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simple SP1 question


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My 2011 V-ride came with Sound Pack 1 - Rockford Fosgate RFX3000 black box, RF RFXMR5BB display, and four speakers - 2 in lounge and 2 on dash.

How do I make the speakers louder? I am not interested in tower speakers (ever) and not really intersted in bow speakers (at this time), and not interested in a sub (ever), just want a little more volume to be able to hear while cruising. The volume is acceptable at rest.

Obviously I am no audiophile so my needs are simple. I think I just need an amp? But will an equalizer add volume (maybe they have amp built in)? Or do I need better speakers?

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An external amp to drive the four speakers and a modest subwoofer to fill out the bottom end would do wonders. Something like a JL XD 500/3 + a modest sealed 10 under the helm and you'd be rockin'.

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A sub can do that yes, but it's primary function should be to fill out the bottom end, reproducing notes that your 6.5" speakers can't. Like the kick drum in a rock song.... The beginning segment of the Eagles' Hotel California is a whole different song with a sub to fill in the bottom when Don Hendley's drums kick in. The best subs just make the whole experience sound more "powerful."

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While I may be in the minority, I'm far from a basshead and I cannot stand booming systems that are defined by the subwoofer. But I cannot live without a subwoofer in a boat. Without a sub you are missing important material and the music's foundation. It would be like a rock band with no bass line coming from a string guitar or keyboard synthesizer (Rush for example), without a kick drum and without a floor tom. Very thin.

With an amplified subwoofer you really need to power the in-boat coaxials with an external amplifier also. Once you remove the lower bass responsibility from the coaxials (something they cannot reproduce anyway) and limit the bandwidth of the highpass amplifier, both the coaxial speakers and amplifier will play louder, play cleaner and with more dynamic contrast (something you interpret as clarity). The subwoofer adds richness but also adds to your perception of loudness.

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So a 3 channel amp will power my four speakers and a sub? I thought I needed one channel per speaker and one for the sub?

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you can run the cabin speakers in parallel (front and rear left on the "left", rights on "right"). Each would get 50w and the sub would get 300w (assuming 2ohm final impedence on sub). It would rock out nicely.

Edited by shawndoggy
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That JL Audio XD500/3 is a nice little amplifier.

PasMag tested it at 673 total watts with a 14.4V supply and 587 total watts with a 12.6V supply. Even more impressive was it maintained over 97% of its total 1 kHz-tested power across the entire audio bandwidth.

Nice feature set also.

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Okay I see there is a JL M500/3 marine version but you guys did not recommend that. Does this mean no one uses marine versions? Or do you stereo guys just reference all amps by their "street" model even if you actually buy the marine version? Or do you recommend getting the marine version as it claims stainless hardware, powder coated parts, and gasketed cover?

Also what 10" sub 2 ohm would you recommend? Looking for less than $100 and I can build my own sealed box per the sub manual.

Thanks for helping.

Edited by lonestar
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The JL Audio W1 series has a 2-ohm version. The W0 is a great sub but is available in 4-ohm only. Stay away from the entry model below the W0.

You can fit a sealed 12" with ease. Not much more cost and either of these series are easy to drive.

You might touch base with Odin from Earmark Marine on a package deal. Plus, there is a JL Audio sales program going on through end of April.

No one should discourage you from the marine version. While not necessary in fresh water it is a moderate cost increase. The gasketed chassis has value. Just keep the terminals at the bottom and you are protected against the unforeseen roller over the bow. Also, the marine version has extra noise reduction circuitry on the input which helps retard switching transients from wake plates and other high current equipment.

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Marine vs. auto is a different debate. Marine amps are generally upgraded a bit to withstand moisture (humidity), but neither can withstand being submerged. I've run the car versions of the XD series JL amps in my boats since 2010, with great results. If you live near the ocean or where it rains a lot or if your boat is moored or is otherwise very humid, marine might make sense. I live in the desert and my boat is stored indoors, so this has never been an issue.

If it fits, this would be a good "one and done" solution and you wouldn't need to worry about building a box: http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_39392_Kicker-11SKM10.html

If you aren't above used, I've got a boston acoustics g3 10 d4 (specs here: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-JVIqmLF1pcF/p_065G31044/Boston-Acoustics-G310-44.html) that is gathering dust in my garage. The nice thing about the G3 is you can mount it in a very small sealed box (like .5'), so you wouldn't lose a lot of room under the helm.

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