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View Full Version : New tower speaker/enclosure install complete....


RobertT
12-19-2005, 06:32 PM
As promised, I have taken a few pictures.

First, my intent was to get the highest quality components for the least possible amount of money and install them myself. I also wanted to show that anyone with virtually ANY mechanical ability can do something special to their boats without a lot of tools, stress, or professional help.

I can say, without hesitation, that this was a success.

First, like many of us, I purchased tower speakers aftermarket and put them on my boat. I had two cans, each with a total of two Kicker K60's in them. Great speakers. They really sounded great, a huge addition to my boat.

Keep in mind that we seldom use the speakers while riding, we use them mainly for when we are in the boat or are swimming around it. Three or four days a week during the summer we anchor up with friends in a cove and have a few beers and listen to music. I wanted something that would throw absolutely crystal clear music out to us swimming behind the boat yet. The Kicker speakers that I had in cans did a decent job, but the front mounted speakers were a mistake. They threw a lot of sound out front, and tended to piss people off that were elsewhere. They just were not a good idea. Nobody tends to be in front anyway.

The next need was that I wanted something special. Something that you don't see on every boat. Something that would set my boat off from the rest.

In the end, I also wanted to spend less than $600.00 on every single component.

To that end, it was also a success.

I searched long and hard for what I wanted in a speaker enclosure, or cans. As soon as I saw a well made fiberglass enclosure, I fell in love. Its different, clean, sexy looking, and hides all the wiring allowing me to use the Polk MOMO speakers that I want (that have individual crossovers for each speaker).

I found a guy on WakeWorld that would make me one. Super cool guy, that has a lot of stoke for boat owners and water lovers. The builders name is Brian, his email address is wakesquid420@yahoo.com. I am sure he does not mind me putting it here, if you guys have any questions about a custom enclosure shoot him an email.

He agreed to make me a custom enclosure for less than $300.00. The pictures are below.

Then I decided on the Polk Momo speakers. Because we use the speakers for crisp sound at lower volumes than most (we don't crank it up very much for those riding 80' back, although these would certainly do the job), I wanted something with full range. Something adjustable, that would sound great at low volumes hanging out down low with my wife or cranked way up loud while screaming across the lake.

I think I made a good choice, considering that those needs are at the opposite of the music spectrum as far as equipment needs.

Here is the link to the speakers I chose.

http://www.polkaudio.com/caraudio/products/speakers/oval/mmc690/

Lastly, a GREAT guy here on TT hooked my up with a few tower clamps.

All in all, I succeeded in sneaking out with less than $600.00 invested and less than three total hours of time put into the install.


Now onto the pictures.

RobertT
12-19-2005, 06:34 PM
On these pictures, please keep in mind that these are taken in my shop. Dirty as heck, these do not do the enclosure justice. I will look totally different on the lake, but this will give you an idea of what it took.

First, the before...

RobertT
12-19-2005, 06:45 PM
The enclosure that Squid made me came in a box, wrapped up with soft felt. It did not have a single blemish on it.

On average, I would guess that it was about 3/16th thick. Thicker than needed.

I had not done any fiberglass work before, so I decided to use this opportunity to glass in some supports. If you don't want to do this, I would simple take a little piece of wood and bondo it in. The fabricator told me that most people just use a little piece of plywood as a "washer" and nothing else. I agree, the unit is plenty strong. However, I like the idea of overdoing it and the glass work was very cheap and easy.

I just cut a few pieces of plywood, bought 10 bucks worth of fiberglass resin, hardener, and cloth (don't get the type shown, it sucks! Its stronger, but a mess. Get regular mat).

End result is a VERY strong bond. I have one piece under the wood, and two over. I used about a cup of resin for each.

RobertT
12-19-2005, 07:02 PM
Next I started cutting holes. I used a dremel tool for every single hole. Masking tape was used to make it easy, and to keep the unit scratch free.

I used an 1/8" bit in my dremel, then widened it out for the 3/8" x 2" hardened bolt that I bought at Home Depot to mount the tower clamps. I also used a fender washer, then a regular sized washer, then I used a nylock nut (also from Home Depot) to keep everything nice and tight through the vibration.

On the last picture you will see that I had to make a template of the speakers I was using and cut the holes a little bigger. Of the entire installation, that was the biggest pain.

If I had to do it over again, I would have mailed Brian the template of my speakers and had him make the hole the perfect size...even if it cost a few extra dollars. That would have really saved time and mess.

Live and learn. I probably could have enlarged the holes with a grinder, but didn't want to take the chance of damage...so it was slow going with a dremel and a grinding wheel.

RobertT
12-19-2005, 07:04 PM
With the holes cut, I mounted the crossovers which took all of five minutes. One of the great things about an enclosure like this is that you can hide all of the wires without a lot of problems. Just tuck it in and go. HUGE advantage in my opinion. If I ever want to change anything, its a matter of removing the left speaker and that's it. All of the connections were made in the left speaker location, the wires were plenty long. The last speaker went into place while up on the tower without any issue. I installed the other three on the bench.

RobertT
12-19-2005, 07:08 PM
End result.

These pictures really do not do it justice. The enclosure looks massive up there. It really fills things out, and adds a structure to a metal tower. It just looks...well...meaty.

On the water I am sure it will really set the boat off, and take away from some of the height of the tower. I keep a bimini up 100% of the time on the water, so this sitting on top will really fill in the void and make things look right in my opinion.

