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Kmfish87

Stereo questions

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Kmfish87

I am planning on upgrading the stereo in my boat this fall/winter. Right now it has a pretty sweet 90's era clarion cassette receiver and 4 speakers that severely need replacing. I will be replacing the head unit and all four 6.5" speakers as well as adding a 12" sub and amp. I will be adding a second battery (group 27 deep cycle?) for the stereo and blue sea 5511 battery switch to keep the circuits separate but still allow combining the batteries for emergency starting power. My question is do I need to upgrade from the stock alternator or will it be adequate to maintain the 2 batteries? 

I also plan on running new battery cables to the engine as the current cables appear to be 2ga. I would like to upgrade to 0 or 1/0ga for peace of mind and use the old cables to wire the stereo battery in.

Any suggestions for reasonably priced marine receivers and 6.5" speakers? Been looking on crutchfield as I have had good luck with them for my car audio needs. Just not sure who makes decent marine equipment that won't break the bank...hoping to spend $150-200 on head unit and maybe stay around $100/pair of speakers.

Thanks in advance!

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Kmfish87

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MLA
On 8/25/2016 at 10:17 PM, Kmfish87 said:

My question is do I need to upgrade from the stock alternator or will it be adequate to maintain the 2 batteries?

No. At this point in the game, yes, your current alt will do fine to maintain your battery banks. If you are planing to do any extended anchor play, then I would suggest a 2 bank charger for when the boat is back in its storage spot. Dont want to rely on the alt to recharge dead batteries. 

I like the Clarion M303 head unit. Good quality, good features, BT is good. 

Kicker KM654 marine in-boats. A true marine speaker with excellent build quality and good sounding to boot. 

If suggest an to drive them though, especially if you are adding a woofer. The added power will prevent the woofer from over powering the full range speakers. The Kicker KXM800.5 would drive those 4 in-boats and a 12" 2 ohm woofer at 400W rms. Solid setup at a good value. 

 

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shawndoggy

A couple of thoughts.

1. Go with group 29 deep cycle (it fits -- tightly -- in a group 27 battery box).

2. regarding receivers.... how do you use the stereo now?  Do you actually listen to the radio?  I've found that 99% of the time we listen to songs from a phone.  In that case an EQ/bluetooth dongle setup is real nice.  Generally RCA output to the amp from an EQ is much stronger than from HUs.  Wetsounds WS420 and exile ZLD are popular choices, but I also ran a clarion EQS746 for a while and was very pleased with it, especially for the bargain price (under $75).  Pretty sure it's still doing work in @NorrisMike's boat now. (all this assumes as in #4 below that you will put cabin speakers on an amp, not HU power)

3. Kicker speakers are nice, especially for the money.  They get a bad rap on here, but the rockford speakers that Malibu spec'd in their 2010ish-16 boats actually sound pretty good too.  If you can fit the 8s in instead of the 6.5s, the increase in surface area (and corresponding midbass output) would totally be worth it.  Not sure whether you can do that in your boat tho.

4. Your system sounds pretty modest.  Unless your alternator is dying, it's probably going to be able to keep up just fine (assuming you aren't playing at the sandbar at full tilt for 6 hours at a time).  I would definitely without question put your new cabin speakers on an amp rather than HU power.  Get a modest five channel amp (4 plus sub) and you are off to the races.  HUs just aren't powerful enough to get cabin speakers rockin enough to overcome wind/water/engine noise.

Edited by shawndoggy

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Kmfish87

Thanks for the input! I should have mentioned I already charge the batteries between outings to avoid being stranded and will continue to do so.

I would definitely like the Bluetooth option as I'm sure 95% of the music would come from pandora, etc on my phone.

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90oldskool
MLA

Id spend a little more and go with the KM654 over the KM604. Its their budget OEM speaker with a8" tweeter. Sound quality wise, the larger .75" dome tweeter on the KM654 sounds better. 

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Kmfish87

Thanks for the input! I should have mentioned I already charge the batteries between outings to avoid being stranded and will continue to do so.

