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Old    Jeff Schaber (p40whk)      Join Date: Mar 2011       03-30-2011, 8:29 AM Reply   
I'm re-doing the sound system in my boat and it currently has the head unit on the passenger side where I can't get to it while driving. All of my amps are mounted over there along with the power, ground and speaker runs.

I'm considering moving everything over to the driver (Starboard) side of the boat but it's a huge job. If i just move the head unit I'll end up with long (around the bow) signal runs to the Amps but shorter speaker wire runs. If I move the amps over with the head unit, I get shorter signal runs and shorter runs to the battery but longer speaker runs.

I'm leaning towards moving everything but wondered if it's better to have short signal runs or does it even matter?
Old    Benjamin (bendow)      Join Date: Sep 2005       03-30-2011, 8:46 AM Reply   
that does sound like a lot of work. Your head unit doesn't have a remote control? If you're planning on moving just the head unit you need to find out what the pre-out voltage is on your head unit...you'll likely need a line amp for the RCA's. If you're running longer speaker wire runs I'd use 12ga speaker wire. You can get 100ft of good 12ga speaker wire from monoprice.com for $30 or less, they also have quality RCA's in various lengths for good prices as well.
Old    Scott (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-30-2011, 8:52 AM Reply   
I have my head unit in the dash toward the outside and my amps under the observer seat. I would say my RCA runs are about 6-8' cables. I have never noticed a problem with signal degridation. Many people have set up their Nautiques this way. I would not take on the project of moving everything. At the very least, hook it up without moving the amps and test it. It may cost you a few dollars for the RCA cables, but I sincerely doubt that it will be a sunk cost, because one you set it up, you will find that you do not need to move the amps.

I second Monoprice as a good source for cable needs.
Old    Jeff Schaber (p40whk)      Join Date: Mar 2011       03-30-2011, 8:58 AM Reply   
Just bought a new head unit (Kenwood KMR700U) and do have the wired remote but I want to put that on the back of the boat for social swims. The head unit has 3, 4-volt pre-outs but I'm hooking it up to a Wetsounds WS420 (I think that is 5 volt). If I leave the head unit where it is and use the remote, then I have to run RCA's from the HU around the Bow to the WS420 then back to the Amps, not the best option.

I hadn't considered getting larger gauge wire so thanks. It's the integration of the WS420 that's kind of throwing a wrench in the works. Obviously, I should have that as close to the head unit as possible so I was thinking of making a special bracket to hold both that and the HU.

Love Monoprice! Buy a lot from them.

Last edited by p40whk; 03-30-2011 at 9:02 AM.
Old    Scott (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-30-2011, 9:13 AM Reply   
I also have a WS-420. Mine is under the dash, so relatively close to the head unit. I would not want to have my WS-420 under my dash and my head unit in the glove box (although some people do have this setup). That is a lot of wires to run with moderately long runs.
Old    Jeff Schaber (p40whk)      Join Date: Mar 2011       03-30-2011, 9:24 AM Reply   
Scott, that's exactly what I'm facing. I can make a panel the will hold the new HU and WS420 without a problem, just don't know if I should move the amps as well. The hole in the glove box from my last head unit is already too big so I have to fabricate a plate for the hole anyway (or turn the glove box into a small cooler).

I still have a couple of months before the season starts here in the midwest so I have time to decide. Just trying to weigh my options. I hate running wires so even though it's a lot of work to move everything, the install will be much cleaner.

WS told me I should be Ok with long RCA's but I know the longer the wire the more resistance you add and every little bit adds up.
Old    Scott (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-30-2011, 9:47 AM Reply   
I would say go ahead and mount the H/U and WS-420 by the driver and leave the amps where they are. Moving the amps will be a pain, and not worth the trouble (unless you have other reasons to move the amps). Food for thought. I mounted my WS-420 basically under the H/U on the right hand side of the steering wheel. In my next boat, I'll mount the WS-420 on the left hand side of the steering wheel. This way, the person in the observer seat (aka "Coach") can easily handle the mic too.
Old    Jeff Schaber (p40whk)      Join Date: Mar 2011       03-30-2011, 9:53 AM Reply   
Good idea Scott, I was going to mount the WS420 directly under the HU on the right side and mount my ship to shore radio on the left side. I'll have to take a look at how all that fits now..

