What is your equipment? There is a place to show photos and ID you equipment under virtual systems. This will help a lot in answering your question.
It depends on your equipment. The better it is, the less likely there is such a thing. I have tried a couple of very high quality (one was Rotel ((?)) ), (very heavy duty mechanical switchers and the degraded the quality significantly.
cayin tube amp and schiit aegir amp
what about just a speaker switcher to switch one pair of speakers between two amps? would that avoid some degradation?
Depending on the concerning ear, everything you put into the signal path will degrade the sound.
Years ago, I needed to do what you want. But I needed to be able to switch 4 turntables, 6 amps/receivers, 2 aux and 12 pairs of speakers. Plus, spares of each. I had a hard time finding the switches i needed. And wiring them together would be a rats nest pain. That's why you pay the big bucks.
So, I made a Patch Board. Pamona banana jacks for power outs and speakers. RCAs for turntable, aux, pre out and amp in. Using patch cords I could switch. ab, mix every which way. Was not a quick turn or push of a switch but did the job. And all the connections were right in front of me.
i think i'm just going to swap the speaker cables by hand between the two amps for now. hopefully the banana plugs can handle it daily. i don't want to lose any sound quality.
still open to any great ideas or good devices for this
"swapping the speaker cables by hand" That's the way most of us do it.
What about turning the amps around so the speaker connection are facing outward?
How often do will you be doing this?
If I had to do it again, I.would still go with a box, a bunch of dual banana jacks and a pair of dual banana jumper cables. I don't think there is a switch that is as neutral transparent as a banana plug or screw down connection. High current solid state switch? Works for line level switching. I'll throw this one at McGowen.
I used to demo 3 amps: Fisher 30 wpc Tube Mono Blocks 80az; Fisher 35 wpc 500C stereo tube receiver; McIntosh 250 wpc SS MC 2250 stereo amp.
Start with some hooks behind each speaker at 'reachable height'
Cable from each speaker with female banana long enough to hang on a hook behind each speaker.
3 sets of speaker wires (1 set/amp). I wrapped each set of speaker wires with different color electrical tape at each end to know which amp.
With male banana plugs that have tightening pins (also hanging from 'reachable hooks'. They insert loose, then tighten the pin. Tightening because frequent in/out not good for regular banana plugs
Lastly, you need to make A,B,C pencil marks on your volume control so they are 'matched' volume when comparing.
Same thing comparing cartridges, pencil marks to match volume.
I had a pair of such speaker switches, hand made with high quality connectors if you want to buy it from me. I have solved my problem now. One main disadvantage is that you need 6 high quality terminals on each - that is 12 high quality terninals plus quality connections and switch plus high quality labour. You need a budget to get what you want
Exactly. There are many nice integrateds that have A/B switches. I’ve always felt that’s the best way to assess speaker SQ. At least for me, my “SQ” memory is very short. The time it takes to swap cables would be too long. Assuming both sets of speakers are able to be optimized for location and position, a remote control AB switch would provide instant comparison.
That one by AVA looks like the only device that will really protect your gear. The Chinese company Douk makes exactly what you are looking for but not so sure I would trust my equipment into that thing.
I've been using a switch made by Beresford of England. It allows me to switch between my mono block tube amps and my SS amp to the same set of speakers. Works fine and even has resistance added to protect your tube amp if left on when not switched in. I think Declare offers a similar switch.
I use an amplifier switch made by Dodocus in Germany (dodocus.de). It is super high quality. As of a couple years ago it cost $460. Well worth it.
Switching the banana plugs is certainly a good way to assure no impact on sound.
The higher resolution your system, the more prone you are to hear a switch box. Given your equipment, I think a high end audio switch box, would be indiscernible in your system and be more convenient.
Maple Tree Audio makes custom built router switches. They call these Engineered to Order (ETO) Routers. I have one that does 4 in, 1 out (RCA) and it's nice looking and well built. You tell them what you want and they get back to you with a quote. You can even choose the type of wood for the side panels. Great company to deal with and made in America.
Thanks @8th-note ! I contacted them for a quote. I hope they are not too expensive.
Follow up. Paul McGowen does not know of a solid state speaker selector switching module.
I looked into them on ebay. Including the TC-7220 2-Way Amp Amplifier Speaker Selector Switch Switcher Splitter Combiner.
