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Noise in New Boat Stereo System

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Forum Name: Marine Electronics
Forum Discription: Boat Stereos, Security, Navigation, Lights, Switches, Gauges, etc.
Printed Date: July†28, 2021 at 3:09 PM

Topic: Noise in New Boat Stereo System

Posted By: t_bone17
Subject: Noise in New Boat Stereo System
Date Posted: January†20, 2018 at 5:05 PM

I have just replaced all of the stereo components in my boat and am getting a lot of "feedback" (not sure if proper term for type of noise) or white noise coming from the speakers.

I have re-wired everything twice, and it is driving me crazy. It is not a small amount of noise, it is noticeable until the volume of the music is very loud.

Any help or direction is appreciated.

I will lay out what I have installed and what I have done to try and eliminate the noise.

Boat is a 2000 Ski Nautique Super Air
PCM 350


Head Unit: Alpine UTE-62BT

Equalizer: Wetsounds WS WS420-SQ

Amp: Boss MR1950 5 channel amp - powering everything

In Boat Speakers: 4x Alpine SPS M601W

Wake Tower Speakers: MB Quart NT1-116

Sub: JL Audio 10" W1v3v-4 -


Head unit has not been mounted, is just sitting on the floor right now, until I can get this noise figured out

Same with the equalizer

Amp is mounted to the backside of the bow walkthrough wall, behind the lift up seat

4 Alpine in boat speakers mounted in stock locations, two on port, two on starboard side.

2 MB Quart speakers mounted to aluminum monster wake tower

Sub is mounted in small fiberglass box in the space behind lift up seat with the amp


I had all of the wires ran cleanly through the boat. Unfortunately that meant running some speaker wire alongside the amps main power and ground wires.

This has been all "un-ran" and all the the wires are now freely sitting on the floor of the boat, to get them as physically far away as possible, to eliminate the possibility of any interference happening.

Still no difference in the noise

All wires are brand new, speaker, power ground, RCA, remote

Wiring method:

4 gauge power and ground straight from the battery, 60A fuse on power wire
4 gauge goes into a 4-8 gauge distribution block for both power and ground. I wanted to leave it open to add an amp(s) in the future, and the amps is "marinized" so all of the wires coming off the amp are stubs to keep it water proof, and I didn't think splicing a 4 gauge wire into a 8 gauge wire would be a very clean connection.

14 gauge power and ground ran straight from battery to head unit, which is then spliced to the equalizer

Remote turn on is ran from head unit to equalizer/amp

2 channel RCA ran from head unit to equalizer

6 channel RCA ran from equalizer to amp

16 gauge speaker wire ran to all speakers

"front left" channel is wired to left tower speaker - 4ohm

"front right channel is wired to right tower speaker - 4ohm

"rear left" is wired in parallel to the two left in boat speakers - 2ohm

"rear right is wired in parallel to the two right in boat speakers -2ohm

Sub is straight wired to amp - 4ohm

Battery is brand new


Has only been powered on with just "key power" as the boat is winterized and I won't be starting the motor for a few more months
So alternator whine is out

Noise comes from all speakers, almost equally, slightly worse on tower speakers

Noise exists as soon as power is on to the head unit, equalizer, and amp.

Noise exists with no RCA's attached to the amp

Noise exists with a another new set of RCA's

Noise exists in any/all speakers, when any individual speaker is unplugged, noise remains in the existing ones plugged in still

Amp gain is set at maybe 20%

Attempted Solution/Troubleshooting

Removed all wiring from "proper" routing to free them from any power interference

Replaced all old wiring with brand new wires

Removed all components from the battery - The only thing being powered on the entire boat right now is the stereo, there is only four wires total coming off of it, the stereo is basically a stand-alone system now, still getting the noise

Added secondary ground cable from battery to block, and or motor frame mount (tried both, and individually) - No difference

Switched out existing amp with a fairly new alpine 5 channel from my truck that works fine in that application, wired to that - slight difference in noise, marginal

Bypassed equalizer, ran RCAs straight from head unit - no difference, marginal at best

Some of the wires a a bit messy in the pictures, but this is on purpose now, to make sure I can see where they are all routed and make sure nothing is touching or wire sheeting came off etc.

