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post #1 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Connecting 2 amps (not Biamping) to a speaker

Would it be possible to connect two different amps to a speaker? My usage is 80% TV/movies, and I use a solid state amp for that. However I’d like to get a tube integrated amp for critical 2 channel music listening, and I’m wondering how I can integrate that with my current HT setup. I’m not too keen on using the tube amp for HT use due to tube life and dealing with warm up time etc every time I want to just watch some TV

My speakers only have one set of binding posts. Only one of the sources would be active at any time, however would there be any danger if I forget to switch off one of the amps while the other is playing


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post #2 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
"Would it be possible to connect two different amps to a speaker?
Yes
BUT it would conflict with
Quote:
critical 2 channel music listening
With dedicated master/slave relais it would be possible.
It will be a costly setup if you want it high-end

The most simple en cheap way is to create 2 sets. Buy a TV/surround grade speaker and put them next to the audio grade speakers.
TV it's just noise so it will cost you next to nothing
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bachmere View Post
Would it be possible to connect two different amps to a speaker? My usage is 80% TV/movies, and I use a solid state amp for that. However I’d like to get a tube integrated amp for critical 2 channel music listening, and I’m wondering how I can integrate that with my current HT setup. I’m not too keen on using the tube amp for HT use due to tube life and dealing with warm up time etc every time I want to just watch some TV

My speakers only have one set of binding posts. Only one of the sources would be active at any time, however would there be any danger if I forget to switch off one of the amps while the other is playing


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I think if you never accidentally turn both on at same time you're fine. But if you do, then electricity from one amp out goes to the other amp input and it probably is going to be bad. If you're ok with a manual switch, you can get a cheap double pole double throw (DPDT) toggle switch. This one (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B6R0HOO) handles about 800 watts. You'd hook the + and - out from each amp to the end legs then the run from middle legs to your speaker. I guess you'd need one for each speaker.

I think if it were me, I'd try to hook this up to a remote controlled switch that runs on a relay.

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post #4 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 07:02 AM
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https://www.amazon.com/Niles-Black-F.../dp/B00006HOFR
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post #5 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 08:02 AM
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Another option that’s similar but accepts banana plugs

TC-7220 2-Way Amplifier Speaker Selector Switch Switcher Comparator Crossover Router https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LNOAGZQ



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post #6 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Bachmere View Post
However I’d like to get a tube integrated amp for critical 2 channel music listening,
If high fidelity is one's goal [see my signature], rather than supposedly "pleasing" euphonic distortion and tube hiss sound, I personally think that is a bad idea. I would suggest sticking with solid state amplification for all sources, just like the vast majority of pros and recording studios do.
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In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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post #7 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 11:21 AM
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I have the exact setup that you are describing. I use the Specialty-AV SP-71 switch to handle the speakers. This is a manual switch, but that is not an issue since I have to be around the equipment rack to change the album, etc. It is also cheaper.


I found this article that addresses what you want to do.


https://makelifeclick.com/how-to-use...-2-amplifiers/
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 11:51 AM
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 12:18 PM
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The least expensive way without having to build anything is probably this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
You could mount it in a single gang J-Box {~$1 at an Ace Hardware store] if you didn't want to wall mount it or have the wires visible.

I bought one just to look at at up close. [It was half the current price BTW.]

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post #10 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 02:30 PM
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I was warned several years ago by an amplifier engineer never to hook up two amps to the same loudspeaker terminals even if only one amp was powered up at a time. He recommended a high-quality switchbox for such use.

I bought the Niles DPS-1 switchbox mentioned earlier and used it for a few years. The DPS-1 is housed in a steel box and can handle 350 watts/channel. Niles told me it utilizes a very high quality switch. It feels military grade when you press it. Pins fit nicely into the DPS-1, as will bare wire up to 14 gauge. Niles discontinued the unit several years ago but perhaps you could find a good used one.

Niles also once offered automated switchboxes, some of which may still be available. They are the ABS-1, SAS-1, and SPK-1. I use the relay-switching SAS-1 in our theater room to switch between a Yamaha AVR's front left and right power amps for routine TV shows and an Adcom power amp for Blu-ray and DVD films or music on CD.

