Marine Electronics Forum - Wiring up 6 speakers

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View Full Version : Wiring up 6 speakers


kawliga
03-24-2012, 11:36 AM
Good afternoon,

The 1991 Tiara 3100 FlyBridge I bought last fall had the original deck and 4 speakers.
Good kenwood unit but cassette player, am/fm only... so it had to go. There are 2 6" round speakers in the cabin, and 2 6" round speakers in the forward cockpit...(by the helm and companion seats).

The head unit is located in the cabin.

I picked up a westmarine head unit, 240 watt, 60 per...with built in card slot, USB and am/fm/cd. It came with an IR remote and a RF remote. I bench tested the unit and the RF remote works awesome from as far away as 100 feet or so. Gotta love an RF remote

At this time I do not want to add an amp, but I do want more sound to the cockpit area as we fish a lot. I am planning to mount 2 fusion 6" box speakers on the flybridge, facing down to the cockpit. (they can also be rotated to provide sound to the flybridge helm if required).

I would really like to keep the option to have all 6 speakers. 95% of the time it will just be the 4 exterior speakers, and the cabin speakers do not need to fire....

I have an older speaker switch that I used to use to control my home stereo, which I ran with 6 speakers...

As far as I know the 4 current speakers are 4 ohm....and the new fusions are 4 ohms.

Will the speaker switch work ok?

Is there a better way to hook them up....?

Thanks for any and all advice

Mike


bradv
03-25-2012, 04:03 AM
Does ur head unit have bult in zone control?

kawliga
03-25-2012, 04:24 AM
Unfortunately not


bradv
03-25-2012, 04:36 AM
Are all speakers going to be on amp?

bradv
03-25-2012, 04:39 AM
U can't run all 6 at the same time. I'd get a little 4 channel clarion amp and hook the outside speakers to it. Connect ur cabin speakers to the front speaker wire from the head unit and use the rear rca output to input ur amp. Then just fade front to back to either have everything on or not have the cabin on

RichieRich777
03-25-2012, 06:36 AM
You can definitely run all 6 at the same time. The easiest way to explain it is to tell u to google "running speakers in parallel"... It's real easy. Basically by wiring like this you drop the ohm load and the radios built in amp will adjust and put out more power. What you find is that you will need to hook 4 speakers to the rear channel and 2 speakers to the front channel so if fading from front to rear is something you'll use keep this in mind. What I mean is, on my boat, I have the 4 speakers that are in the cockpit hooked up to the rear because the 2 front speakers are in the salon... If I'm in the cockpit my wife and kids may be watching tv and not want to hear the radio so I can set the fader to the rear and only the outside speakers will be on.... Hope this helps.

Nasty Wendy
03-25-2012, 12:21 PM
You can definitely run all 6 at the same time. The easiest way to explain it is to tell u to google "running speakers in parallel"... It's real easy. Basically by wiring like this you drop the ohm load and the radios built in amp will adjust and put out more power. What you find is that you will need to hook 4 speakers to the rear channel and 2 speakers to the front channel so if fading from front to rear is something you'll use keep this in mind. What I mean is, on my boat, I have the 4 speakers that are in the cockpit hooked up to the rear because the 2 front speakers are in the salon... If I'm in the cockpit my wife and kids may be watching tv and not want to hear the radio so I can set the fader to the rear and only the outside speakers will be on.... Hope this helps.

Make sure your radio can handle a 2Ω load before you do this.

bradv
03-25-2012, 12:25 PM
Yeah most head units aren't 2 ohm stable and if u run them in series then they get even less power and if its not loud enough now it definately won't be when u cut power to them assuming ur head unit can handle 8 ohms.

DirtBusters
03-25-2012, 12:34 PM
You can run all six. My reccommendation would be to take the 6.5 inch round speakers, wire them in series with each other. Effectively creating an 8 ohm load out of 2 4 ohm speakers. Yeah, you will lose some power but its a hell of a lot safer than running a decks internal amplifier at 2 ohms on on side. Then I would run with Fusion box speakers off the 2 (rear) channels.

RichieRich777
03-25-2012, 02:14 PM
Any car stereo is capable of 2ohms. I would not wire a stereo on a boat in series. It takes more power. Last thing you want when you are at sea is something causing an extra heavy draw. Home stereos and speakers are 8 ohms for a reason. They are plugged into 110 volts and 8 ohms take a lot of power to run. Just my 2 cents tho.... Let us know either way how you make out.

kawliga
03-25-2012, 04:52 PM
Thanks guys for feedback....not sure I like the idea of stressing the head unit at 2 ohms. I don't care if I run all 6 at once....it may only be rarely wehn I want them in the cabin...like ducking out of a rain storm etc...The speaker switch lets you switch A+B, A+C, etc...it worked on my home unit ok, but I do not want to take any chances on the boat install....anyone familair with these switches??

