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Old 08-23-2015, 08:16 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Help Understanding Configuration Options

So I've always wondered why my sound system sounded so bad when on face value it should be quite the kicker. I bought the boat used some 6 years ago and have never been able to make it sound even remotely as good as my car which has the standard upgrade Ford sound system. Yesterday while waiting for my guests to arrive I decided to crawl under the passenger dash to take a look to see what I had and was really shocked with what I found.

To level set the PO was very proud to tell me that he had upgraded the stereo with $3K and parts in labor from a professional car audio shop which should had set off the warning bells to start with. For that he got a Wet Sounds Double Up package (a pair of Pro 80's and a pair of Pro 60's) being driven by a Pioneer car amp of some sort (I will document more today).

The house speakers and sub are the standard MC set up for an X2 being powered by what I'm thinking is the standard 4 channel JL Audio amp. And this is where things get interesting. From what I can tell channels 1 and 2 are powering the 4 speakers and channels 3 and 4 are bridged powering the sub. Would this be a normal set up? I plan to take pictures of this to see if what I'm seeing makes sense.

The head unit is a Clarion CMD8 which is wired in using the factory harness. There are only 4 pre outs on the CMD8 labeled front right, left and sub right, left. The 2 labeled front went to the JL amp channels 1 and 2 and the sub outputs when to the Pioneer.

When I looked at the JL amp the output settings were set so that the input of channels 1&2 went to the input of channels 3&4. What I noticed yesterday was that all sounds were playing through my sub. When I switched the JL to discreet mode the sub was still playing all sounds, the right channel went dead and the left was playing normally.

And hits keep coming. I looked at the Pioneer tower amp and noticed all the low pass filters were on. When I turned them off only bass was playing through the tower speakers at a very low volume.

To try and get some kind working system for the day I ran the sub outputs from the CMD8 to channels 3&4 of the JL amp and the front R&L outputs from the CMD8 to the tower speakers. It was the absolute best the system has sounded.

I know there is a lot of moving parts here but can anyone understand the mess I have and recommend what I should do to get this system up and running again?
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:23 AM
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David Analog David Analog is offline
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If you have triple RCA outputs on the HU then use them to drive the front two channels of the JL Audio amplifier = HU front RCA out, Pioneer tower amplifier = HU rear RCA out, Rear two bridged channels of the JL Audio amplifier = HU sub RCA out.
Front channels of the JL Audio amplifier = Highpass.
Rear channels of the JL Audio amplifier = Lowpass.
Pioneer tower amplifier = Highpass.
For the more detailed settings you need to obtain and review the manuals for the HU and both amplifiers.
You could probably use more power and with that probably an upgrade in supply cable and distribution.
The Double-Up needs a lot of power to perform up to potential at surf range, perhaps a conservative 150 watts per each Pro60 and a conservative 200 watts per each MB8. So a four channels by some configuration is recommended. Once correctly powered, performance at surf range should be very good, but never exceptionally strong at wake range since your volume will mostly be generated by a single pair of 6.5" HLCDs. For example, a single pair of Rev10s are stronger in every aspect than the four pods of a Double-Up.
It would also help to have a channel per each in-boat speaker. A pair in the bow has no benefit to the cockpit occupants. One pair in the cockpit is lean.
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:59 PM
MLA MLA is offline
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The CMD8 will have 3 pairs of audio outputs: Front R&L has gray leads, rear R&L has black leads and non-fade L&R has purple leads. The non-fade has an adjustable output level.

Its not uncommon to see two pair of speakers and a sub on a 4 chnl amp, but it seems more common for a factory MC setup to be using 6 chnl or 5 chnl, depending on the year.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:18 AM
curver900 curver900 is offline
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"To level set the PO was very proud to tell me that he had upgraded the stereo with $3K and parts in labor from a professional car audio shop which should had set off the warning bells to start with. For that he got a Wet Sounds Double Up package (a pair of Pro 80's and a pair of Pro 60's) being driven by a Pioneer car amp of some sort (I will document more today)."

mine was a "2k upgrade" well now I know what $2k buys you... some drop outs that don't know how to run wire... I am sure the "professional" was from Best buy or more likely some buddy he knew that said he could do it ... for "cash"

You have already received great advice!!!
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:27 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Dave/MLA thank you for your response, both are very helpful.

So this is what I found after working on the system most of the morning. The wiring is a mess (big surprise right?). I'll start on the Clarion.....

I don't have 3 pairs of audio outputs, at least not that I saw and I was under the dash for quite some time. I have 3 sets of RCA jacks, AUX, Front R&L and SUB R&L. I also have a connector for Sirius and a block connector that goes to the factory wiring. Only a few of the wires in the block are used (looks like power and ground for the head unit) and not any of the speaker outputs. The outputs I'm seeing would seem to be confirmed by the specifications on the Clarion site for the CMD8.

