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Old 09-12-2010, 11:41   #16
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Location, location, location

Hey Four Winds.

Your buddy should scrootinize his speaker location carefully. Even the best speaker will not give good low end performance it is not mounted in a proper enclosure. There is a minimum volume that needs to exist behind the speaker cone or you get no bass freq's. Of course, this is easier said than done, good choice locations on a sailboat are limited.

Also, I'm still using a car stereo with a cassette. Now that's really old, still works great so I haven't replaced it yet, but it's on the list.
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Old 09-12-2010, 20:42   #17
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Hey Four Winds.

Your buddy should scrootinize his speaker location carefully. Even the best speaker will not give good low end performance it is not mounted in a proper enclosure. There is a minimum volume that needs to exist behind the speaker cone or you get no bass freq's. Of course, this is easier said than done, good choice locations on a sailboat are limited.

Also, I'm still using a car stereo with a cassette. Now that's really old, still works great so I haven't replaced it yet, but it's on the list.
Whoa, you still have cassettes? 8 tracks I suppose?


Grandpa Marksman does make a good point. I had my 'Kicker' speakers installed in the forward bulkhead facing aft; in the the forward cabin there is a small clothes cabinet on each side of the bulkhead door where the enclosures now sit and it works really well. The sound out of these things is amazing, far better than I ever expected.
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Old 09-12-2010, 20:50   #18
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I have been using for years a $100.00 Pioneer unit with a I-pod jack, I plug my lap top in for great sound watching dvd's or netflicks. But I do like the white face marine radios looks.
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Old 09-12-2010, 21:04   #19
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Grandpa indeed

Actually I am a Gramps, happens earlier in life when you have daughters. I have a whole box of cassetts, I just don't know where they are. We just listen to the FM Jazz stations, but a new unit is on the list.
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Old 09-12-2010, 21:22   #20
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Marksman,
I agree with your statements about speaker location and volume.

However my friend did not change the speakers or location when installing the new head unit. Same setup as old head unit. Yet the sound quality went down in his opinion. Only the head unit was changed so this suggests it is the cause of the poorer sound quality. Probably would sound better with the optional Fusion external amp.

The speakers in the cockpit are in the huge square fiberglass helm cover. Funky looking thing about a 20 inches by 20 inches by 36 inches tall. Lots of volume there. Can't remember where the cabin speakers are located.





On another statement about Chinese manufacturing. Most of us old farts remember when "Made in Japan" meant pure junk. Not so much now, right? Well, China has made it there too, things change you know. Lots of new CAD/CAM facilities and ISO9600(?) compliant factories. Many of these products are first rate. They have been investing in new factories for years now with all the WalMart money. And the manipulation of the Chinese currency means the individual items are underpriced as well. I find most folks knowledge about technology to be about a decade behind, and sometimes biased by stereotypes.
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Old 09-12-2010, 22:10   #21
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Actually I am a Gramps, happens earlier in life when you have daughters. I have a whole box of cassetts, I just don't know where they are. We just listen to the FM Jazz stations, but a new unit is on the list.
Full disclosure- I have a James Bliss bag full of them somewhere too. And I remember 8 tracks well.
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Old 09-12-2010, 23:42   #22
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We just listen to the FM Jazz stations.
Although I listen to light rock, news, classical, BBC World Service, when it comes to a moving sailboat it just has to be jazz everytime.

I don't listen to jazz when I'm not on the water. Maybe its quite a common thing in sailing?

With regard to the marine vs car stereo, (when installed inside a boat) no contest. A car stereo that is installed as standard in a mass produced car will far exceed a marine srereo in any aspect of quality and reliability. But it has to be a standard fitting in a mass produced car not an aftermarket unit with bells and whistles on. I cut my teeth designing car stereos for Ford, the design spec was extensive, the design testing exhausting (e.g. cars would go to Arizona and Norway to test hot/cold) and the root cause analysis on field return failures closed in on any perceived weakness and they would be corrected in the next model year.I bet the small % of Ford vehicles alone parked regularly by docks and sea front properties outnumbers the number of stereos in all boats...

P.S. Re the Chinese plants, the generic production quality spec is ISO9002, but that doesn't mean a product will be "good", just consistant, I would go with a name brand (albeit made in China).
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Old 10-12-2010, 13:08   #23
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Yeah, the admiral and I like everything except "country" and "rap", put them together and you get "crap". But really, some country is fun. I was classicaly trained in the music department and even though Jazz is king I occasionaly like to plug in the Coppelia ballet for a very moving and powerfully emotional sailing experience. Give it a try!

