OT- switching between speaker pairs in shop?
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    Default OT- switching between speaker pairs in shop?

    There was a thread a while ago about playing music in the shop. Rather than fill my 3000' one person shop with sound as in the past, I'd like to have 3 different zones of sound for the areas I spend most of my time in.

    I have a several pairs of old but quality speakers, wondering the best way to switch between them? My NAD receiver can support 2 pairs of speakers. I see all sorts of switching devices on Amazon, just wanted to ask the experts here first before making a choice.

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    If the receiver will switch between 2 speaker pairs, put an external double pole double throw toggle switch in one pair of speaker wires to switch between the second and third pair. The ground/black wires can usually be tied together but if you want to switch the ground wires also use a 4PDT switch. You can get fancy multiple push button switch assemblies but a simple toggle switch is hard to beat for simplicity and reliability.

    Bob
    WB8NQW

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    Add an amp, and run them all at once.

    take the roof right off the shop.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Add an amp, and run them all at once.

    take the roof right off the shop.....
    I can pretty much do that with the pair of 15" Altec Lansing coaxial speakers I have now, but I'm in a big repurposed industrial building with retail downstairs and offices upstairs, have to behave myself...

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    Quote Originally Posted by blcksmth View Post
    If the receiver will switch between 2 speaker pairs, put an external double pole double throw toggle switch in one pair of speaker wires to switch between the second and third pair. The ground/black wires can usually be tied together but if you want to switch the ground wires also use a 4PDT switch. You can get fancy multiple push button switch assemblies but a simple toggle switch is hard to beat for simplicity and reliability.

    Bob
    WB8NQW
    Thanks Bob, that sounds pretty simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    I can pretty much do that with the pair of 15" Altec Lansing coaxial speakers I have now, but I'm in a big repurposed industrial building with retail downstairs and offices upstairs, have to behave myself...
    Clean the floor, and we can add a mirror ball, allow rollerskaters....

    Seriously, adding extra speakers, and driving them all at a low volume level,
    would enable you the same sound everywhere, without switching stuff on/off as you move around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    I can pretty much do that with the pair of 15" Altec Lansing coaxial speakers I have now, but I'm in a big repurposed industrial building with retail downstairs and offices upstairs, have to behave myself...
    Yah wants to get more work DONE, to better spec, with less risk of scrap, sooner, and more safely.. the switch yah should look to is simpler.

    Distractions "OFF".

    Machine-tools and their work and cutters "talk". Sing their health and progress, growl - or only whisper - their warnings.

    I learned early-on it was "of value" to LISTEN, and not be distracted.

    Same as running fast motorcars, conning watercraft, flying airplanes, or dealing with warm ladies.

    Do whatever it is yer doing, pay full attention to it.

    As with good food... (or sex, if memory serves?)... enjoying good music deserves the same.

    Much nicer in its own dedicated time and place as well.

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    I couldnt agree less about no music in the shop- I have been running LOUD music in my shop for over 40 years now, and could not work without it. Sure, there are times when I put ear plugs in, as needed, but the idea that music is a "distraction" is pretty alien to me.
    Thats like saying air, or water, are distractions.

    That said, I have been using a 4 pair speaker selector for about 20 years now, and it works just fine. I cant remember the brand of mine, but they are all pretty much the same- switches and wire connectors. The advantage to an off the shelf speaker selector is that it will protect the amplfier, which a toggle switch will not. And, frankly, for fifty bucks for a 4 pair unit, its price competitive with three decent quality toggle switches.

    I would probably buy a Monoprice unit off amazon, if I was doing it today- Monoprice audio and electronic accessories are sturdy, well made, and reasonably priced. Their 25 dollar headphones beat a lot of 200 dollar models, and I bet their speaker seletctors are just fine.

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    I kinda like good food and/or sex with music.

    I don't play the music loud enuf to drown out the machines, quite the opposite. I actually spend very little time with the machines running, you may have forgotten that I'm a custom banjo maker, not a job shop. When they are running I'm 100% focused on them, still have all my digits after over 50 yrs at this.

    edit- Ries beat me to it, altho I don't consider/like my music LOUD. I can't work without it either, gotta have it or I get distracted with idle thoughts, which is much worse. I really love to play Hawaiian slack key guitar music when I'm hand engraving mother of pearl, it really helps me to relax and focus. There's no fixin a screw-up doin that stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    ..still have all my digits after over 50 yrs at this.
    As a banjo maker, I can grok that.

    Banjo PLAYER might have a higher wear-rate? Even with a pick, I fugure his joints & ligaments are at-risk!


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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Yah wants to get more work DONE, to better spec, with less risk of scrap, sooner, and more safely.. the switch yah should look to is simpler.

    Distractions "OFF".

    Machine-tools and their work and cutters "talk". Sing their health and progress, growl - or only whisper - their warnings.

    I learned early-on it was "of value" to LISTEN, and not be distracted.

    Same as running fast motorcars, conning watercraft, flying airplanes, or dealing with warm ladies.

    Do whatever it is yer doing, pay full attention to it.

    As with good food... (or sex, if memory serves?)... enjoying good music deserves the same.

    Much nicer in its own dedicated time and place as well.
    .
    I figured with installing the mirror ball and putting some roller skates under Mr. Newman, that would all be a moot point then eh ?....

