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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through November 17, 2003 » best SPEAKERS « Previous Next »
By ponchevez (ponchevez) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 4:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Which ones do you consider the BEST tower speakers, (dont care about price). I just want the best among the best for my new boat.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 5:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You are asking for an answer that really only you can listening to them. Anyone will tell you that speakers are kind of like women, short, tall, blonde, brunett, silicon, or original equipment. Some like'em one way, while others like'm a different way.
Pervailing trends however suggest that high quality Car Audio speakers are good. Like Polk, MB, etc.
I recently built my own tower speaker enclosures and had the entire speaker market to choose from, not just what someone else decided to put in the enclosure.
After doing some research and comonsense thinking, I decided that Car Audio was NOT a good choice at all for Tower Speakers.
Here's why, if you're like me, you want to get good clean volume to the rider. Simply speaking, this means you need to move a lot of air, which means large or large number of speakers. Then the power to drive them.
Car Audio speakers are not nearly as efficient as "Pro Audio" stuff. Check out the SPL or Sensitivity ratings for both. Keep in mind that this is exponential. Typically, every 3 db will require a doubling of power.
I know most loud systems will use 4 or even 6 6x9's on the tower but if using coaxial types especially, they are real watt suckers.
Finally, think of where you are! Not in a closed car with less than 200 cubic feet of air're in the wide open spaces. This is where Pro Audio stuff is designed to be. Car audio stuff is designed to be in a car.
I'm running 4, 8inch mids with 2 compression dirvers mounted on some 6x7 horns. I'll put this up against ANY 4 or 6 6x9 car audio system running the same or even twice the power.
So, what does BEST mean to you?
Sorry for long post!

By Levi Cress (levi) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 5:29 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
If you don't mind me asking....what is the pricing difference between the car vs. pro audio equipment? Do you have any pics of what the box looks like w/ that set-up? Also, what is the power set-up like?


By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 5:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Most tower speakers are just extensions of car audio. If you go to a concert, you'll notice they use a lot of horns to cast music way out into the crowds. Nvert Sports, working closely with JBL, adopted outdoor speakers, utilizing a horn, for a tower. It's being installed on my boat as I type this note. I'll give a review once I get a chance to try them. I know that just hooking them up to some home equipment, they are unbeleiveably loud and crystal clear.
By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 6:55 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I also agree with everything Duane said. If I could offer any advice it would be to ride with as many people as possible so you can and check out the many different set-ups available. When I first got my boat, I rushed out and spent $600 on a pair of tower speakers only to find out you canít hardly hear them when you are riding. Total waste of $$. With the amp and install it was probably $1,200 and now Iím pretty much tossing all that stuff in a proverbial garbage can.
By Tim Krutz (timmy) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 7:40 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'd take a hard look at the Nvert boxes
By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 7:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have to say I'm a little surprised with the like thinkers.
Anyway, yes I do have some pics but not on this computer. Tomorrow I will post them and all the details.
Levi, the price can be a little higher, or a little lower depending on what you compare. I will only spec what I have.
Manufacturer: I went with Eminence. Most of you probably never heard of them. They are the leading US manufacture of Pro Audio speakers bar none. Alot of companies buy and then put their own name on. Others to consider are JBL like Migitty mentioned, or Celestion. Each of these have web sites with good data and specs....and ways to get educated.
Price: (of mine)
The 8's were $56 each (SPL 97).
Compression drivers (they are awsome) $70 each (SPL 107).
Horns: (to put the C. drivers on) $40 each.
One other interresting thing about Pro Audio, almost always 8 ohm. I don't claim to know why but that seems to me as easier on the amps.
I've kind of piece mealed the rest of my system together over the last couple of years, always trying to improve on the weakest link.
Amps for the Tower: I have had good success with MTX and have no reason to change now. For the 8's I have a MTX 302. 2 channel 300W RMS, 500W peak.
The C. Drivers/horns don't need much for power even though the SPL is 107 db. MTX 2 channel amp at 125 Watts RMS, 200 peak. Actually this is too much power and I did blow one before putting in a passive crossover (25K Hz) which is critical.
That's the tower stuff and only 425 total watts RMS. It is so loud that unless the bimini is up I don't turn on the interrior speakers because you can't talk/listen to somebody. Just or more importantly, it's clean!......all the way beyond the rider.
As I mentioned before, this will stick with 4 or 6 6x9's running 1,000 watts.
I'll post some pics tomorrow.
D out

By B T Lowe (ofwc) on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 7:59 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here's a link:

It's interesting to note that the Nvert system is essentially 1/2 of Duane's system. If you have the money, time, and tower that can handle the weight, a custom box like Duane's with pro audio 8's and horns is the ultimate way to go IMHO.

That said, I went more "stock", and have two pair of the Mako MBQ65's and I am very pleased with their performance. For my purposes, they represent the best overall value. I was able to negotiate a little better price with the seller because I bought two pair.

An added bonus is that the folks at Mako (Brian and Alex) are GREAT to work with when you have technical questions.

