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Niles ABS-1 FG00271

Sound-Triggered Speaker-Level A-B Switch

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  • Niles ABS-1 FG00271

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Our take on the Niles ABS-1 FG00271

by Jim Richardson
Niles

Here's the scenario: You've already wired your house with remote speakers in different rooms, all being driven by your main receiver. There's a separate audio system in your bedroom, and you'd like to use its amplifier to play the audio through the same speakers you've got wired to your multi-room system. But how do you wire two amplifiers to the same set of speakers without damaging your equipment?

The Niles ABS-1 solves that problem. It provides safe switching between two amplifiers — like the one in your main system and the one in your bedroom — and a single pair of speakers. Operation is automatic: when the ABS-1 senses a signal from your secondary amp, it passes it on to the speakers. The speakers in the rest of the house are unaffected, so your main system continues to play elsewhere.

Now, back to our scenario: Install the ABS-1, and when you want to listen to your smaller system through your bedroom speakers, just turn it on and the ABS-1 does the rest.

Details:

  • speaker-level inputs and outputs
  • requires unswitched AC power
  • sensitivity and delay controls
  • 6-1/4"W x 2-7/8";H x 3-13/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Signal-Activated amplifier A-B switch
  • AC adapter (16VAC/800mA) with an attached 6.5' cord with a male mini-jack connector on other end
  • Installation Guide
  • "Important" tag on AC adapter

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Product Overview: The ABS-1 is designed specifically to enable two audio sources to use one set of stereo speakers. The speakers are connected to the device using spring-loaded push terminals. The ABS-1 will automatically switch back and forth between the "A" and "B" inputs based on signal level sensed by the unit at the "B" input.

Product Features: The ABS-1 offers the following features.

  • Integrates a local, independent audio source into an existing speaker installation
  • Signal-activated switch requires no user action
  • Will not interrupt other speakers in the house
  • Adjustable delay for switching back to the main source
  • Adjustable switching-trigger level
  • Compact design remains out of sight
  • Power handling of 600 watts RMS
  • Powered by wall-mounted AC transformer (included)

Sensitivity Controls: Adjust the sensitivity control clockwise until the switch activates and you can hear the audio through the connected speakers. You will hear the relays in the ABS-1 "click" when triggered. By turning the sensitivity knob clockwise you can increase the sensitivity up to 5 watts and by turning it counter-clockwise you can decrease the sensitivity down to .2 watts. Once the "B" input senses the set amount of input level it will activate the "B" speaker turn off the "A" speaker. Once the input level goes below that input level it will switch back to speaker "A" after a set amount of time.

Delay Controls: Adjust the delay control clockwise to increase or counter-clockwise to decrease the delay time. This control sets the amount of time the ABS-1 will switch from "B" speaker back to "A" once the "B" input is removed. This delay time may be set between 1/4 of a second and 30 seconds. The delay time takes into account certain events that occur during the playback of sources such as the time a CD player takes to change discs or tracks.

Specifications:

  • Speaker-Level Power Handling: 600 watts/channel continuous (RMS)
  • Minimum Trigger Level: .2 watts
  • Delay-Control Range: adjustable from 0.25 to 30 seconds
  • Frequency Response: Flat from 20 to 20 kHz
  • Connectors: Spring-loaded push terminals
  • Power Requirements: 18 volts/300mA, use wall-mounted AC transformer (included)
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
 
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Niles ABS-1 FG00271 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Niles ABS automatic speaker switch

Written By DavidM, Evanston, IL on Monday, November 05, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I use the Niles automatic speaker switch to automatically switch between 2 amps to my Nautilus speakers, one coming from my PC for playing recorded tracks and the other from my MIDI keyboards to play live sound. The switching is seamless, requires no speaker wire changing or manual switching. This device is a godsend for anyone needing to drive a set of speakers from 2 amplified sources.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Niles ABS-1 FG00271 Review

Written By Michael M, Ocala, FL on Saturday, October 06, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This device allows a pair of speakers to share input from two different sources. In my house I have two speakers in the ceiling which were used for a whole house stereo. I wanted to have these speakers also serve as the rear channel for a surround sound system in the same room. The Niles ABS-1 FG00271 does exactly this. It was easy to set up and worked properly out of the box. As far as Crutchfield's service goes, I ordered the product on line, it was shipped within two hours, and shipping was free.
Pros:
It worked
Cons:
None
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Niles ABS-1 FG00271

Written By RonR., Orlando,Fl. on Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This product was exactly what I was looking for and does it's job flawlessly.I wanted to get
back to my stereo roots and now I wonder why I got away from it.I like the old equiptment
better than the new age stuff.It seems to have a warmer more powerful punch to it.I will be
adding more old school equiptment to my gear in the future.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

One Set of Speakers-Two Uses

Written By Drew, New York, NY on Friday, November 06, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this device hoping it would function for a use that wasn't exactly in it's description. And...it works perfectly. I have a 5.1 system and a Marantz SR6003 (from Crutchfield). The Marantz has a poor multi-channel audio function which prevented me from using my rear speakers for a fuller stereo listening experience. I listen to music 90% of the time, but didn't want to give up the 5.1 surround set up for that 10% of movie watching I do. I looked everywhere and finally stumbled across this switcher from Niles. Essentially, I am running wires from my rear and Front B outputs on the Marantz to the Niles switcher, and one set of wires from the switcher to my rear speakers. When I switch to A+B on the Marantz, I get my gorgeous sounding 4 channel audio. When I switch to A only on the Marantz, the rears function as they are supposed to. Awesome solution if you have an older receiver which doesn't allow you to use the rears speakers for multichannel stereo listening, or if you have a receiver like me, which doesn't function as advertised. Great device for a modest price.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Unusual product, but a necessity...

Written By William, Bradenton, FL on Sunday, June 11, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have the optional speakers on my Plasma TV (for normal TV viewing) as well as the speakers that came with my Home Theater unit (for DVDs). Well I decided to use the Plasma TV's speakers for both TV as well as DVD viewing. Problem is I needed to switch the speaker input from 2 seperate sources. This product did the trick. Works wonderfully well and easy to install. My only caution is that until the settings are properly adjusted, (mostly trial and error) there was a LOT of clicking and swithching the speakers. Once adjusted - no problems at all. Every bit as good as advertised.
52 out of 56 people found this helpful
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