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Another Electrical Question (speakers)

Feb 19, 2008
196
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
Hi All -
I've been using the new stereo with the old speakers, because the old speakers were already installed.

Reasons to install the new speakers:
I've tested them, and they sound better than the old speakers, not much, but noticeable if you pay attention.
It feels weird to buy a stereo, and throw away the speakers (and I'm not keeping them in the garage forever).

Reasons not to install them:
I'd have to cut a bigger hole in the cockpit wall - so there is no going back.
Not 100% sure the trim ring is going to fit as elegantly as the old ones - might have to fill with caulk (slight angle in cockpit wall)
Questions about power use.

Question:
New speakers are 100 Watt, 4 ohm speakers. Old ones are 40 watt, 4 ohm speakers. This implies a greater battery drain - right?
Do I have to worry that the wiring / fuses are not sufficient?

They worked fine when I plugged them in and tested them, but that was 15 minutes.
Again - I don't want to cut holes until I have all the information.

Thanks -

JK
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,252
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
I think unless you have the speakers maxed out, the ratings are irrelevant for normal use. Who wants blaring music while sailing anyway?
 
Jan 4, 2010
940
Farr 30 San Francisco
4 ohms is 4 ohms = no heavier load. You can if you wish drive them harder before they fail. Bigger speakers actually tend to be more efficient at converting electricity into sound, so you might actually use less electricity. The spec you are looking for is SPL ( specific power level) and it is in db/W a higher SPL is a more efficient speaker, there is lots and lots more to it of course.
 
Feb 19, 2008
196
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
i was thinking the same thing, that the bigger speakers might be capable of drawing more power, but I’m going to have them on low volume.

I obviously have no idea how the math works, but it sounds like @JohnShannon does.
I guess I cut the bigger holes.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,488
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The speakers need to match the output of the stereo. If you drive 40 watt speakers with a 100 watt stereo you will tear up your speakers.
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,204
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
The speakers need to match the output of the stereo. If you drive 40 watt speakers with a 100 watt stereo you will tear up your speakers.
Only if you crank it. I would use what you currently have and see if it suits the purpose. If so, no boat surgery required..
 

BarryL

.
May 21, 2004
811
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409 Mt. Sinai, NY
Hey,

The watt numbers for the speaker is the maximum watts they can handle. If you exceed that number you can damage the speaker. So the newer speakers can handle more power, but that doesn't mean they will use more power. As long as you keep the volume the same as before the power used will be the same.

Barry
 

higgs

.
Aug 24, 2005
3,480
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
Your speakers will warn you before you blow them. If you crank it up to the point where the sound is distorted you are putting them at risk.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,414
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Speaker wattage ratings are for the most part irrelevant and also very often bold faced lies. With clean power most any speaker out there, unless walkie talkie grade, can handle the "deck power" you are supplying it with.. When buying speakers focus on sound quality not what the package says in "W". When focusing on boat speakers focus on a brand that does not change the size or shape often. PolyPlaner speakers sound pretty poor but in ten years when your "new" speakers have been destroyed by UV and the manufacturer no longer makes them.... Well.....

I can guarantee I could blow up either of those speakers at far less than 100W, of real power, not bogus massaged & misleading marketing claims the car audio industry is wrought with. Most car decks can barely deliver 4-8 real watts per channel of power. My home stereo amp, only a two channel amp, no volume buttons, is rated at 100 WPC and it weighs over 80 pounds to do so. It has eaten 400W "rated" speakers for lunch. Did it to prove a point to a friend.. The speaker cones were popping at max extension at just 1/4 volume on my pre-amp. That was probably about 30 real watts against a 400W "rated" speaker.

The claims by many car audio companies are nothing but complete lies. As I mentioned above most of these decks are at best a 4-8 watt per channel unit at normal battery voltages. If you use any sort of "legitimate" wattage rating system.

This is what a 150 watt per channel amplifier would really look like. This amplifier weighs 90 pounds and requires its own dedicated 20A outlet on AC power..


This is what a "chip amp" looks like. They are found in most car in-dash stereos. it is about the size of a quarter and weighs about the same as a dime.


