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View Full Version : Attn AUDIO GURUs, I need your help....


RobertT
06-02-2006, 11:30 AM
Here is the dealio....I will make it as short as possible. Virtual beers to anyone who can help a fellow TT guy out.

X7, with stock Clarion head unit (with preamps out ). It came with the stock 10" Clarion sub in the drivers kick panel, and the Clarion stock amp that was used to drive both the sub and the stock cabin speakers.

I think it is this one...

http://www.clarionmarine.com/us/en/products/2005/marine/amplifires/APX480M/us-en-product-pf_1132804243615.html

I do know that it is a 4/3/2 channel amp, and that it is 2ohm stable. Again, it was the stock amp.

Thats what came with the boat
__________________________________________________ _______

To this I have added:

On the tower: 4 Polk MOMO 6x9 3 way speakers. These are on the tower in an enclosure. I have two pair of speaker wires ran into the enclosure. I took the two left speakers and wired them in series (I think its series, positive from amp to positive of speaker 1, negative from speaker 1 to positive from speaker 2, negative from speaker 2 to negative from amp). Same with the right. Two sets of wires, each driving two of the Momos.

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

Also, I added another amp, it is a 350 watt 2 channel amp that is mono capable. I was told it was intended to drive two subs.

Lastly, I have added another 10" free air Polk sub in the observers area in a box.

__________________________________________________ _________


Its wired so goofy I cant even stand it.

The question is...how would you wire this up? I do not want to add another amp at this time. Also, I am willing to dump the second sub if needed, it was an afterthought. Crisp clear sound over thumping!

My thoughts were to wire both subs to the 350watt sub amp. Should I put each on a channel?

Second, I thought I would take the front two channels of the stock amp and use them for the house cabin speakers. Bridged together?

Lastly, the rear channels of the stock 2 ohm stable amp would be used to drive the tower speakers. Bridged? Separate? Standard left right?

Lastly, if needed, I guess I could just let the head unit power the cabin speakers and use the entire 4 channel amp to drive the tower speakers, but I dont like the idea of that. The tower speakers throw most of the sound back....we want it loud and clear in the boat.



The intent is not to have VERY loud music, its to get very crisp clean music. 90% of the time we are only listening to music when anchored and swimming around the boat. While cruising around, I want it too.

I could care less about the wakeboarder behind the boat hearing music. If its that loud I am going to piss off the neighbors anyway.


Help guys, I am kind of lost and could use some help here. I spent a decent penny on the components, and want to get the best out of them.


Once its wired up...then I have to learn how to set it all up. Gain, crossovers, grrrrrrr.

12 beers and my ipod can take care of that I am sure.

Ric
06-02-2006, 11:36 AM
yeesh that is alot but you know our gurus will be quick to help

all I can offer is that if you want clean sound, don't wire anything in series and also don't run free air "infinite baffle" subs.

the cleanest sub sound is from a sealed enclosure. good luck with that in an X7!! (I'm wrestling with the same dillemma there)

djhuff
06-02-2006, 11:43 AM
Easiest way, the amps will handle it. the 4 channel clarion should power the boat and tower. Channels 1 and 2 run the boat speakers wired in parallel (pos to pos, neg to neg). Channels 3 and 4 to the tower wired the same way. this means the amp will see a 2 ohm load on all channels. this is ok, but make sure you have good ventilation.

On the subs, run them on separate channels. the amp is stable at 2 ohms, but not when bridged. If you put a 2 ohm load on a bridged amp, the amp is essentially seeing 1 ohm.

Stay away from using the head unit to power anything. Hope this helps.

Diesel
06-02-2006, 11:52 AM
Dj has it right.

You will have to rewire the tower speaker so they are in parallel and not series like you currently have them.

For the subs, I would try it two different ways............wire them in series and bridge the amp down to 4 ohms (assuming the subs are 4 ohms). See how that sounds, then wire one sub to each channel run it stereo and see how that sounds. Pick the one you like the best. ;)

ttu
06-02-2006, 11:59 AM
Diesel, I can hear the engine hissing thru the speakers when the motor is on. What is wrong?

The stereo place here in Tulsa says I have to take it back up to them to fix the problem. Anything I can do to avoid that.

db

djhuff
06-02-2006, 12:01 PM
I would say it's a ground issue. Either the head unit or amp. I hate those problems.


