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MattsCraft
11-25-2008, 11:10 AM
I have two amps in my ’09 Mastercraft X2, one is an M4300 which I believe is wired to the 4 interior speakers the second is an M6450 wired to the Sub and 4 tower speakers, all JL factory M-Series.

My M6450 was stolen and I am thinking of replacing with an M6600 45 watts/75watts respectively. The head unit is a standard MC factory installed Clarion CMD5.

My questions are:

1. If I upgrade to the M6600, will this improve the output and clarity for these speakers?
2. Is the M6600 compatible with the M-series speakers?
3. Is the wiring any different for the M6600 over the M6450? This is important, I do not want to re-run wires to the Tower Speakers.

Many Thanks for good solid advice!

X-Aggie
11-25-2008, 11:32 AM
1. Minor if any improvment in SQ
2. Yes
3. Same

BTW it's a little weird you have a 6450 as that was phased out early '08

SaltwaterMC
11-25-2008, 11:35 AM
Everything is the same. They just rated they output at a higher voltage and gave it a new name. It will install exactly the same as your M6450. I agree, that is interesting that you have an '09 with an M6450. Thought it would have come with the 6600 being an '09.

MattsCraft
11-25-2008, 11:53 AM
Ok thanks so far guys. Good point on M6450, MC must have had a huge stock on the M6450, the 6600 is rated at 75 watts. Also, now that I think about it, the 6450 is wired to the 4 interior speakers and sub, the M4300 (also discontinued) powers the tower speakers, so upgrading the M6450 really would not help anyway as I fade doen the interior and crank the tower for the riders.. I found them on Ebay, M6450 $320, M6600 for $365 just wanted to see if the extra cash would be worth it. MC wants $500 @ dealer cost... by the way.

craig3972
11-28-2008, 02:18 PM
the best upgrade in sound quality you can make is to change out the Clarion and put in a deck with a 5volt output.
The Clarion only has 3volts output, and by the time you split it up between all your inputs/amps you have a very low signal.
I think Alpine now makes a marine deck with proper wired remotes (remotes with a display)

JimN
11-28-2008, 02:27 PM
FYI- 3V output from a head unit is high compared to whatg they did in the '70s through most of the '90s. The input sensitivity control on an amp will allow adjustment so the amp will develop it's maximum clean power output. If the sensitivity is too high, the amp will distort and kill speakers and/or crossover components.

If the new amp being considered isn't drastically higher in output, it will make virtually no difference. Doubling the power output adds 3dB to the SPL and outside, this isn't much. If the new amp has more/larger value fuses than the original, it will probably need heavier power cable AND ground.

The most noticeable sound quality improvements come from better speakers, not the electronics. 5V vs 3V is more, not better and more doesn't mean that it will sound different or better.

craig3972
11-28-2008, 02:57 PM
The most noticeable sound quality improvements come from better speakers, not the electronics. 5V vs 3V is more, not better and more doesn't mean that it will sound different or better.

Try hooking up your stereo with a 5v output, then go back to your 3v... make the decision for yourself.

If you want louder,( best for outdoors - boats) the best improvements are getting power to the amps ( heavy cables and large batteries) Amps need power and voltage to attain their posted rating. If you look at the specs on quality amps they will have dual output ratings.. one at 14.4v and one at 12v. This is due to he fact most installs do not run at 14.4v (alternator output voltage) but closer to 12v.

JimN
11-28-2008, 06:02 PM
Try hooking up your stereo with a 5v output, then go back to your 3v... make the decision for yourself.

If you want louder,( best for outdoors - boats) the best improvements are getting power to the amps ( heavy cables and large batteries) Amps need power and voltage to attain their posted rating. If you look at the specs on quality amps they will have dual output ratings.. one at 14.4v and one at 12v. This is due to he fact most installs do not run at 14.4v (alternator output voltage) but closer to 12v.

The main reason the manufacturers went to higher output head units is so the amps' sensitivity could be set correctly and noise would be less likely due to bad grounding. The other reason was so their head units would be used in SPL contests. The amps that put out the highest power have a different differential for amplification and this works well with a higher output voltage. The fact that there's more output doesn't mean it sounds better, as I said before. The only way to determine better/worse sound quality is to set all of whatever is being compared, at the same level. Louder does not equal better.

