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  The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-8300/KT-9900: 70s Statements!

      Date posted: March 27, 2008

Read the AIG FM Tuner Project Introduction

Kenwood KT-8300, front

Obviously, I have things to say about this tuner, as one of the most legendary of all that we’ve reviewed and put up for sale in the Audio Ideas FM Tuner Project. And we’re now getting down to the best of the best here. This Kenwood KT-8300 has spent many hours in my system delivering superb signals and sound quality. But why should I rave on when it’s already been done for me by the experts at www.fmtunerinfo.com:

“The KT-8300 is a great tuner, very sensitive and selective even when unmodified. It has the classic Kenwood silver-faced styling, a powerful front end with a 6-gang tuning capacitor, and fantastic sound. It was one of Don Scott’s “reference” tuners and, in a 1989 Stereophile issue, he said it had the best sound of any tuner made since 1977! The KT-8300’s front-panel features include a button to switch the combination multipath/deviation meter, a wide/narrow IF bandwidth button, MPX filter switch, variable output knob and two levels of muting (or muting off). On the back panel, there are fixed and variable RCA outputs, scope outputs, an FM de-emphasis switch and a dimmer on/off switch. Inside, you’ll find two independent filter paths, very much like a 600T (which it somewhat resembles) but without the “middle” path. The KT-8300 uses two 4-pole linear phase LC filters for the wide IF bandwidth setting and three 4-element ceramic filters for narrow mode.”

KT-8300, rear
It has that extra Deviation/Multipath meter, which in the former setting is like a VU meter, but calibrated to show over-modulation of a station, and in the latter mode it can help you aim or orient your antenna for cleanest stereo and lowest overall distortion. It’s also a beautiful beast, with that silky sweet tuning action, and with the rack handles, just about the sexiest look of any tuner ever made! I was almost hoping no one would bid, so I could keep this beast, but I’ve already got the great DX sleeper Sony ST-5130, and the awesome-sounding Accuphase T-101, so what can I do? And, there, I’ve let the cat out of the bag, since this is a very strong supporting player in The Tuner Project. And my wife says, “Sell them ALL! NOW”

This is a classic tuner that outperforms just about anything made since 1980, and sounds better than most of them. In our station-pulling tests it brought in 56 stations on our outdoor tower yagi, and the same number with lower multipath and better stereo with our double dipole omni, on 2 different occasions, indicating not only superior sensitivity and selectivity, but a better capture ratio when they’re coming at you from all directions. That’s just about the toughest test of a tuner’s station-receiving ability.

This KT-8300 is in superb alignment, and physical condition, with one mark on the upper right front panel that’s barely noticeable, and a scratch above it on the top panel. There is one other scratch in the paint on the top panel near the left rear. Otherwise, I think it looks great. Its performance was identically excellent to the rare KT-9900, which has multi-voltage capability,and is the European equivalent of the KT-8300, with its darker gun-metal front panel. Here, it’s silver all the way, rack handles and all!

The KT-8300/9900 joins the great Accuphase, Sony and Sansui models of the mid-to-late 70s as a pinnacle in the art of tuner design that is not even approached in reception capability or sound quality by the majority of today’s designs, especially digital tuners.

Andrew Marshall

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5 Responses to “The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-8300/KT-9900: 70s Statements!”

  1. Jerry c-ca Says:

    Hi Do you have a KT 8300 for sale, if so how much?
    If your’s is not for sale, what is fair price
    for a KT8300 in very good condition. Can you
    recommend a person to repair or align tuners?

    Thanks Jerry

  2. Mike T. c-unknown Says:

    Have KT9900 with broken glass faceplate and indicator needle. can you suggest anybody anywhere may have replacement or can work on this. Maybe a nonworking unit thanks

  3. sony c-unknown Says:

    hallo,just to mention this tuner “kt-8300″ have “8″capacitor tuner section and with this place him on the top of hi-fi range..i heard many things in my life but this tuner is true high-fidelity…i think is worth from 450euro+ wery special item…cheers…

  4. Lee c-ca Says:

    Re the Kenwood KT-8300. Would you consider selling the Rack Handles?

  5. Bill C c-ca Says:

    just like to comment on this review . I was doing some research on line for this tuner as I own one .funny thing is when the small imperfections on this tuner were mentioned and I looked at the photo I knew right away this is the tuner I now own . I bought this tuner on ebay about 2 years ago, the seller owns a pawn shop in Kingston Ont.I just thought that was kinda cool , and the review was right on it is a great sounding tuner .

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