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Garmin 106SV Ultra (Garmin Advice)


LegendaryBassin

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Looking at getting the new Ultra series a shot from Garmin with the UHD transducer. How do y'all like the Garmin units? Do you think they compare to the Lowrance units? 

 

Considering getting the 106 SV and the 102 SV ultra with livescope but it's expensive so want to hear peoples thoughts. Is the Ultra worth the extra over the 93sv if on the bow only for livescope? Thanks

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I would get the biggest screen that is within your budget.  Especially for Livescope.  The UHD54 transducer is built into my Force trolling motor and it is amazing the quality even at super slow speed.  I've got it paired with the 102SV Ultra.  My Livescope on the trolling motor is on a 8610.

 

SE Kansas grass grower

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I have two 93SV Echomap Plus units with Livescope and the UHD transducer...  I added the UHD last and it was a worthy upgrade.  In hindsight, the ultra units come out to a better retail price.  I got my whole setup for

$600 x2 93SV

$1500 livescope

$-400 UHD Used on eBay

For $3100+ Tax.

 

With the ultra, you can use the LVS-12 -$500 livescope add-on.  You could get one for the bow and back of the boat, lol!!!

 

UHD actually makes me use the down and side imaging.  Before UHD, it was just foot to see what the blobs were from the chirp sonar.  Now, i see so much finer details and fish!  Bottom detail is even better, you can see beds and other items.

 

Garmin has a company has been very good to me. I have had 6 of their units and I still have 5.  from black and white all the way up to my current setup. I also use Garmin in the field when I'm hunting. Garmin customer service is outstanding I have called them and always get someone from America, usually Kansas.  Be a questions about the unit or customer service and replacement, all have been handled with high-quality.  

 

I have never used humminbird, but chose Garmin over hummingbird in all my previous purchases because the features , interface, and price. I really like the interface of the Garmin units in comparison a hummingbird. I have one lowrance unit that I hate and I purchased a hook 2x unit that I hate it even more. I did have a lowrance elite TI 1.  I thought I would keep that one, but then I decided to go livescope and Iam so glad I did. I do like the feature that Lowrance has that distinguishes fish into the arches on the down imaging screen. Now with the UHD, I have clear readings.  With livescope you can actually see if they like your lure or not. You can see if they run or if they come. Fish are curious they pretty much checkout everything.

 

If you are going to make a plunge for the units and you are preparing for the cost, I don't think you can do any better with Garmin. Get the best screen resolution you can.  Size is important, but resolution is key.  Many times, the screensize is just stretched.  You get the same detail, just a bigger screen. 

 

My only issue right now is that I was originally going to upgrade to an ultrex, but now I am trying to raise another $3,000 for the Garmin Force.  Thankfully already have my wife's buy in. She's the one who convinced me to go all out on the livescope. She didn't know what it was or how much it cost, but she told me if I was going to upgrade make sure it's my last upgrade and get what I want, lol!!!

 

Below are photographs of my UHD sonar taken with a cell phone.

20190424_201339-1008x756.thumb.jpg.f81b584ac7d3d6c82c121130f8fcef9b.jpg20190425_202647-1612x1209.thumb.jpg.30881eacadc6cd82a7b46a98d6ce183e.jpg20190425_202634-1612x1209.thumb.jpg.03167d5693da3c5e712138bcd643eab7.jpg

 

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On 9/5/2019 at 12:51 PM, jaimeastin said:

I have two 93SV Echomap Plus units with Livescope and the UHD transducer...  I added the UHD last and it was a worthy upgrade.  In hindsight, the ultra units come out to a better retail price.  I got my whole setup for

$600 x2 93SV

$1500 livescope

$-400 UHD Used on eBay

For $3100+ Tax.

 

With the ultra, you can use the LVS-12 -$500 livescope add-on.  You could get one for the bow and back of the boat, lol!!!

 

UHD actually makes me use the down and side imaging.  Before UHD, it was just foot to see what the blobs were from the chirp sonar.  Now, i see so much finer details and fish!  Bottom detail is even better, you can see beds and other items.

 

Garmin has a company has been very good to me. I have had 6 of their units and I still have 5.  from black and white all the way up to my current setup. I also use Garmin in the field when I'm hunting. Garmin customer service is outstanding I have called them and always get someone from America, usually Kansas.  Be a questions about the unit or customer service and replacement, all have been handled with high-quality.  

