Anyone prefer horizontal bi-amping their monos?

Just got monos a week ago, digging them mightily. I know the answer to my question is 'just try it' which I will someday.

Just curious if others have done this A/B, & their take.

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What do you mean?
Two monos per side into biwired speakers?

or is a mono a speaker?

I think many people run a mono for each speaker.
If nothing else you end up getting a short speaker cable.

And I suppose save some rack space if one can hid them behind the speaker.
And also those cable lifters go out the door when the speaker cable is going vertical.

You sure got me a scratchin’ my head with your question. To bi-amp  a pair of speakers you need 4 mono amps. Horizontal and vertical bi-amping is used when one uses two stereo amps when bi-amping speakers. Kapish? 


You sure got me a scratchin’ my head with your question.

The question is also stretching my imagination yoga style.

Do you mean running both woofers off of one mono amp and the higher bi wire terminals off the other amp?

You are going to need a sketch from the 2 RCAs (L/R) from the preamp.
L (left) goes to the left hand side speaker.
R goes right.

Is looks like you have 2 identical carver stereo amps.

From past experience I've preferred horizontal bi-amping with stereo amps in both passive and active/crossover setups.

Difficult to describe the difference in sound - it was just more coherant overall.

However, some seem to prefer the possible/added channel separation from a vertical setup.

This said, try it both ways.



So it really helps to know the configuration of your amps. Are they:

  • True monoblocks: no switch to stereo mode, and cannot be used for vertical or horizontal bi-amp until you have 4 of them.
  • Stereo amps with a switch to PARALLEL the L/R sides for mono operation: sometimes tube stereo amps offer this option, yielding up to TWICE the rated power output - like my VAC Signature 200iQ. In that case (200iQ), using a pair of amps in mono mode yields a HUGE performance gain over using a single amp in stereo mode. This is more of a performance gain than you’d get via bi-amping, IME.
  • Stereo amps with a switch to BRIDGE (series?) the L/R sides for mono mode. Many SS amps offer this option and advertise up to FOUR times the power rating! There are a few downsides: you lose headroom for driving tough (low impedance loads). There is added circuitry for signal inversion (in worst case an opamp) that will negatively impact sound quality. In my experience, bridging sounds BAD. Worse than a single amp in stereo mode, unless you’re REALLY starving for power. Not recommended. In this case, you’d for sure be better off bi-amping with dual stereo amps, in either a vertical or horizontal configuration.

In my experience there can be some modest performance gains to bi-amping, but "proper" monoblocking is usually best. Also if you want to bi-amp, I'd recommend sticking to two IDENTICAL stereo amps or four identical mono amps. Mixing amps (even different versions of the same amp) gets real messy. 

Ok everyone mebbe biamping isn't the correct word, thought it was. 

One amp for low end. One amp for mids etc. 

That's what my title question pertains to. 

Anyone prefer horizontal bi-amping their monos?

Yes! I have four true monoblock amps.

With bi-amplification both the Low frequency and high frequency portions of the system now have their respective amplifiers. That gives a reduction of intermodulation distortion. That said, active bi-amping horizontally, as I do, will give additional advantage from the elimination of lossy inductances in the low frequency portion of a conventional passive dividing network, and the result is significantly better amplifier damping factor, as seen by the low frequency driver. Active bi-amping is two notches above my passive crossover. See article below: Hope that helps Mike 😎


I use mono blocks for the high end and a stereo amp for the low end in my basement setup. Sounds great to me.😁

@re-lar-kvothe thanks for sharing the diagram. Clears up any confusion.

"A picture is worth a thousand words".

It can be done both ways with great results.  I go back and forth between 2 and 4 amps depending on which pair of speakers I'm using. To me and those who hear my system it is fantastic. Nothing messy at all using 4 amps. Even on Tannoy Legacy Arden.  It's a game changer. Check out my system. 

@re-lar-kvothe thanks for sharing the diagram. Clears up any confusion.

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

No so fast… that is two stereo amps.
The OP has 4 mono amps, so some mention needs to take place that the amps are split down the middle into two parts.


And a further mention of what the active cross over is, and how it works.

Pretty certain that the OP has 2 Carver stereo amps per previous posts in other threads.



1 amp for the left, one for the right, use long XLR cables and ultra short speaker cables 

The best part of my tri-amped (outboard electronic x-over) is that the bass can do what it wants and the mids and highs have no clue.  Stay in the same amp family and it will work out.  



I'm the OP, chiming back in now that I've been listing vertical for a few months. So I did try horizontal bi-amping for a few days. Then I tried the vertical config. No contest. Whatsoever. The vertical made everything bigger, louder, clearer. Sold my beastly Magtech amp shortly after, that's how much clean power these 2 tubes amp crank out. 

I sent my pair of 10' Fidelium cables back to WY so he could cleave in half with proper ends, ergo now have 4 separate single runs to each blade. Matchy matchy. 

To clarify: I have two stereo amps, total. One for left channel, one for right. That's what vertical is. Horizontal is something else. 

Anyhoots, anyone else discovered the wonders of vertical?