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Old 06-09-2013, 01:53 AM   #1
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Default low draw audio system?

Getting ready to start building. Wondering what sound systems. People have? A lot of boats have car stereo systems and speakers... but most car systems are 40w minimum plus speakers... which is a lot if you don't run an engine to charge... any recomemdations on low draw audio systems for music in the cockpit and below? We like music just about 24/7...

Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:38 AM   #2
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The most efficient solution is to use something that runs headphones. Also, Class D amplifiers are the most efficient. Standard "hi-fi" or car audio stuff just isn't suitable for yachts unless you have money and power to burn.

Just as a yardstick, the input power to a normal Class B 40W/channel amplifier will be about 200W of DC. That's a lot of wasted energy.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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yeah... car stuff is way too draw....

unfortunately I ban headphones from use on my boat...
one time in the middle of the atlantic I woke up because the boat was rolling a little funny... went up in the cockpit... my watch stander had his headphones on and his nose in a book and a container ship was about to cut across our stern... a very near miss.... don't know if the ship saw us and was cutting it close to mess with us or if it was just luck it didn't cut us in half... had similar problems with crew out on deck with headphones when something needed doing and quick and they couldn't hear because they had their headphones on...
one hand for you and one for the boat... but both ears for the boat.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:06 AM   #4
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Sorry, I thought you meant for use when off duty, no way I'd use them on deck. As for being on watch while reading and wearing headphones ... the mind boggles at the stupidity of that action.

The problem with having music blaring from speakers is that not everyone likes the same music. I'd rather have none at all. In fact even though I've been aboard solo so far I don't have any music going, would rather keep an ear on the radios.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:46 AM   #5
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Nothing quite so unpleasant as someone in the same anchorage 'sharing' their music. Fortunately most cruisers go out of their way to not upset others which, I guess, is one of the reasons we go voyaging.

I with you Haiqu. I don't have a sound system as such. I have music in the computer which even at full blast is not intrusive...and I have a short wave/am/fm radio receiver.

I don't sail with music. I prefer the natural sounds of the sailing environment, interspersed with the occasional news broadcast.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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We definitely always try to be unobtrusive but I do like a little meringue or Chopin on some days at sea... just for a change of pace...
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:04 AM   #7
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How about something like an Eton Rukus Solar?

rukus Solar | Eton

Play off of any bluetooth system like your phone, portable, solar recharge plus USB recharge. And, you can take it to the beach for a party.

I have a Monster iClarity that I use all over, and it sounds pretty good from such a small package, and it recharges from a USB port. I've heard the Rukus, and it puts out a great sound. Maybe find one in a store and give it a whirl....
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #8
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that's a neat little system... i'll do just that.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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The Rukus is a cute solar powered amplifer/speaker set for any mp3 player.

We have two sets of speakers that work with the computers. One set is tiny but not tinny and works with anything via USB. I use it with our little Nokia N810 (old technology) or my notebook computer. The other set is only for use when we're using hubby's work computer (e.g. we're on shore power or running a generator anyway) and is one of those 5 way surround sound sets that is pretty amazing though small. I think both sets were made by Logitech.

We do have a bluetooth (Motorola) headset that could also be used for music. We don't use it as such normally though. We tend to use that headset when hubby needs to talk to me from atop the mast or when someone's working on the foredeck and the other person is sitting the watch in the charthouse instead of outside in the cockpit. We turn on the notebook computer and use a VOIP program that lets us talk between the Nokia and the notebook. Like Atavist, we do not use a headset for listening to music when standing watch. It is just too easy to miss a telltale sound of something wrong with the boat. During a 51 hour leg of our trip up the California coastline 10 days ago, while standing watch, I heard a tiny, faint squeak-squeak coming from inside the boat forward of midships. I discovered a nut loosening up on our hanging lantern frame and was able to fix it before it dropped the lantern. Similarly, there are tiny noises in the rig that let you know something requires adjustment. None of those noises are audible with a headset of music playing in your ears.

I love music, but I must admit that we don't listen to it nearly as much as we used to before moving aboard. Our listening times are constrained to being at anchor or docked.

Fair winds,
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:26 PM   #10
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Default Audio system power draw

Tired of the absence of a low frequency base from computer sized speakers, I bought a pair of outdoor style (for corrosion resistance) Jamo speakers. I then measured the current draw when my car stereo head unit (Pioneer) plays a CD - turns out to draw between 500mA and 800mA depending on volume.

So not as bad as I expected, depending on your house bank size. Obviously for 24h music (not me) it will still eat a chunk of the house bank, but one hour a day for mine will use less than 1AH.

To conserve power, the efficiency rating of your speakers (rated in decibel) is important, and they do vary greatly. If you have larger speakers, you could also save energy by driving only a single speaker instead of a pair.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:26 PM   #11
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"If you have larger speakers, you could also save energy by driving only a single speaker instead of a pair."

???

A "mono" system?

I agree about base being important--that larger 5 speaker system I mentioned is actually 6 (I forgot about the base box which is hidden in a cabinet behind the computer )

But, that's not a system to listen to while anywhere but in the main saloon while at anchor or docked.

Outside, we just listen to the wind, waves, and sounds of the boat.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post

Outside, we just listen to the wind, waves, and sounds of the boat.
... I dunno sometimes when a gale is beating down it's nice to have a little Roman war drum beat/chant going... makes one feel primeval....
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atavist View Post
... I dunno sometimes when a gale is beating down it's nice to have a little Roman war drum beat/chant going... makes one feel primeval....
That's when you get out your own instruments and have at it
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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I don't think Debs violin nor my accoustic would appreciate the salt spray
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