35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

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35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby Rpontual » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:47 am

My boat is equipped with the Fusion MS-AC700i and the Fusion FM-504 (amplifier). It has two speakers in the cabin, four speakers plus a subwoofer in the cockpit and two speakers at the stern (facing the swim platform). The system was configured for two zones, one for the cabin and the other for cockpit plus stern.

I wanted to have three zones, one for the cabin, one for the cockpit and one for the stern (swim platform) speakers. The change was straightforward and luckily did not require pulling new wires. This change is such a quick and free improvement that i am even wondering if the installation was done incorrectly. To make the change all I had to do was to remove take four screws that hold the MS-AC700i, move the unit a bit, reconfigure three wires put the unit back in place.

In case you decide to make such a change, here are the details. The original speaker wiring configuration in my boat was as follows:
1) Cabin: speakers connected to Zone 1 internal MS-AC700i amplifier
2) Cockpit: speakers connected to FM-504, which was connected to Zone 2 low power output
3) Stern: speakers connected to Zone 2 internal MS-AC700i amplifier

All I did was to move the three RCA connectors, of Item 2 above, to the Zone 3 equivalent. After doing that I had to go to settings to enable Zone 3 and name it. I also made sure the zones are not linked, not linking the zones was important to me because I want independent volume control. If all you want is to have fixed but different sound volume in each zone you could keep them linked.

I am new to the forum, but a dangerous engineer. ;)
Last edited by Rpontual on Fri May 06, 2016 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby Kikaboo » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:08 am

That's interesting. I have 2015 32 EXP which is similar in many ways to the 35SC and I have the same fusion equipment as you. However, mine came setup for 3 independent zones as you wanted. Cabin, cockpit and swim platform. Curious to know if others with a 35SC had two zones or three coming out of the factory. Two zones given the layout does not seem optimal at all.
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby xixp » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:43 am

I did the same as soon as i realized the head unit had 3 zones.
Only reason for factory configuration might be to have more power from the amp on the stern speakers. I m not convinced of the sound quality of those so im considering to replace them with better similar sized speakers (adding an extra amp or upgrading the fusion amp will be too much work...)
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby Rpontual » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:18 am

xixp wrote:I did the same as soon as i realized the head unit had 3 zones.
Only reason for factory configuration might be to have more power from the amp on the stern speakers. I m not convinced of the sound quality of those so im considering to replace them with better similar sized speakers (adding an extra amp or upgrading the fusion amp will be too much work...)


The way the factory configured did not provide more power to any speaker, the stern speakers were originally connected to the radio internal amplifier. In practical terms, the end result might even be lower output on the stern speakers because the user would have to drive the cockpit sound very loud to get the stern speakers loud. The alternative we both implemented is much more flexible and does not have any incremental cost. Anyway, it is good to hear that your boat was also configured for two zones, this means that this post can help others here in the forum.
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby gofast24 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:11 pm

We have a factory installed 6X 60 watt per channel MB Quart amp (3X stereo channels), 2 channels connected to the "Bose" wanta be cabin speakers (two tiny 3" L + R speakers and a small wanta be sub under the steps to the cabin) and two cheep 6.5" coaxial drivers mounted in the Radar Arch. Replaced the Radar Arch speakers with JL Audio 7.7" coaxial drivers (had to make 1" sea board ring spacers to get them to fit with the difference in depth), mounted two Klipsch 6.5" two way ported outdoor speakers to the bottom of the arch (we can swing them to stern or bow direction as required), and installed a 12" Dayton Audio 500 Watt RMS HF sub to the compartment located under the aft port side storage under the curved seat compartment and then installed a a 500 W RMS JBL class "D" sub amp to it . The class "D" sub amp never gets hot enough to even feel warm running hard.
My sideline hobby was designing and building speakers after retiring from my ME related job so this was fun for me to help out my son, it really gets some positive comments either at the dock or on the hook, only problem is the Group 8D AGM battery gets a workout before having to bring it back with the gen set.
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby xixp » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:00 pm

Wow gofast that set up must sound like a ski boat!!
I wonder if an enclosed power sub inside the rear sun pad would be noticeable...bass is what i miss in the stern speakers.

Romulo, you are right my stern speakers were attached to the same zone than the amp. Im in Miami too so may be we could meet one of these days.

