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23 MXZ Stock Stereo Upgrades


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Been following the various AMp/Sub threads on the newer boats but trying to figure out my best course of action.  I have the stock stereo in a 2020, with 4 REV10s on the GX tower one sub and the normal boat speakers.  Although the system is 'loud' I thought it would be louder, especially when out on the water with the engine going.  In addition the sub lacks that punch that my old boat had and rattles, so I'm gonna have to investigate or potentially build a new enclosure and upgrade the sub.


If I add a third AMP dedicated to the subwoofer,  will that improve overall 'loudness' of the other speakers on the shared AMP without having to swap out the stock AMPs?

Also curious, for the guys that have sold the Malibu AMPs, how much they are getting for them?  Trying to see how much costs can be offset if I swap this stuff over.


Thanks in advance.  I have to say i'm fairly disappointed considering the costs of the stereos in these boats.  It sounds fantastic in the showroom, below average out on the water.  

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I would pull the stock sub out of enclosure and inspect box, maybe take some internal measurements to see specs. The sub itself is a great sub. Can handle 500 watts rms. Since these amps are DSP the 5and6 channel is already programmed and bridged for the sub. You will not gain anymore power for the other in boat speakers. I'm not sure what amp malibu is running for 4 rev10s. I do know the sub and in boats is powered by a DSP SYNDX6. My 17 22mxz has 4 rev 8s on tower and I swapped out the DSP syndx2 for a non DSP WS HP syndx2.3 giving each rev 300 tuned watts....HUGE IMPROVEMENT! I pulled my sub and surprisingly the box was built to spec and air tight. My sub sounds good but I will still be swapping the DSP syndx6 for a non WS DSP SYNDX6 and tune myself. These DSP tunes are clean but conservative and won't please everyone. 

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I'll take a look at the enclosure when the boat comes back from service.  I'll see whats in the boat and report back.  Thanks.

OK finally got my boat back from service and had a look under the helm.  The stock box is 17.5"w x 14.75" h x 9" d.  In addition I found a huge set of wires and plastic connector hanging in the front between the sub and the fiberglass wall.  It's like Malibu put a wire in the best possible spot to create rattle.  It was loosely hanging so it will be easy to move.

I decided to go with the syndx2.3hd for the 4 Rev 10s on the Tower, a syndx4 to power the cabin speakers, a JL MHD750/1 to power my sub, and while I was at it I am replacing the stock sub with a JL 12w6v3-D4.  I got one of the adapters from exile audio, the other from the guy making them on ebay.  The speaker connections can either be cut off and spliced in or make adapters per Ronnies instructions.

I am going build a new sub enclosure following IXFEs excellent writeup.  JL calls for a 1.0 cu ft enclosure, with a recommended size per the manual of 15"x15"x12" exterior dimensions using 3/4" material.  

I plan on building my new box 16"w x 13.75"h x 12"d It should fit in my bow seat back opening, allowing me to slide the box in the 17"w x 12"h opening, speaker side up, then rotate it down into place and slide under the heater element.  That's the plan anyways, we will see if it works.

 No heater tube in the way like IXFE had on his 25 LSV.  (I have the 3-outlet heater)  It looks like there is 'plenty' of room to move things around as I need to when I position the new box.

Will update more as I go.

Edited by djheywood
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My 24 MXZ box was right at 1 cubic foot.  Just had it out yesterday.   

buddy just got an atx with all the same wetsounds stuff except his amps aremy locked out like ours I guess? All of his speakers and sub are louder than mine.  I also felt like they sounded more clear than mine too. 


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Well done. I was hoping to make a simple amp and sub swap to a dual voice coil / high power set up. Seems like I need to learn more about these DSP amps and look at replacing the enclosure.

Damn, for what they charge this quality level is serously dissapointing.


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  • 2 weeks later...

OK I finished the install.  Here is the rest of the walkthrough and lessons learned.

The speaked is a bit heavy, but all my measurements paid off and it fit perfectly into the box and all the screw holes were accessible.


Time to get started on the amp replacement.


I will be placing the 2.3HP on the tower speakers (4 REV 10s) and the syndx-4 on the boat cabin speakers.  Of course, the JL MHD/750/1 will drive the new sub.

After unhooking the nest of wires behind the panel and some maneuvering, the panel comes out.


Malibu is nice enough to make this panel ready for a third amplifies, all you have to do is cut the carpet.