By carl beck (mainelaker) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 2:10 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The Nvert system looks like a great design, how much are they running?
By matt (supraman) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 7:21 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

Your message confused me a little. What exactly do you have your highs crossed over at? It looks like you said 25 khz. Is that on the high end? What do you block for low frequency? The low frequency should be much more likely to blow those horn loaded tweeters.

By Kevin Geary (wakescene) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 2:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I also have to blurt this out, Nvert is on to something that a few of us have known about for a few years, and Migitty Matt helped confirm, a pair of "tower speakers" which I very reluctantly assume are "tubes" don't sound good!!!

Enclosures and box type setups like my own, Joe Boyle and a few others around here sound Great. With a little tweaking, are untouchable by any tube or tubby system. DON'T GET ME WRONG, I am not knocking tubes or tubby's, only saying that they don't provide the sound quality of a well built enclosure type setup with the proper amount of airspace for the speakers.
Nvert has recognized this and is beginning to build more box type setup's. I think they will do very well here, and once the word really gets out that tower boxes and tower enclosures are the way to go, a few of us will have more business then we know what to do with!


By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 3:57 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK, Matt, thanks for catching my typo. It should read 2.5K.
As I mentioned yesterday, I would post some pics of what I did. Since that time, the new posts are great.
Firstly, let me say the the enclosures for NVERT are awsome looking. And I'm sure they sound good too. I think it an interresting approach though to seperate the woofers on one side, and the horn on the other. How did you wire that up relative to L and R channels?
I'd also like to comment on Kevins post. I agree (and so would any speaker manufacture) that the enclosure volume is critical in geting good sound. Materials used are also important. Wether you are using more than one speaker in the enclosure or not is also very critical.
BUT! if you are going to use a woofer for mid range only, the volume of the enclosure is almost a mute point PROVIDING it is a SEALED enclosure.
OK, enough of that. Bare with me on these attachments, I've tried this a few times unsuccesfully due to the image size. But here goes.

By B T Lowe (ofwc) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 4:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yep, that's the way to do it...I am sorry you didn't post these two months ago!
By carl beck (mainelaker) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 5:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
now that looks SWEET!
By Kevin Geary (wakescene) on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 11:20 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Excellent job, those look real nice!!


By ponchevez (ponchevez) on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 12:10 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
That is nice!!!

Are u using the same speakers as the ones that come with Nvert ???

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 2:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sorry if this string ended up going in a little different direction but I hope that since you started it that this has helped you answer your question.....somewhat.
The NVERT units are using JBL per miggity's note above. I did check their web site but the specific driver was not mentioned so I can't do any comparisons to the Emenince ones that I used.

Thanks for the kind words all.

Each manufacture makes a large number of speakers to choose from. It may seem overwhelming at first to try and select what would work well in your application. Unless you actually hear them IN THE ENVIRONMENT that you are going to use them's a bit of a gamble.
That's why, just as with anything else, it's good to have a good reliable resource or dealer that would have first hand knowledge of what you're doing.
I got a little lucky in that at Orange County Speaker a guy in Apps named Brian helped me out.
If anyone wants his # email me and I'll give it to you. I don't think it appropriate to give it here.
FYI, someone on this board did email me asking for informaiton on a 6.5 pro audio speaker. I've looked over the offerengs at Eminence, they only make a 6.0. So, if you are filling some empty cans or replacing some blown stuff, check it out. Remember, it's 8 ohm stuff. To me that means that if you're running a 4 ohm system, you can use twice the number of speakers (wired in series) with the same power. Someone else can probably give a more accurate discription.
Sorry for the long one,
D out

By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 11:14 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
There are two philosophies regarding tower speakers. Some want to hear the music clearly when they are riding 75' behind the boat. Others want crystal clear sound in the boat and at the rear of the boat and on the V-drive deck.

If you want great sound at 75' then the Nvert solution solution is perfect since horns are designed for distance.

On the other hand, if great sound at the rear of the boat is the goal, then the Nvert solution is not right. Take note that the Nvert system has one horn on one side and two subs on the other side. At 75', stereo doesn't matter, only volume matters. However, at the rear of the boat it would make a big difference and the horns would sound too harsh up close.


By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 9:22 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
It's not uncommon for car audio people to assume that any speaker over 6.5 inches or 6x9 is a Sub woofer, but that simply is not true. The size of the speaker does not define its frequency response.
The Nvert 8 inch woofers have to be pumping mid range freqs, say 200 Hz and up. The horns are probably pushing the top at some 2500 and up.
My proposal for people would be this:
In Boat sound, including on the "Babe Deck": don't put anything on the tower and apply car audio techniques, i.e. coaxial 6.0, 6.5's, or 6x9s... And a sub.
Behind the boat aka for the Ridder:
On the Tower put large woofers (mid range), Horns for the top end. The more woofer the better.
My experience is that towers speakers (car audio) using 6 6's doesn't cut it. Running 6 6x9's can do it but you need a lot of power, say 12-1500W RMS.
Getting volume at a distance is all about moving air. Horns are excellent only for the highs so you have to fill in the mids with woofers....bigger the better.
Anyone seen a Marshall stack on stage close enough to see what's inside? 12's or 15's, are they sub woofers? no! Is it Loud? Hella loud for alot more than 75 feet.

