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Old 17-01-2016, 15:58   #16
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

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Something like this should do the trick, or any other in-line amplifier. Not "marine" grade, but I doubt that would be a problem.

https://www.caraudiocentre.co.uk/pro...45_p-26445.htm

Matt
Just to be clear, I did say "something like this...". I could not tell if that unit would pass through when powered off, but I have owned half a dozen in-line amps over my petrol head years, Alpine, Pioneer and Kenwood, and all did pass through when switched off. I think the Kenwood actually physically switched the speaker output path at the same time as being switched on and off.

Our boat came with a monster Kenwood amp, a real 100 watts per channel device, none of that namby-pamby VPP crap. I'm afraid it went in the bin, along with the 12 inch drivers and the head unit, which is one of the reasons the boat is 2 tons lighter. It has been replaced with a very neat double DIN JVC unit that has nice big buttons, easy to press when the boat is moving around, and a pair of Tannoy Reveal studio monitors. But my days of entertaining beer swilling louts on the after deck are, happily, well behind me.

Matt
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Old 17-01-2016, 16:56   #17
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

AV, something to consider is the ratio of continuous power to peak power.

The Pioneer mentioned was 14 to 50 , or a little more than 1:3.

And the Kenwood was 22 to 50, or a little more than 1:2.

Based on this one could say the Pioneer has more "head room". Meaning it can punctuate a louder dynamic note or sound in a more quiet progression of music without going into a tizzy. Distortion. So, it's a way to judge the "quality" of different amps.

Granted almost no specs are properly spelled out re power output. Should include power, total harmonic distortion, over a specified frequency range, within a specified db variance.

Example, 100 watts, < .003% THD, from 20hz- 20khz, at +\- 1db.

The same amp could be marketed as a 300 watt amp, but that may be at .1% THD, from 250hz - 16khz at +\- 3db.

Anyway, at whatever power you desire look for lower THD across the full sound spectrum and less db varience.

Best sounding car amp ever for me was only 15 watts, but 100 peak. Killer head room and dynamic range without distortion.

And one more thing, on speaker mounting. Take time to mount them solidly to a surface that does not flex. If the speaker frames vibrate the good numbers of a quality setup are all for nothing.

Sorry to ramble, it's been a while since I've discussed these things. I was an audiophile in another life.


GILow, I intended no disrespect for your suggestion. Not familiar with inline amps. Not sure they even existed back in the day.


Edit to add.... The best way to take full advantage of a quaity amp with good numbers and headroom is don't fiddle with the tone controls or equalizer. Leave them flat, not boosting the base and or treble for example. At least not much. That way one can crank it up to power the drums and not smother the vocals or distort the symbols. Biggest mistake people make in my opinion. Of course people do hear different frequencies,....differently.
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Old 17-01-2016, 17:08   #18
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

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..Sorry to ramble, it's been a while since I've discussed these things. I was an audiophile in another life.


GILow, I intended no disrespect for your suggestion. Not familiar with inline amps. Not sure they even existed back in the day.
Not a prob mate, I enjoyed your analysis of the amps there. I too used to enjoy audio gear, I think it is something all blokes go through at some stage, like the sports car thing...

Sadly, I am aware of the loss of definition in my hearing these days, and I suspect a bit of it came from a bit TOO much audio earlier on in life.

My first in-line amp came with my second car, and was probably an early 80's device. The in-line amp in the boat was probably mid to late 90's.

Personally, I think they sounded like crap, but they did the "loud" bit well. And that tallies with your analysis of headroom etc, which is a lot more technical than I ever got. I just listened to lots of stuff until I found something I liked, and hence ended up with an Arcam amplifier and Tannoy speakers. Funnily enough, the same speakers Benny from Abba was using in his mixing room in that great old Abba documentary made years ago. I say funny, because I just LOVE Abba!

Now I am showing my age.

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Old 17-01-2016, 17:11   #19
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

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Best sounding car amp ever for me was only 15 watts, but 100 peak. Killer head room and dynamic range without distortion.
Sounds like the Alpine unit fitted to the early 90's BMW 735, in the glovebox of all places. Superb sound, absolutely brilliant, but only 12 watts.

Yep, quality over quantity.
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Old 17-01-2016, 17:43   #20
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

Close, it was mounted to the inside top of the glove box. But it was a Z28. Back in the '70s.

Well,... maybe not close. I remember those Beemer setups though. Girlfriend's dad had one mid 90s. We'd drive my Chevelle over her dad's house and use his car to go out. She didn't care for muscle cars. He didn't care for rednecks, didn't last long.
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Old 17-01-2016, 17:55   #21
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

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Close, it was mounted to the inside top of the glove box. But it was a Z28. Back in the '70s.

Well,... maybe not close. I remember those Beemer setups though. Girlfriend's dad had one mid 90s. We'd drive my Chevelle over her dad's house and use his car to go out. She didn't care for muscle cars. He didn't care for rednecks, didn't last long.
Ah... the 28... nice. '84 528 was the nicest I ever owned. Went like pooh off a stainless steel shovel too.

