Tag: boat audio

Marine Audio Equipment

Marine Audio

Marine equipment is built with materials that are water, fog, salt, and UV ray resistant. These products guard against rust and overall wear and tear. The outstanding durability of the marine audio line allows you to enjoy your favorite music throughout every outdoor adventure.

Marine receivers are designed with conformal coated circuit boards to guard against rust. Many marine stereos are ready for satellite radio. If you get the proper setup (tuner, antenna, and subscription) you can listen to XM or Sirius while at sea, with the exception of those sailing more than 200 miles off shore or passing through the Bermuda Triangle. A marine speaker is made with water-resistant and weather-resistant materials to ensure long lasting audio playback. Many of our Marine speakers feature plastic cones and rubber surrounds for optimal durability. The marine subwoofers are fashioned with waterproof rubber mounting gaskets, and the bass tubes are water resistant enclosures that use weather resistant mounting straps to help sustain your bass despite stormy conditions. Marine amplifiers protect your audio system’s power from moisture and humidity with gasket-sealed covers for the top-mounted controls and endcaps. The marine amps feature rubber caps to cover the RCA inputs, silicone boots to shield the fuses, and their circuit boards have corrosion-deterring conformal coating. Finally, if you need to save space but want powerful sound, our powered marine subs offer bass and power in one package.

Check out all of our informative marine audio articles for more information on specific product features and install tips.

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How to Install a Marine Amplifier

Marine Amplifier

The amplifier is the power source to your boat audio system. The amplifier modulates power generated from the boat battery. We recommend using marine amplifiers because they are specially designed to withstand exposure to water and the sun. Installing a boat amplifier can be challenging, so read this overview and consult an experienced installer as a part of your preparation.

Required Tools:

  • Power and Ground Cable
  • Wire Cutter and Stripper
  • RCA Cables

You may also need one or more of the following:  Screwdrivers (Flat, Phillips) and Screws, Drill, Pliers, Knife, Flashlight, Saw, Soldering Gun

Decide on a Mounting Location

Mount the amplifier on a board somewhere out of the way. Marine amplifiers are typically mounted in the rear of the boat, below the seats or underneath the dashboard. Make sure the mounting area has adequate ventilation and is safe as possible from water and heat.

Wiring Configuration

You will need a wiring kit for your amplifier. You may also want to use an additional battery in your boat. You should use an inline fuse for safety reasons.

Run the power supply wire from the positive terminal on the boat battery to the positive input on the amplifier. Connect the ground wire to the ground terminal on the amp and run the other end to a piece of metal to ground the amp. You can use a screw or bolt to ground the amp.

Connect the amp to your marine stereo through the preamp inputs in the head unit. You will need speaker wire to connect speakers and/or subwoofers. You can wire your boat speakers in series or in parallel. In series, each speaker you add will increase the resistance, or Ohm load, in the channel. The higher the impedance an amplifier runs at, the smaller the amount of power flow. Many amplifiers can run at either 2 ohm or 4 ohm loads, but some are stable at 1 ohm loads for optimal RMS performance.

In parallel, each speaker you add will decrease the resistance in the channel. To decide on the wiring configuration, you will need to know your amplifier’s capability (can it be wired in parallel?) and ohm rating. You will also need to know your speakers ohm rating (usually 4 ohms) and the number of voice coils. Keep in mind that you should generally limit your amplifier usage to two speakers per channel.

Summary

Test the connections and calibrate the amplifier’s sound controls. Now that everything is wired up and mounted securely, you are ready to enjoy a great sound system on your boat.

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Boat Audio: How to Install a Marine Stereo into your Boat

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The first step is to decide where you would like to mount the marine stereo. Even though marine technology is waterproof and water resistant, it’s best to mount the stereo in a safe place. Try to mount it in a spot that is accessible but safe from water. If you don’t want to cut into your boat, you can use a gimbal mount to hold your boat head unit. Keep in mind that the recommended mounting angle is 20 degrees or less, though the stereo should function fine as long as you keep the mounting angle below 30 degrees. If you mount it an angle greater than 30 degrees, it might interfere with the shock protection.

If you are replacing your boat’s dash board stereo, it is likely that you will need to loosen nuts and unscrew the frame to access the wiring. You may also need to use a flat head screwdriver to pry the head unit from out of the slot. Once the head unit is hanging from the slot, unplug the wiring that connects the boat stereo to the power source and speakers, and then remove the head unit. Boat receiver wiring harnesses are not manufactured, so it will probably be a custom plug (unlike the kind of mass produced wire harnesses you typically see in car stereos).

