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2005 23 LSV Stereo Plan and Build


GasBill

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Hello everyone,

Background

I'm a long time reader, but this is my first time posting. I plan to document the build in this thread as well as ask some questions along way.

- This will be my third boat audio install, and I have probably read 95% of the threads on this forum that involve stereo builds and equipment choice.

- I don't want/need the loudest on the lake, but I want a nicely tuned system that I can hear while underway and at wake distance. I want the comments to be "that sounds great" not "I can't feel my ear drums anymore.." We do a good mix of cruising, towing, and hanging at the sandbar.

- I purchased the boat this summer with the equipment below and want to reuse as much as I can for budget reasons, but don't mind tossing a few hundred dollars in strategic places in the build if there is lots to be gained.

- The boat is sadly in storage for the winter, so the "building" will take place in the early spring.

- I decided to redo the system for 2 reasons. First, I felt the previous system was just "OK" and could be so much better. Second, while removing the batteries for the winter I uncovered an absolute rats' nest of wire.. AND accidentally dislodged a main power cable to one of the amps by lightly bumping it with my elbow.. AND the amps bypassed the perko.. AND were grounded to different batteries.. AND.. you get the idea.. I felt this was a safety hazard and proceeded to the current state of the boat.

- Currently, I have since removed the remains of 2 separate prior aftermarket installs, a mess of battery switch wires, and a about a mile of unused RCA cables and speaker wire. I can go into the details if people are interested in hearing about it, but basically the deeper I went the worse it got. I am starting with a "clean slate" in terms of battery banks and stereo. I sadly do not have any pics of the "before"..

Current Equipment

In boats:

- 4x JL MX650 (bow and cabin)

- 2x Sony XS-V1640H (dash) 75W RMS 4ohm

- Powered by a JL M600/6

Tower:

- 2 REV10's

- Powered by an Arc KS600.2

Sub:

- JL 12" w0v3 in a pre fab carpeted MDF box in the observer's compartment (probably the worst combo ever from what I have read on here lol)

- Powered by a JL M2250

Control:

- WS 420BT

- Sony head unit with transom controller

Other Available Equipment:

- Rockville RXMT2 400W x2 @ 4ohms / 600W x2 @ 2ohms

- 4x Rockville RMSTS80W 8" speakers, 250W RMS

Initial Questions

I want to drill down on component selection first. 

1. The system was wired such that only 4 channels were used by running 2 pairs in parallel. (I didn't bother tracing wires to determine which pairs..) The result was surprisingly quite.. blah. Will I have enough power/SQ with my current setup if properly powered and wired? I am not opposed to using 8" speakers in the cabin or adding a pair somewhere else if there is a lot to gain. More on wiring below.

2. I plan to wire one speaker per channel, Should I use RCA splitters to go from the 2 output channels on the WS420BT to the M600/6 so I can adjust gain independently in bow, cabin, and dash? If this is not a useful thing to do/not correct, I will just run 2 inputs and flip the "switch" on the amp to a 2 channel input mode. I have the splitters available from the "purge."

3. I plan to relocate the sub under the helm for obvious reasons and also plan to build a box. Is it worth building a box for the w0, or will I "outgrow" that sub? I was thinking about building a sealed box or rehab the current box for the w0 at first for simplicity, and if it was not enough I'd source a used w3 or w6 (and amp) and build a proper ported enclosure. I don't want to waste time and material on a box for the w0 to just immediately replace it.

4. I know the Arc KS600.2 is one of the choice amps for the REV10's, but: Would the Rockville amp work as well? If yes, I'd sell the Arc and use the money toward other components.

I'll leave it here for now for the sake of not dragging this post on longer than it already is. Once I decide on components I'll do up a wiring diagram and share my thoughts/desires then. Most of what I don't use will be saved for a future Frankenstein garage audio build.

Thank you for your time, I'm excited to get the wheels turning on this project!

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Rewiring the power side so that you don't burn down the boat is a good first step.  If you don't have this part maximized already, now is a perfect time to do so.

1/0ga from battery to fused distribution blocks.  4ga to amps.  No need to run through switch.  Make sure all wiring is tinned marine wire.  (Stinger)

The new Kicker version of Blue Sea terminal blocks looks pretty cool.  I plan to use them on the next system I do.

https://www.kicker.com/marine-master-fuse-holder,  https://www.kicker.com/marine-fused-distribution-block,  https://www.kicker.com/marine-ground-distribution-block

Having the RCA's and speakers hooked up to each individual channel will provide more control but less volume.  I've always been happier bridging four amp channels for each pair of drivers.  Pretty hard to clip a system that way.

