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IXFE

Head unit for my new LSV...?

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IXFE

Now that I've taken delivery of the new LSV, my attention has turned to the stereo system build. On my past Malibus, I've always had the RF black box + remote (factory). But we never actually used it... we exclusively use an iPhone, iPod, of Galaxy Note 2 plugged directly into an Exile ZLD via AUX cable (headphone jack on the device).

Side note: I once plugged an iPod into the glove box port and tried to control it using the RF remote on the dash... what a frustrating user experience that was!!

Anyway... for this boat, I ordered it w/out any Sound Pack at all. I'd seen others do this in the past and assumed the dash space normally occupied by the Rf remote would be a nice little cubby or something like that. Instead, Malibu "finished" it with a black, textured piece of plastic and then surface mounted the same chrome ring they would normally have around the head unit. It looks silly and feels like it should have some element of the stereo mounted there. But the ZLD is too long for that spot.

I've considered buying a RF black box and remote and making it part of the build just so it looks factory and adds back the factory capabilities (wife says she may want XM Radio this year). The cost of RF parts seems to be about $300 (not incl. the XM receiver).

I've considered some sort of phone mount there similar to what Wakebrd94 did. The issue there is we don’t always use the same device… sometimes it’s wife’s phone (iPhone 5s), sometimes it’s my phone (Galaxy Note 2), sometimes it’s my daughter’s phone (iPhone 4s), sometimes it’s an old iPod Nano.

My question for you all is... what would you do with this spot?

20140504_123327_zpsamtiezi0.jpg

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk

Edited by IXFE

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Nitrousbird

If you have cell service on the water, just strum Sirius (better than XM IMO even though it is the same company). Cheaper way to go. Now if you have no data on the water then you need a head unit.

As for the blank spot, I have seen some create cell mounts there.

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SnubNose
Now that I've taken delivery of the new LSV, my attention has turned to the stereo system build. On my past Malibus, I've always had the RF black box + remote (factory). But we never actually used it... we exclusively use an iPhone, iPod, of Galaxy Note 2 plugged directly into an Exile ZLD via AUX cable (headphone jack on the device).

Side note: I once plugged an iPod into the glove box port and tried to control it using the RF remote on the dash... what a frustrating user experience that was!!

Anyway... for this boat, I ordered it w/out any Sound Pack at all. I'd seen others do this in the past and assumed the dash space normally occupied by the Rf remote would be a nice little cubby or something like that. Instead, Malibu "finished" it with a black, textured piece of plastic and then surface mounted the same chrome ring they would normally have around the head unit. It looks silly and feels like it should have some element of the stereo mounted there. But the ZLD is too long for that spot.

I've considered buying a RF black box and remote and making it part of the build just so it looks factory and adds back the factory capabilities (wife says she may want XM Radio this year). The cost of RF parts seems to be about $300 (not incl. the XM receiver).

I've considered some sort of phone mount there similar to what Wakebrd94 did. The issue there is we don’t always use the same device… sometimes it’s wife’s phone (iPhone 5s), sometimes it’s my phone (Galaxy Note 2), sometimes it’s my daughter’s phone (iPhone 4s), sometimes it’s an old iPod Nano.

My question for you all is... what would you do with this spot?

20140504_123327_zpsamtiezi0.jpg

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk

I'm installing a new system on my boat and could sell you my rf deck

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IXFE
I'm installing a new system on my boat and could sell you my rf deck

i assume you're refering to both the black box and the dash remote. Yes?

PM me the details.

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ryanbush

I wouldn't run a HU at all, I don't... just one more piece of the puzzle that can cause problems/noise/clipping. what are the measurements of that area?

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wakebrdr94

you could use an ipod/iphone4/iphone 5. This is from chadwicks setup with the factory bezel

IMG_2539.JPGIMG_2538.JPG

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IXFE

I've thought about that setup, and I really like the idea of using the iPhone as the "head unit." It's nice because the iPhone is a much better user interface than the RF dash remote. And it takes the phone out of my hand and mounts it on the dash, which is a good thing.

I only have two issues with it...

