KODEN CVS-833 Colour
Koden has released its new, big eight-inch analogue echo sounder. Andy Galwey heads to sea to see how it performs.
having pro fished way back in the early 1980's for a year or two using a Koden I was keen to see where Koden has gone with their sounder technology lately.
The chance came recently with a test of the CVS-833 colour sounder. With its large 8-inch screen this unit provides anglers with a dedicated fish finding echo sounder that decisively shows if fish are below, or whether there are any drop-offs, or changes of bottom type. In fact Koden have managed to do all this extremely well for the past 20 years. Way back in the early 80?s I won many a case of beer from friends and fishing companions betting on the likelihood of catching fish. Even back then, if the Koden didn?t show fish, there were simply none there!
This new unit is as accurate as any sounder I?ve tested. The new CVS-833 (600W) and CVS-833C (1kW) units have a very large 8in colour TFT LCD screen. It also has 16-colour display, with a resolution of 480 x 640 pixels VGA.
The display itself is very good, however in direct sunlight it does struggle. Photography on the water was a nightmare and that is always a very good indicator of how the screen handles daylight. In all situations we had to have the screen brightness at full setting and reflections created problems.
Once we moved the unit inside the cabin the situation was fine, so for those with an enclosed cabin this unit is fine. Mind you, the unit comes with a detachable hood so I suspect the designers are fully aware of the situation. The night display is excellent which is quite an achievement when you consider the screen size.
Up till now you might think I was disappointed with the unit, however this is certainly not the case. It?s just that it has some viewing limitations that aren?t helped by the sheer size of the screen. And that needs to be factored in by any prospective buyer. However, if your boat provides a protected area then you?ll struggle to find an echo sounder that provides the detail and accuracy of the Koden CVS-833 models.
The CVS-833 also gives the operator extensive control via an easy to access menu system. It has seven menu?s in all which at first glance really spooked me! However those fears where quickly alleviated once I got into them.
In auto mode the unit performed without fault and changing between screens and splitting screen was as easy as turning a dial. The Koden unit is a dream in this regard. Dual Freq, Normal, Norm/BTM, Norm/Zoom in both or either frequencies (50khz/200khz) is simply selected by rotating a knob. Gain on either frequency is again a simple knob rotation.
Meanwhile, a dedicated range dial provides the user with the simplest manual depth range settings on the market today. Eight settings provide ranges from 10ft to 2000ft from which you will need to have preset depth ranges in the sub menu.
The large screen can be divided either vertically or horizontally with zoom-in function, and features water temperature display and graph. Image speed is easily worked and alarms are simple to activate and control.
Bottom discrimination is fantastic and changes between sand, gravel and rock/reef were all easily identifiable. As always, the vertical screen helped with excellent display of drop-offs, holes and gutters.
The Koden CVS-833 unit allows for the dedicated user to have absolute control over the units manual operation. The menus are extensive and every conceivable requirement is catered for, and not that difficult to master. The menu?s are broken into seven, and highlighted sub menu detail is clearly provided.
These Koden units are not for the hapless recreational fisherman. It is a serious machine better suited to the keener angler who wants the best possible information, all displayed on a big screen. On the water it will deliver, giving the user an advantage that may not be provided by other units. The cost for that advantage is none-the-less a consideration with the 600W unit coming in at $2534 rrp with transom mount transducer and the 1kW unit $3655 rrp.