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Kenwood Excelon KRC-X858

Cassette receiver with CD changer controls (Factory Refurbished)

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Item # 613KRCX858

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KRC-X858

Kenwood knows there are a lot of cassette fans out there. That's why they included the KRC-X858 in the Kenwood Excelon lineup. The full-logic mechanism treats your cassettes with kid gloves, and you'll also get Dolby B and a metal tape selector so you can get the best possible sound out of your tapes. Kenwood's CR2 tuner provides exceptional radio reception, and offers Radio Data System for station tuning by format (where available).

Kenwood knows there are a lot of cassette fans out there. That's why they included the KRC-X858 in the Kenwood Excelon lineup. The full-logic mechanism treats your cassettes with kid gloves, and you'll also get Dolby B and a metal tape selector so you can get the best possible sound out of your tapes. Kenwood's CR2 tuner provides exceptional radio reception, and offers Radio Data System for station tuning by format (where available).

Kenwood's new D-MASK+ motorized self-hiding removable faceplate gives you double the protection. Turn your car off, and the faceplate pivots on its axis, leaving only a blank plate visible. Or, if you prefer added security, you can detach the faceplate and take it with you. Perfect!

This Kenwood Excelon receiver offers amazing sonic flexibility. KEX sound control gives you six user presets each with four adjustments (bass center frequency, bass Q, bass extension, and treble center frequency) for precise sound-sculpting. System E's+ Advanced Crossover gives you instant access to high-pass and low-pass filters which you can use on speaker and preamp outputs to maximize efficiency and optimize frequency response.

System expansion is a breeze with two sets of 4.5-volt preamp outputs for connection to external amplifiers (you can switch the rear outputs to non-fading status). Expand to 3-source entertainment with a Kenwood CD changer. A wireless remote is included.

Product Highlights:

  • D MASK+ motorized, self-hiding, detachable faceplate
  • selectable 4-digit security code
  • CR-2 Advanced Tuner
  • Radio Data System
  • two sets of 4.5-volt preamp outputs (rear outputs can be switched to non-fading operation with separate volume control)
  • KEX Sound Control provides highly-adjustable EQ curves for precise tone adjustment, and user presets
  • System E's+ Advanced Crossover — for better performance from all your speakers, and independent crossover control/customized output from the driver's seat, whether you use the built-in amp or external amps
  • full-logic controls
  • Dolby B noise reduction
  • CD changer controls
  • Dual Zone audio allows you to play an auxiliary source through the rear channels, while the tuner or cassette plays through the front (adapter required — #113KCAS210, see accessories)
  • wireless remote included
  • 22 watts RMS/45 peak x 4 channels
  • tape frequency response 30-18,000 Hz
  • tape signal-to-noise ratio 65 dB
  • FM sensitivity 9.3 dBf
  • 2-year warranty

What's in the Box:

  • AM/FM/Cassette/Changer Controller with 10-amp blade fuse inserted into chassis
  • 1 Faceplate
  • 1 Hard face case
  • Sleeve
  • 2 side brackets (for size "I/J" installs)
  • Harness with noise filter
  • Trim ring (size "E" installs)
  • Trim ring (size "I/J" installs)
  • RC-520 remote
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 2 Radio removal tools
  • 1 Trim ring removal tool
  • 4 ISO mount screws (2 panhead and 2 countersunk)
  • Backstrap
  • 1 Screw with 1 flat washer and 1 lock washer
  • 1 Face security screw
  • Manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty card
  • Yellow "Caution" sheet (instructions for pushing unit into DIN sleeve)
  • Pink "Caution" sheet (describes situation where unit may consume power even when car is turned off)
  • Kenwood SmartCard (product registration card)
  • Car Audio Passport (required if face replacement becomes necessary)

Hands-on research

Product Research

Warranty Note
Changer Controls
Remote Control Functions

Warranty Note

Warranty Note: This is a refurbished unit that comes with a 90-day parts and labor warranty.


D MASK+ Motorized Self-Hiding Removable Faceplate: This unit is equipped with a detachable MASK faceplate. When the unit is shut off while the faceplate is in place, a stealth mechanism reverses the faceplate, so only a blank panel is visible. If you prefer added security, you may detach the face plate and take it with you. When the face plate is in the stealth position and you turn the ignition on, the unit turns on and the faceplate reverses to reveal the display and controls. You may put the face plate into it's closed position by pressing the source button for over a second. When closed this way, you can re-open the unit by pressing the "Manual Open Button". The "Manual Open Button" is located on the upper left corner of the blank side of the face plate, and you may select how many times (from 1 to 3) it must be pressed to open the unit. 

Security Code: You may program the unit with a 4 digit security code. Once the unit has been programmed with a security code, the code must be entered to use the unit after it has been disconnected from power.

