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Old 10-03-2016, 06:57   #16
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

But...if you re-read the OP's post, he didn't actually say he was looking for audiophile sound quality, but that he had a question for the audiophiles here.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:28   #17
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

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Music will be played off iPods, phones etc most of the time.

Any input greatly appreciated.

You right, he didn't ask for an Audiophile system, and even if you could with Ipods and phones being the source, what would be the point?
Audophile to me being an old man means Vinyl with a tube amp and ideally Klipschorns or similar although what I have now is JBL studio series, a long way from horns. When I get old I'll have my horns, the vinyls are going into storage.
Funny story, our now 30 something Daughter when she was young was looking at one of my records never having really seen a record before, she was fascinated, I didn't understand why until she looked up and said, "Wow, both sides?" To her using both sides was a revolutionary idea I guess
Younger people of the digital age do not understand Audiophile, they do not understand that a digital source can't be.

I think it would be very difficult to get Audophile on a boat, maybe a Cat as that is what he has, but even then getting the acoustics right would be hard, who wants heavy tapestries hanging in their boat?

But you can do pretty well with good car stuff, like the Focals that were talked about, I have Focals in one of my cars, and with a good amp and head unit, they are awfully good for an automobile anyway. Automobile quality is about what I think you will be able to achieve on a boat
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:38   #18
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

For a good individual experience I'll probably go this route: Flac on laptop/boat computer through dedicated USB D/A converter/headphone amp + decent set of headphones. Something like Audioquest Firefly. For social casual listening I have a cheap car stereo that plays MP3s from a sd-card.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:41   #19
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

"Audophile to me being an old man means Vinyl with a tube amp"
Not quite an old guy yet but I agree.
The NOS Mullard tubes in my amp are actually worth more than the amp! Over 500$ US a tube. I also run NOS Mullards in my guitar amp for the pre amp section, NOS RCA's sound better in the power section of that amp.
New Russian tubes just don't cut it.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:11   #20
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

I am somewhat of an audiophile and here is what I can tell you. Not sure how much this applies to your situation or needs, so just take it as information as to what I have done and plan on doing on my upcoming cat purchase.

JL Audio...end of discussion. I have this equipment in both of my boats and retro-fitted into my new Yukon. If you truly care about hearing true rich sound that is acoustically accurate vs. just being loud there really are no other viable competitors that make marine products. 90% of the people would not notice the difference on a factory boat with Clarion/Fusion/Kicker/insert brand here...but when you properly power JL speakers to music comes alive. People are amazed at how clear and rich the music sounds from Classic Rock, to country, to hip-hop, to you name your genre.

Here is what I would suggest:
JL 8.8 waterproof speakers in the pivoting cans. Two of this properly positioned on the boat are more than enough for external speakers. You can then rotate them easily to wherever you are wanting the music. They have huge mid-drivers as well as an integrated tweeter. They are flat out awesome. But you have to give them a true 200W to each speaker to get their true potential...so size your amps accordingly.

JL 13W7 in a ported box for your base. Once you've had this to accompany your speakers you'll never listen to music the same way again. It is sort of like having heated seats in a car if you live up north...its a game changer. This would go in the saloon, and it can be the car audio version because it will not be exposed to the elements. Then you power is with an HD1200/1 amp and you are in business.

I will be adding 2 speakers inside the saloon and in the master suite hull. All controlled by the Fusion head system. It is awesome...you can control the volume of the zones individually with controllers in each area (that are waterproof) They also control the base, treble, ipod playlists, etc. It is also Bluetooth so you can be sitting on the trampoline with your phone(if you dare) and change songs/playlist/volume/settings. It is pretty cool.

The other key to this is having an appropriately sized battery bank to power the system.

Ok I realize this is way overkill for 99% of the people out there, but it is a luxury that for some might be worth it. If you want the best at a very reasonable cost, that is my $0.02.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:25   #21
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

I am probably an ex "audiophile" but here's my take:


It's impossible to get realistic sound reproduction on a typical boat. Inside, the size and shape of the "room" won't allow it and outside, other noises interfere with it.


Now if you're not interested in realistic reproduction and just want loud music with exaggerated bass, you can certainly find equipment for this. Be aware that this is a moving target so what is best today won't be best in a couple years. Remember the eight track tapes?


One of the reasons I go boating is to get away from artificial sounds. I seldom turn on the stereo when boating. I'm listening for trouble or the VHF when underway and the sounds of nature when anchored.


And I detest the people who feel they should turn up their music (or rap) for everyone else to hear. 20 watts per channel will entertain you and your guests just fine.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:37   #22
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

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20 watts per channel will entertain you and your guests just fine.
I'd go so far as to say if it's clean and you have good efficient speakers, 2W a channel is plently.
Issue is good, efficient speakers, those are old school and just aren't that common anymore. see below table, Klipschorns are 105 db sensitivity for example and Honest to God, 1 W will drive them to a comfortable listening level. It's amazing how much more power inefficient speakers need to achieve the same thing.

104db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 1 watt
101db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 2 watts
98db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 3 watts
95db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 6 watts
92db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 12 watts
89db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 24 watts
86db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 48 watts
83db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 96 watts
80db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 191 watts
77db 8' (2.46M) 80db 15db 382 watts
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:40   #23
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I am probably an ex "audiophile" but here's my take:


It's impossible to get realistic sound reproduction on a typical boat. Inside, the size and shape of the "room" won't allow it and outside, other noises interfere with it.


