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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sandusky Bay, Ohio
    Boat
    Egg Harbor
    Details
    2004 43' Sport Yacht
    Engine(s)
    700 HP CAT C-12's
    Posts
    485

    340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    After using the Clarion XMD1 and a FM transmitter to play the Ipod and enduring less than quality sound, enough was enough. It was time to upgrade the head unit to something more with our times. I quickly came to the Fusion equipment and began to plan (with ALOT of help from fellow CSR member HIFI). What started originally as a desire for a new head unit ended up as a project including added speakers, a second amp, new subwoofer, an Overdrive Preamp and a new wired helm remote. That's why the wife says I am Goin' for Broke!

    I worked this project from the cockpit and helm to the cabin. Here goes:

    First, the old subwoofer was replaced with a new one from JL. This was fairly straight forward plug and play change. You can also see templates that I received from Tecnografic at the top of the picture...more of that below.



    While at it I also wanted to produce more sound to the back of the boat and not just at the helm where the existing speakers were located. This meant the addition of another pair of speakers aimed rearward. Went with POLK db691's as they seemed to "look and fit" better in this location then my other separate component db6501's would have, with quite similar performance specs.




    Next came the new Fusion remote. It would not fit where the old Clarion remote was located. As such and early on in this project I new that I was going to need to add some dash panels as part of the grand scheme. I called Tecnografic to see if they could match my existing burlwood look. As it turns out, they said that they were the OEM for my boat's panels. No brainer, I went with them to make me 3 new ones. They really do match my existing panels quite nicely, even after 10 years. From original phone call to received panels was about 4-5 weeks mainly due to the number of times I needed to run to the boat to make templates, check their patterns etc. Once released, I had the panels in 2 weeks. Kudos to Tecnografic as I would recommend them.

    Here's the original setup.




    Due to the insufficient space at this location for the larger diameter Fusion remote, I had to find some way to cover the hole left behind when the old remote was removed. Enter panel # 1 and what I think is a nice upgraded appearance.




    The new remote would be located next to the helm. I also wanted to replace my aging VHF with a new DSC capable unit. The new VHF had a smaller footprint then the old. Enter panel # 2.

    You can also see the small knob next to the remote which will be the sub gain control. I also made a 1/2" plywood backing plate to reinforce all of this as well.




    I was lucky to find a Fusion DVD playing unit for less than the cost of their Ipod unit. This meant that I had to get a separate Ipod dock and mount it remotely. It worked perfectly as I needed something to go in the place of where my old Sirius Tuner was removed to deal with the holes left behind (the Fusion is Sirius capable and you can hide the sat. receiver). The right side of the photo is the new Ipod dock below my light switches.



    I made a new faceplate and shelving similar to the old one, but instead of housing the old CD changer, it will now hide the Overdrive Pre-amp and the Sirius remote receiver.



    Lastly is the JL XD700 5 channel amp to compliment the existing Clarion 4 channel that is being saved. The Clarion will now drive the 2 added 6X9's in 2 channel mode and the JL will drive the existing 2 pairs of db6501's and the sub.

    More pics to follow as I make progress in the cabin.

    A SPECIAL thanks to CSR members HIFI and Hack4alivin for all of your help to date. This forum has been a great asset to a do-it-yourselfer!!!

    Goin' for Broke !!

    '04 43' Egg Harbor Sport Yacht
    700hp C-12 Caterpillars
    previously '01 340 Amberjack (Sea Ray's best boat)
    350hp 3126TA Caterpillars (Guess I got CAT scratch fever)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    SoFla
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    350 Express
    Engine(s)
    Twin Cummins 6BTA5.9
    Posts
    19

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Randy,
    Looking really great! So you are swapping out the cabin speakers as well?
    Glad to hear the comments on Technografic also. I was looking at them to do some dash remodeling down the road. They're HQ'd close by me.
    Thanks for taking the time to post your work. Please keep the pics coming. I am learning, and planning. Should be pulling the trigger by next week on all the equipment.
    Vince
    91 350 EC
    Twin Cummins Diesels

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Long island , NY
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1997 330 sundancer
    Engine(s)
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Posts
    4,991

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Randy,
    That looks fantastic. I can see that you put alot of thought into the system and how the components would mesh. I do have a couple of quetions if you don't mind. First, you saved the old clarion amp. When I started researching an upgrade just about everyone here who responded bashed the clarion products. This sent me toward the JL audio amps. I'm just curious how you arrived at keeping that amp and are you happy with the results? Also, you mixed alot of different brands. Can you share any insight on why you chose the components you did? Again, awesome upgrade and thanks for sharing!



    Cheers!!

    Todd


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sandusky Bay, Ohio
    Boat
    Egg Harbor
    Details
    2004 43' Sport Yacht
    Engine(s)
    700 HP CAT C-12's
    Posts
    485

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Boca_Vincent View Post
    Randy,
    Looking really great! So you are swapping out the cabin speakers as well?
    Glad to hear the comments on Technografic also. I was looking at them to do some dash remodeling down the road. They're HQ'd close by me.
    Thanks for taking the time to post your work. Please keep the pics coming. I am learning, and planning. Should be pulling the trigger by next week on all the equipment.
    Vince,

    No, I am leaving the cabin speakers as is. The Amberjack is a straight shafted boat with no mid cabin. As such, the space is not worth alot of time and effort sound wise. I simply hooked up the existing speakers to the line out wires of Zone 1 of the Fusion head unit. It sounds decent at normal sound levels.

