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Author Topic:   Poly-Planar MRD-70 Marine Stereo System
6992WHALER posted 11-02-2012 03:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for 6992WHALER   Send Email to 6992WHALER  
Over the 2011-2012 winter I rearranged the electronics on my 1992 23 Walkaround.

After moving my Navman 3200 Fuel Flow instrument to the helm, I was left with a 2 inch hole in the left hard top instrument panel. During this project I received an e-mail add from one of the online marine electronics suppliers for the Poly-Planar MRD-70 Stereo System on clearance for $70.00.

The unit is a black box system with a waterproof control head that is the same size and mounts the same way as the Navman 3200. The previous owner had installed a low quality car stereo.

I thought well for $70 I can replace a bad stereo and fill in the hole on the panel. Going on line I found the MRD-70 for sale from $55-$400. $400 made me much more interested in the unit.

The MRD -70 is an expandable unit that allows you to add up to a total of 4 RD-44 control units and speakers so you can have 4 independently controlled zones on board. The four Rd-44s can control the cd player, or listen to different radio stations.

To setup more than one zone you need to purchase a router and an amplifier.

The MRD-70 is also XM satellite compatible. I have a Garmin GDL30A XM satellite system on board which will allow me to have satellite radio on the MRD-70.

I purchased the MDR-70 and one RD44 and an I pod adapter for just under $60.

Installation was very fast, the RD-44 just went into the Navman's old mounting location, and the MRD-70 went directly into the old stereos' location.

The MRD-70 had very secure mounting braces that really locked it in place.

The connection between the RD-44 and MRD-70 was a waterproof cable with screw on connectors. A 10 foot extension cable was included.

The speakers wires had to be crimped together.

The previous owner of my boat had mounted a GPS chart plotter under the hard top. When I removed it I was left with a pretty good sized hole in the hard top. The IPod receptacle fit in the hole.

The IPod plug was connected to the unit with RC plugs as would the satellite radio receiver if I had decided to run the wires. I might hook it up in the future but I am not sure I would listen to it enough to justify paying for the XM radio subscription.

I did replace the old speakers with JBL MS-6200 Speakers, On sale $65.00.

Checking on line this fall there is still a large price range from $55-$400 for the MRD-70.

The black box and waterproof control unit would work nicely on small center council boats. As well as large boats with enough space to set up zones.

Link to Poly-planar website:

Photos of installation: IMG_9231.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

I do not listen to a lot of music when I am on the boat, but I can say I have used it enough to report it works well.

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