Kenwood L-07D Direct Drive Turntable Repair and Restoration

Finally, the Kenwood L-07D I have been restoring is repaired and working perfectly.

I completed a very thorough overhaul and restoration on the deck after it arrived not functioning correctly. The platter was over-speeding and there were other operational malfunctions.

I decided that it would be a great project to restore this beautiful piece of equipment. The deck had a number of issues, but was cosmetically perfect – a good subject for an overhaul and restoration.

I serviced the main bearing and after cleaning out the bearing well, used about 0.25mL of synthetic bearing oil in the clean assembly. After cleaning the chassis and tightening all nuts bolts and fasteners, I overhauled the arm and arm base mechanism. This involved stripping, cleaning and re-greasing the arm securing mechanism and lift gears.

The final stage of the service was to restore the electronic control unit which was where the operational problem was situated. This involved the replacement of electrolytic capacitors and other film caps with new, high spec parts.

I then trouble-shot the circuit and found the issue to lie in three integrated circuits on the control/logic board. I replaced the ICs, cleaned all the connectors and disassembled and cleaned the control umbilical connector. I also cleaned the circuit boards and, as part of the reliability enhancement, I replaced trim-pots with high-spec Bourns parts to ensure trouble-free long-term performance.

The deck now works perfectly again and sounds superb, as one would expect of this highly regarded pinnacle of direct drive technology. The deck is dead-quiet, with a vast sound-stage,  instruments and singers locked in space. Bass is epic – taut, clean and deep. Distortion is vanishingly low.

This is a gem of a deck, and if you get a chance to own one I would wholeheartedly recommend it.

6 thoughts on “Kenwood L-07D Direct Drive Turntable Repair and Restoration”

  1. Hello Mike…Greetings from New Zealand. I have a L07D. The speed keeps steady for some time, then fluctuates. I think the control unit/power supply unit needs checking…capacitors etc may need replacement. If I leave it on for a few days the speed is maintained for some time, then drifts (the 33 rpm indicator keeps blinking). How much is it to have the power unit serviced ? Can I send it to you in Australia ?…kind ly advise…best regards…George

  2. Hi Sean, Im in Perth, Western Australia so I suspect I may not be able to assist with this as kit loks like you are in the USA? Regards, Mike.

  3. Hi Mike,
    I have a Kenwood L-07D, and need some service!, where are you located and how can I contact you.
    Would you Please call me at (818)648-0590, or may I have your ohone # to call you?
    Regards
    _Sean

  4. Hi Al, yes Kenwood made some amazing gear, not the least of which is the L-07D. These are superb, beyond peer in many ways and very repairable as there is nothing particularly proprietary or rare in terms of electronics, so don’t let this put you off. Of greater concern is the structure of the deck. The chassis is fairly brittle and prone to damage if not handled correctly, but if you get one of these, you will never look back! Headshell is standard, making the original nice but unnecessary…

  5. I came to kenwood late. somehow their products passed under my radar, when launched.

    the l-07d is on my wish list, only its relatively large footprint – like most top DD decks of the era, makes me hesitate.
    space is ata premium in my home.

    also, as their are no spare parts available new. so, I think a future life, beyond 10 years, might be trouble-prone.

    I notice units for sale, often do not have the boron-laminate headshell, which must have positively affected the total sound quality. is it a standard type fitting h.shell? 4.pin?

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