How to wire a speaker to multiple amps/preamps?

I am considering having in-wall speakers installed by a professional (including wiring and separate volume controls), but I'd like to keep the front-end electronics up to me so I can take advantage of various deals here and other places.

There will be two "source" rooms, one with a stereo music setup and one with a home theater setup, then several other rooms that have pairs of in-wall speakers controllable using either setup as a source. Each room with in-wall speakers will have independent impedence-matched volume controls.

Wiring the various electronics together is no problem for me, but is it reasonable to do the front end wiring of the speakers to amp or receiver myself? How does one hook up a set of speakers to two different amps?
"How does one hook up a set of speakers to two different amps?"

Via a switch. Never connect to amps directly to the same terminals.

Thanks for the answer. Is it possible the volume controls installed in each room come with switches, or would that be on a "main" switch for all the speakers?
The volume control should also have a source selector on it. the source selector will select what amp you want to connect to. There is some switching hardware that is used for these applications, Check with an AV specialist they can help you get the right equipment for what you are trying to do.

You can install a switch next to your volume control. Look for a 'pushbutton' type switch that matches your volume control for a very professional look. Niles comes to mind. I have this setup in my den so that the in-walls are controlled either by the 'local' den setup or the 'house' system depending on whether the switch is pushed or not. It's wired so the volume control works in either case. This isn't exactly 'hifi' but for non critical listening, it's fine. I go to my main room for 'hifi'.
You should probably get a speaker selector with an amp A and B button. You can get one with A/B switches for every speaker. You could also get an A/B switch since you will be using impedence matching VCs.
Thanks very much for the responses, this is very helpful.

Now I'm thinking maybe I could get away with just having the wiring installed, and do the switches/volume controls and speakers myself (please warn me if that's crazy :), which could save me several thousand dollars.

The installation sounds similar to yours Tasmi, the in-walls (maybe Paradigm AMS100?) are just for ambient non-critical listening throughout the house, the den setup with separate speakers (not in-wall) will be for serious listening, and the surround setup will be for movies. There will be an rf remote to control main volume in both systems, but is it possible to control the separate room volumes with a remote as well?

Is the wiring all done with regular speaker wire, or do I need power (or something else) to the volume control and/or switches?
For non-critical in-walls you probably do not want to cough up the cash for mega-buck cable. But I wouldn't go too cheap, either, since you're probably talking long runs. I made the mistake of running el-chepo 16 gauge to my garage. I can definately notice a difference compared to the better quality 12 gauge I ran to the bedroom. Neither is audiophile quality, but the heavier gauge does sound better. For in-wall you should use UL Class 3 speaker wire for code (I believe).

Installing volume controls, etc, is easy if you fundamentally understand what your wiring. Watch out for polarity mistakes given all the connections.

True multi-zone remote control of volume etc is more complicated and expensive. However, repeaters can be used which involve an IR sensor that you aim your remote control at for example in the garage. The sensor is hard wired to an 'emitter' attached to your 'front end' electronics. Hence, full remote control of your system from another room. The emitter can even be installed in a 'triple gang box' along with your volume control and amplifier selector switch.

Check out '' and
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You really don't want to have to switch between amps at the volume control because you will have to run two sets of wire to each VC. You may also have difficulty connecting heavy gauge wire to a VC.
Thanks again for the responses, I'm getting some good ideas...

If I didn't have switches at the volume controls, would I still be able to control the source in each room independently? I suppose I could have a main switch in one room that controlled all the other rooms?

For the remote controls, could I control the volume of each room independently with repeaters? Is there a device that can switch and control volume for each room independently with an RF remote?