Diesel, your relay setup is working wonderfully i might add. thanks for the idea.

Diesel
06-02-2006, 12:04 PM
Diesel, I can hear the engine hissing thru the speakers when the motor is on. What is wrong?

The stereo place here in Tulsa says I have to take it back up to them to fix the problem. Anything I can do to avoid that.

db

Which shop?

Hissing is usually a ground issue as DJ stated. I also could be a bad battery, alternator, or interference in the patch cables.

Diesel
06-02-2006, 12:04 PM
I would say it's a ground issue. Either the head unit or amp. I hate those problems.


Diesel, your relay setup is working wonderfully i might add. thanks for the idea.

Good to hear! The simplicity of it is what make the set up so great. :)

ttu
06-02-2006, 12:10 PM
Diesel, It was car toys on memorial. Recommended by Gene Daniels.

It was fine till they added the extra amp. Currently running a 4 channel and a 2.

They installed the 2 channel way in front of the kick plate where they put in the 13" sub...

Doug

zberger
06-02-2006, 12:44 PM
Diesel, I can hear the engine hissing thru the speakers when the motor is on. What is wrong?

The stereo place here in Tulsa says I have to take it back up to them to fix the problem. Anything I can do to avoid that.

db

Sounds like a grounding issue to me.. check your grounds :)

Diesel
06-02-2006, 01:24 PM
Diesel, It was car toys on memorial. Recommended by Gene Daniels.

It was fine till they added the extra amp. Currently running a 4 channel and a 2.

They installed the 2 channel way in front of the kick plate where they put in the 13" sub...

Doug

If you cannot figure it out call Andy at CarTrends on Memorial. He taught me most of what I know. Might have to leave a message since he works on boat installs up on Grand during the days. He will get you fixed up.

ttu
06-02-2006, 01:28 PM
Diesel, thanks.

That is where I was going to take in the beginning, but he had a tough time making a appt due to the spring time.

Doug

AZHAWK
06-02-2006, 01:30 PM
RobertT- I feel your pain bud. The stock set up is a complete mess.

Here is my two cents....eight speakers on that Clarion amp. will last maybe 10 mins. at volume before it shuts down and goes into protect mode. If you don't want to set fire to your boat then DO NOT run that amp at 1.5-2 ohms to eight speakers. :eek: In fact, if you want it to sound good and not have to replace your amp every three months, then I wouldn't suggest it period....no matter what amp your running.
Boat/Car audio amps. are more efficient and distortion levels are much lower if you stick to their 4 ohm load rating...'nuf said.

Here's the deal, you need a 4channel amp for the tower and a 4 channel amp for the boat! They will last longer and sound MUCH BETTER. Plus, setting it up this way allows you to fade front to back. Your Clarion head unit should have RCAs for the front/rear/and subs. Tower for the rear, boat speakers for the front. It is nice to be able to fade the tower on/off or apply more to one or the other. If you absolutely have to use the deck to power the boat speakers. Eventhough the deck does not put out that much power, it would probably sound better and last longer compared to the 8:1 config. As far as the sub goes, well, "free air" says it all. But I know you do not have much to work with on an X7. Hopefully, someone else with an 197/X7 will give us some advise on sub box enclosure options. The mono sub amp will power the sub/subs better than the stock Clarion. Plus it should have more adjustments so you can fine tune the sound of the sub/subs.

Good Luck and let me know if you need another amp! I have a two channel Clarion and a four Channel Clarion that I just took out the boat when I upgraded the system. PM me for details. -AZHAWK

PendO
06-02-2006, 02:36 PM
When it gets complex like that ... I'd opt for going to a car stereo place and seeing if you can have them come out and do it for you - that is how we rewired the X-star... In the 197 I only have 4 speakers + a sub and use the stock 4 channel amp ... the front channel's run the sub (channel 1) and two bow speakers (channel 2) and then the rear two channels (3 & 4) each go to their own speaker by the back seat ... when it came stock the sub was bridged and the front speakers were on channel 3 (paralell) and the rear speakers were on channel 4 (parallel) ... but that did not allow me to set the fronts and rears at different volume levels.

Diesel
06-02-2006, 03:57 PM
In fact, if you want it to sound good and not have to replace your amp every three months, then I wouldn't suggest it period....no matter what amp your running.
Boat/Car audio amps. are more efficient and distortion levels are much lower if you stick to their 4 ohm load rating...'nuf said.