Now if you're not interested in realistic reproduction and just want loud music with exaggerated bass, you can certainly find equipment for this. Be aware that this is a moving target so what is best today won't be best in a couple years. Remember the eight track tapes?


One of the reasons I go boating is to get away from artificial sounds. I seldom turn on the stereo when boating. I'm listening for trouble or the VHF when underway and the sounds of nature when anchored.


And I detest the people who feel they should turn up their music (or rap) for everyone else to hear. 20 watts per channel will entertain you and your guests just fine.

I totally agree with rwidman above...you'll never get the acoustical perfection on a boat that you can in a purpose built room in your home or in a car. Too many crazy shapes and nooks and crannies. The stuff they put in production boats in absolutely fine for 99% of the listening public out there. But then again a McDonalds burger is damn tasty after being out on the water for a couple weeks, but put it next to a medium rare filet and some zip sauce there isn't much comparison : )

Also, if you do have a nice sound system definitely be considerate...nothing worse than being "that guy" blaring his stereo to crap music other people don't want to listen to. IMO there is no better sound than cutting the diesel engine and hearing the sound of the sails being trimmed in and the hull cutting through the water.
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:54   #24
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

Ah you guys are the ones that buy ethernet cables with gold conductors for better sound when streaming; tube amplifiers etc. Sorry for interfering but I can confirm that a couple of Sonos Play1-5 units last much longer aboard, have a flat response curve and very low distortion.

If you are worried about the accoutics then why not get Mirage speakers? They made a science of designing speakers that perform under accoutically challenging conditions.
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Old 10-03-2016, 13:12   #25
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

Last time I checked, MP3 was the equal of FLAC. *IF* you used lossless mp3. Even if you use mp3/vbr-2 you'll sill come damned close to the quality (in the real world, with background noise, imperfect ears, and imperfect gear) at a fraction of the space.


But using a phone or ipod as the source...No, really, even a Fiio digital player can show you a radically better world of sound from the same source files, on any decent earphones or speakers. (Not that the Fiio is perfect, it has many quirks.)


But if smartphone quality (really, just 16 steps to thee volume control?? When your TV has 64?) is good enough, then "car stereo" quality will also be good enough. Improving the source and making sure the speakers are waterproof will count for more in the long run.
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Old 10-03-2016, 14:09   #26
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

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Absolutely... There is also nothing audiophile about anything Bose makes. Audiophile sound quality in a boat is tough to do but mid quality car audio sound is certainly doable.
Lol.. No highs, no lows, must be Bose.

I 100% agree - good car stuff will be fine for a boat.
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Old 10-03-2016, 14:33   #27
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

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Ah you guys are the ones that buy ethernet cables with gold conductors for better sound when streaming; tube amplifiers etc. Sorry for interfering but I can confirm that a couple of Sonos Play1-5 units last much longer aboard, have a flat response curve and very low distortion.

If you are worried about the accoutics then why not get Mirage speakers? They made a science of designing speakers that perform under accoutically challenging conditions.

I have Sonos products in my house and I'm a huge fan the connectivity and the value they provide, I would give those a thumbs up as well for an inexpensive option. Bose stuff is all hype short on performance. Again its splitting hairs but neither are not in the same league as JL products...it is night and day. Hey some guys buy Kevlar sails to the 3% incremental better performance and swear they would never use anything else. All first world issues we are discussing here & lucky to have : )
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Old 15-03-2016, 19:22   #28
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

I use Sennheiser HD650 headphones and an external DAC playing lossless flac.
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Old 15-03-2016, 21:15   #29
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

I used to be an audiophile, club membership and all.
Used to have Thorens/Nakamichi/Tandberg/Kef/Macintosh/Nad/Quad/Revox stuff in the house.

On Gilana, we have a pair of B&W speakers in the saloon, a pair of MBQuart in the cockpit. A Jensen 400 BBE amp, driven by a Pioneer car stereo, or the WD TV for movies, or the laptop running Audacious under Linux.

I think you should go to a good audio store, and audition some up-market car systems. A boat, especially a plastic one, is a bad starting point, and it impossible to get the best quality sound.
Its the last few percent that is difficult, and the exponential rise in price of the stuff at the top end suffers from the law of diminishing returns. Get to 90% and leave it be...get some other gear with your money. I have set up sounds in some really bad venues, using an Ivy Spectrum analyzer and Klark-Technic parametric equalizers, Yamaha reverbs and midas 64 channel mixing desks. Trust me, in a Catamaran, "Good" is good enough. Perfection is unattainable.
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Old 08-06-2016, 19:48   #30
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Re: Audiophiles: primer on marine audio.

Voyageur has a Fusion 700 receiver, with a pair of Sonance Mariner 5.2s in the saloon and a pair of Sonance Mariner 6.2s hung from the aft bimini boom, aimed toward the companionway. It all works quite well and is enjoyable. Audiophile? Hah! Go home if that's necessary. But classical FM and iPod (lossless compression) work and sound quite good, given the environment, and the over-processed pop music FMs sound no worse than they do anywhere else.
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