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fentong
03-07-2009, 10:10 AM
Hello, I was hoping to get some input for an upgrade to the sound system in my 2001 Maristar 230 VRS. It currently ahs the stock Clarion head unit (not sure which model as the boat is in storage) and 4 clarion speakers. I'm really looking to achieve decent sound that can go to reasonable volume (for open lake cruising) but doesn't break the bank.

Contemplated upgrades:

Speakers: I have read a lot of posts which indicate that upgrading the speakers will result in instant gratification. I was thinking of the Polk originally (DB651, MM651, or MM651UM). I called Crutchfields yesterday and they were steering me towards the Infinity (602M). They said the Polks are more water resistant than waterproof and the grills don't provide the same protection that a true marine speaker would. Although the polks are on sale I want to make the right decision. Which way to go? Also will these models just bolt right in to the current locations without mods. Another question is whether I should consider speakers with separate tweeters.

Oh yeah another thought, should I upgrade to the 6 speaker configuration in boat? with the two cockpit speakers I find there is not much sound when we pile bags, towels, etc in the boat and block the speaker behind the driver. Some posts advocate achieving optimal sound within the boat and not relying on tower cans. I see some wisdom there, although the option for tower cans in the future is compelling. Baby steps..... I've got to manage my allowance...

SUB: I was considering adding a sub and would welcome any recommendations. 10" or 12", 1 or 2, ETC. I would also appreciate any recommendations on where to mount. I think the stock placement is in the driver's side kick panel but I can't find any pictures, specs, etc to direct me.

Head Unit: wow, there are a lot of varied views on this one. I think my current head unit is a XMD3, 2Volt output, can't play Mp3's, and won't support I-pod input. I was considering a Clarion CDM5 or M475. The 475 has sub outs so I was leaning towards that but it only have the 'i-pod headset' input (no charging). The Crutchfield guy recommended a Sony head unit but many posts weren't favorable to Sony heads. One specific question I would like guidance on is whether I can put a M475 into the current stock opening? I think the Clarion I have appears to have a larger footprint but I think the unit itself is the stake standard size for the deck cut through.

Remote: Do you guys see value in mounting a transom remote? When do you see value in it? Where is it normally mounted?

Amps: Wow no idea of where to start here. I know from the posts that I need amps to drive the speakers properly.

dpolen
03-07-2009, 10:25 AM
I have basically the same boat that you have, only mine is a couple years older. I have upgraded my speakers to the Polk DB series as I thought they were a good bang for the buck. I have 6 1/2" in the bow, 6x9's in the cockpit. I think they sound a lot better than the Kenwoods that came with the boat, the Polk's need more power though, so I have just bought a new headunit in hopes that this will help a little although I know a multi-channel amp is what I really need. I also think that adding a 2nd set of speakers to the cockpit makes a lot of sense, the location of mine make it tough to hear when you've got the boat loaded up with people and gear. I just bought some tower speakers that I'm also hoping will help with this. By no means am I a stereo expert, I think the stuff is expensive and complicated, I just want to enjoy some tunes on the lake with the family and friends.

For what it's worth, I've upgraded my stereo this winter with the Circuit City going out of business sale, I feel like I've received a decent deal.

Just my 2 cents.

prostar205
03-07-2009, 08:03 PM
Fentong -

I have a 2002 X30 (same boat as you) and I did a minor stereo upgrade a few years ago.

Headunit - I went with a Pioneer Premier MP860 unit. It has 3 sets of outputs; hi, lo, and sub. It also has 6.5V outputs for driving external amps. Any headunit with those characteristics should do the trick. Got the HU from ebay for $225.

Boat Speakers - I went with the 7.7" JL Audio marine speakers MasterCraft puts in all their new boats. Got them from ebay for $160/pair. I installed two pairs - one in the bow and one in the cockpit. I am looking at add 1 more pair in the cockpit. I also moved the speaker that fires into the back of the drivers seat. I had the old hole re-glassed and you can't even tell it was ever there. I've included a picture of the new location of that speaker. I did have to maek the holes larger for these JL speakers. I had the old 6.5" Clarion seperates in the boat before this change.

Amps - I choose Kicker. I have a KX850.4 (rated at 1,000 W) running my tower speakers, a KX650.4 (rated at 700 W) running my 4 JL Audio interior speakers and a KX600.1 (rated at 700 W) running my sub.

Sub - I choose the a Kicker 12" L5. I made the box (pictures included) and put in under the dash at the feet of the driver.

