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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #71  
Old 04-12-2009
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Re: You're all on drugs

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Originally Posted by drynoc View Post
Both of my boats have stereos, but I never listen to them. I go boating to get away from all that. I want to hear either that delicious, low, throaty rumble of a pair of V8's, or the breath of God.
Whatever works for you...but why is anyone with a different view "on drugs"? It seems like a long thread on marine stereos with lots of interested posters for you to just decide everyone with a different opinion is wrong.

Some (like me) find the "low, throaty rumble of a pair of V8's" about the most grating thing that can be heard hear while on the water.

Just sayin'...
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  #72  
Old 04-12-2009
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Car stereos are just fine try to mount it so that you can get line of sight and buy one with a remote.
I have had great luck in mounting the automotive speaker (without any boxes) in the aft liner skin of the cabin that fibreglass skin between the back of the doghouse and the interior liner
Be sure that there is enough space between these two where you plan to install them then just cut a hole and fish the wires between and out of sight them usually there is a place at the bottom where you can peek or perhaps there is an opening port or somewhere where you can determine this without making a hole but usually there is a difference of shape ( contour) between the exterior and interior of the cabin and that indicates a space between them it will be hollow in production boats like yours, and that will help in bass response .
This placement puts the speakers up a bit and not in anyone's ear unless you are sitting on the galley sink
This is much more comfortable when you are entertaining in the cabin no one has to have a peaker in their left ear .

Otherwise give a lot of thought as to where the speakers are going to be mounted , so often people seem to mount them where they are pretty but pretty annoying to be sitting beside
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  #73  
Old 04-15-2009
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Lot’s of great advice here, but I am surprised there is no mention of a PC?
You may have the least number of units/cables to worry about if you make use of your portable together with a car radio console. I am assuming your latest PC was bought some time later than the 1990s… and it would be extra delicious if it is a Mac (apologies)

One suggestion:
• In the PC/Mac you already have iTunes, probably a combined CD/DVD player, outputs for audio and VGA/HDMI connections for video.
• A half-decent car radio – I use Alpine, works great – has iPod input (but does not need it if you use the PC/Mac); outputs for the speakers and normally a fader for front and rear – call that “cabin” and “cockpit”.
• The PC/Mac can also easily be fitted with a tiny not wildly expensive TV tuner, often via USB.
• Now all you need is a monitor to display those images, unless the PC/Mac display is good enough. If you already have a VGA monitor in the cabin for the chart display, there’s your DVD/TV display. If you don’t, then a standalone plain domestic display – or rather a 12V, could be both your chart and instrument display, doubling up for the entertainment. Many of the smaller domestic units – often sold as “TV” but who cares, you have that already – may be sold for mains voltage, but on inspection you can bypass the transformer and go straight in with 12V. Cheaper than buying those expensive “marine” displays.
• Finally, the PC/Mac has yet another interesting source: they will have inputs for a digital camera or even video camera, so you can also show cruising footage on the spot, or even attach a surveillance camera – infrared? Now we’re really getting fancy.

I think the core idea here is that your PC/Mac has all the media options you may need, even if some of them are way into the future.
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  #74  
Old 04-15-2009
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A computer makes a lousy stereo. Among other things it has no audio power to speak of and you'll need an external amplifier to run real speakers from it.

Yes, I know there are "powered" speakers, but they're generally a POS designed for half-deaf kids sitting at the computer, they're not in the same league as the range of options you get with real speakers and a real stereo. Nor are they plug-n-play to a twelve volt power system. Half-deaf? Yeah, a lot of teens already have severe hearing loss from cranking the phones up too loud, or the superbass car stereos.

Same with MP3 files, the kids with IPods usually have no idea how bad they sound at the typical compression levels, compared to music that hasn't traded off quality, either on CDs, DVDs, or simply full-quality digital formats.

Last edited by hellosailor; 04-15-2009 at 10:58 AM.
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  #75  
Old 04-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
A computer makes a lousy stereo. Among other things it has no audio power to speak of and you'll need an external amplifier to run real speakers from it.

Yes, I know there are "powered" speakers, but they're generally a POS designed for half-deaf kids sitting at the computer, they're not in the same league as the range of options you get with real speakers and a real stereo.
You did not read precisely. The whole point is to use the computer as an audio source, as you do a pre-amp, almost. Power is what the "car radio" is for - by which I mean of course a fully amplified system driving its own speakers.

As far as processing audio goes - not amplifying it - most computers are up there with good home audio, with proper DSPs, the lot. The system I describe above is not out of the ordinary.

Last edited by OsmundL; 04-15-2009 at 11:37 AM.
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  #76  
Old 04-15-2009
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I am going the car stereo route. I found one with a cassette deck and 4" speakers on ebay for $25. I don't care about the cassette as I only wanted the radio and aux input for my Ipod. Brand new and still in box so should work well.
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Last edited by maccauley123; 04-15-2009 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Update
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  #77  
Old 04-15-2009
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I'll add my humble .02 here too.

