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How important is it that your speakers and head unit are from the same mfg? I am very interested in the newer Fusion units that have DSP, but am partial to JBL speakers. It's frustrating because there is no place to actually hear/compare marine audio speakers side-by-side. Interested in the experience of folks who have installed all-Fusion systems, all-JBL systems, and mixed. In particular, is there any issue with Fusion DSP when using non-Fusion speakers. Thanks!
I have a mixed system with a decent amount of Fusion heads and speakers, but some 3rd party speakers as well. I have the newer Apollo series of Fusion head units in two locations. I have 5 speaker sets/zones connected to those units, 2 to one, 3 to the other.
For outdoor speakers, I have a series of the Fusion Marine Panel in a couple of areas, but wired as left and right instead of a single stereo panel. I have two other zones that use smaller Fusion speakers in the staterooms. All of those use the Fusion DSP settings for the speakers that they are paired with and they sound wonderful.
I also have two sets of Martin Logan speakers in larger spaces that have no DSP profile with Fusion directly, but I believe I was able to manually adjust general speaker settings (it's been a while) and they sound absolutely wonderful. I'm a musician and picky audio guy, and I have no issues with using non-Fusion speakers with their head units from a sound quality perspective. I'm sure you'd get a bit more tuned experience out of a matched set of speakers from Fusion, but they don't really have any indoor speakers that I found that I liked from the sound/size perspective.
Thanks, @stevemitchell. Are your smaller Fusion speakers the Signature series?
I'd echo what Steve said. Though you do lose out on the ease of simple DSP profiles with all Fusion equipment, I think you can get really good results with a mix of quality components. I have all Fusion on Have Another Day but Panbo(at) has a mixed of Fusion head-unit, Alpine amps, and Fusion and JL speakers.