The entire system is run from 2 Optima Blue top batteries and i have a 105A upgraded ALT. I also used 0 AWG wire for the power wire runs and distribution blocks for routing the power to the correct places.

Tower Speakers - NVS Tyrant Pro Audio (4 - 10" mid base drivers).

mpabreo
03-07-2009, 10:14 PM
If you have the clarion xmd3 head unit and it works, stick with it. Its better than the last two generations of units put out by clarion. The custom bass/treble/etc settings will be handy when upgrading your system. Also, this unit has two pairs (4channels) of rca outputs which is plenty. All you need to do to add an ipod is get a few rca splitters and get the rca to 3.5mm adapter to connect the ipod. Set the unit on Aux and you've got the ipod.

As for speakers, Polk, JL, Infinity are all very good speakers. But I've found that the Kicker marine speakers are the best for your money. Don't go with component speakers, coaxials are just as loud and you don't notice the clarity gain from components in a boat cause its open to the air as opposed to in a closed environment like a car where the clarity gain is noticible. The mounting of any new speaks will be compatible with your clarions as long as your staying with the same nominal size (6.5 inch I presume).

As for the amp(s) for the mids, any name brand 50-75 rmswatt/channel amp will suit you well. I'd recommend getting a 4x60 watts rms amp that is stable down to 1 or 2 ohms. This way you can run the 4 speaks straight and if you decide u want to add more later, you can just wire 2 or 4 more in parallel and you'll get 4x120 watts or 8x60. Just make sure the amp is mounted where it can get some ventilation cause dropping the impedence will require the amp to run hotter. If this isn't possible, a small 25 dollar amp fan mounted next to it blowing across the heat sinks will take care of it.

As for bass, depends on how much you want. I highly recommend against ANY marine sub. Even JL. JL makes killer car subs, but their marine subs, and everyone elses marine subs suck. I would recommend using a JL car audio sub (w3 or w6 if u want significant thump) and push it with a jl slash series car amp (250x1 for the w3 or 500x1 for the w6). Mount the sub and its amp in a place that won't get wet. Under seat, etc. These quality subs will fight thru your seat and sound 1000 times better than the JL marine sub firing directly into the cabin. Oh, and definitely go with a 12" sub. 10" subs are really punchy and can't reproduce low bass frequencies common in many rap, pop, and hip hop songs.

As for the transom remote, I use mine every time I'm at a sandbar so I don't have to climb in the boat. Might be hard to find for the xmd3 but I'd try as there's no need for a new head unit.

Did I miss anything?

fentong
03-09-2009, 09:39 PM
Guys, thanks for the input and pictures. That's great feedback and I think I've got it sorted now. I'm trying to find a mid point to get good sound while maintaining a budget.

Head Unit: Keep what I have for now and hardwire the I-pod connect. Thanks for the suggestion mpabreo.

Speakers: I think I'll go with Infinity 6.5's up front and upgrade to JL 7.7" in the main seating area. I can always add additional speakers in the future but this is a good first step. I think I'll take Prostar205's advice and I'll change the position of the speaker which points into the back of the driver's seat. I'll mount it on inboard side of that same seat .

Sub: Still torn on this one. Am now committed to the 12". I am torn between the Polk MM1240DVC (dual voice coils) and the JL W3 mpabreo recommnended. Prostar205 thanks for the awesome pictures of your installation job, I've got some great ideas from that. I hadn't considered the "armoured speakerbox" before but I've now learned that it's strongly recommended and sound will be crap without it.

AMP: I'm considering the Kicker MX700.5 (4 x 70 + sub @ 450). Not sure if an all-in-one amp is ok but the Crutchfield team recommended it. I was wondering if anyone had advice on where to mount it. I was thinking in the rear storage compartment so I didn't have to run #0 AWG cable to the front but it may be too warm in the sealed compartment.

mpabreo
03-10-2009, 08:43 AM
Fentong:

As for the sub, Polk makes great subs, slightly behind the curve of JL, but still very good in my opinion. The 12W3 is also a dual voice coil sub like the Polk you mention. Whatever way you go, make sure the box you use is the correct volume. Check the sub specs on requirements. Sealed boxes (no ports or bandpasses) will require the smallest volume, which is the way you want to go for a boat setup.

All in one amps are okay, just make sure the RMS watts rating is close to the rating of the sub (and mids). Often mfg's advertise peak watts, and RMS is actually about half of that. As for location for the amp(s), just make sure its dry, and vented.

