Classic Kenwood D-3300P CD Player Service & Repair

I’ve just serviced two gorgeous Kenwood D-3300P CD players for a customer of mine. He loves his classic audio gear and owns three of these beasts!


The Kenwood D-3300P CD player dates to 1986 and is a superbly built component. In fact, this unit is built from such quality hardware and components, that it would cost way too much to make now. The die-cast sub-chassis for example could never be included in players these days, short of 10+K Accuphase.

The D-3300P was the best player Kenwood knew how to make at the time. It weighed in at just under 11 kg, ridiculous for a CD player now. Much of the weight comes from the massive bottom panel and die-cast aluminium  sub-chassis. Add gorgeous real wood cheeks and the large transformer and you can see where the weight comes from.


It is worth mentioning a little about the digital and analog circuitry of the Kenwood D-3300P. The player features the Burr-Brown PCM56P DAC chip – two in fact, one per channel. This chip is a multi-bit as opposed to bitstream DAC. As such, it has the classic multi-bit sound that so many people love.

The chips were very expensive to manufacture and this is partly what drove the development of bitstream DACs. The PCM56P used precision, highly temperature-stable resistors in the resistive ladder output. All were laser-trimmed during manufacture to maximize the linearity of signals down near digital zero. The chips themselves were also trimmed, to null out zero-crossing error and reduce distortion.

Burr-Brown claimed a 15 bit tonal resolution from this chip and the chip itself is the precursor to the very highly regarded and perhaps ultimate Burr-Brown chips, the legendary PCM63 and PCM1704K.


Both of my customer’s Kenwood D-3300P CD players required careful service. One was not reading discs properly, the other made an awful clunking sound when loading a disc and had some power supply issues. Both players benefitted from an optical clean, tweaking of laser focus and tracking servos and gain, one had a spring that a previous tech had failed to re-attach and some dry joints in the power supply that I reworked.

After a bit of Liquid Audio TLC, both players work superbly once again. My customer tells me they both sound better too. They should, as the cleaning and adjustments I made will certainly have improved the accuracy of reading data from disc and therefore reduce the error correction needed. The power supply re-working I did will improve every aspect of player operation.

The beast, the Kenwood D-3300P, with alloy top plate, wooden side cheeks and splendid in all-black.
Inside the beast, note the large transformer, beefy power supply capacitors, TO-220 regulators bolted to the steel chassis and the separate digital to analog board on the right, with big reservoir capacitors for the discrete output buffer..
Close-up view of the power supply capacitors and the chassis-mounted TO-220 voltage regs on the middle-right.
Plan-view of the digital to analog board. On the right, next to the vertical row of four reservoir capacitors, we see the two Burr-Brown PCM56P DAC chips. These are followed on the left by 4 per channel NE5532 opamps, which convert the balanced current output of each mono DAC, into a single-ended (unbalanced) voltage signal, which I’m guessing is then buffered by the last opamp, before leaving the player.
Actually the output is buffered by what looks to be a discrete output buffer, complete with two very nice, large filter capacitors in the middle of this image. This is very cool, better to use these TO-92 package transistors than rely on opamps to drive the outputs. Note that there are fixed level and variable level outputs. The large blue device on the left is the ALPS potentiometer controlling the output level.
Close-up of the Burr-Brown PCM56P mono 16 bit DAC chips. Note that these are the high-spec ‘K’ versions, hand-picked for lowest distortion and greatest low-level linearity. These all came off the same production line, but as with the legendary Philips TDA1541 and it’s high-spec single and double crown versions, the chips were tested and binned according to performance. Every chip tests slightly differently and only the best were given the ‘K’ grading.
After cleaning the laser optics, my next servicing step usually involves checking the RF output from the laser and adjusting the tracking and focus servos to maximise the quality of the RF ‘eye pattern’ as seen in the next image.
A view of my Tektronix 2246A oscilloscope displaying the RF signal derived from extracting the digital bitstream from the disc, at one of the player’s test points.
A clearer view of the RF waveform from the laser, before decoding by the DACs. This view has an expanded horizontal scale of 0.2uS per division.
Another test configuration involving probing two of the CD player’s test points…
Underside of the beast after removal of the two kilogram steel base plate. Here we see the underside of the power supply and control board, and the beautiful cast-aluminium sub-chassis to which the mechanism is bolted.
Closer view of this machined aluminium casting. This is wonderful engineering, not seen on CD players today.
This is where I found some ‘dry joints’, solder joints that have become marginal due to heat and/or stresses. Note the large pins at locations 1, 5, 6 and 7 – they all have cracking around the square pin and the surface of the soldered joint.
A look at the same pins after they and a few other joints have been re-worked. Note the nice shiny silver appearance of the reworked joints.
Another view of the reworked solder joints in the high-current areas of the board where the square pins pass through the PCB. Note the star-earth point, with green ‘kludge’ wire to the middle, right.
Finally, I added some silicone grease to the motor drive gears. You can see the grease I have added to the worm gear at the top, and meshing gear below that.

2 thoughts on “Classic Kenwood D-3300P CD Player Service & Repair”

  1. Thanks, you did a wonderful job. I own 2 DP-1100D with the same die cast part. I do have DP-1100SG and 990SG with an even better laser mechanism and also a very nice die cast part. kenwood at its best. Look to the space frame of a KD990, I love it. Never had problems with my Kenwood stuff. I am still looking for a DP-3300D (Europe). Kind regards, Wilfred

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