By Tom Howell (thowell) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 3:59 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Very nice setup. Looks like you put a lot of time into it. Mike brings up a good point about the Nvert system sounding too harsh. Is that unavoidable when using horns (just too close) or is it do to the fact that the Nvert system is asymmetrical? How does your tower setup sound from in (or the back of) the boat?


By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 5:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the kind words.
I can't comment on the Nvert system as I have not yet heard one.
All I can say is relative to mine. And "Harsh" is not a word I would use to describe the sound from the "Babe Deck" or swim deck. Just Loud.
I have set it up on the CDX MP80 such that the Fader controls the distribution from the internals (only 2, 6 1/2 coaxials under the rear seat facing towards the winshield) and the Tower stuff. This works very well if you are in a situation where you don't want to distub the neighbors but still want the subs kick'n.
The only time that an issue seems to arise is when someone is getting to one of the wakeboard racks and standing on the gunwale. This puts your face within 6 inches of the speakers. If someone is at the controls and doesn't realize you are there and turns it up, your in for some pain. This is the only time I've noticed when anything close to the term "Harsh" could be used.
Inside the boat it is still very loud but you do loose some of the cripness as the sound will bounce off the bimini. That's the first reason I added the 6 1/2's. If you don't have or use a bimini, you can get away without anything in the boat....but I would add them anyway.
The one thing that hasn't been mentioned in this string is "Beach System". Where I ride/live, there are several boats with awsome systems that I swear are designed from the get go as a Beach system. These are usually pretty big like 8,000 or so watts. Lots of batteries and speakers in the boat....mostly subs. You rarely even see wakeboards on these boats. I don't complain though, they usually bring the hotties to the beach.
I didn't design my system to be a good Beach system, although I can flip over the Tower boxes and face them to the front, it still is somewhat directional...which is what I wanted.

By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 6:02 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I am not saying that the Nvert horns are harsh since I have not heard them yet. In general horns are harsh up close but are great at a distance.

For those who don't want real loud music for the rider, but great clarity on the rear deck, you may want to consider a non-horn strategy. I put 4 image dynamics components on my tower. They handle 150 watts/channel RMS into 2 ohms. I added a Kicker KX800.4 amp and ended up with great sound at the rear deck - it was not designed for the rider. I have 4 more image dynamics component speakers in the boat and a image dynamics IDMAX subwoofer in the boat with 3,000 total watts.

This combination is very loud and as clear sounding as any show car. However, it isn't designed to be loud at 75'. If that is what you want, then horns like the Nvert system would be the best design.


By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:45 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
wakeside1, that sounds awsome I'm sure. Any pic's?
Have you also added some batt's and cap's?
Also, did you upgrade your alternator?

By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 3:31 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have two batteries - one deep cycle, one start, isolated. No cap needed since I have the batteries within 3 feet of the three Kicker amps with a 0 gauge wire. Alternator on the 03 Malibu Wakesetter LSV with the 335 HP engine seem to keep up.

The image dynamics component speakers are roughly 7" in the boat and we used MBQuart grills. The image dynamics component speakers on the tower are 5.25" since the 7" would not fit into the Skylon Deafcon III cans. We kept the Kicker grills since they worked so well. If you look at the tweeters closely you will notice that they are about twice as big as the standard Kicker tweeters in the Deafcon III's. My brother Tom Hellweg who owns Skylon tells me that he is working on some bigger cans for next year that should be able to hold the 7" components. That will really help the low end vs the 5.25".

The image dynamics IDMAX subwoofer is in a custom enclosure that fits into the corner of the passenger compartment. We had a custom battery stand fabricated so that we had room for all of the equipment with the two batteries.

Side view

Rear corner view

Rear view

Wakeside Battle Rack

Interior view

Rear tower view

Over 3,000 watts of Kicker power

Custom sub enclosure with Image Dynamics IDMAX sub

Sony CDX-MP80 head

By Bryan Sunda (bryan) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 4:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Duane, great job on making those speakers. They came out looking excellent. I'm sure they sound excellent too. :-)

When Duane first called me about doing this system I knew exactly what he was trying to do and how to accomplish it. I had sold an almost identical system to a friend of mine about a year ago for his boat. The only difference was my friend used the 10" Beta-10A speakers instead of the 8" Beta-8A.

If anyone else wants to build a similar system just give me a call. I will give you the same package price as I gave Duane (which was better pricing than our sale prices we have on our website).