Also, you've noted crutchfield several times. They are a great source of info and have great selection. But check out these two sites for much better prices...

sonicelectronix.com
onlinecarstereo.com

Ive used both of them before. Good luck!

fentong
03-17-2009, 08:20 PM
Mpabreo, can you let me know whether the JL audio 12 W3 sub will produce enough power with a 4 ohm configuration? I was leaning towards the Polk because it offered a 4 / 2 Ohm (dual voice coil) wiring configuration which would boot my amp out put to 420Watt @ 2 Ohm. The JL only seem to come in a 4 Ohm single voice coil configuration.

Also do you know what version of the W3 I should be looking for? The reference is usually 12W3V3 (I assume that the V3 is version).

Please let me know.

craig3972
03-18-2009, 01:15 AM
very nice install job prostar205! well thought out and professional.

mpabreo
03-18-2009, 10:19 AM
Mpabreo, can you let me know whether the JL audio 12 W3 sub will produce enough power with a 4 ohm configuration? I was leaning towards the Polk because it offered a 4 / 2 Ohm (dual voice coil) wiring configuration which would boot my amp out put to 420Watt @ 2 Ohm. The JL only seem to come in a 4 Ohm single voice coil configuration.

Also do you know what version of the W3 I should be looking for? The reference is usually 12W3V3 (I assume that the V3 is version).

Please let me know.

The W3 will definitely produce enough bass. The 12W3v3 (12", version 3) is available in 2, 4 and 8 ohm configurations. And will thump as long as you have a sufficient amp. Let me know which amp you're using and I'll tell you how to wire it up, but i just checked sonicelectronix and they have the 2 ohm 12W3v3-2 woofer for 170 bucks, this is the one you want. Read the reviews.

fentong
03-19-2009, 09:23 PM
I bought the Kicker MX700.5. It was recommended by Crutchfields and here are the specs.

5 Channel Marine Amplifier
Single Class-D Subwoofer Channel
MOSFET class A/B power supply
70 watts RMS x 4 Channels at 4-Ohms / 85 watts RMS x 4 at 2-Ohms
165 watts x 2 Channels at Bridged mode
210 watts x 1 Channel at 4-Ohms In Subwoofer Mode (420 watts at 2-Ohms)
0-18dB Variable bass boost
50-200Hz Variable Hi/Lo Pass Crossover
Differential inputs
Gasket sealed endcaps and cover
Signal to noise: 95dB
Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz

I assume that I can hook up the 4 cabin speakers @ 4 ohms and run the sub @ 2. I hope this is corrrect. Not sure if I can mix and match. I wanted the SUB @ 2 to get the 420 watts RMS. Other than that I have no idea what the cross over and the other controls are all about. I get the amp tomorrow so I guess I can read up a little.

Any suggestions are welcome.

mpabreo
03-20-2009, 08:09 AM
I bought the Kicker MX700.5. It was recommended by Crutchfields and here are the specs.

5 Channel Marine Amplifier
Single Class-D Subwoofer Channel
MOSFET class A/B power supply
70 watts RMS x 4 Channels at 4-Ohms / 85 watts RMS x 4 at 2-Ohms
165 watts x 2 Channels at Bridged mode
210 watts x 1 Channel at 4-Ohms In Subwoofer Mode (420 watts at 2-Ohms)
0-18dB Variable bass boost
50-200Hz Variable Hi/Lo Pass Crossover
Differential inputs
Gasket sealed endcaps and cover
Signal to noise: 95dB
Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz

I assume that I can hook up the 4 cabin speakers @ 4 ohms and run the sub @ 2. I hope this is corrrect. Not sure if I can mix and match. I wanted the SUB @ 2 to get the 420 watts RMS. Other than that I have no idea what the cross over and the other controls are all about. I get the amp tomorrow so I guess I can read up a little.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Yes, you can hook up the cabin speaks at 4ohm and the sub at 2. If you're going with the JL Audio 12W3v3-2, then all you need to do is connect directly to the sub connections on the amp and you'll get the 2 ohm rating (420W RMS). Which is PLENTY for that sub. You'll be impressed. I have two of the same subs in my pleasure boat, and driving each with a JL 250W amp. This amp is a bit underrated, actual RMS stats from testing are in the 350W range for 2ohm (which is what I'm running) and lower.

Kicker makes solid amps. You won't be disappointed. The great thing on that amp is that the sub ouput is Class D. This makes a ton of difference. Its the first prerequisite when selecting a sub amp.

