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Installing WS-420 Equalizer on '13 LSV

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I researched tips on installing the Wetsounds WS-420 equalizer and couldn't find a good "how-to". Maybe my search was incorrect. Regardless, I tackled this project yesterday and it turned out great. i did spend a lot of time thinking and planning. I thought I'd outline how I did it for those DIY'ers out there. This wasn't as bad as I thought. I am sure this isn't the only way to do it, but I was successful and hopefully it helps someone else as well who wants independant controls of their tower speakers and cabin speakers.

A few additional items needed in addition to the WS-420:

4 - 12' -16' RCA cables (I went with Kicker from Bestbuy but you can use any.

1 - 12'-15' power cable. I purchased a cord from Ace Hardware and soldered it to the existing wires.

1 - 12'-15' remote cable. I also purchased this at Ace Hardware. Just asked them to cut me 15' of wire. I believe this is 18 gauge.

So you have an idea of my boat, I have the "sound pak 3" with 8 cabin speakers, 1 sub and 1 set of Rev 10's as my tower speakers. I have 3 amps respectively.

Step 1: (as mentioned above): Solder your power wire and remove wire to the 420. It's much easier to do this in your shop/garage before you get into your boat. I prefer to solder so there is no chance of them coming apart.

Step 2: Remove the bow cushions and unscrew the (4) screws holding down the carpet/board over the bow hard tank. This opens up to the bow hard tank. This is a necessary step in feeding cables/wires from one side of the boat to the next.


Step 3: Remove the carpet wall between bow and walkway (2 screws) (This will make it easier later on in the installation.)


Step 4: Remove the walkway speaker on the driver side under the windshield. (Not sure if others do/did this or not, but I found it easier to do this rather than attempt to fish wires over the subwoofer/sub box under the steering wheel and through the tiny hole in the bow.)


Step 5: For point of reference, locate the hole on the driver side by the bow hard tank where some wires are already fed through from the dash. It's the closest point from the steering wheel/dash to the bow. It's about 2" in diameter. (Pic isn't much but will tell you where to look.) This is where you will need to push wires through.


Step 6: Tie the 4 RCA cables together with a string and on the other end of the string tie on a screwdriver (or other thin device you can push through the small hole in the bow. Then, feed the RCA cables through the speaker hole. Reach hand through speaker hole and fish screwdriver through hole in bow by hard tank.


Step 7: Go to bow and find your screwdriver. Pull wires all the way through.

Step 8: Take the other end of the 4 RCA's and also fish them through the speaker hole but the opposite way (over the subwoofer/sub box.) They should drop on the ground in front of your subwoofer under your steering wheel.

Step 9: Feed the power cable and remote wire that are connected to the WS-420 over the subwoofer/sub box under steering wheel/console. Reach hand back through walkway speaker hole and find those wires. Do the same thing as you did with the 4 RCA's. Feed them through the small hole in the bow. If you cannot reach the little hole in the bow, do the same trick with the screwdriver/string.

Now you should have all wires fed from driver side to bow.

Step 9: Locate an identical hole on the port side by the hard tank. This hole feeds from the bow to the battery compartment and amp compartment. Simply feed all wires through there. Be careful, though as I found the fiberglass jagged and not smooth around there. Don't cut your wires or your hand.

Step 10: (What I found as the worst part of the installation) Crawl into compartment and connect remote and power wires for ws-420 to one of your amplifiers. I'm 6'3"...so I don't fit in small compartments.

Step 11: I then had to disconnect the RCA's and amp configuration installed on my boat from the dealer. Malibu does a really clean installation with an amp board with all wires hidden. I did not want to remove the amp board (because I was scared I'd never get it back together and look as nice). So I just found the Rockford Fosgate head unit wires and used the wire diagram to find the correct RCA's needed. I am sure there are varying ways of installing, but I used the rear channel (Brown wires on my Rockford Fosgate head unit) as my "main" for the 420. The 420 does not have a "front" and rear" input, only a "main" input. So that is a negative about the 420. So, I just adjusted my head unit to 100% rear and used the rear channel plugs.

Now you can begin the instructions provided with the ws-420.

Once you get everything working properly and sounding awesome; you need to mount your equalizer. I'll be the first to admit that I don't love how I did mine. And, I will continue to look at other options. but, it should work for now.

I mounted mine directly below my head unit. I just added a small metal bracket (lowes or home depot metal strip) to the top/inside of my dash under my radio unit. I pre-driled holes in it where my screws would go from the black brackets that came with my 420. I then used regular screws with nuts in lieu of the screws provided with the WS420. It looks good and seems stable, but I am sure there are better ways of doing it.


I hope this helps those of you wanting to do this installation. If you have done this in the past and have other tips, please feel free to share.

Edited by BV1979

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Nice set up, thanks for sharing.

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I have also seen this mounted in one of the cubby holes by the shifter. Looked pretty good there as well.

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