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Old     (BadbluSi)      Join Date: Dec 2010       01-08-2011, 11:29 AM Reply   
Ok I'm currently in the market for some tower speakers, and have been trying do my research by reading up till I'm nauseous!! I've looked at Wetsounds packages (double up and 3 some), I've also considered 4 6x9's looking at offerings from Wetsounds and Polk and would do a Liquid trends box. I want to be somewhat cost conscious but still have great sound. I just bought the boat last summer (2000 Supra Santera) and right now would say it's a 70/30 split with partying in the coves and riding. I replaced the cabin speakers w 4 Polk Db651's and really like them so far. I want something that is more in the middle, not killing passengers in the boat but good for the days were anchored and tied up with friends. I think that some of the Wetsounds combos or HLCD might be overkill for what we currently do. Thoughts or suggestions, not trying to start a what's best argument, just looking for some expert advice. hahaha
Old     (Tmannsx80)      Join Date: Mar 2010       01-08-2011, 1:13 PM Reply   
Give Brian at Exile a call he might be able to give you some good advice. Browse there website best of luck to you. make this a fun experience for yourself.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-08-2011, 1:19 PM Reply   
If you are looking in the realm of the Wetsounds Double-up or 3-Some then you are definitely in the range of a set of Pro485s. This is the most linear speaker in the Wetsounds line-up so it will be great for close-proximity and smoother-response listening. It also happens to be using the most powerful components in the Wetsounds line (continuous and sealed midbass cones for more surface area and midbass output plus a fully developed horn with larger compression driver). So a pair of the Pro485s will do the best job for near field listening and long range projection. And, a pair of the Pro485s are the most cost-efficient to power (when it comes to selecting your amplification) as compared to the other Double-Up & 3-Some options. The only con is if you do not have the width under your tower to fit a pair of 485s. In that case, the 3-Some gives you a narrower package that is as powerful in peak output for long range listening but lacks a bit of the 485 linearity. However, there are a few tweaks to the 3-Some package that will bring it closer to the 485's balance. The Double-up will fall short in longe range authority as compared to either the 3-Some package or a pair of Pro485s. Its still a powerful HLCD so it will play at wake range when properly powered and the Double-Up is all you might want for typical surf range or close range listening at rest. The 6x9 HLCDs are a great option for retro-fitting into existing pods. However, an 8-inch driver has more surface area than a 6x9and technically a round speaker is inherently superior to an oval. Its not a radical difference but if you're starting from scratch then I would recommend going with one of the other packages. For me it would be an easy choice. Rather than simply giving you my favorite I hope that giving you the reasons as to 'why' will help you out. Of course there are other HLCD and tower speaker brands to choose from as well but since you didn't raise another brand I don't want to stray away from your question. I can make those comparisons but as the overall best tower speaker in consideration of short range quality and long range authority against the competing noise levels, the Wetsounds Pro485 scores the highest if you have the tolerance and space for the size.

Earmark Marine
Old     (BadbluSi)      Join Date: Dec 2010       01-08-2011, 1:47 PM Reply   
Hey David it sounds like from some of the responses and input I've gotten on the other boards is that an HLCD isn't what I'm looking for due to the majority of the use being more of an anchored and chilling situation. I don't NEED to hear at 80 ft back but want something that isnt going to be unbearable on board. You have a recommendation for the middle ground?
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-08-2011, 2:25 PM Reply   
The Exile Audio SXT65 is the best sounding non-hlcd tower speaker I've ever heard, you should get a demo of those.

Here is the Samson model of them, same speaker though.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-08-2011, 3:39 PM Reply   
I didn't want to steer you off course so I was staying with the only brand of tower speaker that you mentioned. As long as you are willing to sacrifice one attribute for another then you can definitely get a speaker that is better focused on your specific needs. Understand that there is no single speaker that can do it all the very best...unless of course its really big and really expensive. The Wetsounds Pro485 still sits atop the heap as the best all-around tower speaker.
The Wetsounds Double-Up has very good midbass extension based on a larger dedicated 8-inch driver/pod. This will also manifest as warmer midrange and balance. There is just no substitute for greater surface area and larger pod displacement in an open field environment. I really like this speaker for your application as stated.
The Exile SXT65 is smaller at 6.5" but you would use two pair of these. The SXT65 has better midbass extension than the Exile 6.5" HLCD counterpart because it has a sealed and continuous midbass cone that results in a little more surface area plus a solid dustcap provides for a sealed pod thereby eliminating internal cancellations via a porous spider and around the open voice coil gap (a common issue with most coaxials). The 1-inch dome has extra aggression and emphasis towards the highs as you should have with a true tower speaker, however, in this case the tilt is not too much and is a somewhat smoother rise rather than being so eratic and abrupt. This is my favorite $500 tower speaker (btw, I've got to correct our site).
Again, I hope I have given you the reasons as to why I like these speakers rather than just a blanket 'my favorites'.