Display Illumination: This unit has a multi-colored display. The tuner frequency, tape play, tuner band, clock, and date are displayed with white illumination. The "LOUD", "ATT" (attenuator), "ST" (stereo) and clock indicators are displayed with amber illumination. The tape spinning and tuning indicators are displayed with blue illumination. The automatic tuning indicators are displayed with light blue illumination.

Button Illumination: The SRC button is backlit with bright blue illumination, and the button is shaped like the Kenwood logo. The button illumination for all of the buttons, except the SRC button, may be set to green or red. Changing the button illumination color changes only the button illumination (except the source button which remains blue), it does not change the display illumination. 

4.5-volt gold-plated front and rear preamp outputs

Non-fading Preamp: The rear preamp output can be switched to non-fading. When this is done, you can adjust the non-fading output level from -15 to +15 in increments of 2 (-15, -13, -11 etc.).

System E's+ Advanced Crossover System: The System E's+ system allows you to select a high pass filter for the front and/or rear preamp and speaker outputs. The high pass filter frequency may be set to 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180 or 220Hz. You may set the low pass filter for the non-fading preamp outputs to 50Hz, 80Hz, 120Hz or "through" and select the phase for the non-fading RCA of normal or reverse.

KEX/ec4 (Sound Coordinate System): 5 EQ curves are preset into memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of music. The preset curves are named "Flat", "Rock", "Top 40", "Jazz" and "Easy". Each preset has it's own bass center frequency, bass level, bass quality factor, bass extension, treble center frequency and treble level settings. This system allows you to select a bass center frequency (60, 70, 80, 100 or 150Hz), the bass "Q" (1.0, 1.25, 1.5 or 2.0), the Bass EXT mode (on/off) and the treble center frequency (10k, 12.5k, 15.0k or 17.5kHz) for more precise control of your system's sound. You may modify the preset curves and enter up to 6 of your custom curves into preset memory. If you store a custom curve in preset memory, the new curve overwrites the factory preset curve. The preset curves are recalled using the audio control menu and the preset buttons.

Volume Offset Control ("VOL OFFSET"): The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0.

External Amp Control: Kenwood also calls this "B.M.S." (Bass Management System). When used with a compatible, Kenwood eXcelon amplifier, you can adjust the bass boost level of the amplifier through this head unit. You may select Flat, or boost the bass of the amplifier by +6 or +12dB.

Faceplate Angle Adjustment: Using a switch mounted below the CD slot, you may set the unit to hold the display at one of two angles or flat against the front of the chassis.

Black Mask Display Setting: If you desire a less cluttered display appearance, you may turn off the lower part of the display. With the Black Mask function set to "on", only the main display line illuminates.

Display Dimming: When the illumination wire of this unit is connected to the headlamp circuit of your vehicle, and you turn your lights on, the display will dim to a preset level. The display brightness is not affected by the vehicle's dimmer control.

Contrast Adjustment: The display contrast may be adjusted from "1" up to "10" for optimum readability.

Auxiliary Input "Ready": When used with an optional adapter (KCA-S210A or CA-C1AX) or with the KDC-CX82 or KDC-CX85 CD changers, this unit can accept input from an auxiliary source. This unit cannot accept input from an auxiliary source unless the appropriate adapter or CD changer is also purchased and connected. When the CA-C1AX adapter (item 113CAC1AX) is used, you cannot connect a CD changer to the head unit (the CA-C1AX plugs into the DIN changer control connection on the head unit).

Dual Zone Capability: This feature allows you to play an auxiliary source through the rear channels and the tuner or built-in cassette player through the front channels.


  • To use the Dual zone feature you must purchase one of the following items: KCA-S210A, CA-C1AX, KDC-CPS82, KDC-CX82, KDC-CPS85 or KDC-CX85
  • When this feature is active, the bass, treble and loudness controls do not affect the rear channels.
  • When the Dual Zone system is on, the CD/MD changer controls are deactivated.

CR2 advanced clear reception tuner

CRSC (Clean Reception System Control): Eliminates multi-path distortion. It can be turned off for better reception when a  multi-path situation is not present.

SNPS (Station Name Preset): You can assign names (up to 8 characters) for up to 32 FM stations and 16 AM stations. After a name has been assigned, you can press the DNPP button on the remote to display the name of each preset station for 5 seconds. When the name of the desired station appears, you can press the OK button on the remote to select the station. If a name has not been entered for a preset, the frequency will display. As the station names are cycled, you hear the station that was tuned in prior to the DNPP button being pressed, you do not hear the stations as their names are displayed.

