Office system in a small space.  McIntosh integrated + Kenwood "Rock" turntable form the heart of this late-1970s analog memory machine.  Updated with cult-favorite Nagaoka MM cartridge run through Schiit Audio Mani phono stage.  Focal bookshelf speakers are crisp and detailed, but mellowed by the amazing McIntosh MA-5100.  Is there a vintage bookshelf speaker that I'd like even better?  Unexpectedly superb McIntosh headphone section is warm, cozy, and redolent with oh-so-late-70s vibe.

Components Toggle details

    • Kenwood KD-550
    Kenwood "Rock" turntable with composite limestone and resin plinth, mounted with Kenwood no-name (Jelco?) tonearm.
    • McIntosh MA-5100
    Solid-state integrated amplifier
    • Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge
    Entry-level Nagaoka cartridge
    • Schiit Audio Mani phono preamplifier
    MM/MC phono
    • Focal 705V bookshelf speakers
    • Signal Cable Inc. speaker cables

Comments 3

Part of me is wondering whether the KD-550 might benefit from a better tonearm. The stock 'arm seems like a weak point.  But then I'm not sure whether lots more tonearm investment in the Kenwood deck makes sense.  Plus I'd have to steep-learning-curve-DIY a new arm board, etc.  Maybe I could find a vintage arm that would be suitable and easy to mount.  Thoughts?


Thanks for the great photos! nice system, that table is excellent direct drive speed stable!


Quite a nice vintage/modern system. I had the 5100 years ago and it has a smooth musical sound, so it should be a great match with the detailed modern Mani phono preamp. I hope you've had the mac recapped to bring it up to spec.
What speakers are you using as you forgot to list your speakers in your equipment list.


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