Speaker Selector for use with Multi-Channel amp

C

Cholmes

Audiophyte
I have a 12 channel B&K Amp, and I would like to use it to replace a 2 channel Carver amp I have been using for 4 pair of outdoor speakers. My issue is the speaker selector I have now, only has connections for a single amp source which up to this point has been my 2 channel amp. Is there such a thing as a selector which I can input 4 of the 12 channels of the B&K amp? I need to be able to turn on/off certain pairs of speakers outside. Or is there another solution? I only listen to one music source for all 4 pairs of speakers, but I figured the B&K at 60wpc direct to each pair of speakers would be better sounding than the 100wpc amp going thru the speaker selector and powering all 4 pair I have now. Thoughts?
 
C

Cholmes

Audiophyte
Is there something wrong with my question? I have posted this question on 3 different AV Forums, and while it gets viewed by people, I have yet to receive a single response. My previous experience with forums is that questions are generally responed to fairly quickly. I thought this would be a pretty simple question.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I have a 12 channel B&K Amp, and I would like to use it to replace a 2 channel Carver amp I have been using for 4 pair of outdoor speakers. My issue is the speaker selector I have now, only has connections for a single amp source which up to this point has been my 2 channel amp. Is there such a thing as a selector which I can input 4 of the 12 channels of the B&K amp? I need to be able to turn on/off certain pairs of speakers outside. Or is there another solution? I only listen to one music source for all 4 pairs of speakers, but I figured the B&K at 60wpc direct to each pair of speakers would be better sounding than the 100wpc amp going thru the speaker selector and powering all 4 pair I have now. Thoughts?
If you can access the speaker wires AND a place to put the controls or switches that's near the speakers, you should be able to control them separately without going back to the amp.

As long as the speaker wires are all separate at the speaker switch, one way to control levels and turn the speakers off would be to find a used AV receiver that has preamp outputs and a network port- you could download their app and use the Main zone for some, Zone 2 (and 3, if it has these) for others. If it doesn't have an ethernet port, you could use a remote control hub by URC, Harmony or another company, to control the AVR via its IR commands.

The more expensive method would be to buy a separate streaming device like Sonos, Denon HEOS, Yamaha MusicCast or something like them for each pair of channels, or share groups of channels if they will be controlled together. Connect each to its pairs of amplifier inputs and use the app to link them to play the same music, but control levels separately.
 
C

Cholmes

Audiophyte
Thanks for the response. Yes, the ideal situation would be to buy 4 Sonos Connects and run one for every channel on the amp. However, considering I never listen to different sources on these speakers, the Connect's would become $350 on/off switches for each pair. I also realize that I could do volume controls for each speaker pair, but they are spread out all over my yard and pool area and each speaker is at least 20' from the other, so I would not end up with very ideal placement of the volume controls. I was hoping to replicate what I have now with my 2 channel amp, which is a Russound 4-zone on/off selector box sitting on top of the receiver/amp. That way I can turn on or off any pair of speakers. I could probably build a box for 4 volume controls and place it outside where all the wires come out of the house, but was hoping to find a device like my Russound, that has 4 inpits from the 4 channels of the amp.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Thanks for the response. Yes, the ideal situation would be to buy 4 Sonos Connects and run one for every channel on the amp. However, considering I never listen to different sources on these speakers, the Connect's would become $350 on/off switches for each pair. I also realize that I could do volume controls for each speaker pair, but they are spread out all over my yard and pool area and each speaker is at least 20' from the other, so I would not end up with very ideal placement of the volume controls. I was hoping to replicate what I have now with my 2 channel amp, which is a Russound 4-zone on/off selector box sitting on top of the receiver/amp. That way I can turn on or off any pair of speakers. I could probably build a box for 4 volume controls and place it outside where all the wires come out of the house, but was hoping to find a device like my Russound, that has 4 inpits from the 4 channels of the amp.
The AV receiver will be the easiest choice. I saw a Denon AVR-3311CI on ebay for $225- it's not only capable of network control, it's a really good-sounding preamp. It's only two zones, though.
 
C

Cholmes

Audiophyte
Perhaps the bigger question is whether I would get better sound using the B&K at 60wpc per zone, or the Carver 200wpc for all 4 zones using the imdeiance matching selector box. I mean we are talking about outdoor music using a myriad of speaker models (Rockcoustics, Episode, & some low budget Best Buy brand). I tested both amps on a single pair of Klipsch bookshelf speakers inside and did not notice much difference, but running all 4 pair may make a difference.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Perhaps the bigger question is whether I would get better sound using the B&K at 60wpc per zone, or the Carver 200wpc for all 4 zones using the imdeiance matching selector box. I mean we are talking about outdoor music using a myriad of speaker models (Rockcoustics, Episode, & some low budget Best Buy brand). I tested both amps on a single pair of Klipsch bookshelf speakers inside and did not notice much difference, but running all 4 pair may make a difference.
While it's best to avoid putting anything between the amp's output and speakers, any differences will be unknowable unless you can do a direct A/B comparison and from experience, I don't think a good speaker selector screws up the sound. I installed a Niles selector with volume controls in a system that had a B&K preampo, McIntosh MC-300 power amp, several sources and Dynaudio speakers, except in the Dining Room. Using one 200W/ch amp that shares its power among four pairs results in less than 50W/channel at full output, but between 50W and 60W, the difference won't be noticed if the full 50W was getting to the speakers, but a difference of >4:1 WILL be noticeable unless you have a lot of sound spilling in from the other rooms and that will reduce the apparent difference unless one pair is less sensitive, like the Dining Room speakers in the system mentioned above. Those are Snell- great speakers, but definitely less sensitive than the Dynaudios.
 
C

Cholmes

Audiophyte
Thanks for the response, highfigh, that clears things up a bit. In my case, all 4 pairs are rock speakers in my backyard, around pool, etc... Some are really nice (Rockcoustics, Episode), and others are not (Insignia/Best Buy). I went ahead and stuck with the Carver 200W/ch amp, but I swapped the receiver and now using a Pioneer Elite, because it had pre-amp outs. The older receiver I had been using did not have pre-amp outs so I had to use a converter that plugged into the A speakers of the receiver. The sound is so much better going direct with the pre-amp outs. Now I have 2 B&K 12 channel amps that are sitting unused. Guess I can list them on eBay or something. You think there is a market for them?
 
C

Cholmes

Audiophyte
Not sure if anyone is following this thread, but I went ahead and bought a Sonos Connect, which works awesome for the source music and volume control. Since I have now added a 5th pair of speakers, and swapped out the cheap Insignia speakers with some beefy ones from Atlas Sound, I am now back to replacing the Carver amp with the B&K, which brings me to my original question. I need to be able to turn on/off any of the 5 pairs of speakers independently. Since each pair will be powered by a separate channel on the B&K, I need to find a speaker selector box that has at least 5 pair inputs and 5 pair output. All the selector boxes I have found only have 2 pair for input. The only thing I can think of is to buy some switches and build one myself. Thoughts anyone?
 

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