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View Full Version : Stereo Guru's... Please lend some help!!!!!!


Sodar
12-30-2006, 02:51 PM
My stereo questions at this point are BEYOND plentiful, I will start with the simple ones and move progressively to the questions that are far beyond my knowledge.

I want to install a clean "factory-like" stereo into my new 197. I know for a fact that I am going to go with a Clarion CMD4A Head Unit with Sirius Satellite, ipod interface and a remote for the driver.

My Questions come when I start to get into speakers and amplifiers. I want to do a 6 speaker system (2-bow, 2-driver area, 2-rear bench seat).

Here are my questions:

1) Are JL Audio speakers and amps worth the extra $$$$$ over Clarion?

2) If I go Clarion, I will buy two APX480M 4-channel amps to drive the component speakers and sub. If I do this, are amps able to drive component speakers and a sub on the same amp?

3) If I go JL Audio, I will purchase their 6-channel amp to drive the component speakers and thier 1-channel sub amp for the sub. If I do this, do I have the 6-channel amp drive the components as full range speakers, or just high and mid range?

More questions to come... this will get us started out though!

SDAhockey21
12-30-2006, 02:55 PM
dude i just know about towers...lol but sound is my next adventure so you never know!!

GASouthernMC
12-30-2006, 03:38 PM
My stereo questions at this point are BEYOND plentiful, I will start with the simple ones and move progressively to the questions that are far beyond my knowledge.

I want to install a clean "factory-like" stereo into my new 197. I know for a fact that I am going to go with a Clarion CMD4A Head Unit with Sirius Satellite, ipod interface and a remote for the driver.

My Questions come when I start to get into speakers and amplifiers. I want to do a 6 speaker system (2-bow, 2-driver area, 2-rear bench seat).

Here are my questions:

1) Are JL Audio speakers and amps worth the extra $$$$$ over Clarion?

2) If I go Clarion, I will buy two APX480M 4-channel amps to drive the component speakers and sub. If I do this, are amps able to drive component speakers and a sub on the same amp?

3) If I go JL Audio, I will purchase their 6-channel amp to drive the component speakers and thier 1-channel sub amp for the sub. If I do this, do I have the 6-channel amp drive the components as full range speakers, or just high and mid range?

More questions to come... this will get us started out though!


In my experience, which isn't much more than tinkering with my own stuff, JL makes some of the best speakers you can buy, so if you are willing to spend the money, I think they are worth it.

As far as crossovers are concerned, I hooked up my speakers full range and then used the crossovers in my head unit to make minor adjustments. To me this seemed to be easier than going under a seat to make adjustments on the amp. The speakers are also a little clearer because you aren't sending the low end bass to them which will distort them.

Hope that helps

Andyg
12-30-2006, 03:51 PM
I know your post states that you want to use the Clarion head deck, but I would strongly discourage that decision. The preamp outputs are 2 volts on the Clarion head unit. Most quality head units now have 4 volt preamp outputs. I upgraded from a clarion head unit in my 03 197 to a Sony with 4v preamp outputs and it was a significant imporvement.

The second reason is due to the way the iPod controler works with the Clarion head unit. The iPod controller allows you to only use six specifically named playlists. Those playlists are something like CD1, CD2 ect...

The third reason is that the Clarion head units do not play mp3 burned discs. In my 03 197 I had a sony head unit that played mp3 files off a cd I burned. I could have well over a hundred songs on a cd. The benefit to this was that the sound quality is significantly better from an mp3 burned to a cd vs coming from an iPod. I know sound quality and mp3 are oxymorons. The iPod works fine when you are just doing some easy listening, but if you really want to jam the mp3s burned to a cd will sound better.

If I had the choice over speakers I would definetly get the JL marine speakers over the clarions. There is one large difference and that is the size of the woofer in the JL speakers vs the clarion. The JL woofer is a 7" woofer vs I think a 6" woofer in the clarion. This should give you much better bass response from your JL marine speakers.

I don't know about the difference between the amps, but I would take MYMC's word on that based on his extensive experience with both JL and Clarion. I had the JL 6 channel car amp, same as the marine amp except for external case color in my 2003 setup and loved it.

