Second set with a/b switch


Silver Member
Username: Bill984

Post Number: 293
Registered: Oct-05
please svae any snide bose remarks. i have the acoustamass 6 and am installing them in the "florida" room. i want to connect a second set of speakers below the deck. most new reciever seem to lack the internal a/b switch. so, if i buy one of the in wall wallplate switches, how do i hook the 5.1 sysytem and the 2nd pair? i am thinking it would be to use the fr and fl to the switch and on to the bass module and come off the same reciever terminals to the "b" switch and pass on to the 2 speakers below the deck.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16254
Registered: May-04

This isn't easily accomplished with a Bose system unless you install more Bose equipment. With the Acoustimass systems there is (serious) eq applied in the subwoofer and then the eq'd signal is passed on to the satellites. Splitting the signal before the subwoofer input is the best chance you have of arriving at two discrete speaker systems. This will, however, require an additional subwooofer in the second area since the Bose satellites will need to be eq'd with the output from the sub. If you run a non-Bose set of second area speakers, you'll need to still split the signal at the outputs of the receiver and before the eq appied by the sub. Given the configuration of the Bose cabling systems, this is darned near impossible. And, my experience is most non-Bose speakers don't sound all that good when driven from a Bose receiver due mostly to the fact Bose expects you only to use Bose speakers with their systems. Non-Bose speakers might be OK for remote area use though, you'd have to decide for yourself.

Splitting the signal after the sub will place a fair amount of strain on the receiver - as will, in all honesty, adding speakers before the sub - which it is unlikely to be able to drive. Quite often when a receiver lacks the ability to easily add additional speakers, you're best off not trying to add additional speakers to that receiver. The use of a switch box with some sort of "protection" switch can be the answer, but that really becomes a jerry rigged set up after all the additional splicing and switching. However, unless you want both sets of speakers playing at all times, you're going to have to install some sort of switch to make your plan work at all.

You'll run into yet another problem in that the system will be expecting the 5.1 configuration to exist in any speaker system attached to the receiver. This means the vast majority of your sound material will be directed to a center channel speaker only. Running only a stereo pair of speakers will miss as much as 90% of some material which would otherwise be sent to the non-existent center speaker. This really makes it very difficult to upgrade the existing system as you are wanting to do. This isn't a Bose only problem as many recivers today just don't have the power supply or the switching to operate 5.1 speakers and remote pairs. But once again the Bose cabling system makes this harder than it should be.

There's no intention to make snide Bose remarks but once you buy into Bose's ideas, you're pretty much locked into playing a Bose only game. Bose isn't the only audio company with proprietary systems but they are the most difficult to work around, making them a largely non-upgradable system. Having sold Bose for many years, I think this alone makes Bose a sometimes less desireable sale for most shops since there aren't many ways to help a customer move forward other than to sell the Bose and move on to another more conventional system. Many Bose owners don't care to do that - especially when you consider the initial cost of a Bose system - so they contend with doing what you're likely to do, buying an entirely separate (Bose) system for a remote location. It's kind of a zero sum game for everyone other than Bose.

I'll tell you what, I haven't sold Bose in several years and they seem to recognize the bind they had put their clients in early on. No one else here has any experience with Bose so I doubt you'll get a better answer on this forum. Give Bose a call and ask them your question. They should have a system available to extend sound to remote areas. I'm afraid though, from what I've seen, you'll still end up having to discard your original system to step up to another totally new Bose system as there are unlikely to be any retrofit upgrades for the older Bose systems.

Let me know what you find because this was always a stopping block for many customers when I was selling.


Silver Member
Username: Bill984

Post Number: 294
Registered: Oct-05
thanks jan.
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