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CarsonDean
10-22-2012, 09:35 PM
My 06 Mobius has stock Kenwood speakers, no tower speakers, no sub, and a terrible Kenwood radio with no aux input. Time for upgrade. What Tower Speakers are good quality and look badass, what do you guys have on your boats?! Also need suggestions/opinions on a Subwoofer, amp and radio unit to completely replace that crappy Kenwood. Keeping stock speakers. Just want Towers, sub, amp, radio. Trying to do this without breaking the bank. Thanks

KG's Supra24
10-22-2012, 09:58 PM
You can search threads for tons of pics. There are even a couple tower pic specific threads.

First goal is to establish a budget, that should guide the recommendations. Could range anywhere from 500 to 5000.
Also,

Are 4+ tower speakers a priority?
Do you want wakeboard range sound?
Do you plan to do your own install?
Looking for heavy bass or more moderate?


Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

KG's Supra24
10-22-2012, 10:01 PM
Do you have a model number for the Kenwood?

My 06 Kenwood has a cd changer input that can use other adapters (apple data port, rca, usb?, etc.)

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

CarsonDean
10-22-2012, 10:11 PM
Budget is going to try to stay under $1500.

Priority: 4 Tower Speakers, Wakeboard range (will probably self install with general car audio knowledge) and i dont need a ridiculous bass. Just a 10" sub that will vibrate you, not bump your eardrums out.

I dont know the # i will have to look. The kenwood has a CD port for 1, and no aux input. and hardly works

tgoody14
10-22-2012, 11:09 PM
Here's you a new sub cheaper than you can get it elsewhere...

http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/showthread.php?t=19358

EarmarkMarine
10-23-2012, 12:05 AM
Carson,
As mentioned above if your Kenwood HU has a changer DIN (multi-pin) input then this is easily converted to a universal Aux input.
All HU power sounds anemic in the context of an open boat, especially when you begin to move. This will be remedied with external amplifiers. Keep in mind that the 4 times 45 watts is grossly over-stated by every HU manufacturer.
Your existing HU will not last indefinitely but it would be nice to maintain it for a while to free up more budget to improve what you don't have and allow you to step up to a little higher quality. The real expense comes in doing it twice versus doing it right the first time.
Thinking ahead, you will certainly want the convenience of dual zone (tower to in-boat) controls at the driver's helm. Any inexpensive solution (like a Kicker 4-channel zone control/line driver for example) will automatically step up the voltage and make the existing HU preout appear more robust. In this case, if you are mostly using an ipod as your music source, this reduces your HU to not much more than a volume control.

David
Earmark Marine

moombadaze
10-23-2012, 08:33 AM
Carson,
Thinking ahead, you will certainly want the convenience of dual zone (tower to in-boat) controls at the driver's helm. Any inexpensive solution (like a Kicker 4-channel zone control/line driver for example) will automatically step up the voltage and make the existing HU preout appear more robust. In this case, if you are mostly using an ipod as your music source, this reduces your HU to not much more than a volume control.

David
Earmark Marine

good advise right there, that dual zone controller is very nice to have, you dont always want to be blasting the towers but may want some inboat tunes or the other way around.

kaneboats
10-23-2012, 08:43 AM
The best advice I've ever seen on here is to upgrade in zones based on what you want and your budget. Most of what you hear comes from your in boat speakers. Get that part right, get the right amp(s) for it and make it where you can add on to your system. Your stock Kenwood in boat speakers probably should be replaced first. Lots of guys like the Polk DB series for what you get for the money. The next best advice is don't just put car door speakers in cans on the tower because they fit in them. You can't hear them at the end of the line anyway. Get the right stuff from Exile, Wetsounds, etc. or don't bother with the tower till you can do it right.