So with the existing equipment, I'd chuck the sony dash speakers in the bin and move the JL's up there.  Then put the 8's in the back.

Run the front's from two channels of the Arc amp, run the dash from the other Arc channels, bridged, run the new 8's from the Rockville amp.  Yes, yer gonna need a new amp rack.

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1). Yes, make use of all 6 amp chnls for the existing 3 pair, or even if you added a 4th pair. No issue upgrading some to 8" and still using the current 6 chnl amp. Adding more speakers is the most efficient way to gain volume. 

2) That 6 chnl amp can power all 6 chnls with just one 2-chnl RCA. No need for splitters. The amp has 3 gain dials on the output side, so the number of RCA used on the input side makes no difference to setting gain. 

3), This really depends on your bass expectations. Id build a ported enclosure and make sure you go with an amp that can supply an RMS that exceeds the woofers RMS. The ported enclosure will yield greater output compared to a sealed, and the extra available wattage means the system is going to run at a conservative pace. 

4) Id keep the current 2 chnl amp driving the tower setup. I dont trust any advertised specs from that other brand. 

Above all, proper cable gauge and circuit protection is a must. Im a fan of wiring my amp B+ through the main battery switch output. This allows the amps to be disconnected from the battery(s) when the boat is not in use. It also allows you to chose which bank you want the house loads to draw from.  

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Thank you for the responses,

After re reading the manual for the M600/6, I misinterpreted how the input switch distributes signal and will use the 2 channel mode. It was previously wired with a splitter as well as 2 pairs wired to 2 channels as a 2 ohm load, so hopefully this gives me the volume/clarity these speakers are known for! I'll start there and see how it sounds before adding anything. If I do, I'll consider what robtr8 said and move the sony's to the can, put the cabin JL's in the dash, and some 8's in the cabin. Is it worth the effort to move a pair of the MX650's to the dash? I assume this is where most of the sound comes from in the cabin.

The manual for the w0 sub calls for one of those tube ports. I'm not sure I can get a slot port small enough, so I'll use the manual's recommendation for a ported box. I'll see if I can get over and measure the space under the helm in the next week.

MLA, I figured that was going to be the answer to that question, I'll keep the Arc amp for the towers. 

I'm trying to upload pictures, so hopefully tomorrow I'll figure it out so I can post my wiring diagram.

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Here's my first try at a picture. This is what I came up with so far for the wiring. For now, I hope to use the head unit's USB input for music to keep the transom remote functional with the option of the WS420BT for bluetooth. I can always ditch the head unit later. A couple points/questions:

1. I've read that if I plan to power more than 2-3 devices from the remote turn on lead from the head unit I should us a solenoid switch. This also ensures the power and ground are shared with the amps. Is this a waste of time?

2. My hope was to use the head unit to turn the amps on. Currently, like others have pointed out, the music stops when the key is turned off. I saw a post on Wake Garage about adding a delay relay to keep power to the head unit on long enough to restart the boat/turn the key to ACC. Is this a dumb idea? I notice now that the power for the WS420BT is not shared with the amps. This may be a reason to just add a switch under the dash.

3. I planned for a fuse block because I may be adding LED's later. :whistle:

4. What gauge wire/what wire brands are people using for speaker wire? I have bundles of 4awg tinned OFC wire and random speaker wire from the purge. Along with an unused XM antenna that was wedged behind the seats! :Frustrated:

Let me know where I may be missing something!

kXIK42u.jpg

ya9zEIH.jpg

*edit for pics

Edited by GasBill
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1) noise from the turn-on circuit is not an issue, but excessive loads are. A relay prevents the circuit from blowing inside the head unit. 

2) yes, use the head's turn-on to wake up the amps. However, this is a separate item form the head unit's switched IGN circuit coming through the key switch. Me, I prefer to use a helm rocker to turn the head on, rather then a delay relay. Turn the key off if you want, tunes keep playing till you flip the rocker off. This is also a separate scenario fron where the EQ gets its B+ and B-. All the audio has to share the same battery reference, switch or no switch. Your current head unit wiring is likely going to lead to unwanted noise

3)  While great for adding extra accessories, unless you are planning on multiple groups if individually switched lights, you dont need multiple fuses. A single fused switch will control an entire boat of LED mood lights. Speaker rings, cupholders, bilge vents, etc. 

