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skar audio or middle end set up


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hey guys.   has anyone heard of skar audio??   any feedback positive or negative?   or alternative suggestions for a middle and up stereo build - looking to build a conservative stereo possibly two 6x9 in aft bench and two 6.5 or 8 for dash and 10" sub  for an 03" vlx

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Skar has a couple unique subwoofer drivers that seem to work well in certain applications but they wouldn't be my first choice.  If you're looking to go middle budget just understand that with a boat stereo, you need to also lower your expectations.  You can easily make a sound system that sounds decent while floating or bopping down the no wake zone but you need to go big if you want something that sounds good while under way.  Open environment, motor noise, wind, wake... a lot to compete with.

Most folks in this situation go with Polk.  Decent bang for the buck.  They do get loud.  But I prefer Kicker's sound.  And Kicker's LED's are easy to step up to, if that's your thing.  You do want to stick with "marine" drivers to get any kind of long life.  Best bang for the buck on marine amps would be Pioneer GM digital amps.  Kicker's are also very good.  You might also consider "power sports" type amps.  Here, I'd look at AudioControl or Pioneer.

If you can squeeze a bit more room in the budget,  Rockford M1 and M2 drivers and M5 powersports amps are a big step up.

If you should want a tower system, this is where you really need to spare no expense.  Go way big or don't bother.  Kicker's huge tower drivers (Wetsounds are super loud but sound like poop) and perhaps Wetsounds amps although if it were me, I'd risk non marine AudioControl or Helix amps to get maximum power for the dollar.

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Have heard of skar, in the car audio application it is known to be budget, and cheap end stuff. A lot of people do like them for their price point, and ability to make a lot of bass for little money (subs). 

The thing with marine audio, like mentioned above, you do pay for what you get. If you want to stay “marine rated” your price increases exponentially, though necessary for at least coaxials and towers. 

If I were you, to get the most bang out of your buck, I would try and get my hands on some used/refurb coaxials, if you do your research you’ll see what’s good and what’s not. Some stuff you might be able to get for a good buck would be wetsounds, Rockford, kicker, Roswell. JL usually holds its value pretty well. 

As for subs, if you can keep it dry, I would reccomend a non-marine sub. Here you could go with any of the major brands you can find. Maybe one of the skars or even a sundown cheaper line subwoofer. 

If you’re going towers, you get exactly what you pay for, and if you want good you’re going to fork out ~1k+ per set most likely (unless shopping used market). As for @robtr8 stating wet sounds sounds bad, I find this subjective. Everyone has different ears and preferences, but I find it hard to think they sound bad, the revs are horn tweeters so they’re louder and project, there’s less midbass than a regular tweeter tower speaker. I will say, the new rev HD line really does a good job in creating midbass for horn speakers, I think they sound great. I would have to guess if they sounded bad they were either improperly powered or improperly tuned, but to each their own. Get out and get your ears on different things and find what YOU like, because at the end of the day who cares what others think if you’re content. 

As for amps, kind of same thing as subs, if you are confident you can keep ‘em dry, maybe go with some non-marine rated subs. Here though, is where I would stray AWAY from SKAR. Their amps are class A/B, which on average are only about 50% efficient. You’ll want to find class D amps, which on average are about 75% efficient. This is huge on a system where we rely on battery power. Good marine brand if you’re adimant about that for the money might be kicker or fusion, here you can shop used too but make sure you know what you’re buying.  

Edited by Brandonloos21
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Great thanks.  I am not looking to compete with wind and motor, more just a " cabin space " good floating sound.  As for the tower and rider audio set up, Im not going to build that size with this boat so that should keep it simple


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Absolutely. Your best bet might be to surf Facebook marketplace and see if someone is selling a package deal. A lot of times people sell 6ch amp with coaxials and subwoofer all in one for like half the price of new. 

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I have used Kicker marine audio in the past and loved it for the price.  Their amps also have some good drivers that help to fill the sound of older songs to a more full "sound stage"  Their tower speakers are partially the reason why Wetsound came out with the 12 inch tower speakers.  Kicker had developed a 9in and an 11inch that was as good or better than the Rev 8 and 10 sound for a much more manageable price.  They also can come with LED which is integrated into the speakers and they even have the RBG and speaker wire in one wire that makes self installation much easier.  They even have a wireless amp controller to control gain and other features that was really nice when adjusting bass output.  

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As suggested, look elsewhere, you are no where near mid-level. Need to take the phrase "marine rated" with a gran of salt. There is no governing body that rates or certifies equipment. Anybody can slap on a coat of white paint and put an "M" in the model number, and call it marine. 

If your dash speakers are actually below the windshield firing up, fitting an 8 is going to be tough, but if its fits, go for it! Its never a bad thing to have more surface are. If you dont already have holes for 6x9's, id see if a round 8" would fit. Much better and many more options in the 8". 

For 2 pair of speakers and a woofer, a 5 chnl would be the ideal way to go. Id stick with marine built here. Getting direct water contact is only one aspect. In reality, its humidity that will most likely take out a car amp, not splash or spray. Theres typically a small price increase between a marine built amp and its car amp counterpart. 

 Id consider a 12" woofer over a 10" as long as the 12/enclosure will fit. I think it can fit under helm with minimal loss of leg room. Likely not a huge price increase between a 10 and 12 in the same series. The 12's extra surface are  = more output with no additional wattage needed. Budget for a custom marine grade enclosure also.  

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