If you want to check out the specs of the components here are the links to the specs of the components that Duane used in his system:

Eminence Beta-8A (8")

Eminence PSD2002-8 (Compression Driver)

Eminence LT-250 (Horn)

Crossover for PSD2002-8

Bryan Sunda - 800.897.8373 x 216
Orange County Speaker, Inc.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Very nice ride. Nice job on the Defcons.
I would however offer a different opinion on the need for a Stiffening cap at the power you are using. If you are indeed using the 3,000 watts (or even close to it) your sub is being deprived at critical times. Especially if you are only using 1 sub. I don't care if you're useing 3O wire at 1 inch. Unless of course it isn't being worked very hard. Please don't take this the wrong way. Voltage drops are a result of high current flow. When this happens like when playing Ja Rule, Crystal Method, or any other heavy base track, your battery(s) simply cannot supply the necessary voltage ongoing. That's why stiffining caps can kind of regulate and keep more constant voltage levels during the big hits and therefore give better output. A rule of thumb even in car audio is anything over 1500 watts should have a cap to optimize sub performance. Extra batteries help some but don't add too much to that equation. Mostly just allow you to play the system longer between charges.
Now having said that, I am being somewhat presumptuous(sp)that you are playing this type of music. If not, I hope you can ignore my above post entirely.
Also, thanks for bringing out that your brother owns Skylon. I'm curious if he has an answer to the Illusion tower on the 04 bu's.....or did he have a hand in this project himself?
Sorry but one last thing that I feel diferently about. You have mentioned a couple of times about the Horns being for "distance" and raised the possiblilty of them being "Harsh" near the rear of the boat.
I would propose the notion that Horns (good horns tuned correctly) are not any more harsh at that distance then any other type of speaker producing these high frequency sounds. And as far as the distance thing goes, the further distance that a horn produces sound is a byproduct of the frequency they produce, not the fact that they are horns. Smaller sound waves travel further with less energy than larger ones. Another constituent of high frequency is that it tends to be directional, i.e. a small target area of sound waves.
Harsh sound is almost always poor use of power, either too much to little, or just high noise to signal for the speakers used. It may be that you haven't yet experienced well tuned quality horns.
Anyway, I like what you've done...looks great, keep rid'n

D out

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 11:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
One last thing (sorry), but I read your post again and you mention that your brother is working on the 7 inch can for tower speakers.
Do you know (or him) that this is an extremely ODD size for speakers?
I'll put it this way. With the response I've had from my Pro Audio 8's and the number of people that want Tower speakers to reach the rider, tell your brother to call me when he makes some 8 inch cans. We can both make some money.

By matt (supraman) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 8:11 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

I've been watching this post with interest as a Pro Sound DJ and a wakeboarder. I believe that it is accurate to say that horn-loaded speakers often are "brighter" than comparable direct radiating. The word "harsh" is often used to describe brightness. In music there is an issue of accuracy, and for the most part, direct radiating speakers tend to be more accurate (that is, they add less color or brightness) than horns. I personally like horns and have opted for Klipsch speakers in my high end home theater set up, even though they are not as transparent as others I've heard. They do have a number of things going for them, not the least of which is being incredibly efficient. My point here is that I believe it is accurate to say that many horns can sound "harsh" or "bright" and that there's no need to take offense.

Also, there are many in the audio world who dispute the effectiveness of caps in many setups. There's a lively debate in the achives which can be found here here. Hellweg is in good company in choosing to forgo the cap.

Finally, I will agree with your statement that 7" is an extremely unusual choice for canister size. I'm not sure what's up with that.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 8:51 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for jumping in. I have enjoyed the different viewpoints in this thread. After reading my posts from late last night I can see where one might think I took offense but I really didn't. Thanks for your perspective and adding the "Brightness" description. This helps me as well.
With respect to the cap issue. Once again I speak from my own experience and of that only.
My situation was that I'm running a class D 1KW amp at 4 ohms. I'm driving 3 12's with this. When playing a track with a lot of base, I would see the volt meter really drop with every hit. If by chance you are running any electical accesories on the boat, it's even worse. So, after I installed a 1 Farrad cap in the system, I don't see this drop any more. More importantly, YES, I can tell the differnce. The subs definetly hit noticably harder.
I'll check out your link and see if I can learn something. the way, I really like the sound from Klipsch too.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 10:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
WOW, I just finished reading the link provided by supraman. Very Very interresting stuff.
Everyone, please accept my appologies if I have belittled your ideas or systems. I will retun my thinking to the concept I started with at the top of this thread. You have to LISTEN to what you are doing. If you try something and it sounds better then implement it. If not, don't. It may be really that simple.The fact that what may work in one system may not work in another system is simply because their are too many variables to make blanket statements about what to do to YOUR system. Sorry wakside1 if I offended in any way.
FYI, I do have O gauge wire on the power side of my system.
D out

By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 10:48 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
We have not noticed the sub amp being starved for voltage without the cap. If the sub amp is being starved we can't hear it. The system has thunderous bass even with just one Image Dynamic IDMAX subwoofer. The throw on that sub is amazing. Check it out:

Maybe we should just try a stiffening cap but I really don't think we are missing anything. You should see the ripples on the water from the sub.

Skylon had nothing to do with the development of the Illusion tower last year or this year. This is a Malibu initiative. Last year Malibu did the Illusion 1 together with Titan, This year they did the Illusion X with Metcraft. It's the same forward sweeping concept but this year they switched from tubing to cast aluminum. Skylon still holds the lion share of business with Malibu with Titan a close second. The new Illusion X by Metcraft still needs to be proven and accepted. We'll keep a close watch.

I do agree with you that it is possible to tune quality horns to sound good at the rear of the boat without harshness. I have heard that the tuning of horns is the hardest part. However, I wonder if you can tune them to sound good both at the rear of the boat and at 75'?