I still have the DPS-1 but it is not for sale. I am considering using the Niles in our music room to switch occasionally between our tube and solid-state integrated amplifiers. It is fun to change amps once in a while.

Our McIntosh amp is superb (it's the best solid-state amp I have ever heard), but our Cary tube amp is even better--more detailed, smoother, zero noise like the McIntosh (with my ear about one inch from a tweeter there is no hiss at full gain). Vocals and instruments sound more like the real thing. Overall, it is more transparent than any of the many solid-state amps I have owned or auditioned. (This performance was achieved after replacing the stock Electro-Harmonix tubes with NOS RCA and Amperex tubes and with Tung-Sol KT-120s.) Note, though, like SS amps, tube units can vary widely in sound quality.

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Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #11 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions.. I’m gonna look for a DPS-1 or some of the other suggestions mentioned. I’m guessing adding a switch in between will not degrade the sound too much?
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post #12 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 08:51 PM
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I was a Niles dealer for over 20 years and found that they made good products, including the DPS-1, albeit a tad pricey.
--

The 10 Biggest Lies in Audio- The Audio Critic magazine:

"2. The Vacuum-Tube Lie
This lie is also, in a sense, about a peripheral matter, since vacuum tubes are hardly mainstream in the age of silicon. It’s an all-pervasive lie, however, in the high-end audio market; just count the tube-equipment ads as a percentage of total ad pages in the typical high-end magazine. Unbelievable! And so is, of course, the claim that vacuum tubes are inherently superior to transistors in audio applications–don’t you believe it.

Tubes are great for high-powered RF transmitters and microwave ovens but not, at the turn of the century, for amplifiers, preamps, or (good grief!) digital components like CD and DVD players. What’s wrong with tubes? Nothing, really. There’s nothing wrong with gold teeth, either, even for upper incisors (that Mideastern grin); it’s just that modern dentistry offers more attractive options. Whatever vacuum tubes can do in a piece of audio equipment, solid-state devices can do better, at lower cost, with greater reliability. Even the world’s best-designed tube amplifier will have higher distortion than an equally well-designed transistor amplifier and will almost certainly need more servicing (tube replacements, rebiasing, etc.) during its lifetime. (Idiotic designs such as 8-watt single-ended triode amplifiers are of course exempt, by default, from such comparisons since they have no solid-state counterpart.)

As for the “tube sound,” there are two possibilities: (1) It’s a figment of the deluded audiophile’s imagination, or (2) it’s a deliberate coloration introduced by the manufacturer to appeal to corrupted tastes, in which case a solid-state design could easily mimic the sound if the designer were perverse enough to want it that way.

Yes, there exist very special situations where a sophisticated designer of hi-fi electronics might consider using a tube (e.g., the RF stage of an FM tuner), but those rare and narrowly qualified exceptions cannot redeem the common, garden-variety lies of the tube marketers, who want you to buy into an obsolete technology."
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post #13 of 33 Old 09-11-2019, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bachmere View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions.. I’m gonna look for a DPS-1 or some of the other suggestions mentioned. I’m guessing adding a switch in between will not degrade the sound too much?
A high-quality passive switch will cause very minimal or no sonic degradation.

I hope you find a really good tube integrated amplifier. It is difficult to go back to solid-state once you hear and enjoy the realism and stunning musicality they can provide.

Happy listening!

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #14 of 33 Old 09-12-2019, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
If high fidelity is one's goal [see my signature], rather than supposedly "pleasing" euphonic distortion and tube hiss sound, I personally think that is a bad idea. I would suggest sticking with solid state amplification for all sources, just like the vast majority of pros and recording studios do.
F to all that crap in your signature lol. I'd rather enjoy something the way *I* like it not the way someone else tells me I need to have it. Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I was a Niles dealer for over 20 years and found that they made good products, including the DPS-1, albeit a tad pricey.
--

The 10 Biggest Lies in Audio- Audio Critic magazine:

"2. The Vacuum-Tube Lie
This lie is also, in a sense, about a peripheral matter, since vacuum tubes are hardly mainstream in the age of silicon. It’s an all-pervasive lie, however, in the high-end audio market; just count the tube-equipment ads as a percentage of total ad pages in the typical high-end magazine. Unbelievable! And so is, of course, the claim that vacuum tubes are inherently superior to transistors in audio applications–don’t you believe it.

