A Pulse Code Detector Kenwood
In our own Audio Ideas Guide tests, this KT-815 pulled in 54 stations on our high-tower yagi, and 55 on our lower Lindsay double-dipole (bowtie) omni antenna. It proved highly selective, as well as sensitive, with very clean sound and little multipath distortion. I liked its uncoloured and un-enriched sound compared to other tuners, such as many McIntosh models, especially such tuner/preamp models as the MX-113 we tested and sold in the Spring (which, of course, has its own felicities, and is now happily operating in France), and some other highly touted models from other makers. Neutrality is a good start in a tuner you want to listen to seriously and perhaps record from, as I do.
I hope that helps characterize this excellent classic. It has been fully aligned and cleaned, refurbished in fact, with new glass, and fine tuning, so to speak, that results in absolutely gliding flywheel tuning action, and very smooth operation of pushbuttons and the front panel level control. It has very useful Wide and Narrow IF paths, as well as defeatable Servo Lock/Muting and Multiplex Filter selectors. Rear panel accoutrements include coaxial and screwtap 75-0hm inputs, screwtap 300-ohm also, plus AM, with an additional ferrite bar antenna. There are both Variable and Fixed stereo outputs, as well as additional RCAs for outboard multipath scope use. A 25/75 microsecond de-emphasis switch is also provided. A bound Service Manual is included, with an Owner’s Manual available on CD or via download.
This KT-815 is one of the better Kenwood models we have auditioned and tested, and there are some pretty heavy hitters to come, including an 8007, a 7300, 3 7500s, and an 8300, the latter one of the best FM tuners ever designed and manufactured. The KT-815 comes surprisingly close to it in overall performance, and this sample is in pretty good cosmetic shape, with a very clean and unmarked front panel, with a few small spots on the inside dial area, and the usual bit of wear and scratching on the metal case. The on/off toggle has been replaced, but tastefully, and I must say I did want to keep this tuner because it is both very good and handsome.
Table of contents for The AIG FM Tuner Project
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