I did car audio for 25 years and you're right about the B+ voltage. There are very few times that an alternator puts out 14.4VDC unless it has an outboard regulator that's designed specifically for high output. The fact that an alternator doesn't put out the higher voltage is a big reason I have a major problem with the way too many manufacturers spec their equipment. Another spec that should change is the speaker's sensitivity, which is measured at 1/2 meter. In an open field, this adds 6dB to the SPL and that equates to quadrupling the power and makes the speakers appear on paper as being louder than they actually are.

babymoore3
11-29-2008, 02:07 PM
Another thing to watch is most alternators are not putting out max current (current*voltage=power) until about 1/2 the way through the RPM range of the alternator shaft (usually set to half way through the engine rpm). If your engine is off or idling, this a case where you need more batteries and heavier wires (as mentioned above). Another alternative in cars was capacitors (to help hold voltage constant). A boat isn't the best location for power caps (in the event of a leak) so I would stay with wires / batteries...

JimN
11-29-2008, 05:09 PM
Stiffening caps are OK if the engine is running at a speed where it outputs 14+VDC. At idle or key OFF, the voltage will sag with every bass note and that, along with the already low voltage means the amp needs to draw more current in order to develop its normal power.

Current draw based on 200W=16.66A x 12V but only 13.8A @14.4V and no amp is 100% efficient. Class D amps are about 80% efficient, so they don't need as much but it's still a good idea to feed them well.

snakeoil
11-29-2008, 06:06 PM
Sounds like what I have encountered when my system batteries were low then at idle I get the low volt buzzer. If the kinetics are full i guess they can handle the lower output from the alt. Once past idle the regulater reads 14+ output from the alt.

Witness140
11-29-2008, 11:02 PM
For the sound system guru's.....if you were ordering a brand new boat - and could delete some of the factory equipment in the order process.....what would you delete, and what would you replace it with? I'm in the order process for a new X2.

JimN
11-29-2008, 11:21 PM
First thing I would do is go to a MC dealer and have them set the system adjustments correctly. I wouldn't necessarily expect a boat mechanic to know audio, although some do (no offense to anyone). The tendency for most people is to increase the input sensitivity controls on the amp so they're too high at idle or key ON, engine OFF. Then, when the RPM increases and the volume is jacked up, the amp(s) distort, sound like shyte and kill speakers.

Witness140
11-29-2008, 11:35 PM
I really liked the JL stuff I've had in my 197's. The most recent boat had the 4300 and a sub. The settings from the factory or dealer were so wacked that the sub wasn't even activated. I set everything up and it sounded pretty good.

Would you stick with the Clarion CMD5 head and Clarion wired remotes?

JohnE
11-30-2008, 07:58 AM
I think the Clarion, 4 JL's and JL sub are standard in the X boats. I'm not sure they can be deleted. I personally wouldn't want to even if they could. You might consider deleting the tower speakers if you are interested in cutting costs. You can get better sound for less according to some threads. I don't have any personal experience in this regard.

JimN
11-30-2008, 10:40 AM
Most people replace their head unit because the system isn't set up correctly for most output/least distortion. If a head unit tends to lock up or doesn't have the desired features, that's different but there's really not a huge difference in sound quality between the major brand units of comparable price. The big sound differences come from the speakers and amp's output power- any fine detail is lost as soon as the motor starts and at that point, it gets cranked up and there's no point in listening for anything other than whether the sound is relatively clean, balanced and loud. Good speakers on a good amp with correctly set levels sounds a lot better than great equipment set up wrong.

Mag_Red
11-30-2008, 11:27 AM
Most people replace their head unit because the system isn't set up correctly for most output/least distortion. If a head unit tends to lock up or doesn't have the desired features, that's different but there's really not a huge difference in sound quality between the major brand units of comparable price. The big sound differences come from the speakers and amp's output power- any fine detail is lost as soon as the motor starts and at that point, it gets cranked up and there's no point in listening for anything other than whether the sound is relatively clean, balanced and loud. Good speakers on a good amp with correctly set levels sounds a lot better than great equipment set up wrong.Glad I caught you online jim as I'm about to replace my head unit , XMD3, out of necessity. I was looking at Crutchfields and the Kenwood unit looks exactly like the XMD3. What do you think of this unit????http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113MP400MR/Kenwood-KTS-MP400MR.html?tp=1721

MattsCraft
11-30-2008, 11:37 AM
OK Jim N, you seem to be the expert, way, way over my head with all this voltage stuff:rolleyes: So back to the Setting up an amp for idiots question.

