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View Full Version : How do I feed two multi-channel amps from only two sets of preouts?



cab13367
10-23-2009, 03:38 AM
I just bought rgardipee's Kicker 08ZX700.5 5-channel amp (thanks for the great deal!) and I have a JL Audio M6600 6-channel coming. My plan is to run the six cabin speakers from the 6-channel JL and the four tower speakers and the sub from the 5 channel Kicker. My HU has two pairs of full range pre-outs plus one pair of sub preouts. So getting a signal to the sub is no problem. But how to I feed signal to the two multi-channel amps from just two sets of preouts? The JL will combine the signals from channels 1&2 and 3&4 for channel 5&6 so I just need two sets of pre-outs for it. And I will need two sets for channels 1 thru 4 on the Kicker.

Do I just use RCA "Y" splitters to split the signal? Does the signal voltage get split in half then? Although my pre-out signal is pretty decent at 4V, I don't like the thought of splitting them in half.

Short of buying two Clarion EQS746 EQ's, what are my options?

Thanks,

Al

tazz3069
10-23-2009, 08:21 AM
You can get a wetsounds EQ. That will take care of the problem. Or you can do what I did. I got rid of the stock radio and purchased a new kenwood that works with my controls. It has 3 set of preouts. I use I have the kicker MX700.5 and the MX350.4. My 700.5 take two of the RCA and the 350.4 takes the last one. This way I have total control of the quality of sound coming out. I hate using a RCA Y-Connectors. They limit what you can so to tune in the sound.
Tazz

Razzman
10-23-2009, 09:09 AM
You either split the signal, install EQ's or just replace the HU with one with three preouts which might actually be cheaper.

sandm
10-23-2009, 10:59 AM
he already has a deck with 3 preouts, so buying a new one would not gain anything. adding an eq would be one answer, but not real cost effective and not needed.

use one set of full range to feed the 4 channels of the kicker amp. use the sub output to channel 5 of the kicker amp. use the other 2 full range outputs and use a "y" adapter to split the 2ch to 4ch and power the jl with that, sending the same signal to all 6 channels(powering the 6 in-boat speakers). that would be the best way to do it, and how 90% of the stereo shops would do it. just be sure and invest in a quality set of cables. no radio shack here. I've done it before in an old car install. splitting the signal is the recommended way to do it in the jl manual.

by adding an eq, the only thing you will gain is the ability to take the one set of full range and send it to the multiple channels of the jl, allowing bow to cabin fading capability. if you think that's worth $289, then go for it. wiring it listed above would give you fading control of the sub and the tower/boat speakers independently, but would not allow you to fade the in-boat speakers. not a big deal imo, but it's personal preference. you could also add a volume attenuator inline with the bow speakers if you think they will be too loud. probably a $20-30 part.

the stumbling block here is that the jl needs 2 sets of inputs..


hope this helps..

cab13367
10-23-2009, 12:00 PM
Thanks guys. Sorry for the confusion caused by the title of the post. I did upgrade the HU a while ago to a Kenwood that has 3 sets of preouts with one of them being sub preouts. I didn't know that the 700.5 can take one pair of preouts and feed channels 1 thru 4 with it (I don't have the amp in my possession yet). So sounds like I need to use a splitter for the JL so that the one pair of preouts feeds all six channels.

Sandm, the Clarion eq is only a $55 item (I wouldn't spend the $$ on the WS eq) and in addition to the features you mention, it also takes the preout signal and boosts it to 7V while splitting it three ways. It also gives me the ability to control the volume output of one amp and the sub from the driver's seat.

Another question that comes to mind is, what does a capacitor do and do I need one of those?

Thanks again for the input, much appreciated.

Razzman
10-23-2009, 12:07 PM
Al, the Kicker has a little switch you have to enable for on set of inputs for all channels and your good.

Like sandm said just split to the JL amp.

A cap stores energy allowing you to have enough juice to run everything in case you overrun the system, you won't need one. We float more than ride and i've never drained a batt or had the amps go into protect and my system is rated right at 1600 watts peak. Of course i can't get anywhere near that before the wife beats me! :p

cab13367
10-23-2009, 12:17 PM
Thx razz, good to know. When u say you've never drained a battery, is that one battery or two? I only have one battery now and am wondering how long they will run both amps before draining. We will sometimes float for 2 hours at a stretch with the stereo on but not real loud (have the same issue with the wife :) ). Maybe I should upgrade to a higher capacity battery. I'd rather do that than add a second batt. I do carry a portable jump start unit on the boat in case I do drain the batt. Haven't had to use it yet.