I am in the process of starting my research for removing the factory head unit and remote from a 2007 PS197 and installing a new head unit, remote, xm or sirius satellite, and iPod adapter.

I think I am going to stick with Sony stuff mainly due to I think it has the best functionality along with an LCD display and the overal looks of the remote.

This is the setup I am looking at based on the research I have done so far.

4 JL Marine 7.7" Speakers in Stock Locations (Bow and Stern)
2 JL 6.5" Car Speakers on Tower ( I might get stuck with clarion due to the stock mini tower speaker cans are made for the clarions.)
JL E6450 (http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_amps.php?amp_id=403) Car 6 Channel Amp to run the six speakers
2 10" MTX Subwoofers in custom boxes
Rockford Fosgate 300W 2 channel Amp for Subs (4 years old and still kicking)
Sony Head Unit CDX-GT805DX (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=247450&I=158GT805DX)
Sony iPod controller XA-110 (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=227550&tab=detailed_info&i=158XA110IP#Tab)
Sony Remote RM-X55M (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?search=marine+remote&i=158RMX55M)
Sirius Radio Adapter SIR-SNY1 (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=607SIRSNY1)
1.5F Capacitor
Second Battery
Circuit Breaker from main power lead

I figure that will probably keep me busy for the most part of a week doing the install.

Sodar
12-30-2006, 04:02 PM
I know your post states that you want to use the Clarion head deck, but I would strongly discourage that decision. The preamp outputs are 2 volts on the Clarion head unit. Most quality head units now have 4 volt preamp outputs. I upgraded from a clarion head unit in my 03 197 to a Sony with 4v preamp outputs and it was a significant imporvement.

The second reason is due to the way the iPod controler works with the Clarion head unit. The iPod controller allows you to only use six specifically named playlists. Those playlists are something like CD1, CD2 ect...

The third reason is that the Clarion head units do not play mp3 burned discs. In my 03 197 I had a sony head unit that played mp3 files off a cd I burned. I could have well over a hundred songs on a cd. The benefit to this was that the sound quality is significantly better from an mp3 burned to a cd vs coming from an iPod. The iPod works fine when you are just doing some easy listening, but if you really want to jam the mp3s burned to a cd will sound better.

If I had the choice over speakers I would definetly get the JL marine speakers over the clarions. There is one large difference and that is the size of the woofer in the JL speakers vs the clarion. The JL woofer is a 7" woofer vs I think a 6" woofer in the clarion. This should give you much better bass response from your JL marine speakers.

I don't know about the difference between the amps, but I would take MYMC's word on that based on his extensive experience with both JL and Clarion. I had the 6 channel car amp, same as the marine amp except for external case color in my 2003 setup and loved it.

I am in the process of starting my research for removing the factory head unit and remote from a 2007 PS197 and installing a new head unit, remote, xm or sirius satellite, and iPod adapter.

I think I am going to stick with Sony stuff mainly due to the marine remotes that are availabe from the other manufacturers. I like the sony remote best. I think it has the best functionality along with display and looks.

This is the setup I am looking at based on the research I have done so far.

4 JL Marine 7.7" Speakers in Stock Locations (Bow and Stern)
2 JL 6.5" Car Speakers on Tower ( I might get stuck with clarion due to the stock mini tower speaker cans are made for the clarions.)
JL E6450 (http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_amps.php?amp_id=403) Car 6 Channel Amp to run the six speakers
2 10" MTX Subwoofers in custom boxes
Rockford Fosgate 300W 2 channel Amp for Subs (4 years old and still kicking)
Sony Head Unit CDX-GT805DX (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=247450&I=158GT805DX)
Sony iPod controller XA-110 (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=227550&tab=detailed_info&i=158XA110IP#Tab)
Sony Remote RM-X55M (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?search=marine+remote&i=158RMX55M)
Sirius Radio Adapter SIR-SNY1 (http://sm.crutchfield.com/S-MKN6sEuXVpH/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=607SIRSNY1)
1.5F Capacitor
Second Battery
Circuit Breaker from main power lead

I figure that will probably keep me busy for the most part of a week doing the install.

