Looking at getting into the audio part a bit. Just looking to see what everyone's opinion was on marine amps? Obviously they are tucked away, is it necessary to have a "marine" amp?? My boat is stored in a garage unless it is on the water. Here's what I got going on, nothing special but it's a start.
4-4" Memphis audio in cabin.
2-6" kicker on the tower( picked them up with the tower)
Now I need to add a amplifier and would love a direction. At some point I will add more tower speakers and possibly a sub, but for now this is a start haha.
Thanks for the advice!
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Thread: Marine grade or no?
03-17-2014, 01:32 PM #1
Marine grade or no?1998 Outback
03-17-2014, 04:30 PM #2
many different opinions on this and here's mine
my supra had 3 rockford fosgate power series in it that were car audio amps. worked just fine even considering I stored wet towels and lifejackets in that compartment. 4 years of use and no issues. not sure if they would last 10, but I'm typically tired of either the boat or system by then(as I sold the supra) so I would say it was a success. current boat has 1 full season on the arc audio amps. same basic schematic as wetsounds but not epoxy coated. they worked great and I see many more seasons to come. granted, not tossing as much "wet" gear in this observers storage cubby just based on boat layout but still see wet towels and moisture up there, not to mention it's humid as heck here...
I'm intrigued with some of the offerings from Kicker in the class d range currently. if I was doing over, i'd give serious consideration to them.. lots of exile fans on here and I believe some of their new stuff is marine rated and class d as well.'06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten
03-17-2014, 05:43 PM #3
Heres a thread with a couple pages addressing this very topic.
Without even clicking on your link, I would pass on a 4" in-boat, no matter who makes it. is there something about your boat that would prevent you from using a standard 6 or 6.5 that requires a common 5.0" cutout?
03-17-2014, 05:59 PM #4
Marine grade or no?
Thanks Sandm, nice to here that someone has done none marine without any problems.
MLA, I appreciate the thread I will take a look at it, and the 4" in-boat speakers is what was there when I bought it. I thought it was a little small, I took them out and the holes are cut for the 4", can't fit anything bigger in there. I will have to cut a wider hole to fit a 6"-6.5" and that's going to be a later project.
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03-17-2014, 07:01 PM #5
Maybe you could fit the 6-6.5" in there NOW and cut the correct holes later when you have time...
Depending on where the speakers are mounted of course...
03-17-2014, 08:06 PM #6
No question that enlarging will be extra work on the front end, but it will pay dividends in mid-bass extension, sound quality, output and power handling to go with a more traditional marine coaxial.
03-17-2014, 08:52 PM #7
03-18-2014, 09:49 AM #8
Marine grade or no?
I agree, I should probably put something a little better in there. Berg, those are pretty cool and could be my "quick fix" thanks!
As for now I think I'm going to go with a regular amp, see how that works out. I'm in Nashville, TN and garage kept so I might be ok.
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03-18-2014, 12:43 PM #9
"Marine-Grade" from a quality manufacturer is usually worth the money. For example, in addition to the conformal coating on the circuit boards, the Kicker marine amps have a gasketed screw-down flip cover for the controls, sealed RCA jacks, and a power terminal design that is actually ABYC / NMMA compliant for use in new boat manufacturing. The retail premium you pay for the marinizing over the car audio equivalent is only $50.00.
The problem you will run into is the fact that "Marine Grade" is not a standard terminology with a set of minimum specs. You sometimes will run into a situation where "marine grade" just means white paint.... Do a little research to find out what the amp manufacturer considers "Marine Grade".
It has been mentioned elsewhere, but let me say it here too, liquid water, (splashes, submersion) is not your biggest culprit when it comes to electronics on a boat. BTW, If your amp is submerged, you probably have a bigger problem than the stereo not working... Any amp in a boat, marine or not needs to be mounted high and dry inside a compartment... It can still get wet though... Humidity, i.e. water vapor is a bigger issue. Ever go out to your boat in the cool morning and see all the dew on the boat? Guess where else that water vapor may have collected and condensed? Any cool surface can end up being a place where water vapor can condense and cover that surface with water. It is usually less likely up inside a storage compartment but if your boat is wet, and the carpet is wet, and there maybe is a wet life jacket in the compartment where the amps are, humidity can get pretty high. That conformal coating goes a long way towards keeping you circuitry dry.
Many guys run car amps in their boats and get away with it just fine. Still, the little added protection that comes with a marinized amp is pretty cheap relative to the total system cost.
FYI... Holler back if you have any questions for me...
03-18-2014, 05:53 PM #10
Sometimes the term "marine certified" is used. In some cases it applies. In other cases a speaker with a linen speaker, painted frame, uncoated tinsel leads, exposed midbass voice coil, and so on, is hardly a marine speaker. It may survive fresh water usage with some change over to S.S. hardware, but it is hardly a marine product. Certainly no more than the run of the mill car door speaker with a poly cone and rubber surround. The same term applied to electronics may also be a big stretch.
Some of the marine amplifiers, such as the JL Audio marine series for example, feature additional input filter circuits to resist the transient noises you might get with a trim adjustment or a wake plate, issues that are fairly exclusive to a boat.
So the benefits of a 'marine' labeled product can greatly vary brand to brand. Some have no real added value. Some add more than enough to justify the modest cost difference.
Btw, the condensation that Phil was describing is a legit issue. All it takes is one roller over the bow and you've got water in the bilge. If you don't get it all drained, everything under the cover and within the lockers will be in a sauna of sorts with major temperature changes, like when the sun comes out and heats the boat. Water and water vapor does happen even in the driest of boats.