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Old 03-03-2013, 11:48 AM
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Fusion Head Unit

I've been wanting to upgrade my stereo head unit from the stock clarion to either the Clarion - CMD7 I think or a Fusion MS-CD600G. From the little research I've done, I've seen some very positive reviews of the Fusion products so its got my interest.

Anyone have input about Fusion vs Clarion or perhaps Alpine, etc?
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:47 PM
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I have a Clarion CMD6 in mine that I upgraded to from a CMD4. Stuck with the Clarion because I have three holes in my boat for wired remotes. I put an Alpine deck in my '72 Blazer last summer and I love it. I would have loved to put an Alpine in my boat (instead of the CMD 6), but the remotes were just too large to work where I had holes for the Clarion remotes. No experience with the Fusion at all. My personal preference is Alpine over Clarion. The CMD6 & CMD7 give you a USB Ipod control and the newer wired remotes make it easier to control an Ipod and I know that my CMD6 has two aux inputs (RCA)-that's all I can remember off the top of my head of what you gain vs the CMD4 & CMD5. I picked up my Clarion refurbished off of Ebay for around $150 and sold my old one on Craigslist with a remote and Sirius module for about the same.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:58 AM
jk13 jk13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdl xstar View Post
Fusion vs Clarion or perhaps Alpine, etc?
Kia vs Lexus or perhaps Acura, etc.


There are good reviews on lots of cheap products out there, usually by people that have never had anything better. Doesn't mean they can make a product that competes with the good ones for half the price or less. No magic formula there--quality parts cost money and more features doesn't mean better. I'm sure some people love their Fusion or even Dual product, but I don't think putting in a disposable HU with more features would be an "upgrade".
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk13 View Post
Kia vs Lexus or perhaps Acura, etc.


There are good reviews on lots of cheap products out there, usually by people that have never had anything better. Doesn't mean they can make a product that competes with the good ones for half the price or less. No magic formula there--quality parts cost money and more features doesn't mean better. I'm sure some people love their Fusion or even Dual product, but I don't think putting in a disposable HU with more features would be an "upgrade".
Dual doesn't begin to approach good electronics. They used to make good turntables, but once the company folded, the name was bought and whored out.

Fusion is a New Zealand-based company and they designed their marine audio equipment from the ground up to be in a marine environment, not just a car stereo with some epoxy on the circuits and a white face plate.

If you don't know any specifics about a brand, please don't generalize. I have installed some Fusion pieces an they sound far better than most of the stuff from major companies. Do you even know what these particular models do? Unlike most marine head units, they're rated IP66- that means they're sealed from the front and water can't get in. Most marine stereos have an Aux jack on the front, putting them at risk of water intrusion. These have a cover that closes and has a captured O-ring to seal it. The face is sealed, yet the controls are fully functional and legible in bright sunlight.

FYI, they priced their equipment lower as a way to get their foot in the door of the American market- this is what I was told by their US sales manager, one of the engineers and the person in charge of tech support.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdl xstar View Post
I've been wanting to upgrade my stereo head unit from the stock clarion to either the Clarion - CMD7 I think or a Fusion MS-CD600G. From the little research I've done, I've seen some very positive reviews of the Fusion products so its got my interest.

Anyone have input about Fusion vs Clarion or perhaps Alpine, etc?
Is there a particular reason you want to deal with CDs in your boat? If you use Windows Media Player, a couple of the Fusion models have a USB port inside for a thumb drive. You insert it, close the face and select the playlists, artists, genre, etc from the controls on the face. Look for the MS-IP600
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:42 AM
jk13 jk13 is offline
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Originally Posted by JimN View Post
If you don't know any specifics about a brand, please don't generalize.
My old shop brought in a few on a trial basis when they first arrived in the States and we weren't really happy with sound quality and build quality. We had also heard the same from many friends in the industry. I guess I didn't care enough to keep up with their line since then. Hopefully things have changed for the better like you said.

I guess I didn't mean to put them in the same league as Dual that's why I said "or even Dual"--meaning even some of the lowest priced stuff out there works for some and you'll see some positive reviews of it online. What I should have added is to talk to someone in the know, and take online reviews with a grain of salt.

No offense intended JimN.

Last edited by jk13; 03-04-2013 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:04 AM
blakekrone blakekrone is offline
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I played with a Fusion MS-IP600 at West Marine a few weeks back, the sound in the simple demo setup was decent, user interface was nice. While I would love one of them it is already obsolete for me as they use the standard 30pin connector in the "storage" bay and I have an iPhone5. I do like the IP700 with the USB stick interface and have though about that one. Right now I'm debating between the IP700 and the Alpine CDA-118M. I'm looking for a HU with dual zone control and both have the ability. I did email Fusion about the 30pin connector issue and haven't gotten a response back yet.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimN View Post
Is there a particular reason you want to deal with CDs in your boat? If you use Windows Media Player, a couple of the Fusion models have a USB port inside for a thumb drive. You insert it, close the face and select the playlists, artists, genre, etc from the controls on the face. Look for the MS-IP600
Good question- I have only ever dealt with CD's due to being able to control them from the transom remote with my current head unit whereas the remote for my current set up doesn't recognize any mp3 hookup (plus it was only a coaxil aux input so the sound quality sucked). So with a new stereo unit, I could potentially scrap the CD situation since any new transom remote will control the mp3 playlist. Thanks for the advice
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:03 PM
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I have the smaller Fusion unit and really like it. I didn't get the storage bay, rather I just use an Apple 30pin connector into the USB port and plug in an ipod. The unit sits 'exposed' in my older Prostar 190 - it's been subjected to a lot of abuse and water and still going strong.
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