Preamp w/ no A/V bypass

I just got a Sherwood Newcastle P-965 pre/pro. Great unit, but I ran into a tricky setup question.

Like many, I have combined my audio and A/V rigs into one, so that I can use the main full-size speakers (Vandersteen's) and the front end amplifier (Stratos) interchangeably both for 2-channel music as well as Front L and R of the home theater setup. The problem is that my music pre-amp (Morrison ELAD) which I very much want to keep has 2 inputs but no A/V bypass.So I tried one recommendation (actually it came from Morrison himself) and added an A/B switching box which selects the 2-channel outputs of the music preamp or the Front L and R outputs of the P-965 and sends it to the amplifier.

The problem is that whenever I now switch between A and B, the box sends a pretty loud noise spike through the speakers. When I asked the speaker manufacturer (Richard Vandersteen) abooout it, he categorically told me to get rid of the box and run the R and L pre-outs of P-965 straight into the 2nd input of the ELAD, mark the matching volume for A/V input, and ..done! So I tried it today and found that I have to absolutely crank the volume knob on the ELAD ALL the WAY (to 6 pm) to match the volume between the Front L/R and the Center. This does not feel right. In this setup I essentially have 2 preamps in the path connected in series, so that can't be right, no?

I hope you see the dilemma. I could, of course, just use the "pure audio" path of the P-965 but I am very attached to the ELAD and would like to get the whole thing to work. Is there any way to get the front L and R signal out of the SN so I can use the 2nd output on my music preamp at normal levels? Conversely, is there a bypass in the SN that I can use to route the music signal?
Or is the switch box the only option, and the switching noise is the sign of it being defective? (It's a Niles box, not too cheap)

There should be no problem with two preamps in a row--at least not the problem you are having. Does the a/v list the specs for its preamp out? Is it around 2 volts? The double preamp set up should make the volume way to HIGH, not low. I would trust anything R V says and see if you can find something you have done incorrectly. Maybe something is grounding out. You could always run the a/v front channel line outs (if it has those) to your preamp and crank the volume at the a/v. That wouldn't be as "pure" a sound, but it might be fine. I don't even use the pre outs fronts from my a/v, but rather just run the dac into the pre and into the a/v. It means I have two sets of volume adjustments (one for fronts, one for the rest), but it leaves the preamp in the circuit. I guess I give up the front channel processing of the a/v, but I don't miss it with all the processing that goes on with the center, the sub and the surrounds. Good luck in solving this...