 

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Got some time to think about this, here is what I came up with:

dX7XNhH.jpg

This would make the head unit on when the batteries are on which I'm not super thrilled about. Can I run the power (red) from head unit through the switch for the rem (blue) wires? I was struggling to come up with a way to wire everything on/off with one switch from one power/ground source. I like having everything on/off with a switch.

For the sub,  2 things:

1. From what I am reading on the site, sub placement in the observer's compartment can cause -3dB to -6dB. It was fired toward the hull (+3dB?), so possibly the SPL level is a wash compared to what it would be in the open cabin. Of course at the expense of SQ. I bring this up because the output of the sub in the previous orientation was not enough for what I was hoping for and I felt I was driving it fairly hard. I did not check the tune on the amp, but the "sub" dial on the 420 was up fairly high and the "boat/tower" was turned down some to balance the music. I am leaning toward "do it once the right way" instead of twice. Is a ported JL 12w3 enough or should I be looking for a 12w6? 

2. I have read some threads on which direction to fire the sub/port. In my first install (as cheap as possible.. boat included :lol:) I fired a sealed 10" sub toward the side of the boat and noticed an increase in volume vs into the boat. I now understand that this may have introduced a phase issue by delaying the sound slightly. Based on some initial models, it is cleaner to build a box/kick panel to fire the sub into the cabin and the port into the side of the boat. Is there an advantage/disadvantage to this orientation? I got the idea from this thread:

As a bored engineer, I really enjoy the details involved in building these systems and have discovered WinISD. At some point I will ask some questions about box tuning so if anyone has advice, I'm very open to suggestions.

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Cant blow the schematics up, so its hard to tell what all you got going on with the head unit and EQ's power harnesses. it also seems you are not clear on what the head unit's red and yellow circuit do. Yellow is actually what you refer to as "power" and the red is just an IGN turn-on. 

54 minutes ago, GasBill said:

I was struggling to come up with a way to wire everything on/off with one switch from one power/ground source. I like having everything on/off with a switch.

Are you referring to a main battery switch or helm rocker? The head unit can "wake" the entire system up. As noted, it already makes use of a switch ignition (IGN) circuit. 

As to the woofer performance. Your current amp is delivering 250W rms, so that makes it a perfect power match to the current woofer. This is a very mild setup. However, upgrading to a woofer in a power handling class thats 2-4 times the power handling of the current woofer, you would not get a return on your investment, unless you also upgraded the amp wattage. With that said, going from a sealed enclosure to a ported enclosure, is going to greatly increase the output, with no equipment costs. This does not even touch on what could also have been a poorly tuned setup, including the wrong volume enclosure or one that was deteriorating. 

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With system turn on/off you want to guard against turn on/off thump.  To do this, the HU must wake up and shut off the amps.  So you shouldn't switch everything on/off with one switch.

Power (yellow) the HU from the Perko.

Switch the HU ignition (red) from the dash rocker.

Grounds all lead back to battery to minimize ground loop.

Turn on the amps (blue) with the HU's amp turn on lead.

So it will be Perko, rocker, HU when you enter.  HU, rocker, Perko when you leave.  Give the HU a tick before hitting the rocker off.  Gotta let it do it's thing.

 

You may find it difficult to package the 12" round woofer and a properly ported enclosure under the dash.

I'm sure you have more room in the LSV than I had under the RLXi but:

You may want to look at doing a 2 Ohm DVC Kicker L7T in a ported enclosure.  Square subs maximize surface area vs total volume.

I had Pete design a box for my L5.  Gave him the driver and the maximum outer dimensions.

PWK Designs sub-box.jpg

07.png.jpg

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Ah yes, I definitely did not understand the red/yellow wires. Thank you both for making that clear, it makes a ton more sense now so disregard the questions about head unit wiring above.

MLA,

I was referring to the helm rocker, but now that I understand what those wires do I realize my question does not make sense.

I forgot to mention a sub upgrade would come with an amp upgrade to match. I really appreciate you being honest and not just telling me to upgrade. For the cost of MDF and epoxy or poly resin (left over from a previous disaster) I think I'll take your suggestion and run what I have before spending money.

robtr8,

Based on some rough measurements I believe I have 25" x 19" x 17" (W x H x D) to work with or 25" x 19" x 10" without losing legroom. These measurements are for a standard rectangular box, and there is a lot of room to gain if I want to get creative with the shape. I do have a heater and want to integrate the hot tubes into the face of the new kick plate.

