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Old     (midwesty)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-20-2006, 12:34 PM Reply   
ok, lets say we are buying a new boat but want to do the stereo ourselves. we will have $3k for parts and labor(if any). we will need a ipod adaptable head unit, 6 interior boat speakers(6.5"), several amps, 1 10inch sub, and want to run either some wetsounds or NVS on the tower, possibly an EQ if the money is there.

let me know what you got!
Old     (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-20-2006, 7:31 PM Reply   
My 2 cents:

Head unit (Pioneer) - $300
Wetsounds Pro 80 - $849
Amp for wetsounds (150x2) - $300
3 pairs of interior speakers - Pioneer, Memphis, Polk - $300
10 inch Kicker (S10L7) or JL 10w6 - $200-250
Amp for interior speakers (60x4) - $250
Amp for sub (500x1) - $250
EQ (your choice) - $125

Total - $2574 plus tax

I like Memphis amps a lot - they're under-rated power wise, and not overly expensive if you find a good dealer. JL amps are another choice and you'll still be under $3,000.

If you wanted to get closer to $3k, you could go with JL separates for the interior speakers, and/or go with a 12" sub and bigger sub amp.

Don't forget you're going to need another battery and an isolator too. That's probably another $150 total. Then add a couple of amp wiring kits, inline fuses, and wiring - another $150 or so.

there you have it.

(Message edited by tparider on August 20, 2006)
Old    thug_hunter            08-20-2006, 7:32 PM Reply   
1-Alpine CDA-9856 CD player $200
1-Alpine Ipod cable $30
3 pair-Polk db650 6.5" speakers $250
1-JL Audio M6450 6 Ch. amp for the Polks $300
1 pair-NVS Addictions $1295
1-JL Audio 300/2 Slash Series amp for NVS's $300
1-JL Audio 10w6 10" sub $250
1-JL Audio 500/1 sub amp $375

Grand Total is exactly $3000. I put most of the expense in the tower speakers and sub and the 2 amps that power them.

Most of the prices are from ebay sellers w/ tons of positive feedback. I've had great results from purchasing audio equipment via ebay. Shop around the net to obtain the best prices.

Wiring is gonna run another $250 or so. You won't need an EQ w/the controls on the Alpine HU and amp controls. You will have separate control over the interior speaker and tower speakers with a three amp set up. That way your passengers are not deafened as the rider is rippin'.
Old     (midwesty)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-20-2006, 8:09 PM Reply   
how are these amps with heat? do they have internal fans? that is the last thing i want is an amp cutting out, i hate that!

thanks for the replies, lets keep it going
Old     (oaf)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-20-2006, 8:20 PM Reply   
Buy a bilge fan and power it directly with the amp and hook it up to a switch and you will never have a heat issue with your amp. I do all of my boating on the Colorado river in Havasu (115 or hotter) and over work my amp but it will never cut out as long as I keep air on it.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-20-2006, 9:20 PM Reply   
jl slash series amps are awesome.. no problem.. they make one of the best sub amps hands down..
Old     (bucnoles)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-20-2006, 9:28 PM Reply   
Who's amp would cut out?
Old     (mujibur)      Join Date: May 2002       08-20-2006, 10:29 PM Reply   
Only one comment - get more subs with the open air of a boat you need more to hear the bass - get 2 12's (or more!) if your boat can handle the air space and make sure they fire into the passenger are of the boat un-obstructed.
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       08-20-2006, 10:51 PM Reply   
here is my system
hse box, about $1300
ppi 4125 amp $330 (500 rms x 2 @ 4 ohms) from ebay
planet audio line driver $40 bucks
clarion eq from ebay $70.

no head unit used, just my mp3 player. keep the 1300 you'll save for a rainy day. you will have one of the loudest systems on the river i promise. if you wanna add a sub to the configuration (which i did and it helps fill in the lows) you can do so fairly cheaply too <$300
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       08-20-2006, 10:55 PM Reply   
that said if you are adding a pro audio set up i feel interior speakers are a waste and wont be heard. id only suggest going with interior if you get a fader so you can fade out the speaker box. i.e. if youre just cruising on the lake and dont need the tower set up. if you dont do alot of cruising id say skip the interior b/c the box is gonna override the interior. or if you do amp them enuff to hear them its gonna be to loud to be comfortable inside the boat
Old    thug_hunter            08-20-2006, 11:03 PM Reply   
Internal fans in amps add distortion to a stereo system, that's why there's a lot less amps that have built in fans. A company that makes amps as good a JL Audio has the design and equipment that heat is not a problem. If they don't overheat in Texas, they won't overheat wherever you live.