Simply not true. Many amps are designed specifcally to deliver optimum efficiency at 2 ohms. Yes S/N ratio might suffer but is hardly an issue in the boating enviornment. A well built 4 channel amp can run a 2ohm stereo load all day long and deliver some serious power much more efficiently than two 4 channel amps.

Why go through all the trouble to add another amp, additional hardware, wiring, etc when a quality 4 channel will get the job done.

Byrdman
06-02-2006, 04:08 PM
FYI, when I hooked two amps to the "amp-on" blue wire, my Clarion 3 series head unit would play for a few min and then shut down. If this happens, run the amp-on to an aux on the dash.

RobertT
06-02-2006, 04:15 PM
Thanks everyone!!! That all makes sense. I have heard of several people running towers and cockpit speakers on that amp...if you get tower speakers from the factory I assume they put EVERYTHING on that amp.

Having that said, it already doesn't mind shutting down after a high volume swim fest so although it may take it I also don't want to push it.

Regarding the sub....I just got some audio work done on my truck and they told me that in about two months Alpine will come out with a sealed sub made for shallow installations that will only take 5" to install. Its a sealed sub. We will see.

At this point I have two options. Run the tower off of the amp and the house speakers off the head unit, or run everything off of the amp but wire them so that the amp is seeing 4 ohms....do I have that right.

The trade off is sound quality I assume, at 2 ohm its better quality right? 4 ohm is higher volume yet less quality, right?

Man, this stuff does get confusing but I love it. I actually enjoy sitting on my head with the seat base breaking my lower spine with my headlight on cursing not having the right tool in my hand:)

I actually have another amp, but I don't know where I could mount it. If I do add it, I think i will start over and mount a piece of plexiglass on the left side and use it to mount everything.....

For now, hook it up to all 8 or don't risk it??? Also, getting back into the enclosure will be a pain. Leaving it hooked up in series will add to the resistance and actually keep things cooler....right?

JimN
06-02-2006, 04:19 PM
Hissing is a gain issue, not grounding. Grounding issues usually show up as whining with the motor on and the pitch rises with RPM, or clicks and pops when contacts are made or broken, like when switches and relays are latched.

There's no reason to waste an accessory switch when a Bosch style relay will do the job. Trigger the relay with the blue lead and run 12V to all of the turn on terminals through the relay. This way, you don't ever need to wonder why the amps aren't turning on due to forgetting that another switch must be used.

jmyers
06-02-2006, 04:23 PM
Thanks everyone!!! That all makes sense. I have heard of several people running towers and cockpit speakers on that amp...if you get tower speakers from the factory I assume they put EVERYTHING on that amp.

Having that said, it already doesn't mind shutting down after a high volume swim fest so although it may take it I also don't want to push it.

Regarding the sub....I just got some audio work done on my truck and they told me that in about two months Alpine will come out with a sealed sub made for shallow installations that will only take 5" to install. Its a sealed sub. We will see.

At this point I have two options. Run the tower off of the amp and the house speakers off the head unit, or run everything off of the amp but wire them so that the amp is seeing 4 ohms....do I have that right.

The trade off is sound quality I assume, at 2 ohm its better quality right? 4 ohm is higher volume yet less quality, right?

Man, this stuff does get confusing but I love it. I actually enjoy sitting on my head with the seat base breaking my lower spine with my headlight on cursing not having the right tool in my hand:)

I actually have another amp, but I don't know where I could mount it. If I do add it, I think i will start over and mount a piece of plexiglass on the left side and use it to mount everything.....

For now, hook it up to all 8 or don't risk it??? Also, getting back into the enclosure will be a pain. Leaving it hooked up in series will add to the resistance and actually keep things cooler....right?
Robert, just in case you go with 3 amps this is where mine are, works great!

OhioProstar
06-02-2006, 04:56 PM
Make sure all wiring is upgraded to support the extra load you will be putting on the amp. I don't know what the factory ships with, but you will want at least 8 gauge running to the amp depending on how close to the battery you have the amp mounted. I would probably use a 4gauge fused line into a distribution block next to the amp for both + & -.

