I'm on a mission. The idea is to transpose all that I have learned about home theater, and dump it on an unsuspecting yachting public. Of course, the larger the yacht, the more likely you are to find someone willing to portend their 'expertise,' as they simply adapt their 110v/220v residential systems to accomodate this increasing market demand. I know of just one fellow in Washington state, and one in Louisiana (Trinity) who actually excell at this.
I'm here to eat their lunch!
The majority of boats won't require anything much more complex than a good ("water-proofed") automotive style system. But, 'More is More' to most 'gearheads,' and the last thing I want to find myself doing is placing some stupid "wakeboard towers" on the flyrails, or mounting the equilavent of a double-boom box in the ice box, just because some geek wants more bass, just to annoy the Sea bass...
Therefore, I have to look at this from all directions. To excel at this we must incorporate, and accomodate a lot of variables into the mix. (Or 'mux' if you prefer streaming-digital media.) After all, what would be more fun than watching your private web-cam in Barbados, from your laptop at the Starbucks in Marina Del Rey?
So, I paid a tribute to see the wizard, Jim Fosgate, just a few days after he had completed his patent filing on "ProLogic II." We studied the phenomenal response he was getting in his 19'x 24' basement. Behind the curtain, was a stack of the nastiest old Dynaco tube amps you ever saw. (Enough weight to sink a sunfish.) And we looked at the most bizarre array of speaker drivers ever placed in one box. Perhaps 30 transducers per channel. All-up, Jim's primary system was so "LIVE' it was no less spectacular than having Aretha flippin' us hotcakes, with Donald 'duck' Dunn pouring out the maple syrup on the Bass guitar.
For us mere mortals, Jim's commercial products "can barely cut-it," by his admission. The underlying problem is that today's best, and lightest digital synthesis can't hold a candle to the old 1-5w single-ended tube amps. But, we do observe several advantages, first the expansion of the dynamic-range, (from 64dB to upwards of 100,) and a far more intense spacial sensation, PROVIDED we actually do utilize all the benefits available in 'surround.'
...See: "Gone With The Wind."
It's haul-out time. You are looking for a turn-key resource that has mastered all of the above. And they are probably veterans of the automotive sector. Who else has -any- experience in attenuating curvilinear spaces? First, let's assemble a hardware package. By my figures, we can outfit a decent sized fish boat with a -Stereo- package that starts to sound great at about $1,399. It matters not what conveniences you requested, because I'm going to treat the assignment as if she were mine. You do need the wired pilot house remote, the Sat, iPod and TV input capabilities. And, you need all of your disk-media at arms reach, somewhere dry.
Next, assume you really do want 'headroom,' and you are willing to go another full, $1,000. step to get there. The only New US company to address all of my needs therein, is "JL Audio." And the only off-retail full-line supplier (with a family-style outlook) I've found is here: http://www.bethel-marine.com/
Meanwhile, it appears I'll have to go see an installation from these bad boys at JL, as they are the only ones I can find who go the last-yard in the 4-ohm world. "Clarion" appears more seaworthy than JBL, and I'll also need to interview end-users to learn what's best over time. Lastly, we come to the 'aesthetic details,' which is where I actually hope to shine, (*assuming Lars will cut me in on his fancy teak grille supply.)
-Your comments, and debate gladly appreciated!