Biamping Question

Hi all,
May I know if anyone has issue on biamping for speakers? Currently I am using an XS2 for my ATC. Since I 'd like to drive my ATC a bit further, I am planning to get a Nap 100 for biamping. I have no experience in Naim electronics about biamping issue, whether it also need the same amplifier for this purpose, like other brand, otherwise it has the speed mis-match problem. Or no problem for Naim about biamping issue with different models? Thanks!

The gain is the same on all Naim amplifiers so you can absolutely mix and match Naim amplifiers for bi/tri amping.

The common consensus is that there is no benefit from biamping and I am sure you wil be told so many times in following comments. However, that stance does need to be qualified with “There is no benefit in biamping if a single amplifier is sufficient for the speakers.”

If the amplifier is not quite up to the task of driving the speakers on it’s own, and a more powerful Naim amplifier is cost prohibitive, then I think bi/tri-amping is perfectly acceptable.

However, you’ve not said which ATC speakers you have. The NAP100 isn’t that powerful. You would certainly want to put it on the trebble rather than the bass. I would have thought a a second hand NAP150 would have been a better partner with the XS2 or even a NAP200. In fact a NAP200 would give you multiple benefits. It would also power the XS2 pre-amp section.

Adding a NAP 100 is almost certainly going to be a complete waste of time and money. You’d be far better swapping the XS for a Supernait 3. One big one will beat two little ones. The Supernait 3 would be a much better match for your NDX2 in any event.

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I assume this, and the OP, are referring to passive bi-amping, with crossover between speaker drivers happening through the speaker’s passive crossover. My own view of that is that any benefit is likely to be small, but if someone happens to have a spare amp there is nothing negative in trying.

Active biamping (or tri for a 3-way speaker) using an active crossover before the power amps, and removing/bypassing the speakers’ internal crossovers is quite another matter, with great benefit possible.

I am a Biamp guy. I always believe biamping is beneficial to the sound especially the primary amp doesn’t sufficient enough for the speaker! Why I consider a Nap 100 rather than others like 200? Because I need a shoe box size than an ordinary size amplifier! Moreover getting a used NAP100 is inexpensive at all and should be the most cost effective way of upgrading!

I bi amped with the Arcam Alpha 9/9p many moons ago and definitely thought it a worthwhile thing to do.

Me too. I have an Octave V40SE x 2 biamping for my Dali speaker and has stunning results than one unit even one can already drive well enough!

It’s curious that you ask for advice and then choose to ignore it. Get a 100 by all means, but you’d be far better swapping the XS2 for a bigger amplifier. Which ATCs do you have?

But we’re talking Naim and ATC here. Please tell us what ATC speakers are you running with your XS2?

Roger

I just ask if different Naim model has the speed problem if going them Biamp. I will go for it if it doesn’t have ant this issue!

I intend to use it for my SCM7.

The SCM 7 has a reputation of being harder to drive than ATC’s next model up: SCM 11. A Nait XS is actually just outside ATC’s recommended power amp range for the speaker, so I am not entirely surprised you want to “drive them further”. But whether biamping or a more powerful integrated is the way to go, is the big question. This issue comes up from time to time and the overwhelming consensus is that a more potent amplifier is the way to go, especially for speakers which thrive on power, such as the ATCs. You are of course free to ignore that consensus.

Roger

I have some other larger current amp to drive my SCM7 well, like Marantz 9/Jadis JA80 etc… But my ATC is now being used for my TV & home theater applications. That is, not for 2 channel music. I 'd seek for an easy amplifier like XS2 which never need to turn it off. Going home everyday and can easy to turn on my TV with a remote turning up my XS2 and done!

My choice would be to look out for a used Supernait 2 and trade in the XS2 which would not be a huge cost and would keep things simple.
Still, passive biamping is a valid way of getting more power to demanding speakers if you don’t mind the extra box and cables.

Yes, but as you may seen from my photo. I have a preference all gears of my system are nearly symmetrical. Adding a hicap Dr & Nap 100 in left & right side would be cosmetically looks perfect.

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I am a fan of bi-amping and have used naim 135’s to bi-amp Sonus Faber Extremas for many years. I experimented a lot before settling on this, NAP 250, NAP 250x2, NAP 135x2 and 1x250, Krell KSA-50, Krell KSA-80, Arcam P1x2, Usher R1.5, Audio Research D125, NAD M27

4 x 135’s were the best by some margin, mixing different power amps for high and low frequencies was not good, even using 2x 135’d for bass and one 250 for treble was disjointed. but 4 x 135’s are superb…

Anyone who says you just need adequate amplification, doesn’t understand dynamics and the whole point of power supplies and recreating music and transients IMO

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Is that passive? If so, why not do it properly and go for active biamping, to really get the best out of the speakers, doing away with the passive crossover, and having each driver directly connected to its power amp for maximum control?

Yes passive, the crossovers in the Exremas are part of what makes them special. The extrema crossovers dont use caps. Im also not sure if the SNAXO has adjustable crossover points and slopes ?

Also by the time you add a Supercap its quite an investment

There are other active crossovers. Active will beat passive any day, regardless of the quality of the passive XO.

I really don’t think that is true. Not all crossovers are created equally. And a reason so few speaker manufacturers produce removable crossovers these days is also largely because good or bad, an active crossover can be very easily set up wrong and sound worse than the speaker does alone with a factory fitted passive crossover. Doing active right is anything but trivial.

Passive bi-amping due to power handling issues is totally viable and produces a consistent improvement for harder to drive speakers. And in fact, is really necessary in the scope of Naim insofar as no Naim amp is exactly a muscle amp - not even the 500. That functionality the Hi-Cap and Supercap provide to link up to 3 power amplifiers isn’t just for active scenarios. It is to broaden the number of potential speakers that can be matched with Naim amps. There are some good speakers out there that are sonically a good match with Naim, but really need a couple 300 or 500 power amps but don’t necessarily justify the jump in budget to a Statement.

I find the simplest way to get a fuss free active level performance jump, is to simply go for a full range crossoverless speaker. No extra amps or active crossover needed.