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Kenwood KA-5700

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


Picked myself up a Kenwood KS-5700 today and just thought i'd give my opinion on it incase any of you might be thinking about getting one yourself. First of all, i do not use it just to power my AKG AK240s, i have a pair of Polk Rti A3s on the way which will be the main thing the KA will power. But seeing as how i do not have the speakers yet, its going to spend about a week simply as a headphone amp. 


First Impressions:

After listing to a a few albums (The Fray's How to Save a Life, Notorious BIG's Ready to Die Remastered, Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon), i find i really like the signature of the KA. It's quite warm, but still is detailed and layered. Lows are very warm/smooth, not to overbearing. Mids are excellent, they are sooooo warm and have a certain life to them. Highs are nice, not harsh, just a tad on the bright side, if that. 


The one gripe i have with the KA is that i wish it had a bit larger of a soundstage. Thats not to say it has none, i just prefer mine to be very, almost comically, wide. The KA does provide an accurate soundstage however, just not as wide as i'd prefer. 


Cannot wait to get my Polks here so i can hear how they sound. I'll post an update once i get them in and give it a solid listening session.  Shoot me any questions you have on it, i'm here to answer. 


General Specs:

Made in 1978


40 RMS watts per channel

< 0.04 distortion



post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Edited by xmarc303 - 8/30/13 at 9:08pm
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
post #5 of 14

I'm a bit late to the conversation here, but I just snagged one of these myself and am anxiously waiting for it to arrive! I plan on using it as a headphone amp as well, with my K240 Sextett, K340 (possibly out of the speaker outputs) and HD 600. I don't own any decent speakers yet, but I like the idea of being able to simply add those later, as well as having a halfway decent phono stage for my less than decent turntable.


I'm glad to hear you enjoy the signature; I have heard from other sources that it has a warmer/darker signature which is generally what I enjoy.


Thanks for your input and time taken adding some pictures; looks like you found one in great shape!


Cheers :beerchug:

post #6 of 14
Own two of them. Got them last April within a week of each other, one from craigslist and another from a second hand store. Love them.

I use one as my main head Fi system fed via an iPhone 4--->NuForce iDo DAC--->amp, usually with my TH900's, D7000's or D2000's.

There's a thread just for us vintage amp guys called "calling all integrated and receiver amp owners" or something like that. Come on over, post up and show your new toy!

Congrats on he Kenwood.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Seeing as how this thread has gotten some recent attention, I thought it best to give a quick update on how my 5700 has been doing:


The sound is just as good as when I got it. Still very warm while providing excellent detail. I have also been able to use my RTi-A3's with it now, and those sound awesome. Makes you believe you have it hooked up to some tower speakers, not bookshelves. Got a Technics SL-6 turntable as well which lets me now listen to my vinyl collection, which I think, sounds even better. Gives the music some life. I have truly put it through its paces as well, having used it for 7+ hours one day non-stopped, it never faltered. I am planning on getting some new headphones soon (k702 hopefully) and hope that the 5700 makes them sing. 


P.S. My set up is as follows:

Macbook Pro (playing FLAC) - Schiit Modi - Kenwood 5700

post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post

There's a thread just for us vintage amp guys called "calling all integrated and receiver amp owners" or something like that. Come on over, post up and show your new toy!

Congrats on the Kenwood.


Thanks! I will definitely come over and check things out.


Originally Posted by xmarc303 View Post

The sound is just as good as when I got it. Still very warm while providing excellent detail. I have also been able to use my RTi-A3's with it now, and those sound awesome. Makes you believe you have it hooked up to some tower speakers, not bookshelves. 


Those RTI-A3's look nice; too bad I'll be waiting awhile to add some decent bookshelf speakers :( Glad to hear the 5700 performs admirably with them though.


As mentioned I will mainly be using mine as a headphone amp at work (as a high-power SS alternative to my WA3) where my path will be MacBook Pro (ALAC/Spotify 320kbps) --> Avid MBox 3 Pro --> KA-5700. I'll let you know how it performs with my various headphones.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 



Thought I would give a quick update on how things are going. The 5700 is still running strong, but the right side meter needs rest/fixed. Had a friend fall and they stuck out there had to brace and ended up smacking the Kenwood pretty hard. Runs fine and sounds fine, but the little meter needs some love now. Am thinking about upgrading my headphones soon, and would be interested in hearing if anyone has experience with the Senn HD6XX series paired with the 5700 (looking at you, westermac) or AKG Q701. I know the both need a well-paired amp in order for them to be at the top of their game. I can't imagine that the 5700 wouldn't have more then enough power to drive both to unbearable audio levels, but it can't hurt to ask.


