Need suggestions for the best cartridge match for a Kenwood KD-550 tonearm.... - diyAudio
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Old 22nd September 2009, 03:56 AM   #1
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Default Need suggestions for the best cartridge match for a Kenwood KD-550 tonearm....

Hello guys!

Special thanks to directdriver for his positve ID of the mystery tonearm!

Now to the heart of the matter, I am soliciting opinions as to what is the best cartridge match for a Kenwood KD-550 tone arm mated with a 1962 Empire TT.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 22nd September 2009, 04:41 AM   #2
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Default Tonearm specs...

Here are some specs I was able to dig up on the tonearm:

Effective length; 237 mm

Overhang: 15 mm

Stylus presure range: 0-4 gm

Usable cartridge range: 5-12 gm

Dimensions: 502x382x162 mm

Wieght: 15.5 gm

Here are some pics:
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File Type: jpg Armtwo.jpg (27.1 KB, 135 views)
File Type: jpg Armone.jpg (25.3 KB, 129 views)
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Old 22nd September 2009, 05:53 AM   #3
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Judging by the way your arm is mounted on the Empire 208, you cannot treat the Kenwood arm effective length at 237mm. The Empire stock arm's effective length is 228.6mm (9") and since the Kenwood arm is mounted dead center in hole, it is acting just like the Empire arm because you are not changing the spindle to pivot distance, which is 210.4mm and Empire overhang is 18.2mm.

Unless you file the hole bigger and shift the Kenwood arm farther away from the spindle to make the spindle to pivot distance to be 222mm. There's about 11mm mounting difference between the Empire arm and Kenwood arm. Since the Kenwood arm is mounted like the Empire arm, you have to treat the Kenwood arm geometry like the Empire arm. In practice, you either have to shift the cartridge further back about 11mm from where it supposed to be to similar the Empire geometry or you have to shift the arm base by 11mm to fully match the Kenwood arm geometry.

In plain English, don't use the Kenwood geometry because the way it is mounted right now unless you modified the Empire chassis.

Link to further detail on the topic of arm geometry:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=70898.0
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Old 22nd September 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default options for mounting...

I agree with directdriverregarding options. There is however another option that can work: Replace the headshell with a new one of a similar design, but "hack out" everything beyond the 1/2" centered mounting slots/holes, and create a plate to put on top of it. That way you can adjust (easily) the angle and mounting distance, without altering an original arm, or an old Empire (you suck, 'cause I've always wanted one).
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File Type: jpg headshell options.jpg (54.3 KB, 119 views)
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Old 22nd September 2009, 02:50 PM   #5
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For comparison of the Empire & Kenwood tonearms and use accordingly.

EFFECTIVE LENGTH ------------ Empire = 228.6 mm ----- Kenwood = 237 mm

OVERHANG -------------------- Empire = 18.2 mm ------ Kenwood = 15.0 mm

SPINDLE TO PIVOT DISTANCE -- Empire = 210.4 mm ----- Kenwood = 222 mm
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Old 22nd September 2009, 04:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directdriver View Post

In plain English, don't use the Kenwood geometry because the way it is mounted right now unless you modified the Empire chassis.
When we were selling these new, we would always set up the cartridge using the Dennesson protractor. None of the Japanese arms had a geometry that allowed us to mount the cartridge without a bit of twist in the headshell, or sometimes even a need to file the slots to allow us to move the cartridge further back or forward.

dave
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Old 22nd September 2009, 10:04 PM   #7
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default er...directdriver, where you get those specs?

as the title of my response states, where'd ya get those specs?

the Vinyl Engine states:
Empire arm: 228.6mm, 17.3mm O/H, 23.8 O/S, 211.3 pivot to spindle

Kenwood KD550 arm: 237mm, 15 mm, unstated, 222mm pivot to spindle

looks like 10mm is needed to elongate the slots and to allow for a "twist", as per Dave.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 10:51 PM   #8
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Sorry, I simply lifted the numbers from the postings in Audiocircle: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=70898.0

It turns out the overhang number for the Empire is theoretical, not the published spec, and the discrepancy is 1mm. I believe if you use a protractor and have enough slop room on either headshell or mounting area, you will arrive at a satisfactory point.

Sorry for adding confusion. Regardless of specs, what Big_Bill has is a great turntable (I used to own many Empire tables) with a seemingly well constructed tonearm and with a little tweaking and adjustment he will have great result.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directdriver View Post

In plain English, don't use the Kenwood geometry because the way it is mounted right now unless you modified the Empire chassis.

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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
When we were selling these new, we would always set up the cartridge using the Dennesson protractor. None of the Japanese arms had a geometry that allowed us to mount the cartridge without a bit of twist in the headshell, or sometimes even a need to file the slots to allow us to move the cartridge further back or forward.

dave
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