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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some help here. I bought a "Cigarette" style 26' off-shore boat and it needs an audio overhaul.

The problems I'm running into are:
1. Open, non-muffled exhaust
2. Supercharger whine
3. Open cabin, so I know I need tons of cone area.
4. Power supply.

So far the only thing I have picked out is the source, an Alpine iDA-X100M, and the only reason I am going this route is I am adding the marine remotes at the helm and on the transom.

I have done a convertible install before so I know the quirks of not having cabin gain, but where do I start?

I am going to run the cabin speakers off the head unit power, then run the amp remote to a dash switch so I can turn off the cockpit speakers and just have music in the cabin for overnighting.

I do want to use 2 10" marine IB subs in the rear bench, but everything else is up in the air.

Do I go 3-way active in the front, 2 way active/passive in the rear and then the subs? Do I go passive all the way around?

It is setup for dual batteries right now, but I have planned on running a starting battery on switch position 1, then going with a bank of batteries and an isolator on switch position 2.

Ideally I would be able to listen at speed running 65-80mph for a few hours, then listen with the engine off the rest of the day while on the hook, but still be able to start the boat. My storage facility does not have power available, so a solar maintainer, or be able to take the stereo batteries home during the week to put on a trickle charger.

I run solely in fresh water, store on the trailer, amps will be in the cabin so I don't need marine grade amps. The speakers will be open to the elements but will never see water on the cones just UVA/B rays.

Which direction would you go in if you were building this system?
 

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I would say passive is fine if you are keeping the drivers close to one-another. That's the beauty of active, its the control and individual processing potential inherent in the design. But if everything is kept in the right spot, a passive will do great just like it does in home audio.

I would suggest the amps stay marine-grade only because moisture is omni-present. Its not like they cost much more if anything. Epoxy-coated boards simply reduce any chance of moisture-born corrosion. I'd run marine-grade stuff in a convertible or jeep if I were doing the build.

The other thing I guess to think about is efficiency. That, and think in terms of large home audio thoughts. Virtually no cabin gain, but there's ways to do it still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is helping, so that really narrows down my amp choices to the marine versions of Alpine PDX or JL M/MHD Series.

The only marine speakers I have personal experience with are the JL Audio M770 components and the Polk Audio db6501.

The reason for looking at active is I wanted to mount the tweeters up higher, as the cut outs for the stock Clarions are about 16" off the floor. I also have a odd positioning of the port front driver. See pics for cockpit layout. These are stock photos and I don't have the component setup.


 

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You could also do Marine Bazooka MGA (Zeff designs, apparently, and liquid cooled optionally), Marine MB Quart, Marine JBL, Marine MTX, or Marine Clarion, just to think about a couple.

What do you think about horns?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not opposed to horns, I just don't have any first had experience with them, so I would have to audition a pair.

I was really looking to go over-the-top on this build, as we do a lot of tie-ups and hanging out at the docks. Going for a total show piece... I don't have a set time line or budget, and if it takes me all season to acquire the components and do the build next off-season, than so be it.

In the back of my mind I always had pictured a set of Dynaudio System 340s up front, Zapco or Audison amps, a crazy processor, and tons of indirect led lighting.

My last build in a convertible I went active with a pair of SLS 8s mated to Aura Whispers and a 10" Infinity sub running of a JL 500/5 and it was great for top down high speed driving.
 

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Well the MS8 might be out of its element in a boat but you might want to ask Andy. That's the best processor we got. You could easily strap two 3sixty.2's together, that would give you 10.2 sound processing, all by laptop.

Dynaudio is usually quite mellow, high distortion (but pleasing to the listener say Dynaudio customers). You might want something a little more sharp and crisp for outdoor listening, but I'm just guesstimating. Without a lot of reflective surfaces, I can imagine you'd want speakers that maintain great off-axis performance and stay well below their beaming point. At least that's what I would probably do.

Have you seen the wakeboard systems out there, by companies like Wetsounds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The MS-8 looks very cool although there have always been a few things with it that does not seem to user friendly in a boat. Although I might still try it.

The WetSounds I'm very familiar with as a ton of the wakeboard guys have their tower systems, and their 10" free air is on my short list vs. the JL 10" IB.

