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Asmodeus2112

2005 VLX Stereo Refresh

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Asmodeus2112

Hi Y'all. I just bought this boat, and the 6.5's and 6x9 OEM Sony Xplode speakers are all exploded. The Kicker sub is all swelled and crumbling. I yanked the sub today, and need to get busy replacing it so the fam can get to enjoying the boat asap. Since the boat is older I am not looking to go all out. I'd like some components that are high on value, but solid.

1. Biggest question is about a sub. I don't want to do a bunch of customizing of the boat, so something that is an easy drop in, probably with it's own amp is what I am thinking. I know they sound muffled inside the observers compartment, so under the helm would be ideal. Recommendations? How significantly better does a sub sound under the helm vs. in the observers compartment?

2. I'm thinking Polk db series for the 6.5" and 6x9"s. Ok, or better recommendations? Are Kicker speakers any good? I always associate the brand with cheap, but i like what I see on their website lately.

3. The boat has a Sony XPlode amp and a Kicker amp. I'm not sure about their condition. Maybe easier to just buy some Class D's instead of messing around testing these amp?

4. The only upgrade to the stereo was a newer Kenwood media head unit. It's kinda nice so I'll probably keep it. Problem is it doesn't power on. I'll trace this down. What is the best way to get access to the back of the head unit on this boat? Best to leave all the panels in place and pull the head unit up on out?

Thanks!

 

Edited by Asmodeus2112

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MLA
10 hours ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

The Kicker sub is all swelled and crumbling.

Is this the condition of the actual woofer, of the MDF enclosure its in? If the woofer is still good, you can just make a new and better enclosure and reuse the woofer.

10 hours ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

How significantly better does a sub sound under the helm vs. in the observers compartment?

A woofer closed in an insulated locker is equal to a huge reduction in amp wattage. They are not as musical and become mostly a boat shaker. When under the helm and allowed to radiate into the cabin, you hear more of the bass, not just feel it. 

 

10 hours ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

Problem is it doesn't power on. I'll trace this down. What is the best way to get access to the back of the head unit on this boat? Best to leave all the panels in place and pull the head unit up on out?

Should be able to do what you need by just popping the head unit out. Good chance there is a hanger attached to the back though.

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Asmodeus2112
14 minutes ago, MLA said:

Is this the condition of the actual woofer, of the MDF enclosure its in? If the woofer is still good, you can just make a new and better enclosure and reuse the woofer.

A woofer closed in an insulated locker is equal to a huge reduction in amp wattage. They are not as musical and become mostly a boat shaker. When under the helm and allowed to radiate into the cabin, you hear more of the bass, not just feel it. 

 

Should be able to do what you need by just popping the head unit out. Good chance there is a hanger attached to the back though.

Thanks MLA. Unfortunately the subwoofer's edges are deteriorated.Even though,  I don't have enough time to build an enclosure. Family and I are not super critical listeners or party cove goers. We do enjoiy listening to music while swimming of the back and hanging around in the boat though. Since the boat is all wired to have the sub in the observers compartment, I think what I would like to do is put a new on in there temporarily and after the season is over move it under the helm.

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minnmarker

So here's what I have done with a basically identical boat:

Take out the kick plate by the drivers feet. The carpet is smooth and continuous underneath.  No worries.  Put the kick plate somewhere never to be seen again.  Put a Wet Sounds XS-12 in a QBOMB box with some rubber feet on it and push it in there.  You'll want it removable because you are going to want to get under the helm for other stuff.  You can glue some insulation foam inside the QBOMB to "tune" it to the XS-12 if you want.

Sounds great.  Driven by the 500W sub channel on an Alpine PDX-V9.

My Sony Explode speakers lasted about a day after I bought the boat. :)

Get rid of the head unit.  There's a pesky little bolt that holds the back of the head unit to a brace/hanger. Best way to get at it is from the bottom.  You'll also need a set of the Sony head unit extractors (couple bucks on Amazon).  Loosen the panel by taking out about 3 screws.  Hope you don't have huge arms!  The head units DIN slot is now has a storage box in it for nose plugs, rings, other jewelry, etc.  A Wet Sounds 420SQ-BT now serves up the music.

I don't know about kicker subs but have 6 of their KM8's on various craft/positions and love them.

Last year (or 2016?) I got a "refurbished" (actually new) Kicker CX1200.1 amp off Amazon for a good price.  600 real RMS watts if you just want an amp for the sub.