These are the 2 basic designs I'm talking about. They are actually built to a ported 12w3 spec, but the 12w0 is very similar.

p45WmK2.png

GzsjwTM.png

The question now is port placement: toward the hull or aligned with the woofer into the cabin. If I have some time over the holiday weekend I'll fab up a carboard model and see how it fits.

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44 minutes ago, GasBill said:

Ah yes, I definitely did not understand the red/yellow wires. Thank you both for making that clear, it makes a ton more sense now so disregard the questions about head unit wiring above.

MLA,

I was referring to the helm rocker, but now that I understand what those wires do I realize my question does not make sense.

I forgot to mention a sub upgrade would come with an amp upgrade to match. I really appreciate you being honest and not just telling me to upgrade. For the cost of MDF and epoxy or poly resin (left over from a previous disaster) I think I'll take your suggestion and run what I have before spending money.

robtr8,

Based on some rough measurements I believe I have 25" x 19" x 17" (W x H x D) to work with or 25" x 19" x 10" without losing legroom. These measurements are for a standard rectangular box, and there is a lot of room to gain if I want to get creative with the shape. I do have a heater and want to integrate the hot tubes into the face of the new kick plate.

These are the 2 basic designs I'm talking about. They are actually built to a ported 12w3 spec, but the 12w0 is very similar.

p45WmK2.png

GzsjwTM.png

The question now is port placement: toward the hull or aligned with the woofer into the cabin. If I have some time over the holiday weekend I'll fab up a carboard model and see how it fits.

I’m curious about the differences between hull and cabin porting. The 2 biggest builds I know of have hull porting! Bryan Guy and Danny Pacini

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My first choice is to have the woofer and port going the same direction. In the 2nd design, you could put the woofer on the same side as the port, (may need to tweak the dimensions a little) and have both boundary load off the hull. But, id want to funnel the output to the cabin, rather then wall it off with a façade that seals off against the hull. 

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Hope everyone had a great holiday!

If I understood this correctly, this wire diagram should be correct. I'm undecided about running the yellow wire to the perko or directly to battery 2. It will depend on what I preset in the head unit..

jKw1jxa.jpg

For the sub box, I think I am going to side fire the driver and the port to hopefully squeeze as much out of it as MLA suggested.

n6pzwMs.png

For the kick plate, I thinking something like this:

xNikNFB.png

I will leave the right side open for the sub to project into the cabin. Thoughts on this? I will mock this sized box up in cardboard and attempt to remove the current kickplate if no one sees any obvious issues. I also plan on spacing the box 1" off the floor for ventilation and screwing it to the floor.

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10 minutes ago, GasBill said:

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

If I understood this correctly, this wire diagram should be correct. I'm undecided about running the yellow wire to the perko or directly to battery 2. It will depend on what I preset in the head unit..

jKw1jxa.jpg

For the sub box, I think I am going to side fire the driver and the port to hopefully squeeze as much out of it as MLA suggested.

n6pzwMs.png

For the kick plate, I thinking something like this:

xNikNFB.png

I will leave the right side open for the sub to project into the cabin. Thoughts on this? I will mock this sized box up in cardboard and attempt to remove the current kickplate if no one sees any obvious issues. I also plan on spacing the box 1" off the floor for ventilation and screwing it to the floor.

Building out of birch I presume? Awesome design. Might build side firing boxes for the new boat! 

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Brandonloos21, I'm not 100% sure yet. The one I built for project "El Cheapo" was plywood coated in oil based paint. For this one I'm leaning toward MDF coated in resin. I have a lot of polyester resin, epoxy resin, penetrating epoxy, and fiberglass mat and cloth from a prior boat floor replacement and I was thinking about coating the box in some of that. I know MDF is horrible with water, but it seems really easy to work with. I've seen people use a bed liner and I really like that look as well.

Anyone who has built a box, what do you recommend? 

For the kick plate, I was hoping to use the same material for the amp rack covered with carpet. Maybe HDPE? I'm not sure where to locate that. Again, what is the material of choice?

 

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4 hours ago, GasBill said:

Brandonloos21, I'm not 100% sure yet. The one I built for project "El Cheapo" was plywood coated in oil based paint. For this one I'm leaning toward MDF coated in resin. I have a lot of polyester resin, epoxy resin, penetrating epoxy, and fiberglass mat and cloth from a prior boat floor replacement and I was thinking about coating the box in some of that. I know MDF is horrible with water, but it seems really easy to work with. I've seen people use a bed liner and I really like that look as well.

