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Thread: Deck Option

  1. #1

    Default Deck Option

    Looking at stereo options (tower speakers & sub). (I currently have the stock kenwood 6 speaker set up with amp). Most dealers I talk to say we should replace the stock kenwood deck due to the outputs (1rc) and the amps it puts out (1amp). They say that an upgraded deck will put out more amps, thus better "in", better "out" of the amplifier (less distortion early on). Problem is, if we replace the deck, the drivers side and transom controls become useless as they are not compatable with a new deck (apparantly). Question... is there a upgraded kenwood deck that would provide the better output & still allow us to use the stock controls on the driver side & transom?

    What we want to do is operate the tower speaker independant from the boat speakers (ie: towers on/off or the boat on/off and visa versa). Is there a product that will allow us to increase the volume independantly from the boat speakers/tower speakers. We have been told we can lower the tower speakers, but cannot have just the towers on and the boat sound off? this does not sound right to me. We should be able to have the towers on or off and the boat speakers on or off, both independant of each other.... any suggestions?

    We have narrowed it down to the bullets 770 (1 pair) or the Exile 7 (1 pair). Any thoughts on which one is better and why?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    I think you have more options than you let yourself believe.

    For the deck:
    I know a lot of the kenwood excelon decks work with the stock remote pucks and are nicely priced. I went with KDC-X494 because:
    1) Works with stock remote pucks
    2) USB input-works with jump drives, mp3 players, ipod/iphone
    3) Has three 4V outputs for amps (good signal - this is what your dealers are talking about)
    4) Can pick them up off online new for under $150 - not too bad!
    5) Great reviews!
    Check the excelons out! Here's link to unit I have

    Volume control over towers/cabins/sub: Several options available, and yes you can have control over everything independently.
    - Pac LC-1 (downfall is long RCA runs if you want controller knob at drivers seat)
    - Kicker dual zone controller
    - EQ like wet sounds

    Tower speakers: I think you would be happy with either option.
    Both have their pros and cons, make a list to make a decision. One reason I went with XM7s is because I take them off the tower a lot - when towing, when boat sits on lift and I'm not at the lake, when I lower the tower. Plus occasionally I turn the speakers towards the shore for beach volleyball

    Good luck! Do some search's, you'll find plenty of info on the forum.

  3. #3


    Sounds like each dealer tries to push their own product. I am not very audio inclined. I wonder how easy it would be to do it ourselves? I will do some more research. If anyone can offer further advice it would be appreciated. I will post some of my findings for advice.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I have the kdc-494 and it works great I would recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade and on a budget. Then you add the kicker dual zone controller to control the tower and you will be happy

    Oh the kdc-494 plugged directly into the stock harness for me so I didn't even need to re wire for the new deck 4v output is a HUGE improvement over stock also
    Last edited by c.rix; 04-09-2011 at 06:48 PM.
    2007 Outback V

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Katy, TX


    Great, now I want to buy a new deck.

    Luckily I don't ever really use the one I have now. I just plug my Ipod directly into my WS420 and away i go!

    2008 Mobius LSV, Gravity III , Wake Plate, Z5, Exile SX65c's, Exile XM9s, Exile XI12D, Exile Harpoon, Exile SM600.1 , Exile Xi800.4.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Pittsboro, NC


    Kenwood kmr440u has great features usb, ipod, 3 preouts 3.2v and completely marine compatible. You can use your factory drivers remote or transom remote with the steering wheel remote wire and if you want to upgrade to the digital driver side remote (KCA-RC107MR) which you can not do with a car stereo. And the rc107mr remote controls every aspect of the stereo from the drivers seat.

    If you have seperate amplifiers for the interior speakers and the towers speakers you can do like I did. I used the front preouts to power the interior amp and the rear preouts to power my tower amp. This way I can fade between the interior speakers and the tower speakers while riding or wakeboarding/skiing. Works great.
    Here's a link to my install may help with some ideas.
    '08 Mobius LS. 4 Blade OJ 13x13 Prop.
    Kenwood KMR440U & RC107MR, T600-2 Rockford Fosgate powering 2 Liquid Acoustics 8" HLCD, Kicker SKM10 subwoofer
    5 light- light bar.
    2015 RAM 3500HD Dually 6.7 Diesel w/ Aisin 6 speed tranny
    Live life today!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Calgary Alta Canada


    I was told the same thing about the head unit as i'm SLOWLY trying to upgrade my system . I have replaced the 6 cabin speakers to Polks and replaced my head unit to a Clarion with a steering wheel mounted control ,wireless to control the unit. Works well so i now have a dead factory control but for the reasons you mentioned this unit has more outputs for sub etc plus i now have a usb input for ipod etc.
    This deck has more internal power which does better for now as i'm now working on adding One or 2 amps depending on which way i go to power a sub and or cabin speakers , Tower speakers can/will wait till next year as i've also added a portable waterski course to my wish list for this year.
    Soon enough our snow will be gone and it will definetely be tiome to get at it but till now i'm still shopping and or investigating. BTW the new head unit and speakers alone was/ is a drastic improvement over the stock Kenwood products that came in the boat. Good luck and post as you go ,lots of others on here have GREAT info and or input.
    07 Outback DD

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