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Budget stereo suggestions

Old 10-05-2011, 12:29 PM
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Default Budget stereo suggestions

As part of my winter boat project, I am adding a stereo to my 26' Cape Horn. It currently doesn't have one at all. I am looking for suggestions as for what would be best to get on a budget. I am not an audiophile at all so I haven't followed what has happened in audio in the last decade or so.

I am looking for a head unit and 2 speakers that sound decent with no amp other than the head unit. I don't have a problem using a regular car head unit instead of a "marine" head unit. My last non marine head unit lasted over 10 years on the boat. I will spring for "marine" speakers though.

I did a quick look for premade boxes that would mount to the T top so I wouldn't have to cut holes and found that JL has some that would work but they are $1200 a pair so not even close there.

The head unit has to have a USB input. I have been happy with the last couple of Sonys in my truck so I will likely buy one for the boat. The speakers though I am not sure what to get.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:34 PM
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Get the dual (brand) one with no cd player (unless you want one) it's only like 50 or 80 bucks and comes with two speakers. ( I doubt they are any good) but at that rate even if it only lasts 2 years who really cares.

Personally I'd get something better... but I'm weird like that.

Edit: You'd like it to sound good huh? Get a good head unit then. Fusion and Clarion are good ones.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:36 PM
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I got a Dual 66 for my 25 foot Grady White. It does have USB input. I got the West Marine box speakers on sale for 69 a pair. Not bad for cheap speakers. Used a poly planar mounting box for the Dual. No problem. Under 250 dollars total, and sounds good.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:45 PM
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Stay away from any head unit that is not a clarion, ken wood or fusion


Two good ones are the fusion RA200 and the clarion m309

Look for infinity 6.5...speakers

The problem is all the brands you've heard of like jensen and dual...are nameplates owned by pacific rim companies making junk.
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Glen E View Post
Stay away from any head unit that is not a clarion, ken wood or fusion


Two good ones are the fusion RA200 and the clarion m309

Look for infinity 6.5...speakers

The problem is all the brands you've heard of like jensen and dual...are nameplates owned by pacific rim companies making junk.
x2. Well said.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Glen E View Post
Stay away from any head unit that is not a clarion, ken wood or fusion


Two good ones are the fusion RA200 and the clarion m309

Look for infinity 6.5...speakers

The problem is all the brands you've heard of like jensen and dual...are nameplates owned by pacific rim companies making junk.
Glen E. knows his electronics! I may sugguest some Pioneer TS-MR2040 speakers here:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ries/TS-MR2040

As Glen mentioned...Stick with Kenwood (my last brand that held up super well i.e. 8 seasons), Fusion & Clarion (which I purchased (M309) for my new boat that is being built)

PS: The Pioneer 8" speakers can be had on ebay for appx $115.00 shipped w/ good sellers!

Good Luck!
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:18 PM
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I was walking through Bass Pro one day and saw this





http://www.basspro.com/Pyle-AllDigit...10205415/74156

for $90 so I bought it and installed it in my boat. No CD player, but USB, and more important, a front panel SD card slot. SD cards don't stick out of the unit like thumb drives and you can put hundreds of songs on one card and just leave it in the stereo.

I didn't use the speakers, I connected it to the existing ones. It works fine for me, but I don't need a lot of power.


Last edited by rwidman; 10-06-2011 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:15 PM
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man we did an install on a 26' cape horn with the same setup a radio and two speakers and he ended up buying the bazooka 8" coaxial and a kenwood marine radio for around $375 installed and it sounded great
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Magnolia Sun View Post
Glen E. knows his electronics! I may sugguest some Pioneer TS-MR2040 speakers here:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ries/TS-MR2040

As Glen mentioned...Stick with Kenwood (my last brand that held up super well i.e. 8 seasons), Fusion & Clarion (which I purchased (M309) for my new boat that is being built)

PS: The Pioneer 8" speakers can be had on ebay for appx $115.00 shipped w/ good sellers!

Good Luck!
i had those speakers on my last boat and while the price was good, i was quite disappointed with the speakers. it seems with marine speakers you get what you pay for. i'm pretty sure i'm gonna bite the bullet and get the jl's this time. i'm contemplating the fusion speakers as well but im gunshy since i havent ever heard them. i have heard the jl's and they are killer. they also seem to last.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:54 AM
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And Clarion, Kenwood & Fusion are made where?

The Dual MXCP42 will fit the bill.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:44 AM
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I put one of these on my Mako.

http://www.rocktheboataudio.com/html/59109.html

It is a closeout discontinued, (no warranty or support from Polyplanar), but a pretty good unit for $66. (without speakers). I bought a second at that price just to have spare parts.

Water tight, 45watts/channel, cd, mp3, Ipod, aux in, tuner. The head unit mounts remotely, so the cd/body can be put where ever.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by frugal boater View Post
And Clarion, Kenwood & Fusion are made where?

The Dual MXCP42 will fit the bill.
Good, go ahead and get it...there is a diff from japnese electronics with quality builds and corr protection than hijacking a good brand name from the past and putting it on junk.....like companies like "maxsonics" does...I took more Jensen,dual,jbl off boats than you would care to hear about. They simply don't last.....

But hey here's an idea ......couple that dual head unit with a Pyle amp and JBL speakers and have a truly POS system....
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:01 AM
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Seems you missed the key word....inexpensive.


Are you saying the 3 brands you mentioned are Japanese built?
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by frugal boater View Post
Seems you missed the key word....inexpensive.?
I didn't.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
It works fine for me, but I don't need a lot of power.
No need for "Wasting Away in Margaritaville" to be played at 187 dB?

You're such a loser, Ron.

I'm willing to bet you don't even wear heavy gold neck chains while out on the boat.
Do you?
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:43 PM
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Budget friendly go with the Polk MM651UM

$130 at
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-AA2652-MM651UM-6-5-Inch/dp/B001E5PN2A http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-AA2652-MM651UM-6-5-Inch/dp/B001E5PN2A



Headunit, stay the hell away from Pyle(of shit), Dual, Pyramid, and the likes. In addition to Glen's suggestions I would add Alpine.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by the_gooch View Post
Headunit, stay the hell away from Pyle(of shit), .
What specifically do you find to be the issue with the Pyle brand? Mine seems to work just fine.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:44 PM
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Get the Dual, and spend more on a good pair of speakers.Cadence, Infinitys, Pioneers or Sony's would be good choices in the mid-range league among others. Speakers determine the sound quality 10x more than the head unit. I was in this business for a long time and we were distributors for the complete gamut of brands and quality. It's the speakers, first.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:11 PM
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What about Alpine??? Any good??
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
.......... Speakers determine the sound quality 10x more than the head unit. I was in this business for a long time and we were distributors for the complete gamut of brands and quality. It's the speakers, first.
Funny, I've heard just the opposite.

The speakers can only reproduce what the stereo sends them. But, if the stereo sends them a signal they can't reproduce faithfully, your no better than the other way around.

Regardless, like a chain, the sound system is no better than the weakest link. Cheap stereo and expensive speakers or cheap speakers and expensive stereo, either is a bad plan. I would go for mid quality stereo and speakers.
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