CarsonDean
10-23-2012, 01:17 PM
Im definitely replacing the Kenwood HU b/c it will turn off randomly and only works half of the time i take my boat out. Is replacing in-boat speakers a necessity? I want to know the cheapest way to this with good quality. Id prefer anything over Kenwood based on expirience with them. Ipod would be the only source i plan on using

lewisb13
10-23-2012, 03:22 PM
Hands down best bang for the buck is the Polk DB651. Theres a PILE of people on this forum who have or have had (including myself) these speakers. You can find them on sale multiple times during the year for $100 for 4 speakers. Theyre on sonic electronix for $70 a pair right now (see link below). I had mine powered by an MBQuart 600.6 amp, which was the cheapest 6 channel marine amp I could find. So I think all in all I had about $400 in my 6 cabin speakers with amp and all the necessary wiring. For your boat the KMR440U is a drop in receiver that is also widely had by many on this site. I literally unplugged my stock head unit, which was garbage, and plugged this one right in. Took all of 5 minutes. You dont even have to change the wiring harness out as long as you have the kenwood receiver already in your boat from the factory. It has the aux inputs you desire, and will plug and play with the stock remotes at the helm and on the transom (if you have one on your transom). If you can get a sub and a build yourself a box, youll easily be able to do this with an amp for under $400. I have a sub for sale thats $100, box building material for about $80, and wiring plus amp all day long for $300. Not trying to sell my stuff, Im just trying to show you how to do this on a budget because I did my whole boat (05 LSV) minus the tower speakers, for like $600. If your budget is $1500, that leaves you $800 to spend on your tower. Might be stretching it, but those deals do exist. Here are some links to get you started....

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_9111_Polk-Audio-db651.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=productads&gclid=COy775fsl7MCFQJx4AodxlIARA
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MB-Quart-NAU660-6-Channel-Nautic-Series-Class-AB-Marine-Boat-Amplifier-Amp-/300786679203?pt=US_Marine_Audio&hash=item4608487da3
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kenwood-KMR-440U-Marine-CD-MP3-WMA-Receiver-USB-AUX-/150670903881?pt=US_Marine_Audio&hash=item2314af8a49

KG's Supra24
10-23-2012, 03:39 PM
I'd make sure your head unit is absolutely bad. It could cut off because of the way it is wired now. I say this because I still have my factory 06 Kenwood headunit and it works fine, especially if you are using an ipod. Plus, it is a few hundred you can save.

You mentioned wakeboard range sound ... if wake sound is your goal; I'd have to say prioritize your tower. I haven't dug into prices much lately but Kicker makes a 4 speaker hlcd setup that might fit the bill. I'd also look for pics of boats with two tower speakers and strongly consider starting there and building a platform for future upgrades. As far as in boat, amping your current speakers should make a dramatic difference and might be a place you could save money for a year.

I'd decide where you ultimately want your tower to be. Are you the type that will want to upgrade again? Many here can attest to upgrading multiple times and having spent more in the end than if they had done it big the first time. I know I'm one of them.

Are you considering used speakers? There are likely some deals to be had there over the winter. WS 485's are the first to come to mind.

CarsonDean
10-23-2012, 07:53 PM
Ive looked at the Polk DB651 and that may be the best option. Kicker also has some good prices and i know from car experience that they arent a waste. Any suggestions for tower cans if i use the polks for the tower. Do you know if the Aerial bar that has the led lights and 4 speakers good-to-go attach to your tower is any good. I dont want to waste the cash on something cheap ill have to replace.. Its on google shopping at $599 which sounds risky to me

for anyone else asking: i dont know the cause of the receiver stopping, pausing and not working consistently, but REGARDLESS, I want to buy a new receiver with AUX input

MLA
10-23-2012, 08:27 PM
Budget is going to try to stay under $1500.

Priority: 4 Tower Speakers, Wakeboard range (will probably self install with general car audio knowledge) and i dont need a ridiculous bass. Just a 10" sub that will vibrate you, not bump your eardrums out.

