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DIE2SURF

Please help me choose a sub and head unit

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DIE2SURF

I need some advice on a new head unit and sub for my boat. I don't think I need a WS420 or Exile ZLD since I don't/won't have tower speakers. I was leaning toward a kenwood KMR-d362BT receiver for it's android and iphone compatibility and auxiliary inputs. But a shorter unit would also be better as I only have 5" (at best) of space before the unit would stick out from under the helm (relocating from armrest to left of steering wheel). We sometimes listen to radio, but iheartradio type of apps are my wife's preference. Bluetooth isn't an issue really...we don't tie up to other boats.

Subwoofer: No clue or preference. I'm honestly not sure if a 10" or 12" would be best. We mainly listen to country, reggae, alternative; never rap or hip-hop. I have a box under observers seat with what looks like 2 RF 8" being powered by a precision power amp (below) which is more than enough bass, but I need the observers space for storage. I was hoping that some of my amp inventory would suffice for my purposes, and select a sub that would work well with them. I am going to build a sub enclosure under the helm similar to Bill's in the "Another Sub Story" thread. (I didn't want to go the Qbomb route as it takes up too much foot room under the helm, but it would have been easier).

-1998 Echelon step over open bow with heater under bow.

-Dash Cabin Speakers: JVC CS-HX620 100W (likely 50RMS)

-Rear Cabin Speakers: Infinity (?), though I would like to change those to a newer 6.5" speaker, perhaps JL Audio with a white grille (open to suggestions here too)

-Amps: 2 RF Punch 4004 (4 ohm I believe); 1 Precision Power PPI-220M 2x200 WRMS 4 ohm

-No tower speakers (nor will there be)

-Budget: around $500 for the head unit and sub (considering I already have 3 amps to choose from).

We don't blast music for everyone to hear. We will turn it up in the cabin to listen while floating and kids goofing off in the water. Currently our cabin speakers are running off of the head unit (JVC that is about to die). They have actually worked quite well off the deck power alone.

I've installed 5-6 systems in my vehicles and previous boats, but it's been a looooooong time since doing that, so I'm really behind the times right now.

Any assistance is appreciated. Sorry for another "help me with a new system" thread. I assume my needs are pretty basic, but we all know what happens when we assume...

Edited by DIE2SURF

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David

If you listen to a variety of music material you will want a very musical and neutral subwoofer. Go with a JL Audio W3. Easy for a moderate sized amplifier to drive. Deep bass extension with a very smooth response. Low distortion. Quick transients. Just plain great bass SQ.

Go larger, a 12" versus a 10", if you can manage nearly doubling the enclosure size. A 12" will work far less to reproduce the same output as a 10", and a conservatively operating sub always sounds cleaner. A sealed 10" would require an enclosure external displacement of around 1.05 cu.ft. A sealed 12" would require an enclosure external displacement of around 1.85 cu.ft. That's a quick reference to determine the fit.

You will automatically enjoy a big improvement in bass quality when moving the sub out from under the port locker and into a more direct-radiating scenario from under the driver's helm.

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DIE2SURF

Thanks David. 12" it is. Are these the W3 to which you are referring? www.jlaudio.com/car-audio-subwoofer-drivers-w3v3

Would a ported or sealed enclosure be better for this? I've seen both types under helm, and not really sure of the advantages/disadvantages of each (other than required enclosure size appears to be smaller for sealed).

Edited by DIE2SURF

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David

Yes, that's the right sub. Available in either 2 or 4-ohm SVC models to best match up with a given amplifier. Typically a 2-ohm for a monoblock and a 4-ohm for bridged stereo channels.

Usually a ported enclosure for the same size of woofer will be 50 to 60% larger.

Looking at a base line of a 10" sealed, you'll get roughly the following staying within the same series of woofer:

12" sealed....+ 2 dB over 10" sealed.

10" ported....+ 3 dB over 10" sealed.

12" ported....+ 5 dB over 10" sealed.

+ 2 dB is certainly audible. + 1 dB is the minimum difference that is barely audible in ideal conditions. + 3 dB is equivalent to doubling amplifier power, so it's significant. Doubling your perception of volume would require a 6 to 10 dB increase = 10 times the power for 10 times the speaker excursion. It's always going to be better to use more surface area than more excursion in an open boat.

A fairly well-damped and smooth ported enclosure design, using the same driver, will give you + 3 dB somewhere. That "somewhere" can be used to either extend the low bass response, or, to increase the output in a more obvious & single-note manner. Ported decays much more rapidly at the low end but offers more output in the meaty part of the bass before reaching that point. JL Audio provides a ported enclosure recommendation that is always a good balance between additional output and sound quality.

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DIE2SURF

Thanks again for the info David. Sealed 12" it will be. I really appreciate the feedback.

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MLA

I cant dig up an info in a quick search for that PPi 2 chnl. If it does lo-pass, it would be ideal for a moderate 12 in a sealed enclosure, like the W3 4 ohm, delivering 400W One of those 400.4 amps wil do fine to drive 2-3 pair of in-boats. For white grilled speakers, take a look at the Wet Sounds SW-65i and the Kicker KM654CW along with the JL MX series. I do like to have all the in-boats the same, because each speaker designer has their unique sound signature. So with 2 pair on the main cabin, I would consider upgrading all. Now, having said that, I would not do a white speaker on the dash. They will reflect off the windshield. Kicker and JL offer a charcoal grill option and Wet sounds offers the SW in a black version.

