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H20 Stereo & LED lighting recommendations


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Hello everyone.  We just ordered a 21' H20 Ski & Fish which will arrive in May.  This will be our 2nd boat; the 1st was a 17' Crestliner with a 115HP Evinrude that was older than I am.  So this is our first new/nice boat.  We wanted something with enough room to host a few friends on the lake for swimming/tubing that would still work well for fishing.  We thought the H20 S&F was the ticket.  :)

Intro aside, I'm well aware that the factory stereo leaves a lot to be desired.  We chose not to pay for the upgraded option from Chaparral as we were planning on going aftermarket anyway.  I'm looking for any advice/experience/recommendations you all may have concerning stereo components and LED lighting as I may add some lights as well.  Items of note:

  • Budget of $2K or less, preferably less
  • We opted for the Yamaha F200 outboard, which has a 50 amp alternator/stator
  • We chose NOT to get a tower, so tower speakers are not an option 
  • We are upgrading to a larger 36V trolling motor w/3 size 31 AGM batteries in addition to the starting battery
  • Optimally would like high SQ and decent volume within the boat and nearby while swimming.  We don't need someone being towed on a tube/skis to hear the music.
  • I've looked at JL and Wet Sounds

Questions:

  1. Is the stock head unit sufficient (I think the base is a Jensen) considering power will be coming from an external Amp?
  2. Can one of the trolling motor batteries be easily used for both trolling motor and stereo (not simultaneously, but via a battery selector/switch)?
  3. Personal recommendations on JL vs Wet Sounds?  
  4. Stick with 6.5" replacements, or move up to 7.7"?  
  5. Add another pair of speakers in the stern?  Stock it only comes with 2 in the bow and 2 by driver/passenger.  Can people seated in the stern hear the music given this placement?
  6. LED lighting recommendations?  Speaker rings or behind tweeter, cup holder rings, or strips?  RGB vs matching the factory 4 blue LED's that come with the boat?  Underwater?

Thanks in advance!

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1) You need to know if the head unit has at least 2 pair of RCA outputs and a remote turn-on output. I know of one Jensen model used that does not have a turn-on. Complete pain to deal with. 

2) Ive done this for a winch on a golf cart, but never an amp. Golf cart pros frown on it as you are pulling down one battery in the pack, forcing the others to bleed over into it. My guess is that the trolling bank will not be tied to the engine, so your stereo would be drawing off a stand-alone battery. I would probably install a dual bank switch and another g-31 for house bank. Install a 2 bank charger for the main and house. 

3) Out of the JL line, I think the MX is a better sounding speaker then the M. However, I think the new Wet Sounds Revo-6 sounds incredible. Has 8 grill options and comes standard with RGB LEDs. You can wire up just the blue or wire up all 3 colors to a controller and choose your color or light mode. Even have them dance along to the music if you like. 

4) if space and budget permits, going up in speaker size is always a plus. In addition to the JL 7.7, also consider the Kicker KM8. 2 grill color choices and also comes standard with RGB LEDs. nearly the same size as the 7.7. A little larger then the KM8 and 7.7, would the Revo-8 and JL 880. The 880 is real deep though. and both have a 9" OD. Huge speakers. 

5) I would consider it. This gives you more volume in the boat but at a lower volume level on the dial. 

6) Since you are replacing speakers, skip the rings and go with a speaker with the LEDs built in. This would give you light in the bow and cabin. That should be pretty good illumination. 

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16 minutes ago, Was_Wylie_Tunes said:

1) You need to know if the head unit has at least 2 pair of RCA outputs and a remote turn-on output. I know of one Jensen model used that does not have a turn-on. Complete pain to deal with. 

2) Ive done this for a winch on a golf cart, but never an amp. Golf cart pros frown on it as you are pulling down one battery in the pack, forcing the others to bleed over into it. My guess is that the trolling bank will not be tied to the engine, so your stereo would be drawing off a stand-alone battery. I would probably install a dual bank switch and another g-31 for house bank. Install a 2 bank charger for the main and house. 

3) Out of the JL line, I think the MX is a better sounding speaker then the M. However, I think the new Wet Sounds Revo-6 sounds incredible. Has 8 grill options and comes standard with RGB LEDs. You can wire up just the blue or wire up all 3 colors to a controller and choose your color or light mode. Even have them dance along to the music if you like. 

4) if space and budget permits, going up in speaker size is always a plus. In addition to the JL 7.7, also consider the Kicker KM8. 2 grill color choices and also comes standard with RGB LEDs. nearly the same size as the 7.7. A little larger then the KM8 and 7.7, would the Revo-8 and JL 880. The 880 is real deep though. and both have a 9" OD. Huge speakers. 

5) I would consider it. This gives you more volume in the boat but at a lower volume level on the dial. 

6) Since you are replacing speakers, skip the rings and go with a speaker with the LEDs built in. This would give you light in the bow and cabin. That should be pretty good illumination. 

Thanks for the feedback. 

