We all want music, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. There are a lot of people out there who have been longing for a way to listen to their music in their boat, UTVs and basically everything, from garden tractors to golf carts. Unfortunately, most of these vehicles won’t accept a traditional DIN or double-DIN head unit. So what’s the solution? Well, the folks at MB Quart may have the answer.
The MB Quart Nautic GMR-1 is a source unit unlike any other. It’s designed to fit into a standard, round 3.125-inch gauge opening with a mounting depth of under three inches! Building an audio source that fits this common opening makes the GMR-1 a perfect fit in a wide variety of vehicles where traditional head units simply won’t go without a lot of custom (aka expensive) work.
Another important consideration when installing a head unit in these types of vehicles is durability. After all, if you are off road or on the water, there are a whole new set of rules when it comes to keeping things working. To that end, the MB Quart GMR-1 is designed to be waterproof, dustproof and UV stable. And with no moving internal parts, it will handle the extreme G loads found in these environments without any complaint.
While it may be small in size, the GMR-1 has more features in it than you might expect. First, a built-in four channel amplifier provides power to four speakers. If that’s not enough, you can drive an additional amplifier with the RCA pre-outs. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music from your favorite Bluetooth-enabled player including music apps like Pandora, Spotify and others. The GMR-1 is equipped with large, easy to use rubber buttons and a bright LCD display. Bluetooth pairing is quick and easy and the controls on the unit face allow you to adjust volume, play, pause, and select your favorite tracks.
Additionally, there is a built in AM/FM tuner to pull in your favorite stations, and a USB input allows you to connect your MP3 player or thumb drive. Still not enough?! A set of aux-in RCA connectors allow yet another possible source, like a portable satellite radio or any other portable audio device. Should you need to remote mount those other sources, the optional PSAP-2 dual input plug is waterproof and very handy. This accessory provides 10 feet of extension, allowing you to mount things wherever they need to go.
IN THE DETAILS
The GMR-1 is a well-built unit that should provide many hours of enjoyable listening. It’s dead simple to use, and there are no complicated menus or manuals required. It wires up the same way as virtually every aftermarket radio since 1980, uses a standard Motorola plug for the radio antenna, and everything simply works as it should.
On paper, the internal amplifier power might seem limited, maxing out at around five watts per channel (measured using the CEA-2006B standard), but in small vehicles with speakers mounted in close proximity, it seems much more powerful than it is. The internal amplifier has a high-pass filter at approximately 85 Hz, and thanks to the RCA outputs, you can drive a separate subwoofer amplifier if you want some real bass in your face.
So there you have it: an AM/FM, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary-capable self contained audio system. All you need now are some four ohm speakers and a vehicle with a three-inch round space on the dash!