Bridged amps vs stereo vs monoblocks.

I don’t have any real issue, but I’m curious about how the bridging of an amp functions. I have a 80 W stereo amplifier, which can be bridged to provide 220 or so power into a load. This amp also has a hefty power supply which makes it work beautifully with my Magnepan’s. However, I used to have two of these amps bridged.  One of which I lost due to it breaking so i replaced with an unbridged stereo amp, which I’m only using one channel. So what a strange hodgepodge of connections, right? It sounds great and I am have no problems but I’m curious if I was doing some thing that is easily changed to provide benefit. Mixing two different amps for example.  Or I read when an amp is bridged it is sensing a four ohm load as a two ohm load and therefore what does that even mean? Also, using one part of a stereo amp is odd, but does that change anything, especially if there’s one power supply? Curious, if there any principles I could learn about this from those more familiar with those equations thanks!



Your original setup, two identical STEREO amps bridged MONO makes sense if more power was needed. A great solution if you start out with one, change your speakers to inefficient ones.

Balancing volume L/R was an issue (as is any stereo amp with separate Gain for L/R like my McIntosh mc2250. Happily, full gain matched (as advised by McIntosh: use preamp for volume). That MC2250 tested 305 wpc within specs, dead silent. I changed speakers, back to very efficient horns, sold the SS, moved back to tubes.

Lack of remote volume is why I finally changed from my wonderful pair of MONO amps (fisher 80az) Steve at VAS checked them for me pre-sale and made me sell them to him!

Now Stereo Cayin Tube AT88T, with remote volume behind a vintage McIntosh tube tuner/preamp mx110z.

As I understand it when you bridge an amp you will double its output at 8 and 4 ohms, but not 2 ohms. If your speakers dip to 2 ohms, depending on your speakers design (and listening levels?) their output potential (sound) may be compromised. FWIW

As I understand it when you bridge an amp you will double its output at 8 and 4 ohms, but not 2 ohms. 

That is not always the case - it depends on the amp. If you have one with a sufficient power section it will 'double down'

I own a pair of amps that put out 40 W into 8 ohms stereo, and 230 W into 1 ohm. I run them in bridged mode and they put out 160 W into 8 ohms and 500 into 1 ohm loads.  I am not using them with speakers that require that but when I bought them they were happily driving one of the harder speakers, a pair od Apogee Scintillas in 1 ohm setting.  The poster would have to research the amps he is considering to know whether they will be happy with a particular load.

You are correct, though, in thinking that it isn't always a strict doubling of power. My bridged amps put out 160 - 280- 400 - 500 W into 8 - 4 - 2 - and 1 ohm loads.

Personally I like a really good stereo amp or monos.   Buy a more powerful amp on the first place.  

I used to do the horizontal bi-amp with an affordable, more powerful amp driving the bass and a quality Krell integrated driving the top with ok results, but I finally broke down and bought a pair of Mc611 monoblocks with a dedicated pre/dac and can appreciate the difference. I would do what I was comfortable spending which probably cost me more than had I just done it right the first time,  oh well.