Razzman
10-23-2009, 12:25 PM
Al your much better having two batts than one high cap batt. With one batt you take the risk even at low volume levels of draining the one batt to a level where the boat won't start, not good if you suddenly have to move! When your running multiple amps you really should separate them from the starting circuit by using a batt switch or something like i use, the Blue Seas ACR which keeps the batts charged without messing with them.

If you need additional info on how to do it and what you'll need let me know and i'll be more than happy to help.

jester
10-23-2009, 12:26 PM
Cab, Just get a portable jump start unit. One plus this has is when you see another boat on the water just floating becasue they ran their system too long you can just hand them the jump unit and not have to play with jumping their boat on the water.

sandm
10-23-2009, 12:27 PM
if you are deadset against a second battery, get a good quality deep cycle, but if you are planning on parking a lot, the second battery is almost a must. my guess is that after installing 2 good quality amps that will draw a lot of current, you will be using that jumpstart. personally, the security of a second battery is worth it. getting a tow/jump sucks..

caps store energy and release it as the amps require it. your bass amp is usually the one that will draw the most current(hence the pulsing headlights in a high-wattage auto system). using deep cycle takes away some of the need, and since boats usually don't have all the other draws that a car does, caps usually are not needed.

cab13367
10-23-2009, 12:38 PM
Ok, you guys have convinced me to add a second batt.

Razz, I'll take u up on your offer on what I'll need and how to do it. I want to add an ACR as well.

Thx.

Razzman
10-23-2009, 12:41 PM
I'll get you a list together along with pics.

cab13367
10-23-2009, 12:52 PM
Thanks razz, much appreciated. As u can tell, I haven't done a lot of stereo installs in the past :)

sandm
10-23-2009, 01:47 PM
best way to learn...
take your time, follow the installation directions, double check every connection prior to buttoning up the install, and did I mention take your time??

installing stereo gear is easy once you have done it once. the only thing that gets tricky are custom boxes, but the basic amps/speakers are piece of cake..

you will have much satisfaction next summer as you crank the tunes on the lake and the smile from the satisfaction of a job well done :)

be sure and take pics and let us know of your progress....

jmvotto
10-23-2009, 04:52 PM
Cab, you just upped the ante on the stereo, we are not going to be twins anymore. I saw the amp and thought long and hard on it but the OBV does not have alot of room in the passenger stoarge for two big amps. keep us posted.

JV

cab13367
10-23-2009, 07:21 PM
jv

I had no intention of upgrading my system but I ran across that great deal on the JL and then saw the great deal on the Kicker. Plus the seller is local.

I think I have plenty of room against the side of the hull, forward of the fresh air vent bulkhead which is an unused area. The bad thing is that I will now have to add a second batt which will take up some storage space.

Looks like I've got a nice winter project to look forward to :)

Al

mmandley
10-23-2009, 10:11 PM
Just a thought Cab, you realy never want to use a Y splitter on your stereo RCA jacks, not only does it cut your signal to the amps in half it adds distortion and allows another source for noise to enter the stereo.

You don't even need to run RCAs to the sub input of the kicker 700.5 it will completly run off 1 set the difference is if I recall have yo look at mine, but you built in cross over will have to be set to Off. Other wise it kills your sub input. I got the factory deck still running both amps I have and I only have 2 pre outs

I'd highly reccomend duel batteries also.

I'll give ya a ring this weekend and touch base with ya havnt done my winterization yet but if you need any help with the battery or stereo I'd be more then willing to help ya man

jmvotto
10-23-2009, 10:13 PM
Second Battery is pretty easy, i used the bep dual vsr plus switch i have a site you can get it for a 100.00. (no remote wire) like the blue seas but Razz is the the man when is comes to this stuff. he's "the Razzman and we have the Sandman "

sandm
10-23-2009, 10:44 PM
he has 3 sets of preouts. use the sub output to run to the kicker sub input. it gives you the ability to have the deck control the sub input, otherwise you have no way to control the sub level. use it if you have it since you can't use it for just a full range input..

there's nothing wrong with splitting the signal to the amp using rca-level inputs as long as you use good quality connectors. it's a short run. bet you would not be able to tell the difference between a split/non split rca signal on such a short run and in a noisy environment like a boat.. splitting video signals is a diff. story. audio has a different signal.

glad you are considering a 2nd battery. you won't be sorry, except when it comes time to replace them :)

cab13367
10-24-2009, 12:06 AM
Just a thought Cab, you realy never want to use a Y splitter on your stereo RCA jacks, not only does it cut your signal to the amps in half it adds distortion and allows another source for noise to enter the stereo.

