what new stereo to buy?

Discussion in 'Marine Electrical / Electronics' started by chortle, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. chortle

    chortle Captain

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    I am thinking about replacing my am/fm stereo reciever (not sure why we still call them that anymore, all I do is stream music from my phone.) My current Alpine unit has great sound but has always been a bit difficult to operate, especially the bluetooth function, it often decides on its own to go on walkabout and refuses to link with my phone. I have to power it off at the panel and restart it, losing all the presets, and then re-pair it to the phone. Other people also have trouble pairing their phone to it so we can only play music from my phone. Been doing this for years and I am getting tired of it. Also, the usb port has decided to pack it in. The speakers and amplifier work well so no need to replace them, just want to pop out the old unit and replace one with the same standard cutout. Current unit is an Alpine CDE-HD138BT so a standard number 1 DIN chassis size, (W x H x D) in 7'' x 2'' x 6-3/8''

    Who out there likes their stereo reciever? Are the new ones any better?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. OLD BAY

    OLD BAY Captain

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    I just did this last weekend. I bought a kenwood “mechless” Bluetooth receiver. It cost less than $100 and works well for the Bluetooth function. I’m not an audiophile and my speakers are just westmarine round ones, so that likely limits my set up. But i can hear the radio at 20kts now and the Bluetooth stays connected even while I’m walking around my dock.
     
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  3. chortle

    chortle Captain

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I should also mention that I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 android phone, it seems that Android controls for some recievers is a problem.
     
  4. Diesel Jerry

    Diesel Jerry Captain

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    I had a Clarion Marine radio in my plow truck that was pretty good. I bought it on EBay and surprising enough they still helped me out with some trouble shooting issues when I installed it.
     
  5. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    If you don't like the controls or features, which is how I read this, then I think you should just shop for something that meets your needs..

    What I do and recommend generally, go to a Walmart that has a car audio section (many do), pick out a new deck, and when you checkout pay the extra ~10% for the service plan. If within two years it fails (which they usually do when you mount them on a weather-facing console like I often do) you get a refund check, and buy another one, pay the extra ~10% for the service plan (and you see the pattern :) )..

    Wally world carries many brands, including Pioneer, Pyle, Kenwood, others. Usually I can get a perfectly fine working deck for well under $100, last time I want to say I paid $60.

    Jon
     
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  6. BOSBoatMan

    BOSBoatMan Captain

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    Ripping off Wal-Mart, I approve. Well played.
     
  7. chortle

    chortle Captain

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    Just playing market forces to your advantage, that is what they do.
     
  8. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    thinking outside the box... why not use wireless rechargeable speakers. This seems to be the trend outside of the boating world. I believe they have all sorts of quality and pricing available. I use Pandora and also stream from my phone. Presently bring a cheap speaker from amazon to boat and place on the back deck. Works fine.
     
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  9. BOSBoatMan

    BOSBoatMan Captain

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    Surprised I didn't mention that. I have one, an Altec Lansing paired to my IPhone for Spotify only. It's really nice for in the cabin, after hours because my radio is up on the bridge. The sound quality is really good and I get about ~ ten hours on a charge and best part of all it's almost waterproof.
     
  10. Diesel Jerry

    Diesel Jerry Captain

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    I have an Altel Lansing paired up to this Kindle Fire with the Alexa app. Works great when I am in Wi-Fi range. I would think you would still want some FM so you don't run your data up.
     
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  11. BOSBoatMan

    BOSBoatMan Captain

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    Tap into marina WiFi it’s free as a sailors wind
     
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  12. chortle

    chortle Captain

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    A great suggestion. I use a JBL Extreme wireless bluetooth speaker in my basement workshop and stream music on my phone using the home wifi router signal. It is a geat music source for that venue, pretty decent bass and connects to multiple cell phones so friends can stream their stuff on it easily. That is the sort of feature I am looking for in a built in unit on the boat since I already have some great speakers and an excellent amp and the whole thing is connected to a wireless waterproof remote that floats that snaps into a bracket at the helm so I some control of the unit while at the helm or I can grab it and take back into the cockpit or into the dinghy.
     
  13. leaky

    leaky Captain

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    Wireless sounds cool but I'd add nothing is actually wireless - you either got batteries or power going to that wireless speaker, not any better than wired speaker if you want to permanently mount it in a boat. Amps use a fairly notable amount of power, hard to imagine a wireless speaker really being very powerful if it runs on batteries, or at least it's hard to imagine the batteries would last long.

    The simple thing in a boat, for clear and loud tunes in one space, is an OK pair of 6X9's in boxes, and an amp that puts out at least say 40 watts RMS - of course the better the quality and higher the power the more the performance and cost increases too.. But it's not very expensive, less than $200 and you will have something that's loud and clear. These Kicker 6X9's were < $100 at Walmart and I run them on a 75X2 Earthquake amp that I had hanging around from 20 years ago :). Great for my little center console.


    kicker.jpeg
     
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  14. BlueMack

    BlueMack Senior Member

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    I picked up a Sony stero last year on Amazon, was pretty cheap, had Bluetooth, also has a USB port. I got a 8g thumb drive and loaded most of my favorites collection on it. 600ish songs, random shuffle, very rarely hear the same song twice on a trip.
     
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  15. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    Fusion.
     
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  16. bobfish21

    bobfish21 Member

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    Went the wireless bluetooth speaker option, picked one up with solar charging on amazon for 50 bucks. It has spent the last 2 years sitting on my helm, have yet to run the battery down and it still works like a champ. I'm pretty sure it even has a USB plug in so you can charge your phone. Not a full blown stereo but sound is good, simple and cheap.
     
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  17. TAftw

    TAftw Senior Member

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    Fusion
     
  18. Keelboater

    Keelboater Captain

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    Fancy speakers and amps don't make radio commercials sound any better. :rolleyes: :mad:
     
  19. southshore30

    southshore30 Senior Member

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    I went with a Fusion stereo this year when I upgraded my gps. It mounts behind the dash, it’s just a black box for stereo and it uses a BB100 controller mounted to the dash that has the Bluetooth receiver in it and does volume and track skip fwd or back. Very easy to connect and stream pandora or whatever is loaded on your phone. It is also connected to the GPS through NMEA 2000 network and I can control functions on a function page in the gps. Super easy, very happy with it. If you want to go the portable route check out Ecoxgear speakers. They are completely waterproof, so much so you can mount it to the front of your surfboard for tunes while you surf. They make some good size ones and they all rock pretty good
     
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