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minnmarker

RCA and Speaker Wire Routing - Help

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minnmarker

I'm putting new speakers and amps in. Not a mega system like some but 60W RMS to four cabin speakers and 300W RMS to the subwoofer.

Head unit at helm, amps in port observer space, subwoofer under helm.

My question is how to run the wiring. It looks easiest to run the RCA cables and the speaker wire all around the bow.

Should I be concerned with the speaker wire interfering with the signal in the RCA cables? The RCA cables are shielded (RG-59/U).

Is 14 gauge big enough wire for the subwoofer?

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EchelonMike

Let me know what route you take here. i am doing a similar set-up...two amps, one for mains and one for sub in under-seat storage area next to batteries, sub under helm and was planning to run everything around the bow and back to storage area - vs under the floor. Under the floor would be more direct/shorter, but more moisture down to cause future issues. Good luck!

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MLA

If you are worried about moisture breaching the insulation of your cabling or RCA's, you need better quality.

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minnmarker

Let me know what route you take here. i am doing a similar set-up...two amps, one for mains and one for sub in under-seat storage area next to batteries, sub under helm and was planning to run everything around the bow and back to storage area - vs under the floor. Under the floor would be more direct/shorter, but more moisture down to cause future issues. Good luck!

I ended up running the RCA around the bow and the starboard speaker wires (14 gauge) and remote "on" underneath through the ski locker. That kept the RCA away from the speaker and power wires.

Used 2 of these for a total of 6 RCA channels: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003L14XNA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Getting the RCA around the bow was easier than expected - there are openings up high to get from the cabin area to the bow area. Used a stiff piece of #10 solid copper as a fish there and at the very front. I encased the wires running through the ski locker in a piece of wire loom and zip tied them as high as I could. That was probably the clumsiest and most difficult part of the install. If you're concerned about wire integrity try this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NUYBW0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00

One "probably not necessary" item was using the other conductor of the remote "on" wire as a positive voltage source for the head unit (both switched and always on leads) so it runs off the same battery and voltage source as the amplifiers. I had read on the crew of others having problems with running the head unit off the under dash buss. I wired the switched lead through one of the dash switches so the stereo does not turn off every time you turn the engine off.

The sub is just in a QBOMB under the helm with some rubber feet on it. Seems to stay in place fine just sitting there unsecured - but I'm on a smaller lake without big waves.

The whole system seems to sound very nice with much better clarity and fidelity and no ticking, snaps, or other signs of interference. I've been playing with the gains and pass frequencies and trying to decide whether to use the pass filters on the amps or the ones built into the head unit.

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David

Mark,

Always use the crossover settings available on the amplifiers versus those on the HU or EQ.

Usually the amplifier filters are higher quality. Certainly with higher quality amplifiers.

Also, with the amplifier settings you don't have to worry about an auto default setting other than your selections when and if the HU loses memory.

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minnmarker

Mark,

Always use the crossover settings available on the amplifiers versus those on the HU or EQ.

Usually the amplifier filters are higher quality. Certainly with higher quality amplifiers.

Also, with the amplifier settings you don't have to worry about an auto default setting other than your selections when and if the HU loses memory.

Good points. Right now there are no filters set on the head unit. I got a wave generator app for my phone and plugged that into the AUX port and used that to try to set the frequency for the both the high pass on the 4 channel cabin speaker amp and the low pass on the sub amp. The amps must have fairly gradual cutoffs since I did not lose volume quickly as I moved the frequency knob on either amp? With 6.5 inch cabin speakers I was using 125 Hz as a reference (crossover) frequency. Any guidance on how to do this on the cheap and without hauling the boat to an audio specialist?

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David

Mark,

You won't be able to tune a system like one of the better audio dealers but your equipment dealer should be able to give you a condensed and simpler version that you are comfortable with.

To avoid speaker damage do NOT use a sine wave tone with the amplifier connected to speakers.

You are finding that a) the crossover filter rolls off more gradually before going into a strict 12 dB per octave slope, and b) the -3 dB true crossover frequency is a very moderate amplitude reduction as you perceive it. So you are better off measuring the voltage drop with a multimeter in order to find the correct frequency.

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David

Btw, -3 dB will be .707 of the full power voltage.

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Truekaotik

Your equiptment quality will determine the ease of tuning. 120 HZ hi pass for the in-boats is money for leisure marine folks ears. The woofer @80-100 HZ low pass will be fine as well. Get as close to the number on the frequency pot as you can, without tuning aids, you can only get so close. Turn gains down and find your music choice to play. Throw it in and turn the head unit 3/4 the way up and listen.. Anything? Now slowly turn the gains up one at a time until it distorts, gets muddy or is too bright. Back off the gain a bit from there, it's now set...

This is the old basic way to tune with only your ears...

Now, a true professional can tune it way better with tools and it makes a HUGE difference...

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