Earmark Marine
Old     (RonnieH)      Join Date: Sep 2010       01-08-2011, 4:58 PM Reply   
I have four almost new 7.7" Bullet Hollow Point coax speakers after I upgraded to Bullet HLCD's. You'll need to order four Bullet cans from David and you'll be G2G.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       01-12-2011, 3:05 PM Reply   

My listening ratio is about the opposite of yours, 30% parked/70% wakeboarding (or skiing or surfing). You can always turn down the pro audio speakers for parked listening, you can't always turn up car door speakers loud enough to hear while boarding. Based on your ratio you have almost unlimited options but you will need a significant amount of cone area from a car speaker if you want to hear the music while riding (6-8 6.5's or 4-6 6x9s). By the time you get there you might find a comparably priced pro-audio solution. If your boat is quiet and your ears are good you can probably get by with 4 6.5's in cans but you can expect to blow them up frequently. I have a good friend converting his cans over to pro-audio components this winter since he has blown his tower speakers up last summer and the year before.

Its' no secret on this website that there is a struggle going on between Exile and Wetsounds, hence the post by Mr Bawshogg above.

I have Wetsounds Pro-485 speakers on my boat tower, the same set that I PURCHASED in 2006, not a single speaker or crossover component has been replaced. I have participated in a couple stereo sound-off competitions and all day long DJ fed music events, even blowing all the Polk interior speakers in my boat, so I am not easy on equipment. Today I feel that they still represent the state-of-the-art from a sound quality standpoint and often recommend them. I keep waiting for something to come along and change my mind but nothing I have heard is compelling enough for me to make a change. My second most frequent recommendation to those that ask is the NVS speaker line.
Old     (BadbluSi)      Join Date: Dec 2010       01-12-2011, 3:35 PM Reply   
I think after multiple conversations with David, and Brian over at exile, I've narrowed it to the Exile SXT65 and the Bullet Hollowpoint 770 coax. I'm going to do 4 of whatever I decide on but think weighing cost and performance those two seem to be the best options at this point!
Old     (kruiserkat)      Join Date: May 2010       01-12-2011, 3:38 PM Reply   
Chris, Good choice I have heard 4 of the SXT65's and can say they rock, Bullet's seem to be a popular choice but I canno't comment on those as I have not heard them.
Old     (hillbilly)      Join Date: Aug 2002       01-12-2011, 3:41 PM Reply   
A friend of mine had the Bullet hp 7.7's and they sounded very good around the boat and you could also hear them while riding. He only had 2 of them and only about 250 watts to each one, So 4 of those would sound great I think and would give you what you are looking for. I think they are reasonably priced as well ?

Good Luck......
Old     (BadbluSi)      Join Date: Dec 2010       01-12-2011, 3:59 PM Reply   
Yeah I think they'll be within my budget including an amp. I'm leaning more towards the Bullets right now due to more surface area and I'm guessing a little better low to mid range bass, since I don't plan to add a sub right now.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       01-12-2011, 5:41 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by BadbluSi View Post
Yeah I think they'll be within my budget including an amp. I'm leaning more towards the Bullets right now due to more surface area and I'm guessing a little better low to mid range bass, since I don't plan to add a sub right now.
From posts that I have read I think the Bullets have a better midbass to them then even the Pro 80's.
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-13-2011, 12:20 PM Reply   
If I were in your situation and I had the choice b/t the SXT65 and the Bullet 770 coax I would choose the Bullett's

The bullett can's are going to be hand spun aluminum with a powder coat finish and that will beat plastic enclosures. Also, you will be getting more surface area with the Bullett speaker which helps out with the Mid Bass. Jaime over at Bullett is a very reputable person to deal with as well as David over at Earmark.

Both the Exile and Bullett are great products and will play John Denver's - Country Roads, just fine

Last edited by murphy_smith; 01-13-2011 at 12:22 PM.
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-13-2011, 1:03 PM Reply   
Murphy the debate on the enclosure differences is very subjective depending on who you are talking to. I have both FYI.
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-13-2011, 1:07 PM Reply   
That is the first that I have heard of Bullett having an issue with their enclosures.

