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Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-21-2010, 12:16 AM Reply   
Let me preface this by saying, I don't know the first thing about car or boat audio systems. It's like a foreign language to me (watts, peak, rms, ohm, Hz, yada, yada).

Here is what my boat has...

HEAD UNIT
  • Clarion CMD5

SPEAKERS
AMPS/POWER
  • Tidal Audio 800.4 amp that powers the cabin and the tower speaker (fade control goes up and down)
  • Tidal Audio 500.2 amp that powers the sub
  • 2 batteries on Perko

The boat came with this setup from the factory (minus the tower speakers). It sounds good when in the boat; however, the tower is just so-so. Sounds good up close, but it's not loud enough when riding. Basically, I need to have the volume cranked to hear it okay when riding at 65 feet.

I want more from the tower. I have considered adding another pair of Fusions, or upgrading to a pair of Exile XM7's. Obviously having four XM7's would be ideal! Doesn't my tower look naked??

Whatever I end up doing, I'd like to do it with just my current amps.. trying to keep this reasonable. I am not interested in a complete system re-do.

So here are my questions:

1) Assuming I could locate two more Fusions, would that help?
2) Would two XM7's sound better/louder than four Fusions?
3) Is there a way to do either two or four XM7's with my current amp setup?
4) Given these constraints, what would you do if you were me?

Extra Credit: Who can help me understand the science behind matching amps to speakers?

Old    Darren Yearsley (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-21-2010, 2:03 AM Reply   
The sensible option is to add a third amp. Use the existing amp to run the 4 cabin speakers and get a new two channel or full range mono amp for the tower. That way you can run the tower with more juice so you don't need to blast the cabin to reach the rider. If the two speakers don't cut it with the new amp you can add two more and run them @ 2ohm.
Old    Bawshogg (bawshogg)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-21-2010, 7:38 AM Reply   
Hmm. You wll definetly gain volume by adding another set of fusions to the tower. Problem is ,it will get alot louder in the boat, and not much loader at riding distances.
I definetly think if you are looking to get more noise to the rider a set of Xm7"s would be your best bet. You can't beat the horn type speakers for projection to the rider.
You should be able able to power them with the amp you have. I am not sure how you have them wired up so, you would wire your four cabin speakers up into two paralleled channels. Then you can use the other two channels to run the tower speakers. You can get away with that setup and not have to buy a new amp for now. You could also run 4 tower speakers also wired in parallel at a two ohm load with that amp, so yes you could run 4 Xm7. That would axtract the most power from what you have, heck if your not picky you could leave the fusions and add a set of Xm7"s and power them all of two of the channels of that amp. That's the cheap route if you are budget concious.
Now if you wanna get crazy. Buy two pairs of Xm7's and the new Harpoon that goes with them. Then you will have some serious power and ALOT of noise to the rider. May set ya back about 2500 bills, but you will be more than satisfied with sounds to the rider. With kkeping budget in mind though, I would tottally say adding a set or two of the exiles is doable with your exsisting amps. It's just up to you on how much you wanna spend, and obviously two pairs would be better than one because you could run them at a two ohm loud and that would pull the most power out of your amp and provide twice the drivers.
Old    jkw (lakesurfer)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-21-2010, 7:59 AM Reply   
I would suggest that you save some a little $ and do it right (my 1st system had 4 Polks on the tower and you could not hear them past 50 ft). The fact that you want to be able to hear it at 75ft means that you will need to go with a Xm7/WS/Bullet type speaker and an amp that can push +/- 200 watts to each speaker. For example (not trying to start a speaker war, just an example of an "economical" system), you could hang two WS Pro 80 run by a Syn2 for about $1,600 and it would be very loud.

Note: I see that you have young kids as I do. I currently run 4 WS Pro 60s and they are complete over kill. I could have easily have run 2 WS Pro 60 (probably WS Pro 80 if i ran only two speakers) and would have been great for me (i just liked the look of 4 speakers on the Evolution tower). My point is that 2 of any Xm7/WS/Bullet type speakers powered correctly will get great sound to rider at 65ft. Anything more is just a matter of how loud you want it to be - IMO.

Last edited by lakesurfer; 04-21-2010 at 8:07 AM.
Old    Malo (mmandley)      Join Date: Jan 2010       04-21-2010, 8:26 AM Reply   
Hi there IXFE i beleave your one of the guys in Portland, as i recognize the boat from PDX Wake.

First thing to do is you need to get the tower More power. I know a guy in Vancouver running 4 Fusions with 1000 watts and you can hear them easily at 75 feet. Those arnt HLCDs but they like a lot of power. Most any good tower speaker needs at least 200 RMS. To little power to a speaker is way worse then too much.

Any HLCD speaker is going to accomplish your distance to noise problem. The issue comes into how much you are willing to spend, and what is your long term goal for the tower set up.

