Using Two Amps with One Set of Speakers

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By: Teddy Punu (Jakarta, Indonesia)

I am currently using 2 sound systems. For home cinema – Onkyo 606 surround amp and Jamo A102HCS5 surround speakers, and for stereo music – Marantz 5003 CD deck and stereo amp and Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 stereo speakers.

I am very satisfied with the sound of my stereo system.

I read a lot of hi-fi articles saying that a dedicated stereo amp will give better stereo sound quality than a surround amp. So I am thinking about whether it is possible to connect the Marantz stereo system to Onkyo 606 AV and use the Wharfedale speakers as the front speakers (replacing Jamo front speakers).

Then, I can listen to the Wharfedale speakers for stereo music (The Marantz set will be active) and also for home cinema (The Onkyo Surround amp will be active)

I need to add Wharfedale center speaker for this. If it is possible how do I connect all the systems?

Pls. advice. Tks.

Comments for Using 2 Amps with One Set of Speakers:


Well, it can be done, but it does make the setup a bit more complicated – and you may not be able to do it with all your existing hardware.

  1. CD player into Marantz stereo amplifier as normal
  2. stereo amplifier to Wharfedale speakers as normal
  3. AV receiver to the surround speakers as normal – except for the front left/right

Then, your AV receiver would need to have ‘pre-outs’ (which I don’t think the Onkyo 606 has). You would then connect front left/right ‘pre-out’ of the AV receiver to an input on the stereo amp.

So the receiver would power the surround speakers but the front left/right would go to the stereo amplifier.

Another problem is you would have two ‘pre-amp’ stages (volume controls). For this to work properly, the stereo amp should be a power amp (no volume control).

I wouldn’t connect both amps directly to the Wharfedale speakers as you may end up blowing the whole lot if you switch it all on at the same time.

To be honest, the best way is to trade it all in for a high-quality AV receiver with good stereo sound. They do exist but just cost a bit more.

Hope that helps.

All the best.

Paul (Site Editor)

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Onkyo AV Receivers: the NR & SR Series Compared

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Marantz Receivers – AV Receiver Product Range

Comments for
by: Ringmaster

Your post is a little confusing; however, I have the following comments.

  1. In order to connect one set of speakers to two different amplifiers, you would need a switch in the speaker lines, to direct the “active” amplifier to the speakers in question. Accidental feeding of two “active” amplifiers to one pair of speakers at the same time would have serious consequences. If you should choose to go this route, and you do a lot of research, you might find a “sensing” switch that would “sense” the “active” amplifier signal, and direct it to your stereo speakers; this would prevent accidentally feeding two “live” amplifiers to one set of speakers.
  2. I wouldn’t say having a “dedicated” stereo amplifier for stereo listening would give better results; a lot depends on the quality, and output wattage of the amplifier, as well as the speaker quality & rating. In the past, I think this was a “controversial” issue; however, since “receivers” have become more of a normal set-up, I think signal isolation has received much more attention in “receivers” for quite some time (especially in the mid to high-end equipment).

I hope this helps.

The previous post regarding using two amps with one set of speakers.
by: Ringmaster

Sorry, Paul, I didn’t see your previous post.

It looks like your Forum is a little different than other Forums. Am I correct in suspecting that all posts go through you, prior to posting.

Please don’t take any offense; I’m just trying to figure out how your forum works. In fact, it is a good idea; that way we can better help, rather than confuse.


by: Paul (Site Editor)


No problem, it’s always helpful to get another point of view. It’s nice to get an alternative opinion to my own!

Yes, all posts go through me at present. To keep out spam and offensive comments. Also, I want to keep the quality of information fairly high and make it a useful resource – although I aim to allow most comments added in good faith.

Not a typical forum setup, but it works for me at present.

Feel free to add your comments – I see you’ve been busy tonight!

All the best.


Two amps or receivers on one set of speakers
by: Bike Mike

I use a couple of older receivers for vinyl and cassette and run it through my Yamaha surround sound system, using one set of speakers for all units.

Rather than make or buy a switch, I use one of the inputs on the Yamaha as an auxiliary input. I have a cable connected to this input that has RCA plugs on one side, and a 1/8″ jack on the other.

Thus I and can plug in a Bluetooth receiving device, a smartphone, tablet or computer, or my other amps. For the amps, I use a cable from the headphone jacks to the aux input.

Seems to work great.

However, I just broke down today and bought a switch thru Amazon. $60, but it will make my setup a little more professional.

Still, the switch only ties two units to a single speaker set, so I will still occasionally use the headphone cord bit for the third one.

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About The Author

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.

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