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R40 Sound Improvements

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:47 pm
My R40 came with a sound system that is based on Fusion. The entertainment system is the Fusion MS-UD650, which Bavaria nicely connected to the Garmin 7612 units via NMEA network.
The boat came with only four speakers, two in the cockipt and two in the galley. The sound isn't great in the boat because the speakers chosen were the lowest end units Fusion sells, externally the sound does reach well the swim platform.

I decided to make the following modifications:
  • Replace the speakers by better units,
  • Add a subwoofer,
  • Add speakers to the swim platform area,
  • Add one speaker zone to have independent volume control of each location.

Better speakers - cockipt

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:17 pm
We decided to replace the speakers by a better unit that would fit the existing cutout in the boat. After comparing the sound of various Fusion speakers, we concluded that the best one that met our criteria was the SG-C65W.

The cutout is the same as the original MSEL602. Because the new one is secured by five screws we needed to make five new holes for the screws, a very simple modification. The sound improvement is much higher than I anticipated, I strongly recommend this modification.

Because the mounting depth of the new speakers is 1.5 inches higher than the original, this is not as simple for the speakers in the galley. We are studying another alternative to improve the galley sound.

Add speakers - swim platform

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:27 pm
The factory R40 has only two external speakers located in the cockipt. When we are enjoining the water and the swim platform, they can barely hear the speakers. Increasing the volume is not an option because the sound becomes to loud in the cockipt area. We decided to add a pair of speakers to the swim platform area.

Installation was simple and pulling the wires also. But this is a job for a professional or to someone used to DIY modifications. All I can say is that this modification is a major improvement for the ambience while "beaching" with the swim platform.

Adding a subwoofer

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:45 pm
We wanted to add a subwoofer and an amplifier. The subwoofer to improve the sound quality in the galley and the amplifier to be able to have three zones (swim platform, cockipt, galley). We also wanted the subwoofer to be out-of-sight, hidden as it would be if factory installed.
Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 6.36.20 PM.png
The Fusion MS-AB206 met all criteria we had. It is an encased amplified subwoofer with amplifier for external speakers. We decided to install it inside the drawer that was originally designed for a dishwasher (mounted under the shelf above the drawer to have zero impact to drawer usage. The sound improvement is better than I had anticipated.

A simple challenge was to get 12V to power the amplifier. We took a "lazy" approach, as the boat was pre-wired for the dishwasher used the wire, naturally we had to change the wiring inside the electrical panel to get 12V there and not 110V.

Re: R40 Sound Improvements

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 3:07 pm
EdwardLib wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:17 am
I did the same as soon as i realized the head unit had 3 zones.
Only reason for factory configuration might be to have more power from the amp on the stern speakers. I m not convinced of the sound quality of those so im considering to replace them with better similar sized speakers adding an extra amp or upgrading the fusion amp will be too much work...
Replacing the current speakers by the Fusion SG-C65W yields a huge sound improvement. The fitting hole diameter is the same as the current speakers. So far I replaced two of the speakers (the ones on the cockipt) and I am pleased with it.

The head unit can control 3 zones but only has two built-in amplifiers. To operate three zones independently you must install an external amplifier. I chose the subwoofer in the picture because it includes an amplifier that I am using to enable the three zones.