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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through July 28, 2009 » need some stereo help « Previous Next »
By Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22) on Sunday, May 31, 2009 - 5:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
so when I got my boat I wasn't sure what it had for a system, but I noticed it had a 3 compenent setup for the tower speakers: Kicker CVR 8" I believe, kicker 6", and tweeter. I have 4 interior boat speakers, JL 6.5s. A 12" JL sub. when I first tested the system, it was cutting out a bit, but this is when the boat was not running so I figured maybe not enough juice or something. So I take it out on the water and everything sounds "okay", not cutting out anymore, but the sub pops at about 24-26 range on my stereo. And the the tower speakers still aren't loud enough to hear clearly on the wakeboard. So i thought maybe I was underpowered because originally I thought my boat only came with a JL 450/4. I assumed everything was running off that so I just needed more power. So I snagged an xtant 4.4 amp out of a boat I owned previously I've been meaning to hook that up as well to give it the missing power. So I crawl into the hole to pull out the amp and I find that there are actually 2 amps there. There is the 450/4 JL, and on the backside of that there is another JL amp 300/4. I tracked the wires and it appears the 450/4 has 2 channels running the 4 interior boat speakers, the other 2 channels are bridged to the sub. Then the 300/4 powers the tower speakers. Now that I see it has 2 amps running everything, I am really confused why it is not sounding very good. It seems like that should be plenty.

Any help where to start?

My main questions are:
1.) why is my sub popping?
2.) there are 4 wires running to each tower speaker. I think they are hooked up to separate channels, Is this right? (originally I though I would bridge my tower speakers)
3.) Should these be plenty of power to run all these speakers?
4.) Should I swap the amps and run my 300 to interior/sub, and my 450 to my tower speakers?
5.) would the Xtant amp be worth switching with either of these 2 amps?

Please do not answer "buy wetsounds" I wish I could but I need to work with what I got.

Here are some really bad pics. I just tore it apart and don't have good angles, but for reference...Upload

By Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22) on Monday, June 01, 2009 - 8:14 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
any stereo guys here?
By Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22) on Monday, June 22, 2009 - 7:42 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Would I be better served with some Kicker KMT6's on the tower? JL 300 running...
By Clotus (clotus) on Monday, June 22, 2009 - 3:20 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Ok I will try my best until someone else chimes in. I used to have a JL sub in a car and I noticed that it would pop when ur were close to the cone, but in the driver seat all you heard was clean bass. That being said without hearing it sounding like you are pushing it too hard and it is over-extending for a lack of a better term. For the tower speakers my guess is that one channel is running what appears to be a midbass (or the 8-inch) and the other channel is running the 6.5" and tweeter. Without a cross-over this could cause some issues, but if your problem is the tower speakers are not loud enough my guess is the gain is not adjusted properly. Remember the gain is not a volume knob, it is used to balance everything out. Before you start changing things around try this: turn the gains down on both amps, turn the stereo on and turn the volume up all the way (assuming your deck does not power any speaker, if it does turn it up to as loud as your interior speakers can handle or the max volume you want them out). Now adjust one amp at a time. Use the gain for the tower speaker and turn them up to as loud as they can go without distorting, or turn up to how loud you want them at the given headunit volume. Once you have the tower speakers set, do the same for the other amp (hopefully you have a switch to turn off the tower speakers while you are doing this. This should allow your tower speakers to be louder without causing your sub to pop.

Disclaimer: I know the above is confusing, but it is the best I could describe it. Also, this is based off my limited experience and my .02 cents. Good luck and post up with your results.

By Clotus (clotus) on Monday, June 22, 2009 - 3:21 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Oh yeah and also check your cross-overs. Dont send the sub high frequencies and dont send your other speakers low frequencies.
By phil white (philwsailz) on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - 6:38 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

You do not have bad equipment, but you may have tired equipment. Sometimes even the very best stereo can be used very hard by a previous owner; rode hard and put up wet, as it were... In order to get the performance you want, it may very well require a trip to the checkbook or savings account.... In that instance you are honestly best served to rip everything out and start over... That being said, let's take a look at the patient... :-)

1.) why is my sub popping?
Hard to say. Is it sealed in a box, or is it open-backed, AKA free-air mounted? What model woofer is it? Hard to tell from the pics. Most of the time subwoofer popping is due to a lack of control that an enclosure provides. Too little power can do that to ya as well.