RobertT
06-02-2006, 05:09 PM
Make sure all wiring is upgraded to support the extra load you will be putting on the amp. I don't know what the factory ships with, but you will want at least 8 gauge running to the amp depending on how close to the battery you have the amp mounted. I would probably use a 4gauge fused line into a distribution block next to the amp for both + & -.

Got that. I ran a 4 gauge fused line into a distribution block. I only ran a 8 gauge ground with no fuse (why would you protect the negative??), because we ran out of wire. I know, not good.

I ran two pair of 14guage high quality speaker wires up to the tower, the remainder of the speaker wire all came with the boat.

JimN
06-02-2006, 06:04 PM
You're definitely going to need to upgrade the ground since 4 ga has 4 times the cross sectional area of 8 ga and all power supply voltage and current carrying capacity is referenced to the battery (-).

Why protect the negative? Because it's still possible for something weird to happen and have the positive short directly to the ground lead. In most applications, fusing the negative isn't done and technically, by adding connection points, it increases the possibility of voltage drops due to corrosion and loose connections.

You did protect the 4 ga lead within 12" of the battery, right?

AZHAWK
06-02-2006, 09:19 PM
Simply not true. Many amps are designed specifcally to deliver optimum efficiency at 2 ohms. Yes S/N ratio might suffer but is hardly an issue in the boating enviornment. A well built 4 channel amp can run a 2ohm stereo load all day long and deliver some serious power much more efficiently than two 4 channel amps.

Why go through all the trouble to add another amp, additional hardware, wiring, etc when a quality 4 channel will get the job done.
Diesel- Isn't it true that this four channel amp is intended to run optimally at 4ohms? Are you saying that this amp produces a better/cleaner signal at a 2ohm load? Are you also saying that this amp will not have to work harder to push 8 speakers vs. 4 speakers(8 4ohm speakers recognized as 4 speakers/2ohms)? Efficiency is how hard an amp has to work to get the job done. Two men can lift a 200lb object more effieciently than one! Get the point!

Just check out it's specs.: (Clarion APX480)

640 Watts of Maximum Music Power
80W 4 Into 4 Ohms, 20Hz-20kHz @ .05%THD (optimum sound qual.)
115W 4 Into 2 Ohms, 20Hz-20kHz @ .2%THD (large THD increase)
Variable Bass Extender, 0-15dB @ 45Hz
Adjustable -12db/Oct. High/Low Pass Crossover, 55Hz-550Hz
Mixed Mode Operation
Conformal Coated Double Sided PCB
Fully Painted Non-Corrosive Aluminum Heat Sink
13″(W) 8 1/4″(D) 2 1/8″(H)

This Clarion amp is way overrated IMO. Note: these specs. must be max power output and not RMS.

Trust me on this one...I had four tower speakers and four boat speakers running parallel to this amp. It overheated everytime we went out and would shut down constantly. It was so hot that it would burn your hand to touch it. (Granted I live in Arizona) Not to mention that it sounded horrible at volume. The distortion increase was very noticeable. Remember louder isn't always better.... I disconnected the towers and ran just the 4 boat speakers and wallah no more issues. I actually shopped around to see if I could get an amp that would handle this load, eventhough I knew it would be a stretch. I called several of the top brand tech. support centers and nobody would recommend it, period. I missed my towers so I upgraded/added amplifiers to the system.

You are misleading folks into believing that an amp of this caliber can handle this abuse regularly without consequence. One tech. even told me, "Man, don't half a$$ your system... do it right and it will sound better and last longer". I agreed. Also, the only car/marine amplifiers that I was told that are designed to run fairly efficient at 2 ohms. are monoblock subwoofer amps. With all do respect, Diesel, you might be confused. ;) - AZHAWK

Yah, you ARE confused...you sold your diesel for a gasser!!! :uglyhamme

Kell
06-02-2006, 10:36 PM
So with all of you rockers pumpin & upgrading your stock equipment, does anyone want to unload their stock clairon sub & amp? I've got the stock clairon in a 99 maristar, 6 speakers and an amp that is the size of a cd case (40 watts). :o

AZHAWK
06-02-2006, 10:52 PM
So with all of you rockers pumpin & upgrading your stock equipment, does anyone want to unload their stock clairon sub & amp? I've got the stock clairon in a 99 maristar, 6 speakers and an amp that is the size of a cd case (40 watts). :o
PM me for details... I have the factory Clarion sub, 2 amps and 4 tower speakers.