Kenwood KD 2055 doowwnek 2503

Kenwood KD-2055 Belt-Drive Turntable Repair

The Kenwood KD-2055 is the other synthetic composite Kenwood deck, a deck that I rarely see in Australia. Think of this as the belt-driven cousin of the Kenwood KD-500/550 and KD-600/650. 

The KD-2055 is a belt-drive turntable from Kenwood, featuring the same ARCB Anti Resonance Compression Base proprietary synthetic chassis as its more famous relatives. The KD-2055 features a fixed tonearm and some other automated features.

You can read much more about the other Kenwood ARCB decks in my posts here, here, here, here and here.

If you look at the photos below and compare the design to the KD-500/550 and KD-600/650, you’ll see immediately that the chassis design is very similar across the range of decks. The ARCB material is injection-molded to create the ribs and structures we see in these chassis. Various boards and parts are secured with captive brass fittings, because the ARCB is brittle and not suitable for tapping.

The issues with this particular deck related to the arm-return mechanism, the awful cartridge someone had installed and the need for a new belt. The deck was easily repaired and really belongs in a class of ‘sleepers’ – decks that perform really well, but are less popular than others of the same era.

Specifications from the Vinyl Engine:

Drive: belt-drive system
Motor: 4-pole synchronous
Platter: 30cm aluminium alloy die-cast
Speeds: 33.33 and 45rpm
Wow and flutter: less than 0.06% WRMS
Signal to noise ratio: more than 50dB
Tonearm: static balance type, s-shaped pipe arm, eia plug-in connector
Effective length: 215mm
Overhang: 9.5mm
Stylus pressure range: 0 to 3g
Usable cartridge range: 4 to 13g
Dimensions: 480 x 363 x 146mm
Weight: 11.7kg

Service & Repair

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OK, so here we can see the ARCB material and the complex mouldings possible with it. Note the speed controls to the bottom left., as per most Kenwood decks.
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Close-up of top of deck, showing auto stop and arm return lever, plus belt-drive motor and pulley changer bottom left.
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Underneath the deck, we can see the proper motor for the belt-drive, not some puny little thing you’d see in a Rega for example, plus the large arm return mechanism in the top left. This is a silicone oil-filled device, that dampens and returns the arm to the start position.
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Very simple layout really, all parts bolted to the ARCB chassis.
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Cheap cartridges like this one have absolutely no place on a deck like this, or any deck for that matter.
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The spindle bearing was also dry, needing a clean and a dose of synthetic bearing grease…
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Some wear is evident on this spindle shaft, but that is to be expected, especially given that the deck had obviously not been lubricated since manufacture.
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This part of the deck was messy, with silicone oil having wept from this cork gasket. I found that there was still enough of the oil left to do its job though, all she needed was a thorough clean and removal of the oil that had migrated inside the machine.

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Always a good idea to lubricate hinges on these decks too, and any deck for that matter.

11 thoughts on “Kenwood KD-2055 Belt-Drive Turntable Repair”

  1. Hello there, I have one gifted to me and I decided to gave it an overhaul as it was in really bad condition (power cable cut, RCA cables cut and other stuff). So far I managed to fix the auto return mechanism and soldered new power cable as well as RCA cable. Got new belt and new stylus Phanstiehl 629-DE (temporary) until I decide which cartridge to install (Grado G1 with Grado Green or Grado G2 with 8MZ or entirely something else).

    Where I got stuck is which oil I have to use for spindle and what to use for motor? Can you share what oil you used? (I am located in Canada assuming the oil market is very similar)

    Also have a slight problem with speed as it is just a bit faster. I got one FRB-25 and an FRB-27.3 and it runs more accurate with FRB-25 belt. It is too fast with FRB-27.3 belt. Just also wondering if there is another belt I should try?

    Hope to get some help as it is my first time doing something like this.

    You did excellent job there!

    Greetings from Canada!

