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Waynerzman

Black box mod questions. Help needed

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Waynerzman

2008 VLX

Hi the first thing I want to do is add an eq so that I actually can have a knob for volume control instead of the stupid multiple pushes on the controller. I know it can be done but I have no idea what I need to look for in purchasing one. Has anyone done this?

Second I would like to add Bluetooth to the black box. Would this plug into the USB port in the black box? Any suggestions help?

Thirdly given the above am I better off getting a new head unit instead of the above?

Thanks for the help.

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Parrothead

I was in your situation a year and a half ago. I also have the MUX switches which were a pain to use. I added a zone controller (eq) to do exactly what you are saying. There are a couple of options out there. The Wetsounds eq listed in above post is one. It has a built in bluetooth which answers your second question. The Wetsounds with Bluetooth was not available at the time of my purchase and I went the Exile ZLD and added the Milennia Bluetooth. It uses the same 12 volt power supply as the ZLd and uses an RCA input as your aux source input . Would I do another headunit... absolutely not. I haven't used the actual radio in my boat since I wanted to hear a Titans game during some late season rides last fall. I use Pandora/playlists the majority of the time. There are a couple of things you might consider which I did not. You can use the Milennia bluetooth direct to the black box on one of the CD/Sirius inputs on your black instead of directly in the EQ. What this will allow you to do is use the alternate volume controls in your boat and the zone controller will act as a master volume. I did not go this route, but it may be something you want to consider. Either way if you choose to use a zone controller/EQ I would mount it on the left of the steering wheel. Other wise, you have to be sitting in the drdiver seat or reach in an akward postion to get at it. I debated on this for a few days and put mine on the right. It is ok where it is and works fine when adjusting volume while driving, but sitting in the cove it can be a little cumbersome. This one is preference. You will read alot of opinions about specific brands of EQ. These like which side to put it on should be driven by the dollars you want to spend and preference.

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Waynerzman

@parrothead thank you very much for all of the information. I think I got the jist of it.

I had also done more research today calling local WETSOUNDS dealer. Unfortunately the BT eq is not available in Canada until July which is too late. I ordered the previous model WETSOUNDS SQ and a BT adapter that plugs into that. I'm not waiting until July and this will do the same thing.

Here is what I run so let me know if I'm on the same track as you...

I have the JBL black box. 3 RF amps and the Sirius tuner. I am out of data range often so streaming isn't always an option. Other then that I play music directly from my iPhone with direct connection. I have RF upgraded stainless speakers throughout and rev 10's tower speakers.

My left MUX switches were all moved to the right mux set of switches so that left me a space for the audio control panel on the left side instead of using the one through the bow walk through. I still never understand why Malibu did that!!

Now I'm thinking of actually moving it back there and put the WETSOUNDS eq on the left part of the dash where the old mux switches used to be. If not I will simply mount the eq under the dash to the left. I'm thinking I'm going to need about 5 sets of rca's sound about right? Can you get the wires across under the floor or do they have to go all away around the bow?

Anyways does this sound like I'm on the correct path? I pick up the unit on Friday. WETSOUNDS said the BT won't be available until early June for US customers btw.

I like to get my work out of the way in the spring and enjoy my boat in the summer so that's why I'm not waiting to get the new eq.

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Parrothead

You are on the right path. My RCA cables did not go under the floor however. If you do not have a front ballast you may to have a pass thru under the floor(or go around the bow). Mine go up through the front corner of the driver dash, behind the kick plate for the front ballast and back into the observers compartment. I think you will only need 4 sets of RCA's though. There should be one from the source (black box) and three going out back to your amps. You will then have one open input on the WS available for AUX input. Again I used the Exile, so using this as my baseline. This is where I put the bluetooth as a direct input to the Exile ZLD. If you choose to use the bluetooth as a source into the black box this one should remain open until you decide to use it for another source. My mux switches are a thing of the past for me and the radio. If you have a ballast tank in the front you may have some fun getting the kick panel out also. There are two or three screws buried in the carpet (vertical) into the kickplate. After you remove them you will need a thin prybar or screw driver and it will come out. It will appear like something else is holding it, but it will come out. You drain pump for your front ballast is also stored behind that kick plate.

Good luck..

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Waynerzman

Alright guys thanks again for the help. I was suppose to pick up my EQ tomorrow but tonight I just got the boat out of storage and hooked up my batteries. The LCD screen is all garbled. I can't read anything! I'm guess it's from the winter? Then was playing stereo for about 10 songs and one of my RF amps popped and had flames in it. It's cooked!!

I'm wondering if I should say screw it and just buy a damn head unit and kick the black box to the curb now. If I keep it I have to buy a new controller display. I could buy a new headunit and skip the EQ. I really just want a knob back to control volume. If I go this way I will have to buy a new transom remote as well.

Looking for help and opinions here so please comment away.

Stay with black box or get a new head unit?

Thanks

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Waynerzman

Update. So I decided to ditch the black box and it feels great! I'm going with a Fusion 700 right in the dash where the original left MUX switches were. All those options are now on the right hand side.

I'm getting a new transom remote, Sirius and Bluetooth. Has 4 different zones. Open it up and put your iPhone inside. It's a super simple head unit to run and mastercraft has started putting it in their boats. Very impressed with fusion so far!

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