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are marine speakers worth it?

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Copper - Posts: 289
Copper spacespace
Joined: October 17, 2008
Location: Virginia, United States
Posted: June 05, 2014 at 9:11 PM / IP Logged  
Dealing with a 2003 21' Bayliner 2150 Classic, saltwater vessel:
Is there a true difference whether I throw in some good Infinity speakers vice a good set of marine speakers? I mean, as long as the drivers aren't getting wet, I should be good, right?
Also, the speakers have no box to go into. The factory speakers are blown, most likely because the previous owner never covered the boat. But the speakers go into the vinyl sides, and there isn't an enclosure behind the speaker. Would it be worth crafting a box there?
Lastly, if I were to get marine speakers instead of car speakers, would I be looking for anything different in terms of the materials they're made of? I may install an amp, but probably not right away, so I want to make sure they're good enough for a 400W-600W amp.
Thanks for the help!
No question is stupid or not worth asking. You were once a noob, right? :)
Member - Posts: 45
Member spacespace
Joined: July 19, 2006
Posted: September 09, 2014 at 10:12 AM / IP Logged  
It's a late response, but yes, there are many differences between marine grade speakers and other mobile application speakers. Marine grade speakers are made to be more robust under a wide variety of environmental conditions. Marine grade speakers are made with UV resistant materials. UV light is one of the harshest and degrading conditions nearly anything can be exposed to. Even if your cone lasts, your surround won't without use of proper materials. Another common trait of marine grade speakers is they have enclosed motor structures. This will protect the voice coil from getting damaged from dust and moisture.
I would never not recommend an enclosure, however most marine equipment is designed in a way that it is not a necessity. If you are going to use a speaker not designed for marine use, you will need an enclosure. This is vital in providing protection for the speaker that is not built into the driver itself. Also, when building a marine application enclosure, you will need to resin it in order to seal and protect the enclosure. Without resin, the enclosure will degrade very rapidly. Also, no matter if it is mdf, particle board, or true wood, wood is porous and will not provide a true vapor barrier unless sealed.

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