Wow, thanks guys! Now I have a whole new bunch of things to consider! Do you know if there is a Marine head unit with a 4v output?

Andyg
12-30-2006, 04:15 PM
Why do you want a marine head unit? Does your boat spend a lot of time in salt water? If it doesn't I wouldn't worry about it. For the most part the Marine head units do not have as many available features as the car head units do. The glove box is sealed so you don't have to worry about the head unit getting wet.



I had to use one of these in my 03 because I removed a Clarion head unit that has a double din footprint and installed a single din footprint sony head unit. This covered the larger hole from my clarion unit.

Radio Splash Cover (http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/6687/0/0/stereo%20cover/All_2/mode+matchallpartial/0/0)

Andyg
12-30-2006, 04:35 PM
Wow, thanks guys! Now I have a whole new bunch of things to consider! Do you know if there is a Marine head unit with a 4v output?

I could not find any at www.crutchfield.com (http://www.crutchfield.com). The other thing I found with most of the marine head units is that they only have one or two preamp outputs. With the sony I pointed out above, the Clarion CMD4A and the Kenwood KTS-MP400MR (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-rn2ZzqvRYNE/cgi-bin/Prodview.asp?readmore=true&g=221050&I=045MP400MR&search=marine#Tab) all have three preamp outputs. With the setup you are planning you really want 3 preamp outputs. One for the front channel, one for the rear channel and one for the subwoofers. You may even need to split the front channel so that your amp has enough inputs to drive all six speakers. But only the sony has 4v outputs. A rule of thumb that I have learned if it doesn't say it has 4v outputs specifically iin the description it has 2v or less outputs.

quincyfirefighter
12-30-2006, 05:06 PM
I have four of these in my Prostar and love them. http://www.crutchfield.com/S-OibYov3Rz36/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=228350&I=108602M :cool:

Bobbyk
12-30-2006, 05:58 PM
I would go JL with the speakers I found the same model as the factory is using in the 06 line up which came with the crossovers and added an extra set to balance out my mids through out the boat. They sound far better than the clarions that came in my 04 X2, which I replaced with bostons because even crossed over with good power they didn't sound very clean. As for amps you really get what you pay for I am a big fan of the Zapco or ARC amps when you ned a lot of RMS power but I have used Diamond amps in the past when I didn't want to spend a ton. I ran all of my interior and tower speakers off of the top end Diamond amps in my last setup and I still have them if you are interested they were relaible and with good speakers produced clean loud sound.

CRAIGTHEMAN
12-31-2006, 04:07 PM
i would honestly go with a different head unit than sony...they make cool looking cd players and thats it....i have had nothing but problems with sony cd players...i never had a marine one but iv talked to alot of people and that had them and i have heard a few times that people couldn't get there cd's to come back out...for some reason they have a problem with that....there is a reason that a $80,000 dollar mastercarft boat come with eather a JL audio system or a Clarion system..mastercraft knows whats the best for their boats..now with the speakers JL and clarion are both great speakers but u get what you pay for..but qunicy firefighter has a point about infinity...i run infinity kapp perfects in my truck including subs and they are the BEST sounding speakers OUT there....i have won a few competions for best sound quality with my truck...so if you are willing to get the best get the infinitys...than also you are going to need a 2/3/4 channel amp...than you can have a set of speakers on 2 channels than you can run one sub and bridge it on the other 2 channels( but u cant run 2 cuz the amp wouldn't be able to handle it...but i would get 2 amps over the one...will sound better if you have to amps with a lower gain rather than have i amp with full gain trying to push a bunch of speakers..i PROMIS that it will sound better with 2...in my xstar i run 2 amps one 2/3/4 clarion amp for the componets and one just for the sub..with the 2 amps it made it sound way better

SKI*MC
12-31-2006, 04:53 PM
I have four of these in my Prostar and love them. http://www.crutchfield.com/S-OibYov3Rz36/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=228350&I=108602M :cool:


True dat! The Kappas are amazing. I didn't know that they had marine Kappas..

