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#4522679 - 09/21/17 10:11 PM Boat Speakers
Sierra048 Offline


Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 827
Loc: N. Georgia Mtns
As described on another thread, we just bought a pontoon boat. It came with a radio and two speakers. The speakers don't sound so good so I want to add two additional speakers to hopefully improve the sound. As explained in my other thread, I'm no audiophile and the sound doesn't have to be perfect. But, I think it should be better than it is now. I don't know what brand or the specifics of the two speakers that came with the boat. I'll find out tomorrow. I just read the radio manual, if you can call it that, and it says the output is 440w. Again, I'm assuming I can connect four speakers and get 40w going to each one. If I'm wrong please correct me because I really don't quite understand how these values affect speakers and the sound they produce. It was suggested by another poster in the other thread that I stay with marine grade speakers. I don't want top of the line speakers, just some that will put out decent sound to listen to while cruising or swimming. Can anyone coach me along and help me find some affordable speakers that might do the job?


Edited by Sierra048 (09/21/17 10:12 PM)
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#4522690 - 09/21/17 10:27 PM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8665
Loc: North Carolina
For a boat , i'd want a polypropylene speaker. You wont get a full 40 to each speaker without clipping. Maybe 20watts rms. To really listen to music with the boat running, you may need more power. 20w rms would be fine when you're anchored. You also need to know what resistance the amp wants, 4 ohm or 8 ohm etc. An 8 ohm speak is probably safe, do you have the manual or model and make of the stereo unit?

4x 40 means you have 4 channels at 40w each, but thats usually not 40w rms . You could add 2 speakers and i would replace the crummy sounding ones as well.

Its just important to know what the amp is rated at. If its 8 ohms and you use 4 ohm speakers the amp will get hot and probably fail.

I'd shop at crutchfield.

https://www.crutchfield.com/


Edited by spasm3 (09/21/17 10:41 PM)
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#4522715 - 09/21/17 10:51 PM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8665
Loc: North Carolina
What size speakers do you have in there now?

These are decent for the money.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113KFC1633/Kenwood-KFC-1633MRW.html?tp=61755

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158MP1611B/Sony-XSMP1611B.html?tp=61755

If you want a better unit, this sony is nice, 100w/40w RMS , probably double what you have now. Takes a 4 ohm speaker. $199.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158M100BT/Sony-MEX-M100BT.html


Edited by spasm3 (09/21/17 11:02 PM)
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#4522726 - 09/21/17 11:23 PM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
lawrencerd Offline


Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 116
Loc: NC
I don't think my particular models are still available but I have some Polk Audio car speakers that are dual rated for marine use and sound great. May be worth a look at their line.

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#4522770 - 09/22/17 01:59 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: lawrencerd]
rubberchicken Offline


Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Maryland USA
Originally Posted By: lawrencerd
I don't think my particular models are still available but I have some Polk Audio car speakers that are dual rated for marine use and sound great. May be worth a look at their line.


I have Polk 651 in the cockpit, and 651s (for shallow mount) in the cabin. Most Polk speakers are marine rated, although it is not obvious .

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#4522875 - 09/22/17 06:54 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
copcarguy Offline


Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 335
Loc: PA
+1 on Crutchfield.

Call one of their advisors, explain what your goal is, and they'll give you great advice.

They're a very reputable and trustworthy company IMO.

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#4522918 - 09/22/17 07:46 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
Papa Bear Offline


Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 7054
Loc: Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
More speakers may not "improve" the sound.
You have to find out what is lacking in the 2 speakers that are currently in place (bad drivers, inadequate enclosures, poor placement etc)

Good luck in your audio education and endeavours.
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#4522937 - 09/22/17 08:08 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Papa Bear]
krismoriah72 Offline


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1519
Loc: wv

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#4522995 - 09/22/17 09:12 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: spasm3]
Sierra048 Offline


Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 827
Loc: N. Georgia Mtns
Originally Posted By: spasm3
For a boat , i'd want a polypropylene speaker. You wont get a full 40 to each speaker without clipping. Maybe 20watts rms. To really listen to music with the boat running, you may need more power. 20w rms would be fine when you're anchored. You also need to know what resistance the amp wants, 4 ohm or 8 ohm etc. An 8 ohm speak is probably safe, do you have the manual or model and make of the stereo unit?

