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Nemethk1

Stereo Advice Needed

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Nemethk1

Hey guys-

I'm new to this forum and would appreciate anyone's feedback on some advice when piecing together a boat stereo for a 2000 Malibu Response Lx. We're replacing the entire system by the start of next season so are acquiring components little by little. The 4 stock boat speakers inside the boat are being replaced with Wet Sounds XS-650's powered by a Wet Sounds SYN 4 amp. We are still in search for a receiver. Our choices have been limited due to the location where the existing one mounts in the arm rest...not sure if anyone has any further suggestions here as well? We will be adding 2 tower speakers also-probably going to put on a pair of Rev 8's and a sufficient marine rated amp to power those. I've been doing a fair bit of reading online and see conflicting comments on needing a high output alternator. The boat will be a dual battery hookup, but have concerns that the alternator that is on the boat is not big enough from some of the things I've read. I'm guessing it is a 55 amp alternator from what I can tell by looking at it. Kinda new to this all-I appreciate any feedback you guys can provide.

-Kevin 

Edited by Nemethk1

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MLA
54 minutes ago, Nemethk1 said:

We are still in search for a receiver. Our choices have been limited due to the location where the existing one mounts in the arm rest..

I think the Clarion M303 is one of the best values out there. Marine unit thats supports wired remotes. Clarion offers both an LCD and non-display remote. Blue tooth, rear AUX and USB, 2 pair RCA outputs.

Having said that. Most people dont like the under armrest location and A) go with an LCD remote on the helm so they can control most functions without reaching under the armrest. B) do away with a traditional head unit, so nothing under the head unit. There are a couple of compact media source units out there are about the size of a typical LCD display remote. Not a traditional head unit but not, not a head unit. A zone volume control and blue tooth receiver. Lots of good options here.

1 hour ago, Nemethk1 said:

 and see conflicting comments on needing a high output alternator

With only a 2 battery dual bank system, I dont see a need for a high capacity alternator. Now, youve got a 16 season old boat, dont know the hours though, so if an alternator is in the near future, certainly go with a higher output when that time comes. But for now, I would put my money towards a battery shore charger. It will be more efficient and do a better job of recharging a dead battery. Beyond that, a working 55A alt will do fine to keep pace with nice 2-3 amp system with one house bank battery. 

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David

Agreeing with MLA in that I wouldn't be too quick to upgrade the alternator until age forces the issue.

Any amplifier(s) you add should be Class D. The higher efficiency will help.

Using the appropriate size of shore charger, following a charging discipline, and starting off the day with fully charged batteries will help your cause.

Your alternator should keep up with the demand....unless you run the batteries inordinately low while at rest, and then add depleted batteries to the boat and stereo load. That would be over the line. So make sure you do not deplete the stereo battery bank below 12.0 volts.  

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Nitrousbird

Dump the under the arm rest setup.  That said, there is no reason you have to get rid of the traditional 1-DIN head unit to do so. 

$20 and some wiring will get it done nicely.  FYI, I am 6'3" and my buddy that drives the boat a lot is 6'5" with no issues hitting our legs on it, which is the typical excuse for the detractors of this setup.

IMG_4061_zps2sbagalo.jpg

DSC03945_zps3s9alpib.jpg

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Nemethk1

Thank you guys for the advice-a lot of great ideas and suggestions that will help in putting this stereo together. I will check into the clarion head unit. I would prefer to eliminate the arm rest location for the head unit-mounted under the dash looks really nice. Nitrous bird-Is that a particular housing you have the alpine unit mounted in that's screwed up under the dash? If so, where did you find that? Nice to know I'm not limited to the arm rest type setup.

 

Again thank you guys for taking the time to pass on some of your great advice

1 hour ago, Nitrousbird said:

Dump the under the arm rest setup.  That said, there is no reason you have to get rid of the traditional 1-DIN head unit to do so. 

$20 and some wiring will get it done nicely.  FYI, I am 6'3" and my buddy that drives the boat a lot is 6'5" with no issues hitting our legs on it, which is the typical excuse for the detractors of this setup.

IMG_4061_zps2sbagalo.jpg

DSC03945_zps3s9alpib.jpg

 

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Nitrousbird
Just now, Nemethk1 said:

Nitrous bird-Is that a particular housing you have the alpine unit mounted in that's screwed up under the dash? If so, where did you find that? Nice to know I'm not limited to the arm rest type setup

I can't recall the exact mount I bought (did it a few years ago), but this one looks pretty close to the same and is a whopping $10.

https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Stereo-Under-Overhead-Mounting/dp/B00LH3WEBW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481479093&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+under+dash+stereo+kit

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Nemethk1
19 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

I can't recall the exact mount I bought (did it a few years ago), but this one looks pretty close to the same and is a whopping $10.

https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Stereo-Under-Overhead-Mounting/dp/B00LH3WEBW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481479093&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+under+dash+stereo+kit

I figured it was a universal type mount but figured I'd check. Awesome, thanks for the help-eliminating the arm rest setup the way you have done will have to be the move 

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DonT
2 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

Dump the under the arm rest setup.  That said, there is no reason you have to get rid of the traditional 1-DIN head unit to do so. 

$20 and some wiring will get it done nicely.  FYI, I am 6'3" and my buddy that drives the boat a lot is 6'5" with no issues hitting our legs on it, which is the typical excuse for the detractors of this setup.

IMG_4061_zps2sbagalo.jpg

DSC03945_zps3s9alpib.jpg

Planning on doing something like this once I get my Sunsetter out of winter storage -  can you share any details on the wiring steps, materials needed to do this.  Power is not the real issue, the other connections may be.  I just haven't looked at them.

