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I was wondering, your opinions on, whether you can use an old car stereo for the the boat? If not, and you have to use a marine certified radio/cd player any recommendations on the unit and speakers (not too expensive). Thanks!
 

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Telstar 28
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Unless the radio is in a position where it may be exposed to spray, an old car radio should work just fine. :)
 

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Saurav-

The only reason I went with a marinized stereo for my boat was the mounting location by the companionway tends to get wet if the companionway is open and it is raining or we're sailing in the nasty stuff... My boat is a relatively small boat, and small boats tend to be fairly wet critters.

Get one that has some decent wattage, and you shouldn't even need an amplifier. You'll definitely want marinized speakers for the cockpit.

If you're installing speakers in the cockpit and they're not box mounts, you may want to install them behind deck plates that can be closed off in the case of heavy weather. I didn't do this on my boat, since the cockpit speakers open into a locker that drains overboard, not into the bilge. So, even if the cockpit speakers get punched out by a wave, they're not going to be a downflooding risk. Also, on a monohull, the risk of sinking due to speakers being punched out by a pooping wave is much higher than it is on a multihull. :)
 

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a couple of questions:

1.do you need to add an antenna up the mast to get fm reception.
2. any recommendations on speakers. something inexpensive but decent sound
3. any recommendations on stereo. i'm thinking of getting one with the aux. plug in the front for the ipod.
4. where in the cockpit should the speakers be mounted & how many. sd, i noticed in another post you had 2 on the starboard side mounted high where your back would rest. does that position give you good sound when under sail. i was thinking the same height but located towards the stern with the sound aimed towards the bow.
 

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Telstar 28
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a couple of questions:

1.do you need to add an antenna up the mast to get fm reception.
No
2. any recommendations on speakers. something inexpensive but decent sound
Where are you mounting them?? How much wattage are you pushing through them?? Without this information, it is hard to make a recommendation.
3. any recommendations on stereo. i'm thinking of getting one with the aux. plug in the front for the ipod.
IMHO, you don't want one with an Aux plug for an iPod. You want one that uses a dock-type connector, so that it can charge and control the iPod. Alpine makes a few good iPod compatible units. I have this ALPINE unit in my truck. This PIONEER UNIT is a good choice, and only about $130.
4. where in the cockpit should the speakers be mounted & how many. sd, i noticed in another post you had 2 on the starboard side mounted high where your back would rest. does that position give you good sound when under sail. i was thinking the same height but located towards the stern with the sound aimed towards the bow.
Look again, those are in the transom, facing forward, not on the starboard side. :) They work quite nicely, however, I almost never listen to the stereo under sail. I prefer to listen to the sounds of the wind and sea when sailing, since that gives me a lot of information about the sail trim without having to look. :) Also, listening to the stereo makes listening to the VHF tough. :)
 

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thanks sd,
as far as the speakers, how much wattage do i need. i'm assuming it depends on how much the stereo puts out? is there a minimum wattage stereo i should be looking for? the speakers will be mounted in the cockpit.
 

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If you're going try an listen to the stereo over the engine and such... more wattage would be a good idea. :) 20 watts per channel is probably a decent point to aim for...
 

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This used to be my specialty.
-First...forget the radio wattage specifications...they are outright lies....but any radio classified as "high power or around 20 watts per channel will provide decent volume levels but will NOT rock the house in an outdoor environment. (If you want to do THAT...get a separate amplifier.
-The best QUALITY sound comes from round speakers. Speakers must have marine features but need not be marine models. Features include...plastic grills, rubber (not foam) surrounds on the cones and polymer cones...not paper. A concentricly mounted separate tweeter rather than a "whizzer" cone is highly desireable. Speakers should be mounted as close to ear level as possible but that is often not possible in a cockpit. If you plan on mounting box type speakers...any indoor/outdoor speaker will work as well as the equivilent marine speaker but generally you need to spend more $$ for a decent box speaker rather than a flush mount.
- If you plan to connect an ipod to your new head unit...suggest a reote control equipped head unit and an ipod connection rather than a simple aux input.
-a car am/FM antenna can be stashed anywhere behind seats or cabinets for modest reception. Obviously...up the mast is better but the cheap approach works decently.
-For the radio...stick with quality name brands that actually MAKE the radios: Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine, Clarion/Eclipse, Blaupunkt. Most everything else is labled product from the far east.

