Am I wasting money on the theory of Bi-amping?

As a long time audiophile I'm finally able to bi-amp my setup. I'm using two identical amps in a vertical bi-amp configuration. 

Now me not fully understanding all of the ins/outs of internal speaker crossovers and what not. I've read quite a few people tell me that bi-amping like I'm doing whether it's vertical or horizontal bi-amping is a waste since there's really not a improvement because of how speaker manufacturers design the internal crossovers. 

Can anyone explain to a third grader how it's beneficial or if the naysayers are correct in the statement?


If one were to bi-amp with a tube amp for the tweeters and mids, and a SS amp for the woofers, how does one volume match the signals since these are different amps with different gain?  Even if the same wattage the two amps might not be matched?  Thanks. 

I had A pair of speakers that responded well to a krell kav300il on top but needed more juice for the bass. In that case horizontal biamp made sense. Starting from scratch I think I’m getting great sound with a pair of matching monoblocks 1 per channel and if you get powerful enough amps you should hear what the speaker designer intended. My current system Kef Blades has a fairly bumpy resistance so the Mac Mc611’s really get it done. The speaker amp combo can make or break your system.

The very basics: a [speaker] passive crossover comes AFTER the amps, operating at speaker level.  The drivers are connected to the crossover not the amplifiers; active crossover /electronic crossovers come BEFORE the amps, operating typically at [balanced] line level; the drivers are individually and directly connected to a specific amp channel that is for that driver and that driver alone.  

It is hard to understand how anyone could think shoving a bunch of passive electronics with lots and lots of wire into an audio chain between the amplifiers and drivers could be a step up in quality and create a better, more pristine audio chain.  I wonder if passive fans realize how much wire is in an air core inductor used in a high quality passive crossover (300-500 feet or more?).  We don't do any other processing after amplifiers, why is the passive crossover somehow an exception?       

There is so much science here that is quite established and well accepted, since the 60s-70s at least.  ATC and Genelec were offering full [analog] active crossover loudspeakers to the market in the early 80s, some with internal amps, some with external amps.  Both companies sold into home and pro simultaneously.  Now there are many more companies offering active crossover speakers and some use DSP, some still analog.  

There are plenty of options and choices as to how one can approach this active issue and adapt it to your liking, make it sound one way or another.  It does require some work to understand what is happening, but its certainly not complicated.  It is not more expensive or more difficult to operate.     

I cannot help but observe the entire "passive crossover is better" argument appears to be a clear example of marketing not science.   


^While active crossovers could certainly have advantages. Where as passive crossovers often have implementations to compensate for specific driver anomalies, impedance smoothing, phase and time considerations. Off the shelf active crossovers are typically rather clumsy in those regard, as well as potentially adding noise. Again, active crossovers can certainly have advantages. As was posted DSP could make active more finessed and practical.


There are pros and cons with active, and with passive crossovers. In a perfect world, active crossovers have some distinct benefits....especially if starting up from scratch, but many of us get to the bi-amp situation once we’re already well invested in our current systems. Sometimes it just not feasible to backtrack to square one.

@unsound reiterated some of the benefits and situation need for passive crossovers. There are certainly active crossovers that can perform some, if not all, of the compensation requirements of some drivers, but what if you already own a really nice pair of speakers that you love and that have excellent, well designed passive crossovers with top shelf parts, and you want to dip your toe into bi-amping? I’d think even a serious audio buff would hesitate before proceeding to gut the crossovers from a pair of Magico, Wilson, or Sonus Faber speakers so they can experiment with active crossovers. Not everyone has the knowledge, expertise, or the will power to actually make such a bold many cases it’s simply not wise to risk the destruction of a wonderful pair of speakers to pursue an active crossover. If a great pair of speakers sounds good with passive crossovers in a single amp situation, they’re very likely to sound even better with a good bi-amp setup, even with the passive crossovers.