I've been looking hard for the last few weeks for a new stereo since mine was stolen from the boat at the end of last season.

I decided the CD's were getting shelved and I'd put all of my music on a thumb drive. I don't even want a CD player.

I have a friend with a Kenwood and he thinks highly of it. I've seen one in person and I plugged my thumb drives into it. (my only requirement is that the USB plug be on the front of the unit. It display and organized music from the memory card 'fairly well'.

I an not an Ipod person and I do not own an mp3 player. I listen to NPR almost exclusively when driving so I'm not into music when driving.

The most important thing for me was how well does the unit read, organize and let me access music files in the memory card (thumb drive). I wanted a stereo that did a 'great' job organizing and displaying music.

The Kenwood was one of the finalists, but I've decided on the Sony CDX-GT730UI because it was designed with reading a memory card through it's USB port in mind to organize and display stored music. I've found some pretty good pricing on it also.

Many of the other units I've looked at seem to be Ipod focused and reply on the Ipod or MP3 player to interface with the user for music selection.

like I said - just my humble .02

Sony CDX-GT730UI CD Receiver MP3/WMA/AAC Player with USB 1-wire Connection
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"Marine" stereo needed?-cdx-gt730ui.jpg  
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  #78  
Old 04-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OsmundL View Post
You did not read precisely. The whole point is to use the computer as an audio source, as you do a pre-amp, almost. Power is what the "car radio" is for - by which I mean of course a fully amplified system driving its own speakers.

As far as processing audio goes - not amplifying it - most computers are up there with good home audio, with proper DSPs, the lot. The system I describe above is not out of the ordinary.
The problem with doing this is energy consumption. My MacBook Pro, depending upon the software running, can consume nearly 7.5 amps through a 400 W inverter. Even my PC based laptop pulls upwards of 6.8 amps when run straight from the DC source. I can run my car stereo at a fairly loud clip of volume (103db) and burn only 1.6 amps. The lowest I have ever seen my MacBook Pro draw was about 2.8 amps with basically no software running.

If you add a pair of powered speakers or an amplifier to a laptop you could easily be well over 9 amps of current draw vs. well under 2 amps for a car stereo..

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  #79  
Old 04-15-2009
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Tivoli PAL?

Here is another alternative - the Tivoli PAL



Tivoli PAL® Radio

I've grown up in a audiophile household - our living room had a Klipschorn, and I went through the speaker building thing in the 70's, plus work in alternative FM and mixing for a band. But the older I get, the more the simple things appeal to me, and this is a great product. Disclaimer - I'm not associated with the company, but I now have three PAL's in different locations, and they get used a lot.

The PAL has an internal battery that will run for hours, and you can charge off of 12 volt (draws 500ma to charge). You can plug an Ipod into the back. The sound is very neutral and easy to like, designer is responsible for the classic Advent sound. Maybe a bit more treble would be good, but my ear's response curve has rolled off some over the years.

Since my boat is a bit bigger and teakier (that should be a word) I'm trying something a bit different, I picked up a used Tivoli Model 2 table radio on ebay with a subwoofer, and those also have 12V inputs, so I'm going to use them for the cabin, and move my car style tuner for use in the cockpit.

Last edited by TaylorC; 04-15-2009 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 04-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The problem with doing this is energy consumption. My MacBook Pro, depending upon the software running, can consume nearly 7.5 amps through a 400 W inverter. Even my PC based laptop pulls upwards of 6.8 amps when run straight from the DC source.
It is not a problem, the way I have described it. Each person will arrive at a solution from their own current situation, and of course some of the details are not needed or wanted by some.

When I started off with a PC, it was as stated on the assumption that you already have one or plan one for navigation use, which is quite common. In that case you must already have been through the Amp calculations. Of course, if you do not use a PC onboard, you would not acquire one only for audio or video use.

Power consumption was crucial in the system sketched. It means that you can have a full-blown setup with audio and video when power is available, either on shore power or for use with a generator. When on basic 12V, you have the lowest consumption possible, using only the iPod with the radio setup. Also, you could get quite some mileage out of the MacBook Pro running on batteries. Flexibility is key.

I absolutely agree that running a PC via inverter is a lousy idea, as much as running any media component via the inverter. My own inverter (Mastervolt) would already draw more than the appliance. If you were to plan a system based on the inverter, better ditch the battery PC altogether and try a Mac Mini on mains voltage. The current model is promised to draw 13W on idle, and 110W at maximum draw, pretty modest.

For the record, I run a system approx. as described, and it is a pure joy. With Polk Audio speakers in cockpit, the sound is sweet.
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