I do think I'm narrowing in on some components:

Alpine iDA-X100M to a PXE-H660.
Ch1. Front Left Midrange + Tweeter (Passive)
Ch2. Front Left Midbass
Ch3. Front Right Midrange + Tweeter (Passive)
Ch4. Front Right Midbass
Ch5. Rear Left Midbass + Tweeter (Passive)
Ch6. Rear Right Midbass + Tweeter (Passive)
Ch7. Sub L or Sub M
Ch8. Sub R or N/C

Or even use a 4ch amp on ch 1 & ch 3 that has built-in crossovers to HP the tweeters

Fully active I see a 6ch amp, 4ch amp, and sub amp.
Hybrid active/passive I see a 6ch amp and sub amp. or 7ch amp, all comes down to efficiency.

Thoughts on going that way for the source and processor. I figure once I get the crossover network dialed in then I can choose speakers, amps, and batteries.
 

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I don't think this is a dumb question, which may be why you aren't getting much feedback. You definitely need some more marine experts in here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
After going through the MS-8 thread and reading the manuals for the PXE-H660, Bit One.1 and the MS-8, looks like we have a winner.

I will be going with the MS-8!

So now we know 1. We are going to use a head unit that has Sirius and iPod compatibility built in. 2. The JBL MS-8 is going to handle the heavy lifting and sorting of all the signals.

I now need some amp and speaker recommendations. 7 total channels, ch 1&2 are front mid-range and tweet (would like built in crossover to dial these two in), ch 3&4 are front mid-bass. ch 5&6 are rear mid-bass and tweet (again amp to deal with the crossover) and last ch 7 will be IB subs.
 

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to be able to hear over open exhaust, blower whine, and 60-85mph you need 4 things cone, cone, power and more power. And if you can spare a few more $$, more power and more cone will help.

Base batteries on how long you want to listen w/o the motor running. Digital amps like MHDs or marine PDXs will help in this respect as well.

I have done several boats w/ JL M amps and M speakers and they are just damn impressive. Build quality on the speakers is phenomenal. Truly "marine grade".

And if all else fails, add more power and cone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have done several boats w/ JL M amps and M speakers and they are just damn impressive. Build quality on the speakers is phenomenal. Truly "marine grade".
Most people around the dock all go with the same formula, Alpine head, JL M amps, JL M speakers, and call it a day. Yes, it does sound nice, but I am wanting to think outside the box.

My problem is I have a boat that is very common and by some considered the entry level for "go-fasts" because of this every unique touch you can do helps raising the respect level around the docks.

I have talked to a few companies that do both mobile and marine speakers, and the only difference in the speakers are basically, a poly coated cone and rubber surround. Peerless, Scanspeak, Seas and many others offer that combination. When I did my Miata build, it was my first experience using DIY speakers, and it was still the best sounding and preforming system I have ever owned.

As far as the amps, they will be mounted on the wall inside the cuddy cabin. They will never see moisture, sunlight, or be exposed to any other elements. I have used car audio amps in the cuddy of my last boat and they never had an issue for the 6 years they were installed.

So let's get crazy, 3-way active fronts with incredible off-axis performance, 2-way active rears, a pair of IB subs, and 11/12 channels of massive power.
 

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Most people around the dock all go with the same formula, Alpine head, JL M amps, JL M speakers, and call it a day. Yes, it does sound nice, but I am wanting to think outside the box.

My problem is I have a boat that is very common and by some considered the entry level for "go-fasts" because of this every unique touch you can do helps raising the respect level around the docks.

I have talked to a few companies that do both mobile and marine speakers, and the only difference in the speakers are basically, a poly coated cone and rubber surround. Peerless, Scanspeak, Seas and many others offer that combination. When I did my Miata build, it was my first experience using DIY speakers, and it was still the best sounding and preforming system I have ever owned.

As far as the amps, they will be mounted on the wall inside the cuddy cabin. They will never see moisture, sunlight, or be exposed to any other elements. I have used car audio amps in the cuddy of my last boat and they never had an issue for the 6 years they were installed.

So let's get crazy, 3-way active fronts with incredible off-axis performance, 2-way active rears, a pair of IB subs, and 11/12 channels of massive power.

Crazy's good.

How about using Zapco DC 6ch up front, 4ch rears, appropriate mono(s) for subs, and done? The DC have processing on board, so that knocks both issues out right there.

you know, HAT claims their drivers are waterproof paper. Just sayin'
 

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I have sold a lot of marine audio over the years.. have done a few installs too. My last gig was selling JL audio marine and Clarion marine. I would definitely suggest you give clarion a close look when it comes to marine products. Their standards are pretty rigourous and they offer some really quality marine gear (I had the choice of anything I wanted for my boat and chose clarion)

The CMV1 looks effing sweet. Clarion has remote remotes too.