    1. Hi Rado, thanks for commenting and glad you are enjoying the site. I don’t have a 2055 in front of me which makes it harder, but from memory, these have a grease bearing. I use special synthetic oils and greases, if it is a grease bearing, you need to use a thin, low friction grease, preferably PTFE based. For the motor, a lightweight machine oil works well, synthetic is nice. In terms of belts, I stock a wide range of sizes specced by belt size parameters, not retail parts with the part numbers you use here, so I cannot help with that. I suggest you buy a belt from a reputable source though (ie not eBay!) that is specified as being correct for the deck. It’s most important that the belt is not too tight.

  2. Thank you for the post. I’ve had a few 2055s and just recently, a 3055. How do you get the automatics working properly? That seems to be the main thing I have seen go wrong with these.

    1. Hi Byron, thanks for the comment and my pleasure re the post. There is no simple answer to your question unfortunately, it would take a few pages of trying to describe how I go through each of the deck mechanisms and clean, lubricate and adjust each bit. Often the clearances are out, foam degenerates, things become stuck and so on. It then comes down to experience and feel in working your way through the various parts to get them all running smoothly again. Much easier to show than describe!

  3. Hi Mike,

    Very interesting post. I was able to buy one of these gems for 30€. Needed a little bit of cleaning and a new belt, and it was running again.
    One thing although concerns me a little:
    The tonearm seems to be little sloppy at the base. You can hear a little rattling when moving it. I found just one post in another forum which also states some slackness in the base of the arm. So i wonder if it is “normal” with these decks.
    Movement of the arm is normal (no friction), and also the antiskating seems to work. I also could not see any issues, when inspecting it a little closer . I was not able to find any screws to adjust for the slackness. I am more familiar with the Technics tonearms, which work differently. A tolerance like this on a technics arm would definitely be unusual.
    May I ask you how your tonearms feels with regard to the tonarm base slackness? can you feel any tollerance when wiggeling the arm?

    Greetings from the other side of the world.

    tom

    1. Hi Tom, thanks for your comment. Like almost all of the gear you see here, this was a customer deck and perhaps a thousand or more repairs ago, so I can’t recall exactly, but some freeplay here is quite normal. I’ve worked on another couple of these since then and there is always some freeplay in the arm bearings. Adjustment is possible, but generally not advisable from an end-user perspective, so I would just continue to use and enjoy the old girl! These are great decks and improve considerably with better cartridges, so this a something to consider.

  4. Thanks for the reply sir! I’m fairly sure it’s an issue inside the player’s grounding points or possibly the power supply is going bad. I’ve done everything I can on the outside in alternative earthing techniques so I’m going to turn it over to a professional in my area as I’m barely an apprentice+ level speaker builder … the inside of this “fairly simple” turntable design is too intimidating & far too tiny for me to explore any further with my fat fingers.

  5. Hi Mike, I love your site! I’ve recently acquired one of these turntables & am having trouble banishing some hum & motor noise. In the picture of the underside I notice a grounding point with a green wire that mine doesn’t seem to have. Was this a fix for grounding issues you did to this table or do you have any suggestions for me to try otherwise? Thanks & keep up the awesome work & pictures!!

    1. Hi Tim, thank you for the kind words! The earthing wire was already there, but you will find regional variations with all electronic equipment, depending on local earthing and other safety requirements. It certainly can help to have an earth reference with a deck like this, so by all means experiment a little, but just be careful. Something in the signal chain should be mains earthed, so experiment with your preamp and the connection between it and the turntable, this is often where ground loops and hum can become problematic. You’ll also want to establish whether it is hum or motor noise, as the solutions are quite different. Cheers, Mike.

  6. Love reading of these restoration gigs. I had completely forgotten about the marble Kenwoods and what objects of desire they were, way back in my youth. Now I can afford one, and I just have to be patient until one appears on the market in restore-worthy condition! You didn’t mention what cartridge you replaced the nasty one with, on the KP-2055. I would guess an Ortofon 2M once again? With their middle-ground weight, moderate tracking force, and moderate compliance, they seem to be ‘about right’ for most arms.

    1. Hi Selwyn, glad you are enjoying the blog! Yes the ARCB Kenwoods really are excellent and I get to work on quite a few of them. I can’t recall what cartridge I installed on this one as the actual repair was a while ago, but you are correct about the 2M range and I fit a lot of them. Regards, Mike.

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