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Do I need an amp???

Old 03-27-2007, 05:12 PM
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Default Do I need an amp???

I have a Clarion CMD3 with 2 JL Audio co-axials in my Pathfinder. I want to add two more speakers. Do I need an amp? Is the Clarion a good match power-wise for the JL's?

If I do need an amp, what is the benefit? Will it sound/clearer better at high volumes?


Thanks for the help in advance,

Fletch ;?
Old 03-27-2007, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

NO.. we install 4 JL coaxial speakers all the time with Clarion head units. You should be just fine.
Old 03-27-2007, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

Thanks. For the advice and the speakers!

Fletch
Old 03-28-2007, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

do you want them to sound much better? if so, then yes, you need an amp.
Old 03-28-2007, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

Duct, why dont you go buy him the amp. Im sure he's crawling with money. Try it without the amp first, if need an amp after that go buy one.
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

dont get pissy with me, its a fact that high quality speakers like the JLs sound better with an amp. I have done an A/B comparison with and without an amp with the JL speakers. and they sound better with the amp.

if you are going with a cheaper speaker, then you probably wont gain much. but i wouldnt spend the money on a speaker like the JLs without giving them the power that they deserve.

his question was will they sound better, the answer is yes, they will sound better.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

What is the power output of the CMD3? The new CMD5 is rated for 21 RMS watts per channel. If the CMD3 is similar, then it seems to me that the power is very marginal to drive the JL Audio coax speakers that require "25 to 150" watts of power:

http://marine.jlaudio.com/products_c...hp?prod_id=381
Old 03-29-2007, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

His stereo is actually an XMD3 and it puts out 52Watts per channel.. so NO he does not NEED an amp. The Pathfinder flats boat has a small console with batteries, charger, electronics and shifter and steering controls. These consoles often overheat amplifiers very quickly. I know the specs for the equipment we sell.

Stetch, your right the RMS power output is 21watts. Even though the JL Audio rates the M650-CCx speaker for 25-150watts the max continuous rating is 70watts. The M650-CCX were designed to work off a headunit or amplifier where as the M770-CCS were designed to run off an amplifier only. We have rigged 4 factory demo boats with this setup, Andros Tarpon 26, Andros 22, Donzi 23ZF and Team Century 2201 Bay boat and they all sound great.

XMD3
Exclusive Marinized Front Panel lwar Water Sealed Media Access Door Conformally Coated Microprocessor Input for Marine Wired Remote Control 2 Band Parametric EQ (Z-Enhancer Plus) White Positive LCD CeNET Control of Optional: TV Tuner, 6 Disc CD Changer, Sirius Satellite Radio Receiver Subwoofer Level Control 4 Channel RCA Line Level Output 208 Watt (52W x 4) Magi-Tune + Tuner with 18FM/6AM Presets Magna Bass EX Built in Low Pass Crossovers (off/50Hz/80Hz/120Hz)
Old 03-29-2007, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

52 watts per channel is a max rating, the RMS continuous power rating is 17 watts per channel. max power ratings are meaningless.

page 21 in the manual will show you the actual ratings. here is the link to the manual.

http://www.sirius.com/pdf/manuals/XMD3.pdf


btw, i am not arguing that the speakers wont sound good without an amp, i am just saying that they will benefit from adding an amp.
Old 03-29-2007, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

Did not mean to get you boys stirred up!!! Seriously, Thank you all for the input. I will try it with out the amp. If that does not do it for me, I ‘ll buy the amp.
Old 03-30-2007, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Do I need an amp???

fletch....how do the two coax speakers sound without the amp? I'm in the process of changing out a source unit and a pair of speakers as well.Just got the Clarion CMD5 and thanks to the comments on THT, I'm sold on the JLs but worry I need to push em with an amp. Wasn't looking to get that deep into stereo gear for a fishing boat, but I do some cruising and as we all know, a center console makes for a decent party deck when tied up in the inlet as well, so the tunes have got to be right.

