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marine grade stereo recommendations


Rambo3460

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I have a 2002 Malibu Sunsetter LXi and am looking for a good Marine grade stereo deck. I would like it to be good quality, easy to use, sound good, waterproof.  

Any suggestions.

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FWIW, I have a cheap Chinese BT radio - has survived all sorts of downpours.  Mine is located  under the arm rest as well.  You can pretty much slap any unit in there but  the better ones have at least conformal coating on the boards.

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35 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

FWIW, I have a cheap Chinese BT radio - has survived all sorts of downpours.  Mine is located  under the arm rest as well.  You can pretty much slap any unit in there but  the better ones have at least conformal coating on the boards.

I also have a cheap Sony Xplod (?) deck in mine.  Bought at Walmart.  It is installed in the armrest and has been in service for 5+ years.

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11 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

That is not a deck - it's an equalizer.  The OP needs a one piece single DIN unit.

umm correct.. asked what he needed the deck for and recommended this in its place.. the eq will fit  in there if that is where he wants it be... who uses the deck anymore? everything comes in through phone... so why bother with the deck..

providing options.. upgrade for practically same price as a "good" deck.

Edited by kerpluxal
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2 minutes ago, kerpluxal said:

umm correct.. asked what he needed the deck for and recommended this in its place.. the eq will in there if that is where he wants it too... who uses the deck anymore? everything comes in through phone... so why bother with the deck..

providing options

It's a half DIN unit making mounting in the current spot a PITA.  No radio. No USB.  But more importantly, no amp.  And it's MSRP of $450...  Ouch

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14 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

It's a half DIN unit making mounting in the current spot a PITA.  No radio. No USB.  But more importantly, no amp.  And it's MSRP of $450...  Ouch

not near as hard as you think to mount in there.. simple plastic cutting board and done... worst location ever for a unit anyways, but wires are there already and I get it, simple mod.. yes I did it on my old boat

I asked what he needed the deck for.. if it is for the amp in the deck and he has no amps, then I would not recommend.. if he has an amp or 2 or 3 already in boat, then the amp in the head unit is not even used.

USB for????? connecting a phone???? that is what Blue tooth is for and no cables. to connect a thumb drive??? sure I can see that.. connecting a HD... good luck with that lasting unless it is a SSD.  and it has an Aux input so you can still go USB to aux if you prefer a cable to phone

More importantly, better sound, zone control, and it is the cost of a good deck... hmm

Radio... poor reception due to antenna location in boat... not good sound quality... I get radio on my phone if I want radio and reception/sound is far superior... 

Edited by kerpluxal
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18 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Found the adapter plate: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_867EQIDMB/Wet-Sounds-WS-EQ-IDM-B-Black.html  Only $110 US.  LOL

wow.. I make a suggestion and propose a different path that he might not have thought of and you lose your mind over it... and stated just my .02¢

you don't need to buy the adapter.. not sure why you are causing such an uproar for a suggestion that most owners actual do.

Over and out

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42 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

The original question was simple:  you complicated it.

nothing complicated about it except you trying to complicate it.. most common upgrade done when the HU goes out.. something wrong with providing solutions?
 

Edited by kerpluxal
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Under the armrest is the dumbest place Malibu could have put a head unit - don't repeat Malibu's mistake.  Relocate it.  I have a Fusion now and I'm currently selling my older Alpine marine deck, one of the best ones Alpine made before getting out of the marine audio game (the iDA-X100M) if you are interest in something used.

Fusion:
20200627-102228.jpg

Alpine:

DSC03948.jpg

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I think abandoning the armrest should be a real consideration. Out of the 2-3 waterproof rectangle units that might fit, even with some fabrication, the armrest door is likely going to contact the controls, causing the unit to cycle through modes.  

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9 minutes ago, MLA said:

I think abandoning the armrest should be a real consideration. Out of the 2-3 waterproof rectangle units that might fit, even with some fabrication, the armrest door is likely going to contact the controls, causing the unit to cycle through modes.  

Nope.  There are at least a dozen units that work.  I've had Clarion and Kenwood in mine and now the cheap Chinese BT and none so far  are bothered by the arm rest cover.  I will agree that it is a lousy location for regular car stereo if you like to futz with the controls. But with AUX, BT or USB drive, you can control the whole thing with your phone or the remote.  Personally, I just stream  music files on phone, Sirius/XM, Spotify or radio stations on "IHeartRadio" app via BT. 

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59 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Nope.  There are at least a dozen units that work.  I've had Clarion and Kenwood in mine and now the cheap Chinese BT and none so far  are bothered by the arm rest cover.  I will agree that it is a lousy location for regular car stereo if you like to futz with the controls. But with AUX, BT or USB drive, you can control the whole thing with your phone or the remote.  Personally, I just stream  music files on phone, Sirius/XM, Spotify or radio stations on "IHeartRadio" app via BT. 

If that is all you have a head unit for, why not just run an EQ?

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5 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

If that is all you have a head unit for, why not just run an EQ?

Most EQs do not have as many inputs, plus they only have a preamp so that means more coin.  I guess if you already had the amps, a subwoofer etc. then the EQ approach would work.  But I would not put it under the arm rest then as it is a poor place for anything needed adjustment.  My unit is set to BT; I turn on the dash switch  and it remembers the pairing and rock on...

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2 hours ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Nope.  There are at least a dozen units that work.  I've had Clarion and Kenwood in mine and now the cheap Chinese BT and none so far  are bothered by the arm rest cover.  I will agree that it is a lousy location for regular car stereo if you like to futz with the controls. But with AUX, BT or USB drive, you can control the whole thing with your phone or the remote.  Personally, I just stream  music files on phone, Sirius/XM, Spotify or radio stations on "IHeartRadio" app via BT. 

Can you post which of those models carry the IP waterproof rating? 

On 8/31/2020 at 4:56 PM, Rambo3460 said:

I would like it to be good quality, easy to use, sound good, waterproof.  

 

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Like others have said getting a single din under the arm rest is not easy. Crutchfield has a few choices, depending on how inexpensive or higher quality you want to go.   https://www.crutchfield.com/g_215950/Marine-Radio.html?tp=96441

Most of the nicer units have gone to a remote black box style install. 

But like everything in the audio world everyone has a strong opinion, myself included. But at least I admit I am opinionated. 

What are your priorities and needs? Is cost and ease of install more important then a higher end unit with more output capability? 

 

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About three dozen choices here, plus Clarion is not listed.  https://www.rocktheboatmarinestereo.com/cgi-bin/cart2.cgi?action=search&orderby=Best+Sellers&keyword=++++&title=2020's+Best+Marine+Stereos&category=Marine+Stereo&startlist=64&product=&uid=6505158&display_order=   It really is too bad that the older dash can't easily accommodate a decent stereo.  

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