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Asmodeus2112
1 hour ago, minnmarker said:

So here's what I have done with a basically identical boat:

Take out the kick plate by the drivers feet. The carpet is smooth and continuous underneath.  No worries.  Put the kick plate somewhere never to be seen again.  Put a Wet Sounds XS-12 in a QBOMB box with some rubber feet on it and push it in there.  You'll want it removable because you are going to want to get under the helm for other stuff.  You can glue some insulation foam inside the QBOMB to "tune" it to the XS-12 if you want.

Sounds great.  Driven by the 500W sub channel on an Alpine PDX-V9.

My Sony Explode speakers lasted about a day after I bought the boat. :)

Get rid of the head unit.  There's a pesky little bolt that holds the back of the head unit to a brace/hanger. Best way to get at it is from the bottom.  You'll also need a set of the Sony head unit extractors (couple bucks on Amazon).  Loosen the panel by taking out about 3 screws.  Hope you don't have huge arms!  The head units DIN slot is now has a storage box in it for nose plugs, rings, other jewelry, etc.  A Wet Sounds 420SQ-BT now serves up the music.

I don't know about kicker subs but have 6 of their KM8's on various craft/positions and love them.

Last year (or 2016?) I got a "refurbished" (actually new) Kicker CX1200.1 amp off Amazon for a good price.  600 real RMS watts if you just want an amp for the sub.

I saw your post with a picture of your sub. Do you have a heater back there? Is your QBOMB box a sealed or vented one?

I like the idea of ditching the head unit. The only thing that keeps me from doing that is the idea of a transom control. My boat has a sony control pad back there, and I assume it has a hole behind it, so covering it with a newer one that works is an idea I like.

Edited by Asmodeus2112

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MLA
17 hours ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

The only upgrade to the stereo was a newer Kenwood media head unit.

 

38 minutes ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

the idea of a transom control. My boat has a sony control pad back there, and I assume it has a hole behind it, so covering it with a newer one that works is an idea I like.

Is your current head unit a marine unit that supports a like-brand remote? 

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minnmarker
42 minutes ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

I saw your post with a picture of your sub. Do you have a heater back there? Is your QBOMB box a sealed or vented one?

I like the idea of ditching the head unit. The only thing that keeps me from doing that is the idea of a transom control. My boat has a sony control pad back there, and I assume it has a hole behind it, so covering it with a newer one that works is an idea I like.

No heater in mine but there's room. Others have done it.  I've got a shower :)

I thought I would miss the transom remote too - the idea that you would be floating on something and want to change the volume - but never used it and don't miss it.  Hole is patched but still looks a little off color so it's now covered by a decal my daughter picked.

Big idea for this your is one of those remote Blue Tooth controllers.  The 420 allows you to easily have separate volume control of cabin/sub/surf speakers.

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Asmodeus2112
1 hour ago, MLA said:

 

Is your current head unit a marine unit that supports a like-brand remote? 

Yes, it's a Kenwood. http://www.kenwood.com/usa/car/marine/kmr-m315bt/

I do like the idea of the zone controller. My wife likes the dash speakers turned down, and now with this boat there are a pair of speaker in the bow. I'd like to be able to control the tower and the dash speakers seperately. Still if I can use existing instead of spending another $230 or more.... I have a Kicker ZXMRLC zone control that I was going to put in my last boat. I am planning on using it. 

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hunter77ah
3 minutes ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

Yes, it's a Kenwood. http://www.kenwood.com/usa/car/marine/kmr-m315bt/

I do like the idea of the zone controller. My wife likes the dash speakers turned down, and now with this boat there are a pair of speaker in the bow. I'd like to be able to control the tower and the dash speakers seperately. Still if I can use existing instead of spending another $230 or more.... I have a Kicker ZXMRLC zone control that I was going to put in my last boat. I am planning on using it. 

I'm a big fan of the Kicker- It works well in my boat.  I didn't want all of the extra eq settings, etc.

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RedWakesetterVLX

If all you want is zone control ABT.com has the Wet Sounds WS220BT for just over $209.99 They are also a authorized dealer.  Best price I've found on it. 

https://www.abt.com/product/101374/Wet-Sounds-4-Zone-Level-Controller-With-Bluetooth-WS220BT.html

control up to 4 zones and has BT.  This replaced my old Sony head unit. 

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95echelon
On 5/6/2018 at 9:00 PM, Asmodeus2112 said:

Hi Y'all. I just bought this boat, and the 6.5's and 6x9 OEM Sony Xplode speakers are all exploded. The Kicker sub is all swelled and crumbling. I yanked the sub today, and need to get busy replacing it so the fam can get to enjoying the boat asap. Since the boat is older I am not looking to go all out. I'd like some components that are high on value, but solid.

