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View Full Version : Marine rated amp or not (Phil.. ZX or ZXM?)



adsman
06-02-2010, 09:15 PM
Looking at getting the Kicker ZX700.5 or ZXM700.5 to power a sub and cabin speakers... The "M" is Kickers marine rated version...

Question: should I get the marine rated version? Does it matter since it will be in a "dry" location?... I never run in salt water. Obviously, if I can get either amp for the same price, I would go with the marine rated amp... But it is looking like the non-marine rated amp is going to have a cheaper pricepoint online... FYI My other amp powering the towers is a wetsounds syn2, marine rated...

Thoughts, experiences? Anyone? Phil?

jmvotto
06-02-2010, 10:31 PM
Moomba puts zx amps in the boat with the upgrade. I have a marine jl and a zx amp as well. go with what you are comfortable with, its your call. if it gets swamped with water marine grade probably won't save it

philwsailz
06-03-2010, 11:01 AM
We have historically had boat builders who jumped through the hoops to modify their wiring harnesses so that they could use the ZX amps and still be ABYC/NMMA compliant and certifiable. This year, with the redesigned ZXM amps that replaced the old MX amps, the mariine amp pricing is down considerably, and most builders who need the 5-channel amp are using the marine ZXM700.5. We still have builders, Moomba included using ZX and our new DX amps, and that is fine, assuming you take pains to keep moisture away from the amps. I am real pleased with how the system sets up and performs with the stereo's being put in the new Moomba boats today. The location and installation of the amps is pretty solid and dry for the new boats being built now.

From a comparison standpoint, The ZXM amps have conformal coated circuit boards for improved resistance to moisture. The ZX amps do not. The ZXM amps also feature stainless hardware, marine-grade fuses and power terminals that are complaint wht the ABYC's E-11.14.14.5 spec with regards to power termination for marine electrical systems. Outside of that, the circuit and the power are the same between a ZX700.5 and a ZXM700.5.


I would rather see you spend the little bit of extra money for the features that are in the ZXM. It provides a little added insurance against the effects of water. Still, if you mount either amp high and dry like a stock install and have an issue with water on the amp, my bet is that you are not worrying about the stereo, but rather worrying about what you hit, where you put the drain plug, and/or were are the life jackets...

Let us know!


Phil
Kicker

ian ashton
06-03-2010, 01:37 PM
I am currently running the ZX700.5 for going on 3 seasons without any issue. Very informative post Phil, its cool having manufacturer support on the forum!

brenpire
06-07-2010, 11:13 PM
Phil - can you recommend an amp? My LSV came with a Kenwood KAC-8402 4/3/2. I'm pretty sure it powered the tower speakers and sub. It's toast. What would be a good replacement?

philwsailz
06-08-2010, 12:18 PM
Mmandley is right.

Tell us what you need to run or what to run, and we will be better served to help you.

Phil
Kicker

brenpire
06-08-2010, 02:23 PM
Whatever comes with a 2006 LSV, everything is factory.. Kenwood deck, 6 speakers in the boat, 2 bow, 4 cabin. 2 tower speakers and a 10" sub. I think everything is kenwood. I believe the cabin and bow speakers run directly from the deck, the tower speakers and the sub ran off the 4 channel amp. I think this because the cabin/bow speakers still work after i removed the amp. The amp stopped working at the end of last year. power light would flash on and off, that's about all it did. It looks a bit rusty as well. Worth repairing or just get a new one?

The set up has never been the greatest but worked well for my needs. I always thought the boat lacked any real bass. Now that I need to replace the amp i'd be happy to improve the set up at the same time. I don't need to be the loudest guy on the lake but appreciate a decent set up. I can get the part numbers for what is in the boat on the weekend if that would help.

Either way I really appreciate the advice.

adsman
06-08-2010, 10:37 PM
Phil, Thanks for the detailed explanation... Says volumes about kickers dedication to customer service!

After looking at te prices on the zx and zxm on kickers authorized online retailers, there Is a $200 price difference between both... Might have to just go with the zx

philwsailz
06-09-2010, 10:56 AM
That does not seem right asdman.

You might be looking at a difference between refurb price and new. Some of our on-line authorized guys sell both. Double check; there is not that much differnce when comparing the two, when both are brand new.

Phil
Kicker

ian ashton
06-09-2010, 07:16 PM
So immediately after I posted I'm now having an issue with my ZX (non-Marine) amp.

My sub channel is working fine, but the 4 other channels are getting no output. Amp protect light is not on, everything looks fine, nothing in the system has changed. Any ideas?

philwsailz
06-10-2010, 10:13 AM
Ian-

Surely something changed? Did you swap out any wires, RCA cables, etc?

How many RCA cables do you run to the amp? 1 set or two?

If two, you probably have a subwoofer output from your head unit, and then the full range output is on a fader control. Check to make sure you did not fade the head unit all the way forward or backward....

Phil
Kicker

ian ashton
06-10-2010, 01:17 PM
Literally nothing changed! I run 1 set of RCA's to the amp, and let it split the signal internally. This happened WHILE I WAS DRIVING! I had the radio at low volume idling in a canal, and didn't think much of it, I thought just a "quiet" song came up on my iPod. When I tooled back into my marina I turned the volume up, and the sub got louder, the front speakers (that run direct from the HU) got louder, and I had nothing from the main speakers.

