1963 Zenith KPS 80-L Restoration


1963 Zenith KPS 80-L "portable" record player that we recently refurbished at Atom 11 Studios.

I say "portable" because for a portable player it is really big and really heavy. It included a 3 channel tube amp and drove a pair of satellite speakers which tucked neatly inside when not in use, and a center channel woofer permanently mounted in the cabinet. It didn't come with the satellite speakers, though I know where they are and can procure them if need be. I had other plans though.

I rewired the amp, removing the filter circuit that fed the satellites a bass-less mix and bypassed the internal center bass channel completely so that I could feed a full-range stereo signal to a pair of mid 70s Kenwood KL-777Z speakers that have been taking up room in my garage for at least a decade and a half. You can see one of them in one of these shots.

The tube amp is relatively low watt, comprised of only two 6AQ5 power tubes, a 12AX7 preamp tube, and a 6X4 rectifier delivering, I would estimate, 10 watts total. But believe me when I tell you that this is more than enough to fill our mid-century split-level with tunes. I guess 6AQ5s where the tube dujour of 1963-64 as I have a 1964 Gibson Scout guitar amplifier that has almost the exact tube layout but is wired mono and uses a different rectifier.

Since it was originally a portable unit I had to build the stand. It's a design of my own but it does borrow heavily from a few mid-century Danish designs. This stand is very versatile and Amy has already requested that I build two more to serve as night-stand bases for our bedroom. If that experiment goes well you will definitely be seeing these bases available in the Atom 11 Studios store.

1963 Zenith KPS 80-L Restoration
1963 Zenith KPS 80-L Restoration
1963 Zenith KPS 80-L Restoration
1963 Zenith KPS 80-L Restoration

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Atom Eleven | 318-490-0340
395 Tava Lane | Palm Desert, California 92211 | United States