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Elevated1
02-08-2011, 09:03 PM
I am going to order 6 polk db651 to replace my kickers in my obv 08. I have the stock amp, but I think I need to purchase a better amp. I am doing my audio system in stages. Replace boat speakers, add sub, add tower speakers. I figure each stage will require another amp.
Thanks for the help.

bzubke1
02-08-2011, 09:19 PM
I'm curious about this too. It seems most people use a 4 channel amp for the six inboat speakers but why not use a 6 channel amp like the jl audio g6600.

mmandley
02-08-2011, 09:28 PM
There is no reason not to use the JL Audio 6channel amp. As a matter a fact Al Cab has been using one and pretty much swears by it. I cant recall if he has replaced it yet with a 4 channel but i doubt it even though im pushing him too LOL.

The main reason why i don't like the 6 channel amps is Power output.

You really dont need the Bow speakers to be as loud as the cabins. Also this amp is pretty big and takes a lot of room in a room limited environment.

You are also limited to 75 watts of power at 4 ohms.

You can get a lot more powerful 4 channels for the same price and run the bow speakers off 4ohms and then piggy back the cabins as 2 ohms and get a lot more power out of the amp.

Ultimately its up to you as the owner but that's why i prefer the 4channels over 6.

bzubke1
02-08-2011, 09:46 PM
That makes complete sense, I have noticed the six channels were pricey for not that much output per channel. What amp do you have powering your 6 exiles the 800.4?

mmandley
02-08-2011, 09:47 PM
Yea i got the 800.4 on it and have the gain turned down a bit on the bow speakers as 200 is a ton of power. The rear cabins though sound amazing and they really crank

kaneboats
02-08-2011, 09:48 PM
Just me but I would change the order-- get the sub first. The Kicker ones aren't that bad if you run them hi pass and add the sub. They will be more efficient and sound pretty good. You will need a new amp or at least a sub amp. I run a 5 channel Infinity amp. I'd get some other opinions about this.

This assumes you have the same Kicker ones I do. They look like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/KICKER-KM620-6-MARINE-AUDIO-BOAT-SPEAKERS-195W-NEW-/330526873494?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf4efd796

I keep hoping Phil will kick in his .02 on these as these speakers get hammered on here all the time. Or does his silence on this speak volumes?

Here's one installer's take on these:

http://forums.wakeboarder.com/viewtopic.php?t=81735

jmvotto
02-08-2011, 10:00 PM
I'm curious about this too. It seems most people use a 4 channel amp for the six inboat speakers but why not use a 6 channel amp like the jl audio g6600.

I have the jl m6600 and run the bows off channel 1,2. Cabins 3,4 series wired, sub bridged 5,6. Works great and sound is clean. Some like more sub power and get a separate sub amp and run individual wires to the cabins for all 6 separate channels. Al did that in his setup... You can run a 4 channel no problem as long as it's power matched.

bzubke1
02-08-2011, 10:05 PM
Yea i got the 800.4 on it and have the gain turned down a bit on the bow speakers as 200 is a ton of power. The rear cabins though sound amazing and they really crank

So with your set up you have the 2 bow speakers running of two channels, and the 4 cabin speakers running off the other two channels.

The bow speakers are getting 200watts at 4ohms?
The cabin speakers are getting 100 watts a piece at 2 ohms?

Is this right?

brain_rinse
02-08-2011, 10:09 PM
Just me but I would change the order-- get the sub first. The Kicker ones aren't that bad if you run them hi pass and add the sub. They will be more efficient and sound pretty good.
That would be my approach too.

bzubke1
02-08-2011, 10:14 PM
I would go sub first too I still have the kickers they sound good to me.

brain_rinse
02-08-2011, 10:28 PM
I think it's the aesthetics on the Kickers that get them yanked more often than not. But they are a good marine speaker when you have them set up right. Especially with a sub in the mix.

bzubke1
02-08-2011, 10:32 PM
I agree thats what has me wanting to replace them more than anything else.

mmandley
02-08-2011, 10:49 PM
So with your set up you have the 2 bow speakers running of two channels, and the 4 cabin speakers running off the other two channels.

