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Old    JD (OneMoreSet)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-12-2012, 6:34 PM Reply   
Looking for a set of tower speakers.
Not wanting to do anything too extreme, but something..
The last sets I've had were conventional drivers, reasonable quality skylon and roswell stuff.
Was fairly happy, but then all the HLCD stuff started coming out.

I dont use my boat as a cove boat, fairly chill when stopped.
I like tunes while surfing and riding though.
Last pairs 4x drivers and tweets you could hear them abit if turned way up but definetly not clear at riding (wake) speeds which is understandable.

Wondering what the best route is now for me.
Can I use hlcd's turned down for floating or at moderate/low vols for surfing?
If i use say an exile XM7 or Wetsounds pro60s or pro80s are those "versatile" at lower vols" or do they sound like crap?

Also if i do turn them up would they blast the people in the cabin moreso than conventional speakers at volumes given how they distribute sound?

Cheers!
Old    Bryce Pool (bryce2320)      Join Date: May 2012       09-12-2012, 6:47 PM Reply   
I had one pair of pro 60s on the tower as well as a pair of kmt6s and still couldnt really hear it boarding. But wakeboarding and party cove is all I do and my one pair of Rev 10s get the job done for me now. When I anchor out its normally 60' or so from the shore where we hang out. I know the wetsounds sound great even at low volume and close up IMHO, and I'm sure Exile is the same way. They came a long way with HLCD speakers so I think you'd have a well rounded speaker that would do whatever you need it to. My .02
Old     (Truekaotik)      Join Date: Jun 2012       09-12-2012, 7:00 PM Reply   
Atleast a 8" minimum pair of HLCD's will do what your asking...
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-12-2012, 7:31 PM Reply   
JD,
The second generation Wetsounds REV series are a major improvement in sound quality over the original Wetsounds Pro series. Not that it will make a major difference at wake range in the face of the engine exhaust. What you hear under those conditions is mostly a matter of amplitude capability. A larger and more powerful HLCD speaker can handle the demands better without being over driven.
Under still conditions at rest is where the Wetsounds REV series really shine over the previous Pro series. A larger HLCD in a larger pod will deliver deeper midbass extension and a warmer overall tonal balance. A single pair of Wetsounds REV10s properly powered will do a great job in both applications (near field sound quality at rest plus the challenge of wake range with considerable noise competition). The REV 10-inch HLCD is also the largest of HLCDs in both cone surface area and pod displacement. Most everything else in HLCDs are 6.5", 8" or 8.375" with far less pod displacement.
And, there are numerous build quality advantages with the current Wetsounds REV speakers.
As for the in-boat radiation from the tower speakers this is mostly an issue of amplitude. The louder the speaker is at wake range the louder the in-boat radiation will be. While there may be a subtle difference in dispersion patterns among various speaker types, it's all secondary to the fundamental volume level. However, there is another important consideration. Much of the annoying tower speaker radiation in the boat can come from the strident qualities of an over driven speaker or amplifier and the harshness of a smaller and brighter HLCD speaker. So you can help yourself to a degree with a larger and therefore warmer HLCD plus a more powerful and efficient speaker that isn't as prone to being over driven. It also helps to have a little extra reserve power so the amplifier isn't driven to the edge, which never sounds pleasant.
Don't overlook the Wetsounds REV8 HLCD or the conventional Wetsounds ICON8 which is an 8-inch surf speaker. Again, the larger surf speaker has a real advantage in output, warmth, and smoothness over a smaller version.

David
Earmark Marine
Old     (Truekaotik)      Join Date: Jun 2012       09-12-2012, 8:30 PM Reply   
A pair of icon8's will struggle at real (8-10ft pocket or larger) surf range let alone wakeboard distance, especially without a FAE... If you choose Icons I would suggest a minimum of 4...
Old    Brian (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-12-2012, 10:17 PM Reply   
JD - This really depends on the budget your looking to spend versus space and weight you want to designate on the tower and over all sound field you want to generate for a wakerider / surfer / party cove setting. HLCD's are designed with horns that have have narrow dispersion patterns. "Surf" speakers as I call them , have direct radiating tweeters that tend to give a wider dispersion and increased sound quality. HLCD speakers will be more power hungry. So the amount of available amplifier power should be considered. Most of the Exile systems you see on the water are usually configured with pre-designed amp/speaker combinations to eliminate over power / under power situations. Some of the other brands do this as well. In the last year, it has become clear to us that we need to focus on offering "solutions" and not a bunch of parts people have to marry up and figure out.

When reading these posts by retailers, I'm always struck with how easy it is to pitch the most expensive stuff on the planet. Dont get me wrong, Exile gear is by no means cheap, but my point here is... Take a look at your budget and real needs. And to be fair, there is far more choices out there than just Exile and WS. Buy what works for you. Not what someone sells.

If Exile is in the mix, hit us up at the office, on facebook or shoot me a PM. We just started a two week national promo that might be worth looking at.

Cheers!

-Brian
Exile Audio
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-13-2012, 5:52 AM Reply   
JD - Based on what you have said, I would strongly urge you to listen to the WS Rev series if you can. WS has been able to harness the long distance amplitude and the up close gentleness that you are looking for in a speaker.

