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2021 Dual Dash with Premium Plus - My Opinion

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  • 2021 Dual Dash with Premium Plus - My Opinion

    Everyone,

    There seems to be a lot of hand-wringing regarding the MasterCraft/Klipsch stereo systems, specifically the total volume and subwoofer output. Now I'll certainly admit that I don't have experience with other marine audio systems, nor do I have experience with MasterCraft/Klipsch systems of prior years. However, I thought I'd give potential buyers my opinion of the 2021 dual-dash with premium plus audio. Lord knows I reviewed these forums for as many opinions as possible before making my own boat purchase.

    I have an extensive background in home theater and hi-fi systems. Additionally, I own a pair of reference earphones calibrated specifically to my hearing which I use to compare other audio equipment.

    My single sentence review: "The premium plus sound system is very good, and I don't understand how anyone would want more volume and/or bass."


    Longer review:

    When my wife and I took our brand new '21 XT21 out for its maiden voyage last weekend, we were both extremely surprised at how loud and "thumpin'" the stereo was delivered. Digging into the zone control, my shock continued when I discovered all the zones, including the sub zone, were only halfway up! So after playing with the controls for a while, we settled on about 25% to each speaker zone, and 15% to the subzone. With this configuration, the master volume slider stays about a click or two or three from the lowest.

    During idle, the music is quite clear with plenty of volume. In fact, it's loud enough that normal conversation is difficult without raising our voices. But the bass is significantly overpowering at this lower (dare I say "normal") volume. However, when underway at cruising speed, with auto-volume set to 3 or 4, the total stereo output increases and the bass becomes much less overpowering. At this point, the auto-volume increased the master volume slider to about 30%-40%, and the overall output is appropriate to the increased environmental noises. This is when the system sounds its best. And it's darn good (for an open-air system).

    Overall, I don't foresee upgrading anything. Perhaps my opinion will change after we get past the engine break-in period and I can get behind the boat. But I doubt it.

    In the end, I'm confused as to why some people are insisting the system sounds "bad" or lacks volume or bass. Maybe there's some sort of "gotta be as loud as a rap concert" expectation? For the average family, I'd say the premium plus is overkill. And if I had the ability to redo my order, I'd definitely save money and stay with "just" the premium system (not premium plus).

    Regardless, I hope this simple review helps others decide which factory system to order. If anyone wants more details or has questions, feel free to ask. I'll do my best to answer.

    -Oscilated
    -Oscilated

    2021 XT21 with 6.2GDI

  • #2
    For the price, it is extremely lackluster.
    -Aric

    LONE STAR MASTERBASH 2021
    https://www.lonestarmasterbash.com/

    2019 XT22 - Ear Bleeder
    2020 Crest 240 SLC Tri Toon - Ear Injurer

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MC25 View Post
      For the price, it is extremely lackluster.
      Maybe. But with the same thought process, I could have purchased a different brand boat with all the same features for half the price. So it boils down to what you value. For me, it wasn't worth the hassle and potential integration headaches of installing an aftermarket system.
      -Oscilated

      2021 XT21 with 6.2GDI

      Comment


      • #4
        People seem to forget how subjective audio is. What sounds good to you may not sound good to me and vice versa.
        When someone blurts out “_______ is the BEST!!” I stop listening to them.

        I think I am pretty particular and knowledgeable about audio and I am 90% thrilled with the performance of the Advanced Audio setup on my 2020.

        I couldn’t care less about listening to music while wakeboarding but it is fun while surfing and the stock tower speakers do not sound clear or loud while surfing. Adding a Fresh Air Exhaust helped but I will be adding a dedicated amp for the towers shortly that will double the wattage.

        My only other pet peeve has to do with the horn vent by the driver’s side bow speaker that makes a horrible sound when you crank the bow volume.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MasterCraft Ranger View Post
          I couldn’t care less about listening to music while wakeboarding but it is fun while surfing and the stock tower speakers do not sound clear or loud while surfing. Adding a Fresh Air Exhaust helped but I will be adding a dedicated amp for the towers shortly that will double the wattage.
          What year boat? Which tower speakers do you have? And are they powered by the factory amplifiers?

          I ask because I have the T85 pods, but have never heard them while sporting.
          -Oscilated

          2021 XT21 with 6.2GDI

          Comment


          • #6
            2021 Dual Dash with Premium Plus - My Opinion

            Originally posted by oscilated View Post
            What year boat? Which tower speakers do you have? And are they powered by the factory amplifiers?

            I ask because I have the T85 pods, but have never heard them while sporting.

            2020 XT22 with S80 towers. Despite the designation, they have the same 8.5” speaker in them that the S85 has, just a smaller enclosure. I purchased a used 8 channel Klipsch amp and will run 4 of those channels in bridge mode to the towers.


            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
            Last edited by MasterCraft Ranger; 03-30-2021, 10:59 AM.

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            • #7
              I was overall impressed with the quality of sound. Only having the advanced system I thought wasn’t very loud for a new boat. So I added dash speakers and two more subs so it’s like the premium audio but with third sub. It sounds perfect to me now. I also swapped towers for rev 10 and that really helped hear behind the boat.

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              • #8
                Maybe something changed in 2021.
                05 ProStar 209, Navy Flake, Slate Gray, MCX 1:1 Sold
                15 X23 7.4 FOR SALE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MC25 View Post
                  For the price, it is extremely lackluster.
                  Just out of blind curiosity, have you listened to the "premium plus" system, rather than just the advanced, or premium systems. I wouldn't be surprised if you have..... I know you run around in a lot of boats. Just wondering.