1. I'm fairly sure I'll just replace the Jensen unit with a Fusion so I can have NMEA 2000 compatibility for controls on the Lowrance HDS fish finder we are putting in.  I'll take a look at what it comes with and go from there.

2. I was hoping to avoid this, but if that's how it has to be.  This means I'll end up with 5 batteries in the boat....that's a lot of weight!  

3.  I was leaning towards either MX650 or MX770 plus a 10" sub in the port console.  I get built in blue LED's which match the factory LED's.  To go RGB I'd need rings or to go the Wet Sounds route.  I'm personally not a huge fan of the Wet Sounds grills/appearance.  I think the JL with the sport grills look nice.

4.  I think I can probably fit the 7.7" speakers, but will have to measure once the boat arrives.I'm not sure if going 6 x 6.5" (adding 2 in the stern) vs the 4 stock locations with 7.7" would work better.  I just think the stock speaker placement is a bit odd due to not having thing in the stern.  

6. I'll likely start with the speakers with LED's built in, and see if that's enough.  Possibly add strips/underwater/cup holder lighting down the road if necessary/desired.

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31 minutes ago, Futzin' said:

These are Wet Sounds Revo6 and Revo8.  Several grill options available.  I went with a traditional look.  Just to give you a point of reference.  Have fun!

 

How do you like the setup?  Do you have tower speakers additionally, or just the 4?  

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31 minutes ago, Unclebenny said:

How do you like the setup?  Do you have tower speakers additionally, or just the 4?  

I do not have tower speakers, nor intend to get any.  My in-boat speakers are plenty loud enough for swimming, and I'm not into projecting my music across the entire lake for skiers/'boarders (and anyone else within sight).   They're out there to ski, not hang out all day listening to music.  (Sorry, got soap boxy there).   I have six in-boat speakers: four 6.5s and two 8s.  I like them fine but they need a sub; not full bodied enough, IMO.   I bought the two 8s hoping to avoid a sub.  I'm adding a sub soon. 

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I liked the JL 'M' series a bit better than the Revos, but couldn't justify the price point.  I did like the MX line pretty well.  Wasn't able to find any Fusion around here to listen to.  Historically, I like Polk Audio but they're not offering a white grill.  Kicker is also well worth consideration, IMO.

Four well-fed speakers will likely be sufficient for your needs.  You can always add a third pair later if you want more sound.

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1 hour ago, Futzin' said:

I liked the JL 'M' series a bit better than the Revos, but couldn't justify the price point.  I did like the MX line pretty well.  Wasn't able to find any Fusion around here to listen to.  Historically, I like Polk Audio but they're not offering a white grill.  Kicker is also well worth consideration, IMO.

Four well-fed speakers will likely be sufficient for your needs.  You can always add a third pair later if you want more sound.

I'm definitely doing a sub either way.  The issue is I'd need a 800/8 amp if I went 6 speakers vs the 600/6 for 4 speakers and the sub.  I need to find someplace to listen to all of these brands in person before making any decision I think.  I really appreciate your input though!

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28 minutes ago, Unclebenny said:

The issue is I'd need a 800/8 amp if I went 6 speakers vs the 600/6 for 4 speakers and the sub. 

No issue at all. Any 5 or 6 chnl amp can drive 3 pair of speakers and a woofer.

Besides the JL M600/6, the Wet Sounds HTX-6 will drive a mild 10 or 12 inch 4 ohm woofer @ 300W rms and roughly 75W rms for each in-boat. The Syn-DX6 and SDX-6 will drive a moderate 4 ohm woofer @ 600W rms and 100W rms to the in-boats (DX6 and 145W rms (SDX-6) for the in-boats.  

Also have the JL M700/5 and M1000/5

The Kicker KXMA 800.5 is a solid amp. 400W for a 2 ohm woofer and 50W rms for 2 to 4 pair of in-boats. 

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1 hour ago, Was_Wylie_Tunes said:

No issue at all. Any 5 or 6 chnl amp can drive 3 pair of speakers and a woofer.

Besides the JL M600/6, the Wet Sounds HTX-6 will drive a mild 10 or 12 inch 4 ohm woofer @ 300W rms and roughly 75W rms for each in-boat. The Syn-DX6 and SDX-6 will drive a moderate 4 ohm woofer @ 600W rms and 100W rms to the in-boats (DX6 and 145W rms (SDX-6) for the in-boats.  

Also have the JL M700/5 and M1000/5

The Kicker KXMA 800.5 is a solid amp. 400W for a 2 ohm woofer and 50W rms for 2 to 4 pair of in-boats. 

I just want to make sure everything is getting adequate power.  Think JL and Wet Sounds are recommending 70-125w to each channel depending on the speaker/size, plus a couple hundred for the sub. 

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2 hours ago, Was_Wylie_Tunes said:

What I like to do, make my speaker choices first, including quantities, then the amp options are easy to make. 

This is easier to do after you've lived with the boat for a while.

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