Kenwood VR-3080 A/V Receivers

VR-3080

Dolby Digital - Dolby DTS - A/V Receiver - 100 watts x 5 channels - Video Inputs: 4 Composite, 4 S-Video - Video Outputs: 1 Composite, 1 S-Video

User Reviews (27)

Showing 1-10 of 27  
Greg Cutshaw   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 11, 2000]
Strength:

None considering the price

Weakness:

See below

I Initially bought and was blown away by the Kenwood VR-309 so I figured why not upgrade to the VR-3080 and get even more good sound. The sound quality of the 3080 in stereo and Dolby Digital modes was NO better than the 309. This is despite the fact that the 3080 has discrete output transistors and all that K-Stat stuff. For $300 more I expected to get tighter bass, more bass and more warmth.

The 3080 remote is pretty cool but it wouldn't operate the PLAY and STOP functions on my RCA DVD player although it would power it on and off. For a high end remote I was disappointed that it couldn't learn the codes for my Sony TV and didn't have built in ones for the Picture and sleep functions (just 2 examples). The Loudness control did a good job of boosting the bass as a function of volume compared to the 309's bass boost control which merely set the bass to 10 when activated. Also see my review of the VR309 for more details.

I'm sure the design and components of the 3080 is more advanced than the 309 but the resulting sound just doesn't show it.

I would recommend that any one considering the VR-3080 also try the VR-309 and put the extra money into a high end remote if that's important to you.

Similar Products Used: VR-309
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Rondall Payton   Casual Listener [Jun 21, 2000]
Strength:

solid sound, lots of s-video and digital inputs and looks

Weakness:

remote (not as bad as reviews would indicate, front panel

I had the sony for a month and the JVC for a week. I will compare the Sony and Kenwood. The Kenwood sounds better out of the Box (In stereo for sure). The Sony has More EQ adjustments (Low, Mids and Highs for each set of speakers and you can change the freq that the Eq is controling) The Kenwood has a Bass and Treble for stereo only. The Sony has a lot more DSP/Prologic modes (26) and some of these rock. Jazz music in Jazz Club mode is awsome for Example. The Kenwood has five modes which is really all you need but they just aren't as effective as the Sony. The Sony lets you specify exactly where your satelite speakers go (Position ed behind or beside you and if they are high or low). Kenwood has a three channel stereo which is nice for watching TV (Stereo but with the center speaker on).

Summing all of what I just said up. The Sony has a lot more control but the Kenwood just sounds better without needing to do anything. I thought the Sony sounded a little flat out of the box. I played with speaker placement and the EQ and got it to sound pretty good but not for all types of music or conditions. The Kenwood just sounds good without touching a thing. All the cool DSP/Prologic modes are fun to play with and might be usefull to me once in a great while but, well so what. Most of my opinions are based on stereo because I found Dolby Digital Surround Sound (5:1) to kick butt in every system I listened to.

The Kenwood has a S-video hook-up for every vedeo sorce. This is important to me because the S-Video source inputs do not output to the RCA output jacks and vice a versa (True in both the sony and kenwood). I want to use all S-video or all RCA jacks for my video to avoid having two outputs to my TV from the receiver. I think s-video looks cleaner and the input switching is complicated enough for my family without having to switch the TVs input and the Recievers input.

The Kenwood has a built in fan and the K-stat sytem which indicates to me it is built to perform and last.

One reason I did not buy the Kenwood in the first place was the remote. I read reviews and tried the remote in the store. I thought it was going to be complicated and difficult to use (To many menus to do simple task and slow).
I found the remote to actually be a plus. I can control everything in my system from the remote with very little effort. Only the channle changing is a pain (both radio and TV). The remote set up is easy. I put in the code for my DSS receiver and the next time I selected DSS the controls poped up on my remote. I had no idea how acurate the cotrols would be (all the buttons for my DSS were there). This was true of my VCR and DVD. It is actually easier to control my sony dvd from my kenwood remote than from the sony dvd remote because the buttons are so clear. I already owned a Cinema 7 remote that has learning capability (cost $20) that I used with my Sony receiver. I can change input source, adjust volume and change channels (radio and TV)and much more using this remote. This saves ware on my kenwood remote and makes channel surfing much easier. With these two remotes I can put the other five remotes in a drawer.