2.) there are 4 wires running to each tower speaker. I think they are hooked up to separate channels, Is this right? (originally I though I would bridge my tower speakers)
As I have said in almost every post when someone thinks about bridging, DO NOT DO IT!!! :-) Unfortunately two things happen in your instance. A. You let the smoke out of the amp if you wire the speakers in parallel. or B. you end up with the exact same power to each speaker if you wire in series. A speaker for each channel is SO right for your tower speakers. Set all four channels to high pass on the tower amp crossover and set the frequency to like 100 for the channels driving the components, and 60 or so for the channels running the 8's

3.) Should these be plenty of power to run all these speakers?
75x4 should work okay for that setup.

4.) Should I swap the amps and run my 300 to interior/sub, and my 450 to my tower speakers?
No, the 4504 amplifier is a weird one, as it has 150 x 2 plus 75 x 2....

5.) would the Xtant amp be worth switching with either of these 2 amps?
The Xtant is 50x4; probably too little power for a boat system typically.

A quick system check:
You mention cutting in and out, on land, and running okay on the water, so the first thing to do is make sure you have a fully charged battery or a new battery if your current one is tired. Low voltage can cause speakers to make nasty sounds. Then get us more info on the sub, as asked for above... You may have some major work to make that sub work properly, and that work may entail building a box.
Hi pass crossovers on for all speakers except for the sub. Low pass crossover for the sub. No bass boost if available, except for maybe a little for the sub, (if bass boost is maxed out, it can produce the popping you are complaining about). On the head unit, set bass and treble to flat or ZERO for setting up the stereo. Excessive or extreme tone control settings in the head unit can cause popping....

Start with everything flat, no bass boost. Then on the gain, Clotus has some good insight, and there are other gain setting posts here that Tim White from Wetsounds has posted, and I have posted similar gain setting posts as well. Go search for these and read them until you understand them, then apply them to your system.
Finally, get back to us with the results.

Good luck, and remember, this is hobby stuff; it should be fun! do not make it work... :-)


By Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 11:55 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the input guys. I want to get the best sound out of what I got so I will try to make some adjustments. I had stereo guy near my business come take a look and he adjusted some of the gain to get the sub to stop popping. He said it was flexing to its max and that's why it was popping. He said a box will help this issue, but for now he adjusted the gain back a bit. So first step will be to build a box.

I'll check the frequencies on the amps to the tower speaks. I did confirm that the 2 sets of wires to the tower speakers are one set to the 8's and one set to the 6 and tweet. they are running off the 4 channels of the 300. I just need to make sure they are all set to high frequencies.

Then I came across another issue. The interior speaks blow everyone away when we're trying to get the tower speaks loud enough for the rider. I can control this by fading front/rear settings on the head unit. The only problem is when I fade out the interior speaks I also fade out the sub. Now I could go buy an EQ, but I've heard that that JL makes a sub control that just plugs into the amp. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but if I fade out the interior speaks which in turn fades out the sub, will the separate sub control be able to adjust enough to bring the sub back in to full sound with the tower speakers? This is confusing stuff...

By Hate N Pain (hatepain) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 12:45 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
^^^Last question = No, when you fade it you are shutting off or limiting the signal to the Sub. If you have a third RCA out from the deck for the sub you could run it to that channel in the amp so when you fade it won't cut that out.
By Clotus (clotus) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 10:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
If you have a separate amp for the tower speakers, turn your gain down on your tower speakers all the way, then turn your radio on and to the level (loudness) you want during riding, then adjust your gain on the tower speaker amp to the level you want your tower speakers at. This should solve that problem. From what I understand this is exactly what the gain is for...........balancing. My guess is your gain is set too low or you do not have enough power. Based on your amps I think your gain is set too low.
By Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22) on Saturday, July 04, 2009 - 12:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
built a box...sounds wayyyy better. I was out yesterday and I noticed something that may be the problem or maybe its really normal... When riding behind the boat, you can hear the music a little bit. Not loud by any stretch, but you can def hear the music. When I crashed and the boat was 150+ feet away from me, I can hear the music loud and clear. I know engine noise can make a diff, but my engine isn't very loud. Could it be possible maybe the angle of the tower speakers would make a big difference? Or is the music just muffled that much by engine noise?
By Jeremy Hawkinson (hawk22) on Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 12:14 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
just installed a new deck. Simple install, just plug n play. once in awhile the controls don't work??? But if I detach the face and reattach. It works again. New Kenwood deck. Best Buy said it sounded like wiring, but I think it sounds more like a faulty deck...any ideas?
By Hate N Pain (hatepain) on Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 2:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
TWO ? UP its engine and wind noise more the latter of the two.

Sounds like a connection/contact point issue with the face plate.


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