As for the settings, start with this, and you can fine tune from there. (if you're using the bass boost/sub remote on the kicker amp, start at 0db when tuning). Turn off the high pass filter going to the cabin speakers, let them get full range as you want to get mid output as well as highs from the cabin speaks. Set your XMd3 on the custom EQ setting and adjust your bass to -5, treble to +4, and keep fade and balance on the head unit at 0. Use the bass boost/magnabass (forget actual name) function on the head unit. This will help out the sub performance. Use the low pass filter on the kicker amp, set the filter at 50 hz. This should be the optimum point for listening to a wide range of music. I wouldnt go any higher than 55, no lower than 45 when tuning.

Good luck! I think you'll be happy with this setup. Just remember in boat applications, location of the sub means ALOT. If you have it in a compartement under the seat or some other covered/sealed area it will dampen the bass a good bit. A fix for this is to prop the seat up/remove a cupholder, or engineer a way to vent the compartment. At any rate, you have a good sub, and a powerful amp so you'll get what the sub has to offer and worst case it will fight thru the wall and you'll be fine. When tuning, make sure you have the location open to the cabin of the boat so you can hear the differences in changing settings.

fentong
03-24-2009, 10:14 PM
Will the 420watt RMS amp sub output at the 2 Ohm rating not fry the JL M3 which is rated at 300 watts. I checked out the JL M6 as it's rated to 150 - 600 Watts and for the extra $100+ bucks it might make sense to go that route. It has the DVC so I think I can wire that in parallel and achieve the 2 ohm output. Not sure if the 420 watt output will be too little for the M6 though.

I also have to revisit my speaker config. I was planning 2 replace the two Clarion 6.5 bow speakers with infinity or JL 6.5 coax and replace the 2 in the cabin area JL 7.7 or JL 6.5's. With the JL W3 or W6 I'm thinking I may have too much sub, or should I say , not enough cabin speakers. Can this be turned down to match the other speakers initially while I build up the system over the next couple of years?

mpabreo
03-25-2009, 08:31 AM
If you look at the power range chart produced by JL for the 12W3, you'll see that the maximum recommended continuous RMS power is limited to about 600W rms. When considering that your amp will theoretically put out 420 rms at optimum voltage, minimal line losses, etc, in actuality you'll probably be getting 350-400 W rms depending on voltage level. I'd say you'd be safe with the W3.

But, if you will possibly expand/upgrade your system in the future, I'd go with the W6, and later down the road you can just add a more powerful amp to the system to send more juice to the sub.

And dont worry about whether or not the system will be too "bass heavy", you can always adust with the gain on the amp, and the settings on the head unit to achieve the right balance.

fentong
03-26-2009, 01:50 PM
Do you think the JL 7" components speakers in the cabin will be enough when combined with the JL 12" sub? I was wondering whether the 6.5" would give better mids and highs versus going with the 7.7" JL woofer and separate tweeter. I was considering leaving the existing Clarions in the cabin and augmenting with the JL 7.7" components. If the JL's 7.7" have a distinct advantage over the 6.5" I'll definitely go that direction. But looking for additional confirmation.

Unfortunately I can't find any dealers here where I can go hear for myself. Also placement in boat will affect sound quality / requirements as well.

prostar205
03-26-2009, 01:56 PM
Fentong -

I replaced all (2 pairs) of my Clarion 6.5" seperates with the JL 7.7" series. It was a night and day difference. You will have to enlarge the holes to get the JLs in but its worth it. When enlarging the holes for the speakers in the bow, you'll need to remove the interior pieces that are bolted in place. This is rather difficult but do-able. I can take pictures of mine if needed.

fentong
03-26-2009, 05:06 PM
Prostar205, Thanks for responding.

I've been getting lots of great info here and I'd really like to see pictures of your 6.5" to 7.7" retro. I was thinking that they might not fit into my bow area but definitely will fit in the cabin area. the boat is in storage so I can't measure it up quite yet. You mentioned your boat is a year newer but I'm not sure if the X30 interior is fundamentally different than the 2001 Maristar 230.

Do you feel that the 4 JL 7.7 speakers are adequate for decent sound? I know we can always use more speakers and more power but I want to at least upgrade to a good starting point and perhaps I can add more interior speakers or tower speakers later on. I think you said you were considering adding more speakers and I was wondering if is clearly lacking with the 4 or if you are just looking for a little extra bling.