The kenwood is advertised as 100 watts per channel but it is at 6 ohms. Some other reviewer said that it is probably only 85 watts at 8 ohms (i'll have to trust him). The Sony is 100 watts, but I could not turn it to max volume without distortion. The kenwood goes much higher wihout distorting. Result is Kenwood VR 3080 rocks louder and clearer.

I think the Kenwood sounds great and the remote is not an issue if you spend the $20 dollars for a remote with learning capbility. Look at how high this system is rated on this site, even with the customer remote disatisfaction and deside for yourself.

Don't be intimidated by the remote like I was. Read the manual and set it up properly. It is a great receiver.

PS: anynody want to buy a Sony receiver. Just kidding

Similar Products Used: Sony de835 and JVC 8000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 05, 1999]
Strength:

Sound QUALITY, functions and features.

Weakness:

No 6 channel inputs, very useful for computer soundcards.

Well the last couple of weeks have been very hard for me. I have wasted a tone of time shopping for receivers and standing in lines returning them. My first purchase was the pioneer vsx508 it had every feature I wanted more so then this Kenwood but the sound quality, ugh. Next I purchased the Kenwood vr207 for $300 dollars, the sound quality was pretty good. When I went back to purchase some speakers I saw that the same store had the Kenwood vr3080 on sale for $420 dollars plus no tax, hee. Needless to say I couldnt pass it up, I am extremely impressed with the sound quality it really puts some life into my old DCM bookshelf speakers. My only problem now is that to match this receivers sound quality with the same quality in speakers is going to cost me a fortune.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
William   Casual Listener [Jun 25, 2000]
Strength:

Great sounding in Dolby Digital 5.1 for home theater use.

Weakness:

Low bass volume in Dolby Surround mode. Remote control responds slowly at times. Remote control display turns off too quickly.

I purchased this reciever for both music listening and for home theater use. I am running it in conjuntion with the following components: A five disc carousel cd player, dual tape deck, equalizer, all Kenwood. Television and DVD player, both Sony and also a Samsung HI-FI VCR. I am using Bose Acoustimass 7 speakers for my front speakers w/ bass module and Bose 201 Series speakers for my surround sound speakers. I am very pleased with the reciever's sound when I'm watching my DVD movies in Dolby Digital format. The sound is fantastic. The first time I put in my favorite movie on DVD a smile suddenly smirked across my face when I felt what real Dolby Digital was supposed to sound like. So if your in the market for a handsome reciever that will mainly be used for home theater usage...I'd recommend this reciever.
Now for the drawbacks that I've noticed...
When listening to my cd's there is definately not enough bass when you are listening in Dolby Surround mode. It sounds almost flat even when the subwoofer setting is turned all the way up. The only way to get really good bass response is to listen to music in stereo mode. I also get very low volume through my surround speakers in Dolby Surround mode even when their volume levels are turned up.
Another drawback is the following: I listen to my televisions sounds through my speakers connected to my reciever. I like to listen to television this way as I'm sure many other people do. There is no "input" for a televison's analog cables on the back of this reciever. There is only an S-video out for your monitor. Which means when you hook up your T.V. through the S-video Monitor out port, the remote will only control the television's volume level not the television's sound that should be coming through the speakers. To remedy this I send the television's analog cables into the port on the back of the reciever labled "video 1". But again there is a drawback to this...When you program your TV's code into the reciever and assign it to the "video 1" port it labels it as DVD1 on the reciever's front display panel. I dislike that. It's not a DVD player, it's a television.
Finally, there is the remote control itself...Kenwood calls it a "Power Pad". Ok, "Power Pad" it is. It sure is difficult to explain how to use it to my wife. She'd rather get off of the couch to turn everything on by hand than use the remote. There are way too many menus to cycle through to do the simplest of tasks. If you know how to use the remote it's a good one, if not good luck to you. Overall I have to give this reciever a good rating because it does what I bought it to do. It plays Dolby Digital 5.1 outstandingly. It also has plenty of inputs and outputs on the back of it to support upgrades like component video for that great T.V. that I'll get someday. This sucker was made to last and is an eye catcher with it's metallic faceplate. I actually like the fact that there are not a bazillion buttons on the front of the reciever. All the buttons on my five other remote controls are now nicely sitting in a drawer in my kitchen. Thanks for cleaning up my coffee table Kenwood.

