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Author Topic: Help with small cruise boat install please  (Read 4856 times)

Mark Wilkinson

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Help with small cruise boat install please
« on: April 15, 2015, 04:27:49 pm »

Trying to help a friend who has a dinner cruise boat, and wants to improve their sound if possible given their budget...... only $1000 to spend on gear.

They play background music, their own, and allow guests to plug in ipods, etc.
They use two mics with a tiny mixer (manually running back to a small control room to mute music)

She currently has a hodgepodge of home gear and different assorted speakers placed haphazardly, ...... sound is VERY uneven.
She desperately needs ducking, and better speaker coverage.
 
The boat has 2 decks, each with about 20x40 feet of passenger space.
The bottom deck is enclosed with dinner seating for up to 64.  There is a bar at the end with a mic the hostess uses for announcements.
The top deck is open, and allows standing passengers.  The captain has a mic in his pilot house, and provides sightseeing talk.

There are four 12 gauge speaker runs going from a small control room on the bottom deck.  A run goes  to each end of the bottom deck, and same thing for top deck.

So I'm thinking 4 outdoor speakers up in the corners of each deck.
Each deck a zone, everything mono. 
Two channel amp, one channel for each deck.
Each deck end with speakers in series.... so 2- 8 ohm boxes giving a 16 ohm load to minimize wiring loss.... and then parallel the two deck ends back to an 8 ohm load.
8 speakers all the same, at about $100 per pair...

Where I could really use help...is first, does my speaker thinking make sense (given the tiny budget) ?
If it does, any speaker recommendations...?

And I could use help finding a 2 mic ducking mixer, that ducks two zones from both mics.  A little EQ would be great...captain gruff voice vs high pitch hostess...
And I need to get ipods etc summed to mono.
I figure i can find an amp easy enough, but if anyone has one in mind given the chosen speakers, yea!

What little pricing i've done makes me think $1000 will work...$400 or so for speakers, leaving about $600 for mixer and amp...??
Thank you for any advice or recommendations.   Mark
 





 
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 04:37:46 pm »

Is she OK with her BMI/ASCAP licensing?  No use spending  money and then get busted for the licensing fee...
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 06:03:45 pm »

Presuming they'll be playing original music only...  ::)
I've done more than a few boats like this.  Generally the budget is considerably higher, but I generally spec out 70V speakers (Atlas EZ-FD series in ceiling tiles and JBL control outside) and individual zone controls (Atlas AT-10 or AT-35).  More speakers will allow for lower over all levels and better coverage, rather than beating up some tables so that others can hear.  And 70V is much easier to manage than 8 ohm when doing this kind of installation.

I almost always use a Bogen GS series amp, because it has all the bells and whistles you inquired about.  Mics range from PTT for Cap'n and Hostess to wired jacks or wireless if needed.  I've always used the GS-250 for redundancy among the fleet, but you may be okay with something smaller.

In the past I've put in anything from CD players with iPod and card readers in them to computers with sound board programs for tours that play over and duck background music.  Usually there is a simple 3.5mm TRS jack for use by passengers when needed.  This keeps the wear off of the installed equipment, but doesn't allow for charging of the device.  I try to install that jack close enough to an outlet so they can use their own charger.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 11:05:37 pm by Lee Douglas »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 06:20:23 pm »

+1,, use more small speakers, wire it mono, and use 70v-100v constant voltage to reduce wire losses.

JR
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2015, 08:37:41 am »

I get that you're trying to help a friend, but I think you're doing them more of a disservice than anything by wasting $1000 on speakers and amp that are less than ideal for the job.  And I mean that in the most constructive way possible. 

Spoken word has a very high crest factor, sometimes as high as 20db depending on the speaker.  You'll need a compressor on the mic to control this.  Otherwise you'll have a really quiet speaker who can't be heard and a really loud speaker who is clipping the amp. 

You're also going to need an EQ to control feedback.

Can it be done for $1000?  Sure.  Can it be done properly?  Well I guess that depends on your expectations.
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Mark Wilkinson

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2015, 12:16:58 pm »

Thanks everyone,

Dick, is BMI/ASCAP something you routinely bring up with clients? Just curious...

