Biamplification in Mid-Fi?

I'm looking at upgrading my home system. It's likely going to end up being mid-fi. (Paradigm Reference Studio or B&W CDM Speakers) and I'd like to bi-amplify.

Ideally, what I'd like to do is use a quality integrated amp (Audio Refinement, Audiolab, Arcam, etc.) with a second (matched, but more powerful) power amp for the lower frequencies, and also be able to use the system as the front end of a Home-Theater system.

What I'm wondering is whether or not I'm better off to use an active crossover (brands, anyone?) and bypass the speaker crossovers altogether (which would require some rewiring, but I'm going to do anyway, to upgrade the internal speaker wiring), or save on the signal path, and just split the pre-out to the two amps?

Any opinions?

I think I'd put the money and/or effort into a fundamental step up in speakers and/or electronics if you could identify something that would suit you and your budget. You would probably get more bang. JMO

The issue of being complicated is half the fun (I like to play with these things). As for a major step, I'm going to be upgrading from some old NAD stuff & NHT 1.3's over the next two years on a rather limited budget. I don't want a too unbalanced system, and I don't want to sink too much into a CD player before letting the new formats work themselves out...

I feel the most important step is a new amplifier, likely an integrated, and I can retire my old NAD 3020. But the truth is, I see an upper limit to this thing around $5k for everything (Not including Home Theater).

1. There are no off-the-shelf active crossovers which will exactly match the needed parameters for the speakers. The only exception is the active powered option for the Paradigm Reference speakers. 2. In view of the above and in general, buy better primary components (amps and speakers) before considering complex and unnnecessary configurations.
all of the above posts are on target. when you start to consider really useful active xovers, you take yourself waaay beyond mid-fi. one of the few i'd consider is made by fm acoustics. read: switzerland. read: expensive.
I agree with all of the above. Most speakers are "voiced" to sound and perform a certain way with their passive components ( i.e. "crossovers" & "wiring") taken into consideration in the initial design. Altering those parts or changing the slopes or amount of "blending" that naturally occurs between the drivers can be an utterly disastrous thing to deal with. On the other hand, most products built to a price CAN be improved upon with CAREFUL work and planning. Like the others though, i would suggest looking at better basic components instead of trying to tweak or force components into something they can never be. Keep in mind that the fancier that you get in terms of "out of the ordinary" installations, the more elbow grease, trial and error and money it takes to make them perform to their fullest extent possible. It also requires tools of the trade and a good basic understanding of electronics and acoustics if you want everything to work right and last a reasonable amount of time. Remember, K.I.S.S. still applies : ) Sean >