A client from Gainesville recently contacted the marine audio experts at Sound Depot and Performance to inquire about upgrading the stereo system on his 2018 EdgeWater 280CC center console boat. The boat came with a respectable audio system, but he wanted it to play louder and produce more bass. After inspecting the boat, we put together a plan that would ensure that his music would be crystal clear, even when the throttle was pinned.
EdgeWater 280CC Stereo System Upgrade
The factory stereo came with a Fusion marine radio that is integrated into the Garmin touchscreen chart-plotters at the helm. The radio connects to the NMEA2000 data network to allow for full control over the audio system using the Garmin screens. The interface is advanced enough to provide access to subwoofer output levels and system equalization.
We started the upgrade by adding a pair of JL Audio M-Series marine amplifiers to the system. The four main channels of an M1000/5v2 power two sets of 7.7-inch JL Audio M6-770X-S-GwGw-i coaxial speakers that are installed in the overhead fiberglass hardtop. Each of the four speakers can receive up to 100 watts of power from the amplifier.
JL’s M6 speakers with a part number that ends with the lowercase i include multicolored LED illumination that lights up the woofer cone in the color of the client’s choice. The lighting is controlled by JL’s MLC-RW controller. The client can change the illumination using the included rotary controller or by connecting his smartphone to the system over Wi-Fi and using the LiteWave ITI application.
8.8-Inch Marine Speaker Upgrade
To bring this system to life, we added two sets of JL Audio M6-880X-S-GwGw-i 8.8-inch coaxial speakers. We mounted two of the speakers right at the bow of the boat above the front bench seat. The second pair of speakers were installed on the sides of the forward entertainment and fishing area, just aft of what EdgeWater calls the U-shaped Bow Lounge. These speakers are powered by a JL Audio M800/8v2 amp that is wired in a four-channel configuration to deliver up to 200 watts to each driver.
Boat Subwoofer Upgrade for Better Sound
The icing on the cake for this audio system upgrade is a pair of 10-inch JL Audio M6-10ib-S-GwGw-i-4 subwoofers. The subs are mounted on the outer hull of the boat and located on either side of the center console. Our team made mounting rings for the subwoofers out of weather- and UV-resistant plastic so they would work in this location. The fifth channel of the M1000/5 amplifier delivers a total of 600 watts to the pair of woofers.
Adding subwoofers to an audio system not only improves bass performance, but it also eases the load on the smaller speakers so they can play louder and sound clearer. This is an upgrade that benefits the entire system.
Gainesville’s Marine Audio Upgrade Experts
Our team used JL’s marine-grade power wire, speaker wire and interconnects to wire the system. Once everything was mounted and secured, we set to work configuring the crossovers and level controls on the amplifiers to work with the Fusion source unit. Setting amplifiers properly is an important step, as it ensures that the system will play loudly without distorting. The crossover points for the 7.7-inch speakers are slightly different than for the large 8.8-inch speakers to optimize the output and power capabilities of each solution.
The client returned to Sound Depot and Performance in Gainesville after a few days, eager to hear the upgrades to his EdgeWater 280CC’s stereo system. He cued up a song he likes and cranked up the volume. The clarity and bass extension of the system put a smile on his face right away!
The client mentioned that he may return in the near future to upgrade the system further with a new source unit that includes multi-zone features. This functionality would let him adjust the volume of the forward speakers separately from those in the hardtop. He also mentioned that he liked the idea of Wi-Fi audio streaming as opposed to Bluetooth.
If you are interested in upgrading your boat’s entertainment system, drop by our store, give us a call or send our team an e-mail using our online contact form. We’d be happy to help make your time on the water more enjoyable.