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Old     (loudsubz)      Join Date: Aug 2001       12-30-2007, 3:44 PM Reply   
from a riders point of view?

It seems everyone and their dog has a tower speaker setup you can install. What I want to know is what setups are more for show, and which ones actually sound good 80 ft at the rider.

I havn't found allot of detailed reviews that tell you how different setups sound at the rider. I am curiou sbecause this summer I am going to add some tower speakers, but on a budget. With that said if I can save a few bucks and still have decent sound that would make me a happy man.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-30-2007, 4:06 PM Reply   
Sound is like horsepower - the more you want, the more you need to spend.

So, what is your budget? There are a lot of great sounding speakers out there but if you want loud, Chrystal clear sound @ 80', you need some thing along the lines of a HLCD ((Horn Loaded Compression Driver) speaker like the Wetsounds or NVS, both very impressive but cost $$$.

My current factory setup consists of 4 Kicker KS65.2 components. I am very pleased with the volume and clarity. Although not as loud as the HLCD's, I can hear them while riding.

I may look into upgrading to the Kicker KTM6's this Summer. Haven't heard them yet but looking forward to it. A quality set of speakers matched to the right amp will give good sound, but distance is gonna cost you.
Old     (loudsubz)      Join Date: Aug 2001       12-30-2007, 4:40 PM Reply   
Thanks for the input TigeMike, just what I was looking for.

I have been reading over many posts about HLCD (both DIY setups and pre made) and they seem the way to go, but I dont think I am ready to take that plunge $$ wise yet. I am only up @ my cottage on weekends so the cost/use does not work out in my favour.

I am not a demanidng person, so as long as I have good sound where I have a mix of midbass and highs, Im all good. What I am definately NOT after is just a bunch of highs where you can't make out the rest of the song, just ear piercing highs.

When comparing your kicker setup to an HLCD, what would you say the biggest disappointment in volume would be? Is it just not loud enough to enjoy the music?

I know music gets me pumped so listening to anything but the engine would be a plus.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-30-2007, 4:54 PM Reply   
I cant explain the difference from a technical stand point, but traditional woofers are just not meant to project that kind of distance like the HLCD's are. Hard to say I'm disappointed because it's kinda an apple to orange comparison. For the cost, I'm very happy but would jump on a set of W/S's if it were in the budget.
Old     (hamkj)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-30-2007, 5:36 PM Reply   
No matter how much money you spend... you have too many other factors that interfere with sound that finally reaches the rider. I have a half decent setup... and have yet to take the plunge for WetSounds or NVS... but honestly... it is an ego thing on the lake.. who has the loudest set up...

If you are truly looking for something that the rider can enjoy... grab a ziplock bag, an iPod, and some waterproof ear buds and the rider will get the best... and better sound than any money can spend on a tower speaker setup or transom mounted speaker set up.

You gotta be honest as to why you want a tower speaker set up... if you truly want sound when riding... go the cheap route.. ziplock bag!

If you want to be heard by everyone... then the sky is the limit!
Old     (seattle)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-30-2007, 5:51 PM Reply   
Might want to take into consideration what can happen when your head hits the water with ear buds in at 40mph plus. That and the fact that when you have them in you have zero ability to hear anything around you. Even the loudest tower system doesn't take away you peripheral hearing.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       12-30-2007, 6:17 PM Reply   

You have not done your homework if you cannot find a lot of discussion on this.

Liquid Force makes a waterproof Mp3 player and it seems pretty sweet to me. I saw it on 2 weeks ago for 99 bucks.

Tower speakers meant to be heard by a rider in tow are going to cost you. A pair of NVS Addictions and a good amp will put you out about $1400 or so.

