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Old    Jonathan Metherell (jonm)      Join Date: Jan 2002       07-25-2006, 11:44 AM Reply   
My clarion deck has crapped out.

My current set up is...
Clarion marine deck (not working)
4 Clarion marine speakers
clarion marine amp 400w
It's 6 years old and sounded like heck before it died.

I would like to make it sound decent and add the ability to plug in a mp3 player. What do i do to get the most bang for my buck on a $800 budget? I have no brand preference and it just needs to sound killer in the boat. Not looking for extreme volume.
Old    Ken Novotny (knwebs)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-25-2006, 1:07 PM Reply   
Invest in good speakers...I got the kicker RS65.2 off ebay for 200/shipped/pair. These are really good because they are component speakers and the tweeter fits into the grill so you don't have to drill out holes for them. As far as the deck goes, I can't really help here. I have a Sony XPlode but it doesn't have the MP3 option unless you order the adapter (IPOD). Check the local stereo shops and find one that you like THEN go on ebay and buy it. There's nearly 200-300% markup on stereo equipment so you can't go wrong buying off ebay!
Old    Jonathan Metherell (jonm)      Join Date: Jan 2002       07-26-2006, 9:12 AM Reply   
Is marine equipment going to last longer as my boat is outside all year? Does it really matter?
Old    Ken Novotny (knwebs)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-26-2006, 11:43 AM Reply   
Short answer is yes because they use more weather material then foam rubber attaching the cone to the metal (I'm not a speaker guy, obviously!). I had MB Quarts marine speakers that I put in my last 05 Calabria and I wasn't happy with the sound. They were ok, you can buy them off ebay for about 80/pair. They retail for $299/pair. Further, about keeping your boat outside, it'll depend on how you put the cover on it for how long car speakers will last. If you allow your boat to dry after usage before putting the cover on it for outdoor storage your equipment will be fine. If you put your cover on it when you get home and leave it on you'll have issues just as you will with moisture in the distributor, carpet milldew, and other mositure problems. From the factory you'll find that boats use stereo equipment stock but might put a marine sub under the steering wheel. My boat is stored indoors so I don't even worry about marine grade equipment! If you put an amp in your boat I'd suggest cutting a 2X4 into four small pieces and putting them between your amp and the wall you're attaching to. This allows for air to move between it. There's not much cool air underneath where we put these and they tend to overheat quite alot. Using this method, I haven't had any problems.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-26-2006, 12:17 PM Reply   
The cheapest thing to do is replace the boat speakers and just hook the mp3 player directly to the amp.
Old    Jonathan Metherell (jonm)      Join Date: Jan 2002       08-15-2006, 12:06 PM Reply   
I went with the Clarion M455 deck, ipod adapter and an ipod. I am pretty happy with the setup. Sure beats changing discs.

One more question though. They hooked this new gear into the old amp and speakers. The deck actually turns itself off if I crank it loud enough. Is this a safety feature so I don't blow the speakers? When the volume gets up to 27 it shuts off and then turns itself on again 3 seconds later.

I can live with it as it still gets loud enough. Just wondering if the deck was that smart.

FYI - the ipod menus don't come up on the deck or anything. The deck thinks it is a 6 disk changer. disc 1 is basically all songs on the ipod. The next 5 discs are playlists that you have created. basically you can pick your playlist and scroll through it song by song like on a cd. The ipod is locked once you plug it into the adapter.
Old    Matt (loudsubz)      Join Date: Aug 2001       08-15-2006, 3:04 PM Reply   
Jonathan Metherell (jonm):

One more question though. They hooked this new gear into the old amp and speakers. The deck actually turns itself off if I crank it loud enough. Is this a safety feature so I don't blow the speakers? When the volume gets up to 27 it shuts off and then turns itself on again 3 seconds later.

Most decks arn't that smart . The reason it is shutting off is most likely due to the facts of

-Thermal (deck IC overheating)
-Voltage (depending on the gauge wire they used to power the deck, it may be too small and the amp is trying to compensate by pulling more current because the smaller gauge wire has higher resistance and allows less electrons to flow. When that happens the voltage drops a bit on the deck and causes the deck to go into protect because it is overheating)

You can still easily blow speakers. Distortion kills speakers, not power. Your deck doesn't put out much power at all. Most likely 15-17 watt RMS that is usable. I laugh when I see them advertise their max ratings 55X4 or more

Turn it down a bit to a level so it doesn't keep cutting out and you should be ok. If the speakers don't sound good and it sounds like its distorting or unclear turn it down so you dont wreck your speakers.

If you want it louder your best bet is to run an external amp on them. It will provide alot more clean power to make your speakers more enjoyable.

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