Back at the beginning of the summer, a client from the Sacramento area brought his 21-foot 2018 Malibu boat to California Car Sounds and Tint for an audio system upgrade. Our team installed new speakers, a subwoofer, wakeboard tower speakers, a pair of amplifiers and custom lighting for the client. Unfortunately, someone broke into the boat and stole the amplifiers. The client recently returned so we could install new amps and add some protection to the amp rack.
Malibu 21 Audio System Upgrade
The audio system upgrade for this Malibu 12 includes a new JL Audio M12IB6-SG-WH 12-inch infinite baffle subwoofer with a custom acrylic plastic illuminated ring. The sub is mounted underneath the helm and points rearward into the main seating area. A JL Audio M600/1 amplifier that we mounted in the portside storage locker provides the sub with up to 600 watts of power to ensure the bass stays clear and detailed, even when the volume is cranked.
Next, we added a set of Wet Sounds Rev 10 Revolution Series enclosures to the wakeboard tower, using Malibu G3 Dual speaker mounting brackets. The REV 10 B-SC V2 speakers feature a massive 10-inch midrange driver and a horn-loaded compression driver for clear highs, even when at the end of the tow-rope.
Marine Audio System Amplifiers
The interior of this Malibu 12 comes with three pairs of 8-inch Wet Sounds REVO 8 coaxial speakers mounted around the cockpit. To provide adequate power to those speakers, as well as the new tower speakers, we installed an eight-channel JL Audio M800/8 amplifier. The M800/8 delivers up to 75 watts to each of the eight speakers in the boat.
The amplifiers are connected to the factory Malibu audio system that is controlled by their touchscreen. We added an ARC Audio PSM Digital Signal Processor (DSP) between the source unit and the amps to give us complete control over the audio signals. The PSM allowed us to set crossovers to maximize the power handling and performance of each speaker in the boat and use the 7-band parametric equalizer on each channel to fine-tune the frequency response of the system and make it sound natural and life-like.
To protect the new amplifiers against theft, our team created a mesh steel amp rack cover and secured it in place with 18 stainless steel security bolts. The cover is painted black to prevent corrosion.
Malibu Marine Entertainment System Lighting
A key focus of this audio upgrade was to add RGB LED lighting to all the speakers in the boat. Our team created the acrylic plastic lighting ring for the 12-inch subwoofer from scratch and use the Wet Sounds LED KIT REV10-RGB and LED KIT 8-RGB lighting rings for the tower and cockpit speakers.
The lighting system is controlled by a Wet Sounds WS-4Z-RGB four-zone lighting controller and an RF-RGB-MC V2 RF remote control system. The remote lets the client choose from thousands of colors and dozens of light-changing patterns for the lights.
To ensure the LED lights were as bright and vibrant as possible, we mounted four Wet Sounds RGB Amplifier lighting amps near the master controller. These lighting amplifiers work like a line-driver to boost the voltage to each of the four lighting zones and help compensate for the long wire runs required in the boat. In all, we used an entire spool of Wet Sounds four-conductor lighting wire to bring this illumination project together.
Marine Audio System Tuning
After almost five days of work, we had the system installed and it was time to use our Real Time Analyzer (RTA) to fine-tune the equalization and crossovers in the ARC Audio PSM and make the final sensitivity adjustments to the JL Audio amplifiers. Proper tuning and configuration are important to the performance and reliability of an audio system. Set incorrectly, the system could distort at high volume levels and the speakers could be damaged.
The client was thrilled with the audio system on his Malibu 21 and happy that he made the two-hour drive from Sacramento to see the team at California Car Sounds and Tint in Campbell.
If you are interested in upgrading the audio system on your boat, drop by the store or send us an e-mail to schedule a consultation.