Anyone who has built a box, what do you recommend? 

For the kick plate, I was hoping to use the same material for the amp rack covered with carpet. Maybe HDPE? I'm not sure where to locate that. Again, what is the material of choice?

 

I built the box in my current boat for my revo xxx 12 sub with birch, double front baffle. I used starboard (marine hdpe) for my kick plate, and ordered an axis kick plate from uptice 

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If I'm reading the schematic correctly, you have the rocker switch feeding the HU + (correct) and the preamp/amps blue (guaranteed to give you a turn off thump).

13 ply Baltic birch is not that much more expensive and MUCH MUCH easier to work because it's not as fragile.

For boats I prefer MDO.  https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-G1S-EXT-Fir-MDO-Board-185303/206461475

I get that you're trying to stay on budget but:

Every new project at my house is a reason to upgrade the tools.

If you haven't experienced a track saw yet, this is the ideal project to rationalise getting one.

 

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This should be better.. Sorry for missing that in your first post.. dumb mistake.:Frustrated:

OsQh2Ik.jpg

For the box material, I really like the look of the MDO board. I'll just have to figure out where to find the stuff.. 

I did some tweaking of the dimensions and was able to get everything neatly and easily on 1 sheet of 4x8 and have plenty left for an amp rack. https://www.cutlistoptimizer.com/ is an awesome free, online tool for this type of work. Once I get a mock up of the box in the boat I'll have a better idea of how difficult it will be to install/remove the box when needed. 

gjLbrqA.png

ehuHku9.png

robtr8,

I totally agree! I'm covered in the saw department, but I'm thinking about adding a router to the collection for this project.

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  • 5 months later...

Winter is finally over here is Central NY and time to update the progress on this. First and foremost, the first DIY winterization was a success! We took her out last week without a sound system... strange experience. Any way, this weekend I was able to get the amp rack built and mounts installed, here are the pictures.

 

Here is the open space with everything removed:

kXWy6Ug.jpg

I started by making a cardboard mock up of the available space on the back wall of the compartment and tracing an outline of the components on it.

2ifo4zv.jpg

After many adjustments, I transferred that to a piece of plywood I had left over from a cornhole project. (Good thing, that stuff is like gold nowadays).

PMV5I3o.jpg

ycIyDD4.jpg

The next challenge was to mount it into the boat. I decided to drill holes and mount studs. I first laid out where I wanted the mounting holes on the amp board and drilled the holes in the board. I later discovered that I had to relocate one hole and should have started with measuring the boat first. If you are doing this yourself, pick a reference point on the boat and measure the region bolts can go and then transfer to the board. I placed the board in position and used the holes in the board as a jig to drill from the inside of compartment. Here is where the holes ended up behind the bow seats.

gnOhc4b.jpg

I used carriage bolts, washers, lock washers, nuts, lock nuts, and loctite to assemble the studs. On the inside of the compartment I layered them as follows: large washer/lock washer/nut - nut (loctited in place)/smaller washer/amp board/smaller washer/lock nut. 

JeKQd8o.jpg

In the end I'm very satisfied with how it turned out, but it was a real pain to get everything lined up. If only I had a dollar for how many times I climbed into that compartment haha.

2HPkd35.jpg

The next step was to wire the amps on the board. I had just enough OFC 4awg wire left over from a previous install to wire the entire board. I put the RCA cables in a wire loom that will be run to the helm. I also used wire ferrules on the power wires and WOW that made the install 100 times easier.

sliqT3V.jpg

HgicieS.jpg

I disassembled the board and threw a couple coats of black oil based paint on it. Pics to come of the final product when the paint dries.

 

I do have some questions about speaker wire. The entire boat was wired with junky 18awg wire, sub and tower speakers included!! I want to replace this with proper wire, but am struggling with how much wire I need. An incoming rainstorm drove me inside for the day, so I didn't have time to measure.. I have 50 feet of 16awg tinned OFC wire for the in boats and 50 feet of 12awg tinned OFC wire for the tower and sub in my amazon shopping cart, but I'm not sure if that is enough. Can someone advise on the length of wire needed to wire the tower speakers and in boats? Am I correct with 16awg/12awg? 

 

Thanks everyone for following and helping!

Edited by GasBill
picture change
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More progress this week. I assembled and wired as much of the amp rack as I can. So far, I'm happy with how it came out.

gsE9wbO.jpg

qlaeS1l.jpg

I also measured for the speaker wire and looks like 65' for the in boats and 50' for the tower. I added a conservative slack to each measurement, but decided to go with 100' roll of 16awg for the in boats and 50' of 12awg.