Tubes are great for high-powered RF transmitters and microwave ovens but not, at the turn of the century, for amplifiers, preamps, or (good grief!) digital components like CD and DVD players. What’s wrong with tubes? Nothing, really. There’s nothing wrong with gold teeth, either, even for upper incisors (that Mideastern grin); it’s just that modern dentistry offers more attractive options. Whatever vacuum tubes can do in a piece of audio equipment, solid-state devices can do better, at lower cost, with greater reliability. Even the world’s best-designed tube amplifier will have higher distortion than an equally well-designed transistor amplifier and will almost certainly need more servicing (tube replacements, rebiasing, etc.) during its lifetime. (Idiotic designs such as 8-watt single-ended triode amplifiers are of course exempt, by default, from such comparisons since they have no solid-state counterpart.)

As for the “tube sound,” there are two possibilities: (1) It’s a figment of the deluded audiophile’s imagination, or (2) it’s a deliberate coloration introduced by the manufacturer to appeal to corrupted tastes, in which case a solid-state design could easily mimic the sound if the designer were perverse enough to want it that way.

Yes, there exist very special situations where a sophisticated designer of hi-fi electronics might consider using a tube (e.g., the RF stage of an FM tuner), but those rare and narrowly qualified exceptions cannot redeem the common, garden-variety lies of the tube marketers, who want you to buy into an obsolete technology."
Come on dude give it a rest. This isn't a thread asking for opinions on whether or not people agree he should use a tube amp or not. If you dont like tube amps, dont buy one.

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Come on dude give it a rest. This isn't a thread asking for opinions on whether or not people agree he should use a tube amp or not. If you dont like tube amps, dont buy one.
I have a right to state my views, as do you, and will continue to do so. He stated in the first post he is considering buying a tube amp and if in my opinion that might be a bad idea, I have a right to provide links to audio experts on the topic.

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post #16 of 33 Old 09-12-2019, 09:47 AM
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Well... at least he got some suggestions/recommendations about a "switch".



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post #17 of 33 Old 09-12-2019, 11:59 AM
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I not only sold speaker level switchers I also collect ones that interest me.

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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
If high fidelity is one's goal [see my signature], rather than supposedly "pleasing" euphonic distortion and tube hiss sound, I personally think that is a bad idea. I would suggest sticking with solid state amplification for all sources, just like the vast majority of pros and recording studios do.
Recording studios do not function like home listening areas.

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post #20 of 33 Old 09-12-2019, 12:38 PM
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Luckily for me there are many people in the industry who feel similarly to the way I do, and some of them design $18K processors, part of a $126,700 system shown at CEDIA 2014 which impressed @imagic . The designer commented a few months ago:

"A great Audio system should be as transparent as possible and add the least amount of character as possible. It should have no "opinion" about the sound. And then it should be able to integrate in normal living environments while maintaining these virtues. That's really all there is to it!"

- Peter Lyngdorf comment

I never said everyone needs to take this stance. YMMV.
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In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Luckily for me there are many people in the industry who feel similarly to the way I do, and some of them design $18K processors, part of a $126,700 system shown at CEDIA 2014 which impressed @imagic . The designer commented a few months ago:

"A great Audio system should be as transparent as possible and add the least amount of character as possible. It should have no "opinion" about the sound. And then it should be able to integrate in normal living environments while maintaining these virtues. That's really all there is to it!"

- Peter Lyngdorf comment

I never said everyone needs to take this stance. YMMV.
Are you saying that SS systems don’t add color to a system? The quote you cite is one designer’s opinion. Likely Dan D’Agostino, Nelson Pass and others have different ideas on this. Certainly their electronics don’t sound exactly the same.

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I'm personally of the mind the job of an ideal, high fidelity amplifier is to amplify, end of story, or as the founder of Stereophile magazine, J Gordon Holt calls it, "A straight wire with gain". [I'm not dead sure he coined the actual phrase though.] That's my opinion and it is shared by Lyngdorf and others.

There are times when one may want to temporarily color the sound, such as EQ, in order to fix a deficiency in, for example:

- the currently selected recording
- the listener's hearing
- the room
- the speakers

or for personal taste. . . .

