Sunday, June 10, 2012

More Audio.....

As a source unit, I found the original Clarion controller and 6 disc changer inadequate. It did not incorporate modern controls (such as for an Ipod, or Sirius satellite radio), nor did it play DVDs. I pulled both the head unit and changer, and sold them on Ebay.

For a replacement, I wanted a unit that had a certain mix of features:

1 - The new unit had to play CDs as well as DVDs
2 - I wanted the ability to control an Ipod, which I would use as a music server. I am normally dead set against compressing music files, due to the loss of audio quality. But, on a boat, where the utmost fidelity cannot be appreciated anyway (due to background noises, machinery noise, engine noise, etc.), an Ipod makes an ideal source.
3 - The head unit had to accept at least one audio input, such as from a TV. This way, I could disable the TV speakers, and use the audio system while watching TV.
4 - I wanted a wired remote control at the helm.

So, after a bit of research, I came back to the same head unit I had installed on my previous boat. It still does all the things I want, perfectly - the MB Quart MWD-1 DVD head unit. It mates beautifully with my Jensen 12 volt marine LED  TV, providing a complete audio/visual source and display that runs exclusively on 12 volts. I don't need to run the generator, or plug in to shore power, or use an inverter, to watch a movie or enjoy clean sound. All 12 volts...

For the Ipod source, I picked up an Ipod docking station, and hard wired it to the head unit. Now, when I arrive at the boat, I just plug in the Ipod, and I have compete control of it form the helm or cabin.

I mounted the head and docking station in a piece of leftover teak, sized to cover the factory cutout.

My previous post discussed the MB Quart Amp, which is now wired and mounted in the hanging locker for the mid stateroom. In the cockpit, I replaced the factory speakers with the 7.7 inch units from JL Audio - model M770-CCX-CG-WH. These are a bit larger and deeper than the original speakers, so i had to space them out 1/2". I used some 1/2" plastic starboard, and spun the spacers out on my lathe, using a faceplate.

I only needed the spacers for the speakers in the arch. The other two speakers did not require spacers. All 4 speakers do require that the holes be opened up a bit, and new screw holes have to be drilled. It's well worth doing - there is no comparison in sound quality between the JLs and the originals. Next, I'll be taking advantage of the fifth amplifier channel - the one dedicated to a subwoofer.....


  1. HI - did you feel the need to replace the factory speaker cabling or was it up to the job?

  2. I replaced all the speaker wiring with 12 gauge wire - the factory stuff is too small.