The bow speakers are getting 200watts at 4ohms?
The cabin speakers are getting 100 watts a piece at 2 ohms?

Is this right?

Its hard to read the wattage of the channels but its more like this.

Into 4 ohm Stereo 125 x 2 bow speakers
Into 2 ohm Stereo 200 x 4 cabins

So each bow speaker sees 125 watts
Each cabin sees 200 watts. per side. 100 watts per speaker
So in theory the bow sees more power but trust me the cabins at 2 ohms are way louder then the bow speakers.

kaneboats
02-08-2011, 11:02 PM
Aesthetics? They aren't going to win any beauty contests but they aren't that bad! You could pull the covers off and paint them black or gunmetal or something I guess. Then again, if you look at the new price of these, even on ebay, you could probably put Polks in and just about get your money back.

EarmarkMarine
02-09-2011, 12:14 AM
Some of the best in-boat systems I have heard used the JL Audio XD600/6 amplifier to drive six coaxials. It delivers 75 watts to each of six speakers. Its highly efficient at over 80 percent. Efficiency drops at 2-ohms and this is 4-ohms all around so its around double the efficiency of a conventional amplifier running at 2-ohms. Do not under estimate the benefits of efficiency, especially in an unregulated type amplifer.
The dynamic range is higher at 4-ohms versus 2-ohms also. Not the continuous power but the dynamic reserves as a ratio of the continuous power. Think contrast and clarity.
When you take a 150 watt times four at 2-ohms (in a 4-channel amplifier) you are splitting two channels into four speakers. This delivers the same 75 watts per speaker. The two channels at 4-ohms for the bow speakers would then typically come in at around 100 watts per channel. Most will gain these symmetrically with the cockpit speakers. So you end up with 75 watts per every speaker.
The net power and distribution ends up the same but the six channel amplifier is run more conservatively with more headroom, lower distortion and higher efficiency before considering the increased efficiency due to the Class D.
As an alternative lets take a WetSounds Syn4 from the G/H topology family. Its highly efficient and is just on the heels of Class D. Its a four channel amplifier with 800 watts of continuous power into 2-ohms. Once balanced among all six speakers we will net a total of 600 watts versus the JL Audio XD600/6 at 450 watts in this application. The 33 percent increase in power will net us exactly 1 dB increase which is the smallest discernable difference you can percieve. We lose a bit of headroom that is offset by a moderate increase in continuous power. We lose a bit of efficiency because we are running two channels at 2-ohms. All and all I would say that we have comparible performance even though one is rated at 800 watts and the other is rated at 600 watts. While the WetSounds is priced at about $100 dollars more and definitely would have a distinct advantage in some applications it has no real or discernable advantage in this particular application.

David
Earmark Marine

cab13367
02-09-2011, 01:15 AM
There is no reason not to use the JL Audio 6channel amp. As a matter a fact Al Cab has been using one and pretty much swears by it. I cant recall if he has replaced it yet with a 4 channel but i doubt it even though im pushing him too LOL.

The main reason why i don't like the 6 channel amps is Power output.

Yes Mike, I am still running the JL M6600 to power the 6 db651 in boats. They are the only things left that are not Exile. LOL! The polks can only handle 60w rms so the 75w rms delivered by the JL is a good match. I am very pleased with the sound quality and volume of this set up especially run at high pass and in conjunction with the Exile sub.

KG's Supra24
02-09-2011, 02:51 PM
I went back and forth between the JL 6 channel and the JL G4500. I ended up with the G4500 due to there being very little RMS difference and the $100 price difference. Plus space was becoming tight on the amp rack.

rdlangston13
02-09-2011, 03:34 PM
there seems to be alot of talk about running the cabin speakers on "hipass" or whatever, is this something that is adjusted on the amp itself or does this require something to go inline with the speaker wires to filter out certain frequencies?

kaneboats
02-09-2011, 03:35 PM
Setting is right on the amp.

rdlangston13
02-09-2011, 03:50 PM
so this should be set for the tower speakers as well as the cabin speakers and let the sub take care of all things low in sound correct?

