My boat was not equipped with the upgraded, optional sound system from the factory. The standard sound system consisted of 4 cabin speakers, and 4 cockpit speakers, all of mediocre quality.
So, my first step was to remove the Clarion head unit and 6 disc changer, and sell them on Ebay. Located behind these components, the factory mounted two small 2 channel amplifiers. The four cabin speakers were paralleled on one amp, with the four cockpit speakers on the other. So, I rewired both amps to turn on via the cabin switch, and used each one to power a pair of the cabin speakers. This doubled the available power in the cabin, reduced the loads on these amps, and cleaned up the sound inside the boat. It also left me with no amplifier for the cockpit.
After considerable research and amplifier evaluation, I chose to power the cockpit sound system with an amplifier from MB Quart.
This amp is quite robust, has 4 channels for the cockpit speakers, and a fifth channel for a subwoofer. The 4 channel amps run in class AB (analog), which I prefer over class D (digital switching), for a smooth, musical sound. The fifth channel runs in class D, which is quite appropriate for a high powered, low frequency sub amp. Best use of power and efficiency, in my view. This amp was powered with a dedicated, fuse protected circuit, and is now located in the hanging locker, adjacent to the mid stateroom.
My next post will detail the new head unit, remote control, Ipod docking station, and new speakers and enclosures.