Furuno’s claims about the benefits of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) in its new 5.6-inch FCV-620—its ability to suppress noise and maximize automatic fishfinding in varying conditions—sound a lot like Raymarine boasting about its High Definition Digital technology. So I was intrigued to test the 620 side by side—same transducer—with a Raymarine DS500x that has been wowing me for the last couple of seasons with its clarity and ability to hold bottom at speed.
Now, note that a larger DS600x would be a fairer model-to-model comparison and my testing methodology was nowhere near Consumer Reports' quality (we don’t have those resources!). But, that said, it looked like Furuno has at least matched HD’s clean performance (in fact, I’d bet all finders will use DSP eventually) while retaining its famously tweakable control system. I was also taken with the 620’s modern design, especially the tilt’n’swivel base, and the interface, particularly the knobs; they are a smart holdover from the replaced 600L, facilitating fast access to display modes and manual gain control. Finally, note that the $895, 600-watt 620 has a $1,495 FCV-585 big bro with a 8.4-inch screen and the ability to power 1-kW transducers.
This article originally appeared in the November 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.