Advice on speaker selector

  • 20 December 2012
  • 8 replies

Userlevel 2
I am about to purchase my first Sonos components for a new house. Over time, I intend to own multiple Connect Amps to drive wired speakers throughout the house (already wired to a central location)

Eventually, there will be 6-8 pairs of speakers, and multiple Connect Amps.

But for now, the budget only allows for 1 Connect Amp.

I understand the need to match impedance, and not to exceed 2 pair, 8-ohm per Connect (most speakers will be in-ceiling, 8-Ohm, same-type, same-manufacturer)

My intent has been to manually swap the speaker wires connected to the Amp when I want to change to another set of speakers in the house, allowing me to drive 2 pair at a time.

But I'm wondering if this switch described below would work. I would still only select 2 pair of speakers at a time. But this would save the physical swapping of the wires, and it's a relatively cheap solution for now. It appears that it would also protect things should I accidentally select more than 2 pair.

I'd appreciate input from those who know the system and Connect Amp better than I.

[indent]"Spread your sounds around your home or business with this 8-Channel Speaker Selector!

This speaker selector allows you to connect up to eight stereo speaker zones. Each zone can be individually toggled on or off with the front panel switch. Built-in impedance-matching circuitry ensures that the overall impedance level to the amplifier does not drop below 5 Ohms, no matter how many speaker zones are selected or how many speakers are in each zone.

The impedance-matching protection circuitry can be disabled using a front-panel button, but this should only be done if there is another protection circuit employed or the system is carefully designed to avoid amplifier damage. The unit can handle up to 100 watts per channel with the protection circuitry enabled and up to 200 watts per channel with the protection circuit disabled."[/indent]

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8 replies

An impedence-matching switch like the one you describe will allow you to connect your entire speaker set and avoid swapping wires (which would get old fast, I assure you).

If you don't have in-room volume controls, you may find that it's difficult to get the rooms balanced, as differing room sizes and acoustics will cause varied output levels, but you can probably live with that -- or find a compromise -- as you eventually add additional Connect:Amp units.

Obviously, driving that many speakers at once won't exactly blow off the roof.
Userlevel 2
Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.

Feeling like Homer Simpson on the volume controls...DOH!

I didn't put them in each room as I planned on using the same speakers throughout. So figured that impedance matching wouldn't be an issue. Forgot to account for room acoustics...DOH!

I can still add controls at the input side, assuming that once I adjust for differences between speaker locations, the settings would remain mostly fixed.
Some impedance-matching speaker switches include volume control -- to account for room acoustics/size you'd likely set it once and forget it, as you point out -- I didn't want to confuse the issue if you already had in-wall's.

Adding volume controls to the selector increases the price, of course, but you'd probably spend more than that differential putting individual controls in the rooms anyway.

Also, the issue with impedance-matching is not related to the differences in speakers in and of themselves. It's due to the lowered impedance presented to the amplifier as more and more speakers are added (it's an Ohm's law thing). It's not like you could connect 4 identical speakers per channel and get away with it. You still need impedance matching anytime you present lower than 4 ohms to the amp. That's probably what you meant, but "wouldn't be an issue" might be interpreted as "isn't needed" by an inexperienced user stumbling across this topic in a search 🙂
Userlevel 1
Can you recommend a speaker selector with volume control for the connect Amp?
Welcome to the forum.

Can you recommend a speaker selector with volume control for the connect Amp?

I won't recommend one, as I'd only recommend what I've actually installed (and those aren't compatible with the Connect:Amp). Here is an example of a speaker selector with volume control for you to begin your research. Note the passage in the manual about "separate left and right ground paths for compatibility with all amplifiers". That refers to how the switch is internally wired, and the Connect:Amp's design requires separate paths.

That switcher is also available in two and four pair models.
Userlevel 1
Thanks NoBob,
After thinking about it, if I connect 2 sets of speakers using an impedance balance speaker selector and only use one set of speakers at a time, I don't believe that I would need a volume control since I could control volume using the Sonos app. However, if I do use both sets of speakers at the same time, I would want volume control to adjust for different speakers, room size, etc.

My real question is whether any speaker selector is compatible with the Connect Amp. From your response, it sounds as though as long as the selector has separate left and right ground paths it would be. Have you used a speaker selector with a Connect Amp or do you know of others that have? Thank you
You're correct, any selector with independent grounds should be fine. Personally, I have not used one, and off the top of my head don't know anyone that has either (although I suspect there's a few forum members who have). Everyone I know -- myself included -- is running a single speaker pair on the Connect:Amp (or its equivalent predecessors).
I already have speakers wired into a speaker selection box. If I purchase an amp do I connect the speaker selection box directly to the amp