Do you have a Mastercraft boat or any other boat with factory Clarion speakers? Is it 3 years old or older? You’ve noticed lately they don’t seem to sound as loud as they once did or you know one is bad and the others are fine. Wellll…..the truth is most likely they are all bad and you don’t really notice because you usually listen with the engine running. Those babies are most likely toast. Shredded wheat is more like it.
Our experience in boat audio is these Clarion speakers have a shelf life of about 2-3 years. Yes, we know they will make sound a little longer than that but it’s amazing what your ears and brain will adapt to. As you see from the pictures the surround basically peals apart. The speakers will still work through this until they just don’t anymore but while they are disintegrating the sound is becoming weaker.
The three pictures included are of the factory Clarion speakers. One before it’s removed, one with the grill only removed so you can see the shredded wheat and then the last is a picture of the entire speaker removed. The third picture is our theory as to why these speakers go bad so quickly especially in the way it goes bad. The upholstery isn’t removed. Basically, you see a criss cross cut and the speaker is just put in the space. We believe this excess vinyl is suffocating the speaker. We therefore, remove the excess before installing others.
The solution is to replace your speakers with good quality speakers. Ones that are known for not pealing would be good. We have recommendations; in fact our favorites are JL Audio. They make theirs in 6.5”, 7.7” and if you’re feeling really ear hungry, 8.8”. We also recommend a few other things as well.
1. Always add tower speakers if your budget provides and of course if you have a tower. 2. Once you change out those speakers and/or add tower speakers, amplify them. The difference is HUGE. 3. If you do have tower speakers added and you don’t have a switch, add a volume control knob just for those babies. We like JL Audio’s HD-RLC. It’s originally for subwoofer control but in a boat you can control your tower speakers separate from the cabin speakers. Why? Well, you’ve just stopped to pick up your rider and you want to communicate with them or you’re in a cove and can’t hear each other talk but still want music to play. You can simply adjust the volume on the tower speakers separately from the cabin speakers. This is really a good idea if your cabin speakers are not amplified…trust us it’s a totally different audio level when you have tower speakers.
We felt the need for this blog because we are often surrounded by these Clarion speakers and we often feel as though our customer feel as though we are trying to up sale them. We’re not; we’re just being honest and letting you in on an industry secret.