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Norm02

JL Audio set up VS Wet Sounds Set up

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Norm02

Hey everyone,

I’m thinking about replacing the factory head unit and speakers in my boat which is an ‘05 V Ride.  While that’s being done, I’d also like to add an amp and some tower speakers to my Illusion X tower.

I’m looking at two different options.  One of which I came up with and the other was recommended by dealer’s preferred stereo installer.  Either option will be installed by a professional.

The dealer’s recommended installer came up with what’s mentioned below.  I mirrored what he came up with but with different components and the parts alone are $300 less.

I’m by no means and audio file but I do appreciate clarity and I’m looking for a range of about 30ft off the stern.  Please take a look and let me know if there’s any reason to go with the more expensive option.  

 

Dealer’s preferred stereo guy recommendation:

-Revo 6’s (2 pairs)

-Icon 8s

-Rockford Fosgate PMX-3

HTX-4 Amp

-$2350 in parts from Crutchfield 

 

What I had in mind (JL Audio)

-MX 650s (2 pairs)

-MX770s

-M400 amp

-Rockford PMX-3

-$2059 in parts from Crutchfield

 

P.S. I know that I’m leaving out required mounts, wires, and other required items.  If there’s a significant cost difference between what’s required to make one system work over another please let me know.

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MLA

The revo comes RGB LEDs included, so you can wire up single color red, blue or green. Not sure if you spec'd out the MX650 with LED or not, but they only come with blue. 

The revo has 8 grill options, and there is a price difference between some of them. Not sure what model was quoted in either of your options. Comparing the revo with SS grill to the MX with classic could add to the price difference, so clarify that with the original quote'r

The revo has a larger tweeter and overall higher power handling then the MX650. The revo also come with weather sealed connectors for both the LEDs and speaker leads. You splice the pigtail side to your boat harness for a permanent connection, then just plug the harness to the speaker harness. No more female push-on terminals.  

The icon-8X will bolt right to the tower, no additional mounts or adapters needed. Not sure about the MX770. So if additional hardware is needed for the MX770, factor that in. 

The htx-4 is rated at more rms. However, I would not worry much about the difference between 75 and 100 watts rms to the towers or 50 and 75 to the in-boats. Both amps will deliver quality wattage, so thats not an audible difference there.  

Just some of the differences, outside of demo'ing the speakers. 

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Norm02
11 hours ago, MLA said:

The revo comes RGB LEDs included, so you can wire up single color red, blue or green. Not sure if you spec'd out the MX650 with LED or not, but they only come with blue. 

The revo has 8 grill options, and there is a price difference between some of them. Not sure what model was quoted in either of your options. Comparing the revo with SS grill to the MX with classic could add to the price difference, so clarify that with the original quote'r

The revo has a larger tweeter and overall higher power handling then the MX650. The revo also come with weather sealed connectors for both the LEDs and speaker leads. You splice the pigtail side to your boat harness for a permanent connection, then just plug the harness to the speaker harness. No more female push-on terminals.  

The icon-8X will bolt right to the tower, no additional mounts or adapters needed. Not sure about the MX770. So if additional hardware is needed for the MX770, factor that in. 

The htx-4 is rated at more rms. However, I would not worry much about the difference between 75 and 100 watts rms to the towers or 50 and 75 to the in-boats. Both amps will deliver quality wattage, so thats not an audible difference there.  

Just some of the differences, outside of demo'ing the speakers. 

I did spec out the MX650s and 770s with Blue LEDs (the only color I’d want) and the ones I picked have the Ti grill.  The boat is black and gray so I thought that would match nicely.

I do like the thought of a cleaner install on the tower but the difference would have to be pretty dramatic for me to pay an extra $300.  That being said, the JLs are a better looking speaker IMO which is not my main concern but it is important to me.

**EDIT**  I’ve also considered the Clarion M508 for a head unit and I think this one would fit in the factory location without having to modify anything.  The Rockford unit would cause me to loose the armrest door which I’m not too happy about.  Thoughts between those two units? 

