Kenwood CT 405 Tape Decks

Kenwood CT 405 Tape Decks 


- Dolby HX pro headroom extension.
- Dolby noise reduction: B, C.
- Dual-frequency automatic bias adjustment.
- Full-logic electronic control.
- Manual bias fine-tuning.
- Silent tape transport system.


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[Jan 06, 2009]
Richard Schwab


This unit is loaded with features that one might not expect at this price point including:
Dolby HX pro, Auto-Bias, DPSS, CCRS, High Speed Dubbing, Kenwood System Control Operation, Zero-Stop operation, Relay playback, CD synchro recording and timer recording / playback, just to name a few.


Audible wow under some conditions.
The tinted cassette viewing windows are so dark that one can not see the tape unless one shines a very bright light into the well.
The well doors do not detach making cleaning the heads and tape path difficult.

I have owned my Kenwood CT-405 stereo cassette tape deck since 2005. I purchased my CT-405 mainly to play back my collection of about two hundred prerecorded jazz tapes. It has exceeded my expectations in many ways and at the same time been a disappointment. This is a dual well deck that will play a tape in either of the two wells “A” and “B”. It will record in only the “B” well. In the relay mode, it will play back both sides of one tape and then switch over and play both sides of the second tape and then repeat the process. This is convenient for longer listening sessions or for listening to music in the background while doing other activities. The Direct Program Search System (DPSS) enables one to skip a tune or tunes beyond or behind the current tune being played to the beginning of a tune one wants to play. I often use the DPSS feature to find a song selection in the middle of the tape without the stop and try hassle.

The CT-405 uses the Kenwood “SL16” System Control to interface with my other Kenwood components. This allows me to operate the CT-405 with the system remote control supplied with my Kenwood receiver, automatically switch the input on my receiver when playback is started and synchronize recording with the CD player. The ability to operate under system control was one of the features that attracted me to this deck over others.

I found the sound quality of this unit truly amazing. Playback, of high quality prerecorded cassettes, was often as good as, and sometimes better than, playing CDs or phonograph records. Recording cassettes proved to yield results that often were indistinguishable from the original source material. The “Auto Bias” feature worked well enough that I never felt the need to manually adjust the bias even though the deck makes provision for doing so. I also liked the fact that the level, bias and balance information could be read on the display in clearly visible numbers. I even used the Computer-Controlled Recording System (CCRS) to good effect to make some tapes. The CCRS scans the CD to determine the optimum maximum recording level and then automatically sets the cassette record levels. I used the built-in timer standby function to record radio shows at a preset time controlled by an external timer.

So, what is not to like about the CT-405? In a word, wow. Depending on the tapes and the type of music being recorded / played the wow was ever so slightly audible. Recordings of most popular and jazz music were OK, however, if one listened carefully one could hear the wow. Both “A” and “B” decks offered similar performance. This drawback is the reason I rate this deck a three instead of a five.

Similar Products Used:

Technics M240X, Sony TC-K501R, Onkyo TA-RW411

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