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Old 19-04-2009, 16:34   #16
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Is speaker sound subjective? Do different people like different speaker sounds, or is it just the frequency response that is the issue?
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Old 19-04-2009, 18:29   #17
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It is MUCH more complicated than frequency response...room accoustics, dispersion of sound, diffraction of sound, distortion, transient response, cabinet resonance,crossover time delay etc. all play a role. Like enjoying wine...appreciating good sound vs. crap is pretty easy...discerning the differences between good sounding speakers takes a bit more work. There were some studies done in Canada in the 80's though that DID clearly show that there IS such a thing as one GOOD speaker being perceived as better in blind tests among EXPERIENCED listeners AND that it is possible to design speakers to be perceived that way. A whole bunch of new speaker companies sprang up out of that research including Mirage, PSB, Energy, Paradigm which today continue to make great sounding speakers...as do many other companies drawing on the same research and measurement techniques.

Of course, once you have done a great job of creating a near perfect speaker...the kids will still turn the bass up and us geezers will crank the treble to compensate for our hearing loss.

But...if your question is more like...can I really hear a difference between a $100 speaker and a $500 speaker that have the same frequency response...my answer is ABSOLUTELY.

I refer to HOME speakers above. Boat interiors and exteriors complicate matters somewhat but there is still a huge difference that almost everyone can appreciate between a Crapex 6.5" speaker a good speaker. Just go down to the local Best Buy store and play one of your own very detailed and challenging well recorded CD's and switch between speakers playing at the same overall loudness...(not the same radio volume setting...the same loudness to your ear). You will hear the difference as you go up in price generally...but a LOT of car speakers are NOT designed for accuracy...they are designed to sound HOT and give a lot of boom for the buck since the market is kids. Look to traditional home speaker brands in general for more accurate car/marine speakers.
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:33   #18
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Boats have generlly such great acoustic qualities (Interior) one need not go overboard (so to speak) with spending gigabucks on stereo gear. Smaller speakers installed in a good bulkhead will creat low freq harmonics that will enhance the sound. The average car type stereo is rated about 50 watts per channel. The actual power is much closer to 16 to 18 RMS per channel. Plenty for the avarage cruiser (30 40 ft) main salon. A small subwoofer and a few speakers will produce great sound. Multi zone systems cost a little more. I have a 3 zone (each with independant volume ) Poly Planar MRD70 system. Cockpit, Main salon , and Forepeak. It is difficult in the cockpit to get good speaker placement so I use 2 small 3 " full range waterproof speakers and a subwoofer is under the cockpit that radiates low freq though out the cockpit and more. The sub allows guality sound at low volume so you do not get tossed out of the marina. It is a waterproof system that gives stunning sound at any volume.
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Old 19-04-2009, 22:52   #19
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I know several people who live at marinas and use those amplified subwoofer/surround sound sets with 2 or 4 speakers and a small subwoofer. Like the ones Best Buy sells for computers. Requires AC power but they all love putting the subwoofer in the bilge somewhere for really good sound. Doesn't work for me since I'm never at a marina but it's an idea...

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Old 24-04-2009, 09:36   #20
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Speedo...Re: Sirius...how are you gonna provide the approx. 15 amps it draws? BTW..it is discontinued.

The L310's are great little boxes and built to a high standard. The real problem with them is that they suck power to sound good and are not a good choice for boat audio unless you have a separate amp rather than simply a head unit driving them.
Thanks for the info. Re. the Sirius, if I can't figure out a way to get the 15 amps to it, maybe I could set it up for shore power use only. Subs are so damn expensive, it seems to be the only one that is affordable for my purpose.

As a replacement for the L310's, I'm going to buy a pair of Mirage Nanosets, currently on sale for $50 each shipped at Vann's:

Mirage Nanosat PB Single 2 way platinum black Nanosat bookshelf speaker Omnipolar technology at Vanns.com | features

They appear to be reasonably efficient and get great reviews, should be good on a boat.
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Old 24-04-2009, 15:58   #21
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Thanks again for the info and sites. The small mirage speakers...3 variations would be great...perfect size..too bad not weather resistant....just too many fluctuations of humidity and temps here in NE. I emailed mirage and they did not recommend them for usage on the sailboat. I checked with a few other sources, and supposedly the Boston Voyager4 will work out okay. Still looking though.

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Old 24-04-2009, 16:30   #22
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Just be aware that the Mirage Nano's are ONLY midange and tweeters...you're gonna HAVE to have a subwoofer or you will be missing fully 2.5+ octaves of bass AND the ability to play ANYTHING wery loudly. These cross over at 120Hz. They are a GREAT deal and sound WAY better than the comparable Bose AM series satellites...but I caution you not to buy them until and unless you have the ability to install and drive a subwoofer with them and afford the amps to do so.
One subwoofer option you may not have considered is a powered 6" Bazooka tube. This only draws 5-6amps when it is cranked up. It is NOT however and ideal choice with the Mirage as it crosses over at 85Hz and is more designed to work with speakers like the L310's you have.