Watertight Flip Down Console
Meets or Exceeds ASTM B117 (Salt/Fog Exposure)
Meets or Exceeds ASTM D4329 (UV Exposure)
Humi Seal Coated PCB
CD/MP3/WMA Playback
Rear USB Port
Pandora® Control via USB iPod/iPhone App
2-Channel RCA Audio Auxiliary Inputs
SiriusXM Satellite Radio Tuner Ready (SXV200)
4-Channel / 2-Volt RCA Output (Front + Rear/Subwoofer)
45 Watts x 4 Built-In Amplifier
Built-in High Pass and Low Pass Filters
Beat EQ for Sound Adjustment
Magna Bass EX Sound Enhancement
Wired remote ready with Optional MW1/MW2/MW4
Wireless Remote Control Ready with Optional RCX001
Wireless RF Marine Remote Control Ready with Optional MF1 Remote Kit

The output side of the JL amp is wired as MLA states with the front and rear speakers wired in parallel, left and right. The sub is bridged across channels 3 and four.

Below are the pictures I took of my set up.....
Attached Images
  
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:56 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Sorry about the mess with the pictures. The second one was rotated correctly on my computer when I uploaded it. Also never had issues with picture size before and now do, hmmmmm.

So it looks like I may have gotten myself into trouble messing with all the CMD8 setting as they let you put high and low filters on from the head unit and I know I messed with this. Looks like I need to make some changes based on Dave's recommendations.....

If you have triple RCA outputs on the HU then use them to drive the front two channels of the JL

I only have 2 RCA outputs and will need to use a splitter to get the additional outputs. I bought these yesterday so I now have three sets of outputs on the head unit. Unfortunately I installed them on the Front L&R outputs. These are currently feeding the tower (Pioneer) amp and channels 1 and 2 on the JL amp. I can switch this over next time I'm at the boat.

Audio amplifier = HU front RCA out, Pioneer tower amplifier = HU rear RCA out, Rear two bridged channels of the JL Audio amplifier = HU sub RCA out.

I think what you're saying here is to run the tower and sub off the outputs marked RCA SUB/Rear. Per above comment I can get this done next time I'm at the boat.

Front channels of the JL Audio amplifier = Highpass.

I actually stumbled on to this setting and that's where they are right now. Even a broke clock is right twice a day, lucky me. BTW when running the amp in low pass or Off I lost my right channel. Bad or failing amp?

Rear channels of the JL Audio amplifier = Lowpass.

Got this one right too by the end of the day. Messed a bit with the sensitivity but have no clue what I'm doing there.

Pioneer tower amplifier = Highpass.

Have no clue where this is currently set. I'll get out the manual and check the setting on the amp next time I'm at the boat.

So I do have some other setting questions.......

Where should my filters be set for 1&2 and 3&4 on the rotary dial (50-200)?

Do I need both left and right sub inputs as I have it set up now?

Should I be using the Bass Boost setting on the amp to combine channels 3&4 as stated on the back of the amp? Right now I have it running off.

Have no clue what Pre-Outs From setting is for.

I'm currently CH 3&4 Input Discrete which sounds best. Is this correct?

By the comments from your responses it sounds like all filtering should be done at the amps and not the head unit. I'll go back and reset to factory settings and correct from there.

Thank you for all your help with this. I'm going to see if I can find the manual for the JL amp and try to learn more about what all these settings actually mean...... Bill
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:23 PM
MLA MLA is offline
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Well, I stand corrected. The CMD4, 4a and 5 had 3pair, the CDM6 had 4 pair. Looks like Clarion digressed with the 7 and 8, and the CMD9 is back to 3.

If it were I, me would run the front outputs to the JL amp. You may need to Y the left and right inputs, but I believe that amp has a mode switch that will allow the amp to drive all chnls with only a single pair of RCA's in to the 1/2 chnls.

Use the rear/sub outputs to the tower amp. Make sure those rear outputs are set to "rear" as this will be a full range signal. "sub" sets them as a low-pass.

This setup would allow fading between in the in-boat zone and tower.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:05 PM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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That being the case I can see the magic they used to get this to work without the other set of RCAs going to the amp. Is there an advantage or difference to rerouting the input to channels 3&4 through the amp or running the additional cables? If not I'm thinking based on the posts above I may go with this configuration.....

Front RCA outputs from CMD8 R&L to CH !&2 on JL inputs. "Channel 1&2 Controls Filter Mode" set to HP (would still like recommendation on where to set the Filter Frez dial).

"CH 3&4 Input From" set to 1&2, "Ch 3&4 Bass Boost" set to On. Channel 3&4 Controls "Filter Mode" set to LP (would still like recommendation on where to set the Filter Frez dial).

Rear/Sub outputs set to default or full pass (whatever is the correct term here), connected to tower Pioneer amp. Pioneer amp set to HP.

This still leaves me wondering what Off on the filter Mode does and where would I use this setting. Am I running HP because I have the sub handling the low end?

While adjusting this I've notice at time the full range of music going through the Sub. I'm assuming this was because at some point I either had the filter off or in HP right?

Also I'm looking at running base boost to deliver a mono channel input to the Sub. Is this correct logic seeing that the channels are bridged and I only have a single sub?

Sorry for all the confused logic and questions as I try to get this straight in my head.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:58 PM
MLA MLA is offline
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OFF means full-range as in no filtering. If in low-pass and you are getting some vocals through the sub, your crossover is a little high is all.

Without a 3rd output to dedicate to the sub input, theres no real advantage to occupying those 3/4 inputs. Just let it pass through from the 1/2 inputs if the amps mode switch allows.

Last edited by MLA; 08-24-2015 at 04:15 PM.
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