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Old    falcon_v            12-20-2009, 4:53 PM Reply   
JL Audio HD 600/4

Alpine PDX 150.4

Kicker zx 850.4

Witch amp should I go with and why. These are for my tower speakers 150rms watts each and I have four on the tower. The Jl and Alpine I can get from my local shop for about the same price, the kicker I can get for half of what the others cost. I am looking for awsome sound quality.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-20-2009, 5:43 PM Reply   
I cant say anything negative about the others, but you would not be disappointed with the Kicker ZX850.4 with 175W's x 4 RMS @ 4ohm's.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-20-2009, 5:45 PM Reply   
Wet Sounds Syn2.
Old    falcon_v            12-20-2009, 5:49 PM Reply   
Trying to stay at 4ohms
Old     (rob_pitchford)      Join Date: Nov 2004       12-20-2009, 7:13 PM Reply   
the JL or how about the new Exile?
Old     (dohboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-20-2009, 7:44 PM Reply   
I just put in a JL HD600/4 for 4 Bullet 770s and a JL HD900/5 for the interior. I have yet to have them out on the water but plenty of power in the garage and they both mounted in about the same space as the removed JL6450 that came with the boat. Its nice to have so much power in a small package. Another cool thing with the JL is the remote level control so you can adjust the volume at the tower speakers running on the amp separately from the interior speakers from the deck.
Old     (ponte_06_x2)      Join Date: Jan 2006       12-20-2009, 7:57 PM Reply   
dont give out amp names on ww unless they pay for advertising. lol. you'll do fine with the jl or the alpine
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-20-2009, 8:06 PM Reply   
Syn4 then.

Rich, most amps have that these days. If not, a WS-420 will do the trick.
Old     (rob_pitchford)      Join Date: Nov 2004       12-20-2009, 8:08 PM Reply   

If you dont mind me asking what did the JL run you? I will probably be ordering one out of the USA as JL prices up here in Alberta are crazy!

All Eyez on reading your mail but i think there are a lot of other products on WW that are talked about that no one pays for advertising. I did notice in the last post that there are some people not too happy with the "free advertising" that they believe others are taking advantage of but we all have our opinions. I would like to hear more on the amp..sounds like a decent product.
Old    falcon_v            12-20-2009, 8:08 PM Reply   
Lol all eyez. Thanks
Rich for the advice and everyone else.

The alpine and jl look about the same in specs just was not for sure about the jl I have always bean an alpine man in heart for HU and Amps.
Old     (ponte_06_x2)      Join Date: Jan 2006       12-20-2009, 8:15 PM Reply   
it was just a joke rob. no harm ment
Old    falcon_v            12-20-2009, 8:26 PM Reply   
Alpine PDX 150.4

Amplifier Specifications
Amplifier Class D
Number of Channels 4
RMS Power (4 ohms) 150 watts x 4 channels
RMS Power (2 ohms) 150 watts x 4 channels
RMS Power (1 ohm) Not Stable
Bridged RMS Power 300 watts x 2 channels
Total RMS Power Output 600 watts
Peak Power Output N/A
Total Peak Power Output N/A
Maximum Input Gauge Size 4
Minimum Impedance Unbridged 2 ohms
Minimum Impedance Bridged 4 Ohms
THD at Rated RMS Power 1%
Speaker Level Inputs Yes
Preamp Outputs No
Built-in Crossover Low-pass (LP)
High-pass (HP)
High-Pass Crossover Frequency 30 - 400 Hz
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency 30 - 400 Hz
Subsonic Filter N/A
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 78 dB
Channel Separation N/A
Bass Boost N/A
Bass/Gain Remote No
Fan Cooled No
Fuse Rating 30A x 2
CEA-2006 Compliant Yes

Jl HD600/4

Amplifier Specifications
Amplifier Class D
Number of Channels 4
RMS Power (4 ohms) 150 watts x 4 channels
RMS Power (2 ohms) 150 watts x 4 channels
RMS Power (1 ohm) N/A
Bridged RMS Power 300 watts x 2 channels
Total RMS Power Output 600 watts
Peak Power Output N/A
Total Peak Power Output N/A
Maximum Input Gauge Size 4
Minimum Impedance Unbridged 1.5 ohms
Minimum Impedance Bridged 3
THD at Rated RMS Power 0.03%
Speaker Level Inputs Yes
Preamp Outputs 1 pair
Built-in Crossover Low-pass (LP)
High-pass (HP)
High-Pass Crossover Frequency 50 - 200 Hz
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency 50 - 200 Hz
Subsonic Filter N/A
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 110 dB
Channel Separation N/A
Bass Boost N/A
Bass/Gain Remote No
Fan Cooled No
Fuse Rating N/A
CEA-2006 Compliant No

