In recent years vintage Kenwood gear has been rapidly appreciating in value, and just a quick look at this turntable will tell you why.
First of all its build quality is astounding, it is built like a Sherman tank…literally! It’s plinth incorporates resin-concrete and it’s platter is extra heavy weighing in at 3lbs, which is intended to give the platter further stability through increased inertia. Kenwood boasted in their advertising material that this turntable wouldn’t jump even if you sat it on a speaker!
As a direct drive turntable it features an advanced 20 pole, 30 slot servo controlled DC motor with high torque for rotational stability, combined with the heavy 3lbs platter mentioned earlier, you get a very stable turntable with a stock Wow & Flutter of only 0.035% and only -70dB Rumble.
In addition to what has already been mentioned here is a quick overview of features; a newly developed (in 1977) tonearm, micro-ball bearings, anti-skating adjustment, semi-automatic function, pitch control, high-visibility strobe light, viscous dampened cueing device, low capacitance phono cables, stylus pressure direct readout counter and built in insulators.
The tonearm on this model is a particular fave with audiophiles, it’s center of gravity is very closely aligned to its axis of rotation. This makes it extremely forgiving when choosing a cartridge allowing you to push the specified limits of cartridge weights. The tonearm was developed especially for the KD-3070 by Kenwood to ensure Low Mass, Low Resonance, High Trackability and improved Frequency Response. To achieve this Kenwood redesigned not only the geometry of the armature but also the materials used to make it, right down to it’s ball bearings.
And the end result is magical. If your a direct drive fan, then this is certainly one that deserves an audition. Many audiophiles like to tweak this model with new feet or spikes, record weights and various platter mats. With the exception of a mat and an Ortofon cartridge I am running my model stock, and loving every minute of it!
If you remember listening to your favourite tracks on the radio in the late seventies, then the chances are they were being played on a Technics turntable.
The Technics SL-1600 Mk2 is a studio grade turntable and one of the most popular and sought after direct drive turntables amongst vintage-audio enthusiasts and is sometimes described as a fully-automatic version of Technics manual SL-1200 which to this day is the choice of many DJ’s.
Introduced sometime in late 1978 the Mk2 was released hot on the heals of the original SL-1600 and saw a number of improvements that today make it a much more attractive artefact for collectors then the original.
First and foremost the standout feature of this table is its quartz-phase-locked speed accuracy with pitch control of +-6%. The DC servo also features high-torque for fast starts and a platter braking mechanism also ensure there will be fast stops! Technics boasted the torque of the DC servo was so high that it could handle 100 tonearms each with a 2g cartridge! The fully automatic system is enhanced by an infrared sensing system built into the platter that automatically detects the record size loaded and also assists with the auto-repeat function.
The stability of this turntable is excellent. Firstly it is fitted with an aluminium plinth and secondly it has a double isolated suspension system, the outer diecast aluminium chassis is fitted with tuned set of isolators while the inner base that supports the platter, motor and tone arm, is made of TNRC anti-resonant material specially developed by Technics which is supported by another set of isolators and a double insulated platter with a rubber mat on the bottom as well as the top. This means you are very unlikely to experience feed back on this table.
The tonearm has been engineered to a high-degree of accuracy and has a wide operating tolerance including a height adjustment of 6mm allowing you to experiment with huge selection of cartridges.
Other features I love about this artefact is that all the controls are housed outside of the dustcover for easy access. It also comes with a strobe light and a stylus illuminator for use in low-light conditions.
My unit is fitted with the original Technics 270C Moving Magnet Cartridge that has a wide range of styli available for it including conical, elliptical, shibata and SAS.
JVC is a bit of a dark horse in the vintage audiophile community. While not widely acclaimed IMHO during the Golden Era of the 1970s they produced many beautifully designed and innovative technologies with excellent build quality. And this 1977 direct-drive turntable is a perfect exhibit.
A classic professional grade turntable from 1977. The JVC JL-A40 is a semi automatic direct-drive model featuring an sophisticated electronic servo motor with a specified wow and flutter of less than 0.03%.
By the latter 1970s many of the high-end audio manufacturers were introducing plastic plinths throughout their turntable range. However these plinths are not to be confused with the light-weight cheap plastic turntable plinths of the 1980s. And this JVC especially so.
Firstly the the JL-A40 is very solidly constructed and weights 7.2kg in total. Secondly it incorporates a parallel isolation suspension system that utilises coupled rubber dampers and coil springs to soak up shakes, jolts and jarring giving this turntable a good degree of immunity to jumping.
Other features that JVC built into this model include an ‘auto-reject’ feature to prevent your stylus from grinding in the last grooves of your vinyl, a cueing feature, anti-skate, an adjustable height tonearm, pitch control and strobe light. It was also fitted with a statically balanced S-shape tone arm to correct tracking errors.
The icing on this cake is that it comes with JVC’s very own high-end Z-1 moving coil cartridge. This cartridge is designed for 2-channel and 4-channel playback (including CD4) and features a wide range, clear definition and transparent tonal quality.
Fitted with a Shibata Stylus that places less load on record grooves than elliptical styli, it follows the groove contours more faithfully thus improving frequency response. Furthermore it’s low mass moving structure extends the frequency response to 50 kHz. Other features include a Beryllium Cantilever (better than Titanium), One-Point Suspension, a Light Weight Cobalt Samarium Magnet and Laminated Permalloy in the Pole Pieces.
All up this turntable is setup to enjoy beautiful sounding stereo and quadraphonic in both SQ and the superior CD4 format – another innovation brought to you by JVC!
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