KG's Supra24
02-09-2011, 03:55 PM
so this should be set for the tower speakers as well as the cabin speakers and let the sub take care of all things low in sound correct?

Correct. Set in boat amps and tower amps to hi-pass.

bzubke1
02-09-2011, 04:11 PM
You can see on the side where you will set the amp to hipass. For most of the year we had the filter on our tower speakers set to off and they sounded good, once I realized it and switched them to hipass they were much louder and clearer.
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k58/bzubke1/AmpBoard.png

Elevated1
02-09-2011, 07:56 PM
Thanks for all the info. It sounds like I should do both the sub and boat speakers at the same time. If I go with a 12" sub, and 6 new speakers (now considering the exile stx) could I get 1 amp that will run all of them. Or will I still need 2 amps. Please feel free to give me recomendations for subs. I also need sub box that will fit an ouback v 08. Boat is at dealer in storage so I'm not sure as to size of the box. If anybody knows please chime in. I want to order this stuff soon, so your help is greatly appreciated.

KG's Supra24
02-09-2011, 09:58 PM
I personally would do a dedicated sub amp but it can be done either way. You are likely to start running into battery considerations depending on how much you add. Keep that in mind.

For coaxial, the Polks are great. If you want to take the next step, you can look into offerings from wetsounds, exile, and bullet. All are top notch and im sure there are other options as well.

I've never seen consistent sub recommendations. Exile and wetsounds are likely top of the line though. I am running Alpine in mine and have been satisfied thus far.

Alot of guys are building their own sub boxes due to the odd sizes. If you want a premade one that has a good fit you will have to wait for the audio gurus (david and brian) to jump in.

philwsailz
02-10-2011, 11:04 AM
Just me but I would change the order-- get the sub first. The Kicker ones aren't that bad if you run them hi pass and add the sub. They will be more efficient and sound pretty good. You will need a new amp or at least a sub amp. I run a 5 channel Infinity amp. I'd get some other opinions about this.

This assumes you have the same Kicker ones I do. They look like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/KICKER-KM620-6-MARINE-AUDIO-BOAT-SPEAKERS-195W-NEW-/330526873494?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf4efd796

I keep hoping Phil will kick in his .02 on these as these speakers get hammered on here all the time. Or does his silence on this speak volumes?

Here's one installer's take on these:

http://forums.wakeboarder.com/viewtopic.php?t=81735

Hi guys- Thanks for the invite to this discusison!

Let me tell you, being the OEM provider of speakers and amplifiers is the bane of any audio manufacturer. We all know the perception of "stock" and it is well founded, based on history. I think that the Kicker speakers are hammered as Kane pust it simply because they are stock... Everyone wants to replace "stock" and this is largely due to history...


A lot has changed in 20 years, and there was a time, not too long ago that boat stereos really did suck... 20 years ago a stock boat stereo was like a Bic lighter. It was CHEAP, and when it quit you threw it out and bought a new one. AND, you know it would quit... 20 years ago there wasn't a good sounding marine speaker being built, and none of the major companies that you would have gone to for a car stereo upgrade made marine gear. If you wanted a bad-azz boat stereo you used car gear.


As for the Kicker speakers, yeah, they are stock. They are stock for a good reason... they are good.
The Kicker marine speaker line was developed from the start, by boaters, for boaters, from a clean sheet of paper. This is not a car speaker painted white.

The tweeter is grill mounted instead of pole mounted. This seals the midrange speaker cone to keep water out, Since it is sealed it has greater radiating area than a standard pole-mount tweeter speaker which has a hole through the middle of the midrange cone. The sealed cone will also stand up to being hosed down and are highly water and UV resistant.

We designed our own proprietary basket design so that we could put in an over-sized 6.5" speaker cone, while fitting in the same 5.125" stock boat cutout noramally used for a 6" speaker. We have greater cone area as a result of this too.

