Originally Posted by Kevindr
Huh, I thought that amps supplied a specified wattage per channel? The HK I have has terminals for connecting four speakers so I went ahead and connected two channels to each speaker and separated the woofers and tweeters to speaker set 1 and speaker set 2 which allows me to cut output to the woofers or to the tweeters selectively (just for fun) and upon testing it, it does work.
Based on what I've been reading, I should be putting 50 watts to each woofer and each tweeter separately.
Just to add to cel's post, you are confusing having a four channel amp or halving the impedance with bi-wiring. Again, like I previously posted, it is not a four channel amp, it is still stereo, and regardless of whether you wire them normally or bi-wire, your amp will still see an 8ohm passive crossover as its load (not to mention a 4ohm load might actually harm your amp, or at least it can't perform as well), and still sends out power out of two channels into that 8ohm load. What bi-wiring effectively does is doubling the wire gauge, which is something you can do off a normal terminal using a thicker cable, but note that while using a quality 12ga copper cable (which is still pretty thin as far as binding posts are concerned, but the limit for cheap push terminals) vs a 22ga cable of the same copper purity can make the system sound a hair louder (and the perception of the bass "better" without playing around with the volume knob), it doesn't mean there will be any difference in using an 8ga power cable vs the 12ga.
And yeah wiring them up that way will "work," in the sense that both tweeter and woofer will get a signal. If you are getting double the power by however way you think you would, the speakers should be much louder.
Originally Posted by Kevindr
lso, I guess my question should have been whether you can get an amplifier which will allow you to control the gain on the tweeters and woofers separately and also have a master volume. From what you posted, I gather that you can get an amplifier which will let you do this but you would have to use your computer as the master volume?
Using the computer as a mater volume, and with that much power in a small room, means using Windows digital volume control will mean you will also cut bits and therefore dynamic range. While 16bit is for the most part all one really needs, there were 14-bit players before (do not confuse these with Panasonic's 1-bit MASH DACs and Sony's 1-bit high-oversampling SACDs), but chances are using Windows volume control can take you well below 10bits.
If what you really want is to just control the tweeter and woofer gain separately, get a preamp, like Schiit's SYS passive preamp (which is affordable and tiny), then get an integrated amp identical to your amp now. Use one of them per side, then use the L-R Balance control to bias for the tweeter and woofer. The problem with using vintage amps in this manner? If you don't have a tech near your or you can't fix them yourself, some wear and tear can mean one amp might not be performing at the same level as the other amp, and you've just added a lot of clutter to your small room.
Again, that's why I mentioned active speakers in the first place - a lot of them don't just have a crossover that lowers the input power going into the tweeter, it actually would have an amp that has less power going into them, likely with an active circuit prior to amplification that reduces the gain on the signal going to the tweeters. In a lot of ways this is why car audio has more in common with pro audio than home audio: my car's system has a processor that sends out a 2v signal through six channels, with a digital crossover splitting the signals (instead of a passive crossover, like what you will find behind a home speaker's terminals), but the tweeter signal I set to -6db with the midwoofer at 0 (as in zero adjustment). All this goes into an assymmetrical four channel amp, again like a pro audio amp, that has 75watts for the tweeters and 150watts for the midwoofers, and the tweeter channel's gain is at zero (as in minimum) and the midwoofer channels' gain is at around 10:00 on the dial.
Note that this level of control in pro applications, whether in a concert or with someone competing in EMMA or IASCA (or not competing at all), is all necessary because there are just too many parameters that can cause room modes - in other words you are using the speakers in conditions that are far from ideal. Take a car cabin - unless you have a McLaren F1, you will be sitting off to one side, something you don't do in a home audio set-up (or even if you were listening with a buddy, you are sitting far back from them that it doesn't really matter). The real reason why I need separate signal to each tweeter, midwoofer and subwoofer from the processor? I'm applying time delays on most of them so the sound from all of them arrives at my ears at the same time, centering the vocals on the center of the dashboard, raising the soundstage to the level of the dashboard (despite midwoofers in the doors), and putting the bass in front (despite having the sub back in the trunk). You do not have all these problems in home audio, and while you might still have room modes, there are other fixes to them that will not require fussing around with complex network of electronics with complex settings. The first of these is that in home audio you have more freedom to choose speakers, whereas in car audio, just buying the most expensive Focal Utopia and not doing a custom install or using time alignment processors means that the guy using $400 Focal Polyglass can have a better sounding system closer to the Utopia at home than the improperly installed Utopias in the car.
Now if you can't change speakers, look up positioning tweaks (and hardware that will allow for these, like speaker stands) - before you get into separate gain on the tweeter and midwoofer, and since you're past the choosing the right speakers for your tastes part, then for all you know a different toe-in angle or height relative to your ears are the real problem, or sitting a bit farther from them (these are all the things custom car installs and time alignment settings do when you have severe limitations to moving them around physically).