Thats it! Done! Off to the next install....five more LED lights and my shower.

AirJunky
12-19-2005, 07:46 PM
Nice setup, Robert! Bet it sounds as good as it looks!

One thing about your wiring....... if their "Just tuck it in and go", then you might find they rattle on the bottom of the enclosure as your driving. Kind of petty, but drove me a little crazy in a friend's boat. He ended up opening it back up & ziptieing them off to something so they didn't touch the inside of the enclosure.

quincyfirefighter
12-19-2005, 09:33 PM
RobertT, you must appreciate your music as much as I do. Nice looking setup. Great job man!!!!!!!!

zberger
12-20-2005, 03:54 AM
Probably would have been easier just to buy this..

http://www.12volt.com/archives/2005/images/022405_images/MXTowercombo.jpg
Crossfire has the answer to the extreme wakeboarders biggest problem — no tunes.

This marine application enclosure mounts up to your tower and delivers incredible sound to all those hanging at the end of your tow rope. Each enclosure is manufactured of high-strength poly-resin, and comes loaded with (4) high powered, stainless steel framed 6x9’s.

Each speaker comes protected with a heavy gauge metal grille, and UV coating to provide years of rock solid performance. Whether you’re looking to get your sound to all your rope riders or anyone hanging on the shore, look no further, the MX Tower is your solution.
And, since the marine environment is one of the most grueling and demanding environments that speakers are subjected to, Crossfire has stepped up to this challenge with the all new SX Marine Series.
Engineered and designed with the water environment in mind, each SX Marine speaker is constructed with a high strength, corrosion resistant stainless steel basket and UV coated composite cones.
Even the hardware provided is stainless steel! With quality and high standards, the SX Marine is a must for any boat owner. Available in either 6.5-inch or 6x9-inch.




I've used those Polk's before.. in a marine app.. they sound amazing. I had about 70 watts on them :)

Mag_Red
12-20-2005, 06:37 AM
:headbang: Nice set-up Robert!

Leroy
12-20-2005, 07:48 AM
Nice write up RobertT on a great project. I hate suggesting more work, but I would say copy/paste all of your posts/pictures and very worthy of going into the FAQ's!!

sand2snow22
12-20-2005, 08:05 AM
Nice set-up, looks very clean as well. Very rewarding to see the finished product :headbang:

RobertT
12-20-2005, 08:31 AM
Thanks guys.

Yes, I realize there are many other options, and other options that are simply bolt on.

I couldn't justify the cost for a 3k tower speaker system, and I actually needed a little mechanical therapy now and then.

I keep my boat in the rear portion of my warehouse at work, so I grab a beer out of the fridge one or two afternoons a year when I am ready to pull my hair out and go back and tinker for a few minutes.

It was worth it.

Diesel
12-20-2005, 10:15 AM
Looks great!!.........glad to see it completed and on the boat. Now if summer would just hurry up and get here!

zberger
12-20-2005, 11:41 AM
Thanks guys.

Yes, I realize there are many other options, and other options that are simply bolt on.

I couldn't justify the cost for a 3k tower speaker system, and I actually needed a little mechanical therapy now and then.

I keep my boat in the rear portion of my warehouse at work, so I grab a beer out of the fridge one or two afternoons a year when I am ready to pull my hair out and go back and tinker for a few minutes.

It was worth it.

I would have done it the way you did it too.. i just saw that and was like whoa.

or done some different cans.. the 6x9's with some good power should put out some good bass.

rodltg2
12-20-2005, 12:28 PM
yes, nice job robert. i have those same cans you used two have on my houseboat. they actaully sound pretty good for how cheap they are. im sure your new set uo sounds much better.

RobertT
12-20-2005, 01:18 PM
Yea, the old ones do sound great. I know it will look obnoxious, but I am going to find a way to mount the old ones to the canopy of my pontoon boat. Front/back speakers seem to be custom made for that application.

rodltg2
12-20-2005, 02:23 PM
yep, they dont look great on my houseboat, but the houseboat is not a looker anyway.

baedriver
12-20-2005, 03:28 PM
Looks great nice job!

SteveO
12-23-2005, 08:17 AM
Nice work Robert. What do you have powering the new set up?

RobertT
12-23-2005, 09:07 AM
Well, its not ideal, but....

I bought a carpeted enclosure for almost nothing at walmart, because it fit PERFECT in the observers seat area. It was almost scary, it was like it was made for it. My friend has a few high end Polk subs. I got a 400watt amp to drive the stock sub and the second sub. That left me with the stock 4 channel amp to drive the tower speakers and the cockpit speakers.

I put the cockpit speakers on the rear, and the tower speakers on the front channel of the amp.

With these new tower speakers, I may be better off using the amp for the tower speakers only, and driving the cockpit speakers with the head unit.

Don't know, still playing with it. I don't know much about this stuff, and didn't know anything about it until a few months ago.

Its a fun project, and also allows me to learn quite a bit.

The sound is currently fantastic. It is so loud at 3/4 volume that it hurts to be in the area. I could not EVER imagine cranking it up past that volume to listen to music. No distortion either at that level.

The only problem that I have is that one or two of the cockpit speakers gets a loud POP when you have it cranked up, and a loud note hits. I will try to adjust the gain down on the cockpit speakers to get rid of that.

AIRCANX09
12-24-2005, 09:14 AM
How heavy does your speakers make the tower, meaning is it still a one man job when you put up/take down?