Biamping vs only inserting an Active crossover

I guess if one is deciding to biamp, you need to insert an active crossover device.

When you insert an active crossover device, does this improve the quality of the signal directed toward individual drivers on your speaker so as to avoid the need to biamp which is also designed to better focus the signal reaching the drivers in your speaker?

Are there phasing issues when you biamp?

Further, biamping is a way to bring the quality of tubes to mid and tweeters so another reason why biamping may be of benefit.

In the process you substantially increase all the interconnects which to me sounds unfavorable overall. So in the end does any of this effort make any sense at all???


I guess if one is deciding to biamp, you need to insert an active crossover device.

Not really. You can use two of the same kind of amps. You don’t gain the dynamic range as well, but you get 2x the power supplies feeding the amps.

I’m not sure I understand the vs. Using an active crossover implies you will be using two (biamping) or more amps.


When you insert an active crossover device, does this improve the quality of the signal directed toward individual drivers on your speaker so as to avoid the need to biamp which is also designed to better focus the signal reaching the drivers in your speaker?

The purpose of any crossover (passive or active) is to filter the signal to each driver so that the driver works in it’s ideal range. Maybe step back first and ask why speakers have a tweeter and a woofer, instead of all from one driver.

There are multiple answers, but the simple one is that a tweeter can’t woof and a woofer can’t tweet.

There’s no single best type of crossover but the one undeniable benefit of active crossovers is power efficiency, which is a reason they are so often used in professional environments. Your total amp power can be smaller using an active crossover for the same output than using a single amplifier. Another undeniable benefit of active crossovers is you don't waste heat level matching drivers.  Speaker makers are often faced with tweeters which are much louder than the woofers.  With a passive crossover you use resistors to compensate for this, wasting power as heat.   This isn't needed in active, you change the levels before the amplifier.  No waste.

Of course, lots of other complexities, like cable and amplifier counts come into play as well, but consider that your average home theater is often at least bi-amplified, with a subwoofer and it’s amp doing < 80 Hz and the remaining speakers doing > 80 Hz.

I have bi-amped before and with a good quality amplifier it really helped extend the soundstage and clarity. Here is a video for more info:


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My experience with crossovers says that active are better between tweeters and midranges.  When I tried one for a subwoofer, I really couldn’t hear any difference. As long as you use the same amps or amps with very similar sonics, you’ll be fine.  

I bi-amp using and ARC EC-2 and it works perfectly on my Maggies.

Not sure you can find one today, but they are around used, I am sure.

(You can tri-amp using and EC-3, FYI, if you have those kind of speakers...)


Active biamping is the best way to do crossovers. It eliminates the reactive load of passive crossovers leaving only the inductance of the voice coils. And the crossover reactive load, depending on how well it's done, can choke an amlifier and in any case no crossover is the best crossover.

Where does one find an active crossover Device?   they aren’t very common out there.


Hello Jumia!  Whether you bi-amp or use an electronic crossover, you will need at least one stereo amp in addition to what you currently have. The electronic crossover need not be expensive. MiniDSP makes a two way unit for under $100. (You will need a computer with USB capabilities to program it. It is NOT difficult.) I have five systems in my home and four of them use electronic crossovers. You can have very steep crossover curves (24 - 48 db/octave, much steeper than commonly used passive crossovers) to prevent unwanted bass from getting into your midrange/tweeter drivers. That is a very good thing; and the electronic units are much cheaper than passive crossovers with massive coils of copper and exotic capacitors. You get first class performance on the cheap. Also, if the amp handling the low frequencies overloads (clips), your tweeters are not exposed to the high frequency energy generated by such distortion. In a two way system, one stereo power amp handles the bass, and another one drives the mid/tweeter speakers. If you simply add a subwoofer (or two), cross over at 300 Hz and run you current speakers for the mid/treble frequencies. Those speakers will not have to produce the bass frequencies and will have a much easier time producing music. They will breathe easy. (If you can, remove the internal passive crossovers and connect the drivers directly to the amps. This may expose problems with some speakers that have humps and bumps in their reaponse that the internal crossovers try to fix. Proceed with caution.)

Four channel amps are available if you don't want to add new units to your stack of audio gear. One of my systems uses a four way electronic cross over. Each channel (R & L) requires four amps: low bass, lower mids, upper mids, tweeters. That's eight channels of amps for stereo. I use 4 channel amps from Starke Sound. Another 4 channel amp runs center, and L & R rear speakers. I could uses that leftover channel to power a subwoofer, but I don't need one on that rig.

You always want good cables anyway, but they are easy to build if you DIY. All the amps and speakers downstream from the electronic crossover have an easier life and suffer less stress than they would handling full frequency signals.

MiniDSP's electronic crossovers are programmable, but not adjustable on the fly. If you like to experiment, DBX and others make units with twistable knobs for changing levels and frequencies as the music plays. Great fun! It is a hobby, isn't it? Happy Listening!  Feel free to contact me if you need more encouragement/advice.

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I am running a McIntosh C2700 Tube Preamp with a MC462 stereo power amp driving B&W 800D3’s along with two REL 212SX subs. I have been thinking of bi-amping with a second MC462.  Anyone done this or have comments on this?  Do you think I’d get a noticeable improvement in the sound? The MC462 owner’s manual shows an optional wiring diagram with a bi-amp configuration - one MC462 drives the woofers on each speaker, the other one the midrange and tweeters.  

Under $600 and configurable.

tube amp for upper and mids, ss for lows and dual powered subs.

each amp does what it sounds best at, runs cooler and there is more power available for driving only the specific  frequencies fed to the particular amp...

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I quit reading after your first sentence was wrong.  You need an active crossover if you don't have a passive crossover.


I’ve been tri-amping for years and I’ll probably never go back to a single amp again. the biggest benefit (to me) is that none of the amps knows what the other amps are doing.

So, you can be playing along nice and loud and there is major bass all of a sudden, the mids and highs are unaffected.

Google "Marchand Electronics" all custom tailored to your spec.