KENWOOD MC-60A (1982)

Around 1980 the KENWOOD MC-50 appeared on the HAM market, I think it was the first KENWOOD HAM desktop mic.


Then in december 1981 the KENWOOD MC-60 appeared in HAM magazine, I couldn’t find any earlier add.


and finally november 1982, 35 years ago the KENWOOD MC-60A was advertised. I bought mine in 1997.


If the MC-60 and MC60-A look similar it’s normal because they are. The only cosmetic difference is below the microphone where the ON/OFF switch for the mic amplifier is located. The “-A” on mic type stand for amplifier, the KENWOOD MC-60 was a pure dynamic microphone without electronic.
This microphone is still in production and even if it has been made for more than 30 years it still can suffer from an annoying RFI problem, yes this mic is prone to pick up HF and to beat your mouth or distorts your modulation even if you have a well made and clean station. There are enough simple tutorials on the net to cure this problem . Except this RFI  problem the KENWOOD MC-60A is a very good microphone, the modulation is clean, meaning really clean and flat, you can work FM, AM and SSB with it.
There’s nothing special about this mic which is a pure commercial microphone meaning people buy it, use it and usually normally keep it for a long time if not for ever. You buy it to use it not because of his history or brand name but because it makes the job.

You won’t find anything about the making of this MIC or anecdote about this MIC on the net, so lets have a look at the KENWOOD history taken from : with some additions.

1946 : Kasuga Radio Company is established in Nagano, Japan.
1955 : Company plants in Tokyo are mass-producing audio, communications, and test equipment.
: Trio-Kenwood begins making highly sophisticated high fidelity components and Amateur radio equipment.
1963 : Trio-Kenwood USA Corporation is established in California.
1965 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the TS-510.
1966 : Trio-Kenwood manufactures the first fully solid state amplifier in the industry that outsells traditional tube amplifiers.
1972 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the TS-515.
1975 : Trio-Kenwood established in Compton, California selling over 70% of all Amateur radios in the USA, Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the legendary TS-520S to the US market the TS-700 and the TS-900.
1978 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces VBT (Variable Bandwidth Tuning) which narrows both sides of the I.F. pass band. Kenwood introduces the TS-120V
1979 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the TR-2400, the first microprocessor controlled hand held radio in the communications field. Trio-Kenwood introduces the TS-120S
1980 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the MC-50 desktop microphone, the TS-660, TS-670 and the TS-820. Audio products for the car are sold in both America and Japan.
1981 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the MC-60 desktop microphone and the TS-830S.
1982 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the TS-930S, first solid state HF transceiver with a built-in antenna tuner and the MC-60A.
1983 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces the first 25 watt 2meter/440 MHz dual-band transceiver ever produced, Kenwood Communications enters the Land Mobile Communications market. Trio-Kenwood introduces the TS-130.
1984 : Trio-Kenwood Communications introduces DSC (digital coded squelch) selective calling circuit in the TS-711A, TS-430S and TS-811A.
1985 : Trio-Kenwood develops its first satellite receiving system (KSR-1000). Kenwood introduces the TS-940, KMC-9 and the TS-180S.
1986 : Kenwood Communications introduces the TM-2570A FM transceiver with 70watts of transmit power, telephone auto-dialer and DCL (digital channel link). Company changes its name from Trio-Kenwood to Kenwood Corporation.
1989 : DSP (digital signal processing) is first introduced in the TS-950SD.
1991TK-930/931 series of trunking mobile radios introduced. Kenwood introduces the TS-850S, TS-690S and the TS-450S.
1992 : 30 series of UHF/VHF mobile created for public service market. Kenwood introduces the TS-950SDX.
1993 : The world’s smallest 800/900 MHz trunked portable, the TK-430/431 is introduced. Kenwood introduces the TS-50.
1994 : Compact, mil-spec compliant conventional portables, the TK-250/350 is added to the Kenwood line. Kenwood introduces the TS-60S.
1995 : Kenwood introduces the TS-870.
1996 : Kenwood celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Kenwood Communications international sales office is opened in Miami, Florida. Kenwood Communications introduces the TS-870S, the first and only 100% digitally filtered HF transceiver in the IF stage with RCP (radio control program) for your PC.
1997 : Kenwood introduces the FreeTalk™ FRS Family Radio and instantly captures a major market share. Kenwood Communications celebrates 15 years in the U.S. LMR business.
1998 :Kenwood Communications introduces the VC-H1 Visual Communicator, making it possible to easily transmit JPEG-formatted images over the air. The first dual band, dual head LMR radio, the TK-90 series, is introduced. Kenwood creates the “Emergency Kit” for instantly available disaster communications, also the KGP-1A/1B for affordable AVL/GPS for small fleets. Kenwood introduces the ProTalk, the first military spec portable Color Dot/Star compatible radio. Kenwood Communciations introduces the TH-D7A, the first 6-Watt Amateur hand-held with a built-in TNC and APRS operating software.
1999 : Kenwood Communications incorporates FleetSync™ data communication capability to its 80 Series of mobile and portable transceivers.
2000 : Kenwood introduces the TS-2000.
2012 : Kenwood introduces the TS-990S.