I'm not sure of the exact size that Skylon is planning for next year but I know that they plan on increasing the diameter of their cans. They want to be able to accommodate the larger 7" components like the MBQuart Premium Series and the Image Dynamics Chameleon CXS65. We'll have to wait for Surf Expo in two weeks to see the new product announcements for 2004.

I don't have any experience with pro audio 8" speakers. What make and model of pro audio speakers are you using? When you say that you would like an 8" can, is that so you can use an 8" speaker? Would it use traditional tweeters or horns?

Wakeside is always searching for ways to meet the needs and desires of our customers. I would be interesting in your ideas for the perfect product that Wakeside can get manufactured. Is it a complete tower speaker system or empty cans with mounts?


By Tom Howell (thowell) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 12:03 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Without a question, empty cans with mounts.
By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 1:19 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the link on the IDMAX. I did check it out. Up to now my reference sub was a Infinity Kappa Perfect but it looks as though this unit may be my new one.
Are you in a position to get a good price on one?
The first price I got for one is $299.99. This is even $50 cheaper then the Perfect.
I am wanting to replace my 2 12's that are in sealed boxes. If I find the right deal I might be willing to try these.
The 8's I am using are made by Eminence. I got them thru Bryan who decided to post here yesterday after I shared with him my final product. He has included all the necessary links you would need to check it out.
The big thing for me with the Pro Audio stuff was that these drivers are designed to be used in wide open spaces. The Sensitivity for these are way higher then you will find with typical car stuff. Rarely will you find car stuff breaking into the 90 dB range. The Pro stuff I used is like 97 for the woofers and 107-112 for the horn driver. ID makes some of these compresson drivers as well.
Car Audio stuff is designed to work inside a car that's a closed 200 cubic feet or so. Using reference or audiophile type speakers in small and or controlled spaces is fine. Trying to employ those concepts in the wide open spaces of Wakeboarding to me is misguided. At least to the point of providing sound to your rider at 70 or so feet.

D out

By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 2:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
My first subwoofer choice was the Infinity Kappa Perfect until I found the Image Dynamics IDMAX.

The IDMAX12 D2 or D4 usually sells for around $400. If you found it for $299, then you found a great deal. Even at $400, this sub is a great value and great sound.

I would like to try out the Eminence pro audio speakers. I like the sensitivity numbers. Reminds me of the efficiency that Cerwin Vega gets out of their speakers (they do a lot of outdoor concert systems). Do Eminence drivers require an 8" can? I've heard the ID horns are also good quality.

You might also want to try the Image Dynamics CXS62 6.5" 2 ohm Chameleon Component. These handle 150 watts RMS per channel at either 2 ohm or 4 ohm. They are crystal clear and very loud. Sensitivity is 91 dB. I have four sets in my boat right now and the sound is amazing. I just need the 7" (they call it 6.5") up on the tower. They didn't fit into the 6" cans on the Skylon Deafcon III's. They will probably fit into the new Skylon speaker systems that will be announced in about two weeks.

For those of you out there that want professional empty cans, what are the important issues?

Size? Both diameter and length.
Mount type?
Shape? Can, bullet, etc.
Single or dual like the Deafcon III?
Bezel front plate?
Custom color?
Polished or Chrome?
Incorporation of a horn like the example above?

Is price the main issue or is building the dream system the bigger issue.

If we had a system with an 8" Eminence driver and horns would there be an interest in a finished system?


By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 3:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I noticed that the EMINENCE BETA-8A 8" MIDRANGE/P.A. DRIVER utilizes a paper cone. This could be a problem on a wakeboard boat. All speaker systems that we currently sell use poly cones except the Wake Designs MB3 - we discontinued that one.

What's your thought on using paper cones on a boat?

By house (house) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 4:07 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
While you are talking about all this good stuff...
I have two IDMAX12 D4's with 700W RMS to go to
each one. I was planning on putting them in the
rear compartments of my VLX, one on each side.
Would I be that much better off if I put one
on each side in the front instead??
I also have a set of B-530's with 600W going to
them. They sound nice close and far. I was
thinking about a way to add a set of the Image
Dynamics HLCD's, but they are truly built for
inside an auto. Maybe this would be a good trade
off for your dilema? What do you guys think?

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 4:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Firstly, I like where your post with the "poll" is going. Let me be the first to answer.
Length: proportional to width....but must be Sealed.
Can or bullet, but SEALED is the key.
Dual and Single offerings would be good IMHO.
Bezel to accomodate grill....yes.
Color, Polished, yes, yes.
Horn on Dual, yes.
Value Value Value. Let's just make sure I get my money's worth.
Mike, since I already have a finished system, no. But since you are taking all of my ideas, where is my cut of the action? I'm soon to be unemployed (end of October) and have taken the attitude that I don't do anything that does'nt earn a buck.
Paper cones: Yes I was a little concerned but the speakers I had before were also paper and worked fine for the 3 years I ran them. I have sprayed a thin coat of clear lacquer on the outer side to help. On the Tower, I don't worry. In the boat, I've got poly just like you.
Mike, it's a bit of a trade-off. As in the IDMAX data, the lighter the stuff you have to move, the more efficient it is.
If a poly cone woofer is out there and offers the same performance...then I'd get it.
The other advantage of Pro Audio is that most likely you can rebuild them. Car audio is mostly "disposable". Like the Compression driver that I blew? I didn't have to buy a complete new one for some $75. I just got the guts for $35. Same goes for the woofer cones etc.
I know that the poly cones look better and all, but I'm a function guy. Put the good stuff inside and make the outside pretty.
Really, what's my cut? Don't make me bring out the "S" word. I'm well documented.