    Tecnografic was good, but I did frequently call to stay on top of the process. They always answered, sent me a sample to compare with my existing, emailed me patterns once they had my posterboard templates, and as stated, really turned the order out quick once I released it to production.

    Goin' for Broke !!

    '04 43' Egg Harbor Sport Yacht
    700hp C-12 Caterpillars
    previously '01 340 Amberjack (Sea Ray's best boat)
    350hp 3126TA Caterpillars (Guess I got CAT scratch fever)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sandusky Bay, Ohio
    Boat
    Egg Harbor
    Details
    2004 43' Sport Yacht
    Engine(s)
    700 HP CAT C-12's
    Posts
    485

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by tdschafer View Post
    Randy,
    That looks fantastic. I can see that you put alot of thought into the system and how the components would mesh. I do have a couple of quetions if you don't mind. First, you saved the old clarion amp. When I started researching an upgrade just about everyone here who responded bashed the clarion products. This sent me toward the JL audio amps. I'm just curious how you arrived at keeping that amp and are you happy with the results? Also, you mixed alot of different brands. Can you share any insight on why you chose the components you did? Again, awesome upgrade and thanks for sharing!
    I was never really "disappointed" with the existing amp when it drove the 4 cockpit speakers and the sub. It produced nice power and sound up to mid volume levels (all that the wife will allow). As such, I took the suggestion of a fellow CSR member and decided to keep it and use it in 2 channel mode and will now dedicate it to the new pair of 6 X 9's. This also helped with the project budget. I can't comment as yet to its performance in this new arrangement as I haven't actually finished up the whole cockpit amps installation and reconfiguration, but will say that if I am not happy with it, I can then simply replace it later. For a new amp though, my research, like yours also pointed me towards JL amps.

    Regarding mixed components, the Polk speakers were selected after having read good reviews here on CSR when the factory Clarion's dissolved in my hands. 2 years later, in my opinion, they are a great sound for the price. I haven't heard the also very popular JL speakers so can't compare, but I will say, NO dissappointments with the 6501's and I hope the new 691's mirror their performance as well. I went with the JL sub as they are supposed to be the best in the marine business (thanks BOE) and their grille had at least a similar look to the polk next to it. The Fusion head unit was a no brainer to me as I liked the built in Ipod interface and simply read great reviews. I was also very attracted to their wired remotes as they have a nice screen (my old remote had no screen) and total control of the unit, Ipod, Sirius. As this remote is where I control the tunes 99% of the time, this was a big factor. It also liked the fact that you control volume levels with an old fasioned knob. Makes turning it up (and down quickly when the wife gives the evil eye ) a snap. No pushing the vol up button 20 times when the perfect song comes on!

    Goin' for Broke !!

    '04 43' Egg Harbor Sport Yacht
    700hp C-12 Caterpillars
    previously '01 340 Amberjack (Sea Ray's best boat)
    350hp 3126TA Caterpillars (Guess I got CAT scratch fever)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Long island , NY
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1997 330 sundancer
    Engine(s)
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Posts
    4,991

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Awesome!! It all make sense. Thanks for the insight. I have ended up with "paralysis by analysis" with my system. I have 4 JL amps I bought over time sitting in my garage waiting for the rest to be purchased. I don't even think my boat came with an amp originally or if it did, it is very lame!! I do remember hearing very good things about the Polks here and they are much more budget friendly than the JL products. I have not looked into the Fusion products as I was leaning toward the Clarion M309, but I will look into them now. If Hifi gave his blessing they must be decent. Thanks again for the clarification. Good luck with the completion.



    Cheers!!

    Todd


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sandusky Bay, Ohio
    Boat
    Egg Harbor
    Details
    2004 43' Sport Yacht
    Engine(s)
    700 HP CAT C-12's
    Posts
    485

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Some more progress.

    The new amp rack has been installed and wired.



    The head unit is also now installed.



    Basically all that is left is to tune it up for optimum performance and sound.
    Last edited by Lake Erie Boater; 04-20-2011 at 08:43 PM. Reason: my grammer sucks

    Goin' for Broke !!

    '04 43' Egg Harbor Sport Yacht
    700hp C-12 Caterpillars
    previously '01 340 Amberjack (Sea Ray's best boat)
    350hp 3126TA Caterpillars (Guess I got CAT scratch fever)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Long island , NY
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1997 330 sundancer
    Engine(s)
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Posts
    4,991

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Very nice! Good job!!



    Cheers!!

    Todd


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Rio Grande, TX
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1998 400EC
    Engine(s)
    Merc 454 Horizon
    Posts
    546

    Re: 340 Amberjack Stereo Upgrade

    Nice work on the sound system and I love the Amberjack!
    1998 400EC
    7.4 MPI

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