A pair of Evid 6.2 and a good amp will run you $700 or so. You would be hard pressed to find 4 good can speakers with an amp for less. If you were going to be that much into it, might as well jump to something you will KNOW will work for you.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-30-2007, 6:22 PM Reply   
We got the Kicker Outlaw speaker/box setup (2), each holds two 6.5" speakers (4 speakers w/ what we have total) and it was $400 for all of them -- for the money they are hard to beat
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-30-2007, 6:28 PM Reply   
What about Dbot5 speakers? A set of 8's is $600. Add a decent amp for $300-400. I have never heard these speakers but some of the people on this site say they are pretty nice. If they are comparable to a set of wetsound pro-80's you will be able to hear them. You would be hard pressed to find any speaker set up for less money than that if you are going to buy brand new. Other than that just keep checking in the classifieds section here for a good HLCD setup used.

One more thing. When I was working at Cope And McPhetres in Sumner Wa we had a set of Deacon 4's. They are a couple of years old but still new. I just looked it up on and they had them listed on there for $600. They have an 8" woofer and a separate horn tweeter.

(Message edited by polarbill on December 30, 2007)
Old     (hamkj)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-30-2007, 6:55 PM Reply   
Sorry... maybe I was exagerating with the ear bud alternative... why not use a watersports or wakeboard specific helmet with incorporated ear phones... there you go... better than NVS.. WetSounds.. Rubi's etc... If you want loud and cheap... go buy the biggest amp... build a big box... u-bolts... put some horns in there... and some 10 inch mid bass drivers... you will have loud and cheap...

But again... realistically... if you want to listen to music while you ride... or do water sports...

Take up synchronized swimming... where IT MATTERS how in sync you are with the music....

Or dangle some 6x9s about 5 feet from your handle.... just be precise with your handlepass tricks...
Old     (loudsubz)      Join Date: Aug 2001       12-30-2007, 8:30 PM Reply   
thanks for the input!


I have done allot of searching on the subject but there didn't seem to be allot of discussion as to what the big differences were like Im trying to find out now.

I found the concensus saying that HLCD were the way to go to project sound out to the rider, but I also didn't see allot of comparison to setups costing much less.

Lots of DIY talk to for the setups, as well as posts on user setups. Bill from monster tower had a good post on a couple different setups using KB600 and Evid 6.2 doing a dB measurment at 80ft out with a mic. That to me was a good test but I was looking for a user feedback as well. A review from a rider sitting in a tube or on a board just going for a straight run and listening to different speaker setups and commenting on them, that would be a good test for me.

I dont know anybody with a tower setup, and wakeboarding on my lake isn't that popular with expensive audio setups so its virtually impossible for me to have a listen for myself so its hard to make up my mind.
Old     (loudsubz)      Join Date: Aug 2001       12-30-2007, 8:35 PM Reply   

You make a good point as well. While Im not out to be the loudest on the lake, I just want to enjoy music while I ride. Our lake is small some any tunes on the water can be heard on shore most definately, and it can be disturbing if your trying to relax so it will be something I take into great consideration.

As for cheap setups, something like 4 X Kicker Kb600's and a 400 watt amp would be about $400 total. Thats a cheap setup, but then again I have no idea how it would sound in real life.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-30-2007, 9:59 PM Reply   
I have 4 of the Dbot5 8" tower speakers run by a Kicker 700.4 amp. It's crazy loud even from 80' back. And it's amazing how directional the sound is. It's not nearly as loud 80' out towards the sides, only in the wake.
Old     (seattle)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-31-2007, 12:34 PM Reply   

I have the Kicker setup your talking about sitting in my attic. They can be heard back at the rider, and they sound great in and around the boat. I went with NVS Tyrants this past year because I wanted more volume back at the rider. If your interested in purchasing them shoot me a pm.
Old     (loudsubz)      Join Date: Aug 2001       12-31-2007, 1:06 PM Reply   
thanks Cliff, I saw those posted in my other thread.

I know you said they sound great IN and AROUND the boat, but how nice do they sound at the rider.You said they can be heard, but theres a difference from just hearing the music slightly and feeling like your close to the speakers.

Looking forward to more input.

