switching between unique amps using biwire posts?

This may seem like a crazy idea, so I thought I would test the waters here to see if anyone has done this before I may cause potential damage.


I currently have my main front speakers JM Labs Chorus 706s (with biwire capabilities thatI do not use). What I do do however is routinely switch between my digital amp, and my tube amp routinely using banana plugs at the speaker. Because I am getting sick of manually switching plugs each time I change amps, here is my question:

1) Could I wire both amps in using the 4 connections on the back of each speaker simultaneously? ie. LF's to the tube amp and HF's to the digital amp. I would keep the biwire jumpers in place. Of course I would make sure that I would only have one amp powered up at a time.

2) Could this scenario cause any harm to either the speakers or the amps? I wonder what would actually happen if I turned both amps on, w/o removing the biwire jumper? I wonder if I would have impedance issues even if one of the amps is turned off?

3) If it is just plain risky, should I just pick up a Niles DPS-1 amp selector and use that instead? I'm just worried I would suffer signal degradation doing this.

Just trying to see if other people have come up with creative ways to use their bi-wire connectivities.


I don't have good answers either - although some of it will depend on the amp designs I think. If the amps don't have an output relay (I think only pro audio does this), you will be paralleling a tough output impedance load with the speaker which is bad. I have been toying with the idea of adding a tube amp to my system so I could have tubes and SS depending on the mood and music. I guess this is the same as you. I haven't been able to come up with an easy swapping scenario either.

I wish someone would just come out with a high quality amp switcher. I would buy one for sure. I bought a DPS1 once and found it way too chintzy to use so I sold it.

I seem to remember someone saying Bryston has a nice amp switcher but I haven't found any info on it (there's only a video switcher on their site). Anyone know?
You found the DPS-1 chintzy? Was this in terms of build quality -- or did you notice any sound degradation?

Thanks for the reply
The biggest danger from what you suggest is that sooner or later you (or a family member) will accidentially turn on both amps at the same time. BIG BOOM! You will loose at a minimum a fuse in one amp, you might loose 1 amp, you might loose 2 amps, you might loose a couple of drivers in your speakers. You are also adding a load which may or may not have a noticible effect of the sound of the speaker. DON"T DO IT. :-)

There was a thread in Audio Asylum a month or two ago on this exact subject - one of the posters identified a switching devise (I forget the name of the manufacturer) and I looked up the web site. It looked like it could work quite well (on paper).

Personally I'd continue to use the banana plugs, no accidents or sonic degredation to worry about.
Jfiluk - the build quality was poor and my big MIT speaker cables had a hard time staying connected with those cheap push-type connectors so I hardly used it.