As for the A3's, they are still the best speakers I have ever listened to. They have become slightly more warm now that they have fully settled, and I couldn't be happier. When the first big cord of Radiohead's "The Bends" hits, it comes across so full and inviting. Hard to turn off. 


The biggest surprise, I have found, is how well the amp and AKGs handle movies. Even with just a 2 channel output, I can pick up the finest of details in background noise, but it does not overpower. The imagining is so precises, I find I almost don't even miss 5.1......almost. 


Again, if anyone can give me some input on how well the Senns or AKG will pair with the 5700, I'd appreciate it. 


Cheers mates

post #10 of 14

Hey xmarc, you've awoken me from my slumber (I've ducked out of head-fi for awhile as my wallet couldn't keep up with my fascination!).


I am still using the KA5700 on a regular basis at work, and ultimately ended up selling my Woo WA3 as the 5700 to my ears sounded 95% as good (a tad less refined and detailed) for a fraction of a the price, with the added tone control for when a specific album calls for something different. I finally settled on a MP Sextett that hits the spot for me, and while I still enjoy the K340 I will be selling them since I find the mids too recessed for my taste (in spite of this being their strong point), whereas the Sextett brings them forward nicely without obscuring their thumping lows and smooth highs. I have been using the Sextetts for classic rock and anything electric guitar and bass heavy, and the HD600 for everything else.


To address your question, I find the HD600 to pair very well with the KA5700 (it drives them with ease, I rarely go past 9 o'clock), especially with regards to tone control. The HD600 excels at reproducing the recording in such a natural and believable manner, but sometimes when the recording just calls for a little extra warmth or a little more sparkle, the 5700 does a splendid job of fitting the bill. As far as the K7xx is concerned, I cannot comment from experience since I have only dealt with vintage AKG's, but from my research here and elsewhere I concluded that they would be too sterile for my taste.


Glad you are enjoying the A3's, unfortunately I'm still not in a position to try out some speakers with this bad boy. Seems like such a shame to limit a wonderful integrated amp to just headphones. 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 



Awesome to hear that the 600s pair well. I think I've decided to go ahead and get a pair of them or the 650 (whichever I find has the better deal). I love my 240s still, but after 2 years, I feel it's time to add to the collection. I really do appreciate your feedback mate. Few are in our position.



post #12 of 14

Hi Guys, I own 5 vintage Kenwoods and when I saw this thread, I just had to mention that if you think you love your Kenny now, you should reallllly consider doing a "re-cap" on it, what I mean is replace the electrolytic capacitors through the whole amp. I originally just planned to do this process to only one, but when the veil was lifted on the sound afterward I started in on all of them and its just amazing the difference it makes. The guys over at AudioKarma have compiled lists of what you would need to order and from where, also if your not electronically inclined to do it yourself, its totally worth having it done at a shop IMHO. I still don't understand how a 2 channel amp can produce sounds that seem to be coming from behind you but post re-cap. i experienced that for the first time and the meaning of "3D sound" actually made sense, it really is that big of a difference. Just trying to pass along some audio joy! 

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I took Darqnez advice last month and had my 5700 recapped, for it was going in anyways to get its broken volume knob replaced (my fault:(). I would agree with the generally consensus around here that it does seem to "lift the veil". What I found to be different, specifically, was the bass seem much tighter/less boomy, and it made the upper miss, low highs more forward (a bit brighter I guess). Sound stage seems to be slightly wider as well. Overall, I am very happy with the re-capping!

post #14 of 14



Brand new to the site and saw this thread, thought I would put my two sense in!


I purchased my KA 5700 from Craigslist and coupled it with a pair of OHM L2 (Yes, original) bookshelf speakers.  This is not my main system, but one I am using for reinforcement with my daily, non critical listening, like when I am cleaning or puttering about the apartment, and when I am watching movies.  I have never really been a big "surround sound" type guy, so this setup is more of a vintage "sound-bar" than anything else for TV watching.


I do find myself enjoying the warmth of this set up more than anything else.  The mids are unwavering, the bass is tight and not boomy (which I am sure my neighbors appreciate) and the highs are not shrill.  I find the look of the front of this amp to be one of elegant simplicity.  I have always felt the mark of a good speaker is when the speaker "disappears" or the sound appears to come from other sources.  The Ohm L2's with this clean, low distortion vintage amp accomplish this very nicely indeed.


On the headphone listening side of things, I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 414's (Anniversary edition) that sound absolutely immense with this vintage amp!  I listen to a lot of jazz, and this combination "puts you there". There are details that are revealed with every listen, and theses are with recordings I am very familiar with.  My 414's are my pride and joy, have been since I bought an original pair as a teenager.


Nice site!  Will read regularly and visit!  Thanks!

Edited by Jazzerman2010 - 10/29/16 at 7:42pm
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