PDA

View Full Version : Alpine - CDA-118M


CantRepeat
01-02-2011, 09:11 AM
Anyone out there running an Alpine CDA-118M? If so, got a semi review on the head unit?

I'm pretty sure I'm going with that and a MC20 MC2 combo. I'll probably add another amp and a pair of wetsound Pro 80s before the season starts but for now just working on replacing the Clarion stuff.

CantRepeat
01-03-2011, 08:04 AM
One feature I think I'm going to really like is the:

Dual Zone Control: Dual Zone Volume Control

It allows you to change volume on the tower speakers, cabin speakers, or a both at the same time. This alone saves me from needing a wetsound 420.

CantRepeat
01-03-2011, 04:06 PM
Well, I went ahead and placed an order for the head unit, the remotes and a PDX-4.100m amp. Figured I'd run the old clarion amp on the cabin speakers and move the tower speakers to the new Alpine amp. Then if that isn't loud enough I change out the speakers.

I don't want to be that guy, but if that guy anchors next to me I want a chance to hear my music, not his.

CantRepeat
01-16-2011, 06:12 PM
I finally got some photos of my MC20 remote retrofit to my 06 X30.

The MC20 has the same size external back part(2 inches round) as the old Clarion remote but the face is 4 inches in diameter.

As you can see in this photo if you just install the MC20 in the old remote location you end up with gaps on the sides.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/boat/mc201.jpg

So to fix this made a pattern on my computer and then cut it out of 1/8 stainless steel on my plasma cutter.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/boat/mc202.jpg

I pick up some black vinyl that was close to side panel and used contact cement to glue it on.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/boat/mc203.jpg

Now remounted the backing plate covers the gaps and almost matches the side panel.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/boat/mc204.jpg

That's it.

NOTE: If you are changing out your remotes, on my boat the driver's side + Positive wire is wired to the Nav Light switch and the transom is wired to the Courtesy Light switch. So, the Clarion wiring for the negitive and positive is used for the back lighting at night, not to power the remotes.

CantRepeat
01-16-2011, 06:13 PM
Someone ask about the transom remote retrofit.

I'll get photos of that and post them too.

CantRepeat
01-16-2011, 06:15 PM
Nothing special, got my amp panel done today.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/boat/amps.jpg

Did this in black vinyl as well.

One thing I did find that was kind of shady. The boat had 7 speakers running off of a 6 channel amp. The sub and tower speakers were on their own channel but all 4 cabin speakers were running of channels 1 and 2. Seems pretty weak to me and I don't understand why MC would do that.

BNIROOSTER
01-18-2011, 04:44 PM
Nice work, looks great!!

ColdTurkey
01-23-2011, 08:31 PM
I was looking at doing the exact same thing. Awesome stuff.

I've read that 75-150 WRMS is the sort of power that the standard JL7.7's should be amped with but the 6 channel amp that comes factory is only 45 WRMS per channel... Think you could let me know how much more performance you get out of your tower speakers with that repower?

I've been looking at that Alpine head unit for a while now too. How does the dual zone control work CantRepeat? Does it have seperate RCA outs for the tower and cabin? Or do you just put the towers on the rear RCAs and the cabin on the front?

CantRepeat
01-23-2011, 10:21 PM
I was looking at doing the exact same thing. Awesome stuff.

I've read that 75-150 WRMS is the sort of power that the standard JL7.7's should be amped with but the 6 channel amp that comes factory is only 45 WRMS per channel... Think you could let me know how much more performance you get out of your tower speakers with that repower?

I've been looking at that Alpine head unit for a while now too. How does the dual zone control work CantRepeat? Does it have separate RCA outs for the tower and cabin? Or do you just put the towers on the rear RCAs and the cabin on the front?

First the amp as it is from the factory - it is a 6 channel amp with 7 speakers on it. The tower and the sub are using 4 channels and then the 4 cabin speakers are all on 2 channels. Just by taking the tower speakers off of the JL amp and moving the cabin speakers on to their own channels has made a world of difference in the sound.

The tower speakers are running on the alpine amp bridge to 200 watts per speaker with the gain turned all the way down. It's better but not what I was hoping for. I might be better off just running them at 100 watts unbridge, we'll see. The wife has talk me into running them for the summer and if I'm still not happy I'll go with the wetsound pro 80s. Might even do that at the mid point if I'm still unhappy.