I am not about any sales or promos that they are running, but you could contact Earmark Marine Audio and I'm sure they would love to make an off season sale with a little discount coming your way to boot. If you can, listen to the offerings.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-13-2012, 6:03 AM Reply   
I recently installed 2 pairs of the Exilte SXT65 surf speakers. I find them plenty loud at distance and usually the wife wants me to turn them down. I got a killer deal on them (the non "Q" version with the fixed mounts) on their hot deals several weeks ago for $375/pair, but it looks like they have the "Q" series right now for $500/pair. Mine were supposed demos but didn't look like they had ever came out of the box.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-13-2012, 12:55 PM Reply   
Hmmm, not too concerned about recommending the very best out of the gate. It's just a nice starting point. In my experience, consumers will readily state their objectives relating to budget, cosmetics and application. In less expensive tower product, including HLCDs and surf speakers, there are many alternatives within the Wetsounds line-up and from JL Audio, Bullet HollowPoint, Kicker and Memphis to name a few. HLCDs loaded in pods with collars start around $450 a pair. Oftentimes there is far more to consider in the value equation than just the price. I look at history of failures, build quality, sound quality and performance as auditioned in a head to head environment plus as measured by a 1/24th octave RTA.

All horns are not created equal. Some have a gradual and continuous flare which minimize the 'horn effect' of a long tube with parallel sides. Others have a long straight tube that suddenly flare only at the mouth, kind of like a trumpet....and they kind of sound like a trumpet coincidently.
Some 'surf' tower speakers using conventional direct radiating dome tweeters, will recess the tweeter into the same grill flare as used on their HLCDs. They actually horn load the conventional dome tweeter to get an output boost. So there isn't always the major distinction in sound quality and dispersion characteristics. What may be true in one brand may not be universal to all brands.

I generally prefer a larger 8-inch 'surf' speaker over a smaller 6.5-inch HLCD. Why? Well the 6.5" HLCD may drive more treble to the rider at wake range but the 8" conventional speaker may drive more midbass and midrange at any range with a smoother and warmer response. On balance, I prefer the larger surface area.

Amplifiers are very important too. You'll note that Wetsounds is mostly using highly efficient Class D and Class H topologies now. Class D is 60 percent more efficient with only 25 percent of the heat generated at the same consumption level as with an old school Class AB amplifier. The power specs are true and are backed up by independent tests/reviews. We also have all the test equipment in house to separate the contenders from the pretenders. We have never been shy about mixing speaker and amplifier brands. It's regularly done in homes, cars and boats by the very best electronics dealers. The objective should be to get the best value and performance available at any given price point. Zone and system discounts apply to mixing brands too. To say that one brand of amplifier has a unique blend with one brand of speaker says that both the speaker and amplifier won't blend well with other products. That can't possibly be true. Wetsounds has 10+ amplifier choices? JL Audio has double that many amplifier models. With just a little guidance it's no problem to get the perfect amplifier to speaker interface.

David
Earmark Marine
Old     (Truekaotik)      Join Date: Jun 2012       09-13-2012, 2:37 PM Reply   
I have to agree with David this time...
Sounds like someone is trying to say there speakers and amps are "staggered special and matched perfect " - Days of Thunder... Hehe
We mix and match brands all day long for the best output performance to the required consumption the speakers need to not under drive or over drive...
Truth- JL has the BEST amplifier topology... WETSOUNDS comes in a good second...
Truth- WETSOUNDS produces the BEST HLCD speaker the industry has seen in awhile and has proven reliability...
All backed up by a quick google search...
Sometimes the truth hurts
Come to my shop, I'll sell ya pyramid all the way up to JL.... BUT from your original post we recommended the best performing stuff for what you disliked about your 4- coaxials and don't want you to have to replace again down the road... A system should be a ONE time ordeal, this stuff IS expensive no matter what you do. Its about making you happy, yes you can ALWAYS add to existing, but replacing is un-called for and more costly... Do it right the first time... Sure, we'd love to keep selling you replacement stuff, but then what kind of audio specialist would we be??
The REAL questions are:
Price range?
What do you want to sacrifice, to meet your price range?
I have not had one person be disappointed with the output of 1 pair of Rev's series's speakers.. I have with every other brand of HLCD or coaxial for that matter...
I'm a noob here so bash away

Last edited by Truekaotik; 09-13-2012 at 2:40 PM.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-13-2012, 2:45 PM Reply   
Good post True and great Days of Thunder reference...I may just go home and watch that tonight!!