MX650

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_13691512/JL-Audio-MX650-CCX-SG-TLD-B-Black-w-Titanium-Sport-grilles.html?tp=61755

MX770

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_13691199/JL-Audio-MX770-ETXv3-SG-TKLD-B-Satin-Black-w-Titanium-Sport-grilles.html?tp=67880

Clarion Reciever

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_020M508/Clarion-M508.html?tp=61742

Edited by Norm02

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Ronnie

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Stevo

Are you considering a zone controller in lieu of a head unit? There are a few different options with Bluetooth connections that all but eliminate to need for a head unit (except for XM, or CD’s if you are still using these)  and the zone controller/eq gives you more flexibility when trying to hit that 30ft range and not blowing out the cabin occupants 

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Norm02
11 minutes ago, Stevo said:

Are you considering a zone controller in lieu of a head unit? There are a few different options with Bluetooth connections that all but eliminate to need for a head unit (except for XM, or CD’s if you are still using these)  and the zone controller/eq gives you more flexibility when trying to hit that 30ft range and not blowing out the cabin occupants 

The Clarion M508 has “dual zone control” which says that it will allow the boat to be split into two distinct areas.  Is that what you mean by a “zone controller?”

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Stevo
35 minutes ago, Norm02 said:

The Clarion M508 has “dual zone control” which says that it will allow the boat to be split into two distinct areas.  Is that what you mean by a “zone controller?”

No, there is a big difference IMHO between the 2 types because with the 420/MKII the dials are easily adjustable on the fly. Within the first few times you use it chances are you will be able to make adjustments without even looking at it , vs using the menu settings in the head unit when you want to make a change there are are probably a few steps to make those adjustments.

 

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Slurpee

@Norm02,

Looks like you're soliciting advice.  To cut the end in the first sentence you're not comparing equal equipment.  Take the Wetsounds deal for great value.  Nothing wrong with paying more for JL.  I did, but it is more.

Putting in two pairs of JL MX650 (65W rms) or Wetsounds Revo6 (100W rms) isn't a direct comparison in my opinion.  I'm a fan of both manufacturers and have a mix of both on my boat right now.  If you want to directly compare the Revo6 to a JL speaker then you need to make the comparison against a JL M650.  While listed as a 75W rms speaker, it's really 100W rms all day long.  It's also a better speaker than the MX650 and a better comparison against the Revo6 in terms of the sound you're going to get now.  And your pricing is going to reflect that.

The same story goes for Icon8 tower speakers.  You'll need to compare them against the JL M770etx pods.  Not the MX770etx.  And a better comparison is the M880etx pods which I have.  I've listened intently to all of these.  I happen to like the M880etx enough to buy into them, but the Icon8 are a better value and equally good in the sound department.  I agree with you though that the JL pods look a lot better.  That's just individual taste though.

I have no comment on your headunit itself.  But I strongly recommend you think about this.  How steady is your hand punching a bunch of tiny buttons on a screen going through layers of controls while bouncing around in the boat trying to run the stereo and drive?  It aint easy at all.  KNOBS are the king of all simplicity.  I subscribe to KISS when it comes to boat stereo controls.  To that end the advice above about a WS-420 is golden.  You WILL be tweaking treble, mid-bass, bass, volume on the fly on a song to song basis.  Especially as the types of music change and whether you're floating and underway.  You'll also be doing that on the fly often between the cabin and tower.  The WS-420 makes it so easy I've never had a problem with anyone taking the helm immediately getting comfortable with manipulating the sound to their liking.

Also, as mentioned above you really don't need a Headunit with a WS420 at all.  That EQ has 2 inputs and a Bluetooth connection.  You can run one input to an AUX cable, another to your Headunit if you even get one or to SIRIUS or to USB (via an adapter), and just link straight to it via bluetooth.  With all those options and all the manipulation you'll be doing on the fly directly to the EQ you should reflect on if you'll even get a benefit out of the headunit.  I ripped it out of my '01 just because it was always failing or glitching or causing other problems.  If nothing else it's just more wires to run around that might fail or pick up noise.

The Amps you listed are probably fine for the cabin speakers if it's being professionally installed and tuned.  Your gains won't get set too high.  I like about 150-200% of the amp for any speaker I'm driving just for the sake of efficiency on the amp.  But that can be debated extensively based on personal preferences.