I dont know the # i will have to look. The kenwood has a CD port for 1, and no aux input. and hardly works

Dean,

If you are looking for audible music at wake-board range, then traditional coax speakers like the Polk DB are not going to get it done. They will not handle the power required to achieve this. You need to consider larger hi-power handling coax or an HLCD (horn loaded compression driver) type speaker. If you have a 4-pod setup currently, the Kicker KM6500.2 Component HLCDs can be a direct replacement. If you do not have pods, these can be purchased with Kicker pods so you can still have that 4-pod setup you are interested in.

EarmarkMarine
10-23-2012, 08:51 PM
Yes, I agree. The Polk dB651s are fine for a value proposition in the boat. But it is a short term solution for the tower as two pair will reach wake range but are definitely being over-driven to do so. One pair of HLCDs or one pair of 8-inch true tower speakers are much stronger.

David

CarsonDean
10-24-2012, 02:01 PM
DIY Wake has kicker speakers for reasonable prices.

jmvotto
10-24-2012, 10:34 PM
DIY Wake has kicker speakers for reasonable prices.

Go Polk they sound better IMHO for the cabin speakers. Best bang for the buck and sound great.
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-6-5-Inch-Coaxial-Speakers/dp/B000P0PF9G/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351132601&sr=1-1&keywords=polk+db651

kaneboats
10-25-2012, 09:31 AM
For gosh sake, make sure you have a decent local lab to measure the power output of any amp you like before you buy it too. You can't be too careful there. :)

KG's Supra24
10-25-2012, 10:25 AM
Which Kicker speakers are you looking at? The HLCD package that MLA mentioned should accomplish the goal of getting sound at the end of the rope.

My experience: My first go around I went with Bullet coaxials and pushed 150 watts to each speaker (600 total). I could hear the music at the end of the line but you weren't really able to "listen". I stuffed a speaker into a factory can. I'd suspect one of the coaxial products that has the speaker and pod built as one (especially an 8") would be a little louder (ex: exile sx, ws icon, etc). I think I'm trying to build a tier .. In general, your tower options in order of loudest at end of line:

Large HLCD: Exile XM9 and Wetsounds Rev series
Small HLCD: Exile XM7 probably a notch above the Kicker setup
Podded Coax: Exile SX, JL, WS Icon series, does kicker have a pod?
Premuim Coax: Polk MM, Bullet, WS, Exile, JL, the list goes on (typically can handle 100+ rms)
Standard Coax: Polk DB, Kicker factory stuff
Older Factory: Most of the older factory skiers choice stuff was pretty bad.

That should summarize most of the forum consensus (i think?). Others will chime in if not. I'm sure I left off some brands but those are most of what is discussed on here.

There is no doubt that amped Polk DB are a big step from factory setup and they sound great. I'm not trying to take anything away from them at all. It's just asking them to do alot in a tower application.

dusty2221
10-25-2012, 10:48 AM
I'll throw my .02 regarding the inboat speakers. I have had:

Factory Kenwoods
Polk DB 651
Exile w/ post mounted Tweeter
Exile latest design with Grill mounted Tweeter
I Installed the JL Audio MX650-CCX into a friends boat.

My currents are the latest Exile with the grill mounted tweeter, and IMO they sound fantastic. I don't see me swapping them anytime soon. The JL I installed in a buddies boat, however, sound absolutely amazing. They were installed in a boat without a tower and just blew me away. You want to talk about crisp, clean, pure music....these things delivered in a HUGE way.

MLA
10-25-2012, 11:12 AM
Small HLCD: Exile XM7 probably a notch above the Kicker setup

I respectfully disagree from both a performance and quality standpoint.

Quality: In 4 years, Ive only have one KM6500 mid-bass driver failure, yet in a two year period, ive had to replace under warranty all but two pairs of XM7 that I sold/installed. Blown drivers and surrounds separating from the cones were the most common reason.

