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Rockford Fosgate Amps


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I just bought a 2016 23 LSV with 3 RF Punch Amps. I think the cabin speakers, tower speakers and the subwoofer each have their own amp. Anyway, I am NOT super impressed with the sound of the stereo, so would it be worth removing the sticker and changing Input Level, Punch EQ and Freq? It seems like somethng that would be easy to do.

Is it something that I can do myself or should I have it professionally done?

Also, I think I read somewhere that if I remove the stickers, it will void my warranty. Is it worth removing the stickers and adjusting the sound myself?

Just one set of Icon 8's.

One 12" Rockford Fosgate Sub.

Edited by bbattiste247
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I haven't tried, since I don't care that much this year, but the warranty should still be valid through Rockford Fosgate even with out the stickers; You're only voiding the Malibu warranty on the amps. If you blow an amp, you would need to work directly with Rockford Fosgate and show them the receipt for your boat as the proof of purchase. Since Malibu supplied the amps I have to assume they're an authorized OEM vendor...

You'll find a ton of information on the internet about how to adjust the gains on an amp. Look up the specs for your speaks, grab a multimeter, and have at it. In just an hour or so you'll have much better sound, but you'll still want to upgrade next season. Check out HLCDs, you'll love the sound compared to automotive components.

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If the your '15 stereo is set anything like my '10 was adjusted the the sub amp was set on HP, the in boat amp was correct and the tower was set on AP so yeh they were jacked up. Place your hand behind the sub enclosure and put on some bass heavy music. You will quickly find out how poorly the HDPE sub box is sealed. Pull the stickers, tune it correctly and pull the sub out of the box and seal the interior of the box to clean up the sub until you can get a new box built and installed. JM2C. Almost forgot, I have had 2 subs go bad (coil failures was what I was told) and the RF dealer took care of me no problem. The RF warranty is pretty good.

Edited by wdr
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Here's another thing that I found out after I was replacing my RF amps.... The three amp in the configuration are a P300x2 for the sub, P400x4 for all 8 cabin speakers, and then a P600x4 for the 2 icons on the tower. That's 300 watts for the sub, 50 watts per cabin speaker, and 75 watts per tower speakers. Although I went ahead and changed some things out you can optimize the configuration to have a much better sounding stereo. By changing the setup to the following you will still have 300 watts to the sub, 75 watts per cabin speaker, and 200 watts to each tower speaker. Take the P400x4 off the cabin speakers and bridge it on the two icons to 200x2. They won't sound like the Wet Sounds Rev series but they will still sound much better. Move the P600x4 to the 8 cabin speakers and adjust the input levels and the cabin speakers actually sound pretty good. The gain on the sub does need turned up, but ultimately you will have to build a better/bigger enclosure. When you do the RF sub actually sounds pretty good even with only 300 watts to it. Hope this helps... message me if you have any detailed questions you need answered.

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Short answer yes remove stickers and adjust.

Long answer, even after you adjust gains you are likely to be a little underwhelmed. The Rockford amps can sound great, but they need help. An EQ/line driver will likely solve your issues.

I used an Audio Control EQS. It provides separate EQ for cabins, towers, and Sub. Works like a champ, and will be way cheaper than switching even one amp. The problem is the RFX 6000 black box will only feed the amps a maximum of 3V, the amps can handle up to 12V, the EQS solves this and feeds the amps appropriately, allowing them to run at a lower gain, thus cleaner.

Here is mine, for reference.


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I had a similar issue on my Rockford system. Mine did not sound good, especially the base. I brought it to my local stereo shop to look at it. They changed the gains at no charge, and recommended that I spend a couple grand to upgrade the speakers. I decided not to go this route. I was not pleased that I could not change tracks with the Maliview Bluetooth connection. So I added the Bluetooth dongle to the Fosgate unit. This improved the sound quality dramatically. I can also own change tracks from the head unit or the transom remote. I also had the stereo shop change the connections of the speakers as suggested by jsmail. I now have the tower speakers on one amp, and the cabin on the other. I can use the fade feature to change between the tower and the cabin speakers. Seems like a better setup than the factory setup. While I'm sure this is not the same sound quality as an Excile or Wetsounds system, it is dramatically improved over what I got from the dealer, and it only cost me $200.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey Darkside did you add a 4th RF amp or did 24MXZ come with four? In your photo did you go from the BB to the Audio Control, then to the Amps? What model is that Audio Control?


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Rockford Prime is the absolute cheapest amp they make. Like all boat manufacturers, they cut corners on stereos. Tige', Mastercraft, Malibu, all of them. Even the companies that are now OEM Wet Sounds, they won't use the recommended power.

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I am very happy with the Punch series amps. I did initially have one amp that was producing WAY over rated power and absolutely smoked a REV10.

I am very happy with the sound quality of my boat stereo. It sounds very good floating, cruising and riding. I also made my choices based on sound quality/$$$. I am satisfied with the Rockford. To me the Marine environment is so noisy with other boats, my own engine sound etc. There is no reason to spend stupid money on stereo. I bought the Rev10's because nothing on the market works as well for projecting to the rider.

