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Thread: Volume Question and General Listening Best Practice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
    2005 24V 5.7 Marine Power 340HP

    Volume Question and General Listening Best Practice

    I have 3 places to control volume on my stereo and I am confused as to the best way to manage volume across the system.

    I can control volume in the following places:

    1. head unit volume
    2. ws420 volume (controls tower speakers, cabin speakers and base volume/crossover
    3. Smartphone volume (play all my music over bluetooth reciever plugged into the head unit)

    I am wondering what is the best way to control the volume. Here is what I am currently doing and I am wondering if this is optimal.

    1. Set head unit volume to between 3/4 and 7/8 of maximum
    2. Turn smartphone volume all the way up to maximum
    3. control the volume level entirely with the dial(s) on the WS420 equalizer

    My questions/concerns
    -I am wondering if I am over working my amps by turning the head unit volume up high, but limiting the volume that comes out with the ws420
    -Am I introducing distortion by having the volume on the phone and head unit up past 3/4 of maximum? Is there a max setting I should limit to for either or both of these?
    -I rarely turn up the volume on my ws420 past 1/2 of maximum (I guess since the head unit and phone are so high I don't need to crank the ws420 volume much to get loud) Is this not the best practice?
    -I rarely change the volume on the phone or head unit. I control volume entirely with the ws420. Is this the intended use of the ws420 or is it primarily intended to be used to adjust/balance the volume level between the tower, in boat and sub. Or is it perfectly normal to use the ws420 for all your volume control and leave the phone and head unit/amps at a set maximum.

    I don't understand enough about how the volume controls work between the phone/bluetooth, head unit, amps and ws420 to know the best practice. I don't necessarily have any complaints about the music being distorted or any problems. I have recently added a high output alternator to help power the stereo and 3 reversible pumps and it has gotten me to thinking if I am running the amps too high and drawing current that I am not necessarily using. For example, If I have the head unit turned all the way up and have the ws420 all the way down, am I still drawing current I am not using because the volume is up on the head unit.

    Here is the list of equipment:
    Alpine head unit with add-on bluetooth receiver plugged into head unit with 1/8" jack
    4) Wetsounds 6.5 interior speakers,
    Wetsounds 3-some on the tower,
    12” Kicker Solo Barrick L5 subwoofer,
    Wetsounds WS-420 equalizer w/separate volume control for tower and in boat speakers,

    Wetsounds Syn 6 for tower
    Kicker 900W digital for the in boat
    Kicker 650 digital amp for the sub

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Lake Wylie area, NC
    Back in the good ol' days a 2006 22ve
    Music flows like this; phone to the head unit to the ws-420 to each amp. All three can interrupt, i.e. control, the volume.

    In your scenario, Id keep the head unit and phone at about 85% and use the WS-420 for the zone control. This will work for 90% of instances. If you keep the phone close, you can always grab it to mute or turn the master level down.

    The level of the head unit and phone have no bearing on the amps, since the signal is going through the ws-420 first. With that said, I do suggest not maxing the phone volume when streaming BT as the sound quality really drops. Also, make sure the phone's internal EQ is off or flat. They make music sound good through ear buds but kit the dynamic range through a full range system.
    Mikes Liquid Audio: Knowledge Experience Customer Service you can trust-KICKER WetSounds ACME props FlyHigh Custom Ballast Clarion LiquidLumens LEDs Roswell Wave Deflector And More

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
    2005 24V 5.7 Marine Power 340HP
    thanks chp.


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