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  1. #1
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    Default Using car speakers in a boat

    So I am putting my stereo in next weekend, I have a car stereo that I am mounting in the glovebox to keep it dry. I have a question about speakers though. I have a low budget, but I am looking for great sound (I know that sound ludicrous). Anyway I can either get 1 pair of kicker marine components (6.5), or MTX non marine speakers (2 pair). The mtx speakers have poly cones and rubber surrounds, which I know will hold up fine. I worry about the cloth deal below the cone (in picture below) and the rest of the components holding up. Please help me, I dont want to have to buy speakers in the next year or two again.

    1987 Glassport 165rx

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    (that part is called the 'spider' btw...)

    Anyway, the only requirements are poly cones/rubber surrounds, like you mentioned. It is possible SOME marine speakers might have UV inhibitors also, but even without that, you will get at least a couple years of service out of regular speakers. As far as the spider, it shouldn't be exposed directly to water anyway. if it is you need to seal up your boat a little better!


    different question, are you mounting the speakers in box? Some speakers are meant for open environments/open baffle, some are not. For 6.5"'s it doesn't make a huge amount of difference though.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    I would think they should work if kept dry, cars have speakers in the back window and that's in the sun.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Thanks, since it sounds like you know what you are talking about could you answer another question. I am trying to decide between these items and I dont know which way to go.
    I can get 1 set of these...
    KICKER KM620.2 (marine components)

    Or

    1 set of MTX XT693 and 1 set of MTX XT 502 (car speakers)

    I like the idea of having 4 speakers, and I have heard that my kenwood head unit may have issues of pushing the components. But if I will get much better sound with the components Ill go that way.

    Thanks
    1987 Glassport 165rx

  5. #5
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    I consider cars to be a pretty harsh environment. Don't get them directly wet and I don't think you'll have a problem.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
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  6. #6
    Rear Admiral 180shabah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    If this is afresh water boat, go for it. I have always used "car speakers". In fact my current front pair are ford ranger take offs, paper cone and all. Been in the boat two years now and still runnin' strong. I got them for the angled surface mount grills, but they sounded SO MUCH better then the marine speakers that were in the boat, I lrft them in. They are getting upgraded this year (probably kenwood or alpine), but I am doing for better sound quality, not because they have deteriorated.

  7. #7
    Admiral ziggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    fwiw. i'm using a auto stereo in my boat. a panasonic indash + 4 ea. panasonic 6.5's (plastic cones). so far so good. this will be my 4th year with them installed w/o problems. i know for sure one of the rear speakers has had water dripped all over it (from entering the boat on a ladder from deep water) and my indash has ingested water so bad that the display went away and it didn't work at all. after it dried out it become fully operational again.. that pretty much amazed me...
    'Lime Time'
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by 180shabah View Post
    If this is afresh water boat, go for it. I have always used "car speakers". In fact my current front pair are ford ranger take offs, paper cone and all. Been in the boat two years now and still runnin' strong. I got them for the angled surface mount grills, but they sounded SO MUCH better then the marine speakers that were in the boat, I lrft them in. They are getting upgraded this year (probably kenwood or alpine), but I am doing for better sound quality, not because they have deteriorated.
    I would suggest you look at Focal's Access line. I believe they are 165CA for the 6.5s. Awesome speakers at a reasonable price.[/tangent]

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Without an amp your head unit should push a pair of 6x9 and a pair of 6.5 fairly well if its a newer unit. Is it going to win a comp. no but it should be acceptable for what you are trying to do. If you peg the volume it will sound crappy due to not enough power, so dont peg the volume. Most average systems aren't loud enough to rock out while under way unless you are fully enclosed somehow. If the auto units are kept mostly dry they will be fine, even a marine unit will be trashed if it takes a wave of water into it. Mount them in a place that won't see water regularly and yopu should be fine. If the sound isn't to your liking a small amp could be added and really add some snap to it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    The focals are way too expensive, well over 100 per pair. I know the head will power the coax speakers fine, I just was curious if it can power a component set. The components can handle MUCH higher wattage, so I didn't know if it they needed higher wattage to drive them.
    1987 Glassport 165rx

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Like I say it is rated to handle 4 speakers, its when you start going into the upper half of the volume range you could start to see or hear problems. A 100w amp would be a nice addition to the system in the future if funds allow. But for now I would have NO hesitation in hooking it up with the 4 speaks and going for it. You may be pleasently surprised at how it performs, big sound and clarity requires big money. Since the money thing is affecting us all go with what you have and see from there what else you may need.

  12. #12
    Chief Petty Officer Subliminal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by maharg View Post
    The focals are way too expensive, well over 100 per pair. I know the head will power the coax speakers fine, I just was curious if it can power a component set. The components can handle MUCH higher wattage, so I didn't know if it they needed higher wattage to drive them.
    You can always power a set of components with whatever power you have...but it might not sound very good. But this is entirely too broad of a question to answer. Proper installation goes a LONG way in sound reproduction, as does listening volume, power handling, output power, environment, etc. Usually, though, components shouldn't be run off a head unit's power. If you install them properly, and have a really great amp in your head unit, and have crossovers set to fade out the low end and subwoofers to take up the slack, then yeah it could work...but generally I'd go with a resounding no.

    And my Focal recommendation was for the person I quoted who said they wanted to replace their current speakers with better sounding ones.