Any experience with the Clarion M505 head unit? Same price as the M303 and has a few more features, higher rms output, etc...

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MLA

That rms difference is not a factor, especially when you want to drive the speakers with an external amp any way. The M303 is a great unit that fits well with most typical systems. A couple things I like about the M505 is its 4V output v's the 2v of the M303. Nice, but not a deal breaker by any means. 2nd, is it has 6 chnl RCA - front, rear and sub, plus a full-range fixed level. This is great for salon speakers on a large boat, bow speakers on open bow boats, etc. Just need simple line level POT inline for volume control.  

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NorrisMike
On 8/26/2016 at 2:39 PM, shawndoggy said:

A couple of thoughts.

1. Go with group 29 deep cycle (it fits -- tightly -- in a group 27 battery box).

2. regarding receivers.... how do you use the stereo now?  Do you actually listen to the radio?  I've found that 99% of the time we listen to songs from a phone.  In that case an EQ/bluetooth dongle setup is real nice.  Generally RCA output to the amp from an EQ is much stronger than from HUs.  Wetsounds WS420 and exile ZLD are popular choices, but I also ran a clarion EQS746 for a while and was very pleased with it, especially for the bargain price (under $75).  Pretty sure it's still doing work in @NorrisMike's boat now. (all this assumes as in #4 below that you will put cabin speakers on an amp, not HU power)

3. Kicker speakers are nice, especially for the money.  They get a bad rap on here, but the rockford speakers that Malibu spec'd in their 2010ish-16 boats actually sound pretty good too.  If you can fit the 8s in instead of the 6.5s, the increase in surface area (and corresponding midbass output) would totally be worth it.  Not sure whether you can do that in your boat tho.

4. Your system sounds pretty modest.  Unless your alternator is dying, it's probably going to be able to keep up just fine (assuming you aren't playing at the sandbar at full tilt for 6 hours at a time).  I would definitely without question put your new cabin speakers on an amp rather than HU power.  Get a modest five channel amp (4 plus sub) and you are off to the races.  HUs just aren't powerful enough to get cabin speakers rockin enough to overcome wind/water/engine noise.

Yup! EQS746 is still going strong! I have it wired to 3 amps and use the Exile bluetooth receiver.  It works great.  

 

Also still pounding the IDQ12 sub in case you need a sub... it is awesome. 

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Kmfish87

Picked up a Clarion M505 this week.

I realized I have a Memphis 12" sub, box and matching 500w mono block amp collecting dust I pulled out of a car several years ago. Would there be any reason I shouldn't run these in my boat? I know they aren't marine-grade components but they are collecting dust and I could care less if they get damaged since I totally forgot I had them until the other day.

I plan on installing the sub/amp in the bow storage area in front of the driver's foot well area. I imagine this would keep everything out of the way and relatively dry (as dry as something could be on a boat anyways).

Anyone have a good suggestion of where to mount the battery switch? I'm sure as close to the batteries as possible would be best. Maybe around the driver's footwell/under the dash where it's easy to access... Pictures if you have a similar set up would be awesome!

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David

As long as the subwoofer cone is polymer-based, and you're not in salt water, there's no reason that you can't use both the sub and amp. Chances are the automotive enclosure will need replacement as it probably won't survive a single season.   

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Kmfish87

What kind of enclosure should I use? I was wondering how an MDF box would hold up in a boat...haha

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David

A custom marinized enclosure will work best. MDF isn't the perfect material but it can work well in a boat if intentionally constructed to work in a boat. It doesn't have to be 100% submersible waterproof, but it does have to be able to shed water and be very water resistant. There are many construction details. A few would be... No automotive trunk liner covering. Perfect gapless seams. Sealed with a coating. Elevated off the sole. Their are solvent-based versions of MDF that work better. They still should get all the above treatments and considerations. 

I would check how the Thiele/Small parameters of your existing Memphis subwoofer compare to those of a potential future replacement. In any case, I would build the enclosure for the eventual replacement sub. Common for a modern 12" sub is a gross internal displacement of 1.25 cu.ft.   

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