The motors are magnetically shielded. We do this for two reasons. The first is for navigation where you have to rely on a compass.. The Kicker marine speakers are superior at minimizing compass deviation and the potential to stray off course as a result. Know that a GPS is good at telling you where you are, but it CANNOT tell you which way you are pointing....
The other key reason for the shielding is that it takes all that stray magnetic flux that jacks with a compass and focuses it inside the motor, onto the voice coil. We get higher magnetic energy on the voice coild and a more efficient speaker as a result. We create the shielding by installing a bucking magnet onto the back of the normal motor's backplate and then we glue a low-carbon steel cup over the whole assembly. Finally, we put an injection-molded cover over the back of the entire assembly to prevent rust.

Ever held a Kicker marine speaker in your hand? Pick one up and look real close. Holding it upright so that you can read the KICKER logo, take a look at the grill at the 6-o-clock position, both inside and outside the grill ring. See those little cookie bites? Those are there to provide a drainage channel for any water standing next to the surround to drain.

I mentioned rust above talking about the motor, but we do more than that to prevent rust. When you go to a store and buy a retail packaged pair of Kicker marine speakers you will get 316L stainless hardware instead of some cheaper stainless that can rust, (304) or some other even worse dipped plain-carbon steel fasteners. 316L stainless is the preferred metal for fasteners used above the water line and that is what most if not all boat builders use today.


Kicker has been in the audio business for a LONG time. We started as a Pro PA company back in the 70's and were working with high-effiency music reproduction long before many of you were born. Many of us have music backgrounds, both in recording, performing, and live sound. Heck, with the latest HLCD craze, understand we were using and building horns when we STARTED the company....


Yeah, Kicker is the OEM stock speaker for Moomba and Supra. Yawn... :D


It is understandable that you guys want to upgrade this stuff. It is human nature to personalize, to make your stuff truly your own. I like to make the analogy of a car... When you buy a big three car out of Detroit, you get that builders' OEM seats, that builders' OEM motor, that builders' OEM upholstery and that builder's OEM stereo.... I too would want to upgrade... Especially that stereo...

When you buy a Moomba or a Supra boat from Skier's Choice you are not getting that stock boring OEM car, you are geting the performance equivalent. Consider your boat as a sports car... Your sports car might have Borla Exhaust, Katskin seats, Brembo brakes, Edelbrock Intake, MSD ignition, Kicker stereo.... Yup, stock stuff can be darned nice too...


Now for sure, each of you have your own preferences, your own ears, your own eyes, your own identity, and your own goals. That is human nature. There will be some of you that just do not like the sound of a Kicker speaker, and that is cool too. Just know that if you take that Kicker speaker out, you are holding in your hands a very well-thought-out, designed from a clean-sheet-of-paper marine loudspeaker. A loudspeaker built by people who had, have, and always will have, a passion for music...



If I could make ONE SUBJECTIVE statemet in this entire post, (tough to do as the manufacturer's voice for the forums) I do not personally think your best bang for the buck is replacing the stock Kicker speakers with another brand's speaker. There are other things you can do that could be better considered as upgrades...

To the OP's comments, if I were to be making recommendations to upgrade a stock 6-speaker system, the first thing I would do would be to add a subwoofer and an amplifier at least for the subwoofer. While thinking about it, know that the stock speakers can handle more power than is provided with the basic 6-speaker setup, so I might consider replacing the stock amp with a larger one that would drive the in-boats to their full potential while also powering the subwoofer. Next I would add tower speakers or upgrade from coaxial tower speakers to an HLCD setup...

In all of this, make sure that gains are properly set, crossovers activated and at proper frequencies, all of the stuff that goes with a properly dialed-in system. Head unit EQ flat too!

I know I have written a long post, so I apologize. In an effort to keep it short, let me leave it there for now. If you have any questions holler!

Stay warm, (it was -18 here this morning!)

Phil
Kicker

kaneboats
02-10-2011, 11:14 AM
Thanks for responding to this, Phil. Your thoughts may not keep guys from replacing these if they were going to do it anyway but may help some guys feel better about what they have in their "stock" setup and encourage them to try to get the most out of it before just ditching it. I will say that these are head and shoulders above the Kenwood ones that came with the earlier boats.