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Agreed but I believe the Punch Amps are installed in Malibus. They are the middle of the road for RF. Definitely appear underpowered as you said!

Your'e right, I didn't look too close at the pics. Most of the boats that I've seen come through my place have had the Prime amp.

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Excellent and great to hear. Can't wait to get the boat. Went with one pair of REV 8s and will have to see how they sound. If not to my liking I will probably do as you did and upgrade to the 10s or maybe a second pair of 8s.

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"You'll smoke a Rev10 quicker with less power, creating more distortion, then you will with more power."

In one sense I agree. But too little power never blew a speaker. You won't blow a Rev10 with HU power even when trying. Two signals, one distorted and one undistorted, at the same power level, create the same amount of potentially damaging heat at the speaker. Less power being dangerous is a myth.

The problem is that you can serious overdrive any amplifier into clipping and well past its rated clean power. And the byproduct of hard clipping is simply MORE continuous power. It's the continuous power that is the threat. So if someone is inclined to abuse their power, and they can't seem to hear distortion on their own, they will smoke a speaker twice as fast with twice the power.

  • Like 2
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Oh yes. We have an abundance of those here also. They turn it up to the point of blatant distortion and don't seem to be bothered by it. But if they can do damage with a lite 150 watts imagine the outcome if they have 400 watts at their disposal.

But again, the speaker can't tell the difference between a rock guitarists overdriving the input of his tube amplifier to get extra crunch and a boat owner square waving his amplifier. The net is same whether the distortion is part of the music software or added in the playback chain. Distortion doesn't kill. Power kills.

The only difference between a small amplifier clipping and a larger amplifier delivering the same power in a cleaner manner is that the peak of the signal remains intact with the larger/cleaner amplifier.

The wave shape makes no difference other than peak to peak and time. Just like a camshaft....lift and duration. That constitutes a level of continuous power. POWER is the only factor that burns speakers, whether it's the crappiest and underpowered amplifier or the best and bigger amplifier.

  • Like 2
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So basically David is saying Darkside over powered his amplifier into distortion and blew the Rev10's, thus not because of the power over RMS of the Rev10's but because it wasn't a clean signal over RMS wattage. But David, you have made the same comment JonyB did in many other forums and threads. Why the challenge of his statement?

JonyB is saying basically with less power than RMS you can still distort the speaker enough to blow it. Indicating that Darkside should check his tuning because it wasn't the amplifier but the user that blew the Rev10's. It could of been read differently but we tread lightly anymore.

Both are true statements and I think Darkside needs to know that the amplifier making over rated power is NOT what blew his rev10's..

A amplifier that makes power over its rated RMS is a good thing guys.

Edited by Truekaotik
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Actually, a DEFECTIVE amp is what blew the REV10. I am an electrical engineer I understand this stuff VERY well. All gains were set to absolute Minimum, when the smoke leaked out of the internal crossover of the Rev 10.

Too little power cannot blow a device period. A distorted Signal can wreak havok, and power destroys speakers, HEAT destroys amplifiers.

If too little power blew speakers, speakers would only work at high volume.

An amplifier is a simple device. It takes an input and amplifies it by a set amount. 40 db 50db etc. So a 1000W amp is producing 1000W only when receiving it's maximum input. Anything less than maximum input and the device has a lower power output. So if your volume (amplifier input) is a 4 vs 40, your power out is not the same at both points. So if too little power blew speakers everytime your volume was at 4 your speakers would blow.

The gain settings are VERY DANGEROUS, they are not volume controls. They are intended as a tool to match the output from your source to the input to the amplifier so that it is able to achieve its maximum output. If pushed too far the amplifier will reach a point where it can only produce distortion, this distortion CAN DAMAGE HARDWARE. Not pushed far enough and the amp will never reach its potential.

This is the inherent problem with the RFX6000, it has a maximum output voltage of 3v. The amplifier is looking for a maximum of 12v. You can cheat the system and adjust the input gain on your amps to compensate. However nothing is free, doing this comes at the expense of dynamic range.i.e. volume level one is now essentially volume level 5 and you start to clip your amps at 35 vs 40.

The appropriate way to do this is via a line driver, the 420eq for example. This allows you to adjust the line levels BEFORE the amps therefore retaining sound quality and dynamic range.

Clipping is where the amplifier has reached its limits and is no longer able to reproduce the input, the peaks are no longer peaks but plateaus, because the amp has to flatten them off creating the square wave that was alluded to earlier, these square waves are VERY bad and can lead to hardware failure. Also in this condition, your amplifier is likely producing way more heat than its heat sinks can compensate for so it is also living on borrowed time.

By the way wet sounds was kind enough to warranty the speaker, even though it was not thier fault, thier conclusion. Speaker crossover blown by TOO MUCH POWER.

I hope this helps.

Edited by DarkSide
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Alright, since neither one of you understood my statement, when I said too little power, I meant too little power, and tons of distortion going into the amp from a s*** signal.

I thought I could make a statement with less words, but I guess next time I'll write a textbook.

  • Like 2
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