My set up from from the factory, Clarion CMD5, all JL speakers 4ohm???, M4300 connected to 4 tower speakers, I think??? M6450 (Stollen) connected to 4 interior speakers and sub???

I had no complaints about how the system performed, running on battery or while under way. (engine running) Now that I have to replace the amp, I am going with an M6600, I have read through the Nine step procedure in the JL manual, I have downloaded a sine-wave recorded @ 0db @1khz and 50hz for the sub, and think I understand the balance of the directions etc.

My question is this: Is the Target output voltage in this set up "Stereo" or "Bridged" and should this be completed running on battery or with the engine running. Since I obviously did not do the install and now the amp has been jurked out, I have no idea what was connected to what and I just want to get back to the original set-up.

Again, any help with Amp & stereo set up for idiots would greatly be appreciated, I do not understand all this techno-bable or the science behind it just would like advice on how to get my system back to where it was;)

Many Thanks,

Witness140
11-30-2008, 12:17 PM
I'm not sure they can be deleted My option sheet shows the option to delete at least the amp/sub from the standard X2 equipment list. Everything is negotiable :) I've heard of others deleting speakers and head units.

if you are interested in cutting costs
Not my motivation at all. If someone said - go with the Alpine XYZ because of these 3 reasons, and use the kicker amps because .......etc - I would consider deleting the factory stuff and putting the good stuff in immediately. Spend the money once.

I understand the stuff needs to be setup correctly. Thats a no brainer. I guess if I'm reading between the lines in this thread- the answer to my question is - keep the stock stuff set up correctly, and there is no reason to change the head or amps to something else.

JimN
11-30-2008, 12:53 PM
Glad I caught you online jim as I'm about to replace my head unit , XMD3, out of necessity. I was looking at Crutchfields and the Kenwood unit looks exactly like the XMD3. What do you think of this unit????http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113MP400MR/Kenwood-KTS-MP400MR.html?tp=1721

I haven't kept up with mobile audio lately, but I liked Kenwood in the past. It should work fine.

One thing I have seen that can drastically reduce the life span of a head unit is not using a back strap to keep it from moving. If it was used before, it should be used again. If one wasn't used, it's best to find a way to install one, attaching it as close to directly above or below, as possible.

Mag_Red
11-30-2008, 01:06 PM
I haven't kept up with mobile audio lately, but I liked Kenwood in the past. It should work fine.

One thing I have seen that can drastically reduce the life span of a head unit is not using a back strap to keep it from moving. If it was used before, it should be used again. If one wasn't used, it's best to find a way to install one, attaching it as close to directly above or below, as possible.Thanks Jim! Hey what's the chance the Clarion Wired Rmote will work with the Kenwood unit??? I looked at the owner's manual for the Kenwood and the rear diagram looked dead on to the illustration in the Clarion Manual I have............just askin:confused: The connector looks the same...................

JimN
11-30-2008, 01:12 PM
OK Jim N, you seem to be the expert, way, way over my head with all this voltage stuff:rolleyes: So back to the Setting up an amp for idiots question.

My set up from from the factory, Clarion CMD5, all JL speakers 4ohm???, M4300 connected to 4 tower speakers, I think??? M6450 (Stollen) connected to 4 interior speakers and sub???

I had no complaints about how the system performed, running on battery or while under way. (engine running) Now that I have to replace the amp, I am going with an M6600, I have read through the Nine step procedure in the JL manual, I have downloaded a sine-wave recorded @ 0db @1khz and 50hz for the sub, and think I understand the balance of the directions etc.

My question is this: Is the Target output voltage in this set up "Stereo" or "Bridged" and should this be completed running on battery or with the engine running. Since I obviously did not do the install and now the amp has been jurked out, I have no idea what was connected to what and I just want to get back to the original set-up.