Archimedes
12-31-2006, 05:00 PM
I've got the JL M6450 amp pushing 6 JL speakers with the Clarion CD4 head unit. It sounds great. IMO, JL speakers are better than Clarion.

TX.X-30 fan
12-31-2006, 05:35 PM
Love the jl stuff, all jl amps and speakers except on the tower.

(5) slash 2/300
(1) slash 1/1000
(3) sets 7.5 separates (interior)
(2) sets stock clarions (tower)

Threadjack: I want the jl's on the tower, has anyone put the 6.5 coaxials in the stock cans and just killed the separate tweeters. :confused:

CRAIGTHEMAN
12-31-2006, 05:56 PM
me eather ski MC defenlty getting those for the summer

Sodar
01-02-2007, 11:41 AM
OK, I think I am going to go the JL route and I am starting to price the system out.

Do I want the component speakers?
http://soundwavesmi.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/M770_ccs_component.jpg

Or the Coaxial Speakers?
http://soundwavesmi.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/M770_ccx7inch_speaker.jpg

Andyg
01-02-2007, 01:35 PM
If you don't mind the added installation work of the separates you are better off with them. Just make sure you get the Cockpit Component Speakers not the Tower Component Speakers. Cockpit Component Speakers are designed with an infinite baffle system where as the the Tower Component Speakers are designed for a specific sized enclosure, ie a tower speaker can.

I still think the Clarion head units are pretty poor. I think the reason MC uses them is due to their ability to withstand the most moisture, not for head unit features. The Clarion unit is a high powered head unit so running four stock speakers will usually sound better when you don't have an amplifier in the system vs some other lower powered head units. As soon as you add an amplifier it throughs that out the window.

As for problems with Sony decks I would be surprised if there was systematic problem with their head units not ejecting cds. There are definitely better head units out there than Sony, but I choose Sony based off of the functionality of the wired remote and the features in the head unit. If you go with another brand head unit I don't think the remotes were as nice even though you could get the same options on the head unit.

RobertT
01-02-2007, 01:58 PM
Here is my take on it, for what its worth...

Start your research hear.... http://www.rocktheboataudio.com/stereos.html

They have tons of cool stuff.

The Clarion stuff is crap compared to the JL. My neighbor had all of his Clarion speakers removed from his 197, and had the equivalent JLs put in. Night and day difference. I mean, beyond even that, its amazing.

I would either go with JL, or Polk MoMos.

If I were to build out a new 197 for myself, I would go with a 6 speaker system, probably the Polk MoMos simply because I have had so much good luck with them.

I have 4 MoMo 6x9s on the tower, that I would not bother with again. I will move my tower speakers to my next boat, simply because they are paid for, but in my opinion you are MUCH better off with crisp clear sound inside the boat and spend a hundred bucks on a waterproof enclosure for the skier/wakeboarder if they simply must have tunes while they ski.

The hardest thing is to get crisp clear sound in the middle of the boat. The bow takes care of itself, but you have to get fairly creative on the driver/observer area. Diesel had the coolest setup I have seen, I wish somebody would start making speaker housings that fit into the 197 left gunnel and drivers foot area. Everyone keeps reinventing the wheel, I would gladly pay a hundred bucks for 5 bucks worth of MDF and 10 bucks worth of carpet to keep from having to deal with it.

Anyway....

The sub is up to you. In my personal uneducated opinion its really difficult to get the lows to come through while you are moving. The mids and highs tend to cut through the ambient noise and wind noise OK, but the lows get lost. I have since used my crossover on the amp to reduce the lows on all my speakers to virtually nothing. My sub is more for vibration than anything else, its hard to get thumping bass without spending alot of time and money on a system.

As far as head units, if I were to go with a marine head unit I would certainly go with which remote you like the best. I never, ever, touch my head unit. I only use the remote. I universally use my ipod in my boat, I have taken an older Ipod mini and made it a dedicated boat tunes delivering machine. I second the MP3 need though, standard CDs are a waste of time. 12 songs vs 129 songs.....enough said.

My perfect system would be....

