Kenwood VR-4090 A/V Receivers

4.52/5 (21 Reviews) MSRP : $1000.00


Product Description

DD/DTS/HDCD decoding;Rated 120 watts x 5 @ 6ohms w/0.06 thd surround mode


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Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jason a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I love this receiver. I purchased it to replace an old, audio only Onkyo, and it's going to be the foundation of all of my AV purchases for quite a while.

I currently just have a pair of decent Yamaha speakers, and I was greatly impressed with what this receiver could do with them. I wasn't expecting to feel the base from Star Wars, episode 1. I'm looking forward to what the surround/subwoofers will sound like (next month's purchase)

Many people complained about the remote and I did have a LOT of frustrations with signals not getting to the receiver from 8 feet away, with no obstructions. HOWEVER, I changed the RF channel and my frustrations disappeared for good. I HIGHLY recommend fiddling with the 3 channels if you're having problems.

The learning functions of the remote are also first rate. I didn't like the default layout the factory chose for my dvd player, so after about 5 minutes (including looking up in the manual how to do it) I had it working right. You can program up to 5 'extend' instructions, or you can reprogram what most of the buttons do. Just make sure you have the normal remote for the device handy... That's what the kenwood remote 'learns' from.

The only downside I've found with the remote, is that you have to mash the IR buttons pretty good to register with the device. The receiver controls don't have this problem however.

The only downside I've found with the receiver itself is that I can't program a default starting volume on a per device level. There's a 30 dB gap in what my analog devices sound good at vs. what my digital devices sound good at. I might have to learn how to use macros in the remote to get this right.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $460.00

Purchased At:   Kenwood Factory Outl



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jcadwell a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I know that this unit has been discontinued but i am so impressed with it that I thought I would post some highlites. I am going to guess that it went for so cheap because it is not THX certified but I certainly don't care about that. I this receiver for a bedroom system but it is so good it has found a home as my primary stereo pre-amp and digital processor as well as for movies. This unit does everything I could have hoped and more. It totally blows away my Pioneer PD-65 CD player feeding a full blown Audio Alchemy digital set up (DTi Pro, DDE V3.0 and external power supply). In fact, I am now using a Panasonic RP91 as a CD transport upsampling to 88.2 and feeding the digital inpur of the Kenwood and the sound is as good as I have ever heard (even though the manual said nothing about accepting 88.2 signals it seems to with no problems). I am once again hearing new things in old recordings. The subwoofer crossover operates in all the modes including stereo and is far superior to the Snell EC-3 that I was using. Tons of digital inputs and digital recording and dubbing. I can't say much about the amplifiers as I am using my Anthem Integrated 2 as a power amp to drive the front stereo channels. DVD-audio is awesome as well. I thought I was buying a cheap mule and got a stallion. For the money this is the best buy I have ever gotten, new or used in audio. As for the home theatre aspect this is my first exposure to dolby digital and such so I have no comparisons but what I have heard I love. I couldn't imagine what $3,000 for a digital processor would get me. Besides, they are just movies, right? Stereo sound and DVD-audio is as good as I have heard.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $369.00

Purchased At:   ubid



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Boodah a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I upgraded from the Kenwood VR-309 receiver to the VR-4090B because of a price that was too good to pass up. Boy was I suprised, this receiver is increadible. I've recent added Klipsch RF-3 II's to the Klipsch Quintet Microsystem I had hooked up to the receiver and now both music and movies sound amazing. I have never figured out why people turn their noses up at Kenwood equipment. I've o owned various Kenwood components since 1987 and have never had a single item go into the shop (I even still have a single disc CD player that was given to me as a gift in 1987, still works quite well).

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2002

Bottom Line:   
First off you must read the manual when setting this unit up. A first for me. There is no on screen display to speak of to help you. When you get it up and running it is fairly easy to operate. The remote works ok and controls most of my equipment. Not as well as the sony vision touch technology though. The sound from this amp is very musical. Almost larger than life with a deep but not punchy low end. It is a little boomy. Sounds like the adcom seperates I have. Amp noise is absent but it amplifies everything. On my NAD T751 if the sound level drops below a certain threshold(abstract sounds in recordings) it mutes(omits) them from the total amplifeied signal. When amps do this it makes the music seem to come from a darker backround. It also makes passages more dynamic, punchy, better theater sound, but you are not getting all the info on the recorded media. This kenwood amplifies everything. You hear very low voices between tracks on live recordings and even the singers catching their breath. This is a very true to the recording type amp. It does loose alot in dynamics when watching dvd's because of this. While Armageddon sounds weak it does Sound of Music perfect. Yanni sounds great while Cher(believe) sounds boomy. Best I can put,(If you have been to small clubs) The kenwood sounds like the drummer loaded up the base drum with blankets while the Nad presents the same drum with no blankets in it. I is surely a preferance thing here. The kemwood also makes your speakers think they are in a 30ft hall with a wood floor and a hard ceiling. I prefer the sound from the NAD even though I know it is hiding some things. With my eyes closed it presents a more live in the room feel than the keenwood on my live recordings (metallica s&m, kix, queensryche ect). The Nad also has a more dynamic movie experience. My wife on the other hand prefers the Kenwood. She listens to Yanni ect and watches Drama's where audio dynamics are not needed. On classical music the Kenwood puts you in the radio city music hall for the concert while the Nad puts the orchestra in your livingroom. The Kenwood has more inputs than you will ever need. I think I am going to keep the kenwood as a preamp and use the 5.1 out to some Nad amps. The sound does not get colored untill the amp section in the kenwood. Overall it is a good receiver but listen to it before you buy it. I did not have a local dealer and took a chance on crazy ubid price. Great buy, but the sound is more mainstream than what I like. Actually most people don't like the sound of the Nad but I am one of those who do. Ratings are given for the price I paid, $349 + Shipping.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $399.00

Purchased At:   ubid



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I've had this receiver since July, and even though I know they've been discontinued I thought I'd write this review in the case you come across one. I was actually very happy with my Yamaha 575a receiver, but one day was goofing around on Ubid and ending up being one of the winning bids for the Kenwood. But what I thought was blowing four bills on just another receiver turned out to be one of the best buys in home audio I've made in quite a long time!

This receiver doeas it all and well too. There's more than enough power to give realistic sound for any piece of music or movie in my living room. The Kenwood is built a notch above most everything else in the purchase price range too, primarily because it retailed at around $1000. It plays particularly well using HDCD disc because of it's built-in decoder.

I play all kinds of music and the Kenwood delivers clean, full sound at any volume level. I particularly enjoy its decent sounsdstage and wide dynamic range abilities. You really couldn't find a better deal on an up-to-date receiver than this beauty! Unless an even better bargain comes strolling my way (not with my luck) I see this Kenwood as the centerpiece to my humble home theater system for years to come. Grab one if you still can.

My system: Kenwood VR-4090B Receiver
Pioneer PD-F1009 301-disc CD changer
Sony DVP-S360 DVD player
Panasonic CT27D11 27" TV
Infinity IL30 speakers (front)
Acoustic Research AR-S112PS speaker (center)
Technics SB-T100 speakers (surround)
Acoustic Research S112PS subwoofer
Audioquest/Monster speaker cables
Acoustic Research/Monster A/V interconnect cables
Monster Cable Power Center HT700 Line Conditioner

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $405.00

Purchased At:   Ubid




Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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