Bi-amping a centre channel speaker using a NAP100


I had previously posted a question about doing this… I have a NAP250DR for my front stereo pair in a 5.2.4 system, a NAP100 for the rears and have successfully (with the help of my friendly dealer Mike) set up the centre channel to be bi-amped by another NAP100. I’ve used a custom Chord Shawline (supplied by Chord) to split 1 RCA into a pair.

All working very well and seems to have made a massive difference to the centre channel - I was previously running it from my Lexicon AV Receiver.

Hopefully this may be useful for others considering a Naim-centric AV system and struggling to find mono amps…

I’m a big fan of passive bi-amping and bi amp my fronts with 135’s I have a spare 135 and would love to bi amp the centre, but alas it doesn’t have bi amping posts or suitable crossover

Why don’t you just use a better amp?

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I’m doing 5.1.4 using Naim amps. Wanted 100’s for the Atmos speakers but Naim discontinued production for some reason. What are you using?

Apologies if my comment came across as somewhat coarse, that wasn’t the intention!

In my defence it was late and the children were being awkward at bedtime…

What I meant was, rather than bi-amp the centre channel, use a more powerful amp and then use jumpers at the speaker end?

I’ve historically used AV bypass on a NAIT for Fr L/R and then used an AV amp for the other channels.

I’ve now simplified things somewhat and have a Linn Selekt DSM with integrated amp modules, this is setup for 5.1 with 3x amp modules covering Fr L/R + Rr L/R + Centre/Sub. It does have an Exakt hub as well so you can configure it for 7.1 and the surround processor module can be setup for that.
It can also be configured with Balance/Unbalanced output modules and even a mix of internal amp modules and line output modules, as well as a mix of Exakt and Non-Exakt speakers, enough to keep me tinkering for years I’m sure.
I have looked at driving the Fr L/R via balanced out to a NAP 250 for example, I think it will depend on how I find the setup overall working on the basis of it being entirely integrated.
I’d say my reasoning for going the Linn route was that it was a modular design that I could configure as I needed over time, even later on using it as a digital source only for example.
It gave a simple setup that could handle multiple scenarios in a shared family lounge importantly and not take up much space to do so.
It sounds like you’ve found an interesting solution for using the NAP 100, I’ve no personal experience of that amp myself and now of course being out of manufacture reliance is on the used market but if it suits your needs and can be sourced at favourable prices, likely a viable solution.
Did you try other NAP’s in the process, could you use a SNAXO in the mix perhaps?
Using a 2 channel NAP could allow a split between 2x centre channel speakers combined with a SNAXO.

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No worries at all - totally understand!

I had 2 NAP100s to hand, originally I was using them to power the Atmos speakers in a 5.2.4 config. Managed to pick up the amps at a very good price (one ex-demo and one end of line), so when the NAP250DR came it I decided to use them for the centre channel and rears so all the key speakers were powered by Naim amps.
One of the main reasons for using NAP100s was $$$ tbh - £4k for a 250DR to power the front channel, before I know whether it would work well or not wasn’t workable. Perhaps at some time in the future I’ll put an ex-demo 250DR on the centre channel, however that then opens up a debate about getting a much better centre channel speaker to justify it… and so the upgrade merry go-round continues :slight_smile:

Always that danger inevitably, namely changing one thing and ending up 6 months later with a totally different system.
In my case the DSM is most suited to a 5.1 configuration so that limits the options for speakers and it doesn’t support Atmos anyway but perhaps they’ll do a multichannel processor board that will later down the line.
I assume you aren’t using the amps in the Lexicon at all, if the output levels were adjustable could you bi-amp using that as well perhaps.
I’ll loop back here if I do end up adding a NAP to my setup down the line.

Using the Lexicon for just the 4 Atmos speakers now - upward firing Focal domes

Why passive, rather than doing properly with active bi-amping? The benefit with active will be much far greater, and in my view passive is only worth it if you happen to have a spare amp (or amp channel/s) rather than setting out to do it.

Ahh yes, makes sense now.
Share some photos as the mood takes you, bet it sounds pretty decent when it’s fired up.

Will do, there’s an image of the layout here too… HiFi/AV in a single system

I get the theory of active biamping and passive but passive bi amping can often transform a system. Transformational when driving my Sonus Faber Extremas

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