I am a huge fan of Kenwood, but after a little more research to confirm quality would go with Aquatic.

Why...wireless remote for one. I could have two of these $40.00 remotes laying around my boat. If I am swimming behind the boat, I could have one clipped my shorts even. Very cool, VERY functional if you think about it. Cheap too...

http://www.rocktheboataudio.com/html/27996.html

One remote in the drivers area...

http://www.rocktheboataudio.com/html/27997.html

I would use this to fade my tower speakers, equalize the Ipod, lower the subs, etc. Cheap too...

http://www.rocktheboataudio.com/html/32365.html

Head unit...whats cool about this head unit is that it will also push video. That means that if somebody ever added any type of a monitor, you could play DVDs, clips from your Ipod, etc. Not useable for me now....but could be in the future...

http://www.rocktheboataudio.com/html/27993.html

I would have one of these inside my glove compartment. Best system I have seen yet, and includes video hookups...

http://www.rocktheboataudio.com/html/34394.html

From a functionality standpoint, I am very impressed with the components above but do not know much about the company.

for me personally, I would go with Polk Momo 6.5s in the bow and rear area, and 6x9s for the driver/observer area simply because they are different, cool looking, look custom (not white), and are VERY crisp at loud settings.

Dang...now this has me thinking...

Sodar
01-02-2007, 02:12 PM
Wow! Thanks for the information and the link!

I was just reading this: "If you plan on using an amplifier, keep in mind that your stereo head unit really should have auxiliary RCA outputs so that you can send a non amplified signal to the amplifier. The danger is distortion. Feeding amplified output to your amplifier won't give you any more power output and you will not be as happy with the sound quality either. It could even reduce the life of your amp."

I have been looking and it seems that most of the Head Units I have been looking at have preamped outputs... Am I missing something?

Ric
01-02-2007, 02:18 PM
did I miss the pics? I thought you were still boat shopping???

My stereo questions at this point are BEYOND plentiful, I will start with the simple ones and move progressively to the questions that are far beyond my knowledge.

I want to install a clean "factory-like" stereo into my new 197. I know for a fact that I am going to go with a Clarion CMD4A Head Unit with Sirius Satellite, ipod interface and a remote for the driver.

My Questions come when I start to get into speakers and amplifiers. I want to do a 6 speaker system (2-bow, 2-driver area, 2-rear bench seat).

Here are my questions:

1) Are JL Audio speakers and amps worth the extra $$$$$ over Clarion?

2) If I go Clarion, I will buy two APX480M 4-channel amps to drive the component speakers and sub. If I do this, are amps able to drive component speakers and a sub on the same amp?

3) If I go JL Audio, I will purchase their 6-channel amp to drive the component speakers and thier 1-channel sub amp for the sub. If I do this, do I have the 6-channel amp drive the components as full range speakers, or just high and mid range?

More questions to come... this will get us started out though!

Ric
01-02-2007, 02:22 PM
I REALLY don't like the supersmart clarion headunit in the 05 197
while it will do everything but take out the trash, it does not leave room for me to do some things for myself

AND
what the hell were they thinking, not having a subwoofer output on the xmd3??? huh? huh?

ya ya, I know you can fenagle it to have sub out of the rear channel and then divide your front channel out to the front and rear amps but come on,,,, this aint 1988!!!!! :rant:

Sodar
01-02-2007, 02:22 PM
did I miss the pics? I thought you were still boat shopping???
No pics until I get the ugly *** tower off!! I have still not taken delivery... I probably won't until the beginning of Feburary or so.

Ric
01-02-2007, 02:24 PM
Wow! Thanks for the information and the link!



I have been looking and it seems that most of the Head Units I have been looking at have preamped outputs... Am I missing something? Yes, be warned that you need to look for pre amp outputs for not only the front and rear channels but a "seperate pre-amp subwoofer output" or you will fight it

Ric
01-02-2007, 02:27 PM
also, I am not happy with the sub sound of the factory subwoofer location in a 197
it's "infinite baffle" design for the jl sub either needs wayy more wattage than I am feeding it or infinite baffle simply isn't the kinda bass that I like to hear...