If you are adding a stereo to a boat that has never had one, you will need to purchase or construct a stainless steel frame. Use a few nuts and screws to hold it in place. Look for a bracket that will help keep your stereo tight and secure. You might also want to get a splash cover to keep water from damaging your boat stereo.

When you put the new boat stereo in, you will have to custom splice the boat stereo’s wires to connect to the power source and speakers. Check your installation manual to figure out which color corresponds to each function. You should solder the spliced wires and use a heat gun to apply heat-shrink tubing to seal the connection. Once your connections are secure, place the new boat stereo in the opening and tighten the two nuts on the frame in the front. Secure the support bracket in the back, and plug in your custom wire harness and FM antenna. Don’t forget to plug them back into the negative battery terminal as well.

For most boats, you will need to find the ground block, which should be underneath the console. This is where the black ground wires are located. If you cannot find the ground block, you can also use the negative side of your battery. For the hot wires, use a wire test light tool to locate the lead to the battery and ignition. Connect the power and ground wire to the battery. Make sure to match the polarity.

Now that you have your boat stereo installed, it is wise to keep the cover on to protect from the outdoor elements. Marine technology is designed to last but it is not infallible.

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Marine Speaker Install Options and Functionality

Marine Speakers

Marine speakers are designed with water-resistant and UV-resistant materials for use in boats, motorcycles, spas, and other outdoor applications. Many of our Marine speakers feature plastic cones and rubber surrounds for optimal durability. These speakers can withstand light rain, moisture and damaging sun rays. It’s the little things that set marine speakers apart. Unlike ordinary car speakers, their tinsel leads and voice coils are protected from moisture to help prevent corrosion.

If you already have speakers in your boat, you can simply measure the hole space to figure out what size you will need for the replacements. If you do not have speakers in your boat or you want to add bigger speakers, you will have to modify your boat’s panels. Another option is to add Wakeboard tower speakers, a hugely popular marine speaker design. Wakeboard speakers are encased in individual tower enclosures, ready for mounting on wakeboard tower bars.

As I mentioned in the Selecting a Set of Car Speakers article, the sensitivity rating is the most important aspect to consider when gauging a speaker’s quality. This rating tells you how effectively a speaker converts power into sound. The higher the sensitivity rating, the more efficient the speaker and the louder it will play given a set amount of input power. This is especially important if you are placing marine speakers in a boat, because you will need these speakers to be loud enough to sound clear in an open air outdoor environment. Therefore, you should look for a pair of speakers with a high sensitivity rating, among other notable features such as RMS power ratings.

To be sure, marine speakers are not completely infallible. Water resistant means the marine speakers are protected against moisture. Though they will survive sporadic rainfall and water splashes, marine speakers are not completely waterproof. To illustrate, you cannot completely submerge your marine speakers and expect them to continue to function.

When installing your marine speakers, be sure to use waterproof marine speaker wire to safeguard your speakers from corrosion and water damage. Be sure to connect the terminals in phase and make sure that the connections are secure.

These tips should help you establish a nice sound for your boat or outdoor application. If you need more bass, you should consider adding marine subwoofers and marine amplifiers to your system.

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Marine Amplifier Install Options and Functionality

Marine Amplifier

Marine amplifiers will amp up the volume in your boat, motorcycle, spa, or for any of your outdoor applications. In the outdoor environment, it is important that you have enough power to drown out background noises. A marine amp will provide plenty of power for your marine speakers and marine subwoofers. They are built to last in outdoor environments, as marine amplifiers can withstand light rain, moisture and damaging sun rays.

Marine amplifiers protect your audio system’s power from moisture and humidity with gasket-sealed covers for the top-mounted controls and endcaps. The marine amps feature rubber caps to cover the RCA inputs, silicone boots to shield the fuses, and their circuit boards have corrosion-deterring conformal coating.

We carry marine amplifiers in mono, 2-channel, 4-channel and 5-channel models. Choose a marine amplifier based on the number of speakers you plan on connecting to the amp. For example, if you are going to have four marine speakers in your boat, you will want a 4-channel marine amplifier.

There are several different mounting options for your marine amplifier. You can mount your marine amplifier underneath your seats or under the dash for easy access. You could also mount the amplifier on the wakeboard tower by securing it to the tower bars. When considering mounting locations, keep in mind that you want to provide your marine amplifier with adequate ventilation. Be sure to pick a mounting location that will not constantly expose the amplifier to water and heat. Even though marine amplifiers are water-resistant, you want to protect them from water as much as possible.

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