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Old 18th March 2011, 02:43 AM   #1
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Default source/ speaker selector

reference Parts Express #300-610 2-Source Speaker Selector

Like many of you, I have multiple amps and speakers. It would be nice if I had something similar to the Parts Express item referenced. I searched the forums, and though it was agreed that this sort of distribution box was something lacking on these pages, the threads pretty much died on the vine, and there was virutally no off-site links. Is there not enough interest? If so, I beg your pardon. If there is, can anyone share any ideas/pics/projects?
I'm not really looking for remote controls and LCD display stuff. Just something basic. I figure I can come up with something usable and more customized for less than the PE unit. I'm currently enjoying 3 amps divided among 4 pairs of speakers, and swapping wire pairs is a pain. And that's just for music; hooking it up for watching video is a whole other ballgame.
I'm not even averse to a quick distribution preamp with separate speaker selection boxes right now, since I likely have that stuff on hand, and it gets me where I want to go. But I was hoping I could find some info here amongst the DIYers.
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Old 20th March 2011, 06:37 PM   #2
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We're having a discussion about damping factor and sibulance on solid state amp thread. Increasing the speaker wire size from 16 ga to 12 solved some of the questioners problems with hissy esses.Previously I had found that switching from 8' 10 ga cables to 25' 16 ga cables suitable for carrying the speakers out on the porch, cut the accuracy of the high frequencies on my speakers on high piano and metal percussion.
Now selector switches have resistance, which is bad for music accuracy. The bigger the contacts the better the results but 12 ga wire tends to be hooked up to PMDY17 relays which are about $35 for two poles double throw. the only switches I know of with contacts suitable for 10 ga wire are three phase motor reversing switches at about $200 for three pole double throw. Using individual 3PDT switches to make up an amp switcher is dumb without mechanical interlock on the handles, because if two amps get connected together by mistake, you probably blow both of them up.
Pro amp-speaker band setups have gone from the mid-resistance 1/4 phone plug, to low resistance Speakon connectors or at minimum dual banana jacks and plugs or screw lugs.
So if you're talking about hifi, you need huge contacts and speakers cables. If you want a pro-quality speaker switching amp switching network, Peavey makes one that starts in the mid four figure cost range and uses Speakon connectors. Stage shows have to go on whether the amp blows up or the speaker blows up or whatever. Peavey has a system for that, but it is not cheap.
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Last edited by indianajo; 20th March 2011 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 20th March 2011, 08:32 PM   #3
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Wow, a reply. Yes, I'm talkinghi-fi. I have to say though...
I'm 100% in favor of measurable high fidelity, hardware characteristics, etc. But I also am aware that everyone's hearing is different, and there's a broad difference in recordings.
I have damaged hearing, in large part due to near-deadly meningitis I had several years ago. So a preamp with bass & treble controls makes an improvement to my listening enjoyment. To some that's heresy and I should be shunned like a leper. So be it.
Do I need $35 relays and huge wires to be reasonably satisfied? No. I'll be satisfied with something that works well. Enjoyable listening is my goal, not a never-ending quest for something better.
To those on that quest, I offer my sincere best wishes. And kindly expect the same consideration.
My current set-up is a T-amp, a small DIY chip amp, and a pair of monoblock tube amps. For speakers I have Klipsch RB-61s, a pair of modified RS Nova-10s, Minimus 7s, and a pair of Boston Acoustics (forgot the model).
Switching them around for comparison or different listening situations without a lot of hassle is what I want. I probably can't hear something like the difference in 16AWG and 12AWG.
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Old 21st March 2011, 03:21 AM   #4
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My ears roll off at 14000 due to firing the howitzer at summer camp in 1969. They were tested by the factory medical contractor in 2008; I was a maintenance man. Even with that, I can hear the difference between 8' of 10 ga SO cable with spade lugs, and 25' of 16 ga zip cord with 1/4 phone plugs, on top octave solo piano. Try it, it's a cheap experiment. If no difference, a cheap rotary switch would work for you; on the speakers only.
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