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Lowrance or hummingbird ?

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  • Lowrance or hummingbird ?

    Can't make up my mind between a hummingbird or a Lowrance sonar/gps. I'm looking at a 597 verses a Elite 5 series. I've heard stories of poor customer service from lowrance and your sensor is an additional cost as well as hard to understand installation instructions. I personally never had a problem with hummingbirds installation instructions and service, no experience with Lowrance. Whats your opinion or experience?


  • #2
    Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

    I am looking at the exact same decision. Anyone got any info?

    I have heard that the Humminbird units are more mechanically robust. I know that the Elite 5 does have a little better lake coverage in native mode (without the extra lake maps). In my case, I am looking at smaller lakes and local rivers for Bass and panfish. I know that where and how you are planning on using it can make a difference.

    TerryMSU

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    • #3
      Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

      Humminbird...
      Lowrance is being sued right now by Humminbird over lowrance copying their down imaging sonar technology.
      Also Hummingbird has had it for awhile and has it tuned to a "T".
      2011 Triton 190 Escape SE 150 Mercury Pro XS

      I never learned much from winning, but always learn from failure.
      Semper Fi

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      • #4
        Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

        Originally posted by bifflefan View Post
        Humminbird...
        Lowrance is being sued right now by Humminbird over lowrance copying their down imaging sonar technology.
        Also Hummingbird has had it for awhile and has it tuned to a "T".
        BiffleFan...
        Nice to hear from a local opinion. In my case, I will be fishing in the Grand River upstream of the dam and on local lakes, especially Wabasis. I will not be on Lake Michigan. Lowrance has a very good map of Wabasis in the maps that come with the Elite 5. Given my location and fishing preferances, what will I need to add to the 597Ci HD to get the maps I need? Down imaging and Side imaging are not options for me given my budget. Is DI really required for my situation?

        Thanks,
        TerryMSU

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        • #5
          Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

          If you are looking at regular 2D models, do the best feature comparison you can do. Spend time at the counter going through each of the screens and displays. Review the maps for the lakes you fish. Small lakes and rivers may only be an outline, or missing all together. Which is easier for you to navigate, etc. DI is nice to get additional detail on structure, I wouldn't give up 2D for DI only though. If there is any particuar feature, you are not sure what it does, ask here. Someone probably knows what it does, and if it is more than just clever marketing.

          I have been a long time HB owner. I have been very happy with mine, and there has been great customer support, along with HB specific forums. Johnson, owner of Minnkota and Cannon purchased HB a number of years ago, and really has strengthened the brand. Navco purchased Lowrance/Eagle a few years ago, and there has been allot of grumbling (on forums) about customer support, especially on the more expensive units. You would have to monitor some of the fishing sites to see if that is still an issue. For a 2D model, doubt you would have to send a unit in for service.

          One thing with most HB's is that the transducers tend to be larger. This translates into more time spent finding a good transome location where you get good slow and high speed performance.

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          • #6
            Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

            Humminbird devices have no support for NMEA-2000; Lowrance devices support NMEA-2000.

            I feel sorry for Lowrance. The complexity of their devices increased significantly in the past few years, but the intelligence of the people using them did not. This likely explains the increase in support call volume.

            A few high-profile threads by a very few people who were attempting very complex installations of Lowrance equipment involving interconnection with other devices generated a large amount of negative publicity for Lowrance involving alleged problems or poor support.

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            • #7
              Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

              Originally posted by jhebert View Post

              I feel sorry for Lowrance. The complexity of their devices increased significantly in the past few years, but the intelligence of the people using them did not. This likely explains the increase in support call volume.

              A few high-profile threads by a very few people who were attempting very complex installations of Lowrance equipment involving interconnection with other devices generated a large amount of negative publicity for Lowrance involving alleged problems or poor support.
              FWIW: The threads I had read had nothing to do with uneducated users, or complex networking of units. Doing a web search on "Linda Colt Lowrance" will find allot of info. Even though it is a few years old, there seems to still be allot if it out there. Again, that is old news. They may have patched up their support issues, and suspect they have.

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              • #8
                Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                Lowrance has sold something like a quarter-million HDS units. If there were real problems with their products, their quality, or their support you'd have ten-thousand threads about it. Instead you've got about ten.

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                • #9
                  Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                  Originally posted by jhebert View Post
                  Lowrance has sold something like a quarter-million HDS units. If there were real problems with their products, their quality, or their support you'd have ten-thousand threads about it. Instead you've got about ten.
                  I don't have any access to the number of units Lowrance sells or the number of defects they had. If memory serves, most of the issues arose when they went to the HDS line, which was just after the Navco purchase. Many were still trying to get thier prior units back from repair (long waits) and Linda was the only person they could get to solve issues. The early HDS units had some sort of water intrusion leak, that was addressed in the 1st year of production. I also believe they dropped repair support quicker than many owners thought would happen. An expensive broken unit, out of warrantee, and no place to repair them. As far as technical support, didn't Navico cut back significantly on the their Pro-staff in those 1st couple of years? Again, I think Lowrance has patched up these support issues, and its not an issue with current product. In the end, this was just a bump in the road for a good brand.