Car stereo ratings are most often heavily "massaged" numbers taking one specific easy to drive frequency, at a horrible THD distortion level, and rating a split second peak to trough. They have other sneaky ways of rating them too, like the "W" does not even mean watts but 400"W" or "WOW" factor and some other bogus shenanigans. These decks are more like 4-8 listenable WPC at best at 12.3 - 12.7V and perhaps up to 9-11W at 14.6V... Car audio companies are among the most misleading of any consumer brands when it comes to marketing claims, but they get away with it because the industry is rather lax, and only a few companies want to self regulate. Some manufacturers are more legit than others but the legit manufacturers lose out by being honest in a sea full of liars.

To be fair here is a 100 WPC car amplifier (at car audio "quality"). This one only has somewhat misleading specs and rather decent sound quality. It will set you back about $2200.00... This amp is 3" Tall x 12.5" Wide x 18.4" Long. It will draw upwards of 30 - 50A DC when listening and 2.5A DC sitting there at idle doing nothing...


If you want a unit that is more fairly rated, still not a fool proof standard, buy one that says: "Amplifier Power Standard CEA-2006 Compliant." Keep in mind though that this power rating is at 1.0% THD and 14.4V. A 1.0% THD is HORRIBLE and in the ear bleeding range especially when you consider that it is not rated at 20 Hz to 20 kHz and they've picked a "favorable" frequency to rate it at. They are usually way worse than 1% THD if they were accurately rated from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.. My old amp was rated at 0.04% @ 20 Hz to 20 kHz.. This is in the range of not even audible across the entire frequency range but it took 90 pounds of weight and a dedicated 20A outlet to get there..

On a sailboat you're rarely at 14.4V, and 1% THD is a pretty poor level of distortion as far as sound "quality"... I would bet it is pretty hard finding ANY CAR OR MARINE DECK (not an external amplifier) that has a CEA-2006 "amplifier" rating. Manufacturers only tend to rate EXTERNAL AMPS not in-dash decks. They don't rate decks so they can lie to you in the aisles of Wal*Mart and Best Buy.

I found this a while ago and it makes for some interesting reading..

Outrageous Audio Claims
]http://www.outrageousaudio.com/page_files/amp_wattage.pdf]

You're just not going to find in-dash "deck power" in any car or marine stereo with a real 50WPC that meets CEA standards or any "reputable" method of testing output, but, you can find PLENTY of liars...Yes, you CAN find an external AMPLIFIER that puts out 50WPC but it will suck your battery bank like a Vampire sucks blood. A quick glance a the McIntosh amp above and its 30-50A DC current capability should solidify what it takes to produce a real 100WPC in a 12V amplifier. It really puts the "bogus" 240WPC in-dash car stereo in perspective..

From a typical car deck, such as a Kenwood Excelon, 0.5A - 1.0A renders a very "listenable" level but we have efficient speakers, two in the cockpit and two in the salon plus a sub..

This is two channels driven into 4 Ohm nominal speakers w/92 SPL "rated" efficiency. The voltage was 12.65V. A white noise CD was used and an SPL meter. The stereo is pulling 1.62A at 103 dB. 103 dB is very loud.


If we use Ohm's law we can see: 1.62A X 12.65V = 20.49W.. This stereo was sold as 200W or 50W per channel (4 channels). Between the input and the output there are also lots of efficiency losses to account for. At a nearly cranked volume, into two channels, it can barely pull 20.5W from the bank. This is why the real power is closer to 4 - 8 WPC or 4 - 11 WPC at 14.6V....

Bottom line stick with a manufacturer of speakers who does not change the sizes often. We've been through this with piles of customres and it gets expensive when the fancy & expensive speakers they purchased four years ago are now toasted by UV but there are zero replacemnets in that size/depth etc... Poly Planar wins in this category and they are tolerable, more tolerable than drilling new holes every few years, at least in my opinion having been there and done that......
 
