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'04 VLX Audio Install


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Hi All,

I'm new to Malibu and the forum. See my intro/first boat thread here: http://www.themalibucrew.com/index.php?/forums/topic/66737-bought-my-first-boat-‘04-wakesetter-vlx/

I'm looking to install a sub at the driver's side kick panel. My plan is to do something similar/identical to @Kikitlo 's here or @old skool malibu 's here. I plan on documenting the install in this thread, but I have a few questions first:

  • How do most people secure the sub box to the floor? I planned on using 1/2" to 3/4" thick plastic strips mentioned in other threads, and securing the box to these strips. Is it really okay to just screw these into the floor of the boat? Is there anything I should be aware of screwing into the floor? Also, how is the box then secured to the strips? It must be in a way that allows the box to be removed later I assume?
  • How is the false front kick panel installed/secured? I imagined making a cardboard template, cutting plywood to match, and covering in marine carpet. How then would this be fixed to the sub box and/or the boat?

Any input is appreciated!

**Edit**  A lot has changed for my boat audio system. First of all, I decided to go with a more simple front facing install under the dash. As much as I would have liked to have the window looking into a side facing sub, I didn’t have the time or skill to tackle this. My budget on this cannot withstand top of the line components, so I’ve started building an affordable system that will hopefully sound good enough for my tastes. I priced a professional install, but again, this would break my budget so I decided to tackle it myself.

Since my first post, I’ve bought a Kicker 12” CompVr subwoofer and Qbomb sealed enclosure. This is powered by a Rockford Fosgate 500W amp that was collecting dust in my closet. I also removed the old head unit from the arm rest location and used the metra universal shroud to mount a new Sont Bluetooth HU under the dash. I’m very satisfied with the look and use of this new location. The 4 in boat speakers are powered by a cheap 4 channel soundstream amp that was in the boat when I bought it. Right now the stock Sony’s are still in use, but I have new Polk 651’s ready to replace them when I get around to it. There were 2 old kicker 6.5” coaxial tower speakers also with the boat when I bought it. I currently have these powered by the HU.

Both amps are mounted in the port side storage compartment. I have no amp board yet, so this will have to do probably until winter. The qbomb and sub are on rubber feet sitting under the helm. I’m very satisfied with the improvements the sub made, and it doesn’t look bad as is. 

My plans:

Build a new kick panel with sub and heater cutout (see last post ITT), and build an amp rack to be installed in the storage compartment. 

Purchase and tower speakers and amp this winter.

Maybe: Install a pair of bow speakers and upgrade the soundstream amp to a 6 channel for all of the in boat speakers. 

Thanks for all of the advice so far!

Edited by dkscism
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I used a QBOMB box with some rubber feet on it.  It's moveable but stable.  You''ll be glad you have something moveable when you want to get back under the dash again!

You can "tune" the box if you want by adding some closed cell insulation foam to the inside.  It looks fine, here's a pic.  That a Wake Logic and a throwable next to it.



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1 hour ago, dkscism said:

Is there anything I should be aware of screwing into the floor

The lake. The closer you get to the side of the boat, the closer you are getting to coming through the hull. You can fabricate brackets, french cleats, mount the box to the back of the facade then secure the facade much like it was from the factory.  

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3 hours ago, cowwboy said:

Both of those boxes look nice with the side fire and exposed magnet via lexan.
Have you built a sub box before? 

My box is not secured to the hull but rather has plastic hold downs keeping it in place.  https://www.bakesonline.com/battery-box-and-seat-cleat-block.html

Did you just screw these into the floor and sit the box inside of them?

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One goes into the floor towards the center of the boat and the other screws into the trim panel by the cup holder. My hull and the existing partitions of the top cap hold the other sides. 

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I used this cleat system.  I wanted it to be raised off the floor to make sure it can dry out if water gets there somehow. Basically one gets screwed to floor, one is screwed to box, and then there are 2 bolts that join the cleats.IMG_20150909_191048922_zpsjur2efuy.JPG.c544e7647e54b02264a037239652dc97.JPG



  • Like 3
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  • 2 months later...

Just edited my original post above to update my audio install. I have questions about adding a new kick panel. This will have a cutout for the 12” sub in a Qbomb, as well as the heater vent. 

How do most people secure the new panel in this configuration?

Has anyone ever done a non-carpet kick panel from hdpe or similar? I like the thought of a slick panel without carpet. Obviously this makes hiding any screws on the face (1st question above) more difficult. 

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Your current 4 chnl amp will drive the 4 in-boats and 2 tower speakers, getting them off the head. So no need for a 6 chnl at this point. When you are ready for the next phase, like adding bow speaker or upgrade the tower speakers, this same 4chnl will drive the new bow speakers, then add an amp for the towers, or then upgrade to a 6 chnl, depending on the tower speakers at that time. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Slowly acquiring gear for my plans on the stereo build. Noticed the Wetsounds HT-4 in the classifieds...Since I plan on getting a pair of Exile surf 9's, Wetsounds Icon 8's, or similar, would this amp be a good purchase for the tower speakers?

FYI I'm not in need of wakeboarding-range projection.

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