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Amp and Port Table Subwoofer Install

Discussion in 'Owners Chat: Options and Upgrades' started by gnc1017, May 23, 2017.

  1. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    A few weeks ago, my buddies and I finally got around to starting on the stereo upgrade we had planned since the time we placed our order but had yet to get around to. We only did the front of the boat now (time to use it again, not work on it) but we're pretty happy so far. We ordered the boat in 2015 with the Wet Sounds speaker upgrade but no amps or subs. While this definitely isn't for everyone, it may give some new ideas to those who want to do a custom system on their Bennington too. After all, future phase 2 (the rear of the boat) will likely be what Derrick did - mounting a subwoofer into the side of the rear lounger. We have been the beneficiaries of very good advice and info from the forum so just trying to pay it forward...


    For this initial phase, we modified the port side table (a small table between the 2 captain's chairs on the RCWCP model or those that have the 'port table group' upgrade) to turn it into a subwoofer enclosure. Technically, we didn't turn the table into an enclosure (due to numerous application, sound, and reliability issues that would have come from that) so we had to get a little creative in the install and just made it look like that's what we did. In reality, we fabricated a sealed enclosure mounted inside but not fastened to the side of the table. Additional details are with the pics in my gallery. The subwoofer is a Wet Sounds SS-65 (since it has great specs and requires only a very, very small enclosure). Considering the location, we also wanted a grill. But since Wet Sounds doesn't make one specifically for this sub, Wet Sounds (thanks Joe!) hooked us up with a Rev 8 speaker grill that, after we made some minor modifications, finished it off.


    We used a JL RD400/4 amp for this sub (and the 2 front Wet Sounds speakers that came with the boat). For the rear, we plan to use a JL RD900/5 so we installed the infrastructure now and left spacing for that as well (it will go just left of the RD400). Since we always trailer and keep a ton of stuff on our boat, space is a premium. Our goal is to capitalize on 'otherwise wasted and unused space' while still getting the quality sound we are looking for (and satisfying my OCD tendencies too). Best laid plans of course but so far, so good.


    It's not the system we had in our last boat and we still have the entire rear to do, but considering we only have one amp and a single 6.5" subwoofer, we're pretty impressed with the sound and where this whole project is headed. If nothing else, it will definitely get us through until phase 2 next winter. It's not all Wet Sounds (sorry Derrick), nor all JL (sorry Spinzone) but hopefully you both would approve. B)  Most of all, thanks guys sharing your experiences and wisdom!


    /monthly_2017_05/large.Front_Amp_and_Cap.jpg.b3fc0ea26e7c65707e81d30dfcb46f63.jpg


    And yes, it drives me crazy that the capacitor writing is up-side down (because of how we wanted to mount it) - even inside the helm where nobody will see it. I'm thinking a black vinyl wrap and a Bennington logo will take care of that pretty soon...


    /monthly_2017_05/large.59247552f3953_TableSubwoofer(3).jpg.32002d08c1a62a1a08eea4850ec47820.jpg/monthly_2017_05/large.5924755648a89_TableSubwoofer(4).jpg.22cab283293ba4fe12ed75de4faa408b.jpg
     
  2. BulldogsCadillac

    BulldogsCadillac Just some guy

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    Looking good!  As for the capacitor, was there a reason you didn't just mount it vertical?  Also not sure if I mentioned this before, but there is a little layer of plywood on the other side of the fiberglass right behind the lounger back. If you did need to mount something up higher. I was worried about being too low under the helm because there is a little space between the rail and the decking and I was worried someway, somehow water would get under my helm! 


    Never mind, just looked at the pictures again and if you have THAT much water under your helm that the amp gets wet, you have BIGGER problems than the music!! Haha


    My cousin messaged me the other day to see if I was interested in his REV 10'S with swivel mount!  He kept them off his boat when he sold it. If only I wasn't trying to sell my boat I'd have them in a heartbeat!  If you think I'm bad, he only had like 23 hours on his 2012 MB Sport boat in like 4 seasons!!
     
