Sunday, December 24, 2017

One of You Must Be an Antique Stereo Guy

I have a Kenwood KR-2600 stereo receiver (still has pterodactyl claw marks on it).  I have my TV hooked up to it both for the speakers and to feed the wireless headphones.  I can remember feeling so stinking rich (or at least middle class) when I bought this set up in the mid-1970s.  Anyway, the radio dial part is illuminated (or at least, it used to be).  I am sure there is one bulb that is burned out.  The question is how do I replace it, and do I need a time machine to go buy the replacement?


  1. being just 4 days younger than dirt, I'd say get a volt meter and measure the voltage at the burnt out bulb... from there, unscrew or unsolder the old one and internet a new one and screw or solder it in place of the old one. [that'd be simple enough, no?]

  2. Service Manuals for a whole bunch of Kenwood receivers of the era are here:

    I don't see one for the 2600 at first glance, but the 2400 looks superficially similar and there is an exploded view showing which screw to remove from where to get to various spots. The parts list also shows the lamps used.

    I've had no trouble finding lamps if I know the voltage, current, and base type. I'm sure some Kenwood forum suggests swapping in LEDs

  3. Most likely the entire faceplate has to come off. Look for screwheads, probably on the sides, just back of the corners. Might also be some on the top and bottom. Slide the face off just a bit, and look for wires. Try not to undo any wiring if at all possible. If you feel you need to pry the face off, you probably missed a screw or two.

    Alternatively, sometimes the screws are at the rear, and the entire chassis slides out of the body/cover. If so, just slide it far enough to access the bulbs.

    Sometimes the screws are hidden under stickers.

  4. I used to fix receivers like this every day- but it's a long time ago now! You may have noticed that there aren't any electronic repair shops anymore. It's now cheaper to buy a new one than to repair an old set; that's why my shop is no longer in business.

    Be sure to unplug the unit before you do anything! Once the case is off, you should be able to see what sort of lamps are used.

    The cover should come off easily, there are 2 screws on each side of the case, when they're removed the case should come right off.

    It should be a simple matter to replace the lamps that illuminate the tuner dial; if I recall correctly they use a couple of 8v screw-in lamps. Not long ago you could buy them from Radio Shack; all of their outlets around my neck of the woods are now closed- but you can still get most things through Amazon or Ebay if you don't have an electronics parts shop anywhere nearby.

    I haven't located a KR-2600 service manual but I did find some schematics; they don't show the dial lamps so not much help. I did find a KR-2400 receiver, and that has 8v-300ma pilot lamps (you'll find it under "Miscellaneous" in the parts list. Link: )

    Here's the schematic diagram, if you have to change output transistors or do some other maintenance:

    I hope this helps, and best of luck! (Personally I still think the old gear is better than modern stuff, even though today's multichannel amps do have more bells & whistles. Cheap thrills!)

  5. There are also many ham radio outlet stores on the internet that sometimes have stocks of older types of things like those light bulbs, tubes for amplifiers, output tubes, coils, transformers, etc. Hamtronics, HRO ( Ham Radio Outlet ), and many others, come to mind. I love the older stuff as well. I went to a hamfest a month or two ago, and saw a lot of the older gear for sale. The bad thing was, they wanted double or triple for it from what it went for originally. And the newer stuff by Kenwood, Yaesu, and others of course outperforms the older rigs. I would loved to have bought some of the stuff I used to use, but not for 500$ when I paid 80$ brand new in the mid 70's. Good luck, and happy hunting.

    Oh, by the way, I find the same thing with 35 mm cameras. I remember the top of the line Nikon from 1980, which was like 500$, I just saw for sale in a second hand shop for 4$, with 3 lenses and a bag. I didn't buy it, because I have no use for it now. I gave my daughter my Olympus OM 1 a few months ago, with a bunch of high end lenses, as a keepsake, which I had a lot of money into, because there is just no use for it anymore.

  6. check this thread

  7. If worst comes to worst, you could substitute a white LED and the appropriate resistor to bring down the current.

    My Mill/lathe was originally equipped with a flashlight-bulb sized 120v lamp that got VERY hot. When it burned out I was able to stick a grain of wheat Neon bulb in it. Much nicer.