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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    8

    Default Tower Speakers - Need help replacing

    Hey guys. This is only my second post, but I spend a lot of time on the forum learning from you guys so thanks in advance. I am hoping to replace my tower speakers, but still use the stock Roswell cans that the Kicker factory speakers are in. I want to get something decent up there, but can't go too crazy yet as I want to keep my current amps. Long way of saying I am not ready for the EXILE path, just had a baby. Today I have a ZX 700.5 powering my cabin speakers(6) and a 12" Kicker sub. The two tower speakers are the stock kicker components in the roswell cans. They are powered by a kicker ZX 250.2. I was thinking i could replace the speakers with the Polk DB 651 or DB 6501. If i used the coax's instead of the components I would just leave the kicker tweeter grill on the cans and cut off the wire. Any thoughts on if there would be any issues with this change out? In particular I am concerned about size and power concerns. Also, I have been toying with the idea of adding set of polk DB 691's as a supplement to the two already there. With all polk DB on the tower would my amp be strong enough to power all 4 speakers very well? How would I need to change the amp set up to get the most power out of my tower? Thanks for any help you can provide. Also open to suggestions on other replacement speakers to consider that would fit the existing cans, either coax or component. The picture is not of my actual speakers but they look identical to these ones.

    Screen shot 2012-02-09 at 9.41.05 PM.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,054

    Default

    There is a Kicker HLCD speaker that, I think, drops right in those cans. I'm sure David or Phil can tell you all about it. Probably what you are looking for.
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,054

    Default

    I think its the Kicker 6500.2. I'm sure you can find them cheaper, but you get the idea:

    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-TIJ3xHg...-KM6500-2.html

    Another thought is to give Brian a call at Exile. He can be very helpful in fitting you to your needs without breaking the bank. I'm sure he has some stuff lying around in a box that would work for you. Can't hurt to call him and tell him what you are after. He's a true pro. Gave me great advice about where to start so I could easily add to my system when I was ready.
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    880

    Default

    John,
    I don't like to mix speakers of different sizes on the tower if I can avoid it. Why? Larger speakers play louder, right? That usually leaves the smaller speakers less audibly visible while they are still consuming an equal portion of your limited amplifier power. So there are more effective routes.
    Your amplifier will deliver a premium in power (but not actually double) if you lower the impedance by running two pair of speakers in parallel and four speakers will certainly play louder than two.
    Now here is one thought. If you can find a Kicker two-channel amplifier identical to the one you have now then you will have a great start on a lasting and permanent tower solution with 250 watts per side. That is enough power to run one pair of any larger HLCDs or substantial surf speakers in the future. You will not be limited in your future speaker selection by power limitations. This way you are not investing in anything that you will have to replace later.
    Many on this forum will share how they made a short term decision and ending up spending more in the long run when they were displeased with the performance. Very small HLCDs and automotive speakers on the tower rarely last for long as they are frequently upgraded.
    So form a concrete vision of what your final solution will be and build it incrementally with zero turnover of future product purchases. I know sometimes its difficult with a nickel burning a hole in your pocket now.

    David
    Earmark Marine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific NW USA
    Posts
    502

    Default

    John - Every year I post up some general suggestions on how to go approach building a system. I think the questions you bring up fall right into place with stereo upgrade 101/201 & 301.

    Generally speaking, a boats stereo is going to be judged on the sum of all three music zones - Cabin / Sub / Tower. When they combined together in normal play the music provides its listener(s) real world dynamic range. If for example, your missing a sub, that range is limited., or if someone has a tower setup, but no cabin setup same problem. The same can be true if one of the zones is to dominate - 2000W sub with stock cabin and tower. See what I mean?

    So the question becomes, "How do I upgrade my stock stuff, and not have to do it again and again...". It doesn't necessary mean one has to buy the most expensive stuff on the market. But it does mean that you should keep an eye on the final goal and then architect the upgrades to head toward that end result. This is important because it will save you $$$ in the long run.

    When configuring systems, I always ask whats most important to you? Here's a few real world examples.

    Sound at 80ft for a wakeboarder? --Go with a premium HLCD product on the tower and make sure the rest of the stereo can keep up with it.

    Sound at surf range?-- Go with a direct radiating / wide dispersion tower speaker.

    Sound for the family? -- Upgrade the cabin and forget the tower zone all together

    There are a lot of ways to skin this cat, and a lot of brands on the market that make great product. This forum and boat owners have been in your shoes and can give great guidance.

    My feeling as to your question re the tower zone is don't band-aid it together. Look at the end result that zone needs to accomplish and go down that path. If price is a concern, look at some great demo gear from others that have change / upgraded. I know many of these guys change things out every season or two. Just make sure your not buying their junks if you know what I mean.

    So, I toss it back to you and ask, "What do you want to accomplish with this tower upgrade?" Those answers will choose the path thats right for you.

    Hope this helps.