With your current set up i would take your 800.4 and run the four channels for the cabins. Yes this is way more amp then the cabins can handle but its ok you gain the amp down and you end up with very clean power and a lot of opportunity to expand the system later.

Buy another Amp to run the towers. Get another 800.4 type amp. Then hook up the tower and see if you like that sound at 65 feet. If not then you know you need more or different speakers. You will be hard pressed to find more Fusions as they went belly up and all there speakers were on sale last summer for cheap.

You have to look at do you want 2 speakers? 4 speakers? Or what. Then decide of you want it to be warm sounding in the boat when cruising or are you really more concerned with wake board distance sound. Part of the issue with your towers being so loud in the boat is you need a volume control. Simple PAC1 does the job, but a WS420 EQ will be the best match.

Feel free to PM me here or under the same mmandley on PDX Wake i would be happy to sit down and talk over your system and show you the options you really have. I can even show you my set up in person.
Old    Brian (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-21-2010, 10:05 AM Reply   
DBC -

Thanks for your interest in the XM7's. If your from Portland my best advice is to stop by the Exile facility and have a listen to some music. Being local has its advantages. Actually Brady from pdxwake just dropped off his Wakesetter for a subwoofer fitting and he's got 2 pair of XM7's on his tower. I'm sure we could fire up that boat and a couple of others for a listen.

I think the guys here gave some pretty good feedback. In short, you could either add to what you have with a second pair of speakers or do a teardown and put up 2 pair of XM7. We also just launched the XST65 which is a more cost effective tower speaker that might be applicable as well. Uses the same pod as the XM7 but doesnt spin. The bottom line is you have several choices and they are all worth a listening session.

We are located down in Lake Oswego. Shoot me an email to brian@exileaudio.com and we'll set something up.

Cheers

-Brian
Exile Audio
Old    Bawshogg (bawshogg)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-21-2010, 12:06 PM Reply   
Another option, depending on what the sub wants, you could use the 500.2 for your towers, bridge the rear channel of your 800.4 for the sub, and wire all four cabins to the front channel of the 800.4. . Just depends on what type of sub it is. DVC, SVC, and what resistance. Just trying to help with the budget aspect and the fact that you did not want to redo the system in a major way.as you stated. Tink maybe some of the replies missed those points.
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-21-2010, 12:33 PM Reply   
Thanks to all for your replies. I have to admit, I don't fully understand all your comments. So here are some follow-ups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph View Post
The sensible option is to add a third amp. Use the existing amp to run the 4 cabin speakers and get a new two channel or full range mono amp for the tower. That way you can run the tower with more juice so you don't need to blast the cabin to reach the rider. If the two speakers don't cut it with the new amp you can add two more and run them @ 2ohm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmandley View Post
With your current set up i would take your 800.4 and run the four channels for the cabins. Yes this is way more amp then the cabins can handle but its ok you gain the amp down and you end up with very clean power and a lot of opportunity to expand the system later.
If I use the 800.4 for cabin speakers and buy a new amp for the tower, wouldn't that be overkill for the cabin speakers? They only require 50 watts RMS or 100 watts peak. If I was going to get a 3rd amp, why not use the existing 800.4 exclusively for the tower setup and a new (smaller and cheaper) amp for the cabin? Just a thought. I suspect you are going to say that I could add more cabin speakers with the 800.4 dedicated to them. The problems is, I don't really know where to fit them. They'd have to go down in the fiberglass by the floor, very close to where the two existing speakers are (the other two are in the bow).

In this pic you can see one of the two speakers in the rear. The other one is on the other side. I suppose I could add two more in on the fiberglass in the rear.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bawshogg View Post
I definetly think if you are looking to get more noise to the rider a set of Xm7"s would be your best bet. You can't beat the horn type speakers for projection to the rider.
You should be able able to power them with the amp you have. I am not sure how you have them wired up so, you would wire your four cabin speakers up into two paralleled channels. Then you can use the other two channels to run the tower speakers. You can get away with that setup and not have to buy a new amp for now.
I like the sound of this. Seems like the best bang for the buck. I mean, it's essentially the same setup I have now... the 800.4 is split between the cabin and the tower (with fader control working up to down). The difference is that I'd have XM7's instead of Fusions. Is it safe to say that just a speaker swap would improve the volume at rider distance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bawshogg View Post
You could also run 4 tower speakers also wired in parallel at a two ohm load with that amp, so yes you could run 4 Xm7. That would axtract the most power from what you have... two pairs would be better than one because you could run them at a two ohm loud and that would pull the most power out of your amp and provide twice the drivers
Now you lost me. Are you saying that I can use the 800.4 amp to power my cabin speakers + four XM7's? That would be ideal (from a budget perspectiv). But I don't know what you mean by two ohm load? Is that bad? What does that mean and how would it affect the sound? Also, how many watts would each of the four XM7's be getting (RMS or Peak).