4x 40 means you have 4 channels at 40w each, but thats usually not 40w rms . You could add 2 speakers and i would replace the crummy sounding ones as well.

Its just important to know what the amp is rated at. If its 8 ohms and you use 4 ohm speakers the amp will get hot and probably fail.

I'd shop at crutchfield.

https://www.crutchfield.com/


This is why I post on BITOG. So many knowledgable people. The radio is a PRV19 made by Prospect Electronics (?). If the price of speakers is based on the ohms, with 8 being cheaper than 4, I'd put my money on 8 ohm speakers currently installed (we haven't been back to the boat yet. Heading there this afternoon). I have no clue what clipping is or what rms means. I appreciate you bringing these things up and I will try to do some seaches on them. The manual for the radio itself was a small five page booklet that didn't say much. I felt fortunate to be able to post what little info there was.


Edited by Sierra048 (09/22/17 09:17 AM)
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#4523017 - 09/22/17 09:30 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Sierra048
As described on another thread, we just bought a pontoon boat. It came with a radio and two speakers. The speakers don't sound so good so I want to add two additional speakers to hopefully improve the sound. As explained in my other thread, I'm no audiophile and the sound doesn't have to be perfect. But, I think it should be better than it is now. I don't know what brand or the specifics of the two speakers that came with the boat. I'll find out tomorrow. I just read the radio manual, if you can call it that, and it says the output is 440w. Again, I'm assuming I can connect four speakers and get 40w going to each one. If I'm wrong please correct me because I really don't quite understand how these values affect speakers and the sound they produce. It was suggested by another poster in the other thread that I stay with marine grade speakers. I don't want top of the line speakers, just some that will put out decent sound to listen to while cruising or swimming. Can anyone coach me along and help me find some affordable speakers that might do the job?
Try Parts Express or Crutchfield. Both sell a good selection of marine grade speakers. You'll probably need a good size amp to overcome engine noise.

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#4523021 - 09/22/17 09:36 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: spasm3]
Sierra048 Offline


Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 827
Loc: N. Georgia Mtns
Originally Posted By: spasm3
What size speakers do you have in there now?

These are decent for the money.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113KFC1633/Kenwood-KFC-1633MRW.html?tp=61755

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158MP1611B/Sony-XSMP1611B.html?tp=61755

If you want a better unit, this sony is nice, 100w/40w RMS , probably double what you have now. Takes a 4 ohm speaker. $199.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158M100BT/Sony-MEX-M100BT.html


Really appreciate the knowledge and help Spasm3. I'll definitely give Crutchfield a call when we get back from the boat this afternoon. I'm looking forward to finding out exactly what kind of speakers are currently on the boat. I'll gather that info and let you know. I'm guessing here but I would suspect the radio itself was installed based on a cheap price by the factory. Is a 4x40w unit going to be able tp provide adequate sound with the right speakers, if that's even a factor? I know it's just a pontoon boat and not a symphony hall. Sorry for the ignorance. I've just never been an audiophile like some. I would just like to get music sound that's pleasing to listen to.
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#4523028 - 09/22/17 09:44 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Sierra048
Originally Posted By: spasm3
For a boat , i'd want a polypropylene speaker. You wont get a full 40 to each speaker without clipping. Maybe 20watts rms. To really listen to music with the boat running, you may need more power. 20w rms would be fine when you're anchored. You also need to know what resistance the amp wants, 4 ohm or 8 ohm etc. An 8 ohm speak is probably safe, do you have the manual or model and make of the stereo unit?

4x 40 means you have 4 channels at 40w each, but thats usually not 40w rms . You could add 2 speakers and i would replace the crummy sounding ones as well.

Its just important to know what the amp is rated at. If its 8 ohms and you use 4 ohm speakers the amp will get hot and probably fail.

