Kenwood Turntables

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reis99
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Kenwood Turntables

Post by reis99 » 14 Oct 2019 22:55

Hello,

Before i post my question i'd just like to say that as a new user i am overwhelmed with the quantity of information provided by many experienced people in this forum and website.

Okay so, i would like to purchase a Kenwood direct drive turntable in the near future, what model/s are recommended?


Thanks :)

Erin1
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by Erin1 » 15 Oct 2019 10:43

KD-500 or KD-600 are good.
But, they don't use crystal oscillators like Technics SL-1200 so the speed can drift with dirty pots.

If you already have a Kenwood, or can get one cheap, then great, but I'd advise a technics SL-1200 or even Reloop RP-1200 / Pioneer PLX-1000 over the Kenwood.

Kenwood are also old, and parts are non existent, so if it breaks repair could be difficult and costly.

I'm not sure why you'd be fixated upon getting an old Kenwood when there are in my opinion better options.

Ok, yea, the Kenwood KD-500 had the fancy low resonance plinth, but in reality it hardly makes any difference that you're likely to notice unless the rest of your system has great resolution, and you've got a good cartridge....but perhaps you do? I had a KD-500 and sold it. Yes, they are very good turntables.... Transcription quality.

billshurv
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by billshurv » 15 Oct 2019 14:05

Erin, you should hang you head in shame for selling a KD-500 :)

Mine I inherited. I remember as a lad when my dad upgraded the old Garrard SP-25 in the living room. 36 odd years later it was given to me and I've been suprised how good it is. So much so my 'proper' turntable has had little use since. 3 years ago they were selling for around 100 bucks. Now 6-7 times that. KD990s are starting to look a good deal in comparison!

Coffee Phil is the resident KD500 expert. Nothing he can't fix on those now!

denvertrakker
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by denvertrakker » 15 Oct 2019 16:58

Can't say I've encountered lots of Kenwoods over the years - seems like Technics and Pioneer rule the roost for vintage Japanese tables (other than MicroSeiki) - but a KD-4100 came my way a few years back, and I still use it almost every day. Arm better than expected, DD full automatic, holds speed rock steady, weighs a ton. Only thing I can imagine replacing it is a 5100 (same basic design, different styling and a straight arm instead of S).

As always, just my opinion, YMMV.

reis99
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by reis99 » 15 Oct 2019 19:50

Probably would be a big risk to go and order a used one all the way from Germany or France to Portugal? :?

denvertrakker
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by denvertrakker » 15 Oct 2019 20:05

Purchasing a used turntable - from anywhere to anywhere - is always a risk. With new, you know it's packed properly from the factory, and if it's damaged in shipment you have some recourse. With used, you're buying blind, no matter how much the seller claims that it will be packed securely. On many of the forums I read, it seems there are more complaints about damaged used turntables than anything else. I'm sure it's possible to have one shipped without damage, but a turntable is the one thing I'd only buy locally. Unfortunately, that may not be an option for you. If so, I don't see that shipping one from anywhere in the EU to where you are presents any more of a risk. I'd recommend such a purchase only if you're confident the seller/shipper knows what they're doing, backed up by feedback of some sort, and insured for full value. Good luck!

jdjohn
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by jdjohn » 15 Oct 2019 21:12

My KD-500 was shipped from Canada to the southern US :) But, the seller was very experienced at packing and shipping turntables, and I messaged them with detailed instructions before making the purchase. There was no tonearm included, so that simplified things a bit.

KentT
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by KentT » 15 Oct 2019 22:01

Best Kenwood DD turntables ever built, the L-07D followed by the KD 500 series. There's several nice high end models otherwise.

Othne3l7
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by Othne3l7 » 16 Oct 2019 05:33

Have a kd500 since it was new. Love it. Never a problem. Except the plastic cover but dont need it anyway

Erin1
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by Erin1 » 16 Oct 2019 09:36

billshurv wrote:
15 Oct 2019 14:05
Erin, you should hang you head in shame for selling a KD-500 :)
Ha Ha! To be honest. I didn't get along with it even though it sounded great.
I didn't like the cracked lid. I didn't like how the SME tonearm sat low in the plinth which made operating the tonearm lift a fiddly exercise. I also didn't really like the colour. Geez I'm fussy huh?

I also didn't like how the sound was a bit too clinical. I know that's actually a good thing - which is why I called it a transcription quality turntable.
But its accuracy seemed to emphasise any flaws in the record. I prefer a slightly more forgiving sound (with vinyl) otherwise I'd rather just listen to digital.

