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BartmanMN

Lowrance vs Hummingbird

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I am looking for some user input on likes and dislikes between some open water GPS/Fish finders.

In comparing models like the Lowrance HDS 5 and the Hummingbird 597 HD ci, what are peoples likes and dislikes?

Why would you select one brand over the other?

Thanks

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I am also intrested in comparisions. Are you looking go also have the down/side imaging feature? Curious if it is really worth the cost of having this feature vs traitional sonar imaging

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when comparing a HDS 5 to a HB 597HD ci. the HB is the better unit and cheaper also. I had lowrance before and have since switched to HB. A HB will also be cheaper if you want the side/down imaging. to get the SI/DI on a HB that is the same size unit as a HDS 5 you need to go with the 798ci HD SI

here is a price break down of the 2 units

HDS 5 $699.99

Structure Scan $599.99

total of $1299.98 to get side/down imaging on a lowrance HDS 5

HB 798ci HD SI $1049.99

no need to buy anything extra to get side/down imaging on the unit.

Savings of around $250.00 if you buy the HB. Plus a added feature of the HB is that with lake masters HB chip you can highlight specific depth ranges if you want to target a certain depth. It also allows you to highlight shallow area in red so you know to go slow or avoid the area altogether.

you can get a HB 597ci HD w/o DI for $569.99(regular price) or right now the big c has them for $499.99 on sale. The down imaging verison of the 597ci HD will run about $649.99(does not do side imaging).

I went with the HB 597ci HD DI for my new boat since I didn't feel I needed the side imaging part of it right now. I may still upgrade to SI but atleast not for this season. I want to see how the DI works first before I spend the etxra $ to upgrade to SI.

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Many sell the HDS 5 at well under that $699 price. I know mine was last year when I got it. I chose the HDS for the fact I can add the LSS at a later time if wanted. Guessing some on the site like Pro Fishing Supply can beat that $1200+ pricetag on the Lowrance set up. I also like the add on options that Lowrance gives you like sonic hub and weather radar.

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We installed a sonic hub last week on a HDS 8 linked with a HDS 5. Pretty cool feature. We have been selling and installing a ton of side imaging Humminbirds this spring, but not as many of the HDS Lowrance systems. The Lowrance's are nice but sure require Alot of wiring when the add on features are used.

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I have used both and prefer the humminbird. I have the 898 si. I second pro fishing supply as a place to check out. Dave is a great guy and has low prices.

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Check out Reeds Sporting Goods in Walker. They generally are running a sale. I haven't tried the Hummingbird, but like my HDS 5. One of the aspects was the fact I can add side imagine and upgrade easily in the future. The screen quality and discrimination are excellent.

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In regards to each companies 2d sonar, the biggest difference is how the sonar data is represented on the screen. With a Lowrance product, data is displayed essentially as it is received. Sonar returns from fish lower in the water column appear smaller than fish higher in the water column. Humminbird employs something they call Time Variable Gain (TVG) - fish are displayed as the same size whether at the surface, or near the bottom.

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From the research I've done I'm going with lowrance. I like that they have a base unit (HDS) and you can add different ducers if you want SI / DI and don't have to buy a complete different unit. I also heard they have better quality materials are have "true" down imagine. HB is cheaper though and has great customer service.

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597 has both conventional 2D sonar and DI sonar.

Regarding the 8 9 and 1100 series: +

1) 3 preset shortcut buttons ( you create the shortcuts to the views you use the most.

2) Shaded depth is almost as important to me as SI, particularly on new water, or unfamiliar water.

3) 1 year warranty on original purchase and 1 year extended warranty thru the Humminbird Select program at no extra charge.

Humminbird Select also gives you access to priority technical support 800 number

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Bought my 898 and a 597 on 03/05/10. My 898 has problems and they claim over one year old so $270 or so to fix a problem I brought to their attention last November. On phone calls you are on hold for six minutes and then cut off. This was for the last two days between 1 and 2 pm. Only contact is email with two day delay. I convinced several friends that HB was the way to go and several did. Now I am borrowing a Low. unit for this weekend. The 898ci was simply great until the problems developed.

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Humminbird just responded to send it in and will be under warrenty.

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On phone calls you are on hold for six minutes and then cut off. This was for the last two days between 1 and 2 pm. Only contact is email with two day delay.

Exact opposite experience I've with HB. Sounds exactly like the Lowrance CS of 2-3 years ago. I've heard it's better now, but it only had that direction to go, IMO.

I jumped ship and went HB and have been happy (998/858), so no help on the 5" units. I've looked at and heard good things about the HDS, but was fed-up with the poor CS during the LCX days, and realized the format on the HDS was gonna be as new to me as the HB's.

btw, the HB's are very intuitive / user friendly. Doesn't even come with a paper manual, which I didn't like at first. It's all on the disk that comes with the unit, and alot of it's built into the unit already. The HDS's didn't seem all that intuitive, but at the time I was disappointed that the menu's were nothing like the prior LCX's. Good luck, and enjoy whichever you go with.

2c go at least the next size up, unless you've got a small boat. When the screen gets split on a 5", it's very tiny, IMO. I had a 522 for about a week before going to an 8, and then 10". The smaller ones might be fine and all the budget will allow, but IMO, if you can sacrifice a few other things, a bit bigger screen is worth the sacrifice. good luck, again.....

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Was hoping to get some opinions about reliability between the 2 brands?? Just got a newer boat and want to pick up a graph this week.. have had 2 lowrances go bad on be in the last 3 years, but at the same time my hummingbird ice 35 is starting to play games with me as well.. just looking for a reliable product if im goin to spend nearly $1000 on something. Thanks.

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I would go humminbird, since they are compatible with Lakemaster chips and LM is not making anymore chips for lowrance. as far as customer support if something does come up, I've only heard great things with humminbird's support and the complete opposite for lowrance. There are some neat features that the bird offers. I see rogers sporting goods has a 798 with side imaging for under 850 with free shipping by the way

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I would go humminbird, since they are compatible with Lakemaster chips and LM is not making anymore chips for lowrance. as far as customer support if something does come up, I've only heard great things with humminbird's support and the complete opposite for lowrance. There are some neat features that the bird offers. I see rogers sporting goods has a 798 with side imaging for under 850 with free shipping by the way

not exactly true lowrance has come out with a chip via lakemaster but I cannot argue the fact about lowrance's cs. However rumor has it they added several customer service techs the exact number I do not know. you will be happy with either brand

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I have called Lowrance's Customer Support (Navico) on a couple occasions recently, one for my new HDS and one for an older unit that was out of warranty. My experience was the same both times and it was excellent. Even though my older unit was out of warranty the tech proceeded to give me some tips to potentially solve the problem.

I think the customer support issues are really a thing of the past, but its funny how bad reputations seem to hang on and the good news doesnt travel very fast.

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