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Stereo Cassette Deck (1978)

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The JVC KD-85 Stereo Cassette Deck always lets you make a perfect recording. Damage to tapes and mechanism is also avoided.

Besides that, the JVC KD-85 is a beautiful machine to behold. Its a visual pleasure. a JVC design coup which, among other extras, includes a Spectro Peak Indicator.

Superb specifications include a 30 to 16,000Hz frequency response with chrome tape, a better than 56dB signal to noise ratio with ANRS off and 0.05% wrms wow/flutter. Those figures are roughly comparable to open-reel performance parameters.

The KD-85 uses the best mechanism ever conceived for a cassette deck - the two-motor ID mechanism. In this configuration, two motors are employed to insure stable tape transport: a frequency generator servomotor for capstan drive and a DC motor for reel drive.

Because each drive mechanism operates independently of the other, and because its operation is thus simplified, the KD-85 achieves a very, very low wow/flutter of less than 0.05% wrms.

Full logic control of the KD-85 is the job of three dependable TTL ICs - one custom made MSI type and two TTL ICs. These controls permit direct changing of modes with a light push of buttons which requires only a 6mm stroke. Memory Stop facility is also included.


Type: 2-head, single compact cassette deck

Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo

Tape Speed: 4.8 cm/s

Heads: 1 x record/playback, 1 x erase

Motor: frequency controlled DC servo

Tape Type: type I, FeCr, Cr02

Noise Reduction: ANRS

Frequency Response: 30Hz to 16kHz  (Cr02 tape)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 61dB  (ANRS)

Wow and Flutter: 0.05%

Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.4%

Input: 80mV (line), 0.2mV (mic)

Output: 0.5V (line)

Semiconductors: 18 x IC, 65 x transistors, 94 x diodes, 5 x zener diodes

Dimensions: 450 x 158 x 327mm

Weight: 9.9kg

Year: 1978


service manual   English - Rstwalsh1

Related Catalogues

Stereo Cassette Decks

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Reviewed Jul 31st, 2015 by mobay

Bought mine for $15.00 from GoodWill. Silky smooth controls and nice features ( linear real-time tape counter , fast LED's, Car EQ, Dolby B & C ). I've made recordings with TDK SA-90 and Maxell XK II ( guy in the chair ) tape ( record at -4 or - 2db ) and this deck rivals my Pioneer CT-F900. I might mention the controls are not clunky like other solenoid machines. Unique input level in that you can adjust LEVEL and channels separately.

A great deck , max to pay is about $60.00- $70.00...., tops and it's often found for less , although it's getting harder and harder to find .

Reviewed Apr 16th, 2015 by IBJOHNEEGEE

This is a highly engineered machine that does what makes a cassette recording turn out very good ...it transports the tape to near perfection. Bonus---it feels and sounds like the price you paid. Rare in deed. What a tank.

Reviewed Jul 14th, 2014 by grambo

Love this cassette player! Still works and I still use it.
I even hooked it up to a pioneer EQ and it is awesome.

Reviewed Apr 15th, 2013 by Indianscout

The finest tape deck ever made by jvc. This rivals any nakamichi including the dragon for quality and features-i own both and the jvc is better.



re: KD-85

Build in Brazil for Gradiente CD-1

re: KD-85 - I've owned mine for over 10 years - still loving it!

I bought mine at a thrift store in Santa Barbara in 2003 ... paid something like $14.95 for it. ":o).
I had to replace the main capstan belt, and it works like new. I enjoy it for it's all metal construction, it's serious size and weight, the solenoid action, and it's amazing number of switches, lamps, analog and digital meters, LEDs, and buttons ... just an awesome machine!

re: KD-85 - I've owned mine for over 10 years - still loving it!

Do you have the User Manual? Would you mind scanning it and sending me a copy?
Thanks heaps, Sergio.

Newdugiu's picture

re: KD-85 - I've owned mine for over 10 years - still loving it!

I just bought a Kd-85 and can't find a owner's manual. Can you send me a pdf copy?? Thank you!!

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