The Legendary Kenwood KD-600 Playing Vintage Vinyl

Here a few images of my Kenwood KD-600 direct-drive turntable, spinning records from my collection.

The Kenwood KD-600 direct-drive turntable is an absolute classic, highly sought after and well worth keeping an eye out for. Much has been written about the fabulous KD-600, like this, this and this for example.

I got my KD-600 from her original owner, with an included and gorgeous SME Series Three tonearm, which I still own. I have written about the KD-600/KD-650 and her slightly less interesting, but still very capable sibling, the KD-500/KD-550, here.

These Kenwood turntables are all superb, but the KD-600/KD-650 are the real gems in my opinion. If you are on the lookout for a really superb direct-drive turntable, you can’t go past one of these, if you can find one!

I had a few very relaxing drinks as I shot these images. Check out the PDF brochure of the KD-600 at the bottom of this post!

Specifications

Drive: quartz PLL direct-drive system
Motor: 20-pole 30 slot brushless DC servo motor
Platter: 33cm, 2.6kg aluminium alloy die-cast
Speeds: 33.33 and 45rpm
Wow and flutter: less than 0.025% WRMS
Signal to noise ratio: more than -75dB
Dimensions: 490 x 165 x 460mm
Weight: 14.4kg

IMG 22013
This my gorgeous Kenwood KD-600. Note the record puck (approx 1 kg) plus the super rare Kenwood TS-10 ceramic turntable sheet (also approx 1 kg). I purchased the TS-10 as new old stock.
IMG 22032
Close up of quartz-lock indicator. Even hauling 2 kg of extra rotating mass, plus the 3.5 kg machined aluminium platter, the KD-600 spins up to 33 rpm in less than one complete rotation! tops in less than one also, thanks to regenerative braking.
IMG 22042
This is my lovely Ortofon MC Jubilee cartridge, released as a special commemorative edition. It features a boron cantilever and nude Shibata gem, glued to the end. It is amazing under a ‘scope!
IMG 22055
I kept the original SME Series 3 ultra-low mass arm, though it is rewired with silver all the way. I removed it to try this Jelco arm, however, and just never got back to replacing her. The Jelco does very well here and allows me to use the MC Jubilee, which the SME would not, due to its low mass and the resultant resonant arm-cartridge frequency being too high. The SME needs a compliant cart, not a stiffly sprung cart like the Jubilee.
IMG 22063
You can’t beat synthetic granite composite for a chassis – what an inspired move by the Kenwood engineers, quite a technological and engineering coup, back in the day. These days they couldn’t afford to even commission the making of the synthetic composite, let alone build an affordable deck from it!

Here is a wonderful PDF brochure with all the geek-out features of the KD-600: kenwood_kd600_650_flyer

Don’t forget, if you’d like me to set up and service your Kenwood KD-600 or KD-650, get in touch!

Liquid Mike

As a kid, I cherished my Tandy 200-in-1 electronics project lab, Dick Smith electronics kits, my Dad's hi-fi and my own first proper system. Later, I created Liquid Audio to help keep classic hi-fi gear alive and well. Our mission: to deliver TLC for classic Japanese, American and European hi-fi stereo equipment.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. danilo

    LINDO TOCA DISCO NÃO SE FAZEM MAIS OBRAS DE ARTE COM ANTES TEMPOS ATRAS DE 1975 A 1998.

    1. Mike

      In English by any chance..?

  2. Hans

    Hi Mike
    Read about the Kenwood KD-600 and found my old one in my parents basement…nice !! But after a few records it went crazy and started turning the wrong way at full speed – was afraid it would lift off….
    Asked around to find solution and read most of Google findings – no help. Do you have any suggestion on why and how to fix?
    Thanks
    Hans

    1. Mike

      Hi Hans, great work in finding the old KD-600. Almost impossible for me to say what’s wrong without getting my hands on her unfortunately. Sounds like a logic fault perhaps…

      1. Hans

        Hi Mike,
        Okey – I had hoped you could give me a better hint to what is wrong but fair enough – you would need to have a real look inside. If you get near Copenhagen some day please remember to bring your screwdriver 😉
        Nice site by the way!
        Best
        Hans

        1. Mike

          Thanks Hans and glad you like the site. I don’t find it helpful to speculate in relation to faults, with some gear you can but equipment like this is complex and investigation is always the best approach. Cheers, Mike

  3. Dave

    Hi Hans, my KD-650 is in mint condition and in great working order. My only issue is with an almost inaudible ticking sound when the platter is spinning. I can only hear it if a put my ear next to the turntable. Tick-tick-tick-tick… Is this normal? Thank you for your help.

    1. Liquid Mike

      Hi Dave, it’s Mike by the way and no, this sound is not normal. These decks have quite complex control circuitry and this needs adjustment periodically. When out of adjustment, some noise may be present, I frequently repair and service these decks if you are here in Perth, or not too far away!

Feel free to leave a comment and if you'd like advice or a booking, visit our Contact page!