Any comments by any and all would be appreciated.
Old 03-30-2007, 09:38 AM
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Default RE: Do I need an amp???

johnniekelly - 3/30/2007 10:34 AM



fletch....how do the two coax speakers sound without the amp? I'm in the process of changing out a source unit and a pair of speakers as well. Just got the Clarion CMD5 and thanks to the comments on THT, I'm sold on the JLs but worry I need to push em with an amp. Wasn't looking to get that deep into stereo gear for a fishing boat, but I do some cruising and as we all know, a center console makes for a decent party deck when tied up in the inlet as well, so the tunes have got to be right.

Any comments by any and all would be appreciated.
I own a CMD 5 and would get an amp for a boat application, maybe not for a car. If you are looking to listen at cruise - youu need good speakers and an amp. I run a 6 ch JL amp, the monoblock sub amp, 3 sets of JL''s and two JL sub's - the sound is perfect at 35 mph on a 32 open CC.....

That being said, I'm sure the JL amps are better spec and incorporate power shutdown features, but don't count out the Clarion marine 4 ch amp. It's a workhorse and I've owned 3 in diff boats. There are cheap off ebay and carry refurbished warranty. Look for "bass sales" on ebay - they're good to deal with.
Old 03-30-2007, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

I installed four 6.5" Polk Momo coax speakers and a 10" Polk Momo dual voice coil sub in a sealed enclosure in my 17' center console.

I also added a 4 channel class A-B Clarion amp for the 6.5 coax speakers and a MTX class D amp for the sub.

The amp's put out the max RMS rating for the max RMS rating of the speaker.

The quality of sound compare to a 10" Clarion free air sub and the four 6.5 Polk Momo's driven with just the Clarion amp is unbelievable.

I know JL Audio is well regarded here but this system kicks butt.

Starting with just the CDM4A and the four 6.5" Polk Momo coax speakers , two which were mounted in the side of the console and two in the gunwale to the latest configuration of two 6.5" Polk Momo's and the Polk Momo 10" sub in a sealed enclosure mounted in the console facing me and two of the 6.5" Polk Momo's in the gunwale with the two amps there was a huge difference between each setup.

What is nice is that you can build up to each step when you start with quality speakers. In my opinion If you start with a CDM5 and Polk or JL Audio speakers you should add the amp at the same time. A sub in a sealed enclosure with a Class D amp driving it would be the next step. JL audio just introduced a 10" sub for sealed enclosures.

I had the same equipment and built up from that. Problem is once you hear the next step it would be very hard to go back to what you have currently. I know I am tickled pink with the latest setup. JMHO
Old 03-30-2007, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Do I need an amp???

unless you guys want to buy amps for people, stop suggesting them. people arent made of money ya know.
Old 03-30-2007, 12:15 PM
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Default RE: Do I need an amp???

Glen...good to hear ya again and thanks for your thoughts. You're a world of knowledge.Ed, thanks for the comments as well.

Alright...so you guys are having fun spending my money! I've heard a lot of folks say don't go with the JLs unless you plan on pushing with an amp. Especiallythe installers around here.Just wondering who was running them without and amp and if they were content with the sound quality. Trust me...anything is going to be an improvement on my rig. Keep in mind I just took out a Seaworthy 30 source unit and two dual cone 5.75" speakers. You know one of those "sure we'll throw in a stereofor free" deals from the boat dealer.
Old 03-30-2007, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: Do I need an amp???

I have the same CMD3 and two sets of the JL speakers in my Shearwater. It sounds awfully good to me.
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

See how they sound with out the amp first. The amp will undoubtably help but you'll have to decide if it's worth the extra money and adding the amp later is easy.
Old 03-30-2007, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Do I need an amp???

In short, no. They will sound A LOT better if you put an amp on them though, they are very power hungary speakers. I have a set in my truck that was hooked up to an Alpine amp @ 45watts RMS, they sounded good, the amp fried itself, so I replaced it with the JL 300/4, now it sounds INCREDIBLE and sounds better the more I turn it up.
Old 03-30-2007, 08:41 PM
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Default RE: Do I need an amp???

Preciate all the comments!
Old 12-31-2020, 12:00 PM
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14-5ish years later can I ask a question? :P

Using an amp and woofer doesnt require more batteries? Will I have a problem if dock and listen to music without the engine running?

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