The only Differences I see is.
Minimum Impedance Unbridged 1.5 ohms 2 ohms
THD at Rated RMS Power 0.03% 1%
Preamp Outputs 1 pair No
High-Pass Crossover Frequency 50 - 200 Hz 30 - 400 Hz
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency 50 - 200 Hz 30 - 400 Hz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 110 dB 78 dB

first number is the jl and the secon is the alpine.

Sorry I just want the best of the two.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-21-2009, 8:34 AM Reply   
I have and love the Alpine PDX but if I were picking between it or the JL I'd be picking the JL especially for tower speakers. The remote power control is pretty cool if you don't want to add an EQ or PAC.

There's no real reason to stay at 4 ohms on your tower speakers. You won't recognize a difference in 4 and 2 ohm in the listening environment you'll be using them in. I ran mine at 4 ohms for a couple seasons then switched to 2 ohms and other than being louder (more watts) I didn't notice any sound quality loss. Amps are obviously pushed harder at 2 ohms but at the quality you are looking at you won't have a problem there either.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-21-2009, 8:53 AM Reply   
Buying an amplifier purely on its simple watt-per-dollar value is fine for a 3500 truck. But for real world power in the context of a boat I think you should look beyond the spec sheets. Most amplifiers are rated at 14.4 volts yet its unlikely you can maintain that voltage in a boat. Class D amplifiers can end up being a bargain.

The longer I do this the more I realize how managing efficiency manifests into real performance. This begins with battery charging, woofer and enclosure selection (a cautionary note: sensitivity doesn't necessarily relate to how woofers are truly utilized), amplifier efficiency, system tuning and more.

There are lots of fantastic amplifiers available. The JL Audio HD are the most sophisticated. Consider just a few of its benefits:
*Greater Class D efficiency (just below the Alpine PDX).
*Maintains a stable and high efficiency even into lower impedance loads.
*Instant load diagnosis upon turning on amplifier optimizes performance.
*Really beefy with twin power supplies.
*Maintains full power output with lower voltages.
*Comparative circuit (over 400,000 times per second) delivers fidelity on par with today's very best AB amplifiers.
*Improved dynamic range.
*Optional fullrange volume control.

This has been a paid promotional announcement.

Earmark Marine
Old     (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       12-21-2009, 12:04 PM Reply   
buy the alpine at half the cost of the JL.
Old    falcon_v            12-21-2009, 3:27 PM Reply   
Is the kicker just not up to par?
Old     (nar722)      Join Date: Dec 2003       12-21-2009, 6:02 PM Reply   
That's a good question C. I was wondering that myself. I agree w/ David that you have to look beyond the spec sheet. The thing is, how do you know the performance of these things unless you bench test them side by side under the same conditions? Seems like some car audio magazines would have done this.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-21-2009, 6:38 PM Reply   
The Kicker ZX amps I had in my last boat were weak.
Old    falcon_v            12-21-2009, 7:01 PM Reply   
Hey nickster I would agree on the testing them.
Hey john wat are you running now?

Where is a good place to reviw them at.
I think in the next year WakeWorld sight we nead an up to date Review section on new and old products. You no we could all get together in the winter and Test the new products with a beer summit that way the actual consumer can give a review of the product instead of companys. Let see we have Phil from kicker, Tim from wetsounds, Earmark Audio and some others. We could do boardracks speakers boats ballast bags wetsuits etc you get my drift.
Old    falcon_v            12-21-2009, 7:05 PM Reply   
My question what makes a good amp?

why is a alpine better then the kicker.
I have open up amps before and they look almost the same of course I havent open up any of the 3 mentioned.

So what makes it a good amp.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       12-21-2009, 10:39 PM Reply   
The Alpine PDX 4150 and Wetsounds Syn 4 would be good choices. My buddy runs an ARC KS amp to his 4 Wetsounds Pro 60s on his tower. That amp does a great job.