Again, any help with Amp & stereo set up for idiots would greatly be appreciated, I do not understand all this techno-bable or the science behind it just would like advice on how to get my system back to where it was;)

Many Thanks,

Don't run a sine wave at high power levels for a long time.

Can you link to the instructions?

If you have 4 main speakers and a sub, the main amp/channels need to be stereo and if there's a two channel amp (or two amp channels available), they should be bridged. The battery +, -, turn-on lead and speaker wires are easy enough to assign. If you have a multi-meter (you can get one that's good enough at Harbor Freight for $3), the first thing to do is make sure the speaker wires aren't shorting, together or to ground. You can use a AA battery to determine which speaker wires are connected to what- if you get no sound at all, touch the speaker wires together and if you hear a quiet click or pop, the speaker has a capacitor to block deep bass frequencies. Connect the battery and listen to which speaker made this sound and mark the wires for future reference. You'll need to be in a quiet place to hear this sound.

Attach the speaker wires to the amp- use spade lugs on the wires or twist the ends to keep stray strands from touching other terminals.

If the battery cables were cut short or you have one big cable and need 2-4 (or more) smaller ones, get a couple of distribution blocks and place them in a convenient location, relative to the amps' location. These blocks don't need to be fused- the cables coming from the battery should have a large fuse or circuit breaker within 12" of the positive post. The fuse should be removed or the breaker opened before starting this job.

Connect the power, ground and turn-on as needed (you can use a thin jumper from one amps' turn-on to another because it's not a high current conductor) and if the RCA cables aren't labeled, adjust the head unit to RF, LF, RR and LR, connecting to the appropriate amp channel.

Link to the instructions, please.

JimN
11-30-2008, 01:19 PM
Thanks Jim! Hey what's the chance the Clarion Wired Rmote will work with the Kenwood unit??? I looked at the owner's manual for the Kenwood and the rear diagram looked dead on to the illustration in the Clarion Manual I have............just askin:confused: The connector looks the same...................

Doubtful, but it could. If you go to the Kenwood and Clarion sites, look for a section with manuals and enter the model number, they may have a pin-out. If not, maybe a phone call or e-mail will get it. They both have technical help for installers, so you might need to ask for them, but most companies require a password/dealer account number. For that matter, Crutchfield may be able to tell you (Not Scott, the place whose catalog you're looking at).

The plug is used pretty often but there's no standard for the pin configuration. The only things they standardized were speaker wire colors, B+/B- and turn on and some of the rating criteria.

MattsCraft
11-30-2008, 02:09 PM
Don't run a sine wave at high power levels for a long time.

Can you link to the instructions?

If you have 4 main speakers and a sub, the main amp/channels need to be stereo and if there's a two channel amp (or two amp channels available), they should be bridged. The battery +, -, turn-on lead and speaker wires are easy enough to assign. If you have a multi-meter (you can get one that's good enough at Harbor Freight for $3), the first thing to do is make sure the speaker wires aren't shorting, together or to ground. You can use a AA battery to determine which speaker wires are connected to what- if you get no sound at all, touch the speaker wires together and if you hear a quiet click or pop, the speaker has a capacitor to block deep bass frequencies. Connect the battery and listen to which speaker made this sound and mark the wires for future reference. You'll need to be in a quiet place to hear this sound.

Attach the speaker wires to the amp- use spade lugs on the wires or twist the ends to keep stray strands from touching other terminals.

If the battery cables were cut short or you have one big cable and need 2-4 (or more) smaller ones, get a couple of distribution blocks and place them in a convenient location, relative to the amps' location. These blocks don't need to be fused- the cables coming from the battery should have a large fuse or circuit breaker within 12" of the positive post. The fuse should be removed or the breaker opened before starting this job.

Connect the power, ground and turn-on as needed (you can use a thin jumper from one amps' turn-on to another because it's not a high current conductor) and if the RCA cables aren't labeled, adjust the head unit to RF, LF, RR and LR, connecting to the appropriate amp channel.

Link to the instructions, please.

Jim - Go to this link - http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_amps_pages.php?page_id=30


Click on Interactive Input Sensitivity (“Gain”) Setting Tutorial

Thanks - Matt

JimN
11-30-2008, 04:27 PM
Some of the things I would like to see JL address are:

What if someone tends to always use the loudness and tone controls? Some don't, but some do, just like people who salt their food before ever tasting it.

