The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-8007

      Date posted: November 14, 2007

Read the AIG FM Tuner Project Introduction

Another Classic Kenwood From The 70s

Kenwood KT-8007
The Kenwood KT-8007 couldn’t be built today to the same standards of durability and quality at a price anywhere near what you might pay for this excellent example of one of the great Kenwoods of the 70s. To show you, I’ve opened it up and provided a picture of the beautifully shielded innards, sectioned for minimum RF interference in an age when the air around us was relatively free of electronic junk. It looks rather like the great Accuphase and top Sansui tuners inside!

The result is a very stable and durable electronic structure well encased and impervious to shock. It was also very advanced for its time, which places it not far from the best tuners made in the following decade, and probably better in some respects. Here’s comment about that from
KT-8007, inside
“The KT-8007 has a 5-gang front end, two 4-stage ceramic filters (equivalent to 4 modern 3-pin filters), and a discrete output stage that combine to make one of the best-sounding tuners around”.

“The MPX chip in the KT-8007 makes it much less likely than the KT-8005 to go out of alignment in a way that disturbs the audio sound. In a nutshell, the KT-8007 is more reliable, and is similar in many ways inside to the KT-8300, except that the 8007 still has the single IF path.”
“A bit of trivia: the KT-8007 uses basically the same tuning knob and selector buttons as the 600T, with a combination signal strength/multipath/deviation meter, variable output knob, muting off/level 1/level 2 switch and FM MPX filter. The KT-8007 also adds a front-panel headphone jack, which the 600T does not have. It also has scope output jacks on the back panel.”

“Our panelist Bob recommends the KT-8007 for ‘deep bass, extended highs, and a very clean midrange that has an incredible sound on uncompressed jazz and classical music.’ Another contributor agrees, telling us that his KT-8007 has exceptional sensitivity and a warm, ‘tube-like’ sound that he prefers to that of all his other tuners, including the 600T!”

I’m not sure quite what to add to that, except for our own Audio Ideas Guide tests and listening impressions. With our tower-mounted yagi antenna, the KT-8007 brought in 53 stations in relatively poor overcast fall conditions, and managed the same number on the Lindsay omni double dipole aerial. In the latter case more quiet stereo signals were heard, over 40 in all, attesting to the 8007 ’s superb stereo quieting, which is, I guess, what it’s all about when you sit down to listen. Multipath was never a factor, and could be observed using the meter option via the front panel button. The Signal Strength meter can also be used as a Deviation meter (sort of like a VU indication), which quickly tells you which stations are overmodulating or heavily compressing their signals for greater apparent loudness.

KT-8007, rear

This is an excellent sounding tuner, which stood up well against our reference, perhaps leaning a little to the McIntosh sound in its warmth and very analog liquidity, but without quite the MR-plumbiness, if you get my drift (which the KT-8007 didn’t do, being very stable). Ergonomically it was fine, without quite the effortless flywheel tuning of the following generation, but such features as a headphone jack, though I wish its volume control were on the front panel as on my beloved Sony ST-5130 instead of the back (we added a nice little knob, seen in the pic, so you can find it when you reach around). It also has Stereo, Mono, and Auto buttons right under the Tuning knob at right front.

The rear panel has both the front-panel level controlled and Tape audio RCA outputs, as well as Scope and Detector RCAs, the latter perhaps allowing use with an HD FM adaptor. The rear, as can be seen, has 75 ohm coaxial and screwtap antenna inputs, with finger-turn 300 ohm FM, Ground, and AM ones.

Cosmetically, it’s in pretty good shape for being around 33 years old, though you can see some bruising and peel of the veneer on the front of the left walnut side panel in particular, this less evident on the right side. I’ve touched it up as best I can, but note that these panels can be removed completely, since the tuner has a full metal jacket, so to speak. The front panel and metal case are pretty much unblemished, with no scratches on front panel or top. In general, this is a pretty clean machine, as I hope the photos show. It was one of the short-list candidates for a keeper, and there was much I loved about the Kenwood KT-8007.

Andrew Marshall

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One Response to “The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-8007”

  1. ron sovine c-us Says:

    i have one with the ka 80006 amp it jams with the big venturi formula 6 speakers

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