Oh yeah about the sub, I would also recommend you have a bigger sub, but since you asked for a 10" recommendation that's what I gave. If you have the room for a 12" sub, get a 12w6 instead of a 10w6. Same amp (JL 500/1) for either sub will do the job. One JL 12W6 will hit harder and cleaner than two of what most people run in their boats.

(Message edited by Thug_Hunter on August 20, 2006)
Old    thug_hunter            08-20-2006, 11:16 PM Reply   

It's 2006 all the decent CD players have fade/balance controls for each preamp output. Fade/Balance can easily be made through your HU. i.e. the HU I recommended has three sets of preamp outputs, one of which is a dedicated sub output. The other two are for rear channel and front channel. All he would have to do is hook the amp that powers the tower speakers to the rear channel preamp output on the HU. The front channel preamp would hook to the amp that powers the interior. Then you can fade whichever one your not using.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-21-2006, 12:30 AM Reply   
i dont know if fans add noise..i have 2 zapcos reference seris with built in fans and they are really quiet. i am not a big fan of class a/b amps for subs..class d works much better and less heat (the jl sub amps are state of the art)..

pretty much any good amp will do fine..(jl, zapco, arc, etc...)

sub suggestion... would suggest image dynamics idq series..efficent, very high sound quality, works good in small boxes and reasonabley priced..they also have a intergrated surround that wont seperate from the cone.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-21-2006, 2:17 AM Reply   
1. Amps can and do overheat especially on boats in closed-in compartments. All of my amps have added external, and one has added internal fans. Why do all amps have overheat protection...We drive our car amps way harder then they would be driven in anything but a full on competition vehicle where no one would be inside.
2. I back entirely what muji said as I have 2 10's and am hitting them with 600 rms, I want more-"Thats all I have to say about that"
3. Alan does make some good points as my buddy is running a Toshiba mp3 through his deck and pretty much never uses his radio but I like to run the radio occasionally so I wouldnt opt for that choice.
4. I have a sony deck which allows adjustment of the highs and lows as well as D-bass and all of my amps have crossover adjustments so I dont really see a need for a line driver. My deck has a claimed output of 4volts. I have found my phillips mp3 player level is way too low compared to cd level and requires the mp3 player plus the main deck volumes to be turned up but this should be an easy fix by adding a small signal booster (boostaroo or cmoy pocket amplifier) instead of the added wiring and mounting plus problems of an electronic component mounted out or near possible moisture environment.
5. You have forgoten one important item, transom remote. We found out this past weekend that the mp3 player has limitations(cant skip track or playlist) unless you run a cable long enough to reach the transom (not a problem if running mp3 disk). Im in the process of perfecting my IR extender to work with the factory credit card size remote. It works but have not permanently mounted the eye's and am working on the waterproofing options for the remote and the distance capability.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-21-2006, 2:20 AM Reply   
duplicate, just ignore

(Message edited by bob on August 21, 2006)
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-21-2006, 8:07 AM Reply   
if you run class d amps on the subs (like a jl 500/1 or a 1000/1) you wont have to add fans. they run very cool compared to a class a/b...
Old     (knwebs)      Join Date: Sep 2005       08-21-2006, 9:17 AM Reply   
One suggestion that has helped me in the 100 degree Oklahoma heat is to place a 2X2 piece of wood at the four corners of the amp between the amp and the mounting surface. Of course you have to use longer screws but it allows the amp area around the complete unit for air. I use the d-class e6450 6 ch and the e1800 1000/1 to push my 13w6v2 JL sub.

My set-up is:
4 RS65 kicker 6.5's components - $425
eXplode Sony head unit - came stock
Wired remote waterproof on the bact of boat - $125
E6450 6 channel amp - $275
E1800 1000/1 momo amp - $350
JL Audio 13w6v2 sub - $400
Rhino lined down fire enclosure - $175
XM satellite radio with TERK marine antenna - $100
Six tower speakers - $1500
Can't forget the bass knob - $30
Dual battery setup (2 interstate marine and stinger batter isolatore) - $250
Wires installation etc - $300

with battery included your looking at a grand total of $3930.