Jerry, gotta love ya...haha
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-22-2009, 4:48 AM Reply   
John says that the Kicker ZX amps he had last "were weak". How did you test them? What means were used to determine this? what (specific models V's specific models) were the comparisons made with?

Every Kicker amp I have opened up and or installed, has benched tested at, and usually above, it's rated specs.

Would it be safe to say that you just wanted to push the speakers more, then the amps of your original choice, were spec'd to do?

Although the Wet Sounds Syn4 is an awesome amp, it's 2 watts less p/speaker, then the JL and Alpine and 50 watts less then the Kicker.

The biggest difference between the Kicker and the other two is the power consumption. The Kicker is a class A/B, which will be less efficient then the class D.
Old    falcon_v            12-22-2009, 7:20 AM Reply   
So if I went with the kicker will the sound quailty still be good as the other two or will I be able to tell a differnce.
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       12-22-2009, 7:24 AM Reply   
C (falcon v,

I am down for that. I would be happy to put our products up against anything out there. As we already have and we know the truth. But unfortunately for those on this site there is some serious BS marketing so it is very hard to make an educated decision. I think it would be fun to have a round table and let the truth be told! I am not sure how it could be done but I am open for suggestions.

Also, why do you say you want to stay at 4 ohms? In a boat application with a class AB amp. I can agree with you on trying to stay at 4 ohms because of heat issues. But with the high efficiency amps like our Class H and the full range class D like the JL and Alpine. Heat is less on an issue if at all.

For instance, the SYN-2 will do 350x2 at 2 ohms so 175 per speaker which is perfect. It is class H so highly efficient and cool running. So you will never have any issues at that impedance. That should add to your choices.

As for what makes a good amp. There are too many variables to list. Overall design and engineering, Build quality, Power Supplies used, Output devices, parts tolerances, pcb thickness(single or double layer), assembly method, input stage, etc...But for the consumer. Many of these are hard to see. So the best advice is to stick with solid brands. You have some good choices listed on this thread, Wet Sounds, JL Audio, Alpine, Kicker, Arc Audio. All solid brands that are well known, have been around and are known for their quality. I would be careful about a brand that you do not know as they may be here today and gone tomorrow etc..

Once you narrow it down with what brands and models are on your list. Try to find a dealer that has a couple of them and go for a look and listen. If you can demo the amp as an A to B. Check out the overall build. Then see what fits your budget etc...

Wet Sounds
Old    falcon_v            12-22-2009, 8:23 AM Reply   
If i went with a 2 channel amp what would be the best way to hook the speakers up to show the 2 0hm load. Sorry it has bean a while since I have messed with car and boat audio. Would you just run them in series to get the load and same watts to them. A digram would be nice.

Thank you Tim for your insight.

Maybe I can get somthing set up for the 2010-2011 Stuff.

If I go with the kicker I can afford to add a sub but I just dont want to regreat not geting a good amp with clean and clear quality.
It is very rare that we set at the sand bar and if we do it is for about an hour then we go ride so I am not woryed as much about batt life because they will be charging as we are always doing somthing and when boat is not in use the batt are on the charger.
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       12-22-2009, 8:48 AM Reply   
You would hook up the speakers in parallel. So 2 left speakers with positives tied together and negatives tied together and 2 right speakers with positives tied together and negatives tied together.

You would then be at 2 ohms stereo.

Page 4 has a diagram showing a pair of tower speakers or the option of adding the second pair.

Wet Sounds
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-22-2009, 10:03 AM Reply   
There are so many variables in judging an amplifier like the preamp voltage, installation execution, supply voltage and so on. Plus, most people defend what they own or know without much familiarity with other products.

Realistically, all of the amplifiers mentioned in the OP plus a few more introductions throughout the thread are within plus or minus 5 percent power into a 4-ohm load. That's an indistinguishable difference in amplitude even to golden ears under ideal conditions, let alone at the end of a 70 foot rope. This application would also nullify any sound quality subtleties.

So you've got to determine value by some other means. This could be as simple as the initial cost as applied to watts per dollar. Or, you can look at value according to the accumulative costs and accumulative benefits. What value do you place on a 40 to 50 percent increase in efficiency considering the cost of another 100 amp/hours of reserve battery, the cost of fuel to restore the battery(s) or the added wear and tear on the alternator? What penalty are you paying in lost power when you've exceeded the current capacity of your alternator? How much power is burned as heat when an amplifier's efficiency drops when bridged or running a 2-ohm load? Again, its the difference between spec sheet power and real world power.