RBDS (Radio Broadcast Data System): RBDS is used by some FM radio stations to transmit additional data; this unit has the following functions:

  • PTY (Program type) Function: Allows you to seek tune only stations with the desired type of programming. The programming is broken down into: 1) News, 2) Information, 3) Sports, 4) Talk, 5) Rock, 6) Classic Rock, 7) Adult Hits, 8) Soft Rock, 9) Top 40, 10) Country, 11) Oldies, 12) Soft, 13) Nostalgia, 14) Jazz, 15) Classical, 16) R&B, 17) Soft R&B, 18) Language, 19) Religious Music, 20) Religious Talk, 21) Personality, and 22) Public. You can register up to 48 non-RBDS stations as program types. When you register a non-RBDS station as a certain program type it will be found when using PTY seek tune for stations in that particular category
  • Alarm: When in Tuner mode or when the Traffic Information function is turned on and an emergency transmission is made, this unit's tuner will automatically switch to the warning.
  • Traffic Information Function: If a traffic information station begins to broadcast a traffic bulletin while a CD is playing, the unit will automatically play the bulletin and return to the CD when the bulletin ends. This function may be turned on/off.
  • Radio Text: This unit displays text info which might be transmitted by RBDS stations, if the station is not transmitting text, the unit will display "No Text". You can set radio text to scroll  automatically, or it can be set to manual which allows you to scroll one line at a time.
  • Auto Time Set: When set to auto time set, the unit will automatically set the time when tuned to a RBDS station which broadcasts time information.

Selectable Tuning Spacing: You may select U.S. standard or European tuning spacing. To switch to/from European tuning spacing, hold down preset buttons 1 and 5, then press the reset button (while holding down preset buttons 1 and 5). Hold all three buttons in for 3-seconds, then release only the reset button. 3-seconds after releasing the reset button, release the preset 1 and preset 5 buttons.

Tuning Modes: Besides manual and auto (seek) tuning, there is an Auto 2 mode which cycles through the presets when you press the >> or << buttons.

CD Changer Control: This unit can control up to two compatible Kenwood CD changers. To connect two changers, a switching adapter (item 113KCAS210) is needed; item 113KCAS210 is sold separately.

Source Tone Memory: You can store bass and treble settings for each source (CD/FM/AM/CD changer).

Calendar Function: The date may be set into memory and displayed. 

Memo Mode: You may input a text message (up to 32 characters) and set the date when that text will appear on the display. The message you select automatically appears on the chosen date when the unit's power is first turned on. You may enter up to 30 separate text messages into memory.  

Weather Band Tuner Compatible: This unit is compatible with the Kenwood KTC-WB100 weather band tuner (sold separately).  The optional tuner box allows you to tune in weather band radio stations. There is about 480 weather band radio stations in the United States, and this option allows you to tap into the information needed to prepare for outdoor activities such as sporting events, camping trips and days at the park. 

Heads-up Display Compatible: Kenwood's KPA-HD100 heads-up display (sold separately) may be connected to this receiver and placed on the dashboard, or overhead. The heads-up display can give a readout of the information from this receiver's display, allowing you to monitor the radio without the inconvenience and danger of taking your eyes from the road to look down at the radio location. 

Disc Changer Control Functions

  • 2 changer control: when used with item 113KCAS210 (sold separately), this unit can control two changers
  • Pause
  • Audible search forward/reverse
  • Track search forward/reverse
  • Disc search forward/reverse
  • Direct track search: using the remote, you can directly input the track number of the song you want to hear
  • Direct disc search: using the remote, you can directly input the disc number that you want to hear
  • Repeat track/disc
  • Track scan: scans each track on a disc for 10 seconds.
  • Disc scan: scans the first 10 seconds of each disc in changer.
  • Random play: plays all tracks on one disc randomly, when all tracks on that disc have been played it will start randomly playing tracks on next disc in changer.
  • Magazine Random Play: randomly plays tracks on all discs in changer.
  • DNPS (Disc Name Preset): The DNPS feature can be used to enter disc names into memory. The number of characters per name and the number of names that may be entered depends on the changer model; with the KDCC715 and 665 CD changers, you can store up to 100 names. 
  • DNPP (Disc Name Preset Play): Once a disc has been named, you can press the DNPP button on the remote to display the name of each disc for 5 seconds. When the name of the desired disc appears, you can press the OK button on the remote to select the disc for playback.
  • CD Text/MD Display: when connected to a CD Text capable CD changer (or an MD changer) with an "O-N" switch set to "N", this unit can display disc and track titles for discs encoded with disc/track information. The unit can be set to manually or automatically scroll text information. CD Text Display with CD Text compatible changer can be set to auto or manual scroll.

Remote Control Functions

RC-520 Remote: Kenwood's RC-520 infrared remote control is included with this unit.

Remote Dimensions: L = 5.695", W = 1.961", H = 0.941"


  • Volume +/-: a rocker button used for volume control
  • SRC: selects source (Tuner, Tape, CD, CD-MD changer)
  • Tune/Track |<</>>|
  • ATT button: attenuates output
  • Play/Pause 
  • AM/Disc- 
  • FM/Disc+
  • "*" (asterisk button has no function with this unit)
  • DNPP/SBF: Allows you to display all discs name which have been preset in the changer and to select any of these discs to play.
  • Direct/OK 
  • 0-9/A-Z alphanumeric keypad


Note: Please allow at least 1.25" in front of the face for the stealth mechanism to retract.

Our Product Research Team

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