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If you have 2 amps but only 1 set of speakers – here’s the solution.

And you don’t need to build, wire or blow anything up!

I have a 5.1 surround sound speaker set up connected to a Yamaha amplifier. The problem is the two Q Acoustic Concept 40’s floor standing speakers I have sound amazing, so I would like to be able to listen to them in stereo only. This isn’t the problem as I can switch the Yamaha HiFi amp to Direct and get unadulterated sound through the amp to the Q Acoustics. The thing is, I have an older Denon HiFi amp that is just a stereo amp, it doesn’t even have HDMI inputs or surround sound it’s so old, but it does sound really tasty in stereo. It has a rich, full, bottom end that I know the Q Acoustic Concept 40’s would sound amazing with.

So the problem is how do I run one set of speakers using two different HiFi Amps?

  • One for when I am watching movies in surround sound and..
  • One when I just want to listen in stereo to the floor standing speakers.

I’ve googled this over the years and it seems not very many people have this question. I expect because most people are happy with one amp and one set of speakers. It’s only the audiophile-obsessed types who consider such a setup it would seem.

This is definitely a common issue for people who have a turntable/record player/phono stereo and a separate home theatre amp set up.

Specialty AV-71 Amp switch for 2 speakers pairs and 1 amp
Editor’s Pick
Of all the models listed here the Specialty AV SP-71 is affordable, does a simple task well and is great quality. Set up is easy and it does what it says on the box. Unless you’re running very expensive valve amplifiers I can’t see why this wouldn’t suit all home theater enthusiasts.

Important things before wiring up your amps

The most important thing when looking to set this up is NOT TO wire everything together and hope that if you turn on one amp one it will power the speakers and then turn that amp off and turn the other one on to power the full 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound set up.

This is asking for trouble and you are going to blow something, if not the speakers then one or both of the amps.

The thing you need to ensure is that when one amp is powering the speakers the other one can’t be connected in any way.

Cicero – Make Life Click

Fortunately, there have been a few companies come to the rescue in making switches for this exact purpose. Both offer ‘disconnect before connect‘ switching allowing you to change from one amp to the other via a switch, without the risk of blowing up your stereo. One offers more options with extra speaker poles.

Amplifier switching product options for multiple amps with single speaker pair

This first product is in such a rare space it doesn’t even have a ‘name’ although the actual model number is SP-71. The product title is: 2-Way Amp Amplifier Receiver to 1 One Pair of Speakers Selector Switch Switcher Splitter Combiner

1: 2-Way Amp Amplifier Receiver to 1 One Pair of Speakers Selector Switch Switcher Splitter Combiner – Specialty AV SP-71

This product is available online here and ships internationally. It comes from a brand called Specialty AV. You’ll have to wait a while for it to be delivered as it seems to go ground but it’s worth the wait.

It’s the most affordable option in this space that looks robust enough that I would trust my stereo system with it. This is the one I chose as I don’t need anything fancier. It allows a simple configuration:

  • One set of speakers to be connected
  • Two amplifiers to be connected
  • You can run individual speakers off individual (separate) amplifiers (not sure why you would want to but…a/b testing?)
  • Takes up to 12 gauge wire
  • This unit has a power rating of 100w (or 200w RMS). My Yamaha RX-V373 is about 100w per channel and the Denon is rated at 50w (although it sounds more like 100w it’s so big).

Speciality AV SP-71 Unboxing

Check out more reviews and pricing on the
Specialty AV Amp switch

The second option is more expensive but offers more control

2: TC-7220 2-Way Amplifier Speaker Selector Switch Switcher Comparator Crossover Router

This TC-7220 unit available here has been around as a standard for home HiFi enthusiasts for a while. Like the Specialty AV unit, it allows switching but it’s a little more advanced (and a touch more expensive).

