MCS 3285

1 9 8 2 1982
1 9 8 4 1984

MCS was a USA hifi brand launched by JC Penney in the mid 1970s, when hifi was king. MCS stands for Modular Component Systems.

The MCS lineups were for the most part built by one of the many Matsushita factories dedicated to audio, at a time other european and american manufacturers were also trying to broaden their lineups with offerings made (and sometimes even designed) abroad.

NEC also provided some OEM for late 1970s MCS lineups, but for the top end JC Penney kept close to one of the five majors and got Matsushita's Technics division to lend its manufacturing services.

In this particular 1982 lineup, the 8290 loudspeakers are JC Penney's version of Technics' SB-T40 (honeycomb drivers) and the 6730 linear tracking turntable is actually a Technics' SL-QL1 in mysterious (but effective) Batman disguise.

As its name suggests, the 3285 allows 2x 85W of power output.

The tuner part is naturally based on a Quartz Lock PLL section, allowing 16 presets (AM or FM) and 5-second preset scanning mode.

The power-amp section features "DC High-Speed Switching" (not a PLPS though - there's a regular trafo inside).

The Acoustic Memory Computer allows to store two different bass / treble / filter settings, just as Sony (and others) was doing in the contemporary SYSCON353CD series (and others).

The 3285 receiver has no direct equivalent in any Technics lineup but represents one of the most radical designs of those design-rich years - at least as radical as commercial limits did allow.

This didn't help sales, though, and neither did full-tilt futuristica help Kenwood sell many L-08M amplifiers or P-9 turntables - it really is a matter of balance, isn't it ?

MCS 3285, image 1 MCS 3285, image 2
MCS 3285 specifications
Title Value
Power Output : 2x 85W (20Hz...20Khz, 8 Ohm, 0,005% THD)
Power bandwidth : 20Hz...20Khz
Phono section : 20Hz...20Khz (±3dB)
150mV max input.
80dB s/n (2,5mV input)
0,01% THD
FM section : 20Hz...15Khz (±3dB)
1,9µV usable sensitivity
1,0dB capture ratio
75dB image rejection
45dB stereo separation
3,5µV quieting sensitivity
0,1% mono THD
0,15% stereo THD
AM section : 300µV/M sensitivity
45dB selectivity
50dB s/n ratio
Dimensions: ?
Weight: 13,5kg.
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