Entertainment Loudspeaker Placement on 24-foot Center Console

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
Maty111
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:42 pm

Entertainment Loudspeaker Placement on 24-foot Center Console

Postby Maty111 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:48 pm

On a 24-foot center console boat, I want to add another set of loudspeakers to the factory-installed speakers, with one loudspeaker on each side, near the middle of the boat.

Q: Is there somewhere that is easy to access and results in good sound?

I was thinking of [locating the new loudspeakers in an] electronics box, with the loudspeakers facing out, on either side.

I do not look forward to fishing wires.

[Give me] ideas.

Thank you--Matt

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Entertainment Loudspeaker Placement on 24-foot Center Console

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:20 am

For best sound while at the helm in the driver's position, the loudspeakers should be located at ear-level, with a separation between the loudspeakers equal to the distance from the loudspeakers to the listener, and with the loudspeakers oriented on-axis toward the listener.

Installing loudspeakers with their sound axis pointing outward and at a 90-degree angle to the listener is a horrible arrangement.

Any loudspeakers installed near the ship's helm must be magnetically shielded so the permanent magnets in the loudspeakers will not affect the ship's compass. Be certain that any loudspeakers you buy are explicitly stated to have completely shielded magnets. By the way, a great source of quality loudspeakers with excellent shielded magnets is from old color television console sets that used a cathode ray tube (CRT) as the color display. The electron beams of a CRT are very sensitive to deflection by magnetic fields, and the speakers used on these old television sets were always very well shielded so that their magnets did not disturb the CRT beam deflection.

Because it is very unlikely that a 24-foot center console boat will have much room at the helm, consider using a loudspeaker system with the low-frequency loudspeakers installed in a less optimum position, and use a small combined mid-range and high-frequency loudspeaker for installation at the helm as described above. To drive this split system, you will need a specialized audio amplifier that has two amplifier outputs per channel with frequency filtering; one amplifier drives the low-frequency loudspeaker; a second amplifier drives the mid-hi-frequency loudspeaker. This arrangement will preserve good stereophonic imaging for the listener.

Because you will be creating a multi-loudspeaker system in an unknown environment with unknown resonances in the speaker mounting enclosures, consider getting a system with extensive frequency compensation and time delay compensation built into the amplifier. In this way you can adjust the frequency and time response of the multiple loudspeakers to produce a proper loudspeaker response. Many modern entertainment audio amplifiers offer this sort of self-calibration of the speaker system they are driving.

But my best idea is this: you'll get a much better quality of recorded sound reproduction from headphones, at much less cost and much less difficulty, and that is perhaps the best method, rather than cutting lots of large circular holes in your boat for loudspeakers. In addition, you won't be blasting sound across the water.

Maty111
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:42 pm

Re: Entertainment Loudspeaker Placement on 24-foot Center Console

Postby Maty111 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:49 pm

Thank you for your response.

I was trying to keep things simple. Yes, headphones would be the most effective solution, but I want to improve the sound quality for the passengers. I don't really care. That's the whole reason I'm not taking it to a shop and dumping $5,000 into a sound system. I just want to add two more speakers. I'm almost embarrassed.

jimh
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Re: Entertainment Loudspeaker Placement on 24-foot Center Console

Postby jimh » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:33 am

As far as my own boat, I don't have any interest in using multiple loudspeakers to play recorded music. Although I very much enjoy listening to recorded music, I do not find a boat to be a very good listening environment. I much prefer listening to recorded music in a proper room environment. I am also at a point in life where I don't need constant auditory stimulus to be comfortable and relaxed, and particularly so when on a boat. I'd rather listen to the wind, the waves, and the surroundings.

The reproduction of sound from loudspeakers is very much influenced by the environment in which the loudspeakers are operating. A random loudspeaker operating in a randomly enclosed speaker cabinet space, and projecting into an open air environment represents one of the worst possible situations for producing good sound reproduction. If recorded music is being reproduced poorly, I would rather not listen to it at all. That's my preference. I may not be a good source for advice on how to randomly install speakers on an open boat.

For an alternative approach, see an idea I have had for a while, in a separate thread:

http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5302&p=30673#p30673