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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    27

    Default Building up - Where to add first?

    I'm looking to spend around 600-700 on stereo upgrades and am not sure where to add first. I've read a lot around on here and have seen all kinds of opinions and ideas, some of which I'll likely adopt along the way, but I'm looking for opinions on what will make me happiest right now.

    I've have new Polk db651s as my cabin speakers and will be upgrading to a dual battery set-up regardless (though the recent thread on the Perko switch vs. an automatic switch kinda has my head spinning).

    So, I'm wondering if I should put the money into an amp for the cabin and add a subwoofer first? I would be doing the install myself I have a buddy just looking for a reason to use his cabinet making skills if i want a custom enclosure. OR, should I add tower speakers with amp for those right now since I don't have any tower speakers at all?

    I've resolved that I won't be able to afford all the top-of-line stuff I've seen others rave about, but have seen others here say they have spent less and been happy too. I welcome any thoughts and ideas and appreciate the overall friendliness on this board (don't seem to see that too often in the message board world!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    De Pere WI
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    biggest question you have to ask yourself is if you want tunes while boarding right now, or would rather have a better system within the boat. my personal choice would be better tunes in the boat right now. for your $700, you could get a decent sub and 5ch amp and still have some coin left over to save toward a 2ch amp and towers down the road.

    you don't have to spend wetsounds money either to have a good system. the kicker amps are very good and seem to be found online for some great prices and a good 10-12" sub can be had for under $175. sounds like your buddy is ready to make the box, just be sure and use the proper wood and make it water resistant.
    good luck and remember to do your research..
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    5,613

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sandm View Post
    biggest question you have to ask yourself is if you want tunes while boarding right now, or would rather have a better system within the boat. my personal choice would be better tunes in the boat right now. for your $700, you could get a decent sub and 5ch amp and still have some coin left over to save toward a 2ch amp and towers down the road.

    you don't have to spend wetsounds money either to have a good system. the kicker amps are very good and seem to be found online for some great prices and a good 10-12" sub can be had for under $175. sounds like your buddy is ready to make the box, just be sure and use the proper wood and make it water resistant.
    good luck and remember to do your research..
    Second all this. I was in your situation last summer i only have 600 to spend on the stereo and i made a pretty great sounding system for last summer. I was able to salel almost all of it for 50% of what i paid to add that to the new system i installed this winter.

    Id do a sub and amp for the boat, My findings is that even though i have this great tower set up it means nothing when my driver doesn't turn it on LOL. I drive almost all the time when we are pulling folks so at least in the boat i can jam out and i always remember to turn the tower on for my riders LOL.
    Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
    2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
    Exile ZLD
    6 SX65M Cabins
    6 XM9 Towers
    1 XI Big 15 Woofer in a custom Fiberglass box
    1 XI 1K Harpoon
    2 XI 800.4
    1 XI 2500.1
    2 Interstate 2400U 6V Golf Cart Batterties
    Custom 1 Off Evolution Cover

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,257

    Default

    Good advice mmandley and sandm!

    I started last fall in your situation as well and really read and researched alot. I had a budget that allowed me to go all out on the tower or cabin but not both. I decided to spend the $$ in the boat and bought used stuff for the tower. Plan on upgrading the tower later and planned my amps and system to do that. Figured the core of the system is the first step.

    If you want to project music for the riders - spend your money there.

    If you want to have a good sounding system in the boat - look at amps and sub.

    But remember - if your looking to build it all up over time make sure and not skimp on the amps. for either application.
    2007 Moomba Outback - waiting for summer!

    Why Not? Play Hard! Get wet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Thanks guys -

    I think thats the way I was leaning anyway - improving the cabin first and building towards the tower set up i want. I've read where a lot of people have liked the Kicker 700.5 for their cabin amp. I know a lot have put a 12" sub too, but I was thinking of using a 10". Will that still sound pretty good?

    Also, when you say use the proper wood - which is best for marine application? I would figure MDX would not be since moisture can wreak havoc with that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    5,613

    Default

    a 10 will work just fine. Lots of people are running the 10s and they make a lot of really nice ones that pound really hard.

    You can make the box out of MDF but you have to make sure its coated really well with a water proofing agent. Then make sure when you mount it your not drilling holes water can get to.
    Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
    2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
    Exile ZLD
    6 SX65M Cabins
    6 XM9 Towers
    1 XI Big 15 Woofer in a custom Fiberglass box
    1 XI 1K Harpoon
    2 XI 800.4
    1 XI 2500.1
    2 Interstate 2400U 6V Golf Cart Batterties
    Custom 1 Off Evolution Cover

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    De Pere WI
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    I did a jl 12w6 and realisically, a 10 in the same series would have been fine. you're choice on subs should depend on your musical preferences. 80's and classic rock don't need a very large sub. rap/hiphop thrive on a larger sub. pick what works for YOU.
    700.5 would be an excellent amp for a modest system with cabins and a sub. just make sure that you get an additional amp when you do towers. don't run them off the same amp. Ideally your towers and sub should be on separate amps since those are the 2 sets of speakers in a boat that are going to tax the system the most..

    good luck..
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Awesome - I'm getting anxious to get to work on it now.