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Nitrousbird
33 minutes ago, DonT said:

Planning on doing something like this once I get my Sunsetter out of winter storage -  can you share any details on the wiring steps, materials needed to do this.  Power is not the real issue, the other connections may be.  I just haven't looked at them.

It's just some butt connectors, same as the factory did.  I rewired most of the boat when I did this (relocated + added another battery, new amp rack setup, on-board charging, all new speaker wire, the works).  So I just ripped out everything that was easy to remove.  You may just need to extend some wires.

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minnmarker

You might consider going without the head unit.  With most using their phone or XM radio for the music source the HU is kinda like an appendix.  What do you really need it for?  Volume, that's about it and it isn't the best way to control volume if you want to control the in boats, sub, and tower speakers separately from each other.  I have a large easy to reach master volume knob with 3 smaller zone control knobs mounted just below the rocker switches.  RAM mount for phone or XM down by the fire extinguisher.  KISS principle.  Easy to locate and adjust what needs to be adjusted without any extraneous stuff.  No easy to access EQ though - but I find independent sub control adequate for "EQ"

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DonT
1 hour ago, minnmarker said:

You might consider going without the head unit.  With most using their phone or XM radio for the music source the HU is kinda like an appendix.  What do you really need it for?  Volume, that's about it and it isn't the best way to control volume if you want to control the in boats, sub, and tower speakers separately from each other.  I have a large easy to reach master volume knob with 3 smaller zone control knobs mounted just below the rocker switches.  RAM mount for phone or XM down by the fire extinguisher.  KISS principle.  Easy to locate and adjust what needs to be adjusted without any extraneous stuff.  No easy to access EQ though - but I find independent sub control adequate for "EQ"

who's controls are you using?

 

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Steve B.

I would only add a couple things. Prepare to add a sub. So add an amp channel or two. Also, the folks who did my stereo put in two remote control units. One on the stern and one up front. I dig those a lot. Nice to be able to turn up and down volume, etc. from in the water near the swim platform. Generally, I source from an Ipod, and the remotes work semi-ok in sorting thru music when I'm not at the helm.

I do have bluetooth for phone, and could stream audio to head unit. But so far, I want to keep phone seperate.

Steve B.

Edited by Steve B.

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minnmarker
19 hours ago, DonT said:

who's controls are you using?

 

A JL variable line driver (JL Audio CL-RLC) for a master volume feeding into (through RCA splitters) 3 level controls for boat, tower, and sub control.

These:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Car-Amplifier-Bass-RCA-Level-Volume-Control-Knob-AALC-LC-1-Premium-SC5-/231677876472?hash=item35f113d8f8

Four knobs to rule the amps...    Just mounted them on a piece of 1/8" HDPE.  Use whatever pattern works for you and put it wherever makes sense.  I put them below the right rocker switches.

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DonT
40 minutes ago, minnmarker said:

A JL variable line driver (JL Audio CL-RLC) for a master volume feeding into (through RCA splitters) 3 level controls for boat, tower, and sub control.

These:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Car-Amplifier-Bass-RCA-Level-Volume-Control-Knob-AALC-LC-1-Premium-SC5-/231677876472?hash=item35f113d8f8

Four knobs to rule the amps...    Just mounted them on a piece of 1/8" HDPE.  Use whatever pattern works for you and put it wherever makes sense.  I put them below the right rocker switches.

Great info -  do you have a simple wiring diagram - as the ultimate goal is to have a master so I turn down the volume when trying to talk w/ the rider in the water, then turn it up.  The key part is that I have one set of RCA outs from the head unit to the boat amp, then a second set for the Sub.

 

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minnmarker
10 minutes ago, DonT said:

Great info -  do you have a simple wiring diagram - as the ultimate goal is to have a master so I turn down the volume when trying to talk w/ the rider in the water, then turn it up.  The key part is that I have one set of RCA outs from the head unit to the boat amp, then a second set for the Sub.

 

If you have a head unit you don't need a line driver.  You could just use the HU volume control for your master control and would only use one set of RCAs (Front) out of the HU.  Crossover settings (HP, LP) should be done at the amps.  Many don't use HUs anymore because they get the music off other devices.  If what you want to do is control 3 zone volumes independently downstream from one master volume control there are several ways to do it, whether you start with a HU or a line driver. High end would be a WS-420 which would give you volume and EQ control of 3 zones - but I don't like the small crowded knobs.  I like to be able to adjust the volume without having to look at the knob - so I can be looking at the rider.

I don't have a wiring diagram handy but mine is pretty simple: Source -> CLRCL -> RCA Splitters -> Zone Controllers -> Amps

You would need 3 pairs of RCA cables between where your controls are and the amps.

Try searching "zone control" on the TMC search engine and read up.  Many setups and opinions.  Depends on where you want to source the music, how much you want to adjust it, how easy you want it to be to adjust, and how much you want to spend.  No one answer.  I went with XM Radio source, easy to access/adjust, and limited adjustability.

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Nitrousbird

You really have three choices:

- Head Unit
- EQ (Clarion, WS or Exile)
- Digital Media Center, like the Exile unit (I think there is another brand out there with a similar product as well).

If you want a transom remote or other remote control in the boat, you need a head unit.  I have a transom remote, remote in my port pocket and a keyfob remote, so a headunit was a must.  If you want to use multiple inputs easily, again a headunit is the best route to go.

If you only really want a single source and control only at the dash, the other stuff is a better solution.  Zone control for the towers is easier with an EQ for sure, though it can be used in combo with a head unit.

For my setup, I just fade back to the towers, so the fader works perfectly for my needs and I can adjust it without looking at the head unit (same as the sub level).  Some head units are harder than others to do that.

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