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Old 01-22-2021, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Stereo Recommendations

Our Maxum is running a JVC head unit (CD PLAYER) that looks identical to the one I had in my truck in 1998. I haven't had CD's in probably 10 years, it's time to update. I think the forward speakers are OEM/Originals, and I think the cockpit speakers are either original or very cheap add-ons the original owner installed.

I'd like to upgrade all 4 of the 6.5" speakers in the boat, and possibly add an amp for them. I may at some point want a sub. However, we are not in a party region, but the very cold Pacific Northwest, so LOUD isn't important YET> I just want very high quality sound for now for when my wife and I are having dinners down at the marina.

First thing... Head Unit.

Can anyone recommend a great head unit? I need dual zone because I'd like to have the cabin speakers hooked up to the TV, and I'd like it to have a remote because the head unit is installed down by the galley and I'd like to have controlls at the cockpit.


Second thing... 4 x 6.5" speakers. What do you recommend? Mid range pricewise would be good. I don't want to spend $500 per speaker, but I might be up for say $200-300 for a pair if they are good.

Is it possible to get good speakers with LED capability? we are light nerds and have really liked the coziness of our blue LED upgrades at the courtesy lights.

Last items I'm looking at is, recommended amp (if needed) for the 6.5" speakers (and later perhaps for the sub).


many thanks!
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:02 PM   #2
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The Fusion RA70 is very nice and not to expensive. Their speakers are also quite good without breaking the bank.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:33 AM   #3
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I also have a Fusion radio and speakers, works great and can control with my phone.
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Old 01-24-2021, 02:28 PM   #4
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Iíve been pretty happy with my fusion RA-70. Just note that while it says ď2-zonesĒ they are not independent (ie you canít play 2 difference audio sources at once)

They also have a really nice Bluetooth remote that I found works great. You can stick them all over with no wiring.

Fusion MS-ARX70B Wireless Stereo Remote - Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MZW82CZ..._klydGb8RRR50A

I paired it with Infinity 6.5ís. They have RGB lighting so if you buy a separate lighting controller you can choose any color. They sound great.

Infinity INF622MLT Two-Way Multi-Element RGB Titanium Marine Speakers - 6.5" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079J98R9H..._giydGbD37PYYZ

Controller ... (I got this 4-pack since I had other lighting zones. Itís not marine grade so I mounted it in a dry protected area. A word of warning donít get an RGBW controller with these speakers. Thereís no ďwhiteĒ on the speaker so itís just dark when it cycles through white. Ask me how I know).

Mi Light Wireless 2.4G RF RGB + White/Warm White Controller Kit, 4 x Controllers and 4-Zone Remote, Wi-Fi Bridge Compatible, 4CH Multicolor RGBW/RGBWW LED Strip Light Controller https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSVL9CG...ing=UTF8&psc=1


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Old 01-24-2021, 06:09 PM   #5
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Sidebar: If you have newer Garmin electronics, the chartplotter can be used as a remote as well as your phone if you have the RA70N (N = NEMA2000). I also have the 5 channel Fusion amp which really cranks.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:45 PM   #6
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awesome feedback, it's great to see so many votes for Fusion as well.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:56 PM   #7
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Ditto on the Fusion. At the NY boat show last year all the high end boats were running Fusion gear (see also: Lumitec LED lighting, Isotherm refrigerators, and Kenyon stoves lol).

There are pricier models slotted above the RA70 / RA70N that have true dual zone, but I don't think they are DIN sized. As mentioned above - the "N" in RA70N adds NMEA2000 control. You don't need a Garmin screen specifically (although Garmin does own Fusion), any NMEA2000 compatible multifunctional display will run the Fusion Link media control app. Here's a video of a SIMRAD MFD running Fusion Link, for example:



Fusion's website:

https://www.fusionentertainment.com/...collection=all

Since you're replacing a DIN sized unit, look for like kind if you want to avoid mucking about with the mounting hole size. Lots of options and sizes there, including totally hidden base units with wireless, NMEA, and bluetooth control.

For speakers, Fusion's are quite good. Best I've probably come across in terms of volume and clarity are the JL M6 series 6.5's, but they run something like $500 a pair with LED lighting, $430 without. They also have an M3 series which handles 60 watts RMS instead of 75, at far less cost ($229 at Crutchfield, currently). I'd think these would be a great option. JL is quality stuff.

On my 3300, I replaced my rotted out 17 year old Clarion 6.5s in the radar arch with a new $100-ish pair from Kicker, and even they were a massive improvement. I have an RA70N slated to go in that boat this summer, replacing the existing old JBL CD player with CD changer. I currently run an RA70 on my 20 foot runabout (no "N" needed since it's a lake boat with no MFD).
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:58 PM   #8
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Hi dbriceno

Does NMEA2000 give you the same interfaces and functions as an actual wired fusion remote?

I have a functional but outdated raymarine that I may consider upgrading in the future and Iíd like to know if a new unit would provide 100% functionality on the RA-70N.


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Old 01-26-2021, 03:49 PM   #9
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All my stereo replacements are with Fusion Stereo's. As for increasing speaker diameter, check the depth available with the depth requirements of the speakers to determine if it's possible.

Expanding an existing hole is a PITA. Possible, but not worth the effort in my opinion. In all honesty, if you need it THAT loud, you are going to be an unappreciated annoyance at the marina and in the anchorage. noise travels far on the water. Your enjoyment shouldn't be at the expense of others sanctity.
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Old 01-26-2021, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yahoo82 View Post
Hi dbriceno

Does NMEA2000 give you the same interfaces and functions as an actual wired fusion remote?

I have a functional but outdated raymarine that I may consider upgrading in the future and I’d like to know if a new unit would provide 100% functionality on the RA-70N.


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Yes it does. Actually the wired remote uses the NEMA2000 cable as well. It all seems to work quite flawlessly. My only issue was with the 5 channel Fusion amp (DA51600). I have 2 zones. The salon uses the powered outputs from the RA70 zone 1. I powered 4 speakers and a sub with the amp using zone 2. The amp doesn't have a built in way to drive front and back l/r channels using a single RCA input. I needed to buy 2 RCA splitters to drive all 4 speakers from a single zone. Not the end of the world, although a simple toggle switch on the amp would have been nice.
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Old 01-26-2021, 05:27 PM   #11
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I agree with Shrew on the volume issue!
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:22 PM   #12
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Yeah I do too. I see people building some incredibly elaborate sound systems that remind me of the old car stereo competitions in the 90s. Right now we have a cheap set of BOSS speakers in the cockpit that are hollow/tinny sounding and I can't hear them at all when under way, barely when we are anchored out. My cabin system is OK, but you cannot hear it from the dock (not that I want to), I just want more depth. The TV is running off it's own built in speakers currently, so turned all the way up we can barely hear it alone when in the cabin at night.

Personally I just want a very clean full bodied sound and ideally if I could hear some music a little while under way that would be nice, however I also like to hear the sound of my boat so I can tell if the motor is acting funny, or something is rattling that shouldn't be.

But generally speaking I'd like the cabin upgraded, a nicer sound in the cockpit, and when anchored and sun bathing alone in a cove it would be nice to be able to hear it at all. (we currently use a bluetooth speaker that has its limitations with constantly needing to be charged, volume, and risk of dropping it).
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