I will do some research on the Bullett's so that I am more informed. I would agree that anything that gets sun exposure is going to fade over time. It's just a matter of how much time we are talking about.

Last edited by murphy_smith; 01-13-2011 at 1:11 PM.
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-13-2011, 1:19 PM Reply   
Who said anything about issues with either of them, wasn't me. I think the only exile enclosure issue was dismissed by anyone who knew anything. I'm saying they both have their pros and cons, nothing more. What matters to one guy might not the next.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-13-2011, 3:09 PM Reply   
Both good choices, both excellent companies. I'd suspect that you should expect more midbass from the 770's (I have the HLCD version) but the SXT 65 have gotten rave reviews from the end users here on WW. Exiles do supposedly pair well when you combine the XM7 and the SXT65's, this might get you a little best of both worlds going on.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-13-2011, 5:01 PM Reply   
This mixing of HLCDs and coaxials has gotten a little press recently. Here are a couple of the problems associated with it. The coaxial has a 1-inch tweeter with a 1-inch voice coil. The HLCD has a 2-inch diaphram with a 2-inch voice coil. There is a VAST difference in the thermal capacity of the two. If you use an amplifier substantial enough to justify the use of an HLCD then you are likely to cook the coaxial. Its just simple reasoning. Would anyone advocate using a woofer that has a 1.5-inch voice coil on the same major amplifier with a woofer featuring a 3-inch voice coil? Doubtful. I suspect that Phil with Kicker, Jamie with HollowPoint and Tim with Wetsounds would all discourage this practice if you ask them point blank. There are other considerations also. If a guy wants the HLCD for maximum projection then he goes in with very high expectations for amplitude. However, dissimilar speakers do not sum effectively so the secondary tweeter is basically invisible at a distance. That could mean he tries to push the system harder. And, we're back to the original issue. This concerns me particularly in a one to one arrangement. A few guys have or are going to do a two (coaxials) to one (HLCD) ratio. I feel a little better about this because the two coaxial attributes dominate in this application and the HLCD's primary contribution is limited to the horn. In this ratio the damage potential to the coaxials is less. Six speaker across the tower isn't in the plans or budget of everyone and a 1.33 ohm load is a challenge for most amplifiers. Even if the amplifier handles it thermally you lose efficiency and increase distortion. Its okay if you know the risks going in and it gets you the particular balance you are looking for. Its just not something that I would want to recommend to the average consumer. Personally, I would just choose the speaker that has most of what I'm looking for and stick with that. If it's not the right sound for you then search out another speaker.

Earmark Marine
Old     (BadbluSi)      Join Date: Dec 2010       01-13-2011, 3:38 PM Reply   
I was thinking the same concerning the 770's and a bit more mid bass. Although after a lengthy discussion w David at Earmark and Brian from Exile ov on the Moomba forums, it sounds like combining the XM7's and SXT 65's isn't quite as simple as I thought unless you have an experienced installer to tune the whole system. My goal was to have a system that sounded great as far back as surfing distance with decent mid bass and didn't break the bank!! Anyone looking for advice, I highly recommend talking to either of those guys as they have been huge helps for me!!
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-13-2011, 6:32 PM Reply   
It's not for everyone, but it's awesome. I can attest to that, and so will anyone that's heard that particular setup.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-13-2011, 9:30 PM Reply   
As I stated above, I'm a fan of these speakers. Plus, six tower speakers powered by 1000 watts? It better sound awesome!
I gave the reasons why I have reservations about mixing different speaker types and definitely different speaker sizes for that matter. I don't normally like a hodge-podge collection or a Frankenstein mix. But, I also recognize the positive benefits in this particular application with this particular gear.
The Illusion tower has a huge advantage of vertically stacking an array of two or three tower speakers per side which is a major advantage in coherency versus a horizontal array of six across on the majority of towers.
The downside is that all the speakers are staggered at a different front/rear depth which introduces phasing problems in the treble region which creates some erratic dips in the response. Placing the HLCDs at the highest and most recessed point on the tower tends to soften and deflect their contribution a bit near field while still adding some bite to the long range projection. You are also averaging the response of the speakers and averaging the effects of the positioning. Other than that you can play with the Throttle Box EQ a touch and trial and error with the horn crossover switch setting of the HLCDs to get the balance that you like. You can't really do much else control wise because all six speakers are on the same amplifier. Its certainly not the only approach available but It makes good sense in this case and its easy to see why it will work well.

