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Old 17-08-2010, 07:30   #1
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Fusion Stereo Equipment Marine Stereo Recommendations

I need to replace the aging head unit in our boat and am hearign good things about Fusion products. Ive historically just used automotive head units from Sony and JVC with great results. I only mount below decks. I am also wondering if anyone has any experience with the sub that is here:

Fusion Electronics Marine 8-inch Active Subwoofer

This seems like a decent sub that I could mount up in a cockpit locker. I also need to replace speakers and am looking for suggestions. For the cabin I have 6 1/2" round 2 ways that I want to replace. Out in the cockpit are two bose speakers that are in their own enclosures but are old and have weak bass. I dont want to cut holes for new speakers so will probably stay with a self enclosed speaker like:

Bose 151 Environmental Speakers - Outdoor Speakers and Boat Speakers - Bose Speaker Systems

or

Bose 251 Environmental Speakers - Outdoor Speakers and Boat Speakers - Bose Speaker Systems

for the ones inside the cabin was considering:

Bose 131 Marine Speakers - Outdoor Speakers and Boat Speakers - Bose Speaker Systems


I have been hearing good things about the fusion gear and would consider their speakers as well. Im looking for good sound quality and decent bass. I am also looking at installing a flat screen TV and DVD player below decks and would love to integrate the sound so maybe I need to look at head units with RCA Inputs too.
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Old 17-08-2010, 08:38   #2
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Hi, when we made the same decision a few years back, we continued with JVC (our unit is a KD DV7300.... now discontinued, but I'm sure updated models are available).

We chose a unit with built-in DVD player, Satellite radio ready (just need to buy the Sirius or XM module), I-Pod input, MP3 capable, plus has a USB input (and RCA inputs inthe rear). In addition, we chose a unit that is capable of recieving FM while in Europe. We also chose a multi-format TV that would also work in Europe as well as the US.

Fusion or other manufacturers may have models with similiar features. But for us, having the built in DVD and satellite radio is a major plus.

Steve
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Old 17-08-2010, 08:54   #3
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Thanks this sounds likes the way to go. Where did you purchase the JVC unit?
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Old 17-08-2010, 09:03   #4
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I have a Fusion head unit on my boat. I love it. I especially like being able to pop my iPod into the unit, close the hinged face plate and now its waterproof. These units were clearly designed for a wet environment. On the other hand the car based head units are clearly not. If my head unit got hit by spray or even a hose there would not be anything to worry about...as long as I remember to close the faceplate.

I have it receiving Sirius which is pretty nice as well. With a 160 Gig iPod classic in there I can listen to music for days without hearing the same song played twice.

The iPod user interface of the head unit is pretty decent.

Click the arrow button and you can see how the waterproof faceplate with the gasket on the back works.
http://www.fusioncaraudio.com/austra...6-product.aspx
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Old 17-08-2010, 09:07   #5
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Not worried about waterproofing as the head unit will be mounted below decks. I would like to have a wired remote for the cockpit and I would also like it to play DVDs with maybe just RCA output for video to go to the TV. Im an XM fan too so SAT radio radio would be ideal as well.
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Old 17-08-2010, 09:21   #6
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Hi, the JVC unit we purchased is discontinued and no longer available... which is normal for electronics. I just looked at comparable JVC models, and the closest is their KD AVX77, which has a built in LCD screen. A google search will most likely provide the best price. When we purchased ours, Electronics Bonanza in NY provided the best price we could find.

For us, the key to selecting a unit was to first outline the features we wanted (DVD/CD/MP3/IPOD/SATELLITE/USB/EUROPEAN SWITCHABLE/RCA INPUTS AND OUTPUTS (for old VCR unit). From there, we researched the different brands that provided the most wanted features. Then researched prices and vendors. At the time, JVC was the best bet. May still be today, but other companies (such as Fusion) are entering the market with similiar features.

We also use an amp to boost the power of our unit. It uses more power than we'd like... but the sound is great. Just be sure to shut the power off to the amp when not using the unit.

Anyway, a google search of JVC KD AVX77 will provide the specs and on-line vendors.