                  During this same time HB had already come out with SI, and they were strengthing their customer support. They were putting out S/W releases with not only bug fixes, but new features that were coming out on current product. Kind of a perfect storm for HB. I am sure there were a number of Lowrance customers that came over to HB in this period. As consumers, we want at least two strong brands that will drive competition to come out with new features and keep prices in check.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                    I don't understand why there are so many people who keep repeating anecdotes about problems that other people have had. Almost everything I have read about Lowrance is second-hand or third-hand information. The number of people who actually had a problem and could not get a resolution that satisfied them is infinitesimal compared to the total number of units sold. I don't understand why people want to keep talking about something they read about two years ago, that did not happen to them, and for which they really have no basis to even be involved.

                    When anyone gives their anecdotal experience they always endorse the brand they bought. That's because people think they bought the best brand. Who goes around comparing products then decides to buy the one with the lesser value?

                    The notion that I ought to buy a particular product because two years ago someone posted an article saying they heard from someone else that some company did not answer their telephone on the first ring is not particularly convincing.

                    Someone buying a product today really does not care that two years ago a bunch of people posted over and over again a bunch of comments that they heard that some company didn't answer their TOLL-FREE telephone fast enough to provide FREE support.

                    Really, enough is enough with this JIHAD AGAINST LOWRANCE. If someone actually bought a Lowrance unit in the last month and had some problem which could not be resolved to their satisfaction, let's hear about it, but otherwise who cares what you read about third-hand two-years ago?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                      Originally posted by jhebert View Post
                      I don't understand why there are so many people who keep repeating anecdotes about problems that other people have had. Almost everything I have read about Lowrance is second-hand or third-hand information. The number of people who actually had a problem and could not get a resolution that satisfied them is infinitesimal compared to the total number of units sold. I don't understand why people want to keep talking about something they read about two years ago, that did not happen to them, and for which they really have no basis to even be involved.

                      When anyone gives their anecdotal experience they always endorse the brand they bought. That's because people think they bought the best brand. Who goes around comparing products then decides to buy the one with the lesser value?

                      The notion that I ought to buy a particular product because two years ago someone posted an article saying they heard from someone else that some company did not answer their telephone on the first ring is not particularly convincing.

                      Someone buying a product today really does not care that two years ago a bunch of people posted over and over again a bunch of comments that they heard that some company didn't answer their TOLL-FREE telephone fast enough to provide FREE support.

                      Really, enough is enough with this JIHAD AGAINST LOWRANCE. If someone actually bought a Lowrance unit in the last month and had some problem which could not be resolved to their satisfaction, let's hear about it, but otherwise who cares what you read about third-hand two-years ago?
                      Sorry that you feel that I'm on some vendetta against Lowrance. Not so. The original poster elluded to reading issues about Lowrance. I tried to frame where/when that came about. And then recommended comparing features and trying to figure out what was most important from them.

                      You came in and indicated that all the support issues were about idiot users that didn't understand how to use their advanced Lowrance equipment, and then blown out of porportion. Maybe there was some of that, but not the issues I was refering to have read.

                      I am just a HB owner with no vested interest in either company. You won't see me claiming HB is the best, buy HB only, etc. I do have HB specific knowledge that I try to share and help others.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                        I hope this does not get me into any trouble with the mods. (If I have crossed over the line, sorry, please delete this response.) In my research, I found a really great web site that seems to do a good job of covering these two brands and specifically the new Hummingbird stuff. I wish they covered the new Lowrance stuff better. The web site is http://www.bbcboards.net and they have two or three good sub-boards that cover Lowrance and Humminbird very well.

                        TerryMSU

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                          Originally posted by TerryMSU View Post
                          I hope this does not get me into any trouble with the mods. (If I have crossed over the line, sorry, please delete this response.) In my research, I found a really great web site that seems to do a good job of covering these two brands and specifically the new Hummingbird stuff. I wish they covered the new Lowrance stuff better. The web site is http://www.bbcboards.net and they have two or three good sub-boards that cover Lowrance and Humminbird very well.

                          TerryMSU
                          Terry,

                          You should have seen Bass Boat Central before they broke into seperate sub-boards. Lots of heated discussions. Some good, some not so much. The HB board is frequented by HB Pro-Staff, and bet the Lowrance one is, as well. Just something to take into consideration when researching posts. If after researching, you choose a HB, especially an SI or DI, send me a PM. There are a few good support forums and yahoo groups to consider joining.

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                            Originally posted by imported_John_S View Post
                            You came in and indicated that all the support issues were about idiot users that didn't understand how to use their advanced Lowrance equipment, and then blown out of [proportion].
                            I called no one an "idiot." I simply observed that the Lowrance product became more complex and sophisticated, but there was not a necessary correlation in the users' skill level or experience at electronic installation. It is completely reasonable to assume that an increase in support call volume could be attributed to an increase in the complexity of the installation and operation of the devices, not to a sudden run of defective products.

                            It is entirely possible that products that are less sophisticated, have less capabilities, and require fewer interconnections with other devices on a boat will be easier to install and operate for people who are not particularly experienced in electronics, networking, and sophisticated computer operating systems. This does not automatically make the simpler product better or the manufacturer of the simpler product to have provided better support.

                            My impression of the JIHAD AGAINST LOWRANCE is that it was truly far out of proportion. While the JIHAD was in full swing some Jihadists were actively inserting their spin on any thread they could find. It was a little too much and to my point of view uncalled for.

                            Really, if you're leaning toward a HUMMINBIRD device, just go get one. It matters not a whit to me.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: Lowrance or hummingbird ?

                              Let's just say whatever the issues were, that Navco learned from them and hope that it is never repeated.

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