The TC-7220 allows the following:

  • Two amplifiers can be connected
  • Two sets of speakers can be connected
  • You can switch between speakers and/or amplifiers. You might have two sets of speakers and two amplifiers in your living room that you want to multi-switch between.
  • You could run two zones also. Have a set of speakers in your office and one in the lounge and change the speakers using the switch, and the amps as you like. This would require having a wired set up though which sounds a little like hard work.
  • Takes up to 12 gauge wire (same as Specialty AV unit)
  • Power up to 200w RMS (same as Specialty AV unit)

Check out more reviews and pricing on the
TC-7220 Amp Switch

3: Dynavox AMP-S Amplifier/Box Switch Black (UK Only)

The Dynavox AMP-S available here seems to only be available in the UK. We’ll list it here for those of you who can get access to it. It’s nothing more or less special than the previous 2 recommendations.

  • Has the same rear poles as the SP-71. 1 x stereo speaker cable connection and 2 x 2 stereo amp connections.
  • No load is sent to the ‘off amp’
  • Easy rotator dial to choose which amp
  • Terminal poles are a screwable type to secure your speaker and amp wiring
  • 3 way switch has a ‘both off’ setting in the middle. Also means a full off before on connection when changing.

Check out more reviews and pricing on the Dynavox AMP-S Amplifier Switch

That’s about it really. The overall set up is pretty straight forward. These don’t require power so it’s easy to get them wired in quickly and off you go.

Any questions? Let me know in the questions below.

Specialty AV Amp Switcher
Specialty AV Amp Switcher
Features
Does what it says
Build Quality
Ease of use
Reader Rating0 Votes
What we like (Pros)
What we like less (Cons)
5

This post was last updated on 2021-07-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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27 thoughts on “How to use 1 set of speakers with 2 amplifiers”

  1. Great job and thanks for your service. You have saved a lot of music lovers a world of stress. My wife says “WHY”.. I say because I should be able to. Lol. I have an Onkyo 7.1 surround for TV and now temporarily for music in my upstairs den. I am moving my old Pioneer SX 1080 upstairs but want to pair some old Misubushi speakers in with the Bose 901’s that are connected now. I did a test and the hi sound of the Mitsubishi speakers and the reflecting sound of the Bose us amazing funneling out of that old Pioneer. This tip saved me some time, experimenting and having to double up on some hard to find audio junk as my wife calls it. Thanks again.

    1. Haha! Nice one Will. My wife says WHY all the time too. Sounds like the TC-7220 will be the unit for your testing then. You can change between 2 HiFI amps and 2 sets of speakers.

      I was happy when I figured this our also. Saved me a lot of time with a soldering iron for sure. In the future when I’ve won the lottery I’ll have a room that gives me a reason to use the TC-7220. ?

  2. I find it hard to believe that someone or some company hasn’t come up with a proper solution to this ‘problem’ long ago.
    I’ve been searching on and off for a good few years for this. I’ve got a very nice Hi Fi amp plus an AV amp and rather than having 2 sets of speakers, I just want 1 set with both amps powering them with some kind of switch isolating the 2 amps.
    Surely it must be a common problem?

    1. Yes. Agree Steve. It took me a long time find these solutions listed above but they do work perfectly. The SP-71 or TC-7220 list here will solve the problem for you.

      Unless you mean an automated switch? These two amp switching models do require you to manually switch the switches.

    2. I’m still not happy with the choices out there (which is almost none). For one thing, have you ever looked inside one of these boxes? There’s about two dollar’s worth of parts and technology in there. The enclosure is worth about another two bucks and yet they sell these things for way too much money. I’d rather look into making my own. It’s not that complicated.

      1. Hi Norm, thanks for the comment. I’d be more than interested in trying out anything you’re keen to manufacture. While these units might be basic and have low costs parts the main point is that they work. For those of us who have little interest in spending time making these things, it’s easier to buy something off the shelf that works, comes with a warranty and requires no effort to use. Perhaps there is a business here if you can lower the price, improve the performance and ideally produce something that operates on its own frequency and goes into auto-standby when not receiving a signal.

        1. Haha, I’m just gonna wire up a simple switch, and I just bought a 3d printer so I’ll make an enclosure!! The photos gave me a complete design in my head as soon as I saw them! But stumbling upon this thread…..ha, I needed a laugh!!! Thanks sooo much!!!! CHEERS to you all!

  3. Hi.
    Big sigh of relief and endless thanks!
    Sometimes a small sticking point can become a source of great frustration. At the cost of stretching your hospitality, are there any devices with more than 3 amplifier inputs?
    Thanks and cheers.