Steve
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Old 17-08-2010, 09:31   #7
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Thanks I am finding some units like this one that is interesting:

Consumers Marine > Fusion MS-AV600G DVD Stereo

What I dont quite get is how the unit would connect to a TV for video output? Is there just a yellow RCA output on the unit to go to a Flat Screen TV? I would hope the video output can be sent to a TV and not have to watch on some tiny screen. Im also wondering if XM and Serius are pretty much interchangeable now? I enjoy the XM channels now but wonder if I got this unit and the serius reciever would I still have access to the XM channels. Guess i need to contact XM about that.
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Old 17-08-2010, 10:05   #8
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While Im at it has any one had experience buying "B-Stock" items? Im wary as they are supoposedly items that have been displayed or open box. Probably not worth the potential hassle. I wonder if it would be missing parts and not under warranty?
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Old 17-08-2010, 12:14   #9
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I just installed the smaller Fusion RA 200 with an ipod unit. I am impressed with the quality of the unit, and the ease of adjusting the volume levels in each zone. It is really the same thing as balance and front and back as an auto unit would be, just easier. Aluminum construction so good heat dissapation. The ipod unit is really a recepticle and an ipod cable. If I had known that I might have just did some kind of usb connector in the panel the stereo is mounted in, only to make it less obtrusive. RCA jacks for input which I might extend through the panel so I can plug my MacBook in and watch movies with better sound. All in all, a nice unit, and priced right for the quality that it is. Defender had the best prices, better than Port Supply.
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Old 17-08-2010, 12:16   #10
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Will check Defender for sure. I was seeing 479 for the unit with the DVD capability through PS.
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Old 22-08-2010, 15:48   #11
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We installed the Fusion MA-RA200 on our 27 foot sailboat this summer and love it. Great two-zone control (speakers in cockpit and cabin). Got the kit with the docking bay, head unit and 2 very nice marine speakers, and added the wired remote to the cockpit. Compact and sharp-looking. Beautiful sound, way more than enough power for this size of boat, uses about an amp. AM/VM/VHF/iPod/Sirius/Aux/USB jacks. Easy hookups. No CD. The docking bay we got has video output, should one want that. We use our iPod and dock it in the bay. Nothing but good to say -- it really added a lot to our cruising experience. Wish we'd had this the last 6 years since our first iPod.
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Old 20-09-2010, 11:03   #12
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Stereo Head Units

I have a Kenwood car stereo head unit that I play my DVR audio through via a 5 channel amp. 4 Boston Acoustic speakers with separate tweeters in the four corners of the main saloon along with a 10Ē sub-woofer provide the sound. The speakers are wired so the Front to Back fade control sends the sound to the TV side of the saloon to watch movies. This way the speakers right by the settee doesnít overpower your ears. A few years ago I switched to a Pioneer head unit that has a USB port to which I play my 8 gig thumb drives on. This provides a ton of music and when I want to switch genres I simply swap out thumb drives. IPods are really nice but I donít own one because you canít service them yourself. The Pioneerís software works well to find songs as it handles each album as a file with the tunes acting as a sub-file, very easy to scroll through. The infrared eye on the unit is extremely sensitive which allows me to use the remote in the cockpit. I just aim it down the companion way and it responds. I donít have cockpit speakers because I donít want to be one of those boats in the quiet anchorage that likes to share their music with everyone else. We can easily hear the music from the main saloon because of the quality of the speakers at a volume level not too loud to carry across the water. The one negative about the Pioneer unit is the really annoying light show on the display, you canít turn it off. Itís too bright and continually blinks from blue to black. So much so that Iíve removed it and am looking for a replacement. I believe the newer Pioneer models have dropped that pubescent light show.

On a side note; my friends who have a separate Sirius Satellite receiver that broadcasts on an FM frequency couldnít hear their stereo in the cockpit when motoring. They have cockpit speakers but no amp to boost the head units pre-amp. I suggested to them to get a personal radio with ear buds, tune the radio to pick up the FM signal and listen to the satellite broadcast when on watch. This way their partner could sleep when off watch and one could then hear the comedy channel while at the helm.
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Old 20-09-2010, 11:48   #13
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I have used Kenwood and now Sony car stereo below decks out of spray for sure. It has a chord for the Ipod and controls it as well and includes a remote control which is very handy. We have the front speakers in the cabin and the rear ones in the cockpit. It was cheap and to my aging ears sounds fine.

I usually listen to weather radio and some news but really use the iPod to select the music we want and so "listening to radio" is rather rare for use. We do like to listen to Prairie Home Companion on NPR which we have to search for to find a local NPR affiliate.

One thing that DOES bother me is boats which make loud sounds and noise and that includes motors and music.

Fusions look good and expensive too, and for me an unnecessary expense.
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Old 22-09-2010, 02:53   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
Fusions look good and expensive too, and for me an unnecessary expense.
Actually I was sold by the price. The kit (head, docking bay, and pair of external speakers) we got was only $75 more than a cheap auto head unit and pair of cheap marine speakers, and the functionality and quality are far more. Maybe we happened on an introductory offer or something, but Fusion is worth a good look in this digital age on the water.
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Old 22-09-2010, 05:15   #15
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Sounds like a lot - the 5 way creative speakers we have were less than $60 - and have great surround sound quality. Bonus, can attach them to laptop, or anyone's IPOD!
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