Help using integrated as power amp

I have a NAD T747 receiver powering some Totem Rainmakers. Problem is that the 747 manual states the receiver should be used to drive 8 ohm or higher. I have an old arcam alpha 9 integrated amp and was thinking of testing out using this as a power amp for the rainmakers and the 747 as the preamp. Can anyone explain how to do this? Do I need to be careful with the volume controls, I am not even sure in this situation which volume controls work.
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If the T747 has tape outputs you could run those into an AUX input on the Arcam and then use the volume control on the Arcam. It should be simple enough.
Whats wrong with the preamp in the Arcam?

If it is the tuner section section in the receiver you wish to still use from the receiver, use the tape output of the receiver connected to a line input of the Arcam.
The pre-amp section of the Arcam integrated would certainly sound better with a good quality source than the pre-amp section of the T747 Receiver. I have owned the same T747 receiver myself, and any Arcam integrated amp will sound better than the T747 does by a long shot, unless you don't like to hear detail, dynamics and clarity in your music....
I bought the 747 because: one, I wanted to be able to use it for watching movies and two, the input selector on the arcam doesn't work anymore. It will work for a while and then the sound will just drop out. When I spray deoxidizer on it that helps but never solves the problem. I was thinking of buying a NAD C275 power amp and running the front speakers off that. Do you think that will improve the sound quality from the 747 or do you think my best bet is to buy another integrated(used). Unfortunately, my budget for that would be less than a 1000, ideally even less than that, as I want to first buy a totem storm sub and center channel.
Any idea how much $$ it would cost to fix the switch on the Arcam?

adding more 'stuff' won't help, if you were satisfied with the original gear.

Maybe 2.1 for HT? works for me, without additional complexity.
Alternative, buy a used NAD c272 and see what that does for you. Rainmakers well powerd can have some very strong bass. Trading the 747 for one of the bigger NAD receivers or one from another mark could also help. Adding a subwoofer to an underpowered system will not increase overall enjoyment in my opinion.
to answer your actual question, connect an rca cable from the front preouts on the rear of your nad receiver to the "pwr in" sockets on the rear of your arcam, then press the "pre/pwr" switch on the rear of your arcam (to make it fuction as a power amp). good luck.
by this connection, your arcam will be functioning solely as a power amp--all the volume, tone, etc. will be controlled by your nad. keep the volume on the arcam turned up full.
Thanks for the help Unfortunately, the only switch is for AV operation or normal operation. As far as fixing the switch I asked two places and they both said it would probably be a few hundred dollars. Having said that I have only listened to the totems through the arcam once and although I liked the dynamics/energy(my terminology may be faulty)the highs seemed harsh compared to the NAD. I am going to try this weekend to rehook up the totems to the arcam - I live in apt in NY and my wife is sick so trying it out right now is not an option. I might post this on the home theater section since my interest is 50 50 but I am wondering what people would do to improve this system if they had 2500 to spend. I should say I listen to mostly rock and most of my music is digital. thinking of building a music server with a mac mini.
The Rainmakers deserve much better than the 747. There are several options but 1. get a better AV receiver - any of these in the $1500-$2000 range will drive the Rainmakers adequately:

Marantz SR 7005
Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2000
NAD T 775
Rotel RX 1550
Denon AVR 4311CI

AV receivers are getting better - more, cleaner power and better isolation of digital parts from analogue parts - not to separates level, but tremendous value because the competition is so fierce (too bad there isn't this same level of focus on 2 channel integrated amps, but that is another story).

This should leave $1k to $500 for 2. a digital set up. Assuming you alredy have a mac mini, you could spend the remainder on a new dac, the new iDAC from Peachtree was well reviewed, and Wavelength and Musical Fidelity have new DACs out as well. The Trusty Cambridge Audio could serve as well.

Another approach is to dump all your investment in a higher end receiver with a quality USB DAC, more power and better preamp section.

I suggest you look at:

Arcam AVR 400
Anthem MRX 700

listen before you buy.
Do you think adding a NAD C275BEE power amp would help the NAD 747 or is it solely the preamp section that you see as the problem. Not sure if it matters but I will almost surely never progress beyond 3.1 - thanks
I don't think the preamp section of the 747 will be a problem at all. Though not the same preamp section of the flagship NAD T785, it is not too shabby. The C275BEE should drive your speakers just fine with plenty more headroom than the T747 alone.

You could try it, it would definitely control the speakers as long as you are happy with the pre-section in the 747. I am not sure how the C275BEE measures up next to the C272, but I have heard the latter with some decent Triangle and Dynaudio speakers and thought it sounded very good (with NAD C162 pre). The older model amp can be found used for well under five hundred bucks, and the newer one used or refurbished for under $700. The C275BEE should sound at least as good as the C272 and probably better given the upgrade I noticed from the C372 to the C375BEE integrated. If this works for you, you would have extra resources for other gear.
i got at c275bee to drive my Linn keilid speakers and the improvement over bi-amping with the Nad T775 was substantial. Lots more base. You will definatly hear the diff. over a NAD T747.