    One other thing though - I've looked at pics that people have done on their installs and I know everyone's setup is different, but what type of board are you mounting your amp to? And also, HOW are you mounting it to the boat? I'm mounting in an '03 Mobius LS, and in that area behind the passenger seat, I can see pretty easily three decent contact points (the floor, the one beam on the outside) but don't know where or how else. Any special screws I should be using? I don't want to screw into something (or with something) that I shouldn't.

    Thanks again for the advice guys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    294

    Default MDF and Boats = Oil and water

    Guys-

    I want to jump in here briefly and attempt to dissuade you guys from using MDF in your boat for sub boxes.

    My background: In addition to doing the stereo stuff, I am a wood boat collector. I have a frustratingly good understanding of what wood and water does, and what it doesn't. When you get wood wet it swells. When you put dry wood in a humid environment, it swells. What is the material that swells a lot? MDF.


    The reaon MDF is used for loudspeaker construction has to do with its acoustic properties. It has a uniform density, and therefore a uniform resonance, and also a uniform damping characteristic; i.e. its ability to not "ring". This property is very important when designing and building full-range loudspeakers, in particular for home and studio use where other materials are less than ideal and will ring in the critical midrange frequencies. This ringing is due to standing waves which can develop in the actual cabinet material, with resonant frequencies whose wavelengths can be measured in inches, not feet.

    For a subwoofer and the frequencies we are trying to reproduce, the wavelengths of the sound we are recreating are measured in tens of feet.... WAY too long to create a standing wave in the cabinet material. There is no acoustic benefit in using MDF for a sub enclosure; the benefits of MDF don't apply.

    Whe you build a sub enclosure out of MDF, you are building a precisely engineeered sponge. If you coat it, you delay water intrusion, but with a coating, WHEN the water gets in, there is no way for it to get OUT. My analogy is the old wood boat that someone misguidedly adds a fiberglass skin to. They think they are keeping the boat dry, when in fact they are keeping the boat wet. The water gets in and can't get out, and it rots away very quickly afterwards.

    There is no way to totally seal an MDF box. You are putting screws in, it is bouncing around, it is flexing, both due to vibration, but also due just to environmental humidity. No matter what you use and how dilligently you apply it, a crack will eventually develop in your coating, and the box will start to swell, making more cracks and accelerating the process.

    The proper material to use when constructing a marine sub enclosure is a good quality 13-ply void-free plywood. Many places advertise it as Birch plywood. These days, the adhesive in all but the cheapest of plywoods is not water soluble. When you build with plywood, you get domensional stability and much less swelling. Plywood also will not crumble like MDF. We see boat builders routinely using plywood to build boats, entirely out of wood... I don't know of anyone building MDF boats....

    I recently bought good loudspeaker plywood at my local mega home improvement store, so it is out there and available. Just do not buy that cheap rough decking plywood though; it is often full of voids and will buzz... you want the good stuff, 13 plys, not 7... no little foootball-shaped voids in the middle... Smooth knot-free skin.. Get this wood, and you will be real happy with it andf you will build a sub box that will last a LOT longer than the MDF, even with NO sealing treatment.

    Phil
    Kicker
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    Last edited by philwsailz; 05-03-2010 at 11:25 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    5,613

    Default

    Make the amp board out of some kind of plastic. 1/2 inch HDP works very well. Get some 3m super sticky spray in a can at the local hardware. Use carpet to match your boat and it will look really flush.

    As for mounting there is a trim rail along the bottom of the hull where the floor meets. This is the same spot your most likely looking at already. As for the top look there the rub rail is screwed into the boat. Not sure on yours but the 06 has a black square looking rail on the inside the factory screw the rub rail into. This is the top mount for your amp. You will only need 2 screws on the top and bottom to make this connection.

    Also the screws only need 1/2 inch to bit and that's all you need is bite. No need to screw them in really fare.

    If you cant find the upper rail then pull the carpet down from the inside of the hull and you should be able to see where the screws go in.

    On my 08 it was just fiberglass. No plastic was there so i mounted some HDP squares tot he inside of the rub rail area and mounted my racks to that.
    Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
    2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
    Exile ZLD
    6 SX65M Cabins
    6 XM9 Towers
    1 XI Big 15 Woofer in a custom Fiberglass box
    1 XI 1K Harpoon
    2 XI 800.4
    1 XI 2500.1
    2 Interstate 2400U 6V Golf Cart Batterties
    Custom 1 Off Evolution Cover

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