I was considering leaving the existing 6.5's in the cabin and mounting the pair of JL 7.7 in the seat bases pointing in wards. This would leave the one 6.5 pointing at the back of the seat so I wouldn't have to worry about covering the hole. Not sure if the clarions will distort the overall sound quality.

prostar205
03-26-2009, 05:16 PM
Fentong -

I'd be happy to get some pic. I'll have to run down to the boat this weekend and post them. I went with a Kicker 12" L5 Dual 4 ohm Voice coil sub that I've wired into 2 Ohms. I am using a Kicker KX600.1 Class D mono amp to run the sub. Look at post #3 on this thread - it shows the sub and the relocation of the the starboard interior speaker. Right now I am only running the JLs in the stock Clarion locations (2 in the cabin and 2 in the bow). These 4 speakers are running off a Kicker KX650.4 amp. I too would like to put in another set of JLs in the cabin, but I just don't know where to put them.

fentong
03-26-2009, 05:24 PM
Yeah sorry about, that I did realize that you had provided the details and I amended my post but you had already responded.

What I was also really curious about is the placement of your amps. I see a lot of guys mount them in behind the spotter's seat bulkhead. I guess it's high and dry up there. However, I was thinking of mounting it is the rear storage compartment up high behind the back seat. This would require less #2 or #4 wire and would probably take less pounding from the wakes and chop on the open water. I'm curious if you have pictures of your installation.

Also can you let me know what gauge speaker wire you used and whether there is any special RCA connector wire required for the head unit to amp connection? Does quality matter here?

prostar205
03-26-2009, 05:36 PM
I mounted all three of my amps (KX850.4, KX650.4, KX600.1) in the storage area forward of the observers seat - where 99% of the people mount them. I will take some pics of the also. Mounting them in the rear hatch area, up on a wall behind the rear bench seat would probably work also. The only issue I could see would be heat build up from the engine in those compartments. Mouting them behind the observers seat area allows you to open the seat back to let fresh air in. While you can do the same if they are mounted in the rear hatch, people sun bathing on the sunpad would have to get off the sun pad before opening it.

Speaker Wire: I removed all the OEM stuff and re-ran all speaker wire using Stinger 14 AWG Oxegen Free Copper wire.

RCA cables: I went middle of the road on this - Stinker Helix. I used 25' RCAs (3 total - sub, hi, low) to go from the Headunit to amps.

I also have the Wetsounds WS-420 EQ and the HSE Revolution Volume controller.

prostar205
03-27-2009, 12:22 AM
Here are some pictures of my JL speaker install and the amp mounting. I apologize that the pics are terrible but hopefully you can get the idea. I'll take better ones over the weekend. The amp picture only shows two amps. I now have 3 but this is an older pic.

fentong
03-27-2009, 10:17 AM
I see why you call it the possessed boat. Is that red your camera or your interior lighting. Pretty cool. Matches the gauge backlight color.

prostar205
03-27-2009, 12:16 PM
Those pictures were my attempt to take final pics of my LED interior lighting install. There are close to 200 red LEDs in the cockpit, behind the observer's seat, under the gunnels, in the sub and in the engine compartment. My digital point-and-shoot camera just is not that great. The boat is red fire metal flake with red interior lighting. I think it looks great at night. I am adding underwater LEDs this spring.

fentong
03-27-2009, 06:23 PM
Wow the Red underwater LED's will have quite an effect. I'd be too reluctant to start drilling holes in a perfectly good hull.

Can you let me know if you think 17' RCA cables would be long enough for the amp to head unit connection? I found some 17' 4 channel Stinger Helix clearance for $20. I realize I would need two sets but the price seems pretty good compared to the latest Stinger models for shielded cable. I presume that you fed the cable around the bow under the bow seats.

prostar205
03-28-2009, 01:14 PM
Fentong -

If I remember correctly, you'll need 25' RCA to go from the headunit (assuming yours in just to the left of the steering wheel) all the way around the bow and into the compartment behind the observers seat. I fed my RCA behind the bow seats and I ran them thru the wire tubes that were glassed into the boat during the fabrication process. You'll definately use all 25' - trust me.

fentong
03-31-2009, 08:16 PM
Prostar, I've been looking for some half decent RCA interconnects and the 25' are hard to come by. I found the stinger's like yours but I can only find them in up to 17' configurations. They look like really decent cables. Any suggestions? Also can you please confirm whether I need a 5 or 6 channel interconnect. I'm really not sure how many RCA outputs are on my Clarion XMD3. The manual really sucks in that regard.

brucemac
03-31-2009, 08:21 PM
did you check darvex.com? great site, good prices and fast shipping.

