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Feeling some KA-3500 nostalgia

Discussion in 'Kenwood-Trio/Kensonic-Accuphase' started by Eywadude, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,133
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I just wanted to ask you folks about what your thoughts are on the KA-3500 integrated? Technically, this was my first acquisition for my first stereo setup, along with the matching KT-5500 tuner. I scored them for free during a moving job when I was 19, but the KA-3500 was D.O.A. when I finally got the speakers I wanted. :( I then wound up with a Luxman L-30 instead. Long story, but that's beside the point.

    For nostalgia sake, I was thinking of getting a KA-3500 again. I always liked the look of it and kind of regretted selling it at a garage sale after it was dead (I was 19, poor and stupid at the time - I didn't know better).

    But what do you guys think of the KA-3500? Is it any good? Is it worth owning? How does it compare with other Kenwood models? Nostalgia is one thing, but sound quality is important too. What say you?

    Cheers.

    [​IMG]
     

     

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  2. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    kenwood61 and Eywadude like this.
  3. hopjohn

    hopjohn Silver Face Subscriber

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    I own and enjoy the KA-5500 and it's said to have basically the same power amp design (55 vs. 40W/ch) so I'd assume they sound pretty similar. The positives are that these are very hardy amps, and don't have much for weaknesses outside the typical power switch problems many Kenwood's experience. It lacks a protection relay so that circuit can't go bad, but also doesn't do for your speakers in that department. The looks are terrific and in my opinion the best looking low end, integrated model that Kenwood ever made (beating out the 20W/Ch KA-3700). Like most of the lower end Kenwoods it doesn't have tone defeat so you're forced to run the signal through the whole of the tone amp. If it weren't for the KA-5500 I'd definitely own one. They are great value, and rather plentiful on the secondary market. Pair it with a wooden case and you've got a real keeper.
     
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  4. tusntuk2

    tusntuk2 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Arkansas, USA
    Great litle amp. I have restored a couple of these and I enjoy their sound. Working on another one as we speak. The 3500 seems to offer a bit more bass and low mid when compared, for example, to the 7100. Probably a marketing tool at the time designed to get more out of smaller speakers, but for whatever reason I like it. (Oh yeah, I was a bass player...) Many of us listen daily to efficient bookshelf sizes, and the amp shines in these with extra warmth and fullness. One of my favorite amps. Clean phono section.
     
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  5. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

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    6,533
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    It's a beautiful little amp. I picked one up for a few dollars several years ago and it not only looks fabulous, it is a great little performer.
     
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  6. neevo

    neevo Super Member

    Messages:
    1,426
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I use one in my second system that the TV runs through. Sounds great and powers my AR’s perfectly.

    I’m a Kenwood fan (have an 8100 in the main rig) and think they look fabulous.
     
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  7. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    ... an attractive little amplifier, as well.
     
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  8. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    Ontario, Canada
  9. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I didn't know Kenwoods had issues with power switches. My Yamaha CR-2020 is notorious for power switch failures too (I have a new one, need to install it). I know Sherwoods are known for their power switch failures as well. Is the Kenwood KA-3500 specifically known for power switch failures? Funny enough though, I saw a KA-3500 with a wood case for sale here recently and I had no idea they made cases for them. It looked pretty nice encased in wood and it kind of re-sparked my interest in it again. Thanks for your input! Cheers. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  10. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

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    Ha! Go figure. I guess there were enough of them made that there's bound to be at least someone working on at least one! :) I don't mind a little bit of a bass boost, as that can be trimmed back. I also have some speakers that are a little light in the bass department (but sound great otherwise) that might benefit from that kind of sound signature. In your estimation, what's the bass quality like? Is it controlled and not too boomy? Good to know about the phono section. I was wondering about that too. Cheers. :)
     
  11. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,133
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I'd have to agree, I think it looks great too. It's funny, I got to thinking and I remembered back when I briefly had the one I had when I was 19 and I actually didn't like the look of it, and thought it looked kind of stodgy looking at the time! lol When I sold it at the garage sale, I sold it as a non-working unit for $10. Some guy bought it as soon as I brought it out and was all over it like white on rice. He forked over the $10 and I vividly remember him walking away in a slightly hurried fashion, almost as if he'd stolen something. Internally, I was kind of like, 'Huh...' As soon as he handed me the $10 and was on his merry way, I knew I had made a mistake. Ever since that day though I regretted selling it and the looks grew on me. Now I really like the look of it and have for years. I always wondered what my first system would have sounded like if I had started with the Kenny instead of the Luxman. I literally just sold my first speakers (Mission M71s) from my very first system (they were just sitting around unused), so I guess I'll never know for sure. Oh well. I still got that KA-3500 itch to scratch, so I just may wind up with one. I certainly won't pass one up if one comes at me for a decent price! :)

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018

     

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  12. hopjohn

    hopjohn Silver Face Subscriber

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    No, not specifically. It's more prevalent on the more powerful units, particularly those with two transformers, and also those units with the rotary power switch like the KR-3090, KR-4070 etc.
     
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  13. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,133
    Location:
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    Cool, good to know. :thumbsup:
     
  14. gort69

    gort69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I had a beauty KA-3500 that I sold on BT a few months back with an equally nice wood case that went to hopjohn for his KA-5500. Neat amp for sure.

    IMG_0372.JPG

    Looks-wise it's from my favorite series - 3500, 5500, 7300 and 8300....

    ...plus one I'd love to stumble across some day, the Japanese market KA-9300 which is essentially a Supreme with different clothes.

    tsurukame2014-img1200x795-1507623862kf0k6n14810.jpg
     
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  15. Eywadude

    Eywadude Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,133
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    Yeah, that's a nice looking series for sure. And agreed, that KA-9300 is one serious piece of kit! Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018

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