Old     (suprasteve)      Join Date: Nov 2004       12-31-2007, 4:38 PM Reply   
Matt (loudsubz)..I have a 2005 Supra 21v. It came w/ the stock kenwood 6.5 speakers on the tower and i was pushing approximately 75watts RMS to each, and you could somewhat hear the music playing when riding. I think my stereo goes up to 31 or 32 and i usually played it at about 22. It was loud enuff to be able to tell what song was playing. They were plenty loud enuff for hanging out in a cove partying, swimming or whatever...

I have since upgraded to 2 wetsound 485's on the tower, and obviously there is no comparision. You can hear them as if you were at a rock show their so loud at 80ft back.

hope this helps!!!
Old     (seattle)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-31-2007, 5:03 PM Reply   

You can hear the sound clearly and relatively loud with them to the rider, but they can't compare to the pro audio. I liked the sound and I was able to enjoy the music with the Kicker's but I wanted LOUD at the rider so I went to pro audio.
Old     (atropine)      Join Date: Aug 2004       12-31-2007, 6:21 PM Reply   
Look for some good used HLCD speakers. I got my set of Wetsounds Pro 80's with the Kicker KX650.4 amp that the previous owner was using to drive them for $650. They were in great shape and they sound fantastic. I have seen other sets of Pro 80's go for a similar price, and you can find a decent Clarion amp to drive them for around $250.
Old     (hamkj)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-01-2008, 12:20 PM Reply
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       01-01-2008, 3:19 PM Reply   

I think there has been lots of good information for you here.

I have heard a lot of setups. NVS or Wetsounds top the list for quality and projection to the rider. A 4 can system will sound very nice and clear at idle speeds or at rest. You can spend a lot for an expensive 4 can setup and hear things about as well as an HLCD setup, but then you are in the same price range and running them a lot harder.

A cheap 4 can speaker system will allow you to hear the music while riding, but you can see what most people end up doing once their budget allows it.

I wonder about car speakers playing for extended periods at higher volumes, and also wonder about the durability in the elements.

I would be all over Cliff's system in a heartbeat if I were on a budget and wanted a stereo for the rider. That would be a terrific setup for a very inexpensive price.
Old     (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       01-02-2008, 8:50 AM Reply   
Cliff can you check your PM
Old     (lcky275)      Join Date: Jul 2002       01-02-2008, 9:12 AM Reply   
What kind of boat do you have? If you can put a fresh air exhaust on your boat that will make a ton of difference, and you won't have to get nearly the speaker to overcome the engine noise.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       01-02-2008, 9:31 AM Reply   
Lucky is right. It is the best $400 you can invest in your stereo.
Old     (prostartjh)      Join Date: Nov 2006       01-02-2008, 12:43 PM Reply   
I just got my Fresh Air Exhaust system. My hope it that it will greatly quite my L18 (8.1L) engine. I also went to the NVS Tyrant tower speakers.
Old     (rcogrady)      Join Date: Jan 2008       01-04-2008, 10:41 AM Reply   
New User, good discussion. I'm looking at speakers also. My question is with the wet sounds speakers the pro 485 and the pro 80 both have the hlcd (apparently with a different makeup). Is there any difference between these two that would create a big difference in sound. I'm going to buy speakers but I want the best.
Old     (seattle)      Join Date: Mar 2002       01-06-2008, 3:02 PM Reply   
My speakers are still for sale.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-06-2008, 3:12 PM Reply   

I have heard a 4 Pro 60 side by side with a 2 set up Pro 80 and it was a very close comparison. Dont know what amp was driving the Pro 80's so not a real apples to apple.

Not sure about your tower/bimini setup, but I would look at the size of the 2 first, and then go from there.
Old     (rcogrady)      Join Date: Jan 2008       01-07-2008, 1:51 PM Reply   
Thanks TigeMike, very helpful. Thanks matt for letting me get some help on your feed. Here's a pic of my boat, I just got two batracks with afttershock so I'm looking to get some sound. So I was looking at the 60's or 80's.Upload


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