You did not list an amp for the tower speakers either way.  Don't forget that. 

I also don't see a sub anywhere in your list.  You'll really really want that to fill out the music.  If you don't it'll sound an awful lot like driving a ford ranger down the road at 50mph and the windows open.  You'll just hear the vocals is what I'm saying.

Here's my photo album for my JL Audio Install.  All JL speakers and DSP and Sub Amp.  The rest are Wetsounds amps.

JL Audio Upgrade of 2016 Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX

Last, don't only decide based on Crutchfield pricing.  It's not a bad baseline.  But the installer has a significantly different price book to work from based on Manufacturer Approved Pricing on the deals he can work for you.

If you decide you like the idea of JL speakers for the tower then I can save you a little money.  I have a set of the mounting blocks for sale used in our classified section. 

There was also someone on the site that was selling TWO sets of JL M770etx pods, the Wetsounds tower bracket and the requisite mounting blocks several months back.  It was a great deal.  I don't remember it selling, just falling off the classified section's timeout period.  Does anyone remember who that was? 

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David

For me, in a 6.5" coaxial, the JL MX650 is a perfectly balanced speaker and my favorite among all 6.5" marine coaxials. Extremely neutral and musical. However, when you step up to a 7.7" there's a difference between the MX and M series, and that same balance is achieved in the M model. But there's more. In the M series for the tower, you have the option of a M770 coaxial in the TCS 'tower' version versus the CCS 'cockpit' version. Here's the difference between two 7.7" speakers that otherwise appear to be identical. One ('C') uses an infinite baffle midbass driver that is ideal for use in an expansive coaming/gunnel cavity. The other ('T') uses an acoustic suspension midbass driver that is ideal for use in a very compact enclosure such as a tower pod with greatly improved midbass extension and output. What a difference matching the speaker to the application will make. As for power, I would look into the JL Audio 8-channel amplifier. You need a better plan for the correct distribution of power. I'm not sure what year BU transitioned away from dash speakers, but if you have dash speakers you need to gain these independently from the rear cockpit speakers and that will require four discrete in-boat channels. On the tower, you really need far more power. So you could bridge four channels into two.              

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MLA
4 hours ago, Norm02 said:

The Clarion M508 has “dual zone control” which says that it will allow the boat to be split into two distinct areas.  Is that what you mean by a “zone controller?”

I like the M508, but it does not have a true dual zone setup that works well for an in-boat/tower setup. You are better off just using its FADE. 

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Slurpee
2 hours ago, David said:

For me, in a 6.5" coaxial, the JL MX650 is a perfectly balanced speaker and my favorite among all 6.5" marine coaxials. Extremely neutral and musical. However, when you step up to a 7.7" there's a difference between the MX and M series, and that same balance is achieved in the M model. But there's more. In the M series for the tower, you have the option of a M770 coaxial in the TCS 'tower' version versus the CCS 'cockpit' version. Here's the difference between two 7.7" speakers that otherwise appear to be identical. One ('C') uses an infinite baffle midbass driver that is ideal for use in an expansive coaming/gunnel cavity. The other ('T') uses an acoustic suspension midbass driver that is ideal for use in a very compact enclosure such as a tower pod with greatly improved midbass extension and output. What a difference matching the speaker to the application will make. As for power, I would look into the JL Audio 8-channel amplifier. You need a better plan for the correct distribution of power. I'm not sure what year BU transitioned away from dash speakers, but if you have dash speakers you need to gain these independently from the rear cockpit speakers and that will require four discrete in-boat channels. On the tower, you really need far more power. So you could bridge four channels into two.              

Oh I forgot about that.  Yeah, the '06 Vride should have those windshield speakers.  And I ran the MX650's throughout the boat back then.  Upgrading from the Polk MM650s when a couple had surrounds rot.  The MX650s sounded great!  And the gains absolutely had to be independently adjusted.  I used a M600/6 for the 6 cabin 6" coaxials.

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Cboom12

I know they weren’t on your list, but have you looked at exile? If price is a factor their 6.5 inch speaker is awesome and reasonably priced. I have wet sounds now because I got the factory axis stereo, but my Malibu had an exile system. Also their customer service is second to none. 