1) Nobody in the family is actively using an iPhone 4. I do have an old one I could just leave in the boat. But I don't love that idea. I wonder if an iPhone 5 would fit... doesn't look like it. I know my Galaxy Note 2 won't fit. :biggrin:

2) I want the phone to be hooked up to the ZLD via a wire, not bluetooth or wifi as I've read much about poor music quality. Is that iPhone connector there used to pass music to the EQ or just for power?

Thanks!

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Nitrousbird

2) I want the phone to be hooked up to the ZLD via a wire, not bluetooth or wifi as I've read much about poor music quality. Is that iPhone connector there used to pass music to the EQ or just for power?

Everything before the iPhone 5 uses the 30 pin dock connector (like the one pictured above), which has an analog output in the connector, so that is likely hard wired directly. The iPhone 5 could work too, but you would need the Apple Lightning to Dock adapter.

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shawndoggy

2) I want the phone to be hooked up to the ZLD via a wire, not bluetooth or wifi as I've read much about poor music quality. Is that iPhone connector there used to pass music to the EQ or just for power?

bluetooth music quality depends on a couple of factors: the quality of your source music (which a wire won't fix), and the quality of the BT dac. I've had a couple of poor bluetooth experiences (scoche BT harness for my honda civic was flat out awful), and several very good experiences (sony BT headunits are great, my current hard wired miccus dongle in the boat is indistinguishable to my tin ear while on the water). The experience of folks with the malibu factory BT unit seems similar to what I had with the kit for my civic. Happily, I've since replaced the crummy schoche kit with a usa-spec kit that works great.

So I guess what I'm saying is that if you are starting with good music to begin with, and your BT dongle is decent, the sound quality is more than acceptable. One thing that will really help both an iphone hardwire kit or bluetooth dongle is stepping up the input voltage before the ZLD. My BT dongle sounds noticeably better going through the HSE volume controller before the zld than directly into the zld. same for my hardwired iphone cable. If you start with a strong signal it's going to sound better down the line (this is why most will recommend headunits with 4v or better pre-outs too).

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IXFE

bluetooth music quality depends on a couple of factors: the quality of your source music (which a wire won't fix), and the quality of the BT dac. I've had a couple of poor bluetooth experiences (scoche BT harness for my honda civic was flat out awful), and several very good experiences (sony BT headunits are great, my current hard wired miccus dongle in the boat is indistinguishable to my tin ear while on the water). The experience of folks with the malibu factory BT unit seems similar to what I had with the kit for my civic. Happily, I've since replaced the crummy schoche kit with a usa-spec kit that works great.

So I guess what I'm saying is that if you are starting with good music to begin with, and your BT dongle is decent, the sound quality is more than acceptable. One thing that will really help both an iphone hardwire kit or bluetooth dongle is stepping up the input voltage before the ZLD. My BT dongle sounds noticeably better going through the HSE volume controller before the zld than directly into the zld. same for my hardwired iphone cable. If you start with a strong signal it's going to sound better down the line (this is why most will recommend headunits with 4v or better pre-outs too).

Shawn, I won't have a head unit at all. Just the ZLD. I'm trying to translate what you wrote aboit input voltage to my situation, but im struggling.

Can you make it easy for me and just recommend a BT device and how to wire it up?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk

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IXFE
you could use an ipod/iphone4/iphone 5. This is from chadwicks setup with the factory bezel

IMG_2539.JPGIMG_2538.JPG

I was able to confirm that chadwick's set up pictured above is in fact Bluetooth. The iphone cable you see is just for power.

However there are 30 pin iphone cables that have RCA connectors on the other end.

The other option I'm thinking of is to copy chadwick's setup using Bluetooth, then wire in a normal AUX cable as the 2nd source. That gives me best of both worlds.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk

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wakebrdr94

I followed the example above, but don't have a wired option. Wished you lived closer so you could hear it. I think you'd be happy. If you want a wired option for an iPod you could go with this cable. It would hook to the ZLD and charge. Of course you would have to put in a USB adapter like I did to charge. Mine powers both the wifi and Bluetooth as well as the charging cable.