In a broader sense, how much better would a system sound and how much more dynamic range would you have by prioritizing efficiency in every aspect of your system design and execution? Its a realistic objective to pick up another 6 dB in headroom by selecting and integrating the right components combined with a few installation techniques and system tuning. In a clumsy design it would require quadrupling the amplifier power to make up for the lost efficiency (-6dB) which only dominoes into more problems.

Its just another way of looking at it.

Earmark Marine
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-22-2009, 10:06 AM Reply   
Tim (wetsounds1),

A round table discussion would be awesome. But I think Phil with Kicker would prefer a square table if its not too much trouble to make that minor adjustment.

Earmark Marine
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       12-22-2009, 10:45 AM Reply   
HaHa too funny.

Wet Sounds
Old    falcon_v            12-22-2009, 1:13 PM Reply   
Thank you for all your answers and giving me new ways to think about stuff. It is always one sided when your a consumer at a store but everything on here is Up to par. Thank you guys again for all the help. This gave me more knowledge then anything. It is very rare to have people not shove things down your throat all you who work or own a company and answering are awesome. To those individuals out their ya ll are awesome too. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to everyone. I will began to contact all you guys to do some testing of equipment I will take a poll and do that first if no one minds. I live in Oklahoma so I am able to travel to just about any where.
Old     (johnny_gatsby)      Join Date: Sep 2009       12-22-2009, 3:46 PM Reply   
I love having these stereo guys around....
Old     (ship_of_fools)      Join Date: Sep 2007       12-22-2009, 5:16 PM Reply   
David, that is sub funny!!
Old     (worththewake)      Join Date: Nov 2006       12-22-2009, 6:47 PM Reply   
I believe he was asking an opinion on witch amp not which amp! just though the title looked a bit strange
Old     (worththewake)      Join Date: Nov 2006       12-22-2009, 6:48 PM Reply   
maybe i should have looked at my post....thought not though
Old    falcon_v            12-22-2009, 8:06 PM Reply   
Spell checker only works as good if you pay attention to witch I did not. LOL I am the worse speller in the world but I can kill a person at 1-1500 meters and patch up the wounded at the same time. I no I have done it numeraous times 2003-2004.
Old     (worththewake)      Join Date: Nov 2006       12-23-2009, 4:08 PM Reply   
C, if we couldn't laugh at ourselves who would we laugh at I guess? I appreciate your service for your county!
Old     (kvoman)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-24-2009, 7:28 AM Reply   
The Kicker ZX850.4 amp's footprint is HUGE. I have one in my boat and had to relocate 2 other amps to make room for that because of storage issues but it has plenty of juice. I'm only using 1/2 of the output on the dial. If storage is a consideration, may be look at the other two, otherwise, the ZX amp is a great bargain.

There is a "birth sheet" that came with my amp and it was bench tested with an output of close to 1000 watts, way over the rated 850 watts.

What David from Earmark marine said regarding efficiency makes a lot of sense because a high efficiency amp will use a lot less power/energy to generate the rated output, whereas, the less efficient amp will need a lot more energy from the battery, hence, less usable time on each battery vs. more time.

I think the ZX amp is a lot less efficient than the other two amps, especially the JL HD amp since it's a newer Class D design.

(Message edited by kvoman on December 24, 2009)
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-24-2009, 10:26 AM Reply   

Looking at your profile I see a Yamaha Jet boat. We do alot of those. Very nice boats.

Many twin engine Yamahas have dual 14 amp alternators for 28 amps total. These boats, more than others, deserve extra focus placed on efficiency. A strong AC shore charger is definitely in order plus a cascading battery scheme when multiples are used.

Earmark Marine
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-24-2009, 7:02 PM Reply   
My picks would be the Wet Sounds Syn, Arc Audio KS or JL HD series. They are all excellent.
Old     (kvoman)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-28-2009, 7:23 AM Reply   
Thanks David, you're right. I have to charge the 2nd battery on shore each night or before a trip, also have an emergency generator in case the campsite does not have power! The alternators (although they are really not alternators) are pretty weak and cannot charge a depleted deep cycle. I'm sure I don't understand the cascading battery scheme you mentioned but I installed a Blue Sea Add-A-Battery system to top off the batteries automatically when underway so the deep cycle battery is not completely discharged at the end of the day (the regular is always full). It detects low voltage in each battery and automatically switch/dedicate the full charge to that battery.