I'm adding some LED internal lighting and switches for a new horn for my tower so I need more panel space anyway. Lot's of boat projects this spring but the horn is for all those damn old men in pontoons that cut me off! ()
Old    Scott (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-30-2011, 10:26 AM Reply   
Lol. Nice. My first car was a 1979 Catalina Safari Wagon that we called "The Sasquatch". It had dual horns that sounded like a Mack truck. Always good for a laugh.
Old     (frosty2469)      Join Date: Apr 2010       03-30-2011, 6:25 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by p40whk View Post
I'm re-doing the sound system in my boat and it currently has the head unit on the passenger side where I can't get to it while driving. All of my amps are mounted over there along with the power, ground and speaker runs.

I'm considering moving everything over to the driver (Starboard) side of the boat but it's a huge job. If i just move the head unit I'll end up with long (around the bow) signal runs to the Amps but shorter speaker wire runs. If I move the amps over with the head unit, I get shorter signal runs and shorter runs to the battery but longer speaker runs.

I'm leaning towards moving everything but wondered if it's better to have short signal runs or does it even matter?
I'm in the middle of installing 3 amps under the observer's side, with an 420 and head unit on stbd side, left of the steering wheel.

I have the 5v outputs run around the bow, a 16 footer, and 2x 20 footers, I think...I have not had it on the water yet, but I have not noticed any problems at all with the long rca runs. Sounds clean to me, but I'm no audiophile.
Besides, I figure I can swing the cushion up on the observer's side, and get some ventilation under there... not sure where you were going to mount on the drivers' side, but airflow may be a concern.

David
Old    Sparky Jay (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       03-30-2011, 7:10 PM Reply   
I was always under the impression that shorter RCA's were better than longer as far as signal loss? And that cheaper cables should be avoided? Could be wrong of coarse since I don't do stereo install for a living. lol
Old    Benjamin (bendow)      Join Date: Sep 2005       03-30-2011, 8:34 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wake_upppp View Post
I was always under the impression that shorter RCA's were better than longer as far as signal loss? And that cheaper cables should be avoided? Could be wrong of coarse since I don't do stereo install for a living. lol
Shorter RCA's are better, but in the OP's case, having longer RCA's won't be an issue since he has the WS420 which boost the output voltage. Think about car audio, nearly everyone that has an amp, has it installed in the trunk/back....long RCA's.

As for cables, there are cheaper cables/wire, and there are name brand over-priced cables/wire. A lot of the issues with cheaper wire has to do with claiming to be say 0ga, and it's actually 2ga of wire with a thick coating. You can go pay $150 for Stinger 12ga wire or you can pay $25 for Monoprice 12ga wire, and I promise you will not be able to hear a difference. The pricey cables/wire are for the naive victims of good marketing.

You can learn about wire here

Last edited by bendow; 03-30-2011 at 8:38 PM.
Old    Benjamin (bendow)      Join Date: Sep 2005       03-30-2011, 8:48 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by p40whk View Post
Good idea Scott, I was going to mount the WS420 directly under the HU on the right side and mount my ship to shore radio on the left side. I'll have to take a look at how all that fits now..

I'm adding some LED internal lighting and switches for a new horn for my tower so I need more panel space anyway. Lot's of boat projects this spring but the horn is for all those damn old men in pontoons that cut me off! ()
That horn reminds me of this...too funny! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jel6c...feature=relmfu
Old    Justin (jrw160)      Join Date: Oct 2006       03-31-2011, 9:43 AM Reply   
I haven't noticed any signal quality issues with my head unit and amps on the observer's side connected by 15ft RCA cables to the ws420 on the driver's side. I'm using the "premium" rcas from monoprice.
Old    Tampa Wake (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       03-31-2011, 9:54 AM Reply   
I would not hassle with it. My 420 is on drivers side and head unit in glove box. No noise no loss of sound. To me just not worth the hassle you should be fine. Definitely would not move amps. But its your time.
Old    Fred (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       03-31-2011, 5:40 PM Reply   
I had my 420 by my drivers side, head unit on the observer side, but I also have 2 wired remotes. One at the helm and one on the transom. I have never noticed any sound issues with routing the rca's around the bow.

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