSi 30 as my center since it is rated up to 180 watts and I my receiver only sends up to 90 watts for the center? Also, I am supposing that the two rear Polk Audio Monitor 30s are fine since they can run 100 watts and my receicer can send them 90 watts each. And of couse, finally, the DSWMicro PRO 1000 was a great choice, no questions there and no problems. So can someone please answer me? I am clueless as to if my system is now severely "unbalanced" because maybe I didn't do enough research/enough money before I Newegged all of this. Thank you!!!

    You all are the best and passion for Audio is the best feeling in the world!

  15. #15

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    Disregard all of my previous comments in this thread.

    Bi-amping with an AVR is basically worthless IMO. The power for all of the channels in the Onkyo 60x series, and most AVR's for that matter, comes from one common power block. Therefore, you aren't really getting any real power gains with AVR bi-amping. Bi-wiring would be a much more proper term. The exception to this is in the case of an AVR that has separate mono-blocks for each channel(most don't).

    There is some debate as to whether bi-wiring makes a difference, but in my experience it really doesn't. I tried bi-wiring my RTi8's with my Onkyo 606, and found there to be no improvements whatsoever. There wasn't any increase in volume...nothing. If anything, the mid-range sounded a little drier and more withdrawn...which is far from an improvement.

    By all means, try it out. You may find that you like it...others have.
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  16. #16

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    Rode, welcome. Yes, your questions do indicate that you have several audio misconceptions. The first point is that although some receiver manufacturers include a so-called "bi-amping" feature, as Curt and others have pointed out, this is meaningless. Actual bi-amping requires separate amplifiers and an external crossover in front of the amplifiers so that each only gets a certain frequency range to amplify. The internal speaker crossover has to be bypassed. A receiver has only one power supply section and feeding it through different output channels can't increase the power available by any amount.

    Next, you're paying far too much attention to speaker power ratings. They're theoretically the amount of power that the speaker could handle continuously(more could be handled on brief peaks)without being permanently damaged. Your receiver doesn't "push" 90 watts or any other amount that a speaker doesn't actually need at a given moment. For a typical comfortably loud average listening level your speakers need about 1 watt. Brief peaks use much more, of course, but should be within the capacity of your receiver.

    So, in summary, forget about the useless "bi-amping" feature and don't worry about the maximum power ratings of your speakers. They don't have to match(there's no question of "balance" involved)and you're never going to exceed their capacity and damage them. Enjoy your fine speakers and receiver.

  17. #17

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    Wow Curt, you threw me for a loop there for a second, lol. I was like when did Curt become a believer in Bi-Amping with an AVR that only has one amp section. I am with the guys on this one, it isn't worth the cost of the extra speaker wire IMHO. I see you have an Onkyo receiver, but which one. If it has pre-outs for adding an external amp that would be the best way to get more/better power to your 60's. Just my $.02. Welcome to Club Polk.

    -Jeff
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wutadumsn23 View Post
    Wow Curt, you threw me for a loop there for a second, lol.
    lol

    Yeah, that was back when I was a dumb newb. Now I'm a newb with a moderately sufficient knowledge of audio gear.:)

    Not to mention that I actually have first hand experience with AVR bi-wiring now, rather than just speculation and what I'd read online. That kinda helps.
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  19. #19

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    LOL, didn't see the date on the thread. It was back in January, lol.

    -Jeff
    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
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    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
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    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

  20. #20
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    Default Jumpers?

    Quote Originally Posted by george daniel View Post
    and when you thought it made sense,, there is vertical and horitontal bi-amping. We'll talk later about tri-amping:DOne thing to do,is remove the stock jumpers and replace them with decent guage wire,if you can't bi-wire. Good luck in your journey.:)
    What would you consider a decent guage for replacing the stock jumpers?

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ken.paduch View Post
    What would you consider a decent guage for replacing the stock jumpers?

    12 or 14 gauge will work just fine. 12 would be best.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentj View Post
    I'm amazed that I can't find the answer to this anywhere. I am bi-amping my Monitor 60s with an Onkyo reciever.

    Which set of terminals goes to the tweeter and which set goes to the woofer?

    I'm a bit surprised they aren't labeled and it isn't discussed in the product manual.

    I assumed that the bottom terminals were for the woofer, but I've seen some stuff posted that makes me second guess myself. Can I get a definitive answer on this?

    Thanks.

    From the Onkyo Manual:
    For bi-amping, the FRONT L/R terminal posts connect to the front speakers' tweeter terminals. And the SURR BACK L/R terminal posts connect to the speakrs' woofer terminals.

    So, on the speaker, which posts are the tweeter terminals, and which ones are the woofer terminals?
    The top set of post are the tweeters and the lower set are the woofers.

    If you download the manual for the onkyo NR906 the picture shows you how to connect it.
    for the NR906, the picture says that you should connect the Front R/L to the lower posts(woofers)
    and connect the surround L/R to the top posts(tweeters)

    You might want to double check your own Onkyo manual but the whatever the manual says, the top post is always the tweeter and the lower post are always the woofer.
    Last edited by olilugo; 09-01-2009 at 04:51 PM.
    Current HT setup
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  23. #23

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    It doesn't make a difference which channels get connected to which speaker inputs. When bi-amping with an AVR, both the fronts and surround backs are putting out the exact same, full range signal. The crossover within the speaker is still redirecting the appropriate frequency ranges to the correct drivers.

    The only reason the user manuals even say which channels to connect to which inputs is to make them idiot proof...which doesn't work, because the AVR's manual typically conflicts with the speakers manual.

    Like I said though, it makes no difference anyway, so I wouldn't worry about it.
    The nirvana inducer-
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    Acurus L10 preamp
    Adcom GFA-545 power amp
    PolkAudio SDA 2A's/PolkAudio Monitor 7A's
    Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables
    Audioquest Sidewinder IC's
    Audioquest Black Mamba IC's
    Signal Cable Analog II IC's

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