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shurgot
04-09-2007, 02:06 AM
I need some advice on how to drive my audio system. Here is my current configuration:

2005 Mastercraft X-2 w/Clarion Head Unit and JL Audio system & CeNET Sirius Satellite Radio Tuner

JL e2150M 2 Channel Amplifier
70w x2 @ 4ohms, 110w x2 @ 2ohms
JL e6450M 6 Channel Amplifier
45w x6 @ 4ohms, 75w x6 @ 2ohms, 150w x3 @ 4ohms (bridged)

(4) JL Separates
(1) JL Fee Air Sub (Under driver's seat)
(2) Skylon Rubicon 450s - tower (450w -- just got these)

(2) Optima Deep Cycle Batteries

My dealer installed everything for free - but did it in kind of a funky way. Right now the 2 channel amp is running the tower speakers, and the 6 channel amp is running the cabin speakers and sub (using only 4 channels).

I feel like I need more power. I also feel like I am wasting the power of the 6 channel amp on the cabin speakers.

Is there a better way to wire this current system? Should I upgrade one or both amps?

Thanks in advance!

O2BESOHUGE
04-09-2007, 10:43 AM
Id Run All The Highs Off The 6 Channel Amp And Bridge The 2 Channel Amp For The Sub If It Was Me. THEN YOUD HAVE MORE PUNCH ON THE BASS END...BUT YOUL HAVE MAKE SURE OF WHAT YOUR SUB IS OHM WISE AND IF ITS A SINGLE OR DOUBLE VOICE COIL TO MAKE SURE ITS COMPATIBLE WITH THAT AMP THAT WAY


O2

JimN
04-09-2007, 11:20 AM
"My dealer installed everything for free - but did it in kind of a funky way."

That raises red flags for me. There's really only one right way to install this:

1) Power supply connections, terminals, cable and fusing-all with correct gauge wire, terminals are crimped and soldered, fuse or breaker within 12" of the battery, battery terminals are clean and the power wire terminals are connected properly so the necessary current can flow without arcing or melting anything. Also, the power wires are routed in a way that there will be no problem with radiating noise into the motor's controls or pick up noise from anything.

2) Audio cables are good quality and routed in a way that they won't pick up any noise (this means not parallel to any power or control wires- if their paths must cross, do it at a right angle). No connection to ground on any audio cable unless it's to correct a ground loop.

3) Speakers are wired to the amp(s) in a way that there are no impedance issues, no pinched wires, connections to the speakers are clean and secure.

4) Head unit connected to a clean power source, mounted securely and using a back strap to keep it from bouncing, using the same ground as the rest of the audio system, not sharing the ground or power from the dash.

There is no way this system should need more power unless you're deaf, want it really, really loud, are playing incredibly bass-heavy music or it's installed/configured wrong.

Questions:

1) What is the power wire gauge, how are the terminals connected and are the amps grounded to the battery?
2) How are the satellite speakers connected to the amp and how are any switches on the amp set?
3) How is the woofer mounted under the seat? If it's on a small panel with the edges close to the edge of the woofer, there's no chance for good sound. A "free air" woofer needs to be mounted in a way that the energy from one side of the baffle won't affect the energy from the other side. This means, mounted on a panel with the sides sealed, creating a long path from one side to the other or in the appropriate enclosure.
4) What makes you say it was installed in a funky way?

Post photos and a diagram for how the speakers are connected to the amps.

I suspect that the input sensitivity controls were set low because of alternator whine. Hook the motor up so it can be run out of the water (or on the water if it's warm where you are) and start the motor, then turn the gain control up one pair of speakers so you can listen for whining that increases with RPM and any clicks/pops from turning accessories on/off. If it whines and/or clicks, it has grounding problems and these need to be resolved. If one pair makes noise, chances are that they all will. If only one pair makes noise, it's likely that the speaker wires for that pair are shorted to something that's grounded or the audio cable from the head unit to the amp may be pinched.

shurgot
04-09-2007, 12:55 PM
Hey JimN -- thanks for the thorough response. I will do my best to answer your questions:

All power wire is of 4 gauge -- which is the recommended gauge for these components. They have monster style crimped ends, however the ends are not soldered. Both amps are directly wired to the accessory battery, and are protected by fuses.

The audio (RCA) cables are JL marine interconnects.

I will have to double check how the interior speakers are connected to the 6-channel amp. I think they are running off of channels 1&2 at 4ohms. The sub is also connected to this amp. The wiring for the speakers appears to be done correctly.

The woofer was factory mounted by Mastercraft. It is the JL audio option woofer. This has not been changed.

The funky part is how the tower speakers are installed. They are running off the two channel amp, but the amp is connected via several RCA splitters coming from the 6 channel amp. There is an additional set of pre-outs on the head unit that are not being used. I am curious as to why the second amp is being split off the first amp. The tower speakers should be bridged and running at 110w @ 2ohms.

The good news is that I have no engine noise or alternator whine. The gains are set fairly high on the two channel amp, and roughly midline on the 6 channel.

I will take some photos when I get home from the office.

MYMC
04-09-2007, 02:46 PM
Hey JimN -- thanks for the thorough response. I will do my best to answer your questions:

All power wire is of 4 gauge -- which is the recommended gauge for these components. They have monster style crimped ends, however the ends are not soldered. Both amps are directly wired to the accessory battery, and are protected by fuses.

The audio (RCA) cables are JL marine interconnects.

I will have to double check how the interior speakers are connected to the 6-channel amp. I think they are running off of channels 1&2 at 4ohms. The sub is also connected to this amp. The wiring for the speakers appears to be done correctly.

The woofer was factory mounted by Mastercraft. It is the JL audio option woofer. This has not been changed.

The funky part is how the tower speakers are installed. They are running off the two channel amp, but the amp is connected via several RCA splitters coming from the 6 channel amp. There is an additional set of pre-outs on the head unit that are not being used. I am curious as to why the second amp is being split off the first amp. The tower speakers should be bridged and running at 110w @ 2ohms.

The good news is that I have no engine noise or alternator whine. The gains are set fairly high on the two channel amp, and roughly midline on the 6 channel.

I will take some photos when I get home from the office.
This is a typical factory install...and the way the tower amp is added is the correct (per factory install not me) as well. The "other" head unit RCAs are for either the front or rear outputs...the way the factory does this you cannot wire these. The RCAs running from one amp to the other are proper, they are built in so that one amp can pass unaltered head unit output to the next amp.

Hope that clears this up...

JBaker
04-18-2007, 01:57 PM
Nothing is wrong here, but you are somewhat right that you are "wasting" power by leaving a channel open on the 6-channel. Right now the 6 channel is working a lot harder than it needs to. I would recommend running interior speakers off 1,2,3,4. One speaker per channel, then you can connect the towers to the 2 channel.

If you are feeling more adventurous, run a total of 3 seperate pairs of RCA cables from the head unit rather than splitting. Each time you split, you drop the voltage which means you will have to turn the input gains up even further to compensate. You can run the grey pair (front) to the channels 1&2 and run the black pair (rear) to channels 3&4. Make sure the channel 5&6 input switch is set to "SUM." Then you can run the purple pair (non-fade) to the 2 channel amp. This will allow you to differ thevolume of the tower speakers from the cockpit by using the non-fade volume control built into the head-unit.

02 is mistaken. You will not gain any extra power, punch or whatever by using the two channel amp for the sub. Any 2 channels of the 6 channel amp will have as much power and all the same specs.


Good to hear you are using 4 gauge throughout, this can make a huge difference on the life of the amps.