1. Biggest question is about a sub. I don't want to do a bunch of customizing of the boat, so something that is an easy drop in, probably with it's own amp is what I am thinking. I know they sound muffled inside the observers compartment, so under the helm would be ideal. Recommendations? How significantly better does a sub sound under the helm vs. in the observers compartment?

2. I'm thinking Polk db series for the 6.5" and 6x9"s. Ok, or better recommendations? Are Kicker speakers any good? I always associate the brand with cheap, but i like what I see on their website lately.

3. The boat has a Sony XPlode amp and a Kicker amp. I'm not sure about their condition. Maybe easier to just buy some Class D's instead of messing around testing these amp?

4. The only upgrade to the stereo was a newer Kenwood media head unit. It's kinda nice so I'll probably keep it. Problem is it doesn't power on. I'll trace this down. What is the best way to get access to the back of the head unit on this boat? Best to leave all the panels in place and pull the head unit up on out?

Thanks!

 

1 - MLA knows subs better than me, but ideally build your own box if you have heat so you can completely re-do your panel, don't do open air if you can avoid it. There is a full setup of wetsounds sub and amp on ebay now:

2 - 6.5 in boat, and 6x9 on tower right? How many 6x9's on the tower?

3 - I would always try a new amp

4 - I use an apple watch or iphone on bluetooth. New apple watch controls the BT well. Also these work well and you can keep your phone plugged in on shuffle out of the sun... https://www.amazon.com/BTRP-TAPSTICK-Universal-Waterproof-Bluetooth/dp/B06XFV9SRZ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1526931457&sr=8-3&keywords=bluetooth+remote+waterproof

On my boat I changed the previous owners grab bag of headunit powered XPLOD speakers, 4 - 6.5inch cans up top with infinity and wetsounds speakers and a kenwood 12 inch? sub. I went to well amplified wetsounds xs-650 speakers in the boat and kicker HLCD's up top. Love the wetsounds in the boat (MUCH better sound), not sure on the kicker HLCD's as 6.5" is just a treble monster. They scream far but they sounds screechy (and I have them way over-amplified). My next projects (in order) are 1 - Get better tower speakers, maybe just move to 4-8" wetsounds for near field listening. 2 - move that sub under the help (unfortunately I have a 3 outlet heater). 3 - Fresh Air Exhaust.

I put a WS-420BT in my boat. The BT has a bit of hiss so I use the AUX cable now but I LOVE the zone control.

On 5/7/2018 at 12:04 PM, minnmarker said:

So here's what I have done with a basically identical boat:

Take out the kick plate by the drivers feet. The carpet is smooth and continuous underneath.  No worries.  Put the kick plate somewhere never to be seen again.  Put a Wet Sounds XS-12 in a QBOMB box with some rubber feet on it and push it in there.  You'll want it removable because you are going to want to get under the helm for other stuff.  You can glue some insulation foam inside the QBOMB to "tune" it to the XS-12 if you want.

Sounds great.  Driven by the 500W sub channel on an Alpine PDX-V9.

My Sony Explode speakers lasted about a day after I bought the boat. :)

Get rid of the head unit.  There's a pesky little bolt that holds the back of the head unit to a brace/hanger. Best way to get at it is from the bottom.  You'll also need a set of the Sony head unit extractors (couple bucks on Amazon).  Loosen the panel by taking out about 3 screws.  Hope you don't have huge arms!  The head units DIN slot is now has a storage box in it for nose plugs, rings, other jewelry, etc.  A Wet Sounds 420SQ-BT now serves up the music.

I don't know about kicker subs but have 6 of their KM8's on various craft/positions and love them.

Last year (or 2016?) I got a "refurbished" (actually new) Kicker CX1200.1 amp off Amazon for a good price.  600 real RMS watts if you just want an amp for the sub.

Which QBOMB? Slanted, Ported, or Sealed Box?

 

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minnmarker
24 minutes ago, 95echelon said:

Which QBOMB? Slanted, Ported, or Sealed Box?