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MLA

Bored last night so was looking on crutchfields site. I dont see the X mount pods, just fixed and swivel. Did you manually add in the X mount or put the fixed or swivel model in your cart? This might effect the price difference a little. 

I also think if you substituted the 880 for the 770 tower pods, I think that $300 difference will flip the other way. 

Edited by MLA

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Norm02
21 hours ago, Slurpee said:

@Norm02,

Looks like you're soliciting advice.  To cut the end in the first sentence you're not comparing equal equipment.  Take the Wetsounds deal for great value.  Nothing wrong with paying more for JL.  I did, but it is more.

Putting in two pairs of JL MX650 (65W rms) or Wetsounds Revo6 (100W rms) isn't a direct comparison in my opinion.  I'm a fan of both manufacturers and have a mix of both on my boat right now.  If you want to directly compare the Revo6 to a JL speaker then you need to make the comparison against a JL M650.  While listed as a 75W rms speaker, it's really 100W rms all day long.  It's also a better speaker than the MX650 and a better comparison against the Revo6 in terms of the sound you're going to get now.  And your pricing is going to reflect that.

The same story goes for Icon8 tower speakers.  You'll need to compare them against the JL M770etx pods.  Not the MX770etx.  And a better comparison is the M880etx pods which I have.  I've listened intently to all of these.  I happen to like the M880etx enough to buy into them, but the Icon8 are a better value and equally good in the sound department.  I agree with you though that the JL pods look a lot better.  That's just individual taste though.

I have no comment on your headunit itself.  But I strongly recommend you think about this.  How steady is your hand punching a bunch of tiny buttons on a screen going through layers of controls while bouncing around in the boat trying to run the stereo and drive?  It aint easy at all.  KNOBS are the king of all simplicity.  I subscribe to KISS when it comes to boat stereo controls.  To that end the advice above about a WS-420 is golden.  You WILL be tweaking treble, mid-bass, bass, volume on the fly on a song to song basis.  Especially as the types of music change and whether you're floating and underway.  You'll also be doing that on the fly often between the cabin and tower.  The WS-420 makes it so easy I've never had a problem with anyone taking the helm immediately getting comfortable with manipulating the sound to their liking.

Also, as mentioned above you really don't need a Headunit with a WS420 at all.  That EQ has 2 inputs and a Bluetooth connection.  You can run one input to an AUX cable, another to your Headunit if you even get one or to SIRIUS or to USB (via an adapter), and just link straight to it via bluetooth.  With all those options and all the manipulation you'll be doing on the fly directly to the EQ you should reflect on if you'll even get a benefit out of the headunit.  I ripped it out of my '01 just because it was always failing or glitching or causing other problems.  If nothing else it's just more wires to run around that might fail or pick up noise.

The Amps you listed are probably fine for the cabin speakers if it's being professionally installed and tuned.  Your gains won't get set too high.  I like about 150-200% of the amp for any speaker I'm driving just for the sake of efficiency on the amp.  But that can be debated extensively based on personal preferences.

You did not list an amp for the tower speakers either way.  Don't forget that. 

I also don't see a sub anywhere in your list.  You'll really really want that to fill out the music.  If you don't it'll sound an awful lot like driving a ford ranger down the road at 50mph and the windows open.  You'll just hear the vocals is what I'm saying.

Here's my photo album for my JL Audio Install.  All JL speakers and DSP and Sub Amp.  The rest are Wetsounds amps.

JL Audio Upgrade of 2016 Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX

Last, don't only decide based on Crutchfield pricing.  It's not a bad baseline.  But the installer has a significantly different price book to work from based on Manufacturer Approved Pricing on the deals he can work for you.

If you decide you like the idea of JL speakers for the tower then I can save you a little money.  I have a set of the mounting blocks for sale used in our classified section. 

There was also someone on the site that was selling TWO sets of JL M770etx pods, the Wetsounds tower bracket and the requisite mounting blocks several months back.  It was a great deal.  I don't remember it selling, just falling off the classified section's timeout period.  Does anyone remember who that was? 

