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Author Topic:   Speaker Location for Sterephonic Reproduction in Outrage
seaverd posted 06-13-2007 06:32 PM ET (US)   Profile for seaverd   Send Email to seaverd  
I just recently purchased a 1996 Outrage 19 (Outrage 20 in 1997 and 1998) and was wondering where people have installed stereo speakers in their Boston Whaler boats. The boat currently has a pair of speakers installed on each side of the center console facing the gunwales of the boat.

How many stereo speakers do people have in their boats? Where are they located.

Thanks for any suggestions.


jimh posted 06-13-2007 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For stereophonic reproduction you should have two speakers, a LEFT and a RIGHT channel reproducer. Some set ups use a third speaker, a CENTER speaker, but this is not really that common.

To get proper stereophonic imaging the speakers have to be set in an array which allows them to direct their sound into the listening area. Typically the prime listening spot needs to be no farther from the loudspeakers than the separation of the loudspeakers.

There is really no good location whatsoever in a boat like a Boston Whaler center console for loudspeakers in a stereophonic array. The first concern is that the loudspeakers do not cause an error in the compass. This rules out a prime location on the center console with the speakers directed right at the helmsman. Of course, you can get speakers whose permanent magnets are shielded. These are often made for use with CRT monitors, where the magnetic field of the loudspeakers will distort the colorimetry and the resigstration of the electron guns. I don't know if the remaining field from those sorts of loudspeakers will be low enough to avoid influencing the compass.

The speakers need to be at the same level as the listener in the prime spot. If you stand at the center console you will need to elevate the speakers above the level of the gunwales, so this rules out any place in the hull for mounting them.

Time alignment is important in maintaining the stereo image, and you should choose loudspeakers carefully to maintain this. I like the Tannoy speakers which have the high-frequency radiator built into the throat of the low frequency radiator. Other systems try to align the radiators with different techniques.

Of course, you could not have mounted the loud speakers anywhere in the hull, anyways, due to the Unibond construction. This is another huge problem with a Boston Whaler.

I have seen some speaker installation on Boston Whaler boats, but overall they all have been awful for stereophonic reproduction. The case that you describe, where the speakers fire out from each side of the console directing the sound 180-degrees apart is the worst possible situation. The speakers have to be aligned and directing their sound with 0-degrees of angle or even sometimes slightly converging.

The side of the console is also the worse possible situation because it directs the sound at 90-degrees to the listener. That is horrible, too.

We have been over and over this, many times, and in my opinion the only reasonable suggestion so far is to use a large plastic cooler as a speaker enclosure. Mount a pair of 6-inch or maybe 8-inch full range speakers on the face of the cooler. Then move the cooler into position to listen to the speakers when you are at anchor or at the dock. At the dock you could even throw the cooler on the dock and point it at the boat.

A lot of people think I am somewhat of a jerk on this topic, but the situation is that I have worked in professional audio for decades, I have recorded and mixed all sorts of musical performances, and I enjoy music and high quality audio as a listener and for recreation. But it does not mix well--a pun, get it?--at all with boating on a small recreational open boat with an outboard motor.

BarryGreen posted 06-14-2007 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for BarryGreen  Send Email to BarryGreen     
Dan - It all depends on what you're after. I had a '98 Outrage 20 which should be identical to your '96. I didn't want exposed speakers for aesthetic as well as "wash down/rain exposure" reasons, so I bought a pair of Polyplanar marine speakers from West. These came in rectangular housings with a gimbal type mount. I epoxied a small plywood block under the most forward end of each gunwale, and screwed the gimbal mount up into each block with the long dimension of the speaker going fwd-aft and the speakers pointing down towards the deck. I ran the speaker cables through small holes drilled in the inner liner just forward of the speakers and lead them under the cockpit floor and up into the center console.

This does several things. 1) the speakers are not visible unless you lay down on the deck and look up, 2) they will stay dry under all conditions, 3) they direct the sound downward, which allows you a reasonable sound level in the boat and minimizes the annoyance level to other boats around you, 4) stereo separation is very good, and 5) the magnetic disturbance to your compass is negligible. The latter is very important and often ignored.

While not concert level, with good speakers the sound quality is excellent IMHO.


blackdog54 posted 06-15-2007 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
I am here to agree with JimH on something!

The prior owner of my Montauk put the speakers (6" Clarion crap) on each side of the console. The sound quality is horrible. I could produce better sound with a tin can, a piece of string, a willing listener and a Bee Gees soundtrack to guide my falsetto while singing along. It is tinny, there are no enclosures surrounding the rear of the speaker/magnet inside the console.

This has bothered me for a very long time. Obviously, I can not un-do what has been done, other than to disconnect these speakers and live with the fact that there are 6" holes in the sides of my center console (any bright ideas how to hide these?).

I REALLY LIKE jim's idea of the cooler conversion, though it would be stationary and I would route the wiring from the back of the cooler, under the console and up into the console enclosure. The guy before me also mounted the stereo until on the horizontal surface of the console, next to my compass. I would have placed it on the vertical surface, facing the RPS.

Jim, have you done this and do you have photos? Would you use hard-wired speakers or something remote?

jimh posted 06-15-2007 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is not my idea, but I think it is a good idea. I would build the whole rig into the cooler--the amp, the battery, and the jack for the iPod. That way you could take it with you to the beach or to an island.

If you protected the back of the speakers from damage, you could still use the cooler as a dry storage locker, too.

FISHALLSPEC posted 06-18-2007 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHALLSPEC  Send Email to FISHALLSPEC     
Hmmmmmmm,now how do I get my pair of Bryston 7B,s in that consule? Just for tunes,a rectangular small pair of marine speakers under the gunwhales will be out of site and out of the way.Cooler idea is cool as well, just put a jack on the back to plug in the cables.We audio guys can do our criticle listening at home.I am going to be tuning my 18-Outrage this summer and I want a nice clean install as well.Good luck!
1980Montauk posted 06-21-2007 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for 1980Montauk  Send Email to 1980Montauk     
Jim - You have peaked my interest in a cooler stereo for my Montauk. I may try to make a protoype using the following kit.
[url] Product_10151_-1_10001_95659_200001008_200000000_200001000_200-1-8[/url]

I just want to use my I-Pod for music and it doesn't have to be super loud. I kept my old 94qt cooler, so I don't mind cutting it up. I post some pictures if it works.


1980Montauk posted 06-21-2007 01:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for 1980Montauk  Send Email to 1980Montauk

Try this link. Garey

timing posted 06-22-2007 01:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for timing    

Infinity Kappa speakers sound very good mounted / replacing the gunwale plates on my 1999 Outrage 21.

BBS posted 06-22-2007 02:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for BBS  Send Email to BBS     
I mounted mine in the forward cooler of my 18' Outrage and they worked fine - they were Infinity Kappa's and were not the reason I gave up. One season and 2 stereos later (I mounted inside the console but not in a weather proof box) I have removed the stereo to gain the space back, used the hole I mounted the wired remote in to install a bilge pump switch and am glad I do not have speaker holes anywhere but in the cooler (I left the speakers in until I have to replace the cooler. Now I enjoy the silence or turn on a small portable if I feel like listening to music.

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