    -Brian
    Exile Audio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Brian, Dave and Kane -

    Thanks for the input I really appreciate it. I think I can shed a little more light and answer some questions too. I have generally been disappointed with the system since we bought the boat new in February 2009. I have had a few cars with decent systems in them (for a high school kid) and no where near the kind of quality that this boat came with out of the box so I had high expectations. I never gave it a lot of thought after initial disappointment since my wife is not a huge fan of loud music. However, since having the baby in December I find myself a bit more house bound and in search of projects, thus a pickup in my interest on the subject. I always assumed the disappointment in the system was a result of "low quality, builder grade" components. The more research I do the more I grow convinced something is just not setup right and my current system should be better. I know I have a busted tower speaker which is what prompted this thread for replacement/upgrade ideas. Since I have been looking at my system a bit closer the last few days I realized that the port side main cabin speakers and the 2 bow speakers were not playing at all. With the busted tower speaker that rarely plays and the others not functioning I only had 3 of my 8 speakers working. Also the sub always seemed disappointing/not working. After looking at the amps I decided the RCA's were not installed properly as there were 2 white ports not connected at all. I went and got all new RCA's and hooked them up properly. Additionally the sub channel fuse was blown/bent on zx700.5, so i replaced that. The good news is I turned on my stereo and all 8 speakers fired up as well as the sub. The bad news is that as soon as I turn up the stereo past a whisper the zx700.5 clicks and the power light goes from green to red. It keeps trying to restart itself but does the same thing as soon as it tries to power the speakers again. It sounds like the "short circuit protection" is engaged when I turn up the volume. I am hoping someone can confirm this is the issue and help me figure out how to solve the problem. In regards to what I want the system to be/ideal vision, I don't need something bad a$$ that can blow everyone else out of the water. More so I am interested in having a stereo that has really clean, full range sound for surfing, nice and crisp if we are just hanging out in the boat sipppin' suds and can get some tunes to the occasional wakeboarder if they want them without having to blow out everyone riding in the boat. We are 90% surf, 8% wakeboard and 2% a bunch of cr@p I would rather not be associated with. Other than that we use the boat to hit busy water on hot seattle days so we can take a dip and cool off. I also don't want to over invest in the boat as I find myself constantly mesmerized by the idea of a shinny new toy, which undoubtedly will take the form of a boat after I get my new truck. Probably 3-5 years away from a change, but still worth considering. BTW I will be going Mojo then, once they get the tweaks out. I hope this gives you guys enough info and you can keep steering me towards the right destination. Already started looking into another ZX250.2, they are cheap, so I could have that around for tower speakers 3&4 whenever they show up
    08 LSV
    IS Red Woody
    Hyperlite Murray 145
    750 Surf Side

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    880

    Default

    There certainly is nothing wrong with Brian's system design approach and that works for many people.
    After having a dedicated marine division since the late 90s and after installing several thousand boat systems we appraoch it differently at least in how I would describe it.
    We normally treat the subwoofer as part of the in-boat zone just like a woofer in a three-way system. Why? First, because in most moderate systems its not practical to drive the subwoofer to the level that it can project to the rider at wake range. In most moderate systems the woofer and amplifier would be over-driven not to mention that the in-boat occupants that would object to that much SPL in their face for any duration. Second, when lounging behind the boat for any period at rest it takes an inordinate amount of power to drive a sub from out of the bathtub, so to speak, away from the boat when the listeners are below the deck cap down at water level. So many people go easy on the sub in this scenario to conserve battery power. Lastly, we are very focused on sound quality in the boat so we always try to maintain a very balanced in-boat sub/satellite system in respect to the product and in the tuning process. The tower speakers are often used so differently that we address this as a different and independent zone. Plus, we would prefer that boaters select larger tower speakers with a warmer balance so that they at least capture enough bandwidth to simulate fullrange. To a degree we do consider the ambient radiation from the tower speakers in the boat.
    Now there are definite exceptions. There are those boaters were we design and build their system specifically to entertain others at the sandbar or dock. They usually want the entire musical range including the bass to project along with the tower speakers for several boat lengths away in a dominant fashion. Under those circumstances with a very powerful system we do have to consider the subwoofer in unison with the tower speakers. It takes four times the power to reproduce one octave lower bass at the same amplitude and it takes four times the power to double the distance at the same amplitude so with those types of challenges this isn't an approach for a moderate budget system. And in that case you are looking at a mighty big sub and enclosure, mighty big sub amplifier and a mighty big battery bank.

    David
    Earmark Marine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lake Wylie NC Area
    Posts
    721

    Default

    John,

    To me, it sounds like you have 3 issues going on.1) under powered tower speakers, 2) poorly tuned system, and 3) a short in the in-boat system putting the zx700.5 into protect mode.

    My approach would be this. get what you have performing to its optimal level, then reevaluate.

    For number 1, an amp change would be in order, but I would do number 2 (no pun intended) first for the tower. No matter the gear, poorly tuned is poorly tuned.

    Now, for the problem with the zx700.5 going into protect mode. You are going to need to get a DVOM out and start checking speaker circuits. Also, you need to inspect real close for a possible power or ground cable shorting out at the terminal lugs on the amp. Make sure you dont have a stray strand of wire that missed the lug. Outside of shorted speaker or lead or a problem at the lugs, you could be looking at a setting/tuning issue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    1,817

    Default

    Post count?
    06 Supra 24 Gravity Games

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snellville, GA & Lake Sinclair
    Posts
    6,890

    Default

    Nice one! How's the bromance weekend going?
    Drew
    New ride: 2012 Mojo
    Old ride: 2008 OBV

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