Performance: The XM7 is a traditional 6.5" HLCD, so it has the horn through the center of the cone. This reduces the cone surface area, thus reducing the mid-bass contribution. This is the case with any 6.5" HLCD, but the XM7 is assembled with off the shelf parts (the manufacturers description, not mine), and the horn and cross-over are a brutally aggressive package. The Kicker KM6500.2 uses 2 dedicated 6.5" continuous-cone mid-bass drivers and two large HLCD horns. This component approach delivers more mid-bass. The horns and cross-over network is also far less aggressive with those tones that make our ears hurt, yet lose nothing in terms of projection. They have a very pleasing, warm sound when listening near-field, as compared to other 6.5" HLCD's.

But as I always state, demoing the potential choices is key. Seek out your local installer and ask them about the products. They have experience with many different products and can explain the similarities and differences.

Yes, Kicker offers a pair of single pods as well as a double pod setup. You can load them with the KM6500.2 HLCD setup or something like the KM6200 coax.

Kicker also offers what some would consider a premium in-boat. The KM6250.2 component set offers a 6.5" built from the ground up marine woofer and 1.0" tweeter. The cross-over can be mounted separately or to the back of the magnet. The terminals are tinned, stainless steel hardware is included. The magnet is sealed and insulated so it will not interfere with electronics when helm mounted. UV inhibitor in the materials for sun protection. power handling is 75W rms and 225W peak, so they will perform well with a little amplified power and shine if you pour the coals to them. If someone is considering a hi-end speaker, these are worth a look.

Uber Premium: Wet Sounds XS/SW 808 8" convertible in-boat.

The Rev-10 is a 10" HLCD in a pod thats about the size of the old Pro-80 or XM9. The Rev-8 is an 8" HLCD like the XM-9 and is in a pod thats about the same size as the Pro-60 or XM7.

The Exile SX65 is a 6.5" tower coax and the Wet Sounds Icon-8 is an 8" tower coax in a pod thats about the same size as the SX65.

KG's Supra24
10-25-2012, 11:51 AM
Thanks MLA, nice addition. I'll be completely honest, I'm not real familiar with the Kicker lineup. Nice to have someone on here that can fill in the gaps.

EarmarkMarine
10-25-2012, 11:58 AM
Having experienced a little of everything, I agree with MLA's comments on the whole....which shouldn't be surprising as he has experienced a little of everything too.
Pertaining to tower speakers:
I do not like smallish 6.5" HLCDs in general but among these IMO the Kicker HLCD is far and away the best. It's the only one that isn't over-the-top strident (provided you set the passive crossover correctly). If you go the dual pair of midbass drivers with one set of horns then it is competitive with a single pair of 8" HLCDs. But the Kicker HLCD is a component system and not a proaxial configuration. There are differences as Mike pointed out.
As for surf speakers or HLCD speakers, surface area is huge so I really encourage people to step up to a larger 8-inch speaker like a Wetsounds Icon8 in a surf speaker or a Wetsounds REV8 or perhaps a Exile XM9 in 8" HLCDs. There is no quantity replacement for larger cones and larger pods which deliver deeper midbass extention and a warmer overall tonal balance. While sound quality is always subjective, my taste runs with the Wetsounds plus I prefer the Wetsounds build quality.
Pertaining to in-boat speakers:
Mike mentioned the Kickers. Too many people form their opinion of Kicker marine speakers based on the introductory OEM
speakers using the W-domes which are peaky. The upper end Kickers with a true D-dome are a completely different sounding speaker. My taste runs with the JL Audio marine speakers because they are so linear (simply no false emphasis, peaks or valleys in the response) and so plausibly musical. Again, it's very subjective. And look, some guys run subs that are all about bass dominance as in "hit", "slam", "pound", "bump" as if all bass was percussion and no string instruments are involved. Those guys are going to want coaxials with highs that are just as aggressive as the subs they are running. 'Linear' and 'musicality' can go out the window. So many are going after something a little different and you have to consider this as part of the equation. You have to be a little careful about imposing your own taste on another boat owner of another age, budget, lifestyle (family 1st or party 1st), who listens to different types of music and who may have entirely different objectives. There is a product for everyone and no one product fits all.

David
Earmark Marine