However doing so in a fixed, non-adjustable, non-defeatable manner (say by using a colored interconnect wire or a colored amp in one's system) makes no sense to me, personally.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I'm personally of the mind the job of an ideal, high fidelity amplifier is to amplify, end of story, or as the founder of Stereophile magazine, J Gordon Holt calls it, "A straight wire with gain". [I'm not dead sure he coined the actual phrase though.] That's my opinion and it is shared by Lyngdorf and others.

There are times when one may want to temporarily color the sound, such as EQ, in order to fix a deficiency in, for example:

- the currently selected recording
- the listener's hearing
- the room
- the speakers

or for personal taste. . . .

However doing it in a fixed, non-adjustable manner makes no sense to me, personally.
The problem as you allude to in the first bullet point is: every source sounds different and every file or album sounds different. The better the system the more you notice flaws in a recording. The answer is that sound is individual based on many variables, one being taste.

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The answer is that sound is individual based on many variables, one being taste.
Not if one's goal is high fidelity to the master source, ideally being so accurate, faithful and true it is a completely indistinguishable copy: taste is irrelevant. If the source sounds schreechy and terrible then so should a faithful, high fidelity reproduction of it. A good high fidelity amplifier is agnostic and replicates everything from the source, good or bad, pleasing or irritating.

This TV commercial may seem dated, but it nails the concept in a mere 30 seconds:


If one's goal is high fidelity then one's goal is to have to throw up their hands and say, "Beats me!" when hearing the reproduction vs. the master source in a blind test. Not, for example, "According to my taste, I prefer sound "B" because the flugel horn sounds warmer and I personally dig flugel horns that way." If one sound is made "warmer" (or different in any discernible way) then by definition perfect replication, aka transparency, has not been achieved.

high fidelity:


n.
The electronic reproduction of sound, especially from broadcast or recorded sources, with minimal distortion. [Ideally no distortion/change, or at least none that is discernible to the listener. - m. zillch]
n.
An electronic system that reproduces a given sound or image with relatively high accuracy. [Ideally so accurate the reproduction is a "perfect replication", at least to the listener's ear/eye. - m. zillch]

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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The point you miss is that fidelity to the master source does not exist. The source you’re hearing on your system is not the master source. Most of the files have been compressed from that master. Any quality system is going to be transparent to that source many of which are highly flawed.

But while you prefer fidelity to whatever source and file you prefer, I prefer what I consider a pleasing sound. To me that means as accurate musically as possible with air and black background.

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post #26 of 33 Old 09-12-2019, 07:42 PM
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The point you miss is that fidelity to the master source does not exist.
Huh? You are saying no two things can sound alike? Ella disagrees.

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post #27 of 33 Old 09-12-2019, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Huh? You are saying no two things can sound alike? Ella disagrees.
That’s not what I said.

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post #28 of 33 Old 09-12-2019, 08:06 PM
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Yes I got it wrong apparently. Please explain.

Is Ella experiencing a high fidelity reproduction when she says "Beats me"? [Pretending for the moment it was a real event and not just a TV commercial.]

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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post #29 of 33 Old 09-13-2019, 12:03 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions.. I’m gonna look for a DPS-1 or some of the other suggestions mentioned.
There is an alternative to a switchbox that costs little but is much less convenient. (I was away yesterday so I didn't have a chance to post earlier.) For about two or three years in the mid-1980s I switched between a tube preamp and power amp combination and a receiver by using double banana plugs. I connected about 20 inches of speaker wire to each channel of each amp's speaker terminals and a female banana plug to the other end of each short wire. A male banana plug was attached to each end of the speaker wire coming from each loudspeaker. I thus selected which amp to use by switching from one amp's pair of banana plugs to the other two plugs.

Should you not find an integrated amp that pleases you, perhaps this method would save the time and cost of finding and buying a quality switchbox that might not be needed.

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post #30 of 33 Old 09-13-2019, 03:19 PM
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I have always had an integrated amp of some kind along with my A/V system sharing my front speakers. I thought about a switcher but since I have easy access to the back of my speakers, I just swap cables the old fashioned way, manually. I use different wire with banana plugs, for ease of knowing what goes to what.
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