View Full Version : My Spring Project

04-12-2011, 11:10 PM
I decided to make a thread to show off my new setup for the summer. More than that though, I wanted to gather this info to help anyone else who winds up in my situation. Three months ago, I was aurally challenged and had no idea how to plan or setup a stereo system. I couldn’t have done it without the help of this forum and David at Earmark. There is no telling how long I spent reading old forum posts and installation guides. None of this is new, but it might help somebody who is considering upgrading.
I did this mainly for the tower upgrades. I wanted to be able to control cabin and tower volumes differently and get something that sounded better than the stock Kenwood speakers into my stock Roswell lightbar/speaker combo. I am by no means an audiophile and 6+ years of military aviation have left my ears a little lacking, but I do know when it sounds bad and wanted an upgrade from the stock system. This is at best a middle of the road setup (non-audiophile here), but after taking it out, it was perfect for what I wanted.

I added the following to the boat:
Kicker 6500.2 Tower System
Kicker 700.5 Amp for the cabin speakers
Krypt KMA 4200 Equalizer (don’t judge me, it was a gift)

To mount the amp, I cut a piece of Medium Density Fiberboard ($10 at home depot) and covered it with outdoor carpet ($3.12 ft) using glue and a couple staples. I then mounted the amp with the supplied screws and the 100A fuse ($30 @ car audio shop). I used 2 gauge wire for all the power connections ($60 for both blue and white – stuff is more expensive than I thought).


I mounted it on the left side of the boat under the console using L-brackets. The bottom ones go right into the floor and the top one went into the board that holds the rub rail (see next pic). If you use the rub rail, definitely pre-drill holes with a strong drill…that stuff is tough. Also, need to use some common sense when you do it, I suppose you could drill right through to the other side if you weren’t careful. On another note, be careful drilling into the MDF as it tends to crack if you aren’t careful or get too close to the edge. The amp installation was actually pretty easy. I pretty much copied other people’s forum posts. Since the deck was pushing the cabin speakers (not good if you have 6 speakers like I do, caused me some problems last summer with the deck going into protect mode), I just cut the speaker wire from the harness and ran the existing speaker wire straight into the amp. It is now pushing the cabin speakers and sub.



Next was the real pain of this whole project, the equalizer. I mounted mine under the dash on the left side. Took me a while to figure this one out. I wound up just using long L-brackets and drilling holes into the fiberglass under the console and secured the whole thing with very short bolts and nuts. I kinda had to pull the plastic apart from the fiberglass just enough to get the screws in. I wish I had a better picture, but there was really no way to get the camera up there now and I didn’t have it handy when I was working on it. Definitely cost me a bloody knuckle or two getting that thing in. Here is the finished product:

04-12-2011, 11:11 PM
Afterwards I ran the RCA cables for the EQ. I just ran them through the bilge where the front ballast bag sits and then up through the floor similar to the way DOCDRS did his in an older post. I got them off Amazon for $12.14 apiece. They are 4 meter Monster I400 cables. You need 4 pair for the EQ.


I put the ones in the bilge in a wire loom and secured the whole thing with mounting ties.


04-12-2011, 11:12 PM

Next came the KM6500.2 install. For the record, this thing is awesome. It came at the recommendation of David at Earmark and I must say I am very impressed with it. I am pushing it with the pre-existing Kenwood amp bridged. The only problem is, the speaker can opening are a little too small for it, so you have to do a little modification.

Old speakers :

I started out trying to use a dremel to open them up a little bit. If I had stayed on that path, I would still be hacking at those things and probably would have given up. I wound up buying a metal cutting blade for my jigsaw and using that. The jigsaw cut through it like butter. Then just drill new holes and you’re golden. The metal (aluminum I think) is pretty soft, so I recommend minimizing the drilling you do into the weld that holds the front circle on. The outer circle does tend to bend upwards a bit in the places where it’s not welded, but I was able to smooth it back out with a rubber hammer and it was ok.


I was able to just use a marker and make template that worked just fine.


Fortunately when I fired it up, everything worked as advertised. My recommendation to anybody doing this is to tag the speaker wires with tape so you know what’s what when you get to hooking everything back up. That was the only trouble I had. The EQ is the coolest thing IMO that you can add to your boat. You can control the tower/cabin separately and the microphone is just cool. Now I can blast tunes at the rider without killing the people in the boat.

I realize this is not the “cleanest” install in the world, but I thought it was not bad for a first timer. Some of the cables are visible, but none of them are in the way. I was very happy with the whole thing when I took it out. As far as tuning it, I just did it according to the EQ manual and the advice of everyone in this forum. I really can’t tell too much difference in the crossovers other than I know when it’s bad. I set up the KM 6500.2s to 100hz. The manual says 80-100 is optimal, but I can’t hear the difference in 80 or 100. I just set it to 100 per Phil’s recommendation. The cabin speakers are sitting at about 110. My next project is to replace the cabin speakers with Polk DB650s, but I have to save my lunch money for a little longer.

Anyway, hope this helps out anybody who is thinking about upgrading some stuff.

04-12-2011, 11:22 PM
Nice work. The eq is great. I love mine.

04-12-2011, 11:37 PM
Looks good! Glad everything worked out.

"don't judge me, it was a gift" lol you have been reading the forums!:p

04-12-2011, 11:46 PM
Looks good! Glad everything worked out.

"don't judge me, it was a gift" lol you have been reading the forums!:p
David, certainly did not give him that advice..:D

04-13-2011, 09:37 AM
looks good! the main thing is your happy with it!

New Guy
04-13-2011, 10:17 AM
Looks great, your going to love the Kicker towers.

KG's Supra24
04-13-2011, 12:52 PM
Looks great and good pics, our winters were very similar. :D

Don't worry, not judging you. I did the same. And considering that no one has come up with much negative to say other than the Krypt gear is a knockoff (same thing with a lower price), i wouldn't be worried about it.

04-13-2011, 01:16 PM
no judging here. I had jensen and kraco amps in my past :)

looks good and glad it performed as expected. makes it that much sweeter that you did the work yourself...

ian ashton
04-13-2011, 02:43 PM
Very nice install, and a great writeup!