 

I have never used humminbird, but chose Garmin over hummingbird in all my previous purchases because the features , interface, and price. I really like the interface of the Garmin units in comparison a hummingbird. I have one lowrance unit that I hate and I purchased a hook 2x unit that I hate it even more. I did have a lowrance elite TI 1.  I thought I would keep that one, but then I decided to go livescope and Iam so glad I did. I do like the feature that Lowrance has that distinguishes fish into the arches on the down imaging screen. Now with the UHD, I have clear readings.  With livescope you can actually see if they like your lure or not. You can see if they run or if they come. Fish are curious they pretty much checkout everything.

 

If you are going to make a plunge for the units and you are preparing for the cost, I don't think you can do any better with Garmin. Get the best screen resolution you can.  Size is important, but resolution is key.  Many times, the screensize is just stretched.  You get the same detail, just a bigger screen. 

 

My only issue right now is that I was originally going to upgrade to an ultrex, but now I am trying to raise another $3,000 for the Garmin Force.  Thankfully already have my wife's buy in. She's the one who convinced me to go all out on the livescope. She didn't know what it was or how much it cost, but she told me if I was going to upgrade make sure it's my last upgrade and get what I want, lol!!!

 

Below are photographs of my UHD sonar taken with a cell phone.

20190424_201339-1008x756.thumb.jpg.f81b584ac7d3d6c82c121130f8fcef9b.jpg20190425_202647-1612x1209.thumb.jpg.30881eacadc6cd82a7b46a98d6ce183e.jpg20190425_202634-1612x1209.thumb.jpg.03167d5693da3c5e712138bcd643eab7.jpg

 

Can you easily locate fish on DI and SI? Do you have any pictures? Thanks again buddy

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22 hours ago, LegendaryBassin said:

Can you easily locate fish on DI and SI? Do you have any pictures? Thanks again buddy

 

I rarely use down and side for fish. Can you see fish, yes... But the fish are usually white specs.  Bigger fish, you can see them a little more.  I usually have down/side on with chirp sonar.  So I will see the cover and the specs and use the sonar to distinguish the fish.

 

I will go out and get some pics or make a video.  I know I can record the sonar and DI/SI... but I have not found a way to record the livescope.  @Sprocket

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2 hours ago, jaimeastin said:

 

I rarely use down and side for fish. Can you see fish, yes... But the fish are usually white specs.  Bigger fish, you can see them a little more.  I usually have down/side on with chirp sonar.  So I will see the cover and the specs and use the sonar to distinguish the fish.

 

I will go out and get some pics or make a video.  I know I can record the sonar and DI/SI... but I have not found a way to record the livescope.  @Sprocket

That would be so awesome if you could. Ultimately, I just want reassurance. They are expensive so I was hesitant until I hear how people like them

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In order to record LiveScope I'm pretty sure you have to go to the GPSmap series through Active Captain.  I don't think you can do it with the Ultra series.

 

SE Kansas grass grower

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought an Ultra 106, and shortly after got the 500 dollar livescope transducer that works with it, LVS 12 I think it was.  I went with the ultra because it could do livescope with only the addition of the 500 dollar transducer.  I was discouraged to find out that the LVS12 has a limited field of view compared to the livescope returns that are all over the web that you are probably seeing and wanting.  No one really talks about this, I'm not saying I was duped, but I definitely wouldn't have gone this direction had I known about the limited field of view.  Nobodies fault but mine, my research wasn't thorough enough.

 

The 1500 dollar livescope setup uses a transducer that has 3 separate elements, and the black box stitches the images together, giving you from horizontal out front, to back further than vertical under the boat field of view.

 

The LVS12 that can be used out of the box with the Ultra, only sees 20 degrees if I remember correctly, so what I am going to end up doing for now is building a mount for it that can be rotated, and also tilted, so I can see straight down, or out horizontal, with a handle for adjustment.

 

Had I known this, I may have just gone with a 93sv, and the 1500 dollar livescope, spent the same money, but been happier with the livescope even though only a 9in screen on the bow.  The ultra did come with an UHD transducer, which is noticeably better than the gt52 the 93 comes with, and way better than the cv that the 73 on the bow uses.  And the mapping on my ultra is much better than whats on the 73 i have on the bow.

