I’ve just finished servicing two gorgeous Kenwood D-3300P CD players for a customer of mine who loves his classic audio gear and owns three of these beasts.
The Kenwood D-3300P originated in 1986 and is superbly built, made in such a way and from such quality hardware and components as would render it costing thousands if built like this 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 11kg, 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 large transformer and the weight quickly builds.
Both of my customers 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.
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 16 bit multibit as opposed to bitstream DAC, and as such, had the classic multibit 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 and all of these were laser-trimmed during manufacture to maximize the linearity of signals down near digital zero. The chips themselves were also trimable to null out zero-crossing error and reduce distortion to the theoretical minimum possible from the chip.
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 chip, the legendary PCM63.