Help with Speaker B switcher device or relay for Cambridge Audio amp

cw-kid

Member
Hi

I have a Cambridge Audio Azur 350A stereo amplifier. Speaker Set A is connected to a pair or ceiling speakers in my bedroom. Speaker Set B is connected to a single stereo ceiling speaker in my bathroom.

There is a button on the front of the amp to turn on or off the Speaker B in the bathroom, this works fine by manually pressing the button. There is no button on the supplied Cambridge Audio remote control handset for controlling Speaker B.

However I want to be able to control if the Speaker B in the bathroom is on or off via an IR remote control (Logitech Harmony Hub).

If I leave the Speaker B button on the front of the amp permanently in the on position, is there then some IR speaker selector device or a way to use an IR controlled relay to control turning on or off the Speaker B in the bathroom instead ? By placing this device after the amp and before the bathroom speaker etc.

I also have a Z-Wave Vera Home Automation hub so could maybe do something with that ?

Thanks in advance for your ideas.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
I was looking for something similar as I have pretty much the exact same layout in my bedroom and bathroom.

In the end I bought a second amp. Can't recall the exact one but was a mini amp made by SMSL or something like that. This amp drives the single stereo ceiling speaker in the bathroom a treat. I had a spare Chromecast audio anyway so I actually get 2 independent zones that are also set up as a group for synced playback. Again my memory is patchy but it was around £50 for the amp and I added a spare TP link smart plug to power it off and on.
 

cw-kid

Member
I have considered doing it that way. I have a spare Denon stereo amp I am not using. I would need to buy a Chromecast Audio for it however.

And either way I plan to buy another Google Home Mini to mount on the bathroom ceiling.

I just thought there might be a cheaper way to some how control the Speaker B button without using a second amp and Chromecast Audio etc.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
There's plenty of speaker switches, some with a volume control which might be useful, there doesn't seem to many (or any) ones that can be remote controlled though.

If you've recording outputs on your amp you could use that as the input for the second zone and share sources.

I've actually given the SMSL amp away to my mate (it's 12v and works in his campervan) and I now use a really old Arcam AVR200 AV receiver. It has enough amplifiers and stuff to happily run both zones but takes up quite a bit more space in my loft.
 

cw-kid

Member
" There's plenty of speaker switches, some with a volume control which might be useful, there doesn't seem to many (or any) ones that can be remote controlled though. "

Yeah I am seeing that, not finding any suitable speaker switches that have a remote control also online.

These are the ports on the back of the Cambridge Audio amp, there is Rec Out

Record-Out.png


My sources are a Kodi HTPC and a ChromeCast, both of these are connected via HDMI directly to my Sony TV. And I used the RCA Audio outputs on the TV to feed the BD / DVD input on the amp / ceiling speakers.

Your statement " If you've recording outputs on your amp you could use that as the input for the second zone and share sources. " I am not sure I understand ?

My "second zone" is my bathroom that has a passive single stereo ceiling speaker.

These are the speaker out terminals on the back of the amp.

Speaker-A-B.png


These are the source input buttons on the front of the Cambridge amp.

Source-Buttons.png
 
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cw-kid

Member
Oh I think you mean I could use Rec Out on the Cambridge Audio amp to an in input on a different second amp and have that second amp connected to the bathroom speaker right ?

If so that might work and would mean I don't need to buy another ChromeCast Audio device for the second amp.

The user manual for the Cambridge amp says:

These output sockets can be connected to a tape deck or to the analogue
Record In sockets on a MiniDisc or CD recorder.

Also in the user manual:

Tape Monitor
This control lets you listen to the output signal from a tape recorder or
signal processor connected to the amplifier's Tape In/Rec Out sockets.
When Tape Monitor is selected, the source component chosen by the
input selection buttons continues to be routed to the Rec Out sockets for
recording or processing.

So I think I would have to have the RCA outputs from the TV going to Tape Monitor input on the Cambridge amp instead of BD / DVD as they are currently.

Or am I totally barking up the wrong tree and not understanding?

This is what the user manual says about the "Tape In" input on the back of the Cambridge Amp:

Tape In
Connect to a tape deck or to the analogue output sockets on a MiniDisc,
portable digital music player or CD recorder using an interconnect cable
from the recorder's Line Out sockets to the amplifier's Tape In sockets.
The Tape Input circuit of the 350A is a ‘monitor’ type, different from the
other six inputs. For the six normal inputs, the source selected for listening
to will also be sent out of the Rec outputs for recording. The source
currently being listened to and (optionally) recorded is then shown on the
front panel by a corresponding blue LED.
However, when the Tape Mon Input is selected, the Tape Mon LED will also
illuminate, indicating that the Tape Monitor Input is now being listened to
with a different source being sent out of the Rec outputs for recording. The
recording source is shown by the first LED and can be changed by
pressing the other source buttons. To switch Tape Monitor off, simply
press the Tape Mon button again, toggling this function off.
This feature is most useful when using three-head analogue cassette
decks which allow the signal being recorded to be played back live off tape
(via a third head) whilst it is simultaneously recorded. It is then possible,
by toggling the Tape Monitor input on and off, to compare directly in real
time the original and recorded signal so that adjustments to the recording
parameters of the tape machine can be made. (Consult the manual of
your three-head analogue cassette deck for full details).
 
Last edited:

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Yes that's exactly what I meant, the rec out is essentially the source for the second amp.
 

cw-kid

Member
Your a genius ! Its working..

My spare "second" amp is a Denon UD-M31 (Mini stereo system).

I just connected the bathroom speaker to the back of the Denon amp and Rec out from the Cambridge Audio amp to Aux In on the Demon amp and when I turn on the Demon amp and set it to Aux the music is heard on the bathroom speaker also.

If I turn off the Denon amp obviously this stops the music in the bathroom, but it continues in the bedroom.

I didn't need to change the source input port on the Cambridge amp, its still coming from the Sony TV to BD / DVD IN on the Cambridge amp.

So now I can program some buttons on my Harmony remote to control the second Denon amp to turn it on / off and volume controls etc and I should also be able to setup a scene on my Home Automation controller to "turn on the bathroom speaker" via a voice command to a Google Home Mini located in the bathroom.

This is certainly a good temporary solution if not a permanent one.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Awesome. I love it when a plan comes together.
 

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