                  IMO, the advanced is extremely lackluster, and the premium system is fairly lackluster as well. However, I found the premium plus system in my 2020 XStar to be quite fantastic. The interior sound quality, and overall interior volume is a huge step up from the premium system. The additional 8.5 midrange speakers, and additional power to the tower for the 4 8.5" tower speakers made a huge difference.

                  Now, to be fair, I know you like a huge wetsounds rev10 setup on the tower, and this system won't ever be that as far as reach and loudness. But the premium plus system is as loud, clear, and balanced inside the boat, as any other factory system I have heard.

                  Most of you know I have upgraded the sound system in every boat I have ever had, and yes, some of those custom setups sounded better than the new premium plus system. But I didnt feel the need to ever upgrade this one. It was far and away better than any of the other stock systems I ever had.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Diesel View Post
                    Maybe something changed in 2021.

                    It didn’t. I have premium plus in a 21 x24. The tower volume is weak. The rest of the boat does sound good. The OP is mistaken I think on the complaints of master volume and subwoofer volume. It’s not the level of volume. It’s the method of control. And the volume rolloff curves. You can’t get down to quiet background music between sets and back up to boarding or surfin or cruising volume without modifying Every damn zone. And as OP mentioned the sub is overpowering at low volumes.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oscilated View Post
                      Maybe. But with the same thought process, I could have purchased a different brand boat with all the same features for half the price. So it boils down to what you value. For me, it wasn't worth the hassle and potential integration headaches of installing an aftermarket system.
                      Little apples to oranges comparison there. There is very little effort required for integration into the stock system if you are satisfied with the method of control and the sound quality of the DSP. I however am definitely not. The fusion RA755 head until on our previous 16 X30 was far and above better than the complex means of “zone control” they switched to.
                      -Aric

                      LONE STAR MASTERBASH 2021
                      https://www.lonestarmasterbash.com/

                      2019 XT22 - Ear Bleeder
                      2020 Crest 240 SLC Tri Toon - Ear Injurer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FourFourty View Post
                        Just out of blind curiosity, have you listened to the "premium plus" system, rather than just the advanced, or premium systems. I wouldn't be surprised if you have..... I know you run around in a lot of boats. Just wondering.

                        IMO, the advanced is extremely lackluster, and the premium system is fairly lackluster as well. However, I found the premium plus system in my 2020 XStar to be quite fantastic. The interior sound quality, and overall interior volume is a huge step up from the premium system. The additional 8.5 midrange speakers, and additional power to the tower for the 4 8.5" tower speakers made a huge difference.

                        Now, to be fair, I know you like a huge wetsounds rev10 setup on the tower, and this system won't ever be that as far as reach and loudness. But the premium plus system is as loud, clear, and balanced inside the boat, as any other factory system I have heard.

                        Most of you know I have upgraded the sound system in every boat I have ever had, and yes, some of those custom setups sounded better than the new premium plus system. But I didnt feel the need to ever upgrade this one. It was far and away better than any of the other stock systems I ever had.
                        I have. The value just isn’t there for me. For premium plus, 4 S85 pods, you’re looking at what? 15k? 15k gets you an outrageously loud and clear aftermarket system with 100s of options to go with to get you there. Not to mention the absolutely silly zone control and master volume that is worthless at anything but 100% volume. Plus, the DSP leaves a lot to be desired acoustically.

                        The premium plus with the two JL subs sounded better to me than the klipsch dual sub package. Maybe not as good as premium plus, but still.

                        I definitely feel that anyone who is satisfied with the klipsch option of any sort is in the minority.
                        -Aric

                        LONE STAR MASTERBASH 2021
                        https://www.lonestarmasterbash.com/

                        2019 XT22 - Ear Bleeder
                        2020 Crest 240 SLC Tri Toon - Ear Injurer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MC25 View Post
                          Little apples to oranges comparison there.
                          Wait, what? If you compare the relative value of two competing audio systems it's okay, but if I compare the relative value of two competing boat models it's not? Boy, I just don't think we'll ever find common ground

                          Originally posted by MC25 View Post
                          I definitely feel that anyone who is satisfied with the klipsch option of any sort is in the minority.
                          This is precisely why I found it necessary to post my opinion on the matter. The overwhelming majority of voices here describe the constant need for more volume and more bass. But just as most people never upgrade their vehicle's factory stereo, I'm willing to bet that those same families will never find a need to upgrade beyond MasterCraft's factory offered Klipsch systems.

                          I understand some of you insist on being "the a**hole who forces everyone on the lake to listen to his crappy music". But most of us don't want to have that sort of reputation.
                          Last edited by oscilated; 04-07-2021, 03:43 PM.
                          -Oscilated

                          2021 XT21 with 6.2GDI

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oscilated View Post
                            I understand some of you insist on being "the a**hole who forces everyone on the lake to listen to his crappy music". But most of us don't want to have that sort of reputation.
                            I have zero interest in just playing loud. I don't mind loud as long as it sounds good.

                            I've been an audio nut for most my life, and IMHO the stock system did not sound good, and it got worse as it got louder.

                            I am sure if I had the option to tweak the DSP and it had more power, it would be more to my tastes. But, I don't have that option.

                            Maybe the newer boats and the premium plus upgrade is different, but given what any MC Klipsch system costs, it is a tragedy.
                            05 ProStar 209, Navy Flake, Slate Gray, MCX 1:1 Sold
                            15 X23 7.4 FOR SALE

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I found 2 additional s-80 tower speakers, sub, and factory 8 channel amp. $1700 had a local audio shop install $500 and for $2300 I have the same system as the premium that MC charges $15k for. You can do it yourself as well with eecylone kit (Chestnut). Good luck! I’m very satisfied with the Klipsch

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