I know it's over your budge but you can go with the 12w6 and get the 500/1 mono amp and a little less tower speakers and get within your budget. Whatever you do get a bigger sub because with all the mids/highs you'll be disappointed if you don't!
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 10:39 AM Reply   
Here is what I would do:

6 Polk db650/675s ($80 X 3)
2 Wetsounds Pro 80 ($895 from Sound Illusions)
2 Alpine 1222D 12" subs (dual 2 ohm VCs in series), or any other sub you like, these work OK for me $135ea.

2 Hifonics TXI 6406 $160 each shipped e-bay
1 Hifonics BXI 1606D $280

OR a little upgrade

2 Directed 500.4 @ $220 each
1 Directed D1200.1 @ $220

This leaves you $1500 to find a good head unit, remotes, EQ, wire and batteries that work for you and your boat. Since you can get a decent head unit with remote and aux inputs for about $200 why not?

I would budget $300 for wiring and connectors. Genuine Dealz on e-bay is a good source for power wire. Run 1/0 from the battery bank to the distribution block and #4 (or #6 if < 4') between the dist block and amps. I like the Streetwires CBR 44S distribution block $60, plus fuses $40. If you boat came with wire for the boat speakers it is probably adequate, upgrade if it makes you sleep better. Run #12 multiconductor to the tower speakers (available at parts express, bi-amp pro wire). Run #10 or #12 to the subs.

Front EQ to boat amp (two bow speakers on front channels, four main speakers on rear channels) add an LC1 to control the bow speakers if desired.
Rear EQ to tower.
Install the amps so they chimny out the heat (vents aligned vertically) and you are not likely to have heat issues.

Add a couple golf cart batteries and you are good to go. Maybe enough money left over to buy some refreshments to help with the install.
Old     (sbt3)      Join Date: Jun 2002       08-21-2006, 11:26 AM Reply   
Jon- whats up. I don't really have any comments on the stereo, but am curious what boat you are picking up? Hopefully you have been getting out a bunch. I don't have any plans to get down that way anytime soon, but hopefully one of these days I'll be back.
Old     (dr_inc)      Join Date: Mar 2005       08-21-2006, 11:35 AM Reply   
go with the NVS.. they sound a lot better...
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 11:53 AM Reply   
I am not from CIE and I have not made any plege to promote CWB or NVS, so my unbiased opinion may be more valuable than the post above.

NVS do not sound a lot better...

I have heard both NVS and wetsounds side by side, since we did the test on my boat. I will say either the NVS addictions or the Wetsounds Pro 80's are a good choice. The wetsounds strong points are near field SQ and efficiency, NVS has a slight edge for far field SPL. It may come down to what looks best on your tower?
Old     (dajuice)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-21-2006, 11:57 AM Reply   
If you have the time I would recommend building your own tower speakers. I just redid my 04 SANTE for right around $2k. It includes the following:

6-Polk MOMO 650's inside the boat
6-MB Quarts in cans bought off eBay on tower
2-12in Kicker Comp VR's in custom enclosure
3-Boss 4-channel amps 100wx4 RMS 250wx4 max
pushing all the 6.5's
1-Boss Class D Mono Block amp 800wx1RMS 1600w max
pushing the 2-12's

I went with great quality speakers and average amps. The amps cost me a total of about $425 for all 4. I also have an external crossover and EQ. Power is power the only difference is the crossover quality and eq capabilities. I figure it would hurt my feelings WAY LESS if any of my amps happened to get wet going this route. Plus you're looking at near $400 per amp if you buy amps with those kind of specs in a big name brand like kicker, JL, etc. I have yet to hear any other speakers come close to these towers. Just my two cents.

Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       08-21-2006, 12:36 PM Reply   

"Power is power the only difference is the crossover quality and eq capabilities"

Not true.

"I have yet to hear any other speakers come close to these towers"

You have got to be kidding, right?

But nice boat.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 12:42 PM Reply   

I am sure Justin has not heard anything like our towers, so his statement is probably true. Notice his tower is reminescent of Grant's from about two years ago? Until he hears otherwise all is good...

