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.”
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.
Table of contents for The AIG FM Tuner Project
Related Reviews:The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-815
The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-8007
The Audio Ideas FM Tuner Project - Conclusions & Tuner Rankings
Audio Ideas: Some Year End Thoughts from Andrew Marshall
The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-900 - A New Style for the 80s
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