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Old    Sam Rubin (cibolasam)      Join Date: Jun 2010       09-02-2010, 2:40 PM Reply   
Does anyone use a line driver on their boat stereo's, and if so what are the benefits.
Old    alan plotz (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       09-02-2010, 5:25 PM Reply   
yeah i dont run a head unit, just an mp3 player. so i use it to boost the signal to my amp. you can use one even if you run a head unit. allows you to turn the gains down on your amp thus running the amp cooler and the amp doesnt draw as much power.
Old    Matt (slappie75078)      Join Date: May 2010       09-02-2010, 7:03 PM Reply   
The WS-420 has a line driver and I really noticed a difference in my system's performance when I installed it this winter.

I get much more volume at each volume setting than before and it seems much cleaner.

I highly recommend the WS-420!
Old    Sam Rubin (cibolasam)      Join Date: Jun 2010       09-02-2010, 10:46 PM Reply   
thanks for the input.
Old    Matt (mattscraft)      Join Date: May 2009       09-03-2010, 7:35 AM Reply   
Kudos on the 420, output is killer compared before and after!!!
Old     (UNvisible)      Join Date: May 2010       09-03-2010, 7:52 AM Reply   
another +1 for the WS420. I just wish it had an entirely separate sub woofer control, independent of interior volume.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-03-2010, 8:07 AM Reply   
I run an Audiocontrol Matrix Line Driver and Use my Alpine CDA 9886 to control.

I am running Arc Audio KS amps and the 500.1 amp can take significantly more voltage than the other amp. I have control over the voltage to 3 different amps and can see with led light when the signal is beginning to clip.

It is a great product
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-03-2010, 8:46 AM Reply   
There are various reasons to add a line driver. I highly recommend one but only if you have a need. A line driver is usually a built in benefit of an EQ. Kicker, JL Audio and Audio Control are just a few of the dedicated line drivers. And some line drivers have the benefit of built in zone controls.
If you have a triple preout high voltage source unit and you are not dividing your RCA outputs then you probably have little use for a line driver.
If you have a low voltage source unit, inordinately long RCA runs or you are splitting your RCA outputs among too many amplifier inputs, then a line driver will either recover lost voltage or give the needed voltage.
You can always turn up your amplifier input gains to offset low voltage and obtain higher volume but there is inherent compression in a low voltage source unit and you're also raising the noise floor.
I don't necessarily equate a line driver to higher volumes as much as the added dynamic range. Good recordings/pressings can have 18dB or more dynamic range. That is a 1 to 64 power ratio between the softest and loudest (peak) music material. So a line driver can restore so to speak lost contrast which I hear as added clarity. Then its up to your amplification and speakers to carry on the available dynamic range. But at least the signal is dynamic from the source and that determines the limits of everything that follows in the audio path.

Earmark Marine
Old    Matt (slappie75078)      Join Date: May 2010       09-03-2010, 12:31 PM Reply   
David, that is a great explanation.

I just know it sounds better and my RCAs are not split. I also have what was a high voltage head unit (in 2006) with 3 preouts. I think it is 4 Volts but am not sure.

Not sure of the physics of it in my setup but it is cleaner at higher volumes.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-03-2010, 2:59 PM Reply   
If you are tuning your system according to unity gain standards then a line driver shouldn't make a large impact in average volume over a high voltage source unit. But there can be so many variables and who's to say that everyone sets their system up the same. There is no question when you have an application that deserves a line driver that it will have a profound effect on the dynamic qualities.
Quality two-channel line drivers (JL Audio) run $60 while a four-channel from Kicker runs $80 and both feature remote zone controls. A quality EQ, like the WetSounds WS420 or the Audio Control 3.2
run $300 but bring along numerous additional benefits. Very affordable upgrades in any system.

Earmark Marine
Old    Sam Rubin (cibolasam)      Join Date: Jun 2010       09-06-2010, 10:09 PM Reply   
The Clarion EQS746 equalizer runs about 80 bucks. Is the ws420 that much better for the price?
Old    Bruce Mac (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-07-2010, 2:27 PM Reply   
sam, the clarion only has 1-zone eq functionality. the 420 is 2-zone meaning you have independant eq control over both your towers and your in-boats.
Old    Mattgettel (mattgettel)      Join Date: Jan 2009       09-07-2010, 2:36 PM Reply   
i run the clarion mentioned above and love it. i can fade to the tower or to the in boats or both equally. i would recommend it.
Old    Nu Bu (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       09-07-2010, 3:31 PM Reply   
With the Clarion you can actually control the sub volume separately as well.
Old    FJK (ship_of_fools)      Join Date: Sep 2007       09-07-2010, 9:56 PM Reply   
You should be able to find the Clarion for just over 50 bucks if you search online...

I have one and love it as well. Probably the best 50 bucks I ever spent on the stereo.
Old    Sam Rubin (cibolasam)      Join Date: Jun 2010       09-07-2010, 10:43 PM Reply   
Thanx again for the input.


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