17ft may get you. have you double-checked? i bought 25ft'ers and i've got a lot of slack.

like you though, i wanted to be sure, and i ended up buying RG59 solid copper core RCA's here:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021803&p_id=2866&seq=1&format=2

don't let the price fool ya. they're great cables.

fentong
03-31-2009, 09:10 PM
Brucemac, thanks for the tip. These cables look pretty heavy duty. Are they flexible? It sounds like I will need 3 sets. I assume that the sub out will be a single pre-amp output. I am hoping that someone can measure and let me know what length to order. I can wait until I get the boat out of storage and measure myself to be sure. I live in Canada so getting things ordered and shipped takes a little longer and is way more expensive.

prostar205
03-31-2009, 09:31 PM
Prostar, I've been looking for some half decent RCA interconnects and the 25' are hard to come by. I found the stinger's like yours but I can only find them in up to 17' configurations. They look like really decent cables. Any suggestions? Also can you please confirm whether I need a 5 or 6 channel interconnect. I'm really not sure how many RCA outputs are on my Clarion XMD3. The manual really sucks in that regard.

Fentong - Your XMD3 should have 3 sets (each set = 1 red, 1 white) of RCA outputs. These outputs are Hi, Lo, Sub. Therefore, you'll need a 6 channel RCA interconnect. I am 99% sure I used 25 foot cables and they just reached from the headunit location to the amp locations (behind the obversers seat). I found mine on Ebay for $46 ea. I bought 3 sets of RCA cables.

fentong
03-31-2009, 10:14 PM
Prostar205, thanks for the reply.

Do you know how the hi and lo relate to what I would think of as being front and rear? Perhaps it's just nomenclature but I can't figure out how Hi and Lo relate to front /rear, left right, or other. And without a decent diagram from the manual it's difficult top map this out.

prostar205
03-31-2009, 10:40 PM
Prostar205, thanks for the reply.

Do you know how the hi and lo relate to what I would think of as being front and rear? Perhaps it's just nomenclature but I can't figure out how Hi and Lo relate to front /rear, left right, or other. And without a decent diagram from the manual it's difficult top map this out.

I can't speaker exactly for the XMD3 because I got rid of my XMD1 that originally came in my 2002 X30, however, my Pioneer HU has the HI as the front, LO the rear and the sub is the sub. I have 3 amps in my setup; one for the interior speakers run from the HI set of RCAs, one for the tower run from the LO set and the sub RCAs go to my Class D mono amp for the sub. This way you can use your fader to fade from the interior (HI channel) to the tower (LO channel). That is how I did it before I got the Wetsounds WS-420 EQ, Line Driver setup.

Keep the questions coming. I did my entire install myself from help I received on this forum. Saved me a ton of $$$ and I know exactly how the system is put together for any future troubleshooting.

mpabreo
04-01-2009, 10:55 AM
See here for the XMD3 wiring diagram... hope this works...

fentong
04-01-2009, 11:38 AM
Boy, do I feel Silly!!!!

All of the dialog in this thread got me thinking about my head unit. I don't have access to the boat as it's in storage. Based on this I've been reviewing pictures I have of my dash as compared to manuals found on-line. The XMD3 seemed to be an exact match. Bingo.

However Prostar205 said that he has a 2002 with a XMD1. My boat is a 2001 so why would it have an XMD3. I looked at an XMD1 manual and it's the same visual configuration as the XMD3. So to net it out, it appears as I'm shopping for a new head unit given that mine is probably an XMD1 which doesn't have pre-amp outs.

Can you guys give me your thoughts on head units? I was looking at the Clarion CMD6.

prostar205
04-01-2009, 06:04 PM
Fentong -

The XMD1 does have pre-amp outs (if I remember correctly) but it only has 2 sets - HI and LO. It does not have a sub out and that's the problem with that headunit. If you liked the look of the XMD series, you could probably go onto ebay and find and XMD3 and do the swap. The XMD series of headunits has a face that is a double-din size but the body behind the face is a single-din size. Therefore, the hole going thru the dash is single-din with four screw holes - one in each corner of the opening. Make sure you get a new headunit that covers those holes. I went with a Pioneer Premier unit that has 6.5V pre-amp outputs - saves on overdriving the amps. I got it off ebay (as I did all of my stereo stuff) for $200 brand new.

