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Old 20-11-2015, 18:06   #1
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Why do I need an Amplifier for my boat stero

Hello everyone,
I hope the collective wisdom of CF can assist me. While I am conversant in some forms of electrics on my boat I am totally naive when it comes to some aspects the stereo sound system I really need for the boat. We have a 12 metres catamaran which currently has the original stereo head unit and four speakers. Two in the saloon and two in the cockpit area.
I am looking at a fusion 700 series system and have been offered a reasonably good price for a complete unit. My concern is that it comes with a 5 channel amplifier of which I know nothing of how it works or do I really need it. The old system does not have an amplifier other than what is in the radio head unit and it works fine.
The question is do I really need the amp, is the sound going to be that much better to warrant the expense or is there other things that I am just not taking into account. I love my music so I am happy to install the amp if its going to greatly improve the sound.

Yours in stereo ignorance
Greg H
SV Sunshine.
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Old 20-11-2015, 18:39   #2
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Re: Why do I need an Amplifier for my boat stero

I have a Fusion MS-UD750.

There is a "built in" amp inside the head unit... so it supports four speakers just like you already have. This allows you to have 2 "zones". It also has an output for a subwoofer.

Are you getting a package that comes with an additional amplifier? Dedicated amplifiers usually produce sound of higher quality than the amps built into the head unit but I find the sound of the built in very very good. Also, I don't have the hearing I did when I was 18.

So, no... you do not need an external amp unless you are:

a) going to drive a subwoofer
b) going to have more than two zones
c) want to blast your neighbors out of the water or scare away whales

With that said...

We are buying two compact speakers and a matching sub. The sub has an internal 4 channel amp. You hook the speakers to the amp in the subwoofer rather than to the head unit. This has two advantages:

1) You can set the frequency cutoff.... what frequencies go to your sub and which ones go to your satellite speakers. I don't think the head unit has a adjustable frequency cut. I may be wrong but I have not seen it.
2) If you head unit is in a place that is convenient to access but does not have good ventilation you can help it last longer by avoid heat build up because its not being used to amplify.
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Old 20-11-2015, 20:48   #3
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Re: Why do I need an Amplifier for my boat stero

You know those cars that drive past and your whole body shakes from the bass thumping away?

If you want your boat to be like one of those, get an amp.

FWIW, there's one assh*le here who insists on doing this on his stinkboat at a favourite weekend beach. He is unpopular with a lot of people.
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