Are there any integrated amplifiers with these features? (switch A & B but not both)

Niber

Standard Member
Hi,
I'm only using stereo these days, so I'm tempted for my amp upgrade to be a stereo amp instead of surround receiver. However, looking around I can't figure out if there are any integrated amplifiers with the features I need.

1. I want to be able to switch between my near-field and far-field speakers (KEF Q950). However I will never ever use both simultaneously, so I don't want to pay for 4 amps, I simply want a switch feature.
2. Subwoofer output
3. Optical Input

Does such an amp exist? (I'm flexible on budget) If not, should I get a speaker switch box instead?
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Stereo amps with a/b speaker switches still only have one stereo amp inside.

The signal is split for a + b (not recommended)

a or b is fine

Q950 drop to 3.2ohm a good amp is advised
 

Niber

Standard Member
Stereo amps with a/b speaker switches still only have one stereo amp inside.

The signal is split for a + b (not recommended)

a or b is fine

Q950 drop to 3.2ohm a good amp is advised
Oh i see, I had no idea that's how it works, thanks!

Gotcha, well luckily in that case I should have quite many such options to chose from hopefully
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Just to add stereo amps often have the choice a or b and a+b and as said there is still only two channels of power am in side the box. In a+b mode the speakers are paralleled up and so limited to true 8ohm speakers as 2x8ohm speakers in parallel is the same s 1x4ohm speaker.

Do you have a budget in mind? The Yamaha AS801 may be a good place to start But not sure what is generally available in New Zealand as this is predominantly a Uk forum.
 

Onlythesound

Well-known Member
The Denon DRA 800 h is between £449 and £649 in the Uk and has a&b, a or b. I use a for stereo, a&b for tv& films. It also has optical, hdmi x 5 and RCA. It’s a hefty 100 w per channel at 8 and 145 at 4 ohms so by no means top of the pile performance wise but sonically, I would call it pleasing and versatile.

 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
The Cambridge Audio CXA81 fits the bill.
I have the little brother, CXA61, that sounds sensational, but doesn't have the sub output.
Both get some great reviews.

 

Niber

Standard Member
Just to add stereo amps often have the choice a or b and a+b and as said there is still only two channels of power am in side the box. In a+b mode the speakers are paralleled up and so limited to true 8ohm speakers as 2x8ohm speakers in parallel is the same s 1x4ohm speaker.

Do you have a budget in mind? The Yamaha AS801 may be a good place to start But not sure what is generally available in New Zealand as this is predominantly a Uk forum.
Thanks. My budget is flexible, But the AS801 sounds like a reasonable range. Too bad it just recently was price-hiked 100$ here in NZ but I'll consider it.
 

Niber

Standard Member
The Denon DRA 800 h is between £449 and £649 in the Uk and has a&b, a or b. I use a for stereo, a&b for tv& films. It also has optical, hdmi x 5 and RCA. It’s a hefty 100 w per channel at 8 and 145 at 4 ohms so by no means top of the pile performance wise but sonically, I would call it pleasing and versatile.

Thanks. I'm trying to avoid that chunky interface though. Many times when dealing with home theaters I feel like while the rest of the world has progressed, AV Receivers have stuck to the same interface design that was acceptable in the year 2000.
 

Niber

Standard Member
The Cambridge Audio CXA81 fits the bill.
I have the little brother, CXA61, that sounds sensational, but doesn't have the sub output.
Both get some great reviews.

Ah yes that might be a winner. As my main worry is that I'm not going to hear an audible difference between an AV receiver and a integrated amp (my ears aren't pro yet), so by getting something quite expensive and so very praised, I might feel safer that there's really a difference.

Too bad only one color, I will think long and hard about whether 1 silver thing will be acceptable in my room full of black equiptment
 

Hear Here

Active Member
Hi,
I'm only using stereo these days, so I'm tempted for my amp upgrade to be a stereo amp instead of surround receiver. However, looking around I can't figure out if there are any integrated amplifiers with the features I need.

1. I want to be able to switch between my near-field and far-field speakers (KEF Q950). However I will never ever use both simultaneously, so I don't want to pay for 4 amps, I simply want a switch feature.
2. Subwoofer output
3. Optical Input

Does such an amp exist? (I'm flexible on budget) If not, should I get a speaker switch box instead?
There are lots about but maybe we need to ask - will you always want Speakers A OR Speakers B, or will you sometimes want Speakers A AND B? From what you say, probably the former.

If the latter, your amp will be supplying its output to a much lower impedance. If both sets of speakers are 8 ohms, then no problem having both sets powered at the same time as the effective impedance will be 4 ohms. However if your speakers are 4 ohms, most amps won't like that at all and you'll end up with distortion at best and damaged amp at worst as the resultant 2 ohms is almost a short!

Here's an alternative idea if you don't want to limit your choice of amplifier. Get a Speaker Selector box such as this one - TC-7250 Speakers and Subwoofer selector. NEW PRODUCT JUST RELEASED | eBay

There are cheaper devices, but this one has good quality sockets and internal wiring and (most importantly) it "breaks" before it "makes", so won't damage amps. As well as selecting your speakers (you can in fact select both, but take account of combined impedance), you can use it to compare 2 amps into your speakers, or even to compare 2 sets of speaker cables.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
Thanks. My budget is flexible, But the AS801 sounds like a reasonable range. Too bad it just recently was price-hiked 100$ here in NZ but I'll consider it.
The AS701 has same amp stage as the AS801, the only difference is the AS801 has a usb input (and the dac might be slightly better). So might be worth looking for one of them.
 

Niber

Standard Member
It's leaning towards either

Cambridge Audio CXA81​

or

Cambridge Audio AXR100​

the 100 is WAY cheaper, which has the benefit that if I end up not liking it, I can use it for a different purpose in my house (whereas the a81 would be too expensive for that different purpose).
The only thing that intrgues me about that a81 is that you can connect it to ASIO with USB, which might be useful, especially if a future computer of mine may not come with optical.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I assume the near field speakers are passive too?

Also, a perfect USB to SP/DIF converter is the way to go if your next computer does not have an optical out.

£60 or a bit less will solve the problem.
 

Niber

Standard Member
Thanks everyone, I ended up buying the AXR100, as the price range means I can be very flexible with how I use it if I later decide I want surround, a different style or something
 

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