 

I am definately bummed about not having the "full" livescope.  Not sure if I will get the legit livescope, or make what I have got work and be satisfied.  It seems like livescope is mostly a Crappie thing anyway.

 

I got the LVS transducer from a guy on ebay for a great price, next to new, and I would be willing to bet he had the same surprise and was unloading it.

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20 hours ago, TheRodFather said:

I bought an Ultra 106, and shortly after got the 500 dollar livescope transducer that works with it, LVS 12 I think it was.  I went with the ultra because it could do livescope with only the addition of the 500 dollar transducer.  I was discouraged to find out that the LVS12 has a limited field of view compared to the livescope returns that are all over the web that you are probably seeing and wanting.  No one really talks about this, I'm not saying I was duped, but I definitely wouldn't have gone this direction had I known about the limited field of view.  Nobodies fault but mine, my research wasn't thorough enough.

 

The 1500 dollar livescope setup uses a transducer that has 3 separate elements, and the black box stitches the images together, giving you from horizontal out front, to back further than vertical under the boat field of view.

 

The LVS12 that can be used out of the box with the Ultra, only sees 20 degrees if I remember correctly, so what I am going to end up doing for now is building a mount for it that can be rotated, and also tilted, so I can see straight down, or out horizontal, with a handle for adjustment.

For other people's reference, here's an image showing the coverage:

 

Livescope-comparison.jpg

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I'm sorry for your misfortune but it is pretty clear on Garmin's website and has been discussed on many forums.  You are not the only one that has done this.  Or buying the Striker series and be disappointed that it didn't have maps.  

 

SE Kansas grass grower

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12 hours ago, Sprocket said:

I'm sorry for your misfortune but it is pretty clear on Garmin's website and has been discussed on many forums.  You are not the only one that has done this.  Or buying the Striker series and be disappointed that it didn't have maps.  

 

SE Kansas grass grower

Which is why I said "nobodies fault but my own" in my post.  The fact that others have had the same thing happen would seem to indicate an "issue", maybe sly marketing, lack of info out there on the web, who knows.

 

For instance, in the graphic above, it states LVS 12 only works with 8400/8600 series, which is certainly not the case. I would love to see the "many forums" that speak to the lvs12.  Last I looked there was only one youtube review comparing the 32 and the 12, and the 12 was not recommended.  Unfortunately, I did not see it until I had the 12, again, my fault.  Reviews on Garmin products are generally lacking from what I have seen, unless we are talking about product vids put out by Garmin.

 

Here is a small snippet from "wired to fish", about the ultra series, no mention of the LVS 12 being less capable than the standard livescope.  Slight of hand if you ask me.

 

"Offering a best-in-class sonar solution, the ECHOMAP Ultra series has built-in support for Garmin's crystal-clear Ultra High-Definition scanning sonar as well as the award-winning Panoptix LiveScope™ series, including the new single-array LVS12, that delivers live scanning sonar images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around the boat in real time."

 

Like I said, it is my fault for not doing the research (properly), I did a ton of research, including starting a thread on BR about my various options with the 93, the ultra, livescope etc.  I would need to re read the thread, but I'm 99 percent sure no one mentioned the 500 dollar tranducer being different than an echomap with the 1500 dollar livescope.

 

Which is fine, it's not their job to watch out for me.  It's all good.  I know from my reading in other forums (like when I researched the ultra, and the garmin trolling motor) that you are a product tester for Garmin, perhaps your opinions on the subject are a bit biased

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No opinion given here. And I probably am somewhat biased but there is tons of information on all the new products out there.  Whether it be the new trolling motors, new chartplotters, or transducers.  All the websites read differently whether it's Garmin, Lowrance or Humminbird.  The loads of information can be overwhelming.  I know I have to look different things up just to make sure my assumptions are correct.

 

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/636902

 

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/591379/pn/010-01864-00#

 

SE Kansas grass grower

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On 9/26/2019 at 6:08 PM, TheRodFather said:

It is overwhelming, I agree with ya there!

Garmin is not making it easy.  I think I may have discussed the difference between the two lights coupe units on one of my videos but it is quickly over looked by many people. Garmin especially markets tag you can just use this $500 element. that unit is very attractive in price to people but as the diagram above points out the functionality is so limited. I knew it was limited but I think it was that limited, I guess the visualization just really puts it in perspective. I'm using to 93sv, UHD upgrade as well as the full livescope setup.

