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  The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-7500 X 3

      Date posted: February 19, 2008

Read the AIG FM Tuner Project Introduction

KT-7500, front, walnut case

This is the first of 3 KT-7500 tuners, all different in features and cosmetics, this being the beauty of the bunch in its oiled Walnut case that is almost flawless. Another to come will have professional Filter mods for DX reception capability.

The KT-7500 is similar in front panel features to the 7300 lower model, also included in The FM Tuner Project, but here with the addition of FM IF Narrow selection at right front panel beside the Muting control. Tuning is at Centre, and Mode Selector (AM, Auto, MPX Filter, Mono) at extreme right. On the rear panel there are both Fixed and Variable outputs, finger screw-tap antenna inputs, with one for stripped 75-ohm coax cable. There are also RCA scope outputs, a De-Emphasis switch (75/25 microseconds), and dual 120/220 power capability. This 7500 is not only pretty, but is versatile and can cook almost anywhere!
KT-7500, rear
In our reception tests, this 7500 received 45 stations on our tower yagi directional antenna in somewhat poor reception conditions, but did better with the omni Lindsay double dipole with 53. Its improved selectivity over the KT-7300 was the likely cause for this, and it does ferret out more of the close-together stations. The dial calibration was a bit off at the top of the dial, but only by about 100 kHz or less. Sound quality was excellent, typical of the 7000-Series tuners, with a more open quality than some other brands, and good stereo quieting with most weaker signals. It was a tempting tuner to consider keeping, but practicality prevailed, so here it is for your perusal. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying its combination of looks and performance!

This is the 2nd of 3 KT-7500 tuners, all different in features and cosmetics, this being the DX-modded one on its Narrow IF path, these Filter mods for DX reception capability. I’ll talk about the improvements in our test summary below.

KT-7500, modded unit

The KT-7500 is similar in front panel features to the 7300 lower model, also up for sale in The FM Tuner Project, but with that addition of FM IF Narrow selection at right front panel beside the Muting control. Tuning is at Centre, and Mode Selector (AM, Auto, MPX Filter, Mono) at extreme right. On the rear panel there are both Fixed and Variable outputs, finger screw-tap 300-ohm antenna inputs (that have been disengaged in favor of a single added screw-on 75-ohm coaxial connector). There are also RCA scope outputs, and a De-Emphasis switch (75/25 microseconds). The coaxial connector is the only change in the front or rear panels from a stock KT-7500.

In our reception tests, in narrow mode, this DX KT-7500 received 60 stations on our tower 75-0hm yagi directional antenna in somewhat poor reception conditions on the same day as the other 7500s were evaluated. Its improved selectivity over the other tuners was evident, and it does ferret out many more of the close-together stations. The dial calibration was bang-on. Sound quality was excellent, typical of the 7000-Series tuners, with a more open quality than some other brands, and good stereo quieting with most weaker signals. There was some slight sacrifice of that openness in the Narrow DX mode. But, the fact is, with many such distant stations, the signals will not be quite as clean as closer ones, anyway, though this tuner does its best to maintain stereo separation and low background noise.

Cosmetically, it is excellent, with just a slight and fixable bend in the upper left front panel corner, and very few scratches or dings elsewhere. Flywheel dial action is super smooth even for this generation of Kenwoods. Like the other KT-7500s, it comes with a copy of the full Service manual. I don’t think there’s much to add with respect to KT-7500 #3, except that it came without its rubber feet, but was similar in performance to the wood-encased one.

Andrew Marshall

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5 Responses to “The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-7500 X 3”

  1. Jay Moodley c-unknown Says:

    Hello Andrew!

    I just picked up a Kenwood KT-7500 last week and I am astounded by the sound quality and the high quality feel of this tuner.

    Jazz FM comes over very clearly and the stereo imaging is fabulous. I can’t pick up CBC Radio 1 in stereo (seems that CBC does not broadcast is Stereo)but that’s okay.

    I will hook up to a Yagi that’s in my attic when it warms up a bit.

    I am tempted to continue looking out for a Sansui TU-999 or Kenwood KT-8300 but have to say that I am most impressed with the KT-7500.

    Keep those wonderful insights and reviews flowing.

    Regards
    Jay

  2. Andrew Marshall c-ca Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Jay! I think the KT-7500 must be the most popular quality tuner ever made. The KT-8300 is a little more sensitive and selective, but not that much better overall in audio or reception quality. CBC Radio One is mono, but a good signal, while Radio Two sounds very good when not broadcasting the kind of crap music they’ve gone to recently.

    If you can get it well, WNED-FM (94.5) has an excellent signal as long as you’re not too close to the CN Tower, with a new digital console to make for excellent CD and SACD reproduction. Jazz FM (CJRT, 91.1) can sound good, but they do quite a lot of compression on the signal. I, too, would love to own a Sansui TU-9900, but they are hard to come by at a decent price, and I believe my current DX champ, the Sony ST-5130 might just outperform it.

    The real find would be to get an Accuphase T-101, which sounds better than any digital tuner ever made, though I may try to pick up a McIntosh MR-80 one of these days if the price is right. eBay is buyer’s market right now, but that could change any time soon.

  3. Jay Moodley c-unknown Says:

    Andrew,

    I just took delivery of a Sony XRD-F1HD tuner today and have to say that I’m quite impressed with the quality of this unit. The Sony sounds just a tad cleaner than my KT-7500 although I’m pretty sure that the Kenwood needs to be re-aligned and serviced. With the Sony supplied dipole, I was able to pick up 33 stations that were very clear and an additional three that were marginal. I am curious as to how this little guy will fare against the likes of a ST-5130 with a decent Antenna.

    Care to do yet another Tuna review?

  4. Andrew Marshall c-ca Says:

    Hi Jay,

    You must be mildly dyslexic like me, because the model designation is XDR-F1HD, and it looks like an amazing value. Sony has always had these sleeper designs, another one being the ST-A6B, a 7-gang beauty that I will be reviewing soon.

    However, I don’t want to deprive you of your new baby, even for a week or two, so I may well look for one on eBay. What you should look at is the review and other links in www.fmtunerinfo.com.

    The XDR-F1HD also looks like an HD Radio DXer, too, as well as on AM (Is there anything still out there?). It’s chock-a-block with new technology taken from military receivers, it appears, so check it out.

  5. dennis c-unknown Says:

    i hust picked up a this kenwood model # kt 7500 tuner and the kenwood stereo intigrated amp model # 600 and i am trying to find the value of them to see if i got hosed lol can someone send me an email and tell me the approximate value of these two units they are very clear and in perfect shape please contact Dennis at dahotdog@hotmail.com asap please put kenwood in subject line thanks for the help

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