 

Just the sealed QBOMB 12.  You can adjust the interior volume with a bit of foam insulation.  The pink stuff.  https://www.amazon.com/Q-Power-Sealed-Subwoofer-Enclosure-QBOMB12S/dp/B00NG38WZ8/

If you want to control (reduce) the bow area sound independent of the main cabin speaakers these controllers (on the RCA lines) work well.  Wet Sounds resells them at a higher price.  (The 420 only has 3 "zones" tower, cabin, and sub, so you'll need something to keep the wife happy.)  https://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDIOTEK-UNIVERSAL-CAR-AMPLIFIER-BASS-RCA-GAIN-LEVEL-AMP-VOLUME-CONTROL-KNOB-SC5/152062419496?epid=505389280&hash=item2367a06228:g:KZoAAOSw1DtXGGq0

I've got a bunch left from before I got a 420BT, if you want to buy them cheap.  Also have a JL line control sitting around.  Also available cheap.  http://www.jlaudio.com/cl-rlc-car-audio-system-expansion-98117

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minnmarker
53 minutes ago, 95echelon said:

3 - Fresh Air Exhaust.

Make sure an FAE will work with your boat.  I ordered one for my 2005 21LSV and it would not fit under my swim platform.  I guess it fit but there was no way you could fit your arm in through the hatch to put the wedge up or down.

The FAE guy said: "You could always get in the water and to work the wedge."  I decided it wasn't worth it so I returned it.  FAE is a great idea though, and good customer service.  I wish it had fit my boat.

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MLA

A 4-zone w/BT is a great way to have that 4th zone for the bow speakers. 

BT should not have hiss. Get with your dealer or Wet Sounds direct, dont settle for it. They can help to make sure its all wired correctly, setup and tuned correctly and any diagnostic to isolate the hiss. 

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95echelon
47 minutes ago, MLA said:

A 4-zone w/BT is a great way to have that 4th zone for the bow speakers. 

BT should not have hiss. Get with your dealer or Wet Sounds direct, dont settle for it. They can help to make sure its all wired correctly, setup and tuned correctly and any diagnostic to isolate the hiss. 

I bought it used but you are correct and I will call them up. It's not alternator whine, all quality cables and all grounds to the same block etc. Both MAIN and AUX work great, and it's only when the phone connects that the hiss comes (any phone causes it to happen). Word to the wise though is that it seems that most wet-sounds BT units have a tiny bit of hiss (easy to hear in the driveway from HLCD's but hard to notice on the water). From googling it seems like  a small amount of the wet sounds equalizers get a hiss issue and have to be replaced under warranty. Lots of threads around the boat forums about it.

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Asmodeus2112

Well, I am probably going to regret this, but I bought a Kenwood HU and remote. Since I promised the wife I would sell it next spring if she's not digging having a boat again I am thinking about resale. Having a non working transom remote or a hole doesn't seem cool. Most of the people I have sold my boats too have not been sophisticated enough to be crew members and understand the way of zone controlers etc. I already regret this though, and I have not even installed it yet...

Also bought Polk DB speakers. 4x 6x9 and 6x 6.5". Partially through installing these. One aggravation is that the tower is not very precise. 3x 6x9's fit no problem, but the 4th has an interference, so will need a .25" spacer. I'll have to space all of them though, couldn't have just one... still will look ratchet compared to if they were nice and flush. Maybe over the winter I'll decide if it's worth grinding/cutting a bit of the carbon to get the speaker flush. But for now I just need the boat functional.

I intend to use the Kicker ZXMRLC that I have to control the tower speakers and the dash speakers. Although I think they have 6 speakers wired of a 4 channel amp, so I'm going to have to figure out how they did that.

I have not bought a sub yet, leaning twords the QBomb and a Polk 12" DVC. Still need to get things going enough to see if the original amps are acceptable. 

Walking a thin line with the wife about how much money and time I am putting into the boat, but it's what I really enjoy.

Edited by Asmodeus2112

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jwl019

Actually just finished up helping a buddy install a complete new stereo system in his '01 LSV this evening. We did a headunit, Exile ZLD, 2 amps, new in boat speakers, sub, and 4 memphis audio tower speakers.  I know you are going with a little less of a system so take a look at this Exile zone controller, it should get the job done for what you want to do:

https://www.exileaudio.com/store/install-accessories/signal-processing/dual-zone-tower-volume-control-kit.html

If we wouldn't have gotten the last demo ZLD, this is the controller we were looking at.

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MLA
7 hours ago, Asmodeus2112 said:

I intend to use the Kicker ZXMRLC that I have to control the tower speakers and the dash speakers. Although I think they have 6 speakers wired of a 4 channel amp, so I'm going to have to figure out how they did that.

Most any multi-channel amp driving multiple pairs of speakers can be configured and controlled as a single volume zone

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