Could it be the Adcom?
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I don't know how your amp will get along with the combination of speakers/switcher,but it does sound like the Adcom could be the culprit to me too.With everything shut off,cycle the Adcom switches several times.This may help some.A contact cleaner, even some from Radio Shack sprayed on the contacts in the Adcom could help.To see if it is an amp problem,switch the speaker left and right inputs(from the amp)only at the Adcom switcher.No other changes. If the scratchy sound still comes out of the left speaker,its the switch most likely causing the problem.
The Beta II will allow the hookup of a second amp if desired so:You could probably get a RCA Y-connector to run two amps from the preamp.I can't remember doing it myself,but a lot of people do it all the time.It may,or may not affect the sound some.Another possibility with your limited budget, would be to run a integrated amp off of the Y connector going to an auxiliary input(on integrated)to help match volume levels. This will degrade the sound some,because there will be a second preamp involved.It still may sound good enough for an office though.Doing this,start at low volume levels at first to be safe,until you find out loudness difference of the amps.Y-connect link.
A 5 channel amp should work.A lot of home theater oriented amps are 8 ohms,the standard for home theater.At least they do have a fair amount of multi-channel power amps that could still drive 4 ohms.Receivers are getting more oriented toward the 8 ohm,low current.If you find one that sounds good to you,in your price range, I can't see anything against it.It will save shelf space.I can't recommend any on experience,for sound quality,or reliability.I use 3 stereo amps for multichannel,mainly because I already had 2 to start with.Others may have recomendations on what is out there,and how they sound.I can't remember what you Nikko sounded like.I would imagine
you want the new one to sound as good.One more possible plus for a multichannel,would be finding a newer one,just in case yours is getting ready for new caps.Only time would answer that one though.I hope you find something that works for you.
You should just buy the $325 threshold amp for sale right now (10/26/2010) as it will be an elevator ride over where you are currently sitting with your amp IMHO. I have no affiliation with the person selling this amp, but as long as it is in good working condition (no bad caps, tranny or anything) then you are likely to be amazed by the gain you will achieve.