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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    56

    Default Head Unit OR Equalizer??

    My old Kenwood head unit is a pain when trying to use the I phone for music. So I thought about upgrading to a newer head unit. Then I read all the great things about the equalizers from Wet Sounds (WS-420-SQ) and or the Exile (ZLD). I love the idea of control of 3 zones (sub, tower and cabin).

    So then I thought about it and I never use the radio or CD player so why do I even need a head unit?
    It appears that I could hook up an I pod or I phone at any time to the equalizer and go from there.

    I have 2 amps that I currently use; one 4 channel for the cabin and tower and then one 2 channel for my sub.

    Any comments and/ or ideas on this would be helpful. Thanks in advance; you guys are the best when it comes to thoughts in the Moomba world!
    2004 Mobius LSV

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    4,065

    Default

    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lake Wylie NC Area
    Posts
    783

    Default

    KC,

    Bypassing a traditional head-unit and connecting directly to an EQ means you lose a little bit of line level boost between the head-unit and EQ. If your head-unit has a set of AUX RCA inputs, I would consider using these as opposed to directly to the EQ. You would still be using the same output on your phone, since the USB on the head-unit is not user friendly. Keeping the head-unit also gives you a clean method of triggering the amps and EQ to turn on.

    On the flip side, there are plenty of folks going without a traditional head-unit. Lately, most are using a Bluetooth receive, like the Wet Sounds, into the EQ and not having that hard wire connection.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    2,597

    Default Head Unit OR Equalizer??

    I'm definitely in the no head unit camp. If it wasn't in the glovebox maybe things would be different, but I've been very happy using eq only. Just planning on the Bluetooth addition so I can ditch the wires.

  5. #5

    Default

    You certainly don't need a head unit unless you feel you need transom control.
    But I also agree with having a HU for the boost in line level. It's typically a 100% voltage boost over an ipod/iphone. If I opted to eliminate the HU completely then I might consider a small line amp to replace it.
    Btw, new HUs, even those that are loaded with features and have stronger pre-out voltages, have gotten very inexpensive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Thanks for all the thoughts! It is really not so much about the money; I just feel like buying a new head unit is old technology. Like back in the 80's when I bought a new 8 track tape player Ha Ha!

    I will continue to think about this one. I have until April before I bring the boat out of storage.

    Thanks,
    John
    2004 Mobius LSV

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    2,597

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Analog View Post
    If I opted to eliminate the HU completely then I might consider a small line amp to replace it.
    What line amp would you recommend for the WS420 and BT-VC?

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brain_rinse View Post
    What line amp would you recommend for the WS420 and BT-VC?
    The JL Audio CL-RLC would make a good cost-efficient line amp. Max. 7.5V. Remote knob. Pass-thrus.
    Although I don't anticipate an issue, I have no first hand experience using a line amp with a Bluetooth module.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific NW USA
    Posts
    505

    Default

    I think head units have dated themselves over the last few years. Even though the sound quality is going to be better from one, the large majority of people are carrying handsets with streaming music. To me, adding a preamp like the ZLD or 420 (or any of the others) are a good idea because it give the user some control over the sound and builds in a line driver. Stack a BT receiver on them, and presto, your wireless.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    312

    Default

    If you use a Kicker PXiBT50.2 with the optional PXI-RCX you can have a Bluetooth connectivity system with a transom remote... OR use the Kicker PXI50.2 with the PXI-RCX and you can have a dedicated iPhone solution with transom remote.

    These both can be used with or without the in-line EQ, be it the ZLD, WS4120, or the KQ5

    Phil
    Kicker

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