I used to use this cable prior to having ATV. You would need the 90 degree adapter. I bought an iPod touch to be dedicated for the boat.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=750581&gclid=CL31rpXOq74CFcdefgodx5wAsw&is=REG&Q=&A=details

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Edited by wakebrdr94

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shawndoggy

wetsounds bluetooth adapter (has good reviews, looks clean, gives you track skipping which other hidden dongles don't) https://wetsounds.com/pages/products/WW-VC-BT.html

into

JL CL-SES (line driver and source selector, so you can run multiple sources at stepped up voltage) http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_9131_JL-Audio-CL-SES.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=pla&utm_campaign=sc&scpid=2&scid=scsho3597656&gclid=CPTguPnWq74CFcRafgodAaYAnQ

(note you could also run a hard wired ipod cable into the JL-SES too, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/iSimple-PolyWire-Connector-iPhone-IS75/dp/B001TH8O7E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400079889&sr=8-1&keywords=isimple+is75)

into

Exile ZLD

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IXFE
wetsounds bluetooth adapter (has good reviews, looks clean, gives you track skipping which other hidden dongles don't) https://wetsounds.com/pages/products/WW-VC-BT.html

into

JL CL-SES (line driver and source selector, so you can run multiple sources at stepped up voltage) http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_9131_JL-Audio-CL-SES.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=pla&utm_campaign=sc&scpid=2&scid=scsho3597656&gclid=CPTguPnWq74CFcRafgodAaYAnQ

(note you could also run a hard wired ipod cable into the JL-SES too, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/iSimple-PolyWire-Connector-iPhone-IS75/dp/B001TH8O7E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400079889&sr=8-1&keywords=isimple+is75)

into

Exile ZLD

You added another componant to the recipe. This blows my feeble mind ;-)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk

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IXFE
wetsounds bluetooth adapter (has good reviews, looks clean, gives you track skipping which other hidden dongles don't) https://wetsounds.com/pages/products/WW-VC-BT.html

into

JL CL-SES (line driver and source selector, so you can run multiple sources at stepped up voltage) http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_9131_JL-Audio-CL-SES.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=pla&utm_campaign=sc&scpid=2&scid=scsho3597656&gclid=CPTguPnWq74CFcRafgodAaYAnQ

(note you could also run a hard wired ipod cable into the JL-SES too, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/iSimple-PolyWire-Connector-iPhone-IS75/dp/B001TH8O7E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400079889&sr=8-1&keywords=isimple+is75)

into

Exile ZLD

Now that I've read the full description of the JL-SES it appears to serve two functions.

1) I can use more sources. I'm not sure I need this as the ZLD already supports two sources. That's all I need.

2) Although not mentioned in the description, you said something about increased voltage. Can you expound on that? Do i need this? How does this help with a BT connection?

Thanks!

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shawndoggy

headunit voltage into a zld: 4v with a nice HU

ipod doc connector voltage into a zld: 1v if you are very very lucky

bluetooth dongle voltage into a zld: 1v if you are very lucky.

if the input voltage is lower, you make it harder on the zld to reproduce the input signal. Think of someone speaking directly into a mic, or speaking from 10' away. Sure the PA can probably still amplify the guy who is speaking from farther away, but not as easily as the guy who speaks right into the mic.

the JL-SES is a line driver that will do multiple sources. If you want one that will only do a single source they are out there (could prolly get an arc audio ALD for $90 or so "on the street"), but at a savings of like $15. Why not spend the infintessimal bit more for more flexibility. Sure the ZLD does multiple inputs, but if you are driving one weak source (BT dongle) and not driving another (ipod cable, for instance), the undriven source is going to sound like arse. Now if you were driving a high voltage HU into one side of the ZLD and bluetooth into the other, yeah, you might not need the extra channels of stepped up voltage.

Only do this if you want it to sound as good as it can. Lots of people are apparently happy with driving just a wimpy BT dongle straight to an EQ. You might be too. I'm just saying from personal experience that there's a very perceptible SQ difference between wimpy source voltage into the EQ and stepped up source voltage.

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Cory

Shawn, your theory seems odd to me. All your setup does is shift the 1v input issue upstream by one device. The iPhone is still only outputting 1v into the JL-SES, so the same issue is still present just moved up stream. The SNR in a series of daisy chained amplifiers is mostly determined by the first amp in the chain (at least that is what I think I remember from EE undergrad long ago). The analog output on the iPhone is the first series amp in all these setups. Adding another device just seems like another opportunity for other noise problems. I thought I read that the new ZLD will output 9v, so it already has a lot of gain, right?