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DIE2SURF

Thanks MLA. I was wondering if I should just replace all four cabin with the same speaker (agreed, black/charcoal in front with the black dash, and white in back). Hopefully I will have access to remove the dash speakers without pulling the windshield, which I'm trying to avoid. I will look at all 3 of those speakers.

I will take a look at that precision power amp to see if it has a low pass.

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TimbrSS

I have a used RF 12" sub in the classified section.

I have the clarion M505 head unit. I've had it 3-4 months and I'm pretty happy with it so far. The buttons around the audio volume knob are a bit awkward and take time to get used to, but no big deal.

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Bozboat

I am a stereo equipment bottom feeder. Neither my ears, nor my wallet could appreciate a high end system. But you can do well picking up stuff in the classifieds here whenever people get the upgrade itch. (Think "Trickle Down Electronics")

I have put together a couple variations of systems in my boat and just finished installing a boat stereo system in a 71 GMC Jimmy Soft top.

I have settled on the idea that the head unit is not needed. Mine got soaked in a monsoon two years ago and I have never missed it.

Get a clarion zone controller for about $50,

get a blue tooth device for $30, run one amp for the sub, and one amp for the speakers. (add a third and go the the WS420 or equiv if adding tower speakers)

Really no reason for the head unit that I can tell. If you are diehard for radio, you could use a radio app off the smart phone. We just stream spotify.

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DIE2SURF

Thanks Boz. Now that's a zone control I can live with. I really prefer just running apps off the phone, so I think we can accept no more radio. And since I never use Bluetooth, no biggie if I leave that out.

Edited by DIE2SURF

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shawndoggy

Thanks Boz. Now that's a zone control I can live with. I really prefer just running apps off the phone, so I think we can accept no more radio. And since I never use Bluetooth, no biggie if I leave that out.

Bluetooth is nice because no cords. Especially if you get a hard wired unit that fires up with the stereo. By the time you are ready to press play on the phone, you are already connected.

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DIE2SURF

I may have to consider BT. I've never really monkied with BT other than with phone in the truck.

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Bozboat

the factory BT function in my truck and cars is way too complex. Run a $30 BT wired in the boat to turn on with the stereo and it will just magically connect. No need to push a button and fight the Ford Lady on whether I yelled "Bluetooth Audio" correctly or not.

Shawndoggy has perfected this set up. I just copied his ideas.

Edited by Bozboat

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DIE2SURF

sometimes happens in my Yukon too. maybe that's why I've shied away from BT in the boat for so long. I assumed it was just as painful...

Is music over BT pretty clear? I've always run wire just for the direct connect. (like I said, I've been out of the stereo industry knowledge base for a looooong time... like 15-20 years.)

Edited by DIE2SURF

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shawndoggy

sometimes happens in my Yukon too. maybe that's why I've shied away from BT in the boat for so long. I assumed it was just as painful...

Is music over BT pretty clear? I've always run wire just for the direct connect. (like I said, I've been out of the stereo industry knowledge base for a looooong time... like 15-20 years.)

You know, I think the that the answer to that is "it depends." If you still play CDs from a CD player and you have a good ear in good conditions, you are probably going to be disappointed. But for sending compressed music from a phone or ipod, I have had really good luck with some bluetooth connections where it literally sounds BETTER than a cable out of my iphone (sony, miccus dongle, exile dongle), Others have been "okay" (clarion standalone comes to mind), and a few were bad (scosche in my car and wetsounds in my boat).

To be clear no disparagement of wetsounds intended by the above... I know people are happy with their product, it just didn't work for me (on the first or second try).

If it were me I'd go with the exile unit or the jl audio unit. Both are hard wired and have a relatively high voltage output. You tuck them away under the dash and things work just as you use them now (all control from the phone) just without the wires.

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DIE2SURF

Thanks Shawn. I'm done with CDs, so it's either my Samsung or wife's I-pod/pad/touch/phone/blablabla... (I lost the I-everything battle to my wife years ago...so we seem to have them all in our house)

I will take a look a the exile or JL audio BT dongle/device (you aren't talking head unit or eq, right?)

Edited by DIE2SURF

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shawndoggy

Thanks Shawn. I'm done with CDs, so it's either my Samsung or wife's I-pod/pad/touch/phone/blablabla... (I lost the I-everything battle to my wife years ago...so we seem to have them all in our house)

I will take a look a the exile or JL audio BT dongle/device (you aren't talking head unit or eq, right?)

I'd do the BT dongle into the clarion EQ (EQS746) as Boz suggests. That clarion EQ unit gives great bang for the buck. The haters will hate on it but I've used the clarion, the exile and the wetsounds units (twice) and the clarion is by far the best value per dollar. If you are only using it for cabin speakers, you'd even be able to fade front and back with it (most people "fade" between cabin and tower speakers).

Actually maybe NorrisMike is reading this thread... I'm pretty sure I sold him that clarion EQ and it's still working.

Edited by shawndoggy

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DIE2SURF

Greatly appreciated all of you. Just picked up the Clarion EQS755 (also has front input) for $57 (only $6 more than the EQS746). I'll look more at the Exile EXBT4.

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