Boat Audio upgrade suggestions
I have a 18' Sea Ray that only has 2 speakers in the boat and last year I picked up some polk db-651 speakers http://www.polkaudio.com/products/db651. I also had picked up the clarion M502 head unit because of the bluetooth streaming, but ended up returning it because the sound was very crackily and distorted. (I currently have a old Pioneer car head unit being used) This year I want to get a pair of tower speakers, amp and bluetooth head unit.
I am looking for suggestions on these 3 components. my only criteria is a head unit having bluetooth, a good loud clean sound that can be heard underway when in the boat and keeping the cost under $800 for everything.
for head units I was thinking trying the clarion M502 again (maybe I got a bad unit) or the DUAL
AMB600W which has built in bluetooth that I tested at west marine and streams well.
for an Amp I was thinking the Rockford Fosgate M600-4D (not sure if I would need the 600 or 400 watt.
and Tower Speakers, Aerial Bullet speakers (to match the polk 651 already in the boat)
or is it really a better idea to go for the twin tower speakers, and if I do, would I need a 6 ch Amp?
Ryin - what is your goal here? if you are looking to get good sound inside the boat while underway then I would suggest scrapping the tower speaker idea as generally those provide sound outside the boat to the rider.
If your looking to improve the sound for the passengers in the boat and for the budget you are allowing yourself, then I would look into adding at least 1 additional pair of interior speakers, a sub if you can find the space for it, and a good 6 channel amp to drive it all... many options out there but my main point is spend your money on the goal you are trying to achieve.
just my 2 cents
True, I would say my goal would be improving sound for people in the boat while underway along with hanging out and swimming behind the boat. The problem with my boat is the speaker placement is terrible (basically blocked when people are sitting in driver and passenger seats, and available mounting space is very limited for additional speakers in the bow.
Budget? That is the most important question. Do you want it as loud as possible or just listening level?
OP said $800
able to hear it well and loud underway
PPI 900.4 ($190 shipped):
Wetsounds XST-650 ($400 shipped)
Clarion M502 ($154 shipped)
Grand Total: $744
Edit: I would also suggest another set of interiors. The items I picked above leave enough in the budget for an additional set of DB651's. You can run both pairs of 2 channels @ 2ohm and be perfect off the amp. That amp will put out more power than the Rockford for less money. Same amp as the NVX and Polk digital series of amps...if you want marine rated you can pick up the Polk D4000.4 but that's $250 instead of $190 but a marine rated amp really isn't necessary unless you are in a salt water environment.
That price for the fosgate amp seems pretty good.
If your mainly interested in good sound in and around the boat and for the money you are willing to spend those bullets will probably do fine. but if I would strongly suggest figuring out a way to get some kind of a sub in your boat (maybe under the helm) wherever you can find room. It doesn't have to be the biggest but believe me it will help both balancing the sound and the perceived volume of the interior.
So here is a suggestion:
buy 2 of those 600x4 fosgate amps and the bullets as well as see if you can find a sub solution.
Run the tower speakers of one of the amps bridged into two channels @ 300 Watts each. Then run your two interior speakers off the front 2 channels of the second amp @ 100 watts each and bridge channels 3 and 4 to get 300 watts to the sub. That should get you pretty good sound for a little more than your target budget.
As for the Bluetooth, I don't have any advice for you but I have not heard many complaints about the Clarion unit.
I agree that a sub would be a big plus. If I was doing the sub and trying stay within the budget, I would do the following:
- Go with the Bullet speakers @ $299 (or find another budget tower speaker at a simlar price).
- Go with a Polk D5000.5, running the in-boats, tower, and sub ($290)
- Same head unit ($154)
- Polk DB1240DVC sub @ $55
That puts you at $798. In that scenario, you lower the quality of your towers vs. my original suggestion and lower the power to the tower/inboats, but get a sub in the process.
Of course there is the additional cost of a sub enclosure.
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