I appreciate you letting me know about the “M” series being a better comparison than the “MX” series.  As I previously mentioned, my stereo knowledge is limited and I don’t want to compare apples to oranges.

I do want to amplify the interior speakers as well so I’ll check out 6 channel amps.  The dealer recommended installer is going to send me some pictures of what he thinks would be best and I’ll let update this thread once I receive the pictures.  

18 hours ago, Slurpee said:

Oh I forgot about that.  Yeah, the '06 Vride should have those windshield speakers.  And I ran the MX650's throughout the boat back then.  Upgrading from the Polk MM650s when a couple had surrounds rot.  The MX650s sounded great!  And the gains absolutely had to be independently adjusted.  I used a M600/6 for the 6 cabin 6" coaxials.

My V Ride does in fact have 4 interior speakers and they’re located in the dash (by the windshield) and underneath the rear bench seat. It sounds like I’m going to have to decide if the “M” Series interior and tower speakers are worth the extra ~$430 compared to the “MX” series. 

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Slurpee

@Norm02,

For what it's worth, your '06 isn't too far off my old '01 in terms of the interior audio capabilities.

So I had a ported 10" sub under the dash like this.  I think it was a JL 10W6.  You can also see my First Generation WS-420 sitting in that picture.  I never made it a nice install.  I just hung it there and it worked like a champ plus being easy to get to.

28928185598_d92526c100_b.jpg 40990914560_8cd9dedd3a_b.jpg

 

My amp board was like this

40990914340_d59831f9c1_b.jpg 42084286124_ccb32c0449_b.jpg

 

I did this modification to add speakers to the bow by building a mount to fit in the pocket.

40990913290_496fe823f5_b.jpg 40990913620_697b3052fc_b.jpg

42816490231_bbc219dc34_b.jpg

And back then it was some Pro485 and Pro80 speakers.  

42084286224_ee12f30326_b.jpg

Anyways, just some ideas for you.  I think everyone would agree regardless of their favorite brands that properly powering your speakers is very important and will make a big difference .  Something that David pointed out to me many years ago when I was replacing the speakers on the dash was that it's a good idea to avoid a speaker with any bright color or chrome.  It'll reflect up onto the glass and ruin some of your visibility with the glare. Get something bland or modify the grill to cut down on that.  I used classic grille MX650s.  Sound was awesome.  Used the same on the speakers near the floor as well because they were less likely to catch toes or allow pointy things like skis or what not from getting jammed into the woofer.  I don't think I ever replaced the Polks in the bow.  They sounded good.

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Norm02

I talked to the installer earlier and he does not want to use anything made by Clarion.  Apparently he isn’t a fan of theirs so he sent me a picture of what the RF unit would like installed.  

I think it looks really clean but that’s right where I rest my arm when I’m cruising and I’m not really thrilled about losing the flap that covers the current head unit.  Perhaps he can come up with another option that will fit in the existing spot without modification.  Thoughts?

 

A5B9D753-93EE-48A6-8BFD-C0921E0DE928.jpeg

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MLA

Fusion makes a standard single DIN unit that should allow you to retain the armrest/door. RA70Ni. 

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Cboom12

If you get a West sounds 420 or an exile Zld u don’t need a head unit. Therefore you won’t lose ur arm rest. 

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MLA

Unless you want USB, CD or tuner, then you still need a traditional head unit. 

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Gavin17

If you end up not using the factory head unit location under the arm rest put a pocket there for your phone and wallet. 

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Nitrousbird

DO NOT use that stupid armrest pocket.  I converted mine to house my Sirius tuner that I never use.  Under dash is the only way to go on the SV23 hulls.

I have an older Alpine iDA-X100M (back when Alpine did marine audio).  Back then it made a lot of sense for me and was the best overall option available regardless of price - now, I'd probably just do whatever the cool trend is that has a transom remote option and Bluetooth; Exile and Wetsounds both have some nice solutions for that.  IMO, a transom remote is a MUST if you ever like to swim behind your boat.

DSC03948.jpg

IMG_4061_zps2sbagalo.jpg

DSC03951.jpg

20180428_105050.jpg

 

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