Regards
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:01 pm

Its easy just go into the setup of the system and make sure that zone three is enable for the 2nd set of outputs. Also make sure that your remotes are configured to adjust specific speakers. For instance the help remote can be setup to adjust only zone 2 which is where you feed the sub off as well. That way they are together. Then the aft speakers are zone 3 and the aft remote is changed to only adjust those. It works well on my boat that is how I have it setup. That way Z1 is the cabin and only controlled by the head unit down there.

The issue is that the long speaker wire run and the thin cable that they use will greatly diminish the output on the aft speakers. I only use them if we are stopped otherwise you can't hear them in the cockpit as they are aft facing and the aft lounge chair is in the way and blocks the sound.
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby Patriots » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:56 pm

Thanks Romulo for posting these directions.
My 2013 Regal 35 SC came from factory with only 2 zones, not a fan, can't wait to make this fix.
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Re: 35 SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby gofast24 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:37 am

Chris_in_Texas wrote:Its easy just go into the setup of the system and make sure that zone three is enable for the 2nd set of outputs. Also make sure that your remotes are configured to adjust specific speakers. For instance the help remote can be setup to adjust only zone 2 which is where you feed the sub off as well. That way they are together. Then the aft speakers are zone 3 and the aft remote is changed to only adjust those. It works well on my boat that is how I have it setup. That way Z1 is the cabin and only controlled by the head unit down there.

The issue is that the long speaker wire run and the thin cable that they use will greatly diminish the output on the aft speakers. I only use them if we are stopped otherwise you can't hear them in the cockpit as they are aft facing and the aft lounge chair is in the way and blocks the sound.


We installed our own radar arch JBL 6.5" 2 way outdoor speakers and 14 AWG wiring to them from the salon MB Quart 6X 60watts RMS amp up into the arch and then to the speakers. The Dayton Audio 12" HF sub with a new JBL class D 500 watt RMS rated sub amp powers the sub. Really "Great" sound as the "Donald" would say. The class "D" amp never even gets warm under normal listening levels.
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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby genemish » Sun May 27, 2018 6:29 pm

Trying to do exact same thing.. i located the internal 504 amp under the front berth.. but cant find the main MS-AC700i amp.. Where is it?!?!

Thanks in advance!

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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby Rpontual » Tue May 29, 2018 7:05 am

genemish wrote:Trying to do exact same thing.. i located the internal 504 amp under the front berth.. but cant find the main MS-AC700i amp.. Where is it?!?!

Thanks in advance!

Gene


Mine was located in the galley cabinet to the right of the kitchen sink. It is the main unit where one controls volume etc.
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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby genemish » Tue May 29, 2018 4:33 pm

Ugh. I have a fridge there. Guess it’ll have to come out...
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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby xixp » Tue May 29, 2018 6:04 pm

I believe you are confused, Romulo meant that the main amp is the head unit itself so there is only one external amp (under the berth).
The mod involves just the removal of the 4 screws holding the head unit, changing the rear RCA connectors configuration and programming the new zone in the head unit.
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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby genemish » Wed May 30, 2018 9:34 am

ohhhh.. That's great. I will give it a shot this weekend.

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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby genemish » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:21 pm

Change has been made successfully - took 5 minutes total!

Everything is working great but I am thinking about upgrading those transom speakers to something better. any suggestions? has anyone done this?

thanks!
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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby xixp » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:09 pm

Ive been looking into upgrading them for bigger Fusion speakers (7.7”/8.8” vs stock 6.5” ) or at least for the better Fusion 6.5” line . (Any model with Leds would look great with my underwater lights).

https://www.fusionentertainment.com/mar ... ection=all

But i havent done it because im unsure if what it would be really needed would be a subwoofer(may be inside the transom storage) with another power amp.
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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby genemish » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:21 pm

I dont think you'll need a sub. When I made the change to my zones (as per original post), I tried new zone 3 without the sub. The cockpit speakers sounded awesome and had great bass to them. So I am thinking perhaps a pair of those in the transom?

Thoughts?
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Re: 35SC - Adding a third zone to my sound system

Postby xixp » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:29 pm

I think a biggers speakers would move more air volume so they would be a good improvement over the factory transom speakers.
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