D out

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 4:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Are you sure you even have enough room for them in the rear lockers? I have two friends 1 with the 02, the other with an 03 VLX. I'm not sure you can get them in there with the tanks and all. It would definetly be a custom box.
The space in front of the driver is often wasted space. If you can put one there I think you would be saving space that is more valuable elswhere. Then if you can put one in the back then fine.
I'm curious if you have heard these before. If so what was the situation?
Mike has me intrigued!

By Grant (whitechocolate) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 4:24 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I was thinking of running the Image Dynamics Horns in My New tower Box. A friend of My'n Here on W/W Ta biggs runs 4 Horns on his Tusanimi if you haven't seen it its awesome, It get's my Vote for Baddest boat system out there.

I talked with the people from Image Dynamics (Cool People) They will admit that the compresion dirver tweter's (horns) will Over power almost any mid out there. Infact there Own componet system that comes with a Driver and a 6 inc Mid and its Own cross over has the cross over De-tuned or turnd down so the tweeter dosent walk over the mid.
He had pointed out That when you see a set of DJ speakers he said you "Notice how thy pair a Horn with a 15 inch woffer to make the mid. Thats the only true way a Driver can keep up with a horn. He had said thats why most people say Horns sound Harsh because it's hard to get a driver to keep up with a Horn. With anything proper set up is required. Setting up a set of Compression drivers requires a bit of know how with them. I think most of us can throw a set of 6X9's up and make them sound good. Compression drivers are a whole diffrent game. I do agree Nothing will sound louder/cleaner than a Compression driver 75 back
so what "Mike said If you want good clean music in the boat or if you want good clean music 75 feet back" Im right there with ya.

By Grant (whitechocolate) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 4:28 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Woops Sorry Wrong Photo Here is Tom's Tower with 4 Image Dynamics Horns and 4 Image Dynamics Mids
2 going back and 2 going forward

By house (house) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 4:35 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
They are the best subs that I have heard.
They sound awesome even with a little power,
but really crank it up with more. They have a
rated level of 1000 RMS each, but they can handle
more than that. If you ever burn them up Image
will rebuild them for you. (Not throw away crap)

What do you think of a rectangular box between
the B-530's with the horns on top of each other?
They already throw the sound L-R and R-L anyway...?

By B T Lowe (ofwc) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 5:05 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
If you already have 4 cans (like I do), you can retrofit one pair with these horns and upgrade to as good a 6.5" mid-bass as you can find.

Dispersion may not be ideal with this horn, but they'll fit anything round.

Pyramid TWD80
Pyle PH65

If manufacturers start making 8" cans, the 8" mid-bass + horn combo is the way to go IMHO.

By Kevin Geary (wakescene) on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 10:42 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Interesting to hear that Grant is going with a Tower Box, instead of cans for his next system...For anyone that saw the pics of his last system is was bad!

I think one thing should be included here, HLCD's have a VERY VERY HIGH db Sensitivity, which gives them the ability to over power the mid's easy. The problem here is that you are limited by your lowest db sensitive driver, which most likely a Mid-bass, or Mid-range speaker, requiring you to tone down everything to meet this lower db sensitive unit. ID tends to have a higher db rating on the mids, allowing for a better "match" to their HLCD's. Macron and Focal Mids are also comparable choices, but the Macrons can run very expensive.


By Grant (whitechocolate) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 9:12 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
House I don't understand? B-530 with the retangular box??? Im sorry I dont understand.

Keven. I think you said it in a earlyer post. That you were disapionted with the can's when you ran just one set. I felt the same way. Thats why I added cans one by one till I couldn't get any more on my tower. The thing that turned me on about Tower Speaker box's is the Mid responce from larger speakers at Hige volume. The Tweters don't seem to be a problem, You had aslo addresed this point in a earlyer post, The new Box Im going to build is going to be out of control. 8 6X9's I still relize that the Compression drivers will be louder but Im more into a clean sound in the boat then from 75 back, My theroy is. 5 people in the boat and one at the end of the rope, I would rather make the 5 people in the boat Happy seeing as I am usually one of the 5. The guy on the end of the rope willl just have to deal

By house (house) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 11:01 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
B-530's on outside, rectangular enclosure inbetween them. The horns could be even, one on top, one on bottom. Thinking of this instead of an additional set of B-50's. Just an idea. Maybe not.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 11:28 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Out of Control for sure!
With 8 6x9's you should have the ability to entertain the rider nicely...also. But since you indicated that's not your intent, I'm curious in which direction will these 6x9's be facing?