The 118M is awesome! It has preouts for front, rear, sub and "zone 2". I've got the tower on zone 2. On the head unit and the remotes there is a button that is labeled all, zone1, and zone 2. You can adjust the volume on any one zone or both. The really cool part is say, if you set zone 1 to level 5 and zone 2 to level 10 and then switch to all it adjust the volumes equally. IE bump it up 5 points and zone 1 goes to 10 and zone 2 will go to 15.

You will need the MC20 or MC2 remotes for zone volume control.

My thoughts. The factory JL amp is awesome for cabin speakers. If you went ahead and added the rear speakers like a few folks have done put them on the JL and pick up a mono amp for the sub.

You're not going to get enough sound from the factory JLs on the tower to listen to music 50 or 75 feet back. They'll be fine for surfing or docking but not wakeboarding. The 7.7s say they will use any amp from 50 to 175 watts.

If, when I go to pro 80s I'll move the alpine 4 channel to the cabin, pick up a new mono for the sub and get a 2 channel 500 watt 250x2 for the tower.

Capacitors - the more I read and understand how they work I would not have put one in a boat. If you are not trying to drive 2, 3 of 4 very large subs they are worthless and even then a better alternator or better batteries are the way to go. I've even read that they can sometimes be harmful to alternators.

I need to get the photos for the transom remote up. I know I was pretty worried at how I would move the larger round MC20 up and not have a gaping hole in the boat.

NOTE: I've been drinking and this post might not make any sense. :D:D;)

ColdTurkey
01-24-2011, 01:38 AM
The dual zone sounds awesome.. I'm getting that head unit as soon as I can afford to do it. :D

I've already got my cabin speakers separated on the JL amp and another el cheapo running my tower speakers. I'm just interested to hear how repowering the tower speakers actually goes.. I have done huge amounts of custom car stereo work and used to do semi professional installs, Alpine is by far my favourite car audio manufacturer.

:eek: I'd be very careful running 200 WRMS into those speakers especially if you are running them loud.. I know you said you've turned down the gain but that is still a lot of power and Alpine gear is usually rated lower than the power it actually produces.

Have you considered running the amp as 3 channel, running 100 Watts to your towers and bridging channels 3 and 4 to run your sub? You could run your zone 2 RCA's to channel 1+2 and then run the SUB RCA to channel 3+4 giving it 200 WRMS instead of (top of my head) 75-90WRMS?? from the JL.... You'd still have zone control and you'd have tune ability of your sub through the headunit. (assuming it's setup the same as Alpine car headunits)

In my past experiences, I've found that if you up the power you put into a speaker you don't always increase the volume (unless it was way underpowered), but you do get a much better sound quality and less amplifier / amplified distortion. Basically the amplifier doesn't have to work as hard so the sound quality is increased and you can turn the volume higher than you previously could before it starts to sound bad...

I'm sure you already know that and I'm not trying to tell you how to do it :) but that is why I'm so interested to hear if doubling the power to the JL's actually does anything. They do seem drastically under powered at 45 WRMS but did you notice a monumental increase going to 200? I think they'll sound nearly the same at 100.

The problem I've noticed with the stock setup is that the bass control on the Clarion headunit doesn't allow you to filter bass out of the 7.7 splits and increase it in the sub. I think you'll find the low frequency of the splits and the high frequency of the sub have a fair bit of an overlap so you should be able to take quite a bit of bass out of the splits and just use them for high and mind range frequency while using the sub to fill it in.

I reckon you'd be able to crank the JL's heaps louder before they distort if you set it up like that. Plus if you're only running 100 WRMS in them you shouldn't have to worry about over powering them. I mean a speaker that is 7.7 inches and can handle 175 WRMS at 4 Ohms is a pretty bloody powerful speaker so should be able to push a good volume of air.

Sorry to write such an epically long reply but I am really keen to hear how this all goes... It is EXACTLY what I was considering buying... If you do decide to run the speakers at 100 Watts do you think you'd be able to do a little favour for me? Could you also try hooking another set of them up in parallel so they run 2 sets @ 100 Watts 2 Ohms and compare the sound / volume to running 1 set @ 200 Watts 4 Ohms and 1 set @ 100 Watts 4 Ohms? I would greatly appreciate it as it would let me know where to start spending my money and in what direction I should go.