I initially install the amplifiers with the 2.3HP on the lower right, however this proved to be problematic as I did not have enough slack in the speaker wires to reach and screw the panel back into the wall.


Although this looked the best and covered all the holes, I had to swap the lower 2 amps.  This was a much better way to go from a wiring perspective, but unfortunately I already stuck the emblems on, so now they are upside down lol.


The wiring is fairly straightforward.  If you have all the adapters (two RCA adapters and two speaker wire adapters) it should be plug and play, but I had a hard time getting one of the speaker wire adapters to click together, so I had to use some good ole electrical tape to ensure the connection doesn't come apart.  Here is the one that had to be taped. 




The harder part was getting another power wire into the distribution block.  There is not much room to work and get the wire bent and fully seated into the distro. block.  That was until I realized that you can remove the metal brackets on the outside of the electrical compartment, take the screw out of the corner support and open up the panel making access much easier.  You can see the distribution block on the bottom and the blue fuse I added.  Open this compartment up if you ever need access!


Once everything was back in I adjusted my amps as follows



Basically gain at about 1 o clock, with high crossover set at 80.  The tower is currently running on Full.  It sounded slightly better then crossed over at 80 but I may switch it back so the speakers aren't as stressed.  I need to get out on the water to tell the difference.  It's hard listening in the garage as a fair comparison.

I purchased the bass volume knob, I like easy and quick bass adjustment, so I ran it to the door of the driver's compartment.  Fairly easy to do and is in perfect reach while driving.



Finally I bought some blue LED strip lights off amazon.  They come in a roll, and there are wires on either end of the roll, so you basically can get two strips out of each roll without having to buy connectors, solder etc.  I bought three rolls and that was enough to replace all the whimpy single LEDs above the cup holders and one strip for the subwoofer kickpanel.  The more LEDs you use in each strip the more power they will draw.  I learned the hard way that the interior lights breaker trips at around 7.7-7.8 amps.  I clipped a few off each strip and ended up around 6.5.  The blue will now match my underwater lights.



After hooking everything up I can say that the boat is definitely louder and has a lot more bass.  It is clean and I am very much satisfied.  It is a shame that Malibu puts in these detuned amps.  For the price of it all, the boat should come this way to start.  Maybe Malibu can start offering a full power stereo option.  Same price, no warranty.  Everybody wins?


If you are thinking of tackling this project I would definitely say go for it.  It was not that hard, was fun and I learned a lot.  Many thanks to IXFE and G-Spot for all their advice and assistance.


  • Like 3
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I just completed a similar install on my 2017 vlx.  Are you having any noise issues when the boat motor is on?  I’m sure it’s a ground loop but I can’t seem to locate it.  I would like to keep the factory head unit.  I’ve tried troubleshooting the problem from every angle and can’t figure it out.

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13 hours ago, bdelk said:

I just completed a similar install on my 2017 vlx.  Are you having any noise issues when the boat motor is on?  I’m sure it’s a ground loop but I can’t seem to locate it.  I would like to keep the factory head unit.  I’ve tried troubleshooting the problem from every angle and can’t figure it out.

Does the noise continue when the RCAs are unplugged?

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  • 2 months later...

I have the same boat. What about the warranty?  Does it get voided since you changed stereo equipment?

I am thinking about replacing the sub box, it is total garbage. I have no idea how Malibu can let these boats leave the factory with these terrible stereos and still charge a ton of money. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

One more question, did the stock box slide out or did you have to cut it into sections?  And did the stock amp for the sub power the JL ok?

Edited by dwc032
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Yes the stock box came out whole.  I did not need to disassemble it.  I took it out from the bow side.  I added a new amp for the sub.  I did not use the stock amp, which was two bridges channels from the syndx 6 dsp.  Much better to have a dedicated sub amp in my opinion. 

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59 minutes ago, djheywood said:

Yes the stock box came out whole.  I did not need to disassemble it.  I took it out from the bow side.  I added a new amp for the sub.  I did not use the stock amp, which was two bridges channels from the syndx 6 dsp.  Much better to have a dedicated sub amp in my opinion. 

Awesome good to know.  Thanks for the response!

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/27/2020 at 6:07 PM, RyanR206 said:

Very nice, I need to build a box for my xxx 12 

Did you ever get to doing this? Looking to put an xxx12 under helm and under ob compartment

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