A client of Audio Designs and Custom Graphics in Jacksonville recently contacted us to inquire about upgrading the sound system in his Apache center-console fishing boat. We had recently upgraded the sound system in the client’s Acura, and he was very happy with the work we performed. We met with the client and inspected the existing sound system in the boat, taking notes on speaker size and where the radio and remote control were installed.
The client wanted a sound system that would play louder and sound richer and fuller. We explained the benefits of adding dedicated subwoofers to the boat and how they would not only improve the bass response but would also let the midrange and high-frequency speakers sound better. With the complete proposal in place, the client gave us the go-ahead to schedule an installation appointment to begin work on his amazing fishing boat.
Fusion Marine Radio Upgrade
We started by removing the old Sony marine radio and remote control from the boat to make way for a Fusion Apollo-Series MS-RA770 digital media receiver. This amazing source unit features a glass touchscreen and a 4.3-inch color display that make it easy to control the radio or see what track is playing. The RA770 is the only marine radio that includes Wi-Fi and support for Apple AirPlay audio streaming from an iPhone, iPod or iPad.
The radio is mounted to the right of the throttle controls on the center console and just above the ICOM VHF radio. We replaced the wired remote control on the side of the console with a Fusion MS-NRX300 controller. This location isn’t ideal for a remote, given its proximity to the factory radio, but it was a better choice than abandoning the space left by the Sony remote that had been installed there.
Apache Stereo System Amplifiers
Our technicians installed a pair of Rockford Fosgate Power-Series marine amplifiers inside the console. A five-channel TM1000X5ad and a four-channel TM400X4ad were chosen to power the eight speakers and the pair of subwoofers on the boat. Each channel of the four-channel and the main channels of the five-channel amp are each rated to produce 100 watts of power. The subwoofer channel on the TM1000X5ad can dish out an impressive 600 watts of power.
We used properly identified yellow and red 4-AWG marine power wire from Stinger to connect the amplifiers to the battery, and we protected the system with a marine-grade circuit breaker.
Rockford Fosgate Marine Speakers
We replaced the existing 6.5-inch speakers in the bow of the boat and the two sets on the front of the center console with Rockford Punch-Series PM2652 6.5-inch coaxials. We added a set of 8-inch coaxial PM282 speakers to the front of the console and a set of matching PM282W wakeboard tower speaker enclosures to the overhead aluminum framework. Of course, adding these extra speakers meant running new wiring through the boat to the amplifiers.
The last step in the installation process was to mount the pair of 12-inch PM212S4 marine-grade subwoofers in the forward bulkhead at the bow of the boat.
Marine Entertainment System Tuning
With the gear installed, our technicians set to work configuring the level controls and crossovers on the pair of amplifiers to deliver a clean and detailed sound that is free from distortion, even with the volume cranked. The multi-zone features of the Fusion Apollo radio allow the client to fine-tune the subwoofer level and the output of the tower speakers independently of the rest of the speakers in the system.
After two long days working on the stereo system in this extremely rare Apache center console boat, we had everything wrapped up and it was time for the client to return to Audio Design and Custom Graphics to experience the sound system for himself. He was thrilled with the installation and blown away by the detail and clarity of the system and how loudly it can play without distorting. If you’re interested in upgrading the audio system in your boat, drop by our store and speak with one of our product specialists. Alternatively, you can call us at 904-333-2322 or send us an e-mail using our contact page. A member of our team would be more than happy to assist you.