The 4 channel Alpine marine amp is $800 here in Australia so I need to make sure it's money well spent. Alpine gear runs fine a 2 Ohms all day everyday and if the sound level wasn't that different I'd be happy to run it like that.

Cheers CantRepeat... Can't wait see it all finished up.

CantRepeat
01-24-2011, 10:24 AM
The dual zone sounds awesome.. I'm getting that head unit as soon as I can afford to do it. :D

I've already got my cabin speakers separated on the JL amp and another el cheapo running my tower speakers. I'm just interested to hear how repowering the tower speakers actually goes.. I have done huge amounts of custom car stereo work and used to do semi professional installs, Alpine is by far my favourite car audio manufacturer.

I'm still pretty amazed at how much better the cabin sounds now.

Have you considered running the amp as 3 channel, running 100 Watts to your towers and bridging channels 3 and 4 to run your sub? You could run your zone 2 RCA's to channel 1+2 and then run the SUB RCA to channel 3+4 giving it 200 WRMS instead of (top of my head) 75-90WRMS?? from the JL.... You'd still have zone control and you'd have tune ability of your sub through the headunit. (assuming it's setup the same as Alpine car headunits)

I have thought about it. I may even end up doing that if I install two more speakers in the rear area.


I'm sure you already know that and I'm not trying to tell you how to do it :) but that is why I'm so interested to hear if doubling the power to the JL's actually does anything. They do seem drastically under powered at 45 WRMS but did you notice a monumental increase going to 200? I think they'll sound nearly the same at 100.

I'll test it today. I'll listen to them at 200 and them move them to 100 and see if I hear any difference.

The problem I've noticed with the stock setup is that the bass control on the Clarion headunit doesn't allow you to filter bass out of the 7.7 splits and increase it in the sub. I think you'll find the low frequency of the splits and the high frequency of the sub have a fair bit of an overlap so you should be able to take quite a bit of bass out of the splits and just use them for high and mind range frequency while using the sub to fill it in.

The 118M had sub pre outs and a bass control.


Sorry to write such an epically long reply but I am really keen to hear how this all goes... It is EXACTLY what I was considering buying... If you do decide to run the speakers at 100 Watts do you think you'd be able to do a little favour for me? Could you also try hooking another set of them up in parallel so they run 2 sets @ 100 Watts 2 Ohms and compare the sound / volume to running 1 set @ 200 Watts 4 Ohms and 1 set @ 100 Watts 4 Ohms? I would greatly appreciate it as it would let me know where to start spending my money and in what direction I should go.

I don't have a second set of tower speakers to test with. But, if the JLs don't seem to give me what I'm looking for on the water I'll drop the coin on a pair of WS Pro 80s in a heartbeat.

The 4 channel Alpine marine amp is $800 here in Australia so I need to make sure it's money well spent. Alpine gear runs fine a 2 Ohms all day everyday and if the sound level wasn't that different I'd be happy to run it like that.

Cheers CantRepeat... Can't wait see it all finished up.

I'd make a video and post it but I really can't turn it up that loud for a long period of time at the house. I live in a pretty good neighborhood and respect the people that live here. They make sure I don't have to listen to their music so I don't want to subject them to mine.

Thanks for the input and ideas. Hopfully the system will :guitar:.

ColdTurkey
01-24-2011, 05:30 PM
Yeah, I reckon it's going to pump once you've got it all tuned up. I forgot to ask the most important question though.... What type of music are you listening to?

I'm pretty well certain that with the speaker running 100WRMS @ 4Ohms with the gain and frequencies set right will sound just as good / loud or even better than running at 200. The only thing I'm not sure about is running 2 sets at 2Ohms.

Usually with an amplifier, if you half the resistance you double the power (in theory and on paper). So if you actually do the maths the Alpine amp should produce 200WRMS per channel at 2Ohms and when you finish off the calculations (provided the speakers are in parrallel and they are all 4Ohm voice coils) they'll each receive 100WRMS.

The thing is that the specs on the amp still says it only produces 100WRMS at 2Ohms so I have no idea what it'll sound like. Idealy it would be best to run your speakers at 4Ohms and amp each one but that can start to get expensive. Subs are usually fine to run at lower resistance (2-1-0.5Ohms) but for mid tops I try and wire it with a higher impedance (4-8Ohms) if the amp will handle it.