Mike

bradv
03-25-2012, 05:03 PM
If u don't want an amp then do 4 speakers in series and the cabin on their own channels. Fade front to back be done with it. Ur switch sounds good until u run a and b and fry ur head unit.

AlexCT
03-25-2012, 07:18 PM
I wouldn't stress that unit. Those WM stereos are made by dual, a brand not exactly known for their quality. Rf remotes are sweet though.

manethon
03-25-2012, 07:35 PM
Do it right, get an amp. Many small amps on the market that can fit in small spaces.
Run your 4 speakers off the amp- RCA front
Then 2 off the deck- rear.
You will get way better sound and no issues
Alpine makes a stout small amp that is very small that most people can hide behind a deck

DirtBusters
03-27-2012, 01:51 PM
LOL, at series causing more current draw! Lower impedance causes more current draw. By wiring the speakers in series to get an 8 ohm load, it actually DECREASES the load the amplifier sees. Yeah, it wont be as loud so you'll have to turn it up but you still wont be drawing more current than at 4 ohms, much less if you wired 2 pair in parallel and the amp was seeing a 2 ohm load. Yeah, the built in head unit amp can handle a 2 ohm load, but for how long. They arent nearly as advanced as an external amplifier


And home audio DOES NOT DRAW NEAR the current of car audio. More voltage in requires less amperage to make power. Another thing, home audio drivers are MUCH MORE EFFICIENT than car audio drivers, and a lower resistance is easier to drive due to less moving mass. Wow, richie, I wanna learn where you learned....

manethon
03-27-2012, 02:01 PM
LOL, at series causing more current draw! Lower impedance causes more current draw. By wiring the speakers in series to get an 8 ohm load, it actually DECREASES the load the amplifier sees. Yeah, it wont be as loud so you'll have to turn it up but you still wont be drawing more current than at 4 ohms, much less if you wired 2 pair in parallel and the amp was seeing a 2 ohm load. Yeah, the built in head unit amp can handle a 2 ohm load, but for how long. They arent nearly as advanced as an external amplifier


And home audio DOES NOT DRAW NEAR the current of car audio. More voltage in requires less amperage to make power. Another thing, home audio drivers are MUCH MORE EFFICIENT than car audio drivers, and a lower resistance is easier to drive due to less moving mass. Wow, richie, I wanna learn where you learned....

Well said.
The issue is, the lower ohm rating you run your amps, the less efficient they become.
My competition set up I run my amps at .35, though decreasing the effic they produce way more power, but it's for 20 seconds as a burp. I'd never recommend running any amp or deck below rated resistance for music as music doesn't have close to the IMP rise burps do.

1 replace your 6.5s with 8 ohm pa drivers and parallel each set giving you a 4 ohm load and 8 speakers but I'd never run off deck power.

I'm on a boat
03-27-2012, 02:43 PM
Is there a better way to hook them up....?




Mike

Sure is. Go return that headunit to West Marine (open box is fine) and buy a Fusion IP600 or IP700 unit. The Fusion units are built with a 6channel amp, so you can get sound from all 6 speakers. You will need to buy an amp (Fusion makes an inline amp) to power up the 3rd set of speakers as the source only powers 4 channels (70x4).

The Fusion 600s and 700s both have wired remotes for about $140. The Fusion 700 series can actually work with an iphone/ipad for wireless control of music.

Whats more, the remotes and headunit can all control the volume for each zone, so you can have full sound in the cockpit, none in the cabin, and visa-versa.

Good Luck

MB Marine Electronics
03-28-2012, 05:12 AM
Wow there is a lot of advice here! You can use a switch and it may actually be the best way to do it. My only worry is that the switch you have will be an 8 or even 16 OHM switch since it is intended for home audio. If that is the case it will not work. No matter what anybody tells you, do not run your stereo at 8 OHMs, you will never even hear the speakers because you will be running twice as many speakers on half of the power. Some switches are adjustable, allowing you to control the OHM load seen by the radio, if yours is you want it to show 4 OHMs to the radio. If not you can run 2 pairs of speakers on 2 channels and the other pair on the other 2 channels from the radio, but be carefull because this is very stressfull on the radio and may actually cause it to overheat and shut down to protect itself. The best way to do it is to add an amplifier for sure, but if you dont want to I understand. Allow me to recomend the Fusion Zone amplifier which was made for exactly this situation. Check out the link below, I think this will give you the best result for the lowest cost. Thanks and good luck!

http://store.mbmarineelectronics.com/marine-alpines/fusion-ms-am702-marine-zone-amplifier



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