By Grant (whitechocolate) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 12:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
4 Facing Backwards and 4 facing into the boat. Im hoping to do away with the speakers and Amps that power the Hull thus giveing me more Bat life with doing away with that Amp. With 4 6X9 fireing into the boat Hull speakers shoud be a Non Issue, A friend of Myn has this set up and it works "Very Well" In fact I haven't hear a Louder clener boat that would make me change directions yett. And When I say louder and cleaner Im talking about inside and around the boat not 75 feet back, The 4 6X9 's shooting down into the boat have a way of reflecting outward. If I would have never heard it I would swear it was a joke
By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 4:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I ran into a fellow on the Delta last year that had a set-up at least simillar to what you describe. He had numerous 6x9's in a box on the tower. Some facing down some back. I don't recall just how many. It too was very loud. He was eager to put some subs in next. Could this be same guy you reference?
Oh, BTW, what about using a bimini?

By Grant (whitechocolate) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 5:29 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Duane This my Buddys boat

I have seen lots of boat's with simular set up's It seems like They wont let you launch at the delta unless you have at leat 4 6X9 on your tower I dont know if its a sate law or somthing
He is running 8 Boston Pros witha PPI 4125 to power everything.

By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 5:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I recommend to have 2 or 3 pairs of high-end component speakers in the boat. In addition, add a quality subwoofer like the Image Dynamics IDMAX with a bass volume control at the dash of the boat.

I recommend to keep the boat speakers separated from the tower speakers. Use the fader to control the boat to tower balance.

The tower speaker system is the area that I don't think any major manufacturer has done right yet. Based on this thread and a conversation I had with and accoustic engineer today, I am reconsidering that horns can sound good at either 5' or 75'. I think Nvert is on to something, but some people will want stereo, especially for at the rear platform sound.

I would vote for two mid-bass drivers and one compression driver with horn on each side of the tower. The next job is to design it right and build it with quality and great looks at a good value.

By Darren Yearsley (ralph) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 5:43 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here's a photo of my tower box (it's upside down) 2x 6x9's firing down, 2 firing back in the centre, 2x 6&1/2s back out to the flats. The rear facing speakers are angled up a bit to compensate for the bow rise when on the plane. In the boat there will be only subs (x3), a 12 at the drivers feet & 10" in each vdrive locker firing into the back seats. When my boat finally arrives & the system is complete I will post plenty of pics.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 9:14 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Darren, I can tell already you are doing this right. Good luck.

Mike, I'm glad you are coming around. A couple things that Grant said I believe to be important with Horns and compression drivers. Yes they can overpower a woofer and with Pro systems the woofers you see paired up are quite large. That is one reason I only have 1 per 2 woofers. Add the area's comparable.
The other thing Grant said that I belive is the necessary control. If you don't provide indepentant conrol for the C.Drivers then it is very difficult to balance the syetem efectively. In my case, I have an isolated amp just for the C. Drivers. Along with appropriate crossovers, I can very accurately balance and tune both C. Drivers and woofers to work together.
Mike, since your in the business I'm sure that you are coming to Boardstock this year. This is virtually in my back yard of Discovery Bay. Please accept my invitation to come and take a listen while you are in the area.
I'm not saying mine is the ultimate but if you don't like what you hear, you'll be the first.

D out

By Mike Hellweg (wakeside1) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 10:59 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

Not sure if we will make it to Boardstock this year. We did a week and and a half at Discovery Bay and rented a deluxe houseboat on the Delta in June. I have a friend with a house right on the water at Discovery Bay and he let us use his house for a few days. We then rented a houseboat with my brother Tom (Skylon) from H&H Marina and had a great week on the Delta. That is one cool place. The weather was always perfect and we could always find butter somewhere. You must be spoiled!

We normally ride on the upper Willamette River south of Portland, Oregon, at Lake Billy Chinnook in central Oregon, and Lake Shasta. It was fun to see where many people ride in Northern California. I lived in Northern California in San Ramon until 1992.

Mike Smith at is a great affiliate of up at Lake Sonoma. They have a club called the Lake Sonoma Riders and now they have a web site called Mike is really our first connection to Northern California's grass roots wakeboarders.

We would like to get to know several more influential wakeboarders like Mike Smith in Northern California, specifically Discovery Bay since that is such a big market for us. I would say that Northern California is our single biggest customer base since some dealers there don't meet their customer's needs. We fill in the gap with great customer service, discounts, no sales tax, free shipping, and reward points. We need help to get the word out and I believe that Discovery Bay is where it's at.

Send me a note or call if you know anyone interested in becoming an affiliate in your area. Here is a link to explain how it works:

Next time we are down your way, we will see if we can come by and take a listen to your system. We are planning a trip in September to visit Boss, Titan, Pro Flight, Mako, and Skylon. Maybe we can swing by since we will be so close.

PS: The demo boat shown above is available at a very good price if you know anyone at Discovery Bay looking for a Malibu LSV. The only thing it needs now is horns on the tower.


By Luke (lukeduke95) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 8:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
hey Duane,

Recently had my stereo stolen; speakers, amp and even one of my boardracks.
I have been looking at making an enclosure for the tower but had some questions about Pro Audio speakers.
I have been looking at all the different eminence speakers but had some questions for you about your setup.