I much agree about the car stereo industry and the amount of R&D that goes into perfecting a system to work well under some very adverse conditions, which I would think exsits to a much lesser degree on a boat, at least as far as reception and multipath considerations. The main concern being environmental conditions. The competition on the automotive side I suspect is heavier than the marine world for obvious reasons and as stated earlier in this thread the main objective of the marinized sets is protection from the eliments and as Four Winds has described, acheiving optimum sound quality may be secondary.

There is also the possability that our ears have grown accustomed to equalization compensating for a bad accustical environment (a car interior) where the low and high extreams are boosted to overcome the upper midrange natural frequency of that space. And then when given a true flat response it sounds dull.

All in all getting back to OP's main topic, I would not recomend spending the extra wampum on a "marine" stereo system simply based on longevity.
My .02
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Old 10-12-2010, 14:07   #24
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We used a JVC car CD/DVD unit so could also use it to play movies with surround sound
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Old 10-12-2010, 14:21   #25
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One thing to keep in mind with speakers is marine speakers have a non magnetic magnet,something to consider if they are anywhere near the compass!
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Old 10-12-2010, 14:59   #26
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I had a Denon cassette receiver in Carina for about 25 years - I finally gave it away last year but it was still working. During 17 years of cruising from Portland, Oregon to Europe and back, the radio kept working in spite of the occasional drips of salt water. For inside mounting I would not waste the money on a marine model.

Unless you are looking for a large color display you should be able to get a suitable model for under $200. Last year I bought a JVC with HD radio (and internal CD player which will never get used); the quality of HD is well worth it if it is available in your area. The HD add-ons are hideously overpriced so if you want it get a model with it built in. I also have a front panel USB for connecting an iPod Classic 80GB, so there is no need to carry around a CD library. It also has a front panel AUX (stereo mini-phone jack) which I use for my new TV; the new flat panel TVs are great, and my model uses 12v, but the tiny internal speakers leave much to be desired. If you are planning on cruising afar consider getting a radio that can be switched for operation in different parts of the world - my old Denon could not precisely tune in some European stations but the new JVC will. I also find the remote control very convenient.

Good speakers are essential. I installed a passive crossover with a dual voice coil (DVC) 8" subwoofer mounted on the locker face below the port settee. The subwoofer adds to the fullness of the sound. But beware, get one with a shielded magnet; my first one could affect a compass up to 6 ft away and severely limited my mounting choices for the electronic compass, while the new shielded one has no practical impact. BTW the new JVC has a subwoofer line out so instead of a crossover network I could use these outputs and a modest amplifier with the subwoofer.

I hope this helps.

Greg
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:37   #27
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I spent an hour or so trying to get the rear aux input to work on the Sony car cd unit, but the input selector would not switch. I did not have any CD's and could not get a station, so it remained dead quiet.

I was in a shop today and saw a Sony unit with an aux input on the front and the same power output for €100 so I bought it.

I disconnected the wire harness from the back of the old unit and it plugged straight in and when powered up worked perfectly playing from my iPhone.

I'm glad I went the cheap Sony unit way, headache free

One "problem" I have realised with the digital controls unit is that when it is powered on it starts with the fader set back to zero which means both the internal and external speakers are on. Might be annoying for my neighbours one day
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:24   #28
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Hoppy,
I don't think your fader should reset like that when powered off. Not sure if there might be a setting to change or something. Also, most new stereos have two or even three 12v power connections. One could be to preserve memory if it doesn't have flash memory in the unit. New stereos never really power off completely, I suspect yours could be. Might find something in the manual about this, in the troubleshooting section or FAQ maybe.


This is an interesting thread, lots of knowledge here. Even if I don't agree or understand everything said, it's good to challenge my own understanding about things I think I know well. i.e. "magnetless magnets", "affecting a compass from six feet away", etc.


About Chinese manufacturing, after I posted that I considered adding more. I agree consistent, controlled output helps quality control. But It's no guarantee of top quality. The problems with the Chinese drywall in the US are a good example. Poor raw materials used in a modern manufacturing process just helped create a large volume of inexpensive low quality product. Maybe the same thing can be said of the stainless steel items I have seen mentioned in threads here, don't know. I suspect there is some inconsistency there that might not exist in the Swedish products for example. But, since a radio isn't going to snap and bring down my rig I'm still willing to compromise in this area, being a poor sailor.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:01   #29
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Four winds, it happens when I cut the power to the unit, not when I simply turn it off.

The stereo runs from the same switch as the VHF. Maybe I should connect the memory power cable so that it bypasses the switch panel then when I am on the boat it will probably not get cut off.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:09   #30
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I had a marine JVC in the cockpit that would overheat whenever I played CDs. Replaced it with the non-marinized version of same model JVC, and the problem went away. A cockpit radio will probably only last three years, but at the big-box stores you can buy a four-year extended warranty for 20 bucks. Probably a better investment than a marine radio.
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