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EchelonMike

Budget Build Completed in 05 VLX

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EchelonMike

All:

I finished my budget stereo build this past weekend and hopefully get to enjoy it on the water starting today!  :-)

Here is what I ended up with - I will pics later in case the info helps others.  The boat is a 2005 VLX:

  • Sub:  Rockford Fosgate P300 - 10" sub in a sealed enclosure with an internal 300W Amp - $175.50 including shipping (ebay)
  • Head Unit:  Sony MEX-M70BT - I liked this unit because it has 5W outputs, and still has a CD player if anyone wants to go old-school.  $110.00 including shipping (ebay)
  • Amp:  Sony XM-4060GTX 600W - I liked this because it was in a box in the boat when I bought it :-)
  • In-Boat and Tower Speakers:  I replaced the 6 in-boat as well as the two factory cans on the Illusion tower with Infinity Reference 6502ix 6.5" 2 way speakers - $239.16 including shipping (crutchfield)
  • Misc Wiring, fuses, mounts, etc:  About $50.00 (ebay/home depot)
  • Mt Carmel Amber Beer consumed during install:  About $10.00 
  • Cuss Words muttered trying to fish the power cables for the sub to the battery:  Free

For under $600 bucks total investment, I think it sounds excellent and looks great too.   I mounted the sub under the helm.  I screwed into the bottom of the sub four little rubber/plastic feet, each about 3/4" high, with stainless hardware.  That will keep the box off the floor and all the electronics and cables off the floor as well.  Given the small investment I will see how many years I can get out of the sub and the box in a marine environment.  Since my boat sits inside year round, i am hoping for 5+ years.  I removed the stock kick panel, removed the carpet, and cut it to fit its new mounting spot, which is only slightly forward from stock.  It is now vertical vs at an angle, but looks like malibu put it there from the factory.  If my boat did not have a heater, this sub would easily fit behind the factory kick panel.  Rockford makes a 12" version of this sub, and that would fit fine too, I think.  If I had a do-over, I'd probably try for the 12" version.  The kick panel is mounted into the floor in the same holes, but with L-brackets.  The sub is mounted to the kick panel, also with L brackets.

All the 6.5" speakers are mounted in the stock locations.  The amp is mounted in the rear facing observer seats storage area, on the forward "bulkhead" up high.  It is also not a marine amp, but won't ever get wet until the boat fills to the gunwales.  Amp and sub wired with 8ga power and ground back to the battery with in-line fuses.  Tried to get all of the wires neatly bundled and routed so it looks like a factory job.  The head unit mounted in the factory location for the arm rest.

I had forgotten how much I like the sound of a good sealed subwoofer.  The bass is so accurate and tight - very musical.  Love it.  I am glad I took the time to mount the sub under the helm as you all recommended.

I did an initial test of the build using a CD of Blues Travelers - "But Anyway".  My wife was inside and came outside to ask if I was trying to piss off all the neighbors.  Sound check complete.  :-)

One question I had for the experts on this forum:  The HPF switches and dials on the amp are not front mounted...and the location I mounted the amp make it a major PITA to get to them and adjust.  The sony head unit has HPF settings in it, and you can adjust gain, crossover, etc. all on the head unit.  Can I do all of the adjustments @ the head unit and leave the amp in "normal" mode?  That would make my life easy if that is a good way to do it.  Any thoughts?

Thanks everyone for all the good advice,

        -- Mike

 

 

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klinger

Sounds like a great build!! Would love to see pictures of that sub installed in your boat!! What heater do you have and how is it mounted?? I have a three outlet in a RLXI and I think its going to be tough to fit a sub up there.

Great job!

Kevin

 

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minnmarker
1 hour ago, EchelonMike said:

I did an initial test of the build using a CD of Blues Travelers - "But Anyway".  My wife was inside and came outside to ask if I was trying to piss off all the neighbors.  Sound check complete.  :-)

One question I had for the experts on this forum:  The HPF switches and dials on the amp are not front mounted...and the location I mounted the amp make it a major PITA to get to them and adjust.  The sony head unit has HPF settings in it, and you can adjust gain, crossover, etc. all on the head unit.  Can I do all of the adjustments @ the head unit and leave the amp in "normal" mode?  That would make my life easy if that is a good way to do it.  Any thoughts?

Thanks everyone for all the good advice,

        -- Mike

 

 

Nice sound check!