Earmark Marine
Old     (bawshogg)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-13-2011, 10:30 PM Reply   
Hey Dave, did you ever get to test out a similar setup? I know at first you were a little skeptical about this but it seems like you have some faith now. I am liking the idea as of lately of adding a second amp for the HLCD's to add more tuneability to the setup though as you mentioned. Oh wait, was that Odin? my bad.

Last edited by bawshogg; 01-13-2011 at 10:33 PM.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-14-2011, 6:55 AM Reply   
I checked with Odin first to make sure that he is in total agreement, if you know what I mean.
Yes, I do recognize what you guys are doing and why you are doing it as it is pretty basic. I know it sounds good. There is no doubt in my mind. We have these two speakers on display side by side so we can convieniently listen to the sum anytime.
From the beginning I was concerned about putting this package or similar packages in the hands of the general consumer. The difference in the power handling of very different tweeters can be risky. A 1.33 ohm load can lower the efficiency 20 percent on an amplifier that is 50 percent efficient to begin with. Understand that here in Texas, low voltage, low loads and 100 degree days don't mix well. I would rather that my customers don't run things at or so close to their limits. They don't need the failure on a product that is out of warranty a week before the long July 4th weekend.
There are countless and very sophisticated systems that I would like to piece together that I know would be mind-blowing. For example, I would like to do a tri-amped 3-way HLCD system that would narrow the bandwidth of each driver, narrow the responsibility of each amplifier channel, negate the insertion losses of passive crossovers and negate the problems related to the non-linear impedance curves of the drivers and how that negatively impacts the transition between drivers. It would be Pro Sound the way commercial pros execute it and would be louder and clearer than anything on a tower to date. It would be affordable too. However, the amplifier settings would have to be under lock and key. So its definitely not for everyone.
In your case, you are in the NW and without stringing together 30 day spells of 100 degree heat you may never encounter a problem. I am sure that you also stepped up to larger battery reserves which is another cost of admission that some would overlook. Only you know whether you and your occupants will keep the amplifier out of clipping to protect the tweeters. Your boat gives you the option of postioning the HLCD differently from the coaxials which boats that have six speakers in-line across a horizontal tube cannot do. This in itself is a nice compensation. Another two channels would be a luxury in that the HLCDs could be on their own active level control. The amplifier efficiency would increase somewhat and it would be a little cleaner especially in the sense of having more dynamic reserves. So yes, it will only help. Give it a try.

Earmark Marine
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-14-2011, 7:46 AM Reply   
Baws - I can promise you that you will get better results with a dual amp setup when running the XM-7's and the SXT 65's.

I originally tried to run the double up in my boat of a 2 channel amp. I was not able to set my cross over low enough so that I could get the most out of the 8" woofer and still have quality sound out of the Pro 60. The only solution was to add another amp so I opted to make all the tower speakers the same and went to 4 pro 80's.

I would imagine in your case you are able to push plenty of power to the SXT's but not able to get as power as you would like to the XM-7's?

How do the crossover settings vary on that setup. Is the XM-7 able to be crossed over lower than the SXT 65.

You setup is definately getting some buzz as well as attractive to those who want the best of both worlds.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-14-2011, 8:50 AM Reply   
The size, motor structure and voice coil assemblies of the two midbass drivers are certainly similar enough to be crossed over at an equal point. The SXT65 does have a little stronger midbass than the XM7 because it has a continuous cone since the SXT65 has a bridge (grill) mounted tweeter rather than a pole mounted tweeter. Its the tweeter capacity that is different from a power handling standpoint. With separate channels available I would likely highpass the XM7 channels just a bit higher, but not much, since I would depend on the XM7 more for long range projection. Narrowing the amplifier's and speaker's bandwidth by raising the crossover always aids output and projection plus increases power handling. The slightly higher active crossover selection of the XM7 would go unnoticed on the midbass since the the SXT65s out number it two to one and the SXT65s have a stronger midbass. With separate channels and a separate active level control for the XM7s you could pull the XM7 into the background for near field listening and push it forward for boarding.
That is alot of extra expense to support this asymmetrical scheme but I see the the benefits of the extra two channels and variable control on the fly.