4 channels up front, in the cockpit.. Those clarions are already pretty decent, I would consider doubling up, or doubling up and stepping up to the seven inchers, and perhaps glassing some pods to make them look nice. I would definitely not consider any driver not intended for marine use.. and that pretty much rules out three way active in the cabin (if you're running them off deck power)

Anyways, I would not worry about staging and imaging in the least (no active, no point) absoultely the most futile thing you could try so I would go with what everyone else has said, cone area cone area power power power

For my boat I have three batteries.. two on bank two and one on bank one (crank) On bank two I have an intelligent switch that will charge whichever battery needs it and will not let it run down enough so I can't crank (should I have had one too many margaritas and left everything parallel)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I really appreciate everyone's feedback, but more and more it is appearing that going with a multiple stage upfront, a processor, it just going to be a waste of money.

How does this sound then:
2 set of M770's up front in parallel
1 set of M770's in the rear
2 M10IB5's in the rear bench

All running off a MHD900/5. Taking the input from a Alpine iDA-X100M? Since imprint h-100 is so reasonable, and ups the outs to 4V any cons of adding one, or just going with a line driver?

Since were sticking with all marine rated equipment, any thoughts on the Polk db6501's or Alpine PDX amps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For my boat I have three batteries.. two on bank two and one on bank one (crank) On bank two I have an intelligent switch that will charge whichever battery needs it and will not let it run down enough so I can't crank (should I have had one too many margaritas and left everything parallel)
This sounds exactly what I'm wanting to do. How do you have this setup? Cranking bat on Perk position 1, then 2 deep cycles on position 2 with an isolator? Do you have to switch over to position 1 to start then when at the cove flip to position 2? Are the amps wired directly to the 2nd bank? How about charging? Do you have to change back to position 1 when your ready to leave, start the boat then while it's running change to position both?

I have a pair of Interstate batts right now, but want to go with 2 for the house bank in an AGM, maybe a stinger or Kinetek?
 

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I have the smart switch (which also acts as an isolator) wired between the two batteries on bank two.. so, if I leave them all in parallel the smart switch will always keep one of my bank two batteries charged enough to start the boat...

I would seriously suggest looking at clarion marine.. they pretty much pioneered it. There are a LOT of newcomers to the scene but clarion has always been here. Check out their brochure.. some of their tests involve running their cd players under a constant stream of water for 15 minutes!

My methods are strange. I try to run on bank one on the way out, I put them on all when I get to wherever Im going and going back I charge on all. When at the marina the boat is wired into a shorepower charging system so I never really pay too much attention to what battery I use.. I just always know one battery on bank two will always have enough juice to crank.

I try not to switch the switch while the boat is running.
 

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I really appreciate everyone's feedback, but more and more it is appearing that going with a multiple stage upfront, a processor, it just going to be a waste of money.

How does this sound then:
2 set of M770's up front in parallel
1 set of M770's in the rear
2 M10IB5's in the rear bench

All running off a MHD900/5. Taking the input from a Alpine iDA-X100M? Since imprint h-100 is so reasonable, and ups the outs to 4V any cons of adding one, or just going with a line driver?

Since were sticking with all marine rated equipment, any thoughts on the Polk db6501's or Alpine PDX amps?
what about 4 subs, 2 MHD900/5s and one more set of M770s. that would start to get to the neighborhood of big. Hell, some of the stock Mastercraft systems are pretty much what you first listed.

Nice to see you came to your senses about processors and active on a boat. You are in a boat for God's sake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How does this setup sound?

2 Pair of Polk MM6501UM in parallel in front (2Ohm)
1 Pair of Polk MM6501UM in rear (4Ohm)
3 Polk MM1040UM free air subs in rear bench in parallel (1.34Ohm)

Then going with a 4ch and a monoblock from one of the following:
Alpine PDX
JL HD
Diamond D6
MB Quart DSC
Nakamichi
Soundstream Reference

I like that the Polks have a higher power handling and higher sensitivity than the JL, plus the grills are cool looking.

The for the power supply I'll go with my existing Interstate cranking battery on Switch 1, and either 2 of the Kinetik HC1800s in parallel or 1 HC3800 on switch position 2. Most likely I will go with the HC3800 to save the weight over two batteries.

Anyone have first hand experience with the HC3800 and it sitting flat for a week in between uses.

Also since most of the stereo use will be with the engine off, do I need to over power on the amps since most of the ratings are at 14.4V and I will normally be getting between 11.7V and 12.5V?
 
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