I'd shop at crutchfield.

https://www.crutchfield.com/


This is why I post on BITOG. So many knowledgable people. The radio is a PRV19 made by Prospect Electronics (?). If the price of speakers is based on the ohms, with 8 being cheaper than 4, I'd put my money on 8 ohm speakers currently installed (we haven't been back to the boat yet. Heading there this afternoon). I have no clue what clipping is or what rms means. I appreciate you bringing these things up and I will try to do some seaches on them. The manual for the radio itself was a small five page booklet that didn't say much. I felt fortunate to be able to post what little info there was.
RMS is the measurement of power output which has some connection with reality. A five watt RMS amp might, by an ad man, be said to produce 100 watts for a microsecond. The ad liars would call that a "100 watt" peak amp to sell it. The RMS figure is the useful measurement of power output over the long term. "Clipping" is the point where the amplifier can no longer exactly follow the peak value of the signal being fed to it, and distortion you can hear is the result. TO avoid clipping you need an amp with plenty of "headroom" to reproduce the peaks fed to it. Clipping will make a music system tiresome to listen to over time. BTW there's no relationship between cost and ohm impedance value, it's just a design target.

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#4523053 - 09/22/17 10:10 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
DeepFriar Offline


Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 1375
Loc: Georgia
My .02 for what it may be worth.... I agree with others that the Polk line will provide wide choice and good speakers. I have used Infinity and prefer them when I can find the right application. To my ears they usually provide a cleaner mid-range sound without so much emphasis on bass (which is very hard to do well with speakers in this size range) and without being too "bright" (harsh, screechy, un-bass if you will). There has been a lot of consolidation in the speaker business and I'm unsure if anything I recommend will be timely but it was as good as I could add. Good luck, and depending on the budget, add a quality amp or combo unit (player with amp), high quality wires/connectors/dielectric grease on contacts/shrink wrap, etc. for best, long lasting results (you don't want to do this every year due to corrosion, etc.). You sound like you are farther east than me. Where do you boat with the pontoon?

Oh, and Crutchfield definitely, but ask a lot of questions to see if you are comfortable with the advice you're getting. Make 'em work a little.


Edited by DeepFriar (09/22/17 10:13 AM)

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#4523067 - 09/22/17 10:20 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: HerrStig]
alarmguy Offline


Registered: 07/10/12
Posts: 2152
Loc: South Carolina
"RMS is the measurement of power output which has some connection with reality. A five watt RMS amp might, by an ad man, be said to produce 100 watts for a microsecond. The ad liars would call that a "100 watt" peak amp to sell it. The RMS figure is the useful measurement of power output over the long term."

Well said, power ratings on low cost electronics are useless, mostly because people do not understand power ratings and they are taken advantage of by the low product cost companies.

Also with RMS one would need to know at what distortion level and frequency range to know the true useful power output.
Chances are the output of that boat radio is around 2 to 4 watts per channel.
I would opt for a respectable amplifier and if your unsure of what you are doing, then yes, the extra cost of buying through Crutchfield is definitely worth it. You get what you pay for and with them part of that cost is the support and advice you get.

and ... the price of speakers have nothing to do with OHMs. 8 OHM speakers are easier on the power amp and actually might be better for it if its a cheap amp. You may see some speakers at 4 OHMs are more money but more so as they are expected to be on systems with adequate amplifiers as they draw more current, last but not least and most important is the actual sound level the speakers produce for the amount of wattage they are receiving but again, you will never see correct numbers in lower cost equipment.


Edited by alarmguy (09/22/17 10:27 AM)
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#4523075 - 09/22/17 10:32 AM Re: Boat Speakers [Re: Sierra048]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13466
Loc: Chicago, IL
The amplifiers built into most headunits are pretty weak, and the problem with a boat is that you are playing sound into the open air and not into a small enclosed space (like a car). It takes a LOT of power to do that.

Pretty much every boat I have been on had a terrible stereo because the headunits are often cranked to maximum volume and the speakers clip like crazy. If you really want something that sounds good, you will probably need to invest in an external amplifier. I'm not sure how this works for boats when it comes to keeping it dry and out of the sun.

Honestly, you might do better buying a nice Bluetooth speaker. For $200 you can get some decent ones that get fairly loud.
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