Budget would help if you want specific advice.
 

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Hey RV Boy...

Took you long enough to find this thread... :) :) Stereos aren't my specialty. :)
 

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The problem is that everyone's definition of "budget" is different just as is everyone's definition of good sound. On a boat you can't be too picky on sound quality above decks (or below decks...but it is better there!) ...but you CAN make an audible difference by choosing DECENT speakers and a radio with reasonable performance specs and quality.

Again...do not make the mistake of trying to compare wattage between units especially between different brands. Unless the unit says CEA compliant you have NO idea what the real wattage is. Most 22x4 watt units would be in the 6-8watt per channel range if they wished NOT to mislead the public.

Good rule of thumb...1/2 the budget to the radio...1/2 the budget to a single pair of speakers. You can cheap out on the secondary speakers or just devote 1/3 of budget to each if you want the same sound quality above and below decks.
Note that the cheapest radio in a mfr. lineup generally has the EXACT same amplifier and tuner section so will sound as good a the BEST radio in their line. You just get more features for more $$.
 

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a couple of questions:

3. any recommendations on stereo. i'm thinking of getting one with the aux. plug in the front for the ipod.
I would suggest a rear AUX input unit over a front input. I had a guest snap one off in rough seas adjusting the volume and it totaled the stereo and required another trip to Wal*Mart and a 20 minutes of wiring in a new stereo..

If you can find a right angle iPod cable, so it does not "stick out" like a long lever, you can get buy fairly safely with a front AUX..
 

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Most 22x4 watt units would be in the 6-8watt per channel range if they wished NOT to mislead the public.
But they all chose to mislead.... Even the top line, so called "reputable" companies like Alpine, Pioneer, Eclipse, Clarion, Sony, Clarion, Panasonic & Kenwood all lie about their output specs..

Cam how is it that reputable companies can make claims like this "22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels"? Clearly these are not 20Hz-20kHz ratings as it's nearly physically impossible..

P.S. There are some very cheap deals on full featured car stereos here:

Wal*Mart Car Stereo Selection (LINK)
 

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Maine...You are ALMOST correct when you say "it's nearly physically impossible"...actually it IS physically impossible!!

There are no GOVERNMENT regulations for how power should be reported. There used to be for home stereos, but now even that is gone. As a result some companies measure to make their units look powerful...and the reputable companies begin to lose sales...so they start to measure the same way until you cannot believe anyone.

A couple of years ago the CEA came out with a STANDARD for testing of car amplifiers and if mfrs. would rate their radios this way then we could have some decent comparisons again...but even this standard is loose...and there is no public push for this so the battle of false specs continues. The CEA standard is often shown on quality amplifiers...but rarely on the radios themselves. Here it is:

CEA-2006 Compliant
On May 28, 2003, the Consumer Electronics Association published standard CEA-2006, "Testing & Measurement Methods for Mobile Audio Amplifiers." This "voluntary" standard advocates a uniform method for determining an amplifier's RMS (continuous) power and signal-to-noise ratio. Using 14.4 volts, RMS watts are measured into a 4-ohm impedance load at 1 percent Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) plus noise, at a frequency range (for general purpose amplifiers) of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Signal-to-Noise ratio is measured in weighted absolute decibels (dBA) at a reference of 1 watt into 4 ohms. This applies to both external amplifiers and the amplifiers within in-dash receivers.
CEA-2006 allows consumers to be able to compare car amplifiers and receivers on an equal basis. Manufacturers who choose to abide by the new standard are able to stamp their products with the CEA-2006 logo that reads: "Amplifier Power Standard CEA-2006 Compliant."
********