The powered sub should have it's own LP filter so that should be OK - or you can use the HU crossover.  The HU can probably only set one crossover for the sub (LP) and all 4 channels going to your Sony amp (HP) so you would have to have the same HP setting for the in-boat and tower speakers.  Not ideal but OK.  I would say re-position the amp but if that is impractical then go with it as is if it sounds good.

How are you supplying the 6.5 inch speakers?  6 on the front side of the amp and 2 on the rear?  How are you balancing them?

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EchelonMike
40 minutes ago, minnmarker said:

Nice sound check!

The powered sub should have it's own LP filter so that should be OK - or you can use the HU crossover.  The HU can probably only set one crossover for the sub (LP) and all 4 channels going to your Sony amp (HP) so you would have to have the same HP setting for the in-boat and tower speakers.  Not ideal but OK.  I would say re-position the amp but if that is impractical then go with it as is if it sounds good.

How are you supplying the 6.5 inch speakers?  6 on the front side of the amp and 2 on the rear?  How are you balancing them?

The head unit has three RCAs - SUB, Front and Rear.  The Sub has its own xover so no issue there.  I have the bow and the dash speakers on the front outputs of the amp and the tower and the rear seating area speakers on the rear outputs of the amp.  It's 2 Ohm stable so I should be fine with 8 speakers on the 4 channel amp.

The sony head unit does allow me to set up a HPF on both front and rear, and I can set the frequency too.  It is pretty slick.  So I was just going to turn off the HPF switches on the amp and use the head unit to control, but wanted to make sure you guys thought that would be OK.  The Amp was free but it is not my favorite.  I almost ordered the Rockford P400 because all the controls are on the front of the amp...very nice design...and its only about $150.00 so it fits my budget.  I may also break down and buy the Wetsounds 420 so I can fade/control each speaker if some areas say its too loud and other areas say it is too quiet.

53 minutes ago, klinger said:

Sounds like a great build!! Would love to see pictures of that sub installed in your boat!! What heater do you have and how is it mounted?? I have a three outlet in a RLXI and I think its going to be tough to fit a sub up there.

Great job!

Kevin

 

Its a 2 outlet heater (driver foot and one pull out tube) so it's smaller than the one I had in my other malibu.  I never use a heater...came close to removing it and bypassing, but everything fit well so I left it in there.

 

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minnmarker
2 hours ago, EchelonMike said:
8 minutes ago, EchelonMike said:

I almost ordered the Rockford P400 because all the controls are on the front of the amp...very nice design...and its only about $150.00 so it fits my budget.  I may also break down and buy the Wetsounds 420 so I can fade/control each speaker if some areas say its too loud and other areas say it is too quiet.

 

 

If you buy new amps get Class D type.  They use a lot less power - so your battery lasts longer.  The RF R600-4D will give you 100rms on 4 channels.

If you're on a budget, or don't have a good spot for the 420, take a look at these for zone control.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231677876472

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MLA
15 minutes ago, EchelonMike said:

So I was just going to turn off the HPF switches on the amp and use the head unit to control, but wanted to make sure you guys thought that would be OK.

id leave the h/u on full pass and use the amps x-overs

A peripheral like the WS-420 or WS-220 are a great addition to most any system, but its going to be limited until you get a dedicated amp for the tower speakers. I would suggest a 6 chnl amp for the in-boats, and use the current 4 chnl just for the tower. 

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shawndoggy

I've always run my car stereos using the deck xovers rather than the amps.  I think it'd work fine for you.  Just make sure you flip the switch to full pass (or OFF) or whatever on the amps to defeat their internal xovers.  You don't want to "double up" on your crossovers.

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jk13

+1 @shawndoggy using either crossover control is fine.

BTW @EchelonMike great build! Sensible and should do just fine.

 

Edited by jk13

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EchelonMike
4 hours ago, minnmarker said:

If you buy new amps get Class D type.  They use a lot less power - so your battery lasts longer.  The RF R600-4D will give you 100rms on 4 channels.

If you're on a budget, or don't have a good spot for the 420, take a look at these for zone control.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231677876472

Thanks, Mark.  The sub's amp is class D, so that could be a great call on the upgrade.  I'll check out the zone controllers too.

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EchelonMike

A few pics from the project...

20160612_131914.jpg

20160612_131940.jpg

Before I put the kick panel back in and ran the final wires...but you can see how well the sub fits below the helm.  This is also before I cleaned the stain on the carpet that I found when I removed the panel.  :-)

33333.jpg

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