Why go with the Beta series? Were you looking for certain frequencies?

Do you think 10's would be better?

I was looking at this setup-
4 Delta 10's American Series
2 Compression Drives w/ 11x6.5 horns.

Do you think 2 compression drivers would be enough or if I add two more and go with the 7x6 horns they would still fit.
Thanks for all the info you have posted I was just wondering about the difference between different speakers and wanted info from someone that actually runs them on their tower.


By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 5:21 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sorry to hear about you getting ripped off. I've heard too many horror stories like that this year. In the area I'm at, a sting has been set up to try and catch the MF's.
Regarding the Beta's and Delta's, 8's vs 10's:
A few things that made me choose the Beta 8's. Firstly, the frequencies that I needed to cover based on the rest of the system you are putting together. Secondly, the size DOES MATTER! Bigger is better in this instance IF you 1)have the room for it, 2) have the clean power to push them.
I waffled for some time actually, going back and forth with 10's vs 8's. I went with the 8's primarily due to space. I didn't want to be bumping my head the the enclosure everytime I got out of the drivers seat. However, I'm a good compromise kind of guy so if I were to do it again with the same concern for space, what's wrong with 8's and 10's?
Bigger speakers move more air (relatively), and more air means more volume (relatively).
Delta 10's are monsterous by comparison. Just the weight alone (8 lbs vs 14 lbs) is sigificant. Be sure you can support the total weight you are putting together. Your proposal will be some 40 lbs of speakers/driver/horns, per side. Then add the enclosure material and clamps etc. Can you say Titan?
The other consideration that I took may not be necessary but the Beta series requires a much smaller enclosure if you decide to port it. The enclosures I made are actully of the correct volume that I could port them to get some lower frequencies. (probably wont do it)
Horn loaded Compression drivers: 2 of this style are plenty adequate. I have a small 60 or so W per channel amp going to mine and the gain is set very low, less than 50%.
The horns you picked are just a little larger then the ones I chose so should be fine, again, if you have the space. FYI, mine are the 9.8 x 7.7 inch.
Lastly, Mike H above pointed out something that anyone going in this direction should be aware of. One reason that Pro Audio can have the high dB's for sensitivity is the paper cone. I have coated mine with a layer of Lacqer that in itself is very thin and therfore light in weight. Please do this to yours and I'm confident that as long as you don't spray water on them or leave them out in the rain, you'll be fine.
I would NOT use these INSIDE the boat, but on the tower I have not had any problems running coated paper cones. Even if something were to happen, you can get them re-coned very easily.
Good luck Lucas, what ever you end up with be sure to share with us.
If you go with the 10's, we'll hear you coming as well as going!

D out

By Luke (lukeduke95) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 6:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Duane,
Please be patient but maybe we are over analyzing things.

I bought the speakers but had some questions about your setup and how your doing things. First,
I purchased 2 Beta 8's 225w rms
2 Deltalite 10's 300w rms
2 hlcd's w/ 6x11 horns 45w rms
All speakers are 8 ohms.
Now we are looking at amps to power everything and was wondering about the power ratings and how you wired yours up.

You said
"Amps for the Tower: I have had good success with MTX and have no reason to change now. For the 8's I have a MTX 302. 2 channel 300W RMS, 500W peak.
The C. Drivers/horns don't need much for power even though the SPL is 107 db. MTX 2 channel amp at 125 Watts RMS, 200 peak."

Now by runing the numbers it looks like the 8's are getting 37.5 watts apiece based on the ratings of that amp. 75 watts x2 at 4 ohms.
Now i figured you paralelled 2 of the speakers for each channel to get a 4ohm load but that leaves you with 75watts for 2 speakers or only 37.5 watts per speaker.
(I'm implying that you had set it up with two speakers running off of 1 channel and two off the other)

Is that all the power you are using to power your setup or am I totally off.
Do you think that we should use two different amps to power the 8's and the 10's or having them all use the same amp be fine.

Thank you for all your help.
I know it will all work at some point just been looking at too many numbers right now.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 3:29 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the pm, I thought this thread was dead.
You are the second person to now order and receive the same (or virtually) stuff. Congrates! If I were to do it again I think I would throw in the 10's like you did. With the 10's you can consider a little lower crossover, maybe around 80 to 100 Hz, just a thought.
However, you are the first to notice the TRUE power (or at least comment on it) that is bing used. You are correct with the power distribution and the 4 ohm load on the 8's.
This is what I find so amazing about using these type of speakers. People can talk alot about SPL's but to really appreciate the different sensitivity/effeciencies of speakers, you just have to hook some up.
Now, having said that, I will agree that my 8's are underpowered but this just emphasises the sensitivity. I am constantly told by first timers behind my setup that "it's not only loud but clean" is what I hear most.
Going forward here, I think it is generally believed that you should supply power near the max.
Luke, per your profile I see you are in Redwood City, if you are going to be around the Delta at all this weekend for BoardStock, give me a holler and we'll go for a little ride.
cell 408-569-6040
D out

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