Aside from where everything comes together at the amp, all the wiring is as physically far away as I can make it.

I am no audiophile, or electrical engineer, and non of this equipment is top of the line, but all brand new equipment, all brand new wire shouldn't be doing this.

Any help/suggestions/methods of testing/troubleshooting tips would be helpful.

Thanks you.

Power/Ground at Battery (Second battery attempt, you can see the first the in background)


Power/Ground cables (on the floor for now)


RCAs at amp


Power/Ground distribution blocks


Power/ground at amp


Speaker wires at amp






Head unit


In boat speaker


Tower speaker



Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: January†20, 2018 at 7:07 PM
I cast my vote for the Boss amplifier.

Posted By: t_bone17
Date Posted: January†20, 2018 at 7:16 PM
A probable cause. I know itís a crappy amp, that will not output anywhere near what the wattage rating of it is. But it should do the job, not looking for crazy sound, and it is fully marinized, hard to beat for less than $200.

Except I switched it over to another amp that I have, that I known functions properly, without any noise.

Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: January†20, 2018 at 9:30 PM
So you too are voting for the Boss amplifier, right?

Posted By: t_bone17
Date Posted: January†21, 2018 at 1:46 PM
No, because I got the same results with a completely different amp.

Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: January†21, 2018 at 2:49 PM
Except I switched it over to another amp that I have, that I known functions properly, without any noise.

Posted By: t_bone17
Date Posted: January†21, 2018 at 5:56 PM
That was in reference to the amp functioning properly, without noise, in another setting. Wiring it into the boat system nets the same results.

Posted By: shark mobile
Date Posted: January†21, 2018 at 8:59 PM
Ground loop never know it might help lol

Solder, tape, repeat!

Posted By: t_bone17
Date Posted: January†24, 2018 at 9:59 PM
I could try that. But don't think it will help, as it is the same whether the rcas are plugged in at all or not.

Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: January†25, 2018 at 9:29 AM
Disconnect all speakers from the amplifier. I know this is not likely since you are in a boat. But if you ground a non bridged speaker wire it will cause noise as you are experiencing. Connect 1 speaker at a time and see if the noise is there.

Posted By: shark mobile
Date Posted: January†25, 2018 at 4:46 PM
Actually thatís a really good that I think about it I had a badly grounded speaker cause all kinds of noise and issues in a boat years ago. And I found it by process of elimination lol. One speaker with a corroded ground connection...little monsters!

Solder, tape, repeat!

Posted By: t_bone17
Date Posted: January†31, 2018 at 9:05 AM
Disconnected all of the speakers from the amp and reconnected them all individually, the noise was present and consistent in all speakers.

Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: January†31, 2018 at 1:15 PM
Have you tried turning the gains all the way down?

Posted By: t_bone17
Date Posted: January†31, 2018 at 1:48 PM
Turning the gains all the way down does help a little. But the noise is still there. And all the way down, I donít get much sound out of the speakers. They are at about 15-20% right now. With the noise pretty noticeable.

Posted By: t_bone17
Date Posted: February†04, 2018 at 7:59 PM
So I am even more lost now.

I took out the left channel in boat speakers, cut off the butt connectors at the speakers, and at the amp (just incase they were the problem)

took a few videos with my phone to try and capture the sound too see if it could help any.

Firstly there is something really weird going on with my camera on my phone. Listen to attached videos.

Attempted video of noise in speakers

Speaker noise

Video of speakers with and without power, still has weird phone video sound, and its hard to tell the difference in the speaker noise.

With and without power

Another test, no speaker powered on in this one

No Power

Video of me walking through my hall seeing if the video repeated the "beep boop"

Inside Test

I took another couple videos with my camera to see if it would replicate the weird "beep boop" but i think it is just my phone camera. But in these videos you can hear the noise in the speakers better, there is still a lot of white noise in the video without the speaker noise, so you only can barely tell when the speakers power on and the noise is there.

Test With Camera 1

Test With Camera 2

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