I checked the gains, HPF, RCA's and switched inputs on the RCA's, I even ran a wire direct from the amp to a full rane speaker (to test if it was a connection or wiring issue to the full range speakers) and still nothing. I completely pulled the amp out, inspected it, and re-installed, still nothing.

I currently have the amp sitting on my dining room table, I guess with the hope that putting it in 'Time Out' will make it want to work tonight when I re-re-install it, lol.

philwsailz
06-10-2010, 01:51 PM
Check all the fuses on the end of the amp. See if any are blown.

Stuff happens... You may need to send it in for repair. If you run out of ideas, you can call our toll-free line at (800) 256-0808 and ask for customer service to get an RMA number for repair. Or you can e-mail me and I can forward it. I'll PM ya my work e-mail! (gotta be careful with spam these days!)

Phil
Kicker

ian ashton
06-10-2010, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the info! I'm going to give it another tinker tonight, I'll let you guys know how it goes!

adsman
06-13-2010, 02:07 PM
That does not seem right asdman.

You might be looking at a difference between refurb price and new. Some of our on-line authorized guys sell both. Double check; there is not that much differnce when comparing the two, when both are brand new.

Phil
Kicker

Double checked.... Not refurb... On hifisoundconnection (one of the few authorized resellers) it's about $320 for the zx and $549 for the zxm... Vminnovations (auth reseller) doesn't have the zxm , but the prices are similar for the zx...

There seems to be 3 or 4 ebayers selling the zxm (new) for $320ish.... What's the story on those guys? (do a search on bay for zxm700.5 )

OOOOORRRRRRRR... Do you stay out of pricing discussions?

ian ashton
06-13-2010, 08:30 PM
I'm pretty sure HiFi sells refurbs - it's where I bought both of my amps.

adsman
06-13-2010, 09:44 PM
I'm pretty sure HiFi sells refurbs - it's where I bought both of my amps.

They sell both new and refurb

ian ashton
06-13-2010, 10:01 PM
Ahh - that explains it!

rjirleand
06-14-2010, 06:53 PM
Whatever comes with a 2006 LSV, everything is factory.. Kenwood deck, 6 speakers in the boat, 2 bow, 4 cabin. 2 tower speakers and a 10" sub. I think everything is kenwood. I believe the cabin and bow speakers run directly from the deck, the tower speakers and the sub ran off the 4 channel amp. I think this because the cabin/bow speakers still work after i removed the amp. The amp stopped working at the end of last year. power light would flash on and off, that's about all it did. It looks a bit rusty as well. Worth repairing or just get a new one?

The set up has never been the greatest but worked well for my needs. I always thought the boat lacked any real bass. Now that I need to replace the amp i'd be happy to improve the set up at the same time. I don't need to be the loudest guy on the lake but appreciate a decent set up. I can get the part numbers for what is in the boat on the weekend if that would help.

Either way I really appreciate the advice.
brenpire, I have the same factory set-up with the KAC-8402 on my 2006 LSV. Last weekend the tower speakers and sub started randomly cutting out for a few seconds before coming back on for an unpredictible amount of time. I noticed the power light on the amp was flashing when this would happen....I also noticed the cabin speakers were uneffected which makes sense if they are powered by the head unit. I am thinking that amp is probably going bad. I'm not sure if I should find a single amp similar to the factory, go with separate amps for the sub and tower speakers and leave the cabins hooked up the head...or go ahead and power all the speakers with amps. Please post what you decide/d to do with the set-up. I'm not looking for the cheapest solution, but I'm not looking to spend more than I have to. Advice from anyone is appreciated!

brenpire
06-14-2010, 11:46 PM
brenpire, I have the same factory set-up with the KAC-8402 on my 2006 LSV. Last weekend the tower speakers and sub started randomly cutting out for a few seconds before coming back on for an unpredictible amount of time. I noticed the power light on the amp was flashing when this would happen....I also noticed the cabin speakers were uneffected which makes sense if they are powered by the head unit. I am thinking that amp is probably going bad. I'm not sure if I should find a single amp similar to the factory, go with separate amps for the sub and tower speakers and leave the cabins hooked up the head...or go ahead and power all the speakers with amps. Please post what you decide/d to do with the set-up. I'm not looking for the cheapest solution, but I'm not looking to spend more than I have to. Advice from anyone is appreciated!

Rjirleand ,that sounds familiar. I dropped off my Kenwood amp at local dealer. They are going to have a look at it and see if it's worth repairing. Whenl I was there they showed me some options and we discussed upgrading. I'm really quite happy with the sound from the speakers I currently have. Because of that they recommended that I start with upgrading from the Kenwood amp. If after that I wanted more bass to upgrade the sub. Then to consider a second amp to power the cabin speakers. It's really easy to get into upgrading and replacing everything. I had to remind my self that I wasn't unhappy in the first place. Anyway, if the Kenwood is repairable for under $150 I'll stick with it. Failing that the dealer is selling me on Clarion Marine.