speaker selector/switches

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasL, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone use these? If so, what kind? I've just had a horrible experience with a Acoustic Research AR1104 switch. Things only seemed to work right for the "main speaker" (1). For some reason the left channel on the "auxiliiary speakers" (2,3,4), wouldn't play right. It was very weak and there was some crackling. It was quite obvious when playing music that the right channel was the only one playing normally. [​IMG] I then switched an auxilliary pair to the main speaker and they worked fine. I've concluded that the ohm/overload protection circuitry inside this box is either fried or isn't working properly. [​IMG]
    Does anyone else have any other ideas before I return it? Is there any normal reason for the above behavior?
    For now, I've gone back to using a $35 Radio Shack one that I bought 4 1/2 years ago. While I doubt it has much in the way of protective circuitry, at least it works! [​IMG]
    thanks,
    --tom
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I feed 4 other places from the 'B' selector on the bedroom receiver to the other places and only play one set at time. If there no problem with the hook-up, sounds like a problem with the unit. I have a RS one too and replaced it with a 4-pair Adcom I got at a close-out since they were going to make 3 or 6 pair ones. I have never had a problem.
     
  3. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the reply Phil.
    To elaborate a little more on this, when I first hooked everything up (this upgrade was part of a first floor wiring upgrade that saw me run about 200 feet of CL3 wire around my first floor) to the Acoustic Research speaker selector, I popped in Avia and ran the test tones for left front, right front and indeed it seemed to work fine. I then, and perhaps this was my mistake, decided to run the left/right front phase test and when I did that, that is when the left channel on the remote pairs of speakers (hooked up to ports 2,3,4 on the selector) started acting weird as if they were not working. [​IMG] As mentioned previously, I then hooked up a pair of these to the "main speaker" port (#1 on the switch) and they worked fine. Acoustic Research's manual states that the Main Speaker port bypasses the special overload circuitry, I believe.
    So, assuming that this switch is broken and should be returned, my next question to the forum would be, is it worth getting a better switch than the Radio Shack one I have? We have 3 pairs of speakers actively hooked up and sometimes we play 2 pair at the same time and it's never been a problem with the Pioneer receiver. Am I getting anything upgrading to a better yet still inexpensive (i.e. in the $100 range for a 4 port selector/switch) switch like a Niles, Russound, Monster or Parasound model?
    I should also mention that my front L/R for the family room/home theater room are also hooked up to the switch - they're in the "main speaker" port/position. Is the Radio Shack switch box degrading the signal they get appreciably? Or would I need $5K speakers to notice it [​IMG]
    thanks!
    --tom
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Tom - my switcher is located near the receiver and then from my bedroom (on the 1st floor of the house it goes to dining room on-walls (Radio Shack), 1st floor office (Radio Shack white metal ones with 5 inc. woofers), garage (Parasound Indoor/Outdoor) and outside (Niles OS-20s, $499.99/pair). I had the Radio Shack and replaced it with the Adcom and felt, besides better build qaulity and binding posts, showed less signal loss. The speakers in the garage, dining room and office are run thru Niles volume controls. I was able to pick-up the Adcom for $79 and it was definitely worth it. Rotel I believe may still make their high quality switcher but is around $200. It is on their website (specs below). All the stuff is wired with standard 16 ga. and I don't do critical listing with any of those speakers (not with Thiel 7.2s in the main system) so all I really noticed was not as much loss of volume.

    ******

    Rotel's RSS-900 answers the dilemma faced by many audiophiles seeking a combination of multi-speaker convenience in addition to accurate and transparent signal transfer from an amplifier to a single pair of high resolution speakers. Five pair of speaker outputs benefit from Rotel's unique Impedance and Anti-capacitance Compensation to preserve sound quality while protecting your power amplifier from the potentially difficult conditions that can otherwise arise when driving multiple pairs of loudspeakers. The sixth output pair ("Direct"), designed for the main system speakers, has minimal effect on the critical amplifier-loudspeaker interface. The RSS-900 provides yet another example that Rotel's Balanced Design concept brings you convenience without sonic penalty.

    S P E C I F I C A T I O N S

    Model RSS-900

    Maximum Amplifier Power up to 200 watts per channel

    Speaker Switching 6 pairs

    direct 1 pair

    impedance compensated 5 pairs

    Dimensions (W x H x D): 440 x 75 x 180 mm

    17 3/8 x 2 7/8 x 7"

    Weight (net): 2.7kg / 6 lbs
     
  5. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Phil.
    The discontinued Adcom model sounds great. I wish I could get my hands on one. I wonder why they went to the other models. I checked their web site and it seems that the newer models have the special protection circuitry.
    I haven't decided whether I'll pursue the replacement of the Radio Shack switch or just keep using it. I'm a little gun shy now after the Acoustic Research experiment [​IMG]
    I will check rotel's web site and see what they carry.
    Does anyone else on the forum use a speaker selector switch and have any experience with various models?
    thanks,
    --tom
     

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