Your Stereo/Sound System
I am curious what marine/auto/RV stereo you have installed. I am mainly looking at 12VDC radios. This is not specifically about Marine comms, but I guess if you want to add that info it could be useful. If you could also mention the +/- 's of your system. We are going to be installing a system and I figured this would be the best place to get experience/recommendations. We decided to not go back with the original 8-track car stereo ;)
We are hoping that a remote control will work from above (Flybridge) to the Salon (installation location?). Hope you have some thoughts on this.
I did a search of the old forum but did not find any specific suggestions.
I am actually utilizing car stereo equipment on our boat. We're using an Alpine am/fm receiver that has the capability of utilizing an IPod for music play and storage. I downloaded all my cd's to my computer and then put them into my IPod. This can be a long laborious winter project depending on how you choose to go about it. One note on this do not compress the format when transferring to the IPod formatting sure you'll won't be able to store as many songs, but the sound quality will be much better for it. The stereo remote capability is a small rf remote about the size of a common key-fob that is good for indirect use, with a good battery it's good for at least 100ft. away from the boat on the sandbar.
I also installed an amp in the console near the stereo receiver. I utilized a Kicker that is rated for about 400 watt output for two complete channels. Once installed it's been pretty much a set and forget accessory unit.
Now as far as speakers go I've got a pretty much mixed bag of sorts. One pair is some Bose outdoor speakers that I'm thinking are the 151 Environmental Series they sound OK overall but are lacking base. I've rigged them where they can be moved or utilized either inside or on the front deck of the boat as desired. My other two sets of speakers are a discontinued model of Infinity speakers. They are 6x9's three way speakers. One set in installed in some of the interior furniture of the boat facing the front deck and the other set is installed into some custom inclosures I made for them.
I wired it where as I can play all three sets at once if I want to or sort of split them up. I've found Two sets are always plenty inside the boat itself :) but three sets are sometimes better :rolleyes:. Anyway we often play two sets of speakers on the deck and sometimes I find it handy to be able to disconnect the interior speakers so the wife can crash and be a party pooper when shes found she's sometime had enough fun already.
our boat didnt have a stereo in the cabin so we bought a boom box type stereo that we can seperate the speakers for the downstairs so i dont have to cut any holes. the upper stereo is going to be a panasonic with a remote mounted in the flybridge. i always get a waterproof cover for it to go into from overtons or west marine. i use either bose or yamaha outdoor speakers. if i use a amp i put a seperate battery and charger under the flybridge to power it. pretty simple stuff.
My setup is pretty much like Bamby's. Alpine car stereo, with aux input to connect iPod and also connection for Sirius satellite. Alpine 400 watt amp and 8 speakers all on switches so I can turn on/off whatever ones I want. I did use outdoor speakers intended to for a boat 12volt system. Different ohm range than outdoor home speakers, but don't honestly know if it matters. I know several people use outdoor home speakers and they work just fine.
My two cents. Put TWO different sound systems upstairs and down below. OR, have a good way to separate speakers and volumes etc. Which, is not that easily done while still sounding good. Much simpler to have two different systems imo. Reason being, if you are upstairs you are outside with wind etc and ususally further away from speakers. It needs to be louder but then you blast the heck out of those down below. Or, you may have kids etc upstairs and adults down whatever it may be and want to listen to two different types of music. Also, not as much need for remote controls etc when you can simply control from the deck you are currently on.
I have a couple differnet systems on my boat. Downstairs it already had a car stereo with speakers on front and back deck. These are boat speakers and while they sound fine, will not get horribly loud. But, they do a very nice job if we are sitting on the front or back deck. On the top deck, I have a car stereo mounted in the flybridge and indoor/outdoor speakers mounted under the party top. I also have a separate battery under the flybridge to run that stereo so it never takes down house power or starting batteries. It has a little solar panel that trickle charges it when not in use. I used outdoor almost bookshelf type speakers. The ohms don't match like they always say they are supposed to but they sound great and are completely weatherproof. I have had those since my first boat 12 or so years ago and have taken them with me each time I have sold.
All the stereos have the aux plug to plug in an ipod as well.
I also took an old surround sound receiver from home when I upgraded at home to the boat and hooked up to TV. I have Paradigm bookshelf speakers in the cabin and cna really crank musice, sports or a movie if we want. It wasn't being used and there is no market for used electronics so why not. :)
My boat came wired with a AM/FM/CD stero with 10 speakers that can be isolated by area if need be, but when we are on the bridge and want to change tunes you have to go to the salon to do that so we bought a docking station with speakers for use with our I-pods when up on the bridge, and it works great.
You've actually brought up a good point, not everybody's taste in music is the same. Though I think I have good tastes in music I also realize some folks don't feel the same. And one of the things I actually hate is stereo wars. The clash of two different tastes is music like you're suggesting isn't what I'd call soothing to my ears or probably theirs either. When I encounter this situation I try to be the bigger person by turning mine off to avoid annoyance to anyone.
Originally Posted by SinOrSwim
If I still find their often lousy loud distorted music objectionable I then just move myself and my boat away a piece from their annoyance and all is then again right in my world. Actually this ease of escaping others annoyances is what got me away from camping and into house-boating. Picking up and moving is much, much easier and less stressful in a houseboat. :)
Good to know
These are some great points. I am leaning towards multiple systems. The voice of experience sounds more than reasonable. I will be looking for good deals on some nice 12VDC systems.
I like the idea of ipod and blue tooth connection, It will enable us to get good variety even with bad reception.
Make sure your stereo comes with at least an auxiliary plug to attach your ipod, iphone, ipad or idontcare. Mine has a USB plug so I can charge them while I use them. I don't have particularly powerful stereo, so I have a set of speaker switches that lets me run just some of them at one time. My boat is in the Mojave desert, so the stereo is about 110 degrees when it's not running. Add a bunch of speakers and crank them up, and the radio will overheat. By switching the speakers, I keep it cool. I have speakers on the front deck, back deck, inside the living area, in the master bedroom, and 4 on the top deck. I have a remote, but it's a line-of-sight only. I am thinking of adding a couple of mirrors, located correctly, so I can run the remote from the top deck. That way, I don't have to get up off my comfortable chair except for that occasional drink and dip. Lazy men have a way of making themselves even lazier! By the way, if you run your speaker wires a long way, make sure to oversize them, because they lose a lot of power over a short distance. DC power has a tendancy to do that!
I actually went with a home stereo set up on my upper deck. Mine has a car stereo head unit and 4 speakers set up by the upper helm, but the sound quality is terrible and it doesn't project to the rear of the 66' boat the way I'd like it to. I put my old Pioneer home theater receiver under my bar and ran some wires into the bimini to some nice outdoor Yamaha speakers mounted in the bimini that face toward the rear of the boat just behind the helm. I also had a powered 12 home theater subwoofer sitting at home that I put under the bar as well. It sounds real nice! My winter project has been installing 2 more Yamahas on the lower aft deck so we can listen to music while swimming behind the boat and going down the slide. I mounted them 2 weeks ago, but haven't had the time to finish hiding the wires. I'm also working on getting some power run to my bimini in order to get my TV powered and cable plugged in without running wires accross the deck. I've wired the TV into the stereo and need to hide those wires as well. I hate to see wires, so I'm taking my time and making it look like it's professionally done.