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Adding Bow Speakers


09vRide

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I'd like to add a couple of speakers (Rockford Fosgate M262B) in the bow of my vRide. My system came from the factory, it's all stock Malibu components. I'm not looking to looking to supply the lake with music, just make the sound balanced through all areas of the boat. What I have in the boat is:

JBL MBB-3.3 HU

4 - R.F. M262B speakers in cockpit

4 - Alpha 1 Tower speakers

1- R.F. 12" Sub

R.F. P400-4 amp

R.F. P400-2 amp

The 4 cockpit speakers and sub are powered by R.F. P400-4 amp. One side is bridged for the sub and the other side is used for the cockpit speakers wired in parallel - 2 per side.

The 4 tower speakers are powered by a R.F. P400-2 amp. Speakers are wired in parallel - 2 per side.

My first question is: How/where can I power these two addtional speakers?

By my calculations I can't add another speaker to each side of the cockpit speakers, this would lower the impedance to 1.33 ohms which is below the amps minimum. Can I power these two additional speakers with the HU or is that not recommended? Am I going to need another amp?

Second question is: It feels like there is a hole already cut out behind the upholestry that is the correct diameter for the speaker. Am I right in assuming that if I remove the foam and trim the vinyl that is where Malibu would have installed the speaker at the factory?

Thanks, Mike

Edited by 09vRide
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Mike,

You should add another two or four-channel amplifier when adding the bow speakers. The difference is with the four-channel you would have a channel per every in-boat coaxial. That's not essential but if there is not a difference in the cost the conservative 4-ohm operation does sound nice.

You do have the option of running the bow speakers off the front channels built into the HU. However, the very limited power will clip way premature to the externally amplified speakers. In order to offset this you will have to gain the externally amplified cockpit speakers inordinately high. There will be a large volume differential, you will raise the noise level and you will reduce the linear volume control function to a more narrow and sensitive range. So I don't recommend it.

David

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Mike- Malibu ships the 2010-2012's with that same Fosgate 400-4 wired to all 8 Fosgate 6.5" and 8" in boat speakers.... 2 speakers per channel x 4. creates a 2ohm load on each channel.... and under ideal conditions, you are getting 100w per channel or 50w per speaker x 8. When you cut the boat engine off and get to 12.3v or 12.4v you might be getting 30w or so per speaker if you are lucky. That is WEAK.

Bottom line is yes, you can add your 2 more bow speakers, just wire them in on the front channels, just dont expect exceptional performance with as little power as you are getting. But yes you'll certainly have sound in your bow.

I have the exact same setup right now for my inboat speakers, p400-4 wired to 4 of the fosgate 8" coax and 4 of the 6.5 coax from the factory.... I would describe it as adequte... very capable, play forever, never get hot or anyting like that.... just very much capable of much better sound with more power. I have been eying the Fosgate T600-4 as the way to bring the inboats back to life and play to their potential.

Think of it as a mediocre factory sound system in a car, not sure how else to describe it.

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Hijack on- would it be possible to do this to an 08 if you wired them to a 400.2? I have 4 but could put 4 more in. Does anyone know where to get 4 08 factory speakers?

Hijack off

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Hijack on- would it be possible to do this to an 08 if you wired them to a 400.2? I have 4 but could put 4 more in. Does anyone know where to get 4 08 factory speakers?

Hijack off

Theroetically you could, but would sound even worse than described above. you'd further divide all the power levels by 1/2 in order to keep the resistence load within spec--ie 4 ohm load x 2 only getting 100 wts x 2.... for all 8. so 25w per speaker under ideal conditions = terrible.

The P400-4 is weak for the job and P400-2 is straight horrible to run 8 inboat speakers.

Look at this for $139 and it solves all the craziness with underpower and wiring issues. Certainly would run 8 inboats to their max potential. Just ensure you have the space for the amp, its a little longer than the P400s, about 3" longer.

MB Quart

I am a strong believer you dont have to drop $300-500 per amp to get good sound.

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Mike,

You should add another two or four-channel amplifier when adding the bow speakers. The difference is with the four-channel you would have a channel per every in-boat coaxial. That's not essential but if there is not a difference in the cost the conservative 4-ohm operation does sound nice.

You do have the option of running the bow speakers off the front channels built into the HU. However, the very limited power will clip way premature to the externally amplified speakers. In order to offset this you will have to gain the externally amplified cockpit speakers inordinately high. There will be a large volume differential, you will raise the noise level and you will reduce the linear volume control function to a more narrow and sensitive range. So I don't recommend it.

David

Thanks David for the info. I figured I would probably need to add an amp to make this work properly. I'm curious to know what you mean by "the conservative 4-ohm operation does sound nice". By running the speakers at a higher impedence (i.e. one co-axial per channel) does that make the speaker have a better sound/output?

Anyone know about the precut hole behind the upholestry up in the bow area? Was that the intended speaker location?

Thanks, Mike

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Thanks David for the info. I figured I would probably need to add an amp to make this work properly. I'm curious to know what you mean by "the conservative 4-ohm operation does sound nice". By running the speakers at a higher impedence (i.e. one co-axial per channel) does that make the speaker have a better sound/output?

Anyone know about the precut hole behind the upholestry up in the bow area? Was that the intended speaker location?

Thanks, Mike

I don't care what anyone says you won't notice any change in sound by wiring your bow speaker at 2 ohm vs 4 ohm, especially at the low power levels you're talking about. If you reach in through the combing pocket (behind where the speakers would be mounted) you should feel where the hole is cut out and the vinyl is covering. This should also show you the intended speaker location for your boat.

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09vRide,

Here is what I meant...we do a lot of six speaker in-boats driven by a discrete six-channel amplifier. All channels are driven at a conservative 4-ohm level. As a result there is a lot of headroom and the amplifier clips very gracefully vesus into at a 2-ohm load where the amplifier clips a little more aggressively. Its a nice bonus. The amplifier has more headroom, less distortion and operates more efficiently at the higher impedance. Its never as apparent of a difference at low frequencies where comparatively small differences in distortion are very hard to detect. You will also get a little more power with a dedicated channel to each speaker. None of these amplifiers truly double in power when you halve the impedance as some specs may suggest. In reality the 4-ohm power is under-rated and the 2-ohm power may be a 40 to 65 percent increase. Test reviews demonstrate this again and again.

You are likely going to be running your bow speakers off dedicated channels at a 4-ohm load regardless so that you can gain them independently from the cockpit speakers.

So here is the determining factor. If when searching for a matching amplifier if there is a big difference between the price of a two-channel and four-channel model then you will probably choose the two-channel. It will run the four cockpit coaxials at 2-ohms and the two available channels of the existing four-channel amplifier will drive the bows. Its smart to distribute the load so that any one amplifier isn't strapped down to the toughest load across the board. However, if the four-channel is very close in price then you will have some moderate benefits at a moderate cost difference.

David

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Coaming;

Coaming pocket, coaming bolster, coaming panel, coaming pad, describing anything on the interior return wall of a cockpit, bow, flybridge. The surface that covers the gunnel/gunwale cavity.

Edited by Earmark Marine
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