How to: Bi-Amping a Speaker

Bi-amplification, or bi-amping, is a technique which uses one amplifier for the low frequencies and a second amplifier for middle and high frequencies. This technique can allow users to take advantage of the strengths of each amplifier in its interaction with the speakers (i.e. use a 150 watt amp for the woofers and a 50 watt amp for the tweeter).

How to: Bi-amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The above figure highlights the mid and high frequencies being fed by a separate amp than the lower frequencies.

To properly bi-amp a system, the amplifiers’ power must be balanced and the speakers must be well within their frequency and power limits. This process should not be confused with bi-wiring, which uses a single amplification output source, but connects separately to the low frequency driver and to the midrange/tweeter.

True bi-amping involves hooking each amplifier to an electronic crossover that serves to supplant the passive crossover network built into the speaker (the passive crossover must be eliminated in order to achieve the advantages of bi-amping). This “active crossover” then connects to the appropriate speaker terminals; one for the woofer and another for the combined mid and high ranges.

How to: Bi-Amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The highlighted wires deliver the low frequencies from a second amplifier.

Some 7.1 and 9.1 system receivers give users the option to assign the unused surround channels amps to the front left and right channel speakers for bi-amping. Be sure to check your receivers capabilities before attempting.

If you do not want to bi-amp or bi-wire your speakers, you can simply connect your amplifier to one set of binding posts, then use jumpers (as shown below) to connect the low frequencies to the mid and high frequencies.

How To: Bi-Amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The copper jumper connects the woofers with the tweeters above so all speakers are powered by a single amp as opposed to bi-amping.

 

Note: Bi-amping is not a requirement for Klipsch speakers. Whether you believe it delivers an audible improvement is up to your ears.

How do you have your system configured? Let us know in the comments section below and feel free to ask questions!

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