Stefano Pasini





In April 2020, during the isolation period, I decided to expand my collection of classic tuners; having bought a Sansui TU-717 and a T-80, I wanted something different. I have read lots of very positive reviews about the higher-quality Kenwoods, so I bought a nearly mint 1983 Kenwood KT-1100

The dial of the KT-1100 is very nice, and its mixed analogic/digital display reminds me of my 1978 Sansui T-80. The Kenwood is much better built, though

From the excellent site fmtunerinfo
"Kenwood KT-1100 (1983, silver, black)
The KT-1100 is believed to have been originally sold only in Europe and Japan. The KT-1100 has 5 gangs for FM and 4 ceramic filters, and 3 gangs for AM. Our contributor Peter tells us: "Looking at the schematics, the circuitry is fairly advanced. More functions are implemented using integrated circuits than in the KT-917, like the pulse count detector and sample-and-hold stereo decoder (which samples at four different phase angles). Audio low pass filters are Sallen-Key filters using op-amps, and not any LC filters. As usual, several capacitors and op-amps in the audio path should be replaced and the path simplified or shortened. The wide IF mode uses two identical ceramic filters, and in the narrow mode two more filters are added (another type with narrow bandwidth). All the ceramic filters should be easily replaceable. The tuner's sensitivity is among the very best, the selectivity is good in the narrow setting and very wide in the wide setting. The frequency counter is helpful but could use some trimming to be optimized. For a non-modified unit, the audio is smooth and 3-dimensional with promising low-level resolution, but compared to my modified KT-917, there is some treble smearing, most likely due to the less than optimum capacitors in the audio path and phase shift from the low-pass filters. Bass is rather OK, but could benefit from more dynamics and extension. One positive surprise is the AM section, which clearly has more than average sensitivity, and if the signal is good enough, selectable IF bandwidth and usable AM tuning meter (like the Sansui TU-X1) which adds to the usual signal level meter. The KT-1100 is a completely different tuner than the KT-1100SD, of which I have a modified unit." Our contributor Stephan reports that two "MX" ceramic filters (250 kHz GDT) are used in Wide mode and two "J" filters (150 kHz) are added for Narrow. The KT-1100 is fairly common on eBay-Germany but very rare on eBay-U.S.

The KT-1100 has a peculiar-looking, very neat front panel with the essential instruments and several controls that confirms its status as a high-level machine; the variable muting is something very hard to find even on more expensive machines

The rear of the KT-1100 shows that Kenwood is serious about its tuners. The 'Multipath' output can be used with an oscilloscope to set up your antenna so you can obtain the best possible quality; the 'De-emphasis' switch is useful only for people carrying their 1100 from the US side of the Atlantic (75 ms) to Europe (50 ms), but the fixed/variable output is a nice touch. The only thing that I'm missing here is a double antenna input

The interior of the KT-1100 shows how good these Kenwood tuners are. One must not forget that a KT-1100 cost no less than 1.000 Deutsche Marks when new, a lot of money
The double frequency display, analogic and digital, was a passing fad of the 1977-1980 years (see also my Sansui T-80) but it's nevertheless nice to look at

Allgemein Data Kenwood KT-1100

Hersteller: Trio Kenwood Corporation
Modell: KT-1100
Typ: Tuner
Baujahre: 1983 - 1985
Hergestellt in: Japan
Farbe: Schwarz, Silber
Leistungsaufnahme: 120/220V-50/60Hz-17 Watt
Abmessungen (BxHxT): 440 x 111 x 337 mm
Gewicht: 5,7 kg
Neupreis ca.: 1'000 DM


Anzahl der Ausgänge: 3 Cinch
1x fest,
1x regelbar,
1x Multipath (für Oszilloskop)
Anzahl der Eingänge: 2
75Ohm-Antenne (FM),
300Ohm-Antenne (AM) auch für mitgelieferte Rahmenantenne

Technische Daten

Empfang: FM / AM
empfangbare Frequenzen:
FM: 87,5MHz -108MHz (Ukw)
AM: 531kHz - 1611kHz (MW)
Frequenzgang: 15Hz - 15kHz (±0,5 dB)
Mono: 0,7 µV (S/N 26dB, 40kHz Hub)
Stereo: 25,0 µV (S/N 46dB, 46kHz Hub)
Eingangsempfindlichkeit bei 50dB (IHF) mono: 1,8 µV
Mono: 0,04% (1kHz, 40kHz Hub)
Stereo: 0,08% (1kHz, 46kHz Hub)
Signalrauschabstand: Mono/Stereo: 85/80dB (bewertet n. IEC-A)
Stereo-Kanaltrennung: Stereo: 55dB, 1kHz (46kHz Hub, 1mV)
Trennschärfe: 75dB (300kHz, 20dB)
Gleichwellenselektion: 0,8dB
Nebenwellenselektion: 120dB
Spiegelfrequenzdämpfung: 90dB
ZF-Dämpfung: 110dB
Eingangsempfindlichkeit: 9µV (S/N 20dB) bzw. 180µV/m
Signalrauschabstand: 55dB (bei 1mV)
Spiegelfrequenzdämpfung: 70dB
Klirrfaktor 0,2%
Trennschärfe 35dB / 70dB (Wide/Narrow)
Ausgangspegel FM (1kHz, 100% Modulation)
am nicht regelbaren Anschluss 0,75V / 2,2kOhm
am regelbaren Anschluss 0 ... 1,5V / 2,2kOhm

Besondere Ausstattungen

5-Gang-Analog-Tuner für FM
3-Gang-Analog-Tuner für AM
2 Zwischenfrequenzen für FM (10,7MHz und 1,9653 MHz), Doppelsuper
Umschaltbare Zwischenfrequenzbandbreite (Wide / Narrow) für FM und AM
Abschaltbare Ukw-Vorverstärkerstufe
Anzeigeinstrumente für Signalstärke und Kanalmitte bei FM und AM
Digitaler Frequenzzähler zusätzlich zur Analog-Skala
Messtongenerator zur Aufnahme-Aussteuerungseinstellung
Abnehmbare Rahmenantenne für AM
The KT-1100 can be considered the 'little brother' of the almost mythical L-02T (also 1982, above), sadly nearly impossible to find, and you find one, absurdly expensive. It's also very similar (almost the same machine, in fact) to the Japan-only, 76-90 Mhz L-07T

One musn't forget the extraordinary HAM transmitter/receivers that are the foundations of Kenwood's reputation. Part of the experience gathered while developing those machines surely trickled down in their FM tuners

Other splendid Kenwood hi-end tuners

Kenwood is one of the most respected names in radio communication equipment, and its high-end tuners show how much experience they have in designing high performance stereo FM receivers. This is an L-01T (1979)
 Kenwood high-end tuners

L-02T (1982). Allegedly one of the best FM tuners ever built, and very much sought after today
Kenwood high-end tuners

L-02T Pro (1982). Please note the Ham-style tuning knob
 Kenwood high-end tuners

Kenwood L-03T (1983). It is very similar to my KT-1100, but it's a Japan-only machine
 Kenwood high-end tuners

Kenwood's Ballempfaenger?  L-03Pro (1984), allegedly used only in professional broadcast stations and airport communication systems

Sansui Tuners




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