For those interested in HOW they cheat in the wattage game, here are some of the ways:

-Wattage quoted is instantaneous peak not continuous power.
-One channel at a time is measured with all power available to that channel. (i.e. 22 watts per channel...but only one channel at a time...not 88 watts total)
- Distortion is measured at 10% rather than in 10th's of a percent or at most 1%
-Wattage is measured driven into a 2 ohm load rather than a 4 ohm load.
-Wattage is measured peak to peak on the sine wave rather than from 0
-Wattage is measured only at an EASY frequency (1khz) rather than over the full range of hearing (20-20000hz).
-Power is measured using a 14.5 volts source rather than 12.6 volts of a full battery.
Clever eh?
 

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CEA-2006 Compliant
On May 28, 2003, the Consumer Electronics Association published standard CEA-2006, "Testing & Measurement Methods for Mobile Audio Amplifiers." This "voluntary" standard advocates a uniform method for determining an amplifier's RMS (continuous) power and signal-to-noise ratio. Using 14.4 volts, RMS watts are measured into a 4-ohm impedance load at 1 percent Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) plus noise, at a frequency range (for general purpose amplifiers) of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Signal-to-Noise ratio is measured in weighted absolute decibels (dBA) at a reference of 1 watt into 4 ohms. This applies to both external amplifiers and the amplifiers within in-dash receivers.
CEA-2006 allows consumers to be able to compare car amplifiers and receivers on an equal basis. Manufacturers who choose to abide by the new standard are able to stamp their products with the CEA-2006 logo that reads: "Amplifier Power Standard CEA-2006 Compliant."
We can all dream that someday manufacturers will start to self police.. That is a very fair standard! Unfortunately it would probably result in car stereos with 4-6 watt RMS ratings when THD is taken into account.... Who's going to buy a 4-6 watt rated stereo from Clarion or Alpine when the Dual or Pyramid unit at the car stereo "Expo" was rated at 850 watts X 4....:hammer Hell accoring to some of the manufacturers you could weld stainless...:D:D
 

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Most stereos require constant power to retain the memory for preset radio stations and the clock. There is a separate power connection for this purpose that is supposd to be connected to the hot side of the main power switch so you don't lose memory when you turn the switch off. Some units store enough power so that you don't lose the memory and therefore don't need this "hot" connection. I would prefer (but don't have) one like that for my boat. Since I leave my batteries aboard during the off-season, I don't have the constant drain on the batteries, so I installed a switch in the hot line.

FWIW - I mounted cockpit speakers under the wood helm seat facing forward. This is a good position when sailing so that crew can listen to tunes while I, at the helm, don't have to. It's also good for when we are seated at the cockpit table or otherwise seated in the cockpit on the hook. I've seen speakers mounted on either side of the companionway, but think that would be too much in your ears. I also like the idea that I didn't cut any holes in the boat for the "frivolous" purpose.
 

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Maine...You are ALMOST correct when you say "it's nearly physically impossible"...actually it IS physically impossible!!
It's entirely possible. The same way the Magic Bullet Theory is possible. Anything can be proven in a lab.

I'm pretty much in agreement here. You can get away with using a standard car stereo as opposed to a marine one as long as it is mounted in a place where it won't get wet FROM EITHER SIDE. For that matter, you probably could make a car stereo "almost" marine rated by coating the circuit board and components with a non-conductive epoxy. As far as ratings go you really can't go wrong with reputable names like Alpine, Kenwood, Sony, Clarion etc..

As far as antennas go, yes you should install one if you want to have the best performance however, a 21" wire hanging out the antenna plug will work. Also, with regards to interfaces. At a minimum you should get one with an Aux input wo allow you to connect an iPod, an XM receiver, or some other device. I don't know about other brands but I know Clarion make several interfaces that can be hooked up to allow connection of multiple devices like iPods and Sat Radio receivers that also allow you to control them remotely. This is handy so your iPod isn't in the cockpit where IT can get damaged.

Hope this helped.
 
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