Next is to install the MX650's in the dash and run new speaker wire. I will need to open up the passenger side speaker hole in the dash. What is the tool of choice? I was planning to use a jig saw or sawzall, but will poke around on here before cutting.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Long time since I posted, but lots of progress. Basically done besides the sub box.

After the amp board was built, I ran the wires to the speakers. I went with 100' of 16 awg for the in boats and 50' of 12 awg for the rev 10's and sub. This turned out to be the right number, I used about 65' of the 16awg and about 35' of the 12 awg.

JP9grOx.jpg

vsOZDey.jpg

lcSPfnr.jpg

At the same time I changed out the dash speakers by removing the windshield. This was super easy. If you're reading this and are on the fence about removing the windshield, just do it. There were 2 machine screws on each side with nuts on the back side, so watch out for those. With a slight amount of prying the windshield popped right off.

5fjQTHF.jpg

Next, I cut the port side hole bigger. I used a jig saw and masked with tape which worked very well. I took my time, and it came out just fine. I also sanded the sharp edges down to reduce the stress risers.

GSzUIIV.jpg

vEoyoJW.jpg

With the speakers in and the wires initially run, I installed the stereo ON switch next to the head unit. I wasn't sure where to put this at first, but I'm thrilled the switch fit where it did. I ran the drill in reverse to cut through the vinyl.

dm4WVHd.jpg

I will get a pic of the outside of the panel when I get back to the boat... 

Next, I used the previous tower speaker wires to pull the new wire through. This was simple and easy. Turns out, the old system was a string of different gauge wires (18awg to 12awg) put together with crimp connectors... yikes.

With all the wires run, I pulled them out and used some of the left over wire loom to bundle them all into one run. Again, I'll take some pics of the final result.

giavnlp.jpg

Next, I wired the 420BT into the power and rem wires.

7ACm6Ak.jpg

Next up was the main power wiring. I used what was left of the 4awg and crimp connectors to wire this up simply because it cost me nothing. At this time, I do not plan to add any extra power with the exception of maybe a sub. Am I okay with 4awg? I did the calcs and they say I'm good to go.. This was easier than expected and turned out WAY better than the spiderweb that was there before and the switch works properly!

llknpaD.jpg

Here is the final result of the amp board:

8oGHJPx.jpg

The board is very solid, I'm happy with the stud mounting system and overall appearance. 

Finally, I removed the kick plate to make room for the sub. This was a huge pain, but I eventually prevailed.

 

Here are the questions moving forward:

I quickly tuned the system with 60Hz and 1000Hz test tones as follows:

Determine highest unclipped output of head unit. (volume 45)

Set 420 volume to 3/4

Set sub level to 3/4

LPF for sub, HPF for in boats and tower.

Crossovers all set to 80Hz (they were ALL over the place)

Set all eq to flat

Play 1000Hz test tone through the 3 pairs of speakers independently and adjust gain until it clipped and backed off to highest unclipped setting. I gained the dash speakers down slightly. 

I did the same with the 60Hz tone and the sub.

First, Did I do this right??

Second, I noticed that one of the channels on the M600/6 is dead. It happened to be the bow speakers, so I ran the speakers in parallel at 2 ohms to get them both playing. Any idea why that channel might be dead? I confirmed with a multi meter.

Third, I could not tell at all when the sub was clipping. It got loud enough to rattle the boat and I couldn't tell what was clipping, what was rattling, or what was my ear wax dislodging from my head. I set this at a level that felt right... Any suggestions?

Finally, the wires from the transom remote (I think) do not fit into the head unit.. I assume this must not be the factory head unit, but there was a 3.5mm plug looking connector that fit into a slot in the head unit and I decided to just plug it in for giggles. To my dismay, the transom remote seemed to not work (no life from the screen). while on the water, on of my buddies bumped the transom remote and the song changed! From what I can tell, the song skip and volume work, but I can't get the screen to work. Any thoughts? Or should I take it as a win and move on?

For now, I put the old sub under the dash facing toward the driver just on the floor (had to be ready for Memorial day haha). Even with a shoddy tune, the system is much more clear and can get MUCH louder. The sub sounds WAY better and runs about 1/4 turn on the dial less than before. Possibly the greatest improvement, however, is the HUGE amount of space we gained under the observer's dash which my fiancé is most happy about. I may push the sub box off until wood is more available and I have more time to work on it. 

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