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Old 09-21-2013, 09:20 AM
Coffeyman76 Coffeyman76 is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft, x45, 2006, 8.1L
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Tower Speaker Install, Lights and Amp Questions

Alright TT I have a few questions. I have searched the forums and honestly there are some varying answers (surprise) and several posts have degraded into all out brawls about ohms, bridging, etc. (another surprise). So I was hoping for a re-match!

I just purchased two tower cans and 7.7 JL speakers for my x45. The boat is equipped with 2 and the JL 600 amp running those, interior and sub. The tower is the 05/06 double ladder top so the speakers mount flush to the tower and have an small indentation in the can to allow for it. The current 2 speakers have forward facing lights built in that work fine. The tower does NOT have pre-existing cut-outs or marks for additional speakers and while I haven't dived into the wiring at the base of the tower just yet, it is highly unlikely that this was pre-wired for 2 additional speakers or additional lights so, my questions are:

1. Do you think the existing 600 amp is sufficient to run another set of tower speakers? The general theme is hell no but I wanted to confirm. If not, what would be the best amp for the money to purchase (I prefer factory type setups but not necessarily for an amp) and configuration (e.g. amp runs towers and sub another runs interior, etc.).

2. Has anyone completed a non-prepped tower speaker install on one of these towers? I am assuming I will have to pay $$$ out the arse for a cap from MC, but it looks like I will need to drill a sufficiently large enough hole in the top an bottom to get the bolt through the top and into the top of the can then the "cap" goes on. Any advice on this? It doesn't look easy at all.

3. Assuming there are no pre-wires, I will need to fish wires down. Also doesn't look easy. Guessing you take out all the fold down "bolts" and run a metal snake through. Currently at one of the fold down points the existing wires come out, into a harness and then back into the other side I assume to allow fold down/break down of the tower. I will probably replicate that setup unless advised otherwise. Any pointers on this would be great, especially at entry from the tower into the boat (port side bow or stern, etc.)

4. We wakesurf pretty late and also cruise at night so a decent set of rear facing lights for the rear deck and surf area would be awesome. That being said, I am not willing to lay down $750 for a pair of those bullet lights from MC, that is just stoooopid. Anyone have any decent aftermarket suggestions? I like the 3 and 5 light bars that are brushed to match the tower and mount on "top". Plenty look nice and just wanted to see if anyone has installed one / which one.

5. The wiring for lighting will be pretty straight forward I believe. Actually my thoughts were to tie into the existing nav light wiring at the harness through the tower but adding an in-line switch so I cut them on and off right above my head as needed.

Thanks in advance for all the answers and sorry for all the questions. I have tons of tips and stuff already bookmarked just trying to clarify and see where I might be going wrong before I even start the offseason project.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:01 AM
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tkemperdc tkemperdc is online now
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Boat: 2013 X Star, cute pumpkin motor, 2008 XStar LY6 (gone), 2006 X-15 (gone)
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I will look forward to seeing replies, I honestly have some similar questions about the lights, and I want to ad some speakers to my 08 Star.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:39 AM
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markmcfarland markmcfarland is offline
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Pictures of your tower would be helpful.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:54 AM
skitilldark skitilldark is offline
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I had speakers installed but my tower is far simpler than yours is and was fairly simple snaking the wires.

In my opinion the 600 amp will power everything but you will be putting a lot on it. I burned an amp out this past summer because I decided to run two subs with it instead of running one amp per sub. I ended up going back to the orignial config and it works well. i have my tower speakers on one amp, and 4-6.5 coaxials plus 2- 5" coaxials on one other amp. it works really well but with four amps i am pushing what the electronics in the boat can handle. Before you decide, I would seek out JImN on these boards and get his advice...he is very knowledgable about everything electrical.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:09 AM
Coffeyman76 Coffeyman76 is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Boat: MasterCraft, x45, 2006, 8.1L
Location: Southeast
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Getting ready to start this and just a bump for any other advice
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:52 AM
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dkidwell dkidwell is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Boat: 2006 X15
Location: Midwest
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by Coffeyman76 View Post
Getting ready to start this and just a bump for any other advice
I have an 06 x15 and just did the same install that you are considering. It is a time consuming job but.....Worth it if you take your time and plan ahead. I'm heading out for the lake this morning, for the weekend, so I'll try to give you some notes and pics that might hopefully help.

Notes of interest:
* You want to give the tower speakers all the power you can.
* I upgraded my power wires to 1ga from the battery.
* I am powering the cabin speakers and two IB subs with a MHD 900/5
* I am powering the 4 tower speakers with a MHD 600/4
* I used 16ga speaker wire for the tower speakers
* I have the factory tower speaker connectors if you want to purchase them. $10 shipped
* Another member has the factory caps for the tower. Great quality!
* I drilled an additional hole at both points on the tower for the 4 new speaker wires. The factory holes are too small for additional wires.
* Break the tower down in sections. Much easier to pull the wires this way.
* You will have LOTS of metal shavings when you drill! Place a cover down and keep a shop vac turned on while drilling, it helps.
* Measure more than once and drill slowly, not on high. Drill pilot holes first.

When you pull the new wires from the amp to the tower junction....mark and unhook the existing tower speaker wires from the amp, securely tape a single pull wire to the end and pull the wires back through the bottom leg, exposing only the single pull wire underneath the dash. The factory hole you will see under the dash was NOT made for 8 wires, so gently take a rat tail file and encourage the hole to be a little bigger, and be prepared for fiberglass dust. You can then tape the additional 4 wires to the opposite end of the pull wire and bring all 8 back down to the amp. You can pull the remaining sections of the tower this same way.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:09 AM
Coffeyman76 Coffeyman76 is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft, x45, 2006, 8.1L
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Dude that is great information, thank you! That is going to save me a ton of time and I am sure quite a few issues!

PM sent on the connectors!

Me without this information....
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:18 PM
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blackhawk blackhawk is offline
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Coffeyman76 - Any updates on your install? What amps did you use and how did you end up dividing the speakers up between amps?

CNC routing, Signs, Plaques, 3D carving/turning, Custom Millwork
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add tower speakers, speaker install

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