Same Speakers - Multiple Receivers

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It turns out I use my basement home theater system a lot more than I thought I would, I may buy another Pioneer VSX-534 (refurbished) for my basement system in order to get MCH SACD decoding.

My new idea is to use my old Pioneer VSX-D514 (or if it dies, my VSX-D209) and a VSX-534, depending on the source, I'd use an old Pioneer or the new one.

I time shift movies from Hulu and max using VHS Hi-Fi which can store Dolby Surround encoded stereo only (apparently downmixed as part of the streaming process from whatever type of surround sound is used in the movie).

The 534 doesn't have (original) Dolby Pro-Logic decoding, both the D514 & D209 do, also, the 534 doesn't have 4 analog inputs, both the D514 & D209 do (for a CD-4 demod output).

Seems all I need is a switch to switch the 4.1 speakers from one receiver to the other, anyone else doing this type of thing in order to take advantage of decoders and inputs unique to various receivers (inconveniently, many of the remote control signals are the same for these receivers, looks like using the front panel switches only on the older receiver is a good way to handle this)?


Kirk Bayne
 
Dear god, why?! 😧

I'm cheap, I have 5 new VHS VCRs (still) and a bunch of S-VHS blank tapes - it's really only a way to "sample" a movie to decide if I want to buy it on DVD/Blu-ray (I don't have cable, so no movie channels), Dolby Pro-Logic decoding does a good job of providing surround sound from stereo VHS Hi-Fi.


(I did just buy a refurb 534 from Amazon, soon, I'll be able to hear the DTS-HD from the Rhino Quadios too [the D514 just decodes the DTS core])


I wish DTS would step up and put (the old) DTS Stereo surround sound decoding (a Dolby Surround "clone") in their family of DTS decoding systems for use with the large population of DS encoded content.


Now to search for some suitable switches and some way to place them in a box to make switching the speakers between receivers easy.


Kirk Bayne
 
I time shift movies from Hulu and max using VHS Hi-Fi which can store Dolby Surround encoded stereo only (apparently downmixed as part of the streaming process from whatever type of surround sound is used in the movie).

Like @JediJoker I am perplexed why you need to do this. HULU & Max is streaming on demand meaning it's there any time you want to watch it. So why the need to record & time shift?

I might suggest another service Fandango (formerly VUDU) that has no monthly charge, just costs to rent or buy & it's all in HD 5.1/7.1 as the program allows.
 
I can use my existing equip to time shift streamed content (movies leave and other movies are added to Hulu and max each month), I have a low end PC with just stereo audio out, if I like the movie I time shifted, I'll probably buy it on a new or used DVD/Blu-ray.

I recently time shifted the new Jumanji movie, I plan to buy all the movies in this series soon on BD (Amazon or Vintage Stock).

VHS is easy, tapes can be moved to my other VCR to watch on my other TV and can be fast scanned back a little to repeat some scenes if needed.

(It's really a bummer that Dolby Labs doesn't "allow" some sort of decoder for all the DS encoded content, maybe they could go back to the original name for DS - Dolby MP matrix decoding to distinguish it from the "new" Dolby Surround Upmixer use of the name Dolby Surround)


Kirk Bayne

 
I'm also looking for a way to connect my 4 speakers on my vintage quad to be able to use my backup receiver sometimes. It's been sitting in a closet for a while. I'd stack it on top of my current one and just flip the speakers. I was also hoping for some kind of switcher. (I'm guessing I'd have get two stereo ones to do this, which is fine.)
I have two turntables so I could connect one permanently to the main and the other to the backup. It seems sad sitting in the closet. 😂
Main is a Sansui QRX-9001 and the backup is a Sony SQR-8750. I'd love to compare the SQ Full Logic in the Sony with the Surround Master I have connected to the Sansui.
PXL_20240404_132516542.jpg
 
Many years ago I bought a couple of Phillips mechanical switches cheap at Wally world. Although made for mainly for video, each input had 6 RCA jacks. At the time I used them to toggle speakers between two 5.1 inputs. Each device had 4 sets of inputs and one output. All purely mechanical, no relays etc.
I don't think they are sold anymore.

If you are a DIY guy you could build/buy a box and use mechanical or push button switches and relays (cheap on Ebay) and a miniature power supply to power the relays. Possible one of the electrical whizzes on the forum could draw you up a quick schematic and suggest parts?
I was going to build one myself but my setup changed and didn't require switching any more. I had all the parts sourced at one time but have lost track of it.
 
Like @JediJoker I am perplexed why you need to do this. HULU & Max is streaming on demand meaning it's there any time you want to watch it. So why the need to record & time shift?

I might suggest another service Fandango (formerly VUDU) that has no monthly charge, just costs to rent or buy & it's all in HD 5.1/7.1 as the program allows.
Thanks for the tip Sonik, I just added the app VUDU-Fandango At Home. Lots of movies for free with ads also, and lots in 4KUHD.
Good tip.
 
I think I'll get matching toggle switches (all suitable for 110VAC) to switch the speakers and also to cut the AC power to one receiver or the other, that solves the remote control problem and I can feed my subwoofer from a Y adapter combining the subwoofer line level outputs from both receivers.

(off the Lowe's/Home Depot/Menard's to find out what they have in the way of switches and related hardware)


Kirk Bayne
 
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You need to think of the logistics of doing this:

- Many power amplifiers do not like their speaker outputs unloaded. A load resistor should be connected there when the speaker is not there.
- It should be impossible to connect two amps to the same speaker at the same time. This can really cause trouble.
- What kind of user interface do you want?