Earmark Marine
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-14-2011, 9:03 AM Reply   
Didn't see your post as Odin was busy posting. I guess I was looking over his shoulder as he was typing.
I agree with most everything you stated. But, the concern over the SXT65 power handling is strictly limited to the tweeter and the active highpass filter would only have a marginal impact on that since the tweeter has its own passive highpass filter nearly six octaves higher. The real concern is the energy in the specific range of the tweeter. The separate channels would help with this and I totally agree that the Throttle Box function isn't a good match up with the SXT65s so restricting it to the XM7s would be ideal.
Good discussion here.

Earmark Marine
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-14-2011, 9:28 AM Reply   
You know I should probably clarify better that the discrepancy in tweeter power handling between the two models is going to be gain based. So in a one on one mix if you hold back the output of the SXT65 then the warmer benefits don't contribute because the XM7 so dominates. There is a vast difference in the output of these tweeters and the overall character of any speaker or collection of speakers is going to be determined by the dominant peaks. The dilemma is that if you do the inverse and raise the gain of the SXT65 so its warmth and smoother response dominates then you are exposing its lesser power handling and thermal capacity. And that is why some of this risk is minimized in a two to one ratio. A one to one scheme is just asking for problems. And as we are discussing, a mix of six speakers although safer has its complexities also.

Earmark Marine
Old     (bawshogg)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-14-2011, 8:39 AM Reply   
These are the obsticles I want to try overcome when running this setup off of a single amp are just as stated. Crossover frequencies need to be set conservatively in order to preserve logevity in the 65's . That in turn leads the XM-7 to a lack in absolute peak output. In terms of midbass output I would have the say the SXT-65 will generally dominate the XM-7 in that area. So tunning the crossover points does create some challanges in finding that happy medium. I feel as if I have done a pretty good job of finding it, but I think overall performance could be just that much better with a second dedicated tower amp. I am curious to see what the XM9's will add to the table also if they ever get here. I also realy would like to be able to optimize the throttle box function on the HCLD's and be able to totally fade them out if needed. Huge wakes, loud systems and obnoxious idots are not doing ANYTHING good for our sport. As much as I am into my audio, bottom line is I am out there because I love wakesports anbd these are all the bulletpoints that are getting the sporting aspects shut down. Sucks but it is the reality.
Odin, you are absoulutely correct. Us up in here in PNW definetly don't have the issues with heat that ya'll have down in Tejas. I would probably need a swamp cooler in the observers compartment to get away with it down south.
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-14-2011, 9:50 AM Reply   
Please stop David, you're gonna make me get another Harpoon.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-14-2011, 10:06 AM Reply   
Why deny yourself? You deserve it.
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-14-2011, 10:17 AM Reply   
I'll think about it, I need to sell some of the stuff I took out first. This is getting way to expensive.
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       01-14-2011, 11:58 AM Reply   
Hey guys - careful of all this elite talk. The OP was looking for a cost effective solution for his tower which is different than the Indy500 Hybrid stereo setups..... Chris, either of those tower setups will be great for ya. It's all good.

re: the David / murphy / nubu / Baws topic... everything that has been said this far looks to be pretty accurate. We as the manufacturer have lots of idea's on system configuration with elite setups and frankly we talk about it everyday. We are starting to see more and more people ask us how to have the best of both worlds (projection / close range) dynamic systems without hanging humongous drivers / weight from their towers. Although there is no substitute for cone area, there are many options and approaches that can be taken.

It should be clearly stated that Adding 1 pair HLCD's and 1 pair direct radiating tower speakers (i.e. XM7+ SXT65) is NOT the way to go. Please keep that in mind. Many people take away only part of the information being shared here. <----If I knew how to underline here I would.

As it applies to this particular situation where both Baws and Nubu are installing on Malibu towers, the Hybrid technologies combine together in a very effective way. The key here is the vertical orientation of the speaker pods and placing the HLCD at the top most position. From a Sonic point of view, the direct radiating drivers sum well with the midbass of the XM7 and really give you fast accurate midbass attack in the power band region frequency wise. Because of the physical vertical / horizontal placement of the HLCD drivers, that pod is ~20 degrees out of phase from the rest of the speaker array. Adding Throttle box into this equation gives you even more active control for the horn. Remember, phase rotation depends on frequency and is variable depending on the position. In real world terms, this gives you the ability to bring the HLCD into play for distance and scale it back for close range. Adding another amplifier into the mix would definitely give more control over the HLCD. I've never heard of XM9. when I do, I'll let ya'll know.


Exile Audio


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