Many people often ask us, “Do I really need a marine amplifier on my boat, even though the amplifier won’t be directly exposed to any water?”
Regardless of the location of the amplifier, a marine grade amplifier is always a very intelligent choice, and here’s why:
The amplifier may not be exposed or susceptible to a direct splash, but it is exposed to a significant amount of moisture in the air from either salt or fresh water. Exposure to moisture is especially problematic for boats that are docked on the water rather than stored indoors. Boats that are docked in or exposed to salt water in any way must stand up to the corrosive effects of salt.
Marine-grade amplifiers, such as our MHD, M-Series and MX are built with strategic gasket covers that help reject unwanted salt and moisture in the air. If your amplifier will be directly exposed to splashing water or the spray of a hose, our MX amplifiers are the ideal choice since they have been given an IPX6 waterproof rating (See article: What Does an IPX6 Rating Mean?). All JL Audio Marine amplifiers feature a powder coated finish and stainless steel hardware for ultimate durability and resistance against corrosion.
Also worthy of mention is the fact that in certain vessels the amplifiers are traditionally mounted somewhere near the boat’s battery, since it can often be difficult to run a heavy gauge power wire through a boat. This location is often under the deck in the engine compartment where there is little airflow and fuel fumes. JL Audio MHD and M-Series amplifiers are Ignition Protected, which means that any components that may cause a spark are completely sealed off and contained from the element. This feature gives you ideal protection, since an engine compartment can be saturated with potentially explosive fumes. Thanks to their IPX6 rating, our MX amplifiers will not permit the intrusion of any fuel fumes and are completely safe to use under the deck as well. (For more information on Ignition Protection, read our article on Ignition Protected Circuit Breakers.)
Connections at the bottom of the amp prevent moisture on the wires running into the amp
JL Audio intentionally designed the MHD and M-Series amplifiers so that all inputs and outputs run out of the bottom of the amp. This prevents any moisture or condensation that may form on the wire itself from running into the amplifier. If you plan to mount one of our amps sideways, make sure that your power wire is run from below the amplifier and not from above in order to avoid moisture from running down into the amp’s inputs and outputs. Additionally, the compression connections used for the inputs and outputs on our M-Series amplifiers are ABYC Compliant.