What is the real effect of doing this with key OFF, vs key ON and at speed? The headroom of the head unit and amp will be affected by variations in voltage.

What is the real world change in power output with the speakers connected? Power can't be derived from an amp's output voltage without resistance, but if they found these levels after using a scope on the waveform with the speakers connected and then removed the speaker wire, it looks like an easy way to set the levels and avoid most problems. The additional instruction to decrease the levels when balancing the sub/satellites should always be followed.

Looks like a good method.

Someone needs to "sticky" the instructions.

snakeoil
11-30-2008, 04:38 PM
Looks like a good method.

Someone needs to "sticky" the instructions.



Where in the head at MC???

MattsCraft
12-01-2008, 11:12 AM
Some of the things I would like to see JL address are:

What if someone tends to always use the loudness and tone controls? Some don't, but some do, just like people who salt their food before ever tasting it.

What is the real effect of doing this with key OFF, vs key ON and at speed? The headroom of the head unit and amp will be affected by variations in voltage.

What is the real world change in power output with the speakers connected? Power can't be derived from an amp's output voltage without resistance, but if they found these levels after using a scope on the waveform with the speakers connected and then removed the speaker wire, it looks like an easy way to set the levels and avoid most problems. The additional instruction to decrease the levels when balancing the sub/satellites should always be followed.

Looks like a good method.

Someone needs to "sticky" the instructions.

OK Jim - One last question and I will let this die:rolleyes: I am assuming I will connect each speaker to a channel, using five channels of the six- Setting this up this way, would the output voltage be "Bridged" This is what I don't understand.

Again, Many Thanks, Cheers:)

craig3972
12-01-2008, 11:31 AM
The single best and cheapest improvements I made to my xstar was to put the 10" JL into a sealed encloure
42602

If you correct the factory wiring problems, this set-up sounds good.
For the extra few dollars it would cost MC, i dont know why they dont offer it as an option.

JimN
12-01-2008, 11:31 AM
OK Jim - One last question and I will let this die:rolleyes: I am assuming I will connect each speaker to a channel, using five channels of the six- Setting this up this way, would the output voltage be "Bridged" This is what I don't understand.

Again, Many Thanks, Cheers:)

No, it wouldn't be bridged. Bridging uses two channels to drive one load (could be one or more speakers, depending on the configuration). You would see some indication on the amp for the wire assignments, usually both positives. There's usually a switch on the amp that shows Stereo/Bridged and this is usually done to drive subwoofer(s), because it takes a lot more power to make them sound as loud as the satellites.

JimN
12-01-2008, 11:40 AM
The single best and cheapest improvements I made to my xstar was to put the 10" JL into a sealed encloure
42602

If you correct the factory wiring problems, this set-up sounds good.
For the extra few dollars it would cost MC, i dont know why they dont offer it as an option.

Probably because ordering a bunch of boxes will take up space, not be what people want, sit around because it's a crap shoot as to how many should be stocked and if they were made based on orders, who'll make them? If it's someone at MC, they'd need to buy tools and dedicate space, make sure the person knows what they're doing/make sure they're doing it safely, and have a ready supply of all materials. Then, there's the glue that holds the carpet on. As manufacturer, the EPA has all kinds of guidelines for use, storage, ventilation, dust removal and of course, there's always OSHA.

Personally, I don't know why they would bother. If they know a local cabinet shop or stereo installation shop, they could contract it and arrange it so their orders are filled quickly.

Or, they could find someone who can make them to order, based on driver specs and spare requirements, so they could be shipped directly to the customer.

As usual, I'm probably over-thinking this but these are just off the top of my head considerations.

craig3972
12-01-2008, 11:56 AM
not a lot to do at work today Jim?

MattsCraft
12-01-2008, 11:58 AM
No, it wouldn't be bridged. Bridging uses two channels to drive one load (could be one or more speakers, depending on the configuration). You would see some indication on the amp for the wire assignments, usually both positives. There's usually a switch on the amp that shows Stereo/Bridged and this is usually done to drive subwoofer(s), because it takes a lot more power to make them sound as loud as the satellites.

That is what I thought, many thanks for the help!!!