You don't even need to run RCAs to the sub input of the kicker 700.5 it will completly run off 1 set the difference is if I recall have yo look at mine, but you built in cross over will have to be set to Off. Other wise it kills your sub input. I got the factory deck still running both amps I have and I only have 2 pre outs

I'd highly reccomend duel batteries also.

I'll give ya a ring this weekend and touch base with ya havnt done my winterization yet but if you need any help with the battery or stereo I'd be more then willing to help ya man

Mike,

I think you have two kicker amps - a 5 channel and a 4 channel - and each amp only needs one pair of full range inputs. My set up is different in that I have a 6 channel JL Audio amp that needs two pairs of full range inputs, plus the ZX700.5 that yes, can get away with just one pair. However, I only have two pairs of full range preouts one one pair of subwoofer preouts.

Or so I thought. I just read my owners manual and it turns out that the subwoofer preouts can be set up as full range preouts so I actually have three pairs of full range, 4V preouts! Problem solved! I knew there was a reason I bought this higher end Kenwood HU :)

Thanks for the offer to help - I would like to check out your stereo install before I dive in to mine. And let me know when you want to hook up to go over the winterizing process.

sandm,

The zx700.5 does come with a wired remote volume knob so I'll be able to control the sub volume that way.

cab13367
10-24-2009, 12:08 AM
Second Battery is pretty easy, i used the bep dual vsr plus switch i have a site you can get it for a 100.00. (no remote wire) like the blue seas but Razz is the the man when is comes to this stuff. he's "the Razzman and we have the Sandman "

Thanks JM. What's the difference between what you have and the Blue Sea unit that razz has?

I already have a Blue Sea battery switch (bought earlier this summer but have not installed it) so I just need the ACR. I am having a little trouble finding a place that sells just the ACR but I haven't looked too hard yet.

jmvotto
10-24-2009, 12:40 AM
Al,
The Blue seas has a ground, ignition and led wire to hook up as well as the two positives. If you have the blue seas switch i would go with that.

http://www.westmarine.com/1/3/blue-sea-systems-battery-combiners-isolators

FYI
http://www.bepmarine.com/Single-Engine%2C-Two-Battery-Banks-180-1460.html#details

http://www.keenzo.com/showproduct.asp?ID=3139863

viking
10-24-2009, 01:08 AM
I'll get you a list together along with pics.

Razzman,
If it's not too much bother I'd like to get your list and directions as well?

I've been to your profile and looked at all your pics. I've decided I like the BlueSea setup and going to be adding a second batter this winter as well during my stereo upgrade. I have a Outback DD so in same boat (pardon the pun) as Cab with not alot of room.
I'm comfortable with all the stereo install but the dual battery thing is new to me!
I get lost in the ACR, isolator, switch........ect. All I know is I want to separate the power to stereo, amps, & accessories from the cranking battery, have all the essentials be able to run in an emergency (like the bilge and starter if first batt runs dead due to too much tunes and beverages, & have them both charge while running. Also, any little shortcuts or additions such as power inverter wired up or trickle charger to make life easier I'm open to that as well.

Thanks again for all your expertise.

cab13367
10-24-2009, 08:45 PM
Al,
The Blue seas has a ground, ignition and led wire to hook up as well as the two positives. If you have the blue seas switch i would go with that.

http://www.westmarine.com/1/3/blue-sea-systems-battery-combiners-isolators

FYI
http://www.bepmarine.com/Single-Engine%2C-Two-Battery-Banks-180-1460.html#details

http://www.keenzo.com/showproduct.asp?ID=3139863

JM,

Thanks for the link to keenzo. They have the Blue Sea ACR for $77 which is the cheapest I've seen so far.

Al

viking
10-25-2009, 02:09 AM
JM,

Thanks for the link to keenzo. They have the Blue Sea ACR for $77 which is the cheapest I've seen so far.

Al

Cab,
I see it on there for $103.50?

cab13367
10-25-2009, 02:17 AM
Cab,
I see it on there for $103.50?

Here's the link to the Blue Sea ACR only (I already have the switch) for $76.61:

http://www.keenzo.com/showproduct.asp?ID=2939479

jmvotto
10-25-2009, 07:58 AM
cool, glad to help.

joe

viking
11-11-2009, 02:15 PM
Hey all,
I found the best prices so far on BlueSeas products:

Here's a link to the relay:
http://www.manventureoutpost.com/products/Blue-Sea-7610-120-Amp-Si%252dSeries-Automatic-Charging-Relay-%287610%29.html

Here's a link to the "add a battery"
http://www.manventureoutpost.com/products/Blue-Sea-7650-Add-A-Battery-%287650%29.html