Kenwood L-1000T FM tuner

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Nick Gilly
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Joined: 18 Sep 2014 14:17
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Kenwood L-1000T FM tuner

Post by Nick Gilly » 03 Oct 2014 23:25

Hi all.

I saw one of these on eBay last week with a starting price of 99p and free shipping (despite weighing about 10 kg) so I put it in my watch list and kept an eye on it. It had some holes drilled on the top panel for ventilation purposes as apparently these tuners run hot due to a big toroidal transformer inside. It included the manual (tatty) and the all-important remote, which is needed to access most of the functions on this device. Apparently the seller had inherited it from a friend who had died recently who had bought it second-hand from a high-end audio emporium. It finished early on a Sunday morning so about 10 minutes before the end of the auction I put in a maximum bid of £101 using Gixen and was lucky enough to be the highest bidder.

It arrived here on Wednesday all intact, apart from the plug which was cracked and split exposing bare wire, so I didn’t get it up & running until yesterday evening after obtaining a new plug for it. The tuner is built like a tank, and comes in what I would describe as ‘graphite grey’. It has 2 aerial inputs, fixed and variable outputs (I wonder if RDS data would be accessible from one of these?), and multipath outputs for an oscilloscope. As most of the functions are on the remote the tuner is minimalist and industrial-looking with just an on/off button on the left, the central display (in a muted amber colour), and rotary tuning knob on the right with a small button for auto or manual tuning. The remote accesses the other functions such as Ant a?B, IF bandwidths (3, labelled Wide, Normal and Narrow), Mono/Stereo, Direct/Distant (like local/DX modes), presets (20), Active Reception (where the tuner decides on the bandwidth, stereo or mono depending on signal/conditions) tuning up/down and output level for the variable outputs.

So, how does it perform? Very well indeed! The selectivity in Narrow is excellent for a stock tuner, and is in the same league as the Denon TU-800L (and therefore the Onkyo T-9990 and probably similar to the KT-6040). I have noticed that compressed pop stations in Narrow sound rough with some obvious distortion, but sound fine in Wide and Normal. This is probably due to the very good selectivity, although the Denon doesn’t sound as rough in Super Narrow. From what I have read, the European version (and UK, judging from the performance) has 8 ceramic filters, but I don’t know the configuration used for Narrow. If all 8 are in line then this may explain the increased distortion. The L-1000T also tunes in 25 kHz steps, unlike the Denon’s 50 kHz so it probably has a slight edge over the Denon for this reason. The steps increase to 50 kHz when Auto tuning or when the tuning up/down arrows are held down. The result of this is that it scans up and down the band more slowly than my other tuners. An interesting feature is that when the bandwidth is changed or the tuner stops tuning a relay clicks, which is something I’ve not come across before. I think that apart from the Sony XDR-F1HD this Kenwood is probably the best stock tuner I have used for DXing. It really is very good for these purposes.

Sound quality in Wide on a good broadcast is excellent with a clean, relaxed sound and good stereo imaging. The bass seems to be better than average too. I did notice whilst listening to Radio 2 earlier this evening in Wide some slight grainy harshness to vocals on some records that wasn’t present on the AAC internet stream. However, there was no such distortion on Radios 3 and 4 so I can only assume that it was at the BBC’s end, not mine. It could be that this tuner is more revealing of source material and is not as forgiving with sloppy broadcasts.

So this was definitely a lucky find at £101 as I have seen these go for several hundred Euros on eBay Germany. Perhaps some were put off by the holes in the top cabinet, but I took a chance, and it was definitely worth it! I suspect with hand-picked filters it would be even better.

Image
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

Andrew Webster,Wigan
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Joined: 18 Sep 2014 16:03
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Re: Kenwood L-1000T FM tuner

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 04 Oct 2014 11:37

That's a very nice looking tuner Nick glad it works ok well done.

Andy
Receiving equipment: 2 Sony ST-S311, 1 Sony ST-SE520, 1 Sony ST-SE700 2 crossed FM 5s rotatable, 1 homemade FM 3 horizontal beaming S/E, 1 vertical FM 3 fixed beaming at Ireland, 2 element band 1.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Kenwood L-1000T FM tuner

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 04 Oct 2014 12:01

I wonder this has the same overall insides as a KT6040? It does sound similar in some ways.

Nick Gilly
Posts: 1217
Joined: 18 Sep 2014 14:17
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Re: Kenwood L-1000T FM tuner

Post by Nick Gilly » 04 Oct 2014 13:04

I suspect there are differences John. For one thing this tuner weighs about 10 kg which is much heavier than the KT-6040. I know that the stereo decoder is totally different as well.

There's a picture of the internals here:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fctJRfxNaVM/T ... 001221.JPG

and here:

http://www.fmtunerinfo.com/L-1000Tinside.jpg

Does that look similar to your KT-6040 John?
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

Nick Gilly
Posts: 1217
Joined: 18 Sep 2014 14:17
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

Re: Kenwood L-1000T FM tuner

Post by Nick Gilly » 04 Oct 2014 17:23

I found some pictures of the internals of the KT-6040 here John:

http://www.hifi-pictures.net/tuner/Kenw ... T-6040.htm

It looks totally different to me with a lot more space inside! But I do wonder if the filter arrangement is similar? I will have to do some digging.
Good DX.

Nick, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

BW Broadcast RBRX Encore, Kenwood L-1000T, Yamaha T-2, Denon TU-800L, Kenwood KT-1100SD (modified), Yamaha T-85, Sony XDR-F1HD tuners, horizontal Körner 9.2 beam (Antennenland version), Yaesu G-450C rotator

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Kenwood L-1000T FM tuner

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 04 Oct 2014 17:51

Yes, it does look different. Since the filtering may be the same it made me wonder about the possible similarities. The boards do indeed look very different, so presumably a totally different board and everything.

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