I have so many different brands in my boat. Rockford Fosgate, Audiocontrol, Arc Audio, JL Audio and Wetsounds.
Old    882001 (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       09-13-2012, 3:03 PM Reply   
i bought a pair of bazooka tubbie 8" compression horn. they were 180$ shipped.got them here and they sound great for what they are! hell they just sound great.i have a pair of pro 80s i would say are comparable for a fraction of the price.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-13-2012, 3:11 PM Reply   
True,
I get so confused by the two plots. Wasn't that line from "Top Thunder" or "Days of Gun"?
Old     (Truekaotik)      Join Date: Jun 2012       09-13-2012, 3:16 PM Reply   
Thanks Murphy

LMAO David.... So true.... But classics
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-13-2012, 7:55 PM Reply   
Yep, my favorite scene is when the F-14 is flying inverted over the Russian MIG and Maverick says to Goose, "Rubbin', son, is racin".
Old    JD (OneMoreSet)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-17-2012, 4:03 PM Reply   
Thanks everyone for your responses.
Very apparent that there are some very knowledgeable people on this forum - thanks for contributing !!

Interested to hear about the newer generation large diameter hlcds becoming a better "allround" type speaker.

Just need to determine a budget and really think which way I want to go this time.

What are your experiences with the Roswell brand of amps ?

Cheers!
Old    KEVIN (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-17-2012, 6:10 PM Reply   
I came from the 6'mb quartz to one pair of Rev 8s on my tower and couldnt be happier. Perfect at every level.
Old    J. Bob (joebob)      Join Date: Jan 2011       09-17-2012, 6:21 PM Reply   
I would agree about the knowledge on this site but it may not be your best place for input anymore. It has gone wayward with dealers and posters opinions. It is a forum and everybody has their opinion, but anymore it's lets see who we can get to buy what. It's b.s. The back door stabs and what not on here are redic. Anything to make a sale. If I was a know it all at jumping off a pier would ya listen to me cause I am on a forum? Just do your own research, read, call manufactures, actually talk to other people with systems on the water and don't just look and listen to one brand.
Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       09-18-2012, 5:53 AM Reply   
you can look all over the net for info and you will still find the same info. There really isn't anyone who cares if you buy on thing or the other, the reason everyone leans in one direction or so is usually a response from making mutilple investments until they found what works the best, sounds the best, etc etc. its unfortunate that people like me spend 3 times too much by not just buying the upper end product in the beginning. I finally did this time with my new boat, but my last 2 boats have cost me.

I tried to cut costs, buy low to mid level, thought they would last, get the sound out to a boarder, etc etc. had amp problems, speaker problems, problems getting help to fix all the problems, paying paying paying, then taking it all off and buying again. Find a local avenue, where you can have support, get great products and know that they work properly and then you never have to deal with it again.

I have 4 rev 10's on my tower, not that i need 4, but i bought 4, put on one set until my other amp came in ( 1 set kills, did not need the second) but then put the other set up and love them. good luck
Old    Bryce Pool (bryce2320)      Join Date: May 2012       09-18-2012, 8:53 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougr View Post
you can look all over the net for info and you will still find the same info. There really isn't anyone who cares if you buy on thing or the other, the reason everyone leans in one direction or so is usually a response from making mutilple investments until they found what works the best, sounds the best, etc etc. its unfortunate that people like me spend 3 times too much by not just buying the upper end product in the beginning. I finally did this time with my new boat, but my last 2 boats have cost me.

I tried to cut costs, buy low to mid level, thought they would last, get the sound out to a boarder, etc etc. had amp problems, speaker problems, problems getting help to fix all the problems, paying paying paying, then taking it all off and buying again. Find a local avenue, where you can have support, get great products and know that they work properly and then you never have to deal with it again.

I have 4 rev 10's on my tower, not that i need 4, but i bought 4, put on one set until my other amp came in ( 1 set kills, did not need the second) but then put the other set up and love them. good luck
Spot on, good advice. Glad to know I'm not the only one that has done that
Old    jacob (jacob5)      Join Date: Nov 2009       09-18-2012, 10:11 AM Reply   
I recommend HLCD, because of very good experience.
Old    JD (OneMoreSet)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-24-2012, 9:40 AM Reply   
The larger HLCDs sound like something that should work for what I want them to. Not looking too large, so the 8" size would seem to work.
My question now is amp related - what would drive these things reasonably - obviously more is better, I want to see if I can re-use some existing equipment.

I have a kicker zx350.4 (60x4@4ohm / 175x2@4ohm bridged) that isnt powering anything right now.
Would this do okay at driving one pair of Rev8s - wired bridged? Would this be okay, or just a waste of time?

Alternatively I have a Roswell 500.4 (75x4@4ohm / 250x2@4ohm bridged) - would this be any better - any appreciable difference?

Leaning toward the kicker just because its already installed in the boat and matches another amp in there..


Cheers
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-24-2012, 10:26 AM Reply   
JD,
You definitely can use the Kicker 4-channel bridged on one pair of 8-inch HLCD tower speakers. Eventually I think you will end up upgrading that particular amplifier, but not that particular brand in any way. I just don't like to see that specific amplifier loaded all the way down across the board and driven as hard as when driving tower speakers. I see no problem with this being a 'one season' solution.
I have no direct experience with the Roswell but the greater 2 X 250 watts fits the bill better depending on how liberal or conservative those specs are.
If I were starting from scratch I would definitely go with a fullrange Class D amplifier for the 60 percent added efficiency, longer playtime, one fourth the generated heat related to current consumption and a host of other benefits, especially in the context of a boat.

David
Earmark Marine

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