JL didn't have the HD amps when I first started to build my system. I'd love to redo the sound system with better equipment but the wife doesn't see the need for it, she would rather get a new boat (Yamaha 242 Limited S or AR240). I'm kind of liking her idea too!!!

(Message edited by kvoman on December 28, 2009)
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       12-28-2009, 10:22 AM Reply   
Why not a Zapco? IMO one of the best amps out there right now.
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       12-28-2009, 4:35 PM Reply   
Zapco is a great amp, but there in better technology for certain boat applications.

I like to play my stereo for hours without the engine running. Therefore, I look for efficient amps like the Alpine PDX, JL HD, Wetsounds SYN or ARC Audio KS. IMO
Old    falcon_v            12-28-2009, 5:09 PM Reply   
Thank you everyone I am going with the Alpine PDX I just have a thing for alpine, and going to use the PAC LC 1 for volume control on the tower. Is the PAC LC 1 good or is their something else for cheap under 50$
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       12-28-2009, 5:40 PM Reply   
C, great choice you will be happy with the Alpine.

People have been using the PAC LC 1 for years and it works. Can't go wrong with that
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       12-30-2009, 9:44 PM Reply   
run mono..not stereo. it will be noticeably louder and sound better across the wake due to the reverse listening apex.

zapco are very good, reliable, and have the active symbilink volume control vs. the passive pac.
Old     (bingbing)      Join Date: Oct 2008       12-31-2009, 12:32 AM Reply   
clubmyke Please explain reverse listening apex.

I have been in involved in the speaker business since 1983 and have never heard this term.
Old     (blakelymarine)      Join Date: Jan 2010       01-04-2010, 10:47 PM Reply   
Noticed you were from Edmond,

Check Out Blakely Marine LLC

Oklahoma's first and only full service mobile marine!!

Blakely Marine is a boat service company specializing in on site inboard boat service and sales. This includes all competition ski boats, along with all other true inboard powerboats, including cabin cruisers, house boats etc. At Blakely Marine we understand you cant always find the time to bring your boat in for service, thats why we bring our professional services to you. We service mainly central Oklahoma, including, but not limited to, the three major lakes, Grande, Eufaula, and Tenkiller.
At Blakely Marine our number one goal is to get you on (or in some cases, off) the water as soon as possible. We know how valuable your time is at the lake; we know because wed rather be there too...

Please feel free to call or e-mail for a free quote today!!!
Old     (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       01-15-2010, 12:35 PM Reply   
Had a stereo guy tell me today to power my 4 Bullet 770 HLCD's with an Alpine PDX 150.2 - does that make sense? I am on the fence with the JL 600.4 and the Alpine PDX 600.4, then I got this suggestion. The 150.2 is cheaper, so thats good, but I dont want to sacrifice performance...

I am all about effeciency and am sold on Class D, otherwise Id go with 2 mono blocks (JL G1300?).

Any advice from the stereo superdudes here would be greatly appreciated.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-15-2010, 2:17 PM Reply   
"I am all about effeciency and am sold on Class D, otherwise Id go with 2 mono blocks (JL G1300?)."

Most mono-block amps have been Class D for years, it's just been recently that we have seen the full-range stereo and 4 chnl amps come in Class D. If you go mono-block, make sure it is a full-range, not many are.

WHat are the specs on the PDX150.2, I dont find anything!
Old                01-15-2010, 2:19 PM Reply   
B/t those two. I would get the JL Audio HD for sure. IMO it is more robust than the Alpine.

Have you thought about a Wetsounds syn2 or an Arc Audio KS 300.2
Old     (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-15-2010, 2:28 PM Reply   
Throwing it out there give Brian at Exile a call super good guy with nice stuff. He has been back and forth with me quite a bit and helpful.
Old     (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       01-15-2010, 3:10 PM Reply   
Sorry, it was Alpine PDX 2.150

There seems to be some debate about JL HD vs. Alpine PDX - they appear to be very similar according to previous posts. The Alpine is slightly cheaper...

If you know of a good monoblock, class D, please let me know. Honestly, I would like to get around 200W to each speaker if I could. Is the JL G1300 class D (super efficient)? I'll check...

I'm not a "stereo guy" so not sure what to buy. I just want great sound, overcapacity (want more than i will typically use), small amp, and high efficiency.


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