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmandley View Post
Hi there IXFE i beleave your one of the guys in Portland, as i recognize the boat from PDX Wake.
Yep, that's me! In fact, I've been wanting to upgrade my tower for some time... your project was the kick in the pants I needed. Your boat looks and sounds amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmandley View Post
First thing to do is you need to get the tower More power. I know a guy in Vancouver running 4 Fusions with 1000 watts and you can hear them easily at 75 feet. Those arnt HLCDs but they like a lot of power. Most any good tower speaker needs at least 200 RMS. To little power to a speaker is way worse then too much.
This brings up another question I have about amp watts vs. speaker watts. Is the 800.4 amp pushing 800 watts RMS or Peak? If it's RMS, then I already have 200 watts RMS per channel, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmandley View Post
Any HLCD speaker is going to accomplish your distance to noise problem. The issue comes into how much you are willing to spend, and what is your long term goal for the tower set up.

You have to look at do you want 2 speakers? 4 speakers? Or what. Then decide of you want it to be warm sounding in the boat when cruising or are you really more concerned with wake board distance sound. Part of the issue with your towers being so loud in the boat is you need a volume control. Simple PAC1 does the job, but a WS420 EQ will be the best match.
To be honest, my long term goal is to have four XM7's up there. I'm just not sure I want to bit the bullet on that dream set up right now (unless I could do it on my current amps).

I'd also like a way to have the rider hear the tunes w/out blowing the passengers out the boat. Now I just fade the music almost all the way to the tower, and that works fine. What would a separate volume control do differently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianinpdx View Post
DBC -

Thanks for your interest in the XM7's. If your from Portland my best advice is to stop by the Exile facility and have a listen to some music. Being local has its advantages. Actually Brady from pdxwake just dropped off his Wakesetter for a subwoofer fitting and he's got 2 pair of XM7's on his tower. I'm sure we could fire up that boat and a couple of others for a listen.

I think the guys here gave some pretty good feedback. In short, you could either add to what you have with a second pair of speakers or do a teardown and put up 2 pair of XM7. We also just launched the XST65 which is a more cost effective tower speaker that might be applicable as well. Uses the same pod as the XM7 but doesnt spin. The bottom line is you have several choices and they are all worth a listening session.

We are located down in Lake Oswego. Shoot me an email to brian@exileaudio.com and we'll set something up.

Cheers

-Brian
Exile Audio
I like the sound of the XST65. Is the mount the only difference? In other words, the speaker/driver is the same as the XM7??

Email on it's way. I'd love to come down there this afternoon, if that's all right.
Old    Bawshogg (bawshogg)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-21-2010, 2:39 PM Reply   
Wow. The XST65 does not have the compression driver. It has a normal titanium dome tweeter. They sound good, just don't have the projection factor that the 7's have.
IMO if budget is a factor, then yes, you can get away with running four of the XM7's now. You can always upgrade the amplifier section later. What I meant by running the speakers at a 2 ohm load, is that when you wire 4 speakers toghether on 2 channels of an amplifier it basially halves the resistances of the the speakers when wired in parallel. Not only does this allow you to run more speakers, but it typically extracts the most power from the amplifier. I personally think you get a lil better sound quality running at 4 ohms, but in the marine enviroment it is not that critical, at least to my ears. the XM7's are 4 ohms a piece, when you wire two in paralell,you would then see a 2 ohm load.
Can't find much on the web about Tidal. Have no clue what the exact ratings are, but still think you could make them work. Are you gonna get the best sound possible that way? Maybe not, but it always something you can change when your budget allows. And upgrading the speakers will definetly give ya more of what you are looking for and put you in the right direction. Heck ,both of us are local, and I would gladly help ya with wiring, setup, ect. if you need it. PM me and I'll give ya my number.
Brian at Exile is great to work with, They will definetly hook ya up when the time comes to do what you need. You really should just go check them out in Lake O. I need to go out there this weekend anyway. Maybe we can hook up there?
Old    Darren Yearsley (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-21-2010, 11:14 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfe View Post
If I use the 800.4 for cabin speakers and buy a new amp for the tower, wouldn't that be overkill for the cabin speakers? They only require 50 watts RMS or 100 watts peak. If I was going to get a 3rd amp, why not use the existing 800.4 exclusively for the tower setup and a new (smaller and cheaper) amp for the cabin? Just a thought. I suspect you are going to say that I could add more cabin speakers with the 800.4 dedicated to them.
No, that is a good idea, if the current amp is big enough to drive the sort of tower system you want then reuse it for the tower and get a smaller amp for the cabin.

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