  13. #13
    Lieutenant Commander redone4x4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    I had some automotive 6.5"s that i put in our boat. We got stuck in a bad storm and they got soaked and started shorting out. I left em in, and next trip they were kinda shorting out again so i pulled em and went with marine 6.5"s and i plan on adding some 6x9"s with maybe a small amp. head unit is automotive kenwood with a splashguard.
    Samuel Adams. Always A Good Decision.
    1987 5.0 OMC capri 1950CX bowrider, 3 bow 6 ft. Westland bimini

  14. #14
    Admiral ziggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Most average systems aren't loud enough to rock out while under way unless you are fully enclosed somehow.
    i consider what i have to be average. 200w or 4x50w, no amps or sub woofers. ft. speakers are just in ft. of the merControl, right behind the dash, aft speakers just in ft. of the aft seating on a 19' boat closed bow boat. i fade 2 or 3 to the rear and it's pretty balanced out. i do have a hardtop, but the hardtop slides to the rear and when it's slid back, still plenty loud to hear while underway. w/o cranking it too.
    If the auto units are kept mostly dry they will be fine, even a marine unit will be trashed if it takes a wave of water into it.
    and that's what happened when i injested water. i took a wave over the bow from a cruiser and stuffed my bow into their wave. top slid back. the waver went right up the windshield and dumped it right on top of my indash, which ejected the cd i was listening to and funneled the water right down the cd into the indash. it took a week of sitting in the sun to dry the whole boat out let alone the stereo.. while i'd tend to think what your saying is true. mine does in fact still work (which is amazing to me also). took the wave two summers ago.
    again, i got auto stereo components all around.. maybe i'm just lucky it still works, i don't know. just my experience..
    'Lime Time'
    1975 AristoCraft Nineteen
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Smokingcrater is dead on. The only other thing I'll add is that with my Pioneer Marine speakers the spider is laminated to reduce rot. I also use marine amplifiers which have the circuits siliconed to reduce corrosion. However, if your cautious about where you mount them automotive speakers will do you just fine.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Having just ripped out an old set of speakers to replace them with "marine speakers" I noticed that the old speakers have a fair amount of steel in them which was heavily fuzzed up with rust (enough to kill the sound) and a lot of the glue that was used in assembly had let go. I am trusting that marine speakers will be more resistant to moisture!

  17. #17
    Rear Admiral 180shabah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    thats more a function of speaker quality, than auto vs. marine. I had a pair of cheapy roadmasters that I picked up for $15. After two years in the boat, they were still in new condition, so they retasked - they now live in the camper for listening to games outside.

  18. #18
    Petty Officer 2nd Class Plasma George's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    I'd search "Pyle Marine "on FlEbay. They have a ton of punch for great pricing.

    If you see my profile pictures, I have 5"ers in the bow, and 8"ers under the rear seats, and a new JVC head unit. Ipod sounds great when we're sitting, awesome lowend from the 8s, but when we're moving, I need more power.

    My newer Maxum came with a trolling motor and 2 batteries so I already bought an amp....and will power with Pyles speakers again....probably same setup, but AMPLIFIED.

    1992 20' Maxum, w/ Force 120 HP Outboard
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  19. #19
    Petty Officer 3rd Class trejac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    My two cents..

    I'm going to be building a sytem for my boat this year! I'm going with stright automotive components. I'm going to be using a dual cable out put head unit, into two amps (one for subs and one for mind and higs), into a water tight sub box I've made, two 6X9, two 6.5 and two dome tweeters.

    If you buy new get the warrenty on all the componets and take the back if they get wet.

    Personally I go for used stuff because if I don't have allot of money invested in the equipment than I could care less if it breaks if it gets wet.

    If you go the used route

    Try looking in the local pawn shops. I'm not racial profilling but I found that if I look at the pawn shops where allot of people live that have this type of equipment you can pick up good stuff cheap.

    Lastly, trade and barter with people for thier old used stuff. I've got 5 complete home stereo systems from doing that.

    To answer one specific quetion, the normal head unit is not powerful enough to run 4 speakers with any sound quality while underway in a open bow boat. The wind noise is toooooooo much.

    Again, my two cents!!!!!!!!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    I wont be using them underway much, mostly when hanging in a cove at the lake.
    1987 Glassport 165rx

  21. #21
    Petty Officer 3rd Class trejac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Asking a head unit to run four speakers at any level over three quaters volume will distort. Last year I did exactly what you are talking about and it worked fine. However, this year I want more...........

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by DonHof View Post
    I would think they should work if kept dry, cars have speakers in the back window and that's in the sun.
    you have a layer of glass though. Window glass is really good at absorbing almost all short wavelength UV energy.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    polk audio db series... can be had for a very reasonanble price and are marine rated.. they also sound great
    Just another moron with a computer and too much time on his hands...

    typical rainy afternoon on the river... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Izi3v75jTs

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Not terribly relevant, but I have a Glastron deckboat with a mid to low end stereo system. The unit has both auto and boat applications. I got one with the auto head and display. Totally unreadable in any bright light (and some difficulty in getting a replacement, but not from Glastron. Hope you can see yours.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Using car speakers in a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by wca_tim View Post
    polk audio db series... can be had for a very reasonanble price and are marine rated.. they also sound great

    i've used polk db and db2's in numerous sound quality competition car audio systems that i've built. Have never taken lower than a 2nd place finish (only once!) with them.

    For boat use they are a little pricey, I run nothing but polk's in my car systems, but go cheaper in the boat.

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