Hobie...if you like Mirage... they also have outdoor speakers available from Crutchfield.
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Old 24-04-2009, 16:38   #23
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Check out the MZ100 by poly planar, Small waterproof amp with 2 channel Line or speaker level input, 4 channel out , 2 channel base with eq 2 channel full freq, 2 ohm stable DSP, about the size of 3 packs of cigaretts. They also have a waterproof box sub. dual coil high excursion 5.5" cone and the box is the same size as a magazine, Mine is inder the cockpit and really sounds great.
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Old 24-04-2009, 18:06   #24
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So, we have the mirage OmniSat satellites and even on their own the bass is better than most if not all "marine" speakers (but the NanoSat's are smaller than what we have). We recently added a subwoofer and that is another major step up. We did this the easy way: we choose a 10" marine speaker from Memphis Audio and had a car-audio place build a custom box with reflex channel for it. Total cost $200 and this sounds great. We use a Pioneer 4-channel car amplifier (cheap but good enough for these speakers) and we use 2 channels for left and right satellites and the other two are bridged for driving the subwoofer with double power. All the cross-over networks are in the amp. All that is drawing up to 10A at LOUD setting and under 3A at a level where conversation is still possible.

We use Logitech Squeezebox as music source, another great device for a boat if you have enough geek in you to install it.

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Old 24-04-2009, 18:16   #25
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Just be aware that the Mirage Nano's are ONLY midange and tweeters...you're gonna HAVE to have a subwoofer or you will be missing fully 2.5+ octaves of bass AND the ability to play ANYTHING wery loudly. These cross over at 120Hz. They are a GREAT deal and sound WAY better than the comparable Bose AM series satellites...but I caution you not to buy them until and unless you have the ability to install and drive a subwoofer with them and afford the amps to do so.
One subwoofer option you may not have considered is a powered 6" Bazooka tube. This only draws 5-6amps when it is cranked up. It is NOT however and ideal choice with the Mirage as it crosses over at 85Hz and is more designed to work with speakers like the L310's you have.
Cam, I checked out the Bazooka at Crutchfield and the specs say the freq. response is 39-1500 Hz. The freq. resp. for the Nanos is 110-20,000 Hz so in my simple way of looking at this, there seems to be plenty of overlap. Am I wrong?

Also, where can I find the amps these speakers need?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 24-04-2009, 18:30   #26
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Amps: a car stereo has amps and when these are not loud enough you step up to a separate car amp like I wrote about in my previous post. Many subs incl. Bazooka have amps build in (you can get Bazooka with or without amp).

ciao!
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Old 24-04-2009, 18:37   #27
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Thanks Nick. Can you tell me how to find out the amps needed by various speakers?
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Old 25-04-2009, 08:06   #28
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Speedo...
First...you are looking at a different Bazooka that is UN-powered. The powered version I mentioned is here: Bazooka BTA6100 BT Series 100-watt powered 6-1/2" Bass Tube® at Crutchfield.com

Second...if you get an unpowered version, you have to buy a separate amplifier (with adjustable low pass filter capable of 120Hz crossover + due the extra wiring.
The Battery AMPS that ANY amplifier will require are dependent on the real power it is capable of supplying (not the advertised power), how loud you play it, the efficiency of the speaker being driven.
ANY decent car radio is capable of providing enough amps to drive a pair of speakers like the Bostons, Polks, Mirages etc.
NO car stereo can drive a subwoofer. You WILL need a separate amp even for a small sub like the Bazooka unpowered you cited. Something like a 2-channel bridgable to mono amp in the 50 watt range should be sufficient and will DRAW around 15 amps when played loudly...typically. See this Rockford amp for an example:
Rockford Fosgate Prime R150-2 2-channel car amplifier — 50 watts RMS x 2 at Crutchfield.com

What are you using for a radio? Radio must have pre-amp outputs for use with an external amp and speaker leads would be used with the Mirages.
You are looking at a minimum of 200-300 bucks additional for a sub and small amp over the price of the Mirages.
Unless you are LOOKING to really crank up the bass and play your music loud...I would avoid the whole separate amp and sub thing on a sailboat. Just get good MAIN speakers and a decent radio. Your L310's are WAY better than the MirageNano's as MAIN speakers. The Mirage Omni's Jedi has are entirely different and excellent speakers but even they do not produce the bass that an L310 will when properly driven. (They DO produce superior highs and dispersion and are more easily driven.)

If you DO want to pound the bass and add a sub and have the necessary battery bank...get the Mirages and hook up an Infinity Basslink for $300 ...or do like Jedi and have something built.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108BASS...-Basslink.html
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Old 25-04-2009, 17:16   #29
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Cam: I agree and think the nano-sats are too small for a stereo aboard. Also, we have to use a separate amp because we use squeezeboxes as music source which give line-out only and we have no wish for a regular car stereo (ditched those years ago).

ciao!
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Old 26-04-2009, 10:14   #30
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Nick...pls. explain to me the attraction of a Squeezebox on board to you rather than a direct Ipod type feed or standard car radio. NOT...criticizing...I just don't get why people would opt for a system that requires the PC to be on and feeding the music. I understand it in the home a bit, but don't get it in the boat. I suspect I am missing something.
As an aside...I was very involved with Mirage in the mid-80's right after the CRC & Floyd Toole studies lead to their development of some really good stuff. Still have a small pair of bookshelves from then at my brothers place and they are still going strong 25 years later! Not bad. If you are at all interested in the techology of speaker design development...here's a great link that summaraize what went on up north that spawned so many fine speaker companies in a short time.
loudspeakers,home theater speakers,stereo speakers - AxiomAudio
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