  • Like
Likes: BarryL
Oct 29, 2016
1,697
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
Not looking at wattage output, we have a pair of Sony SRS-XB43 blue tooth speakers which work very nicely in the cockpit and provide quality sound with no holes needed. I don't like putting holes in the boat where water can get in.
 
  • Like
Likes: Mark Maulden
Jan 11, 2014
7,488
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Speaker wattage ratings are for the most part irrelevant and also very often bold faced lies. With clean power most any speaker out there, unless walkie talkie grade, can handle the "deck power" you are supplying it with.. When buying speakers focus on sound quality not what the package says in "W". When focusing on boat speakers focus on a brand that does not change the size or shape often. PolyPlaner speakers sound pretty poor but in ten years when your "new" speakers have been destroyed by UV and the manufacturer no longer makes them.... Well.....

I can guarantee I could blow up either of those speakers at far less than 100W, of real power, not bogus massaged & misleading marketing claims the car audio industry is wrought with. Most car decks can barely deliver 4-8 real watts per channel of power. My home stereo amp, only a two channel amp, no volume buttons, is rated at 100 WPC and it weighs over 80 pounds to do so. It has eaten 400W "rated" speakers for lunch. Did it to prove a point to a friend.. The speaker cones were popping at max extension at just 1/4 volume on my pre-amp. That was probably about 30 real watts against a 400W "rated" speaker.

The claims by many car audio companies are nothing but complete lies. As I mentioned above most of these decks are at best a 4-8 watt per channel unit at normal battery voltages. If you use any sort of "legitimate" wattage rating system.

This is what a 150 watt per channel amplifier would really look like. This amplifier weighs 90 pounds and requires its own dedicated 20A outlet on AC power..


This is what a "chip amp" looks like. They are found in most car in-dash stereos. it is about the size of a quarter and weighs about the same as a dime.


Car stereo ratings are most often heavily "massaged" numbers taking one specific easy to drive frequency, at a horrible THD distortion level, and rating a split second peak to trough. They have other sneaky ways of rating them too, like the "W" does not even mean watts but 400"W" or "WOW" factor and some other bogus shenanigans. These decks are more like 4-8 listenable WPC at best at 12.3 - 12.7V and perhaps up to 9-11W at 14.6V... Car audio companies are among the most misleading of any consumer brands when it comes to marketing claims, but they get away with it because the industry is rather lax, and only a few companies want to self regulate. Some manufacturers are more legit than others but the legit manufacturers lose out by being honest in a sea full of liars.

To be fair here is a 100 WPC car amplifier (at car audio "quality"). This one only has somewhat misleading specs and rather decent sound quality. It will set you back about $2200.00... This amp is 3" Tall x 12.5" Wide x 18.4" Long. It will draw upwards of 30 - 50A DC when listening and 2.5A DC sitting there at idle doing nothing...


If you want a unit that is more fairly rated, still not a fool proof standard, buy one that says: "Amplifier Power Standard CEA-2006 Compliant." Keep in mind though that this power rating is at 1.0% THD and 14.4V. A 1.0% THD is HORRIBLE and in the ear bleeding range especially when you consider that it is not rated at 20 Hz to 20 kHz and they've picked a "favorable" frequency to rate it at. They are usually way worse than 1% THD if they were accurately rated from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.. My old amp was rated at 0.04% @ 20 Hz to 20 kHz.. This is in the range of not even audible across the entire frequency range but it took 90 pounds of weight and a dedicated 20A outlet to get there..

On a sailboat you're rarely at 14.4V, and 1% THD is a pretty poor level of distortion as far as sound "quality"... I would bet it is pretty hard finding ANY CAR OR MARINE DECK (not an external amplifier) that has a CEA-2006 "amplifier" rating. Manufacturers only tend to rate EXTERNAL AMPS not in-dash decks. They don't rate decks so they can lie to you in the aisles of Wal*Mart and Best Buy.

I found this a while ago and it makes for some interesting reading..