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  3. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Derrick! Funny, just like you said, we considered the cap up there too but in the end, we are somewhat preserving that space above for a possible EQ/sound processor - just in case.. We did take advantage of the plywood on the lounger back to fasten our fabricated mounting brackets that hold the amp board (didn't like it just being held by the fiberglass shell of the helm). You can see one of them in the picture. And you're right - water under the helm was a consideration so there is a slight gap between the amp board and the floor and more water than that, you got it - bigger problems!


    A pair of Rev 10s looking for a new home? Probably a good thing we kept our custom external speaker setup from our last system. How tempting!
     
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  4. Vikingstaff

    Vikingstaff Well-Known Member

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    I know I said this replying to the pics, but thought I'd say so in your post.  That is some great looking and well laid out work.  I hope it works as intended, and you get spectacular results from it.  It is very nice.
     
  5. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Vikingstaff! And one of the side-benefits is that if we put enough time and effort into customizing our boat, we counter the pull of PADS - especially with all the new eye candy out there these days. So in that way, I guess we can consider it an 'investment'. LOL
     
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  6. Vikingstaff

    Vikingstaff Well-Known Member

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    That is absolutely a good point. Peronalization and customization create something extra special for sure. 
     
  7. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    After 3 years, we finally finished the final phase of our stereo install. This last step was installing the rear amp (a JL RD900/5) to power the 4 factory installed rear area Wetsounds XS-65 speakers (helm area and between the 2 rear loungers) plus a new Wetsounds REVO-12FA sub into the armrest of the port side rear lounger. Thanks much to Derrick for the tip on that!!!

    As that rear lounger armrest is fairly thin rotomold material (thick enough for it's intended purpose, not even close for this), it required extensive work to fabricate an inner liner and framework, which also had to be assembled in pieces within the armrest, using the new subwoofer cut-out for access. Originally thinking we went overkill, we are so glad we beefed it up as much as we did because this sub on that 500w sub channel really moves. Originally planning to use a 10" sub, we went with the 12" for the extra power handling and I can honestly say it has great range and sounds absolutely incredible.

    Coupled with the JL RD400 on the front area's pair of Wetsounds XS-65's and the 6" Wetsounds sub we previously mounted in the front port table, we have now also added a Kicker Front-Row between the factory Sony head unit and these 2 JL amps.

    A couple pics below plus a few more in my media gallery too:

    http://club.benningtonmarine.com/media/users/gnc1017.6518/albums

    I'm not sure we could be much happier with how it all turned out, both aesthetically and for sound quality as well (plus, we still didn't give up any valuable space within the boat). Of course, we don't dare try to think about how much time we have into all this but we're really smiling now so it's all good for sure.

    Thanks again to Derrick for the rear sub advice and tips!!!


     
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  8. BulldogsCadillac

    BulldogsCadillac Just some guy

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    Looking great!! I have to say, you are making me miss my boat!! I'm happy I could share what little I know, but ya, it sure was a pain trying to piece everything in through the cut out! At one point I had thought about removing that whole side piece and either making a big hole on the back side. In the end it's just a little more tedious, and kind of funny when I had my wife sticking her arm down the cup holder hole to hold something!

    Your work looks super clean and well thought out, very nice!
     
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  9. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Derrick! Now we just need summer again!
     
  10. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    Nice job! I'd love to upgrade my system but don't have the knowledge, tools or confidence to do what you have done and I don't think I'd have the confidence to take it somewhere. Too bad you can't post an audio sample.
     
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  11. Vikingstaff

    Vikingstaff Well-Known Member

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    X2 ^
     
  12. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    I can't take all the credit. I am co-owners with some very highly skilled and sharp-minded friends. Between us, finding the time is the biggest challenge, so it's a good thing that we just try to ignore what it takes to put it all together for the sake of the enjoyment we get from it. We joke that even we can't really 'afford' ourselves to do something like this but we found a way to make it a reality (albeit 3 years later). Then again, we got 20 years of enjoyment out of our last boat (also with a system we put in) so at that rate, our future grandkids (gulp) should even be able to enjoy this one. Scary to think what kind of music that will be but I'm sure we'll enjoy it with them nonetheless. :)

    Wish I could share the sound too but if for some reason you ever find yourself in Southern Illinois on a nice summer day...
     
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