My friend recently reached out and asked if I could help clean up his Dad’s audio gear. I agreed but didn’t realize they would all be Kenwood units. His Dad had one Kenwood KR-4600 and two Kenwood KR-5600s!
I was familiar with the Kenwood KR-5600 after having bought one on Facebook Marketplace last year. I got it home, plugged it up and it wasn’t playing correctly and the audio kept fading in and out on the phono and aux inputs. I took the top off and cleaned the pots but it didn’t do any good. I put the unit away and decided to deal with it another time.
When my friend’s Kenwoods arrived, I noticed two of the three were doing the same thing as my unit and knew it had to be a cleaning issue. I finally got them all cleaned up properly and here is what I did…
First, removing the top of the unit allows access to certain pots and switches that need to be cleaned just like you would any other receiver. Do that first. I found the mono switch needed a lot of cleaning to ensure the audio would not drop out of one channel when playing in stereo.
Second, the input selector and tape monitor pots are the hardest to clean on this unit. Why? If you remove the bottom plate on the unit, you will see long poles that extend from the front of the unit to the rear. I was unaware the preamp board is actually on the rear of the unit!
If you reference the manual online, it will show you which screws you need to remove to access the preamp board. I didn’t remove the preamp board. I was able to pull the entire back of the unit out just enough to see the two pots that needed to be cleaned. I sprayed DeOxit in those open areas and then reassembled the back to the poles that connect to the switches on the front so I could easily turn them back and forth for further cleaning.
Also, note the input selector switch has another area where you can spray Deoxit at the front of the switch for even deeper cleaning. I missed this the first time. The tape input selector does not.
After getting all those areas sprayed and cleaned, the units started working properly again.
If you like vintage audio, keep an eye for these Kenwood models. They sound great and have wonderful tuner sections if you like listening to FM. They also have two phono inputs if you’re like me and have multiple turntables. Everyone is overpaying for Marantz, Pioneer and Sansui but a solid Kenwood like this will sound just as great for a fraction of the price!