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INSIDE: Tube Acoustics
By: Shawn Madison

One of the main assets in boat accessories is a stereo sound system. Quality of sound is a key factor in this process. Tube Acoustics in Knoxville, TN offers an inside look on some of their premium sound products. Started in mid 2003 by Dave Peterson, Tube Acoustics has grown as a major supplier to boat dealerships throughout the Southeast.

“The reason why we started this was that most end users were frustrated with paying $40-60,000 for a boat with a crappy stock sound system”-Dave Peterson. The majority of the boat manufacturers take standard car audio stereo components designed for a car and put them in boats and tower-speaker cans. Because of the open-air nature of boats, these speakers are generally used at high levels of power. This causes the traditional systems to have limited bass, distort, and the tweeter eventually blows. Pipe bombsMost of the 6 1/2” mid-range speaker systems are placed in tower cans that do not have enough air volume to generate bass volume. The results are mostly mid and high sounds with limited lows. To fill the needs of wakeboarders/boaters, Tube Acoustics offers three main product lines.

  • Pipe Bombs with a six-inch passive radiator and separate tweeter.
  • Base Bombs with an eight-inch passive radiator.
  • 6 1/2 inch Coaxial Tower speakers in a variety of cans.

    Boaters that want to increase the sound they hear when riding have to have two things. They are: to increase the lows heard on the water and to balance the mid and highs away from the industry norm. To do this, Tube Acoustics designed a product called the pipe bomb. It has a long-throw midrange driver with a butyl surround that allows a good amount of excursion along with a separate tweeter. TA-617 duallyThe backend of the pipe bomb has a passive radiator to generate even more bass from the air movement of the driver. The pipe bomb pushes lows out 50 to 60 feet when the cycle of the bass sound wave reaches a peak and around 80 to 100 feet it reoccurs.

    Tube Acoustics designs its own crossovers for each speaker. This allows the use of more power through the tweeter and it is designed to produce a much better sound in open air than in a car.

    Subs are another component Tube Acoustics designs for optimal boat sound. Several of the OEM companies cut a hole in the fiberglass of the boat and place 10-12” subs for mounting. The key to great sub sound is for the sound waves to resonate off of walls. To do this, the lows need to bounce off angles. Tube Acoustics has designed a sub can that utilizes an eight-inch driver on one side and an eight-inch passive radiator on the other side. This design utilizes the long throw drivers in producing tremendous bass. The more the driver moves, the more the radiator will flex to produce increased bass.

    Another key facet of this design is that it allows people flexibility in mounting and portability. “We generally encourage people to mount them behind the kick panel on the driver’s side where it can resonate off the walls and come out over the top. In addition, we have a mounting bracket that will allow the sub to be mounted under the dash of most boats”-Dave Peterson. The subs’ can design allows for ease in portability for security if the boat is docked or stored. Bass Bomb SubwooferThe mounting brackets allow the user to simply unhook the sub and utilize in their vehicle if desired. The sub cans are powder coated in virtually any color with an additional option of being chromed. Each can comes with quick connectors that allow them to be removed quickly and easily.

    “Each speaker and driver has the availability for a custom grill or a grill from our design catalog. We can basically make any speaker grill a customer may desire, whether it be in digital format or on a paper napkin”-Dave Peterson.

    For more information about Tube Acoustics, contact or
    Tube Acoustics / 3302 Rifle Range Road / Knoxville, TN 37918

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