If you like Justin's speaker cans they come from here: tZkm


These clamps are mean to tower finishes, I recommend getting +1/8" and adding a layer of rubber so you don't damage the tower finish.
Old     (midwesty)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 2:14 PM Reply   
wow thanks guys for all the opinions, they are great

Stan...we are not sure yet..either a Tige( depends on if they are still gonna make the V or just the VE model as well as i wanna look at the new ZR) or a VLX

it will just come down to service as that has been my nemesis since i bought that damn Supreme, oh, it has been broke for almost 3 months now with a broken shaft due to the motor never being aligned!
Old     (ldebbold)      Join Date: Jun 2006       08-21-2006, 3:12 PM Reply   
Nice thread. Nobody said anything about a new alternator for all that power. My 2005 Bu is supposed to have a 90 amp alternator stock. I had a second battery and Pergo switch installed and have added some tower speakers but still just have the Sony Xplod amp (disconnected the 6 interior speakers to run the 4 kickers on my tower. Sounds pretty good in the boat but nearly nothing at 75 feet under power.
Old     (jeff359)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-21-2006, 3:24 PM Reply   
Try ED for subs and amps. I used their amps in my current set up, and could not be happier. For a refrence point, I have used Zapco, Orion HCCA, JL, and Soundstream in past boat systems.

ED stuff is on par with everything but Zapco, but pounds Zapco $ for $. Best stuff, IMO.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 5:05 PM Reply   

Elemental Design = Avionixx

Those amps look quite familiar.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 5:18 PM Reply   
It is quite difficult to determine alternator/battery requirements without knowledge of their boating habits. I would say that I ride/ski for 3 hours and sit/listen for 1 hour. Under this scenario my stock 100A alternator and two golf cart batteries have had no trouble keeping up with my 2,500 watt stereo system. My friend Grant probably has 5,000 watts and listens for 3 hours and runs for 1 hour that's why he needs that big a$$ Balmar alternator/regulator and all of those Sea Volt batteries.

In general a stock alternator in the 100A range should be able to keep up to 1000w of class A/B plus up to 1000w of class D amplification, without ballast pumps, lights, heaters, etc.
Old     (jeff359)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-21-2006, 5:36 PM Reply   
Elemental Design = Avionixx
Those amps look quite familiar."

I have heard that is the case with the old stuff, but no the new. Either way, I like the way my stuff performs, and it didn't cost a whole lot. I upgrade from old school Orion HCCA, and it is clearly superior. The HCCA was better then the Sounstream and JL I had before.

I run 1 1200 watt class d, and two 400 watt class AB's. I do have an upgraded charging system, but not sure I need it. If you beach for more then an hour or more, you need to think about bumping your alternator and batteries. I have three blue tops and a 125 alternator and it works fine for listening at reasonable volumes for reasonable time periods, even without the engine running
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       08-21-2006, 7:29 PM Reply   
well johnny have you come to any conclusions?

justin, im truly sorry you dumped all that money into your system. for about 2/3 of what you paid or less you could have had a really nice sounding system. the first time you hear a pro audio system that is amped correctly your jaw will hit the floor.
Old     (poser007)      Join Date: Nov 2004       08-21-2006, 7:46 PM Reply   
I went with 4 pioneer 4 ways in the boat pair of wet sounds pro 80's on the tower 2 10 inch kicker cvr subs and 2 hifonics amps I forget the power. With install about 2600 bucks and my system is loud and clear Johnny.
Old     (midwesty)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 8:32 PM Reply   
not yet...i am just trying to take all this in!
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-21-2006, 9:04 PM Reply   

I am running the older Avionixx (tripath). The stuff is a little quirky but I like it because it's so efficient converting battery power to audio power. Just ignore the low volume odd noises the amps generate. All the new Avionixx is class A/B & D due to the weirdness of the tripath.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       08-21-2006, 9:31 PM Reply   
When I get a new boat, I am thinking of ordering it without a stereo and building it from the ground up like Jonny. This is a great thread. On my last boat, my dealer talked me into getting the 6 speakers and sub with HU as that would be easier than drilling a bunch of holes myself and running the wire. I think that that cost 1200$. What will you do guys think, start with the basic and upgrade, or go from scratch?
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-21-2006, 9:51 PM Reply   

"Power is power the only difference is the crossover quality and eq capabilities."