 

It's easy to go the route that you went. On paper the price is completely the same. when you look at the 93sv, you think you need a networking unit, the UHD, and then you're looking at the $1,500 price for the livescope. you compare that to the ultra which has its own networking, can use a $500 element, comes with the UHD transducer, and the brand new maps...  it really looks like the better deal and the you get the most bang for your buck. I'm not sure how soon or late you bought the $500 element, but what if you just returned that and spend another thousand and got the full set up? I know it's crazy... But maybe.

 

I will let you all in on one of my little secret I've been watching. There are people buying these units on Amazon and returning them Amazon has sold parts of the lascaux unit for as little as $400. essentially I could have got a second livescop unit for less than $900

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Garmin, and to a lesser extent Lowrance have very confusing ranges. The plethora of transducer options, which are often not packaged with the head units, serve to make comparisons and choices very difficult. If there were an educated sales team at each retailer it might be excusable, but leaving it to the consumer to wade through the options and understand the implications of each choice is likely to leave more than a few customers dissatisfied with the products they eventually own.

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It is what it is I guess, I should have called Garmin directly.

 

I'm not unhappy with the garmin units I have.  One other thing I was pretty disappointed about is that the high def TD from the ultra would be a better fit for me on the transom (side scan scouting) than the CV that's on there now, and I was going to put the CV on the tm, hooked to the ultra, for 2d and staying on my spot while fishing.  The ultra does recognize the CV, but the 73plus does not recognize the UHD TD.

 

Although, I wonder if I could keep the UHD plugged into the ultra on the bow, but installed on the transom and view it on the 73 since they are networked.......hmm, I may have to look into that. That may solve that disappointment for me.  

 

Will my setup let me do that?  CV TD plugged to console unit but installed on TM, viewed on the bow unit Ultra, and UHD plugged to Ultra unit on bow, installed on transom, but viewed from console 73plus.

 

This is the dang problem, products are evolving so fast, and nothing is backwards compatable, forcing you to upgrade all at once or get left behind.........arggg!!

 

Here is what I have:

 

Ultra 106 with UHD gt52 (I think its a 52)  currently on trolling motor

73 Plus with CV 52  (I think 52)  currently on transom

Networked

Livescope lvs 12

 

Ideally I would like:

 

High def on transom, viewable on 73plus for scouting spots

Livescope on bow for working structure

2d, and downscan viewable on bow Ultra

 

Can it be done?

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I have what you are describing you want!

 

Of course, two 93SV units, one on bow and console.  My live scope is on the bow, and my UHD is on the transom.  Since my livescope and the UHD have their black boxes and the two 93SV units are networked, both units can see and use both the livescope and the UHD.  

 

I use the UHD when scouting for fish.  I can use the UHD to see the returns from the transom when I am on the bow as well.

 

I use the livescope from the bow.  Sometimes when I my wife's goes fishing, I see the livescope to down or forward, put it in a position where we can both share it , then I turn the console unit to a different position and Bam!  She can see it...

 

I can kick myself for not buying the livescope cable when it was $400... If I had a second cable, I would just make a separate setup for crappie fishing with others.  

 

What your pain is describing is not what is one paper when considering what units to purchase.  I think I will make a video on this...

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  • 1 year later...

All: 

I know this thread is a little old, but I am looking to add livescope to my rig. Currently I have two older model Gamins on my boat. I have a Ecomap 93sv at the helm and a Ecomap 73dv at the bow. I know these are the older versions and are not the plus units. I need to link both so I can share waypoints. The bow graph runs through the built in transducer on the Minn Kota Terrova TM which isn't ideal seeing you can only see 2D. Having waypoints sharing would be an improvement as I can locate from helm, mark and setup from front. 

 

Now to the bigger question. What graph should I lean more towards for the livescope. I am torn between the GPSMAP 1222 or the Ultra 102/106. If you recommend the 102/106 is 102 just as good seeing I wouldn't need additional mapping the 106 provides (I believe that is the only difference in the 102 vs 106). I have a smaller boat (16' Lowe aluminum). Would the 12" be a tad too big for the smaller boat as there might not be enough room to mount with the already 7" graph up there and the TM? I know the ultra's are touchscreens which I miss. I am trying to stick around the max of $3500 ideally.  

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as reading thru this thread has been very helpful. 

 

Thanks in advance, 

 

Jake

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