E-mail me for any correction or addition.

Back to MC-60A

“Nutrition facts”
Year : 1982
Type of microphone : dynamic
Microphone characteristic : unidirectional
Sensitivity microphone : -54.5dB / 50KOhm (given)
Sensitivity microphone : -71dB / 500Ohm (given)
Sensitivity preamp out : -56dB / 50KOhm (given)
Sensitivity preamp out : -71dB / 500Ohm (given)
Sensitivity preamp in : -50.5dB / 50KOhm (given)
Sensitivity preamp in : -59dB / 500Ohm (given)
Nominal output preamp in 500Ohm: 11.22mV (given)
Measured output : 14.8mV
Measured max output : 75mV (@112dBSPL) (before distorsion appeared)
Output at mid range : Not variable
Frequency response : 150Hz – 10000KHz (preamp out) (given)
Frequency response : 200Hz – 7000KHz (preamp on) (given)
Output impedance : 50KOhm or 500Ohm selectable
Amplifier voltage gain : not given
Compression : No
Meter : No
Echo : No
Lock switch : Yes on base
On/Off switch : Yes on mic
Up/Down switch : Yes on base
High/Low impedance Switch : Yes on mic
Preamp On/Off : Yes on base
Tx LED : No
Roger Beep : No
Battery : 2 alkaline AA batteries 1.5V (no Ni-CD or Ni-MH)
Remarks : All measurements were made with 600 Ohm load @ 94dBSPL with preamp in.  -59dB (0dB=1Volt/microbar) is a quite old reference system used mostly by non european manufacturers. -59dB(0dB=1Volt/microbar) is equivalent to -39dB(0dB=1Volt/Pa) the now used reference. This means that if you speak loud (not cry) in your microphone from about 2 inches a distance you should get 11.2mV(max output) at the output of the microphone (at 1KHz and 600Ohm load).
You will see below, the bandwidth curve I got from this mike (real world). Mic was powered from a set of fresh  AA batteries during testing.

My opinion,  A good microphone with a pleasant modulation on all mode, silent pedal switch, solid full metal jacket. Built to highest standart and built to last. Even with the RFI  (easy to solve, in my case I just put a ferrite bead on the two mic cable and got no trouble with modulation) problem, this mic gives me years of good modulation’s reports. The fact that the mic can be separate from the base add to versatility. You can really cry in this mic before getting distorsion.

Seen price:  90€ (used conds) to +/-175€ new.

My evaluation : 4/5

KENWOOD MC-60A user-manual

Listen to the sound of the KENWOOD MC-60A

See eHam reviews for the KENWOOD MC-60A

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