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MartinRamone's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 25/03/2010 - 13:15
Posts: 2
Bi-Amping Centre and Surround Speakers


Projector: InFocus IN76;
Bespoke PC with TV card for FreeSat;
Virgin Media Tivo;
DVD Player: Denon DVD-2800II;
VCR: Panasonic NV-SV121;

Amplifier: Naim Nait XS;

Speakers: Ruark Talisman III;

Ruark Sabre III;
Ruark Dialogue One;

Turntable: VPI HW19 Junior;
CD player: Arcam CD92;
Jukebox: Bespoke PC/Arcam rDAC


I'm about to add Surround Sound into my AV setup and top of the short-list of suitable amplifiers are a Yamaha RX-A3030 and Pioneer SC-LX87.  I intend to use my existing stereo amp to drive the front left and right speakers, so will only be powering three speakers directly from the AV Amp (Centre and surround left/right).  I have hit on the idea, therefore, that I'd like to bi-amplify these three speakers.

Having downloaded and looked through the manuals for the two AV amps, it would seem that:

1) The Yamaha does not offer a bi-amp option for my chosen set-up; and

2) The Pioneer has to have speakers (or at least a suitable load) connected to the front left and right channels

I, therefore, may not be able to get the desired set-up with either of these amps.  Would anyone with experience of either of these products, please, care to confirm or deny these points?


I also have a question about speaker cable lengths.  Should the speaker cabling be:

a) The same length for all three speakers;

b) The same length for the surround speakers, but the centre channel may be different; or

c) Just what is required to reach each speaker as the auto calibration will compensate for differences?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and, thanks in advance, for any advice you may be able to give.



mmg's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 24/12/2013 - 18:56
Posts: 99
RE: Bi-Amping Centre and Surround Speakers

The Pioneer allows you to bi-amp your center and surrounds, but I don't know what will happen if you don't connect front speakers. If you leave out the surround or center speakers it just ignores them, so I guess it will do the same with the front speakers.

I suppose you're going to use the pre-outs on the receiver to connect to your amp? How are you going to set the volume correctly? Does your amp have fixed level inputs?

For the cable length: in theory all speaker cables should be the same length. In practice it doesn't matter: the electromagnetic field in the wire moves at hundreds of kilometers per second, so you will never hear the difference. The speed of sound is much slower, so the distance to your speakers is much more important than the lenght of your cables. The calibration systems of receivers will measure the distance to your speakers and use this to calculate delays.

MartinRamone's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 25/03/2010 - 13:15
Posts: 2
RE: Bi-Amping Centre and Surround Speakers



Thank you for the response.  The stereo amplifier has a dedicated AV input with a switch to allow it to act as just a power amp, so that should be OK.




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