Lee (and John), great info, much appreciated.  I had been thinking about 70v when considering 6 (or more) speakers per deck. I guess I knew this is the way to go all along, kinda wishfully dreaming that 4 speakers in the corners could work.  Wires are easy to get there....I know how regular amps work ....etc...
But more speakers, and 70v it is!
Been studying the Bogen GS series manual.  I thought i was on to a $ saver with the yorkville CA1, but I read reliability issues abound. Back to Bogen.....
Eight of the atlas fd72w would work great on bottom deck.
I really need to find speakers for less than the JBL controls for the top.

And Scott, thank you for the straight up comments. 
Yes, I am trying to help a friend....a lot of free time and thought is going into this...
And I do realize it won't be of help to have them spend what little money they have, and come up disappointingly short. 
That's why i came to the forum for help....to find the minimum $ solution that honestly works...

It doesn't have to be great sound...it just needs to be pleasant, even, background music, with either switched or automatic voice-over that's reasonably intelligible.  You should hear what they've been getting by with !!! :'(

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Lee Douglas

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2015, 04:59:35 pm »

There are less expensive options for the JBLs, but be wary of trying to save too much here.  You're dealing both engine and wind noise to varying degrees as well as direct sunlight and elements pretty much 24/7.  Overcoming background noise levels at their worst, will take a pretty good speaker to start with.  Where are you located?

By the way, 12ga speaker wire is probably overkill for a 70V system in a small space like this.  I'd say 16ga is fine, others might go as small as 18ga.  Either will be a lot easier to pull and manage.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 05:02:57 pm by Lee Douglas »
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Mark Wilkinson

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2015, 05:11:58 pm »

There are less expensive options for the JBLs, but be wary of trying to save too much here.  You're dealing both engine and wind noise to varying degrees as well as direct sunlight and elements pretty much 24/7.  Overcoming background noise levels at their worst, will take a pretty good speaker to start with.  Where are you located?

By the way, 12ga speaker wire is probably overkill for a 70V system in a small space like this.  I'd say 16ga is fine, others might go as small as 18ga.  Either will be a lot easier to pull and manage.

Thanks Lee,

They have nice length-of-boat 12 ga runs in place.  It will be fairly easy to tap 16-18 ga off to the speakers.

How many side mount speakers for the 20x40 upper deck do you think?  I'm hoping 6 ?,  4 corners and 2 mid deck?  Any particular JBL Control recommendation?

We're in Virginia

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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2015, 05:17:17 pm »

Thanks everyone,

Dick, is BMI/ASCAP something you routinely bring up with clients? Just curious...


Lee (and John), great info, much appreciated.  I had been thinking about 70v when considering 6 (or more) speakers per deck. I guess I knew this is the way to go all along, kinda wishfully dreaming that 4 speakers in the corners could work.  Wires are easy to get there....I know how regular amps work ....etc...
But more speakers, and 70v it is!
Been studying the Bogen GS series manual.  I thought i was on to a $ saver with the yorkville CA1, but I read reliability issues abound. Back to Bogen.....
Eight of the atlas fd72w would work great on bottom deck.
I really need to find speakers for less than the JBL controls for the top.

And Scott, thank you for the straight up comments. 
Yes, I am trying to help a friend....a lot of free time and thought is going into this...
And I do realize it won't be of help to have them spend what little money they have, and come up disappointingly short. 
That's why i came to the forum for help....to find the minimum $ solution that honestly works...

It doesn't have to be great sound...it just needs to be pleasant, even, background music, with either switched or automatic voice-over that's reasonably intelligible.  You should hear what they've been getting by with !!! :'(

Yes.  They should be aware that any business or public space using playback or performance of copyrighted material is subject to licensing through BMI/ASCAP.

Whether they choose to do it right from the beginning or cowboy it until they get caught makes no difference to me personally, but as an installer I would be remiss in not informing them of the issue.

It's an ethics thang...
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John L Nobile

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Re: Help with small cruise boat install please
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 05:22:33 pm »

Yes.  They should be aware that any business or public space using playback or performance of copyrighted material is subject to licensing through BMI/ASCAP.

Whether they choose to do it right from the beginning or cowboy it until they get caught makes no difference to me personally, but as an installer I would be remiss in not informing them of the issue.

It's an ethics thang...

Not sure how it works down there. This is for Canada.
If you use Sirius for music playback in public spaces, they take care of all licensing fees. We went with them a few years ago and we're saving a boatload (pardon the pun) of money.
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