But yep, in the 735, and I think the 733 had the same glovebox mounted amp, but the 735 sounded better. At least it did, until a sudden braking event caused a cake on the back set to pile up into the head unit.... I swear it never sounded the same after that.

The 735 sure was comfy... but to quote Douglas Adams. It looked like a fish, moved like a fish, but steered like a cow.

Went back to French cars after that.
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Old 17-01-2016, 18:56   #22
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

Have you thought about using a switch? Connect the speakers either to the receiver speaker outputs or to the external amplifier speaker outputs?

Really, do you need more power than a high output stereo receiver? 160 watts or so spread over four channels.

If so, please be considerate of others in anchorages, marinas or even waterfront homeowners. Especially if you are playing "rap".
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Old 17-01-2016, 19:50   #23
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

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Have you thought about using a switch? Connect the speakers either to the receiver speaker outputs or to the external amplifier speaker outputs?

Really, do you need more power than a high output stereo receiver? 160 watts or so spread over four channels.

If so, please be considerate of others in anchorages, marinas or even waterfront homeowners. Especially if you are playing "rap".
Totally agree about the consideration bit.

A switch could work, but you'd have to be REALLY careful about the wiring. Most car amps are horribly sensitive to things that we used to take for granted, such as common earths etc. Many will often fry if you combine earths. There are no shortcuts, you'd be talking a VERY complex switch, I am not even able to make it work with a quad pole centre off with a quick sketch on paper.. Two quad poles, yes, but that's a bit of complexity and still a chance of making a mess of things... feeding the output of the amp back to the output of the head unit for a start.

And then, the sort of power we are talking about switching here is probably going to nuke any kind of normal electronics switch in pretty short order. 50 watts into 4 ohms... I'm getting 3.5 amp peaks... a bit much.

Matt

How about just buying a guitar and harmonica and getting back to basics?
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Old 17-01-2016, 20:26   #24
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

[QUOTE=AmericanVagrant;2018937]Certainly a good point, I suppose audiophile is not the right terminology. I'm more looking for high volume without distortion. I have a rowdy group of friends.


Thanks for the warning. I love being forced to enjoy someone else's entertainment at 2 miles.

The sound energy needed to be loud in the cabin of a 27 foot boat is not much different than a car. Just about anything will do. A good non-marine system is about as durable as a marinized system as long as it is well protected & below. Consider an automotive aftermarket device - lots to see at Best Buy. We tore out the PO's 8-channel system you contemplate with massive amp, equalizer, bypass switches and sub-woofers under the bunks. It was just a big power & space suck. We kept the cabin & deck speakers. Put your money in good weatherproof on deck speakers. Ours are port & starboard at the companionway about 6 to 10 feet from anywhere in the cockpit. The same speakers in the main cabin are enough to cause pain using only a We$t marine CD/Radio entertainment device. If you watch movies you may want to be able to channel the sound through it.

My ears are no longer good enough to tell the difference between OK and really high end systems. Too much loud stuff when I was young.
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Old 17-01-2016, 20:38   #25
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

I appreciate all of the suggestions and input that everyone is offering. The knowledge and experience you all have with this is humbling given my relative lacking of it.

I haven't decided what I'll do yet, but probably it will begin with installing my Kenwood straight to my speakers and making a decision if I really do need more, or if I could simply exercise temperance with the volume knob.

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Really, do you need more power than a high output stereo receiver?...If so, please be considerate of others in anchorages, marinas or even waterfront homeowners. Especially if you are playing "rap".
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Totally agree about the consideration bit.
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Thanks for the warning. I love being forced to enjoy someone else's entertainment at 2 miles.
Not to worry fellas, I'm only looking to turn the volume up during the 8 hour run from here to Catalina Island, or possibly to the Channel Islands. I'm aware that some of the music my generation listens to probably sounds like nails on a chalkboard to the majority of sailors. I don't intend on attempting to recruit new fans.
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Old 17-01-2016, 20:47   #26
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

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... sounds like nails on a chalkboard...
Don't worry, the oldies probably said that about Mozart in 1773.

Actually, I think they used the same words.

Nothing has really changed.
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Old 18-01-2016, 09:03   #27
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

another approach would be a multi-pole relay (or two) to switch the speakers from head unit to amplifier output. Wire the relay coil in parallel with the amp's 12V input, and have one switch to both turn on the amp and transfer the speakers to it. Then it wouldn't matter if the amp was pass-through while off, or not.
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Old 18-01-2016, 11:00   #28
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

One possible option to consider for more volume is using multiple Bluetooth speakers ... Many are also quite "weather proof" and battery operated or 12v ready.
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Old 18-01-2016, 17:16   #29
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Re: Marine Amplifiers - Listening to music with the amp turned off

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One possible option to consider for more volume is using multiple Bluetooth speakers ... Many are also quite "weather proof" and battery operated or 12v ready.
Now that I think about it, after the last lightening strike smoked the stereo, we bought a We$t marine unit with blue-tooth. The admiral plays stuff from her phone or memory stick and connects to a Bose portable blue-tooth speaker. Not a bat set up for wireless surround sound.
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