If you just wanted to have a go and see if running two sets of JL's per channel drops the noise much you could always hook up a set of cabins to the towers. If when you stand behind the boat you can't tell much of a difference from just running the towers on the amp then it should run two sets on the tower fine. If it isn't as loud running the set in the boat at the same time, then the tower speakers aren't receiving the same power they were when they were by themselves and it won't be as loud as it could be.... Just a thought.

Thanks heaps for letting me know how you go.. Can't wait.

CantRepeat
02-14-2011, 11:42 AM
Sorry it took so long to get back to this.

The Alpine amp sounded prefect with two tower and two cabin speakers on it.

Here's link to a great tuning guide for JL Amps. I'm trying to find a simular one for Alpine.

http://mobile.jlaudio.com/pdfs/gainSetting.pdf

And here's a link to a free test tone CD

http://binkster.net/extras.shtml

Thrall
02-14-2011, 03:26 PM
One thing I did find that was kind of shady. The boat had 7 speakers running off of a 6 channel amp. The sub and tower speakers were on their own channel but all 4 cabin speakers were running of channels 1 and 2. Seems pretty weak to me and I don't understand why MC would do that.

I'm not sure why MC cheaps out on powering all the high quality speakers they put in the boats, but my OE setup on my X2 was equally as crappy. 4 cockpit speakers driven off the head unit and 75W/ch to the 2 tower speakers. Oh and after I bought all the wiring for my new stereo setup I found that the nice 6ga wire to the little amp was about a 30' long spool tucked away in the gunnels! (There was about $60 worth of amp wire I wouldn't have needed)
One suggestion is to get more out of your 6450 amp. Run 1 channel each to your front cockpit speakers and bridge 2 channels each for your 2 rear cockpit speakers. The JL speakers will handle the power and sound much better in the rear part of the cockpit. I did this with my M6600 JL amp and it sounds good and is not very taxing on the amp. Try that before you buy 2 more speakers to use up your "extra" channels. And get a mono amp for your sub, couple hundred bucks only.
Then you can use that Alpine 4.100 amp for the tower speakers. Bridge 2 channels to each JL tower speaker and then tune the gain on that amp to where it won't blow the speakers. It won't sound like a pair of Pro 80's, but it'll be a WHOLE LOT BETTER than the measly 75W/ch you were throwing at them before. Plus that Alpine amp will have enough juice to push 2 Pro80s (bridged of course) if you choose to upgrade speakers.

CantRepeat
02-14-2011, 04:37 PM
Thanks Thrall.

I'm already looking at next winters projects... does that suck or what?

But really. I'm starting to lean towards some XM7s now. Now that I've heard the system I can get a better idea of what I think a sweet listen system would be.

What might end up in the boat next year.

3 sets of 7.7s running off of the 5450
2 sets of XM7s running of the 4.100 (I don't think I really need more here)
1 sub running of of a mono JL amp, probably the 600/1

With the last round of testing I found the tower speakers to sound clearer with just 100w unbridge compared to 200w bridge with gains set. I'm sure the XM7s would handle more but I really don't need it that loud.

And, what a beautiful day it was today. Good Lord, bring on the spring!

And here is a video with the transom remote installed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDZ5ZptwrvA

ColdTurkey
02-14-2011, 08:16 PM
Nice singing in the vid :D

Mate that's great you've got it done (for the moment)

Have you tried cranking it up when you're out on the rope yet?

CantRepeat
02-14-2011, 08:24 PM
Nice singing in the vid :D

Mate that's great you've got it done (for the moment)

Have you tried cranking it up when you're out on the rope yet?

Wont be out on the rope for a few yet. I would think the soonest I'd get in the water would be April. Trouble with me is I know there is hot weather coming so I wont suffer just to ride.

ColdTurkey
02-15-2011, 05:04 PM
I forgot you guys can't ride year round.. Best part about living close to the equator. :)

BNIROOSTER
02-16-2011, 04:41 PM
Well, I went ahead and placed an order for the head unit, the remotes and a PDX-4.100m amp. Figured I'd run the old clarion amp on the cabin speakers and move the tower speakers to the new Alpine amp. Then if that isn't loud enough I change out the speakers.

I don't want to be that guy, but if that guy anchors next to me I want a chance to hear my music, not his.

