Poly-Planar MRD80i, another safe spot for digital audio

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

3 Responses

  1. MJ Taylor says:

    we have no seen this unit this side of the waters. (Africa). First impression is its face design. Not very attractive. Looks like the design from the past years. Fusion has hit the market in Africa and is making an impression. I Like the fact that the MRD80 is capable of taking different units.

  2. Jesse Deupree says:

    One thing to think about is how these units will respond to future changes in the software running the ipod etc. I have a Fusion from late 2008, and it wasn’t long before its ability to control the ipod became limited and kludgy because Apple made some change in iTunes. I expect it my soon be unable to control the ipod at all- Apple has no reason at all to care about the installed base.
    Until the stereo’s themselves have the ability to be upgraded, you run the risk of losing control of the device. Way back in the day I had a wireless remote that controlled the ipod itself, but that kind of thing is gone too.

  3. Doug Campbell says:

    Hey Ben,
    While I agree that the iPod “sled” design looks like a superior solution to the sleeves used by Fusion I’m not sold that the SD support is such a big deal. I don’t know of anyone carrying around their music library on a series of relatively low capacity cards. Guess I’d rate that a “nice to have”.
    What Fusion does have, and I’m loving on my Albin 35TE Convertible, is “zoned” remotes. With the main unit in the salon, a remote in the master and (with a small remote amp) one on the bridge I am able to easily change the volume without having to worry about finding the fader settings. Just grab the multifunction knob and turn it up without causing my bride to bounce out of the berth. Configuring the remote took all of 30 seconds and I can override the volume settings from the main unit if I want.
    I also like that when Fusion sells you a remote the actually include a long cable in the package! No extra charge! Having installed other brands that charge about the same for an LCD, multifunction remote that provide only a 6″ pigtail this was a pleasant discovery.
    And finally, I have to agree with the comment above. It’s looking (the poly planer) rather retro and cluttered. While I don’t like minimalist controls when they are done solely for the sake of appearance I do find, as a member of the iPod world, that a simple, context aware knob is a great human interface model. I find the Fusion controls easy and intuitive.
    All I need now if for Fusion to add multi-source and I’ll have found marine audio bliss…

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