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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through February 10, 2003 » Malibu Stock Stereo wiring question « Previous Next »
By LSVLance (lsvlance) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 12:17 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I know I've hashed this out on here before but I can't find the thread in the archives, so here it goes.

My LSV came with the JVC head unit, 160 watt amp and 6 infinity speakers. I have a hard time getting the fader adjusted to where it is comfortable for everyone in the boat, usually the dash speakers are way overpowering the rears (we hardly ever have anyone riding in the bow).

I'm a stereo novice, but I think that I understand that putting 4 speakers on one set of outputs cuts the power in half to each of the speakers. If that's the case, would my system benefit from unhooking the bow speakers and putting just the dash speakers on the front outputs and the rear speakers on the rear outputs?

Another question, when I pulled the head unit out of the armrest last night, I noticed RCA jacks for the speakers (which are currently running to the amp) and also a set of outputs on a wire which I assume are preouts for an amp. Which is the best way to connect the head unit to the amp?

By John Klein (jklein) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 1:23 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You're onto it.

There's three sets of outputs and you only get to use two at a time:

1. The RCA
2. Front Speakers from the wiring harness
3. Rear Speakers from the wiring harness

Because your Head Unit has only 1 RCA output, Malibu splits the signal out of the RCA output and plumbs it into the AMP RCA inputs and drives all of the speakers though the single RCA output signal on the head unit, so you get L and R balance, but you don't get F and R fading.

If you drive your rear speakers off the RCA and your fronts off the wiring harness, you will get fading, but you won't get equal power because only the rears will be driven off the AMP while the AMP in the head unit is driving the fronts.

Check your AMP and see if you can have multiple inputs directly from the front speakers on the wiring harness. If you can, then you can amplify that signal too.

By LSVLance (lsvlance) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 1:45 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Well, If I remember right, they did not use the RCA, just the speaker wiring harnesses. What I need to do is trace those wires to my amp to see just how they hooked them to the amp and then see how the speakers are hooked up.

Frankly, I'm ready to start from scratch and am asking the best way it "should" be wired. I've installed a lot of stereos in my day, but have never messed with amps before. I also need to figure out how many amps the head unit puts out. I've got a 40 watt Kenwood CD player that I took out of a truck I sold that I think has pre-outs for an amp also. I'll pull it out tonight and look at it.

By LSVLance (lsvlance) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 8:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Well, I learned a lot more about my stereo tonight. The JVC head unit that came with my boat has 2 sets of RCA pre-outs (front and back), a sub-woofer RCA and the standard speaker wire outputs. Malibu used the front and back pre-outs to send the signal to the JVC amp and then sent it out to the speakers. The Dash speakers and bow speakers are tied together somewhere after the amp front outputs. I've figured out that the Dash speakers are so prevailant because of their position. Them being up high, bouncing the signal off the windshield and being open below the mounting surface all are reasons why they overpower the rear, low mounted, rear speakers. When I removed the seat cushion above the rear speakers, they became a lot more equal to the dash speakers.

I've decided that I can live with that arrangement actually got the system to sound pretty good after fiddling around with it a little bit.

Another thing I discovered is that this head unit has a feature called "Cruise". Supposedly, it will adjust the volume in comparison to the RPMS the motor is turning. JVC says it takes it's signal from the alternator output....we'll see how it works. It seems to be pretty adjustable and has a lot of settings, but I still have my doubts.

Have any of you fiddled with this feature (if you have it) on your stereos?

By Tony Neal (aneal000) on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 7:29 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Lance, just a couple of comments about the Malibu system and what can be done and what I think they are doing. I have a VLX and have played around with it quite a bit, I only have 4 speakers but added 2 tower speakers last year and here are some of the options that you have to level things out.

General comment. Depending on how you wire multiple speakers up will depend on how much power actually gets to them. For example if you were to wire your front speakers in series with your dash speakers then you are correct the power would be split between them, however more improtantly the amplifier would now see a higher resistance and would put out about half of the rated power and the speakers would split that power evenly (as long as they were the same impedeance-typically 4 ohms). They can be wired in parallel which will cause the speakers to again split the power from the amp, but when wired this way the total impedeance the amp will see will decrease by half, causing the amplifier to put out (in most cases) 2x the rated power. I'm not for sure what way Malibu wired up the speakers, series or parallel? Their are various things you could do depending on what you are trying to achieve.

1) You could run the dash speakers on the front outputs of the stereo, since they have less power than the amp, and wire the fron speakers to the front channels of the amp, and the rear to the rear channels of the amp, then when fading you would go between fronts/dash and rear.

2) you could hook the dash to the front channels of the amp and the front and rear speakers in parallel to the rear channels of the amp, then adjjust the gain of the front/rear to give you the desired volume between all.

3) various others... but keep in mind you can accomplish just about anything by the way it is set up.

Haven't used the cruise.

By LSVLance (lsvlance) on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 9:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I could not tell where nor how the dash and bow speakers were hooked together without opening up a bunch of that flexible conduit that they run the wires in. I'll bet they are in parallel causing the amp to put twice the power to them. I like both of your ideas and might investigate further into re-wiring the bow and dash speakers to try to even things out.

Right now, I can fade to the rear to keep the dash speakers from overpowering, but I think I loose overall quality at volume by doing that.

After noticing the sub-woofer output on the head mind has been exploring that option also!! Gotta sneak that one past Mrs LSV though.

I'm excited about the cruise option. That would solve my remote problem in most cases if it works well. We'll have to wait for warmer weather as the boat is winterized and the engine has to be running to set the points for idle and boost increments.

By John Klein (jklein) on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 11:02 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sounds like they've changed it some since my install. I ended up ripping the whole stock system out and replacing it eventually.

Regarding the Cruise feature, I've got it on my truck. I'm surprised they said it's attached to the RPM indicator, but maybe that's ok on a boat. In a car with a transmission, the volume would be bouncing all over the place. I think the one in my truck is connected to the speedo.

By Tony Neal (aneal000) on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 12:46 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Not for sure how they attach the cruise sense lead, but in a boat it would make sense for them to pull it off of the DC line. Yes cars and boats do have voltage regulators but the voltage will still fluctuate with RPM. In a car their is a wire know as the VSS or Vehicle Speed Signal wire, it is typically used to supply a signal to a cruise control module or speedometer. This would be best for interfacing that feature in a car. Again I don't know how they do it, but those are just a few thoughts.
By LSVLance (lsvlance) on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 1:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The book said something about sensing the output of the alternator to determine how many RPMs the engine is turning. It also said that other electrical components (windshield wipers, fan blowers and such) have been know to cause the cruise function problems.

It sounded like it picks up the alternator signal from the power lead????

By Jason Craveiro (s4inor) on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 5:06 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yep, it monitors the voltage flucuation from the alternator on the power lead.
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