  4. This has been so helpful, only the final option seems to be available on Amazon UK but it should solve my dilemma. Thank you so much 😎

  5. Hubert François

    Don’t you think there should be a word of warning for those who want to use either of those switches to select between solid state VS tube amp. Tube amps always require a load when they are turned on. Switching to a “B” solid state amp would blow the “A” tube amp if left on. Do you know of a switch that has an integrated solution to this problem?

    1. Yes. Good point. These ideally focus on solid state amps. I’ll update to clarify but don’t have a switching solution to that one.

      Really though, as a mater of precaution I would not switch this with both amps on regardless – just feels like best practice not to.

  6. Hi ,
    First thank you for the post it is really interesting and just what I am seeking,

    I have a relatively low budget but still want to add great 2 channel audiophile quality to my budget home theatre. The two channel source will be Rega Planar 3 turntable with a Schitt (Mani ) Phono AMP t. I am trying to get true HiFi quality i.e. imaging and creating a sound stage as if the artist is in my ounge .

    Currently I have a Sony Home theatre Amp (STR DN1060) 7.2 165 Wx7Ch amp. My front speakers are B&W DM604 S3. I have an Affinity Centre Speaker and a pair B&W DM602 as my rear. My wife is happy enough with the home theatre and wants to keep it :-). I am now going out to find and buy a great 2 channel amp either and integrated or pre-amp / poweramp combination to give me better 2 channel sound than what the current Sony can deliver. My home theatre’s current setup has the front pair B&W 604 speakers; Bi-Amped. So running the Sony in a 5.1. configuration with its front speakers(A&B) Bi AMP. Like to leave this setup as ai it.

    So do the switches handle Bi AMP and/or Bi Wiring?

    When I do add the additional 2 channel amp I expects watt rating will be 120-200 @ 8 ohm . Thinking possibly a Cambridge or Rotel unit.

    Is there any issue running separates (for my proposed additionally 2 channel HI FI setup) eg. a pre-amp and powerAMP ?

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. So, I’ve been dwelling on this one and I’m not sure why you couldn’t reverse a unit like this: https://amzn.to/2Bn3Dgb

      I just need to get one to crack it open to see how the switches are wired to know if there are any resistors or similar at the amp level.

    1. It doesn’t change the HT amp set up. You use it to control your main front speakers (ideally) – so the Front Left/Right outputs from both amps goes to the switch. When you select the Front Left/Right speakers for the Home Theatre amp it doesn’t affect the other surrounds and subwoofer outputs. I’m not sure if I’ve explained that clearly – would it help if I did a diagram to illustrate?

  7. I was going to buy the Specialty AV SP-71 for $59.99 at Amazon to separate my home theater amp and stereo amp from 1 set of speakers. But having an electrical background, I realized that all you really need is a 2 pole, double throw, knife blade disconnect switch. Amazon sells the Tatoko Copper Plated 63A Double Pole Electric Brake Safety Knife Switch DPST for $13.99. https://amzn.to/2TL0mgn
    May not look like stereo equipment, but will more than adequately do the job and there is absolutely no way you could connect the 2 amplifiers at the same time. I got one and it works great, have it out of sight behind my amp. stand. The wire terminals have no problem tightly securing the speaker wire. Check it out and save a few $$. And, if you need more than 3 amp. inputs, there are 3 pole switches out there as well. If you have a tube amp, I am sure you can solder in the necessary resistors.

    1. I love that you’ve built something to do it for cheaper, I just don’t have the time or inclination. For those who love a soldering iron and some DIY – this sounds like a great solution. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Hi, have you found a bulletproof system to safety switch between a solid state amplifier and a tube amplifier. I would like to play my marantz amplifier casually and then sit down in the evening to enjoy the valve system.

    1. Nothing as yet. You could still use the switcher but you need to ensure when you want to go tube you have already switched the switch to your valve amp before you power up so the load is distributed correctly.

  9. I have a Naim Superuniti DAC/streamer amplifier and a Denon A11 SACD player with a pair of Dynaudio Contour 2.0 speakers. I have recently ordered a Willsenton R8 tube amp and wondered whether there would any issues connecting both the amps to the Switch, as you mentioned caution about a serious tube amp being switched?

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