Several things bothered me,
-Their Switches. If there is going to be sound degrading it would be right there. Even on a 15amp toggle the contact surfaces are like millimeter.
-They tie the black negative leads together! Switch the red positives. Some solid state amplifiers use differential output drivers. Their black negatives are NOT common or ground to anything but their red +. They only like their + side.
-Internal wiring. Far from "audiophile". Another choke on quality. But an easy mod.
I could not see inside the TC-7220 to see if they keep the negative leads separate. I also suspect their switch too. Probably will work with the tube amp. I don't know about the Schiit.
What to do? Spend the bucks. Buy what has mostly you need and modify. Or build thy own from scratch.
I used one of those cheap switch boxes off Amazon and it worked fine.
I had a hafler xl280 and a Jolida brc 1000 tube amp hooked up to my acoustat 2+2’s.
if I was going to listen for just 20 min, I’d go sand amp, 30 or longer- tubes!
The problem is they accept very thin wire ( 16g? I don’t remember).
I had to connect thin wire to my 10g wire.
With that short a run ( few inches) and minor effect of switch, I detected no degradation in sound. I think I have a Niles unit.
I'm looking for a well made switcher that has the ability to switch between two amps (rca cables) and two speaker pairs (using banana plugs).
Check out the Niles SAS-1, it's obsoleted but can still be found regularly on eBay.
You can try Mapletree audio design, the SCC1 is what you need, I had one custom made by Al Freundorfer a few years back and it works perfectly. Welcome to Mapletree Audio Design
Of the switches mentioned, the Van Alstine is the only one supporting level matching. Without level matching there simply is no way a comparison can be valid.
As for colorations, any the switch might potentially introduce would be the same across the board, so effectively cancelled out when used for comparison purposes.
FWIW I used the Advent Speaker Comparator switch during my career, and installed the Audio Authority component switching system in the Definitive Audio showrooms in Seattle. Both of these were level matching devices, and extensie time was spent ensuring that the level match (set with pink noise and a sound level meter) was as close as possible. In both cases what was revealed was far greater than anything potentially lost, especially with speakers and speaker/amp pairing.
I'm using a very obsolete Niles CPM -31 6x6 matrix to route sources to equalizers to pre or direct to amp in... however, it's very not ss and used carefully....
Bought new; mute everything prior to switching. Simple paranoia keeps self out of trouble...🤞 *L*
Can loop in/out a JVC JX-S777 video selector for that sort of activity, since the pre can deal with the a+v functions if the mood strikes...
Note; None of this 'switchery' is done under the influence of Anything.
A clear mind keeps the kit intact, and I use a distribution style amp that can drive 6 to 12 pairs simultaneously.....and is made to do that, Amp swap with no fear. ;)
If I was to go at it again, with the budget to do so....?
I'd chat up Maple Tree about their SCC-1 at minimum and don't cringe at the cost.
Save that for a custom quote for the one of your dreams...
Once considered diy'ng a matrix to replace the Niles; keeping the grounds isolated as well as the signal line just during layout would make you pause.
I've looked into full digital versions, shelved until I win a Lotto...
And a large one at that...
@panzrwagn is paying attention to level matches, which would be a boon.
Sudden loud can strike unintentional fear....as will *nothing*....
Van Alstine. I don’t have their switchbox but it may provide what you need. Apparently there was enough demand for it they did another run of them.
paying a huge amount of money just to make it so i don't have to swap my speakers between two amps just seems overkill. this is just my desktop nearfield setup.
@retroactiv On a leap of faith I bought a Chinese made one from Aliexpress ($70) which is similar to your ebay suggestion. Mine has a 2 to 1 switch. It was offered with a higher quality model with a silver alloy relay, silver plated wiring, nice metal case and toggle switch and full sized gold plated copper speaker terminals. I bought it originally to compare amps on a single set of speakers. Didn’t notice sound degradation (using all the same speaker cables) so I now use it on my home theatre system so i can use a tube amp for 2 channel listening on the same main speakers as the HT system. Works great meets my needs. Find one you can try out that is returnable would be my suggestion.
surprised i didn't get any email reply from maple tree audio design or decware
Cool. Tell us what you think after you have some experience with it.
if the Solupeak doesn't work out, maple tree audio has a really nice looking one for $250 that i'll try next, but takes them about a month
Got the Solupeak 2 in 2 out. Solid unit with good toggles. Sounds great so far!