Outrageous Audio Claims
]http://www.outrageousaudio.com/page_files/amp_wattage.pdf]

You're just not going to find in-dash "deck power" in any car or marine stereo with a real 50WPC that meets CEA standards or any "reputable" method of testing output, but, you can find PLENTY of liars...Yes, you CAN find an external AMPLIFIER that puts out 50WPC but it will suck your battery bank like a Vampire sucks blood. A quick glance a the McIntosh amp above and its 30-50A DC current capability should solidify what it takes to produce a real 100WPC in a 12V amplifier. It really puts the "bogus" 240WPC in-dash car stereo in perspective..

From a typical car deck, such as a Kenwood Excelon, 0.5A - 1.0A renders a very "listenable" level but we have efficient speakers, two in the cockpit and two in the salon plus a sub..

This is two channels driven into 4 Ohm nominal speakers w/92 SPL "rated" efficiency. The voltage was 12.65V. A white noise CD was used and an SPL meter. The stereo is pulling 1.62A at 103 dB. 103 dB is very loud.


If we use Ohm's law we can see: 1.62A X 12.65V = 20.49W.. This stereo was sold as 200W or 50W per channel (4 channels). Between the input and the output there are also lots of efficiency losses to account for. At a nearly cranked volume, into two channels, it can barely pull 20.5W from the bank. This is why the real power is closer to 4 - 8 WPC or 4 - 11 WPC at 14.6V....

Bottom line stick with a manufacturer of speakers who does not change the sizes often. We've been through this with piles of customres and it gets expensive when the fancy & expensive speakers they purchased four years ago are now toasted by UV but there are zero replacemnets in that size/depth etc... Poly Planar wins in this category and they are tolerable, more tolerable than drilling new holes every few years, at least in my opinion having been there and done that......
When I saw this post I was on the boat, so we conducted a little data collection.

The stereo is a Clarion M 309 with a maximum output of 200 watts (50w x 4 channels).

Speakers are Polyplanar of unknown age and abuse.

All measurements taken with a Victron battery monitor (current) or Balmar Smartguage (voltage) and 2 channel stereo out put.

Battery resting voltage 12.65v

Current draw at idle, i.e., no music was .51 amps

Current draw at a comfortable listening level (about half volume) .54 amps

Max volume rocking to Bruce and Born in the USA current draw was ~1.7 to 2.0+ amps.

Max wattage 12.65v * 2.0 amps = 25.3 watts

A little short of the stated 50 watts per channel.

The good news is at a comfortable volume the current draw is very low and the sound is acceptable. :beer:
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,414
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
When I saw this post I was on the boat, so we conducted a little data collection.

The stereo is a Clarion M 309 with a maximum output of 200 watts (50w x 4 channels).

Speakers are Polyplanar of unknown age and abuse.

All measurements taken with a Victron battery monitor (current) or Balmar Smartguage (voltage) and 2 channel stereo out put.

Battery resting voltage 12.65v

Current draw at idle, i.e., no music was .51 amps

Current draw at a comfortable listening level (about half volume) .54 amps

Max volume rocking to Bruce and Born in the USA current draw was ~1.7 to 2.0+ amps.

Max wattage 12.65v * 2.0 amps = 25.3 watts

A little short of the stated 50 watts per channel.

The good news is at a comfortable volume the current draw is very low and the sound is acceptable. :beer:
The IC amp in a deck like yours has pretty poor efficiency, For a kind fudge factor we'll call it 80%.. A white noise CD is the best way to measure things or you get the "peaks", but these peaks can be a rough guide.....

25.3W X .80 = 20.2W ÷ 2 CH = 10.1 WPC.. Thus my point about speaker wattage ratings not being relevant with a standard car audio deck, because the power ratings are just not realistic..
 

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,043
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Give a lot of thought where you install your boat speakers. Inside the cabin it will likely be difficult to place stereo speakers where one of them will not be next to someone's ear. In the cockpit it is difficult to separate them enough to get a true stereo effect.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,488
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Give a lot of thought where you install your boat speakers. Inside the cabin it will likely be difficult to place stereo speakers where one of them will not be next to someone's ear. In the cockpit it is difficult to separate them enough to get a true stereo effect.
The prior owner made that decision. If I change it, there will be 2 big holes in the forward bulkhead.