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Old 01-01-2014, 04:24 PM
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'99 Maristar audio upgrade planned, looking for feedback

I have a '99 Maristar with the factory Clarion head unit and speakers. The speakers are shot, two of the four are ripped; and the head unit often cuts out when cruising because the face plate doesn't make good contact with the unit. So I'm going to upgrade for the summer and I'm thinking if the following:

Clarion M502 head unit - I want iPod Bluetooth streaming, decent power and simple controls

JL MX650 6-1/2" speakers in the two bow and two cockpit locations.

I'm not planning on adding an amp now but my in the future, I live on a small lake and don't want to be the guy that makes too much noise and I really only use the radio to make background noise. I'd like to keep OEM brands to maintain the street value of the boat and not give the impression of the boat being heavily modified. I typically use the boat with the family and don't have a tower so I'm limited to what I can do as far as subs or cans.

Can anyone see a down side to my plan before I drop a few bucks on the equipment?
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:33 PM
MLA MLA is offline
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Quote:
I'm not planning on adding an amp now but my in the future, I live on a small lake and don't want to be the guy that makes too much noise
A 500 HP Corvette is only as fast as you want it to be. Stereo will only be as loud as you want it to be.

A small amp with a Little bit of power will improve the sound quality.

A 10" sub with just a little bit of power, will fill in those missing notes that the small 6.5" in-boats will not want to reproduce. Done right, it would not look like a crazy mod and should not detract form the value of the boat.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:15 PM
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Rossterman Rossterman is offline
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Polk 5000.5 amp or the clones (ppi,etc) will really make a big difference for a few hundred dollars. Class D are small and efficient.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:23 AM
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EarmarkMarine EarmarkMarine is offline
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I agree with what MLA said. And even if you don't do a sub, a small amp on the speakers can help add depth and dynamics to the music even at lower volumes. But if you do want to do a radio and speakers only, your list is a good one. The JL MX650 speakers are a great choice. The radio selection really comes down to features. You want BT, what about iPod control? Also consider a wired remote if you will want to control the radio from a location away from the radio (helm, transom, etc).
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:11 PM
bsloop bsloop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfie623 View Post
I have a '99 Maristar with the factory Clarion head unit and speakers.

I'd like to keep OEM brands to maintain the street value of the boat and not give the impression of the boat being heavily modified.

Can anyone see a down side to my plan before I drop a few bucks on the equipment?

Spoiler - this is a boat, not a rare car. Stock stereo is always a sound compromise at best. I have NEVER ran into a person that cared if the radio was stock or a stock brand.
If you run clean wires and do it correct, it may slightly INCREASE value now and the future. As long as you don't cut a lot of extra, odd sized holes that are poorly finished, there should not be a problem.
At 15 yrs, your stock speaker wire was probably undersized or corroded and would also benefit from a freshening.

Equipment choice is fine for the job described but I will Fourth; even a small amp will enhance you sound and not be a significant power draw.
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Last edited by bsloop; 01-02-2014 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:55 PM
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And I will be the 'Fifth' to recommend the addition of a small Class D external amplifier. Source unit power is always over-stated and if rated by the same method of a quality external amplifier, a typical HU would measure no more than an anemic 4 X 15 watts. Add to that the fact that power seems to flash evaporate in an open boat. But, it is not just a difference in percieved volume. It's also about sound quality at a moderate volume. If your quality music recording is good enough to have 18 dB dynamic range that is a 1 to 64 power ratio from background passages to foreground peaks. And you will interpret those extra power reserves as contrast and clarity. Only an external amplifier can do this on cruise control.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:58 AM
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Ok, you all have talked me into adding an amp. I'll start by replacing the head unit and speakers and I'll start amp shopping now.




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Old 01-04-2014, 10:36 AM
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Sonicelectronix has been my choice for many purchases as prices are excellent, online shopping is easy, and they ship promptly

http://www.sonicelectronix.com

Last edited by Rossterman; 01-04-2014 at 10:47 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2014, 07:29 PM
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Did more shopping and I think I've narrowed it down to the JL MX650 speakers (two in the front and two in the rear) and I'm thinking of adding a MX10IB sub and a JL amp to run all the speakers. I'm considering mourning the sub in the side panel of the passenger storage area. Anyone have any alternate ideas?
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:03 PM
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Underneath the drivers footwell. There might even be a hole already behind the carpet.
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