bturner2
04-01-2009, 06:40 PM
I've been following this thread and keep looking for an article that talked about new Clarion Marine Head Units I saw somewhere on the internet. Finally found one close to the orginal. You may want to hold off just a little longer. Clarion is about to offer a unit that natively supports iPOD and USB devices. The thought of buying a couple 8GB USB keys for all the music you could want to have in the boat would be something I'd be interesed in anyway. You could also record any of the streaming radio stations on the internet and play it back via iPOD or USB. Here's the link on the hopefully soon to be released products.....

http://www.twice.com/article/CA6627600.html

bturner2
04-02-2009, 07:32 AM
Found the full product release.....

http://www.clarion.com/us/en/newstopics/index_2009/20090108_04/index.html

bturner2
04-02-2009, 07:42 AM
More detailed pictures. Would be nice if they'd release it before summer.

http://www.amazon.com/Clarion-CMD6-MP3-Receiver-Port/dp/B001OQEC0S

mpabreo
04-02-2009, 11:05 AM
looks like its available to me....

http://techronics.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_id=9277&aff=72182

http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAudio/ProductDetail.aspx?Source=googlebase&ProductID=20869

I'm going to ask MC at fanfare next week if this can be provided with my new boat.

TnzpU4Fa
04-02-2009, 11:13 AM
hello!, http://shysave.com/?said=t12

TnzpU4Fa
04-02-2009, 11:20 AM
Hello!, http://shysave.com/?said=t12

bturner2
04-02-2009, 03:01 PM
I hear that. I hate it when you get stuck with last year's technology. Hopefully they'll be able to make the switch for you.

mpabreo
04-02-2009, 03:55 PM
Dealer's initial response "i dont think MC will be able to change them as they do not allow any changes or deviation from the production line but i will check" we'll see....

fentong
04-02-2009, 07:10 PM
So it appears that we have concurrence that the CMD6 is a decent head unit. It doesn't support DVD but who cares, I can get 10 hours of MP3 music on a CD. I like the fact that it has a direct USB input for the Ipod or flash drive. I've seen this unit on a few sites for as low as $250 but they are out of stock. I've put in a notification request for when they have stock and I'll order one then. For $250 I think it would be tough to beat.

http://www.savinglots.com/lotprod.asp?item=CMD6&gclid=CIjLo_in05kCFQoHswodzQZ_vA

Or perhaps I can buy mpabreo's unit from his X45!!!!!

brucemac
04-02-2009, 07:43 PM
i'd have to look more closely at the CMD6, but i'm assuming the included remote gives you direct access to ipod control? if it does not, i'm not sure i see any added benefit over any of the rest of their line other than possible ipod control from the HU itself and it looks like the direct attach for the ipod is in the rear right which means you have to route it somewhere anyway? am i missing something more here?

fentong
04-02-2009, 09:18 PM
Brucemac, I just checked out the clarion site and looked at the user manual for the CMD6. It appears that you can select ipod song tracks from the wireless remote or from the head unit. Check it out for yourself if you like as I'm a newbie at this stuff. The manual can be found at:

http://www.clarion.com/us/en/products/2009/marine/source_units/CMD6/us-en-product-pf_1172409026888.html

TX.X-30 fan
04-03-2009, 08:12 AM
Alpine.... :D:D

fentong
04-04-2009, 04:19 PM
OK I ordered the wires Brucemac suggested from Monoprice.com. Yeah, they are inexpensive and their service seems awesome. They ship out Monday. I hope they are plyable enough for the installation. But I guess nothing a 1,600 Watt hair dryer won't cure. Also picked up a couple of retractable Ipod to USB adapters for $1.47. Do you believe the prices. Hopefully this will allow me to plug the Ipod into the new head unit. Still waiting for a good deal on the CDM6.

Does anyone have suggestions about which main breaker to use on the #4 wires that lead to the AMP?

fentong
04-11-2009, 09:02 AM
Prostar205, I am just about to place my speaker order and I wanted to double check that the 7.7's in the bow area will fit as a replacement for the stock 6.5" ers. I realize that you did this for your boat but I wanted to ensrue that the interior was constent between the two models and model years. I've attached a piture of my bow area and hopefully you could tell me whether it looks consistent with your before pictures. Regards,

prostar205
04-11-2009, 10:11 AM
Fentong -

Yes, that is what mine looks like. I see you have the co-axial Clarion speakers. If you go with the 7.7 JL component speakers, you will have to drill additional holes for the separate tweeters along with opening up the hole for the main speaker. You have another option - using the JL 6.5 co-axial speakers with the tweeter inside the main driver. Here is a link to JL's site regarding these 6.5 co-axial speaker. I don't know the difference between the M-series and MX-series, but it's worth a look. This way you won't have to drill additional holes in the boat and they should just drop in to the existing driver hole. They were not available 2 years ago when I re-did my stereo.