Coffee Phil
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by Coffee Phil » 16 Oct 2019 17:35

Hi Bill,

I do love my KD 500, but my Kenwood “Rock” guru status is a bit shaky. I have been helping a member here with his KD 550. I designed and built new control electronics for his KD 550 motor. I had it working and sent it to him. It crapped out so I had him send it back. We had a few iterations of this and he gave up and just gave me the whole thing. I was somewhat upset that I was not able to get it happily spinning his records, but the fact that I now have a KD 550 is helping me get over it. I expect I will soon have it happily spinning and it will be my main machine in my upstairs stereo room which is a work in progress.

I also have a basket case KD500 which has been a test bed for my KD500 work. It has a slightly warped platter (~0.03”). The plan for it is to get the Pioneer fully acoustic stereo arm which I recently bought off of eBay. It is a silly toy, but I get a kick out of such things and it will help me get over the loss of my Victrola many years ago.

Phil
billshurv wrote:
15 Oct 2019 14:05
Erin, you should hang you head in shame for selling a KD-500 :)

Mine I inherited. I remember as a lad when my dad upgraded the old Garrard SP-25 in the living room. 36 odd years later it was given to me and I've been suprised how good it is. So much so my 'proper' turntable has had little use since. 3 years ago they were selling for around 100 bucks. Now 6-7 times that. KD990s are starting to look a good deal in comparison!

Coffee Phil is the resident KD500 expert. Nothing he can't fix on those now!
Last edited by Coffee Phil on 16 Oct 2019 18:09, edited 1 time in total.

Coffee Phil
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by Coffee Phil » 16 Oct 2019 18:07

Hi Erin1,

I’ll be a bit nit-picky here. The KD 600 is quartz locked. The KD 500 is indeed controlled by RC time constants. They do however have more than sufficient stability.

Phil
Erin1 wrote:
15 Oct 2019 10:43
KD-500 or KD-600 are good.
But, they don't use crystal oscillators like Technics SL-1200 so the speed can drift with dirty pots.

If you already have a Kenwood, or can get one cheap, then great, but I'd advise a technics SL-1200 or even Reloop RP-1200 / Pioneer PLX-1000 over the Kenwood.

Kenwood are also old, and parts are non existent, so if it breaks repair could be difficult and costly.

I'm not sure why you'd be fixated upon getting an old Kenwood when there are in my opinion better options.

Ok, yea, the Kenwood KD-500 had the fancy low resonance plinth, but in reality it hardly makes any difference that you're likely to notice unless the rest of your system has great resolution, and you've got a good cartridge....but perhaps you do? I had a KD-500 and sold it. Yes, they are very good turntables.... Transcription quality.

chgc
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by chgc » 17 Oct 2019 03:08

Coffee Phil wrote:
16 Oct 2019 17:35
I also have a basket case KD500 which has been a test bed for my KD500 work. It has a slightly warped platter (~0.03”). The plan for it is to get the Pioneer fully acoustic stereo arm which I recently bought off of eBay. It is a silly toy, but I get a kick out of such things and it will help me get over the loss of my Victrola many years ago.
What's a "Pioneer fully acoustic stereo arm?"

Erin1
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by Erin1 » 17 Oct 2019 09:55

Coffee Phil wrote:
16 Oct 2019 18:07
Hi Erin1,

I’ll be a bit nit-picky here. The KD 600 is quartz locked. The KD 500 is indeed controlled by RC time constants. They do however have more than sufficient stability.

Phil
Noted! With thanks.
No arguments from me. They're very good turntables.

Coffee Phil
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Re: Kenwood Turntables

Post by Coffee Phil » 17 Oct 2019 15:36

Hi chgc,

The arm is just that! No electricity whatever. There are two diaphragm sounboxes set at 45 degrees from the record surface and connected to a stethoscope like arrangement. When it arrived I held it in my hand next to my “main” KD 500 to prove to myself that it works. It does, and better than you might expect!

Since I am now up to my ears in KD 500s, I’ll use the most funky one (slightly warped platter) for the arm. While it seems more fitting that the platter have a spring motor or Sterling engine, with all my projects I’m not sure I’ll be on top of the grass long enough to bring that off.

I’m out of town now but when I get home I’ll shoot a picture of it and post it.

Phil

Coffee Phil wrote:
16 Oct 2019 17:35
I also have a basket case KD500 which has been a test bed for my KD500 work. It has a slightly warped platter (~0.03”). The plan for it is to get the Pioneer fully acoustic stereo arm which I recently bought off of eBay. It is a silly toy, but I get a kick out of such things and it will help me get over the loss of my Victrola many years ago.
What's a "Pioneer fully acoustic stereo arm?"

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