LOL....Did you just call me "that guy"?

CantRepeat
02-16-2011, 04:58 PM
LOL....Did you just call me "that guy"?

More then likely, lol.

BNIROOSTER
02-17-2011, 04:37 PM
More then likely, lol.

If you cant feel it when you are on a board, then it's not loud enough!!!

craig3972
02-18-2011, 02:12 AM
[QUOTE=CantRepeat;728212]F
The 118M is awesome! It has preouts for front, rear, sub and "zone 2". I've got the tower on zone 2. On the head unit and the remotes there is a button that is labeled all, zone1, and zone 2. You can adjust the volume on any one zone or both. The really cool part is say, if you set zone 1 to level 5 and zone 2 to level 10 and then switch to all it adjust the volumes equally. IE bump it up 5 points and zone 1 goes to 10 and zone 2 will go to 15.QUOTE]

Just had some comments and questions about the 118M before i decide to purchase. The other Alipine marine deck is the CDA-9886M which has 2 preout channels and one sub preout all at 4volts. the 118M is only 2 volts on 3 channels and 1 sub preout. anybody find that their gains are maxed out on their amps with only 2volts? the extra zone is a genius idea but would like to see them all at 4volts.

Alipine - you went after the marine market buy copying the Clarion Din 1.8 size deck, why didnt you make the remote control the same diameter so it would be an easy fit for OEM conversion. And.... when are we going to see a real wired remote from Alpine, so we dont have to deal with the RF loosey goosey control over the deck. - ranting, sorry

CantRepeat
02-18-2011, 08:46 AM
My gains are still set at half way and it will get louder then I want to hear it at.

CantRepeat
02-27-2011, 12:53 PM
Another good site for sine-wave files

http://www.realmofexcursion.com/downloads.htm

1985 Skiier
02-27-2011, 01:57 PM
Nothing special, got my amp panel done today.

http://www.mikesell.net/images/boat/amps.jpg

Did this in black vinyl as well.

One thing I did find that was kind of shady. The boat had 7 speakers running off of a 6 channel amp. The sub and tower speakers were on their own channel but all 4 cabin speakers were running of channels 1 and 2. Seems pretty weak to me and I don't understand why MC would do that.

It was set up like that because it is correct. Running two 4ohm speakers off of one channel of a 2ohm stable amp produces double the power. Which will run twice as many speakers. I am running 8 4ohm speakers off of a four chanel amp. It will have the same power to the speakers but you get to have twice the speakers:) It's all about the ohms

CantRepeat
02-27-2011, 07:40 PM
It was set up like that because it is correct. Running two 4ohm speakers off of one channel of a 2ohm stable amp produces double the power. Which will run twice as many speakers. I am running 8 4ohm speakers off of a four chanel amp. It will have the same power to the speakers but you get to have twice the speakers:) It's all about the ohms


No, it is not correct. It doesn't give double the power even at 2ohms power.

CantRepeat
02-27-2011, 07:43 PM
45 @ 4 and 75 @ 2 is not double the power... and that's in the best case systems... moreover it less then that so @ 2ohms it's more like 65 a channel and then divide that by 4 instead of 2 and you are at like 35 per which is far below what these speakers can use and moreover what they need or can handle.

Fact is, MC under powers the speakers and if you put a clean 100 watts rms to them they sound excellent.

ColdTurkey
03-01-2011, 04:25 PM
You're both right really. An amp will produce more power when it's running two ohm (if it is capable) but that power is equally divided amongst the speakers as cantrepeat said.

If you were running a very powerful amp so that you had tons of amped head room then running two sets per channel is ok, but your sound quality will more than likely suffer.

If you want the best sounding system then you're better off amping each channel and running higher ohms. Professional equipment can go as high as 32 ohms.

The most common application for running 2 ohms is sub woofers where sound quality is not as important.

Cantrepeat, I noticed that you were thinking of running a 600 watt amp for your sub. I would rethink that amp choice if you're only going to amp the one sub. That amp would be good to wire up two but will be too much power for one. Don't forget that your JL sub is running as an infinite baffle setup with tons of excursion and that if you overpower it you'll probably bottom out the VC and eventually, bye bye. 300 RMS would be tons for that sub..... trust me. You should try wiring her up to the 200 your Alpine amps 3,4 channel produces, you might even find that is enough for what you want.