I'll admit I'm no audio expert and translating things I learned in school long, long ago into the real world isn't always straight forward.

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shawndoggy

Shawn, your theory seems odd to me. All your setup does is shift the 1v input issue upstream by one device. The iPhone is still only outputting 1v into the JL-SES, so the same issue is still present just moved up stream. The SNR in a series of daisy chained amplifiers is mostly determined by the first amp in the chain (at least that is what I think I remember from EE undergrad long ago). The analog output on the iPhone is the first series amp in all these setups. Adding another device just seems like another opportunity for other noise problems. I thought I read that the new ZLD will output 9v, so it already has a lot of gain, right?

I'll admit I'm no audio expert and translating things I learned in school long, long ago into the real world isn't always straight forward.

I'm basing this on my experience with and without a HSE Trident before my ZLD. With the HSE sounds significantly better even to people who usually wouldn't notice (i.e. when our first HSE died, my wife even mentioned that the music "sounded weird"). The HSE does step up voltage on output.

I will definitely concede on ANY issue related to engineering!

Edited by shawndoggy

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Cory

Is it possible that the HSE is adjusting the audio like a "loudness" button, such that it just sounds fuller?

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shawndoggy

Is it possible that the HSE is adjusting the audio like a "loudness" button, such that it just sounds fuller?

Its possible (like I said, I'm no EE) but I don't think so.... at least that's not a common review. Probably mostly because when the HSE was in its heyday, weakly powered bt dongles weren't ubiquitous in boats. I think I discovered the ancillary benefit (stepped up voltage) quite by accident... I was just looking for volume control of my BT feed, but got a better signal too.

You wouldn't dispute that a headunit with 5v preouts into a ZLD into amps would be superior to a 1v (or less) signal, would you?

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wakebrdr94

Why are the demensions of the note you are going to use? Could probably do the same set up as the iPhone/pod as above, but with your note if that is going to be the main music source

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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IXFE
Why are the demensions of the note you are going to use? Could probably do the same set up as the iPhone/pod as above, but with your note if that is going to be the main music source

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The Galaxy Nore 2 is huge. My wife calls it my monster phone.

It doesn't fit inside the chrome bezel. I'm getting close to an upgrade though; perhaps I go iPhone 5 so we're all the same.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk

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Cory

Its possible (like I said, I'm no EE) but I don't think so.... at least that's not a common review. Probably mostly because when the HSE was in its heyday, weakly powered bt dongles weren't ubiquitous in boats. I think I discovered the ancillary benefit (stepped up voltage) quite by accident... I was just looking for volume control of my BT feed, but got a better signal too.

You wouldn't dispute that a headunit with 5v preouts into a ZLD into amps would be superior to a 1v (or less) signal, would you?

In the specific scenario you are talking about, I wouldn't dispute your statement, but let me explain my thoughts on this.

If the SNR ratio on the 1v HU is equal to the SNR on the 5v HU (which it very easily could be, in fact the lower voltage output may have a higher SNR since less internal gaining to introduce noise), then 5v HU would be preferable if the link between the HU and ZLD had any noise. Since we typically have the HU under the glove box and link to the ZLD with a 20ft cable, the noise introduced on this line will be a lower percentage of the higher 5V signal level than the lower 1V signal level.

But I don't see how sticking an additional line driver right next to the ZLD would make much of a difference for IXFE's setup. The output line from the iphone will be 3ft long. I can't imagine much noise will get in there. The new ZLD will boost the signal to 9v for transport over to the amps on the other side of the boat. This seems pretty high already such that noise introduced should be negligible compared to the signal level.

I think most of our problems are due to a noisy initial signal due to the lame RF HU.

Again, I have little real world experience with audio stuff.

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Cory

It could be that your HSE has very high quality, low noise amps (better than the ZLD). If that is the case, then boosting the signal early with a high quality low noise pre-amp would make a lot of difference, since the crappiness of the downstream amps has a lesser impact on SNR. I do know that the quality of earlier amps in a chain of amps is far more important than the quality of the amps at the end of the chain, at least in terms of SNR.

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