Possible solutions:
1. A simple rotary switch to activate relays. A DPDT set of contacts for each speaker output to substitute a load resistor when not energized.
2. Use speaker to line converters for one unit's speaker outputs and feed them to a discrete input on the other.
3. Use a pre-out on one unit to feed a discrete input on the other.
 
Tube amplifiers should always be connected to a load but normally solid state amplifiers don't care, they are fine with the outputs left open.

I don't think that it is necessary to switch power between the receivers, but go ahead if you want to. Switching power and then flipping multiple toggle switches will work but MidiMagic's relay suggestion would make switching much simpler.

Don't forget that you will need some kind of enclosure to mount the switches, outlets, relays (if used) in. Local hardware stores might have toggle switches but not likely a whole lot else. I would search for parts on eBay or an industrial electronics supplier like Digikey, Mouser or Electrosonic.
 
While I was away, I thought of an ultra cheap way to implement 2 receivers/1 set of speakers - get 2 (different color) extension cords, cut into them, connect the grounds together, put in a switch that switches the "hot" from the 110VAC from one extension cord "output" to the other extension cord "output".

This would cut the power to one receiver or the other, and I would also have the speakers connected continuously to both receivers (not switched between them).

Offhand, I think connecting the speaker wires to a receiver with no AC power and also a receiver that is switched on would work, I'm not sure I need to switch the speaker connections at all.

My Pioneer VSX-D514 has operated in 4.0/4.1 mode (no speaker connected to the center [front] output) for about 20 years (I'll check the manual, I don't recall any advisory about leaving a speaker output unconnected).


Kirk Bayne
 
While I was away, I thought of an ultra cheap way to implement 2 receivers/1 set of speakers - get 2 (different color) extension cords, cut into them, connect the grounds together, put in a switch that switches the "hot" from the 110VAC from one extension cord "output" to the other extension cord "output".

This would cut the power to one receiver or the other, and I would also have the speakers connected continuously to both receivers (not switched between them).

Offhand, I think connecting the speaker wires to a receiver with no AC power and also a receiver that is switched on would work, I'm not sure I need to switch the speaker connections at all.

My Pioneer VSX-D514 has operated in 4.0/4.1 mode (no speaker connected to the center [front] output) for about 20 years (I'll check the manual, I don't recall any advisory about leaving a speaker output unconnected).


Kirk Bayne
While that might work you would be feeding the output of the one amp to the output stage of the other which will exert some kind of nonlinear impedance (even if unpowered) to the output of the connected amp. Will that cause a problem like increase distortion or even blow something up? I don't know but I wouldn't try it myself.

Many amplifiers have relays that connect the speakers at startup and disconnect in the event of a fault, in that case what you propose might work OK if both your amps have such relays and if you only power one on at a time. I still would not do it myself, better to just switch the speaker outputs.
 
Tube amplifiers should always be connected to a load but normally solid state amplifiers don't care, they are fine with the outputs left open.

I don't think that it is necessary to switch power between the receivers, but go ahead if you want to. Switching power and then flipping multiple toggle switches will work but MidiMagic's relay suggestion would make switching much simpler.

Don't forget that you will need some kind of enclosure to mount the switches, outlets, relays (if used) in. Local hardware stores might have toggle switches but not likely a whole lot else. I would search for parts on eBay or an industrial electronics supplier like Digikey, Mouser or Electrosonic.
For sure. Like I said, Ebay is, or was, a good place to find cheaply priced relays. I liked the ideas of the relays infinitely better than depending on mechanical switches. I don't know what commercial products out there exist now, but at the time it seemed some electronic units used parts that degraded the signal path.
 
I installed this amplifier switch in the kitchen for the in-ceiling speakers that I put in the kitchen.
So I can choose between local music in the kitchen with a bluetooth receiver and small amp that I have in-ceiling in the kitchen, or switch to ZONE2 of the AVR of the Home Theater in the living room.

This switch supposedly has an internal mechanism that prevents the two “Amplifier” inputs from being connected simultaneously. By pressing Amp B, the Amp A button is mechanically released. I think if works good, without any moment both connected simultaneously. But, just in case, I always switch when there is no signal (volume muted), or even amplifiers turned off.

If you go for a DIY solution, I think DPDT relays are a good solution.

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Tube amplifiers should always be connected to a load but normally solid state amplifiers don't care, they are fine with the outputs left open.

NOT SO! I have myself seen a transistor stereo amp burn itself up and give off smoke because only one channel was being used as a PA amplifier.

I have repaired many receivers and amplifiers where the output transistors or ICs burned out because the set was on when speakers were not connected or when speakers were suddenly disconnected.
 
For sure. Like I said, Ebay is, or was, a good place to find cheaply priced relays. I liked the ideas of the relays infinitely better than depending on mechanical switches. I don't know what commercial products out there exist now, but at the time it seemed some electronic units used parts that degraded the signal path.
The commercial ones that degraded the signal were made to pass RF or video, not speaker power.
 
While that might work you would be feeding the output of the one amp to the output stage of the other which will exert some kind of nonlinear impedance (even if unpowered) to the output of the connected amp. Will that cause a problem like increase distortion or even blow something up? I don't know but I wouldn't try it myself.

Many amplifiers have relays that connect the speakers at startup and disconnect in the event of a fault, in that case what you propose might work OK if both your amps have such relays and if you only power one on at a time. I still would not do it myself, better to just switch the speaker outputs.

Connecting two amp outputs together with no series resistors can (and probably will) damage both of them even if one amp is turned off.

While the relay could turn off the power to an amp, it takes time for the power supply storage capacitors to empty.
 
Connecting two amp outputs together with no series resistors can (and probably will) damage both of them even if one amp is turned off.

While the relay could turn off the power to an amp, it takes time for the power supply storage capacitors to empty.
I never said that it was a good idea!
 
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