Kenwood, KA-8300 Integrated Amp "Incredible Vintage Time Capsule"
Without question, one of the coolest pieces of audio gear we've offered here at HHA is this 1975 Kenwood integrated amplifer, the KA-8300. Kenwood’s not typically a brand associated with hi-fi now, but back in the day they built some real beasts. And beastly the ‘8300 is, weighing in at 35 pounds. It looks and feels like Kenwood had something to prove with this unit. Power is 80W RMS per channel into 8Ω with 0.1% THD rated from 20Hz to 40kHz. That power rating, being from ’75, is surely conservative. It can also handle 4Ω or 16Ω speakers too, which is somewhat unusual for this time period. The most obvious distinguishing features of the amp are those sweet-looking meters on the front. Watching these is a pleasurable novelty and has actually taught us a bit about the amount of wattage required for typical listening levels by these vintage pieces…not much! There is a toggle button which swaps the meter range between 3W and 100W. This switch is almost always left on 3W if you want to see the needles bump at all. That surprised us as just how little power is actually used for most listening.
The KA-8300 has pre-amp outputs which can be used simultaneously with the speaker outputs if you want. Perhaps the most useful feature on this unit are the turnover controls, which are 3-position levers that affect the frequency of the “bass” and “treble” tone knobs. Having the option to move those frequencies around actually makes quite a difference in the usefulness of the bass/treble knobs since it allows the user to tailor the controls to match the speakers being driven. Similarly, the “Loudness” EQ adjustment (which boosts highs/lows for better listening at quiet volumes) has two settings.
This integrated is spectacular in every way. Rarely do we come across a piece that has been so well taken care of. I mean painstaking so. It's been totally gone through here by Master Tech, Chuck S and he gives it high praises and after a few hours on the bench, is now back to spec and playing gloriously. Just an amazing time capsule piece.
Come have a listen here at the Lawrence shop or purchase with confidence here on the HHA site.
Kenwood, KA-8300 Integrated Amplifier: $799 + applicable sales tax