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    .
    I figured with installing the mirror ball and putting some roller skates under Mr. Newman, that would all be a moot point then eh ?....
    Social distancing sure has taken the fun out of that!

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    Mind your total impedance/load on amp, even if it's not turned up too loud.

    8 ohm amp will drive either the A or B pair of 8 ohm speakers, but to drive both, you have to watch how they are connected. Parallel would put amp at 4 ohms, which it won't like. Series would put you at 16 ohms, which is fine.

    If your amp is rated for 4 ohms, parallel is just fine though -- for two pair. Three pair would require some creativity.

    For your setup, you could wire them all in series, and have switches that 'un-bypass' the local speakers you'd like to listen to. It's a decidedly non-standard hookup, so document it and 'train' other users. Having them all off would be fine if it's a solid-state amp. Not good if it's tube.

    Can draw it out if you're interested...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
    Mind your total impedance/load on amp, even if it's not turned up too loud.

    8 ohm amp will drive either the A or B pair of 8 ohm speakers, but to drive both, you have to watch how they are connected. Parallel would put amp at 4 ohms, which it won't like. Series would put you at 16 ohms, which is fine.

    If your amp is rated for 4 ohms, parallel is just fine though -- for two pair. Three pair would require some creativity.

    For your setup, you could wire them all in series, and have switches that 'un-bypass' the local speakers you'd like to listen to. It's a decidedly non-standard hookup, so document it and 'train' other users. Having them all off would be fine if it's a solid-state amp. Not good if it's tube.

    Can draw it out if you're interested...
    This is exactly why you buy a speaker selector- so you dont have to worry about this stuff. It wont let you feed them too low a resistance. Its actually designed to do this, mass produced, sealed in a nice box, and has labelled push buttons. Downright Decadent in its luxury, compared to soldering a bunch of two pole switches, and mounting them in some sort of custom enclosure, and then buying terminals and mounting them. Theres actually a reason why mass produced items are cheaper...

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    I bought a Bose battery powered Bluetooth wireless speaker for about $125 at Best Buy. Its about the same size and shape as a thermos bottle, as I move around the shop I just move it with me. I drive it through my iPhone 6s and play my Pandora station. No wiring to mess with is a plus in my book.

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    Another option is to have a "master" receiver or preamp, and feed additional amps or receivers from it. You can then adjust the volume of each pair of speakers independently. With 3 pairs of speakers you may have to look at speaker phasing, if you have them all on with the volume up.

    I currently have a Luxman R-113 as my "master" receiver. It is fed by a CD payer to the CD input, can be fed from an internet connected AV receiver upstairs through Video 1, and Video 2 connects a Sansui tuner for FM. (Though since I made and installed a J-pole antenna out of 3/4 in copper pipe I am using the Luxman for my FM as I like its tone better).

    The Luxman runs one pair of speakers, though could do two pair. I am using the Luxman's "tape out" to feed a Pioneer SA-9500II receiver through anauxillary input. The Pioneer then feeds two pairs of speakers at the other end of the shop. The Pioneer also has tape out functions. I have not had a reason to try and feed the Luxman to the Pioneer and then on to another receiver/amplifier. I guess that means I need to get more speakers...

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    Gotta go with the music crowd. I've had a soundsystem in my one-man shop for years, and would likely find it distracting to NOT have music.

    Now, radio sound I find extremely distracting- three songs, fifteen minutes of inane commercials, two more songs, ten more minutes of commercials, three more songs, twenty minutes of commercials... Not a huge problem when it's a five minute run into town, but I spend 12+ hours a day in the shop. It doesn't take long 'til I've heard every goddam commercial twenty-six times and want to shoot the receiver. Again.

    So I long ago switched to MP3s, and have curated my own playlists. No commercials, no bad songs, none of this forty-year-old "classic rock" crap, etc. The whole system is no great shakes- the receiver is from a pawn shop, the speakers are mismatched, and it's all fed from a $50 off-brand Wal-Mart MP3 player (that so far has lasted nearly ten years and still works great.)

    My shop is two main rooms- the machine room and the car bays. I've been thinking about the same thing, adding speakers out in the car bay area, and having a switch to either add them or switch TO them. I'd likely be looking for an inexpensive off-the-shelf box if anyone can recommend something, rather than adding and mounting a DPDT switch or something.

    Doc.

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    Don't let the "true" audiophiles hear me saying this, but if you are talking about speaker level audio, almost any modern switch will handle it. Or make a patch panel with 1/4" phone jacks and jumper cables.

    By speaker level, I mean the output of a speaker amplifier.

    BUT, if I were doing that, I would consider running the low level audio around to several inexpensive, switching (class D) amplifiers, one in each area of the shop, and just control the level with the on/off and volume controls on each amp. Use shielded cable to make those long runs. That way you could control the volume in each area without the necessity of returning to the central location where the amplifier sits. These amps are really inexpensive and unless you have absolutely perfect hearing and have all your machines OFF, you will never hear the difference.

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    +1 on setting up several little amps; The "class T" units sound a lot better than they have any right to- very cheap, needing only a fairly robust 12v wall-wart to run them. Bluetooth audio transmitters/receivers are a nice way to avoid running audio patch cabling around. Then you can put amps and speakers wherever you want them, all playing off a common source and no switches to fiddle with- and local volume control at each station.

    Of course not as nice as for-real amps and speakers... but not so bad either.


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