http://marine.jlaudio.com/products_components_pages.php?page_id=70

Here's the only picture I have of my bow.

fentong
04-11-2009, 09:11 PM
Can anyone elaborate on how much better the 7.7 components are over the 6.5 Coax? I was originally planning on putting Infinity 602M 6.5" coax in the front and rear to replace the stock Clarion. I first looked at Polks and the Crutchfield guy told me that the Infinity was better than the Polk (for high end) but that the JL 7.7 would blow them away. Although the reference was between Infinity 6.5" and the JL 7.7". I don't mind the extra effort to fit the larger speakers and separate tweeters in the front if they will be far superior to the 6.5" coax. I guess what I'm asking is whether the sound quality is that much better out of a 7.7 versus the 6.5. I can get the Infinity for around $80 / pair the JL 6.5 for $250 and the JL 7.7" components are $285. Makes me wonder if it's a brand thing or does size really matter!!

Please let me know.

mpabreo
04-11-2009, 09:17 PM
Go with the 6.5" replacement coaxials. The benefit one gets from spearates (components) is clarity due to the external crossover of the tweeter and midrange woofer. In boating applications this although better, is not so appreciable due to the open application, engine noise while running, and other noises. Check the "mounting diameter" of the new speaks and make sure it matches, or is within 1/8" and you'll be fine.

fentong
04-16-2009, 11:18 PM
Can anyone recommend a main line fusable link for the #4 wire that runs from the battery to the Distribution block? I'm looking at installing either a 150 AMP Stinger Breaker or a 150 AMP Stinger ANL fuse unit. I was concered whether the breaker would introduce any noise or be less effective than the ANL fuse. Also I'm assuming that I only have to fuse the Positive lead.

brucemac
04-17-2009, 12:37 AM
i have a 200A breaker just below my house bank off of about 14in of 0 gauge wire just before my disti blocks. no noise.

fentong
05-07-2011, 11:27 AM
It's funny that when I started this upgrade I thought that I wouldn't need tower speakers, never mind a second set of speakers, How perspectives change!

So this spring I'm adding a second set of Bullet 7.7 HLCD's I got from David at Earmark. I'm going to drive these from my JL MHD600/4. However I was hoping that someone could provide some input regarding the initial starting point for the amplifier settings. I'm planning on running a second pair of 14/2 copper wires through the driver's side tower leg as it was tight installing the initial 2 sets of 14/2 wires through the passenger side leg last year. I'm assuming that I should go with as large a conductor as possible instead of trying to just join into the existing pair of 14/2 wires.

Before I ask for guidance on the amplifier settings I should provide some context for the current setup. I have the Clarion CMD6 head unit and a Wet Sounds WS-420 which I think serves as a line driver. I drive the tower zone from the fixed output from the head unit so that I don't loose quadrophonic features in the boat cabin.

Here are the settings I'd like to get some guidance on:

Filter Mode Switch: I assume I leave this in the off position
Filter Slope 12 db/24db: ???
Filter Frequency selector: ???
Input sensitivity Control: I understand the procedure outlined in the manual to set this so let me know if I should just follow this process.
Input Voltage: I assume High due to the WS-420 line driver

fentong
05-09-2011, 12:15 PM
Any guidance would be appreciated?

mseller
05-09-2011, 01:17 PM
This is the way I have my MHD600/4 setup powering 4 JL M770 tower speakers:

Filter Mode Switch: HP
Filter Slope 12 db/24db: 12db
Filter Frequency selector: 100hz
Input sensitivity Control: Follow process outlined
Input Voltage: Mine is on low but is being fed by head unit not the WS-420 like you so you would probably go with high

fentong
05-14-2011, 10:10 AM
Just a couple of clarifying questions.

By setting the amp filter to High Pass wouldn't that cause a reduction in bass being delivered to the tower speakers? Since they are HLCD I'd like to ensure I have the Bass adequately represented.

By changing the Input Voltage to High, does that change any of the other settings?

Any suggestion for whether I should run a separate set of 14/2 wires for the new speakers? IS 14/2 (pure copper) adequate to drive these? Is it overkill?