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Old 08-31-2010, 10:26 AM
fstaslp fstaslp is offline
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Marine Audio Questions

I am looking to get some info on marine systems. I have built car systems before, but the water makes me nervous.

Currently my boat has the following:
6- Stock white clarion 6.5" speakers
4- Tower speakers, I think they are fusion, but I am going to double check it this weekend.

There are two amps running everything. Right now, I am getting a lot of distortion, especially out of the towers. I am going to work on tuning it while on the water to see what I can clean up. I was also thinking of installing bass blockers on the boat speakers.

I want to install a sub, but I am not sure what kind of power I will need. I don't want to send ripples off the hull, but I need to fill it out. Do you guys prefer subs in boxes under the seats or mounted in the wall under the dash?

For the record, the boat is a 1998 Maristar 230vrs. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:35 AM
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Gofast Gofast is offline
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Subs

I mounted one of my subs under the dash because of space. It's a good spot, can't store things there and it leaves other area's of the boat open for amps. Make sure your amp has enough power to drive the sub. The more the better then you can adjust the gain down on the amp when tuning. Search on stereo's, lot's of good setups have been documented here. It will give you great ideas on mounting etc.

Enjoy

Rob
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:54 PM
Cobra Rob Cobra Rob is offline
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More power is pretty much the universal answer. The speakers come WAY under powered. I just upgraded about 2 weeks ago. Put in more amps to where I am driving 150x4 to the 4 tower speakers and 150x4 to the boat. The subs are in a box right behind the drivers seat (X-45), I lost that space but there is plenty of storage on the boat. 3 - 10" driven by 1500x1. I did not even change the speakers on tower or boat and it is a million times better.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:01 PM
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Prostar19 Prostar19 is offline
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you should not need bass blockers as the amps have built in crossovers. You should be able to adjust everything from the amp. I use a 4 channel for the tower that I wired to a seperate switch on the dash so I can turn it on and off. I use a 4 channel for the cockpit speakers also on a switch and a mono block amp for the sub. Works great. You may want to upgrade to the JL Audio amps. You probably have the Clarions...
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:27 PM
fstaslp fstaslp is offline
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Good info so far. I like the idea of putting the tower on a switch. I will check into the setup more this weekend. Thanks everyone. Keep it coming.
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2010, 05:19 PM
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etduc etduc is offline
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As to distortion....
Check your gain dial switches, bet their turned-up to max. (Assuming, your speakers aren't out of phase.)

Most turn the gain, up way to far, or all the way. Usually, in an effort to get volume, or thinking they aren't using all their available wattage. What happens, you get distortation starts at low volume, masks the music. Goggle, how to set amp gain.

As to factory Clarion speakers, I just replaced my 1994 version Clarions, with Polk MM. Big difference. Also, changed ground and power leads, to head unit. (Factory wire was 24Ga. The ground wire, also grounded all guages. Head unit is now powered/grounded separately, from guages.)

My stereo is modest, compared to many who post here, but I have a very clean sound. (New Clarion head unit) about to install a mini- subwoofer, because Barry White needs the lows.

Clean sound carries very far, so turn down the volume. Enjoy.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:26 PM
fstaslp fstaslp is offline
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I will look into the settings this weekend when I am down there.

Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2010, 06:00 PM
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BNIROOSTER BNIROOSTER is offline
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I wouldn't recommend putting anything in your stereo system on a rocker switch, it is just one of many places distortion/noise can originate from. There is a reason that head units come with remote turn ons! And while I'm on the subject of head units...this is a good place to start when looking for noise culprits. If you are going to put any money into your system this is the first place you should start. Buy a high quality unit like alpine or kenwood. Most alpine head units have a 4v output sensitivity on the RCAs, which means that you will be getting a higher quality signal to the amps. If you are just hunting the cause of the noise, start by making sure all your amps and other components grounds are located in the same place, such as a gound distribution block. It is also a good idea to use a power distribution block as well for ALL of your sources. On the distortion issue, start by turning all your amps gains down to 0, along with any settings on your head unit. Then unplug all the RCA cables from all the amps except for one. Ensure that the gain is at zero on this amp and that the crossover is at between 80 hz and 100 hz (assuming that you are not tuning the sub and just the mids) then turn the volume on the head unit to 85% of max. Slowly turn the gain up on the amp until it starts to distort, then back it off until the distortion goes away. This is now your max setting that you should ever go.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:03 PM
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BNIROOSTER BNIROOSTER is offline
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Sorry, I forgot to address your sub question. I prefer to use a sealed box enclosure over a free air sub. In most cases you will get better/tighter sound from a sealed box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fstaslp View Post
I am looking to get some info on marine systems. I have built car systems before, but the water makes me nervous.

Currently my boat has the following:
6- Stock white clarion 6.5" speakers
4- Tower speakers, I think they are fusion, but I am going to double check it this weekend.

There are two amps running everything. Right now, I am getting a lot of distortion, especially out of the towers. I am going to work on tuning it while on the water to see what I can clean up. I was also thinking of installing bass blockers on the boat speakers.

I want to install a sub, but I am not sure what kind of power I will need. I don't want to send ripples off the hull, but I need to fill it out. Do you guys prefer subs in boxes under the seats or mounted in the wall under the dash?

For the record, the boat is a 1998 Maristar 230vrs. Thanks in advance.
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2010, 06:14 PM
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bnixon bnixon is offline
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I bet you will find the same issue I have with my stock clarion speakers in my 2001 X10. If you pull off the plastic covers you will find out that the cones are paper and are no longer the shape of a normal speaker. These speakers were a terrible design for a boat! They get destroyed by the water and UV rays of the sun. When you are in the boat next check the cones of the speakers, the covers just twist and pop off. I will be replacing mine this winter! I would also recommend going with and sub enclosure rather that a free air sub. The sound will be much tighter/cleaner. This will also protect the back of the speaker from objects in the storage compartment from damaging the cone.

I also belileve more power is better. Most speaker distortion is from them being under powered and over driven.
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