I also loved this remark: "This is not a car speaker painted white."

Edit: BTW, I did go back and read tons of posts on here about replacing "stock" speakers. I noticed that the early complaints referred to the older Kenwood ones which most guys replaced with the Polks. But, later on, after the Kickers became available, nobody really complained about them. Guys changed them out because it was an "upgrade" everybody else was doing. Personally, I have about 10 other things to do before I would replace these. Then, if I did (or when I do) I would probably go right past the Polks to something high end.

Elevated1
02-10-2011, 06:43 PM
After Phil's post I would feel quilty if I replaced the stock kickers. I think that I will order a new amp to replace the original kicker amp (zx200.4). I would have to get a new amp anyway so I might as well start there. I will also order a 12" sub and an amp to power said sub. So I need a new 4 channel amp that has plenty of power, for the kickers or whatever I end up with at the end. I need a 12" sub that has great sound, that doesn't require a huge amount of power, and an amp to power it. If you have an amp and sub combo you like please post along with what you use to power your boat speakers. Thanks again for the help.

bzubke1
02-10-2011, 07:40 PM
Has anyone ever tried the mb quart nautic 6 channel amp? Seems like it would be a good match for the stock kickers for a good price <$250.

jmvotto
02-10-2011, 09:52 PM
Phil, great reply. I think the original upgrade came from Jesse on the 02 pre kenwood speakers.??? Not sure the brand maybe kraco....;) then ken wood became oem and the polks just flat out performed better. The kickers sound pretty darn good as I tested them against the polks side by side at a CC before they went out.. Unfortunately the old kenwoods look a little like the newer kickers, and thus may get viewed as the same. The upgrade from stock 07 and before to the polks for roughly 150 was the best bang for the buck for three pairs.

Btw the kicker 450.2 amp really rips...... Thanks mmandley

EarmarkMarine
02-10-2011, 10:56 PM
The Kenwood coaxials used several generations ago were only $70 (list price) a pair automotive coaxials. As you turned them up you really could notice how erratic the response was. Very peaky. Very grating. And not alot of bandwidth. Pretty much the way most speakers in that price range sound.
The current marine Kickers are mostly evaluated, at least initially, on moderate factory power. They will sound better with a little more power. They are built to stand some punishment as I don't see them ever blow without serious abuse. But the biggest issue is the one that Phil spoke of relating to a grill/bridge mounted tweeter. This eliminates the center tweeter mounting post that passes through the middle of the midbass cone. The result is no loss of surface area on the midbass cone. As a byproduct the midbass and output is improved over most coaxials in this price range. I would add on what I don't have and upgrade what I do have at a later time. When you do upgrade consider bypassing all the speakers that have pole mounted tweeters and go with those that have a sealed continuous midbass cone. It doesn't make sense to regress in this important area. These upgrades might include the Kicker 6200, Polk Audio Ultra Marine, WetSounds 650 and the JL Audio MX series. Each speaker has its unique benefits. The JL Audio MX series may be the most musical marine speaker I have heard under $200 a pair. Simply put you will hear more content from this speaker and it will portray the music more accurately.
As for amplifier and subwoofer combos, if I remember correctly that year of Outback has no floor hump so there's lots of room under the driver's helm for a sub. I like the ultra low resonance and precision of the JL Audio 13W1 subwoofer which works great in a relatively small sealed box. This is a moderate mass (meaning that its very easy to drive) domestic sub that benefits from the trickle down technology in JL's more esoteric subs. No off the shelf parts here. This sub is engineered from the bottom up. In a sidefiring sealed enclosure, its incredibly deep with an extremely linear (smooth/flat) response and with tonal construction as good as you will hear. The perfect match would be the JL Audio XD700/5 five-channel amplifer. This is fullrange Class D that just sips current as compared to conventional amplifiers. In fact it is typically 60 percent more efficient. This amplifier will do a great job on a sub and six coaxials. There are far less expensive systems that will still have very respectable performance and more powerful systems that may play a little louder. You'll be challenged to get better sound quality though.

David
Earmark Marine