You're forgetting about efficiency of the drivers. Pro-audio gear is generally more efficient than car audio gear. Pro-audio gear will have a higher output for equal power to car-audio gear. Much like a gallon of gas goes further in a Geo Metro than it does in a Hummer H2.

An example, last night I was sitting on the deck of a restaurant here. I hear this music from off in the distance, it was a touch annoyingly loud. I knew where it was coming from. My friends Supra with a home-grown Pro-Audio setup. One compression driver, one 10" mid bass, out of a box that's no more than 1 cubic foot. After I was done eatting I drove down there to join them, I was .8 miles away and behind a tree/brush covered hill. He pushes no more than 200 watts to his setup. We can always find him on the river because on the flats of the river we can hear him from more than a mile away. (granted his midbass isn't match well with his compression driver - but it works and he achieves a SQ of, I'd say a 7 on a 1-10 scale)

btw: I bought the Avionixx AXT 800.4 after reading some of your posts about it. I decided on it against the PG 1200.1 Tripath because it is still readily available. I've had it for about a week now and am, so far, pretty happy with it's performance.

(Message edited by yosquire on August 21, 2006)
Old     (bremsen)      Join Date: Aug 2005       08-22-2006, 6:50 AM Reply   
Mikeski/Jeff, Avionixx and eD are cousins so-to-speak. They use the same heatsink/case and are built in the same factory, but they use different internals. eD is very open about this and a simple search on will explain the specifics of their relationship/similarities.

I really like eD and have used their amps and subs for some time now. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to someone looking for great sound on a budget.
Old     (ldebbold)      Join Date: Jun 2006       08-22-2006, 11:14 AM Reply   
Mikeski, thanks for the alternator info. Great thread altogether. I had been thinking about upgrading my stock system with MTX amp, but the ED sounds interesting. Pardon my ignorance, but does tripath mean class A/B for the stereo channels and a Class D section for a sub? With such an amp do you need a 3 output head unit? Can you still control the interior and tower and sub separately so you don't blow out everyone in the boat when someone is riding? Thanks, Les
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-22-2006, 3:06 PM Reply   
A tripath amp is a 'Class T' amp.

Class A/B amps are about 50% efficient
Class D amps are about 90% efficient (but distort above 200hz - only good for subs)
Class T (tripath) amps are about 75% - 90% efficient. They are similar to class D, but apply a correction to the high-frequency distortion to get the fidelity back. They are full frequency range amplifiers.

If you're outputting 1000watts from a Class A/B, it costs you ~2000watts of power. 1000 Watt output from a Class T costs you about ~1300 watts. Small batteries, greater run time. Basically, a gallon of gas goes further in the metro than it does in the Hummer. A gallon of power goes further in a class T than it does in a Class a/b.

I'm sure Mikeski can elaborate with greater specifics regarding the Tripath technology.

(Message edited by yosquire on August 22, 2006)
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-22-2006, 4:43 PM Reply   
Thanks Craig, great explanation.

The Engineer at Avionixx told me that a 2% instability in the tripath technology was the cause for a very high return/warranty claim rate (30%) for their tripath equipment, so they dropped the tripath technology. I was familiar with the technology since I had already used the Blaupunkt tripath amps so I went for some older Avionixx gear that I found at

At one point when Sound Illusions was testing tower speakers with my boat, Clay thought we had blown something up because there were weird noises coming from the speakers at low volume. This was just an example of the Tripath technology "talking" to us. I reached over and cranked up the volume to normal listening levels and things went back to normal. Because of these reasons I hesitate to recommend the cheaper Tripath gear. I believe the more expensive Tripath gear like Arc 1500-XXK and the Zapco C2K 9.0XD have additional circuitry to combat the instability issue. So, if you are like me and you can live with weirdness 2% of the time and you mount the amps right side up so the chips don't fall out than Tripath could be for you too. If not, dig deep into your pockets and get the Arc or Zapco if you really want to take advantage of the higher efficiency gear.

If you want to learn more about Tripath or see what is available check it out on this site:
They also show the little Sonic Impact $40 amp that runs great to use to boost your Ipod signal for use in the home or in portable situations (battery/12v power). There are tons of diy kits for this amplifier to upgrade it's factory (production) shortcomings.


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