I think I am running a mono sony 150watt amp to the JL and that same amp rocks my 10" kicker in it's little sealed enclosure... trouble is I don't want to give up the storage area for my enclosed kicker..

I think diesel did a nice sealed sub in the factory sub location but his is a 209 and he has room and access that the world record 197 does not offer

Sodar
01-02-2007, 02:27 PM
Yes, be warned that you need to look for pre amp outputs for not only the front and rear channels but a "seperate pre-amp subwoofer output" or you will fight it

Wait, I just read that you do not want the outputs pre-amped:confused:

Ric
01-02-2007, 02:29 PM
I may be confusing you but you want pre amp outputs for EVERYTHING...

pre amp front and rear outputs and pre amp sub output... this allows you to run your own amplifiers for optimum clarity

Sodar
01-02-2007, 02:33 PM
I may be confusing you but you want pre amp outputs for EVERYTHING...

pre amp front and rear outputs and pre amp sub output... this allows you to run your own amplifiers for optimum clarity

Got ya!!! :cool:

Sodar
01-03-2007, 11:40 AM
One last question before I order up. Will a 7" speaker fit on either side below the bench seat? Or should I go with the 6.5's for the back? The grill diamter is exactly 7"....

Ric
01-03-2007, 11:47 AM
One last question before I order up. Will a 7" speaker fit on either side below the bench seat? Or should I go with the 6.5's for the back? The grill diamter is exactly 7".... probably gonna be too big for the factory speaker locations without some sort of modification
you may be able to use some of my past trailer bunk material and space the 7" forward out of the factory mounting hole a bit to make up for the 1/4" larger radius though

Sodar
01-03-2007, 11:48 AM
probably gonna be too big for the factory speaker locations without some sort of modification
you may be able to use some of my past trailer bunk material and space the 7" forward out of the factory mounting hole a bit to make up for the 1/4" larger radius though

Ha ha, what size speaker comes from the factory back there?

Ric
01-03-2007, 11:53 AM
Ha ha, what size speaker comes from the factory back there? i dunno .

RobertT
01-03-2007, 02:24 PM
Pretty sure its a 6" speaker in the back. A 6.5 will fit but you may need to do a little trimming.

I also don't like the sub location on a 197. I have the stock sub, plus a 10" Polk under my observers seat both running off one amp.

If I change anything, I will probably remove the sub from the drivers kick panel and replace it with a full range 6x9.

Then put a 12" high powered tube under the observers seat area to get the bass effect.

Anyone ever do that?

RobertT
01-03-2007, 03:27 PM
Thinking of a waterproof remote, I did a google search and found that I can buy a waterproof Ipod remote...

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=298896

Which means that I can now put my ipod in a protected spot, and Velcro this device up on my dash where I can get to it easy (after I take the arm band off obviously).

For those that use ipods religiously in their boats and are always worried about taking a roller over the bow and ruining a 300 dollar ipod...this may be a good choice.

dwjackson
01-23-2007, 12:27 PM
I would go JL with the speakers I found the same model as the factory is using in the 06 line up which came with the crossovers and added an extra set to balance out my mids through out the boat. They sound far better than the clarions that came in my 04 X2, which I replaced with bostons because even crossed over with good power they didn't sound very clean. As for amps you really get what you pay for I am a big fan of the Zapco or ARC amps when you ned a lot of RMS power but I have used Diamond amps in the past when I didn't want to spend a ton. I ran all of my interior and tower speakers off of the top end Diamond amps in my last setup and I still have them if you are interested they were relaible and with good speakers produced clean loud sound.
Question - Need a suggestion for tower speakers and an amp to power them. The more I look the more confused you get. Any input from someone who loves there tower speakers would be great.
Thanks,
DW Jackson

CODY_YARBER07
05-30-2008, 02:31 PM
4 Pyle Hydra 8" Speakers
Ipod hooked directly to Infinity 7541a 111 watts x 4 (RMS) Amplifier
1 10" Infinity Kappa Perfect Sub

Soon to be some tower speakers mounted on my extended pylon!