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04-25-2008 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat

Boston, MA
Posts 9,722
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 7288
Reply to: 7288
Kenwood L-02T and the hype of FM tuners

I am not a person who understands a lot about tuners. I understand a lot about sound and in the tuner world I am just a user of the things. If I need comprehension of the things I ask questions, I have very limited ability to extrapolate the sound of the tuner based upon the study the circuitry of the tuner. At this mater I do not think that anyone else can do it as well. Others can judge about selectivity, sensitivity, noise and many other things looking at a tuner circuitry but no one can say anything useful about the sound of the thing.

Over the years, getting from one tuner to another I paid the side station to what the guys at Tuner Information Center were saying.


Agree I disagree with many of their point of view but they obviously have more familiarity with the field and I had a certain respect of what they say. Well, any of all know that women with whom you did not slept yet has an aura of attractiveness, the aura that might not be there after you spent a few nights with her. The same is with the Tuner guys. A few month ago what one of the site owner begin to ask like a retarget psycho it too mach reminded me personalities of many other audio morons that I am so much was exposed in past and so much hate. So, I demoted my respect that crowed and decided to try my own experiment with “better tuner”.

The Tuner Information Center guys dedicated a half space of their shutout section to glorify the Kenwood L-02T tuner. I was wondering if is any rational behind it besides the normal hysteria of the hobbyists. I asked my technical who specialties on tuner and he felt that Kenwood L-02T is a much compromised tuner that should not be consider seriously. I show the Kenwood seriously to Dima. I have to note that FM transmission is the Dima’s original specialties as he built the commercial FM equipment himself.  Dima feel that any generic tuner is a compromise as the right tuner should be custom-built for each radio station, taking under the consideration the specifics of the given station and the given reception. So, Dima, after looking at the Kenwood L-02T circuit informed me that some of the solutions that Kenwood implemented, partially in front end make it very interesting from operation stand point.  Surly he had no idea how the tuner would sound…

So, I bought Kenwood L-02T and spend a couple weeks with it. Because the Tuner Information Center’s cheerleading of the Kenwood L-02T the price for this unit went astronomical: nowadays it being sold for 3K-4K. My technician informed me that it was foolishness and if the price should have any relativity to the tuner performance then the price for Kenwood L-02T should be $300. After listening the Kenwood L-02T I testify that he was absolutely correct.

I would not call that sound of Kenwood L-02T as a horror.  It has OK sound in relation to any tuner that you might buy toad in Circuit City for $65. I call the Kenwood L-02T’s sound as table radio. The sound of Kenwood L-02T’s has no class, no class at all. The tuner has very good selectivity and less noise and work better with some “complex” stations. The advances in the Kenwood L-02T’s frond end are very obvious. However, those advances of reception do not manifest itself into better sound - L-02T, even at the best and noise-free reception, sounds quite primitive and uninteresting.

No matter how dreary Kenwood L-02T sound, it is nothing compare how this tuner sound what I switched in “Narrow” mode. In the Narrow Mode the Kenwood literally dies from a perspective of sound quality. Sound loosing the last residue of its intellectual and artistic value and become just air-shaking irritation.  Dima explains it with deepening use of the PLL circuitry that he feels is not suitable for sound at all…


Anyhow, I sold the Kenwood L-02T and I am making this post as a public warring. The Kenwood L-02T is not a serious and interning mashie as was promoted by Tuner Information Center. Yamaha T2, the $300 easily sounds way superior then Kenwood. The hype and the sensation of “forbidden misery” that the boys from the Tuner Information Center injected into this tuner are turned out to the subject of their imagination or perhaps ignorance. I do not know who those people are (I know that one of them is an idiot) but properly the guys with a pair of bookshelf speakers, PA amplifiers should not put themselves in position of tuner evaluations.   I am wringing it in response to numerous emails I got while I was selling my Kenwood L-02T. I go near 80 emails and many of them expressed admiration Kenwood L-02T, admitting that they never had a chance to hear this tuner. My collective response to all of them – the Kenwood L-02T is not a noble subject of a tuner wet dream. In some ways it is just a crappy sound tuner that was glorified and hyped by specific people at Tuner Information Center. Nothing more or less.

Rgs, Romy the caT

"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-25-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Posts 5
Joined on 11-25-2008

Post #: 2
Post ID: 8968
Reply to: 7288
All things relative....
Romy, all things being equal we all 'hear' differently.  I can not listen to a Pioneer tuner, others love them.  I've had so many tuners that
others have loved, but I just didn't like them...the list is too long to include, but trust me, if I outed them, they'd be upset cause then
they couldn't sell for what they paid!!  So the moral of the story is what's good to your ears may not be good for mine...although I've never
heard the Kenwood, I wouldn't pay the money for it, as I also haven't heard a Kenwood that I think 'sounds' good, IMHO.

I personally love the Sansui's, all the way down to the TU-517, and including the often dissed TU-719, which I think stock beats the pants
off of a TU-717, and I've never had a problem with the quartz-lock.

Also like the Rotel RHT-10 'michi', the best digital ever full of Black gates...the TU-9900 is a great DX'er, but even modded it can't approach
the TU-919, TU-719 or TU-X1.

My favorite sleeper is the Mitsubish DA-F20, kind of funky looking, but it can be a giant killer with a little work under the hood.


08-17-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree

Behind The Sun
Posts 234
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 3
Post ID: 11451
Reply to: 8968
Good reception...inferior Sound
Interesting report from Romy, I got identical results with different units...
some years ago I was a real tuner freak, had 4 at the same time, all started with "recommendations" about those reference Tuners. I had not all, but a few.... For example the Swiss Revox units, or Onkyos 9900 (or 9990?)
At the beginning I was fascinated to get "free" music from all over, I used big antennas etc.... but at the end of day, I discovered that all of them are sharp and thin in sound. really horrible. And when I had discussions about that with Tuner "specialists" they had absolutely no idea from what I was talking. And this didn't change 15 years later.
Then I was looking for good soundings tuners and all recommendations showed: Naim. The 01 or better the 101 Ok, good sound but deaf like an old horse. No chance to find more than 10 stations which worked fine thru it. I used them for cable then.
The I started with Magnum Dynalab and got the 108. Not a wonder but I was able to live it. I was able to listen to it without getting depressions about Ear Cancer. It was made from Breunig (?), a German engineer who was working for SABA. They made quite good products but don't exist anymore. Well, I stopped that, one of my buddies told me I should go for these Rhode & Schwarz tuners, and I believe they are really good. But they are rare and expensive. and to get those Stereo decoders are similar to a piece of gold in weight...
Too expensive to listen to that brainless blah-blah from those Radio guys.
And when I ask today in forums about good soundings Tuners I get the same brainless "recommendations" I got 10 years ago. And all show me the results of "this" Tuner page. I agree with Romy totally.
Really frustrating.

Kind Regards
Page 1 of 1 (3 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Where the FM quality comes from?..  Freaking ridicules…...  Off Air Audio Forum     22  148843  11-02-2005
  »  New  Sansui TU-X1 Broadcast monitor...  "Bounce"...  Off Air Audio Forum     55  381297  06-20-2007
  »  New  Where are our good Tuners?..  Ok, it did clear the things up....  Off Air Audio Forum     43  322750  03-31-2008
  »  New  A tube tuner? REL Precedent 646C..  REL Precedent Report...  Off Air Audio Forum     24  211981  07-28-2008
  »  New  Forward in the past with old radios...  Kitchen radio as a source of immense pleasure....  Off Air Audio Forum     18  120772  01-21-2011
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