Similar Products Used: Older Kenwood recievers.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Milind Shah   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 16, 2000]
Strength:

Great sound quality, enough power, lots of inputs and easy switching between inputs to tape and view.

Weakness:

Not enough functions on the front panel

Great receiver, would strongly recommend. Has many inputs, easy to switch between inputs, easy switching of inputs to VCR input for taping, etc. But if the VR3090 is available for up to $75 more, go for it. Basically the same as 3080, but with a better remote.

Though the remote is not ideal, and there is a delay when changing volume-Kenwood has a Klicker remote they will ship if you email them (for free). The did it for me-excellent customer service. This remote is fast and easy, and you can do all basic functions with it.

I actually like the main remote (would prefer the touchpad though)-the trick is spend a good 2 hours reading through the manual, and understanding and programming the remote one step at a time. After that, you will like it. Programming it is not as intuitive as a regular remote, but once you understand the functioning, it is great. One click and you can set up your complete home theater.

A great quality product, has many bells and whistles, clean crisp sound.

Similar Products Used: Technics and Sony products
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
S G   Casual Listener [Apr 01, 2000]
Strength:

Great performance, relatively low price, compatibility

Weakness:

Remote!!

I just bought this receiver off of a guy auctioning on yahoo.com auctions. He was great pleasure to deal with, and I had the receiver in about 8 days after winning the auction, not bad turnaround time! I totally love this receiver, it has everything I will ever use. The Dolby digital and optical capabilities make it well worth the $470 I paid for it. I absolutely hate the remote though!!! If anyone knows where to get the smaller remote for it, please email me. I have to hit the volume buttons about 3 or 4 times to get it to move, I hate that. It is pretty nice that you can control so many components with it, however the response is horrible. Overall, I am very pleased, but Kenwood, work on a new remote!!

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Gary Payton   Audiophile [Mar 20, 2000]
Strength:

Awesome features, great sound, good looks......and cool remote

Weakness:

hard to match with other components. matching kenwood dv-2070 DVD player is really difficult to find and when found, very pricy. Powerpad remote is sluggish but there is always the free "clicker" remote that Kenwood offers to speed things up!

I gotta say, even for what would be considered now an old receiver (since it is last years model), I have to say that this is one of the more fully-loaded receivers I have laid eyes on. I originally wanted the new Denon receiver with the THX Ultra certified Dolby EX format, but the best buy I could get was $1350.00 at ubid (slightly out of my current price range as a full-time college student). I then seen that this kenwood was on auction at ubid and picked it up for $370.00 (normal retail is $800-$900, but if you shop around you can get one for between $400-$500 on the average).

I fell in love with this reciever right out of the box. With the exception of Dolby EX it is everything I would want from a receiver. The only problem I have encountered has nothing to do with the receiver itself. Kenwood labs have not donated a code number for my remote that will control my JVC XV-D2000BK DVD player. It does, however, control nearly every aspect of my TV and VCR. The receivers sound reproduction is great. Stereo sound flows smooth and virtually flawless as well as in Dolby Digital (I have yet to test dts). The built in cooling fan keeps the heat to a minimum and is pretty silent for the most part.

One note: if the powerpad remote's sluggishness in key features (such as volume control or switching the power on and off) contact Kenwood at 1-800-536-9663 and see if they have any "clicker" remotes left over from their promotion. These have minimal features (volume control, input control, and power control) but will save you some frustration of having to deal with the powerpad.

Overall it is a great receiver. Shop wisely though!

Similar Products Used: JVC
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Angel Rodriguez   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 12, 1999]
Strength:

Powerful Remote, clean sound, lot of home theater features, good price ($699 with it's matching partner the Kenwood CD3260M CD changer).

Weakness:

No 5.1 channel input, slow and sometimes unresponsive remote, you need the remote for almost anything, lack of power especially in the bass.

I've been using this receiver for less than a month and I must say I'm very impressed with it. It's a clean sounding receiver with good definition in the upper midrange although it lacks a little bit of bass.
The rest of my equipment consist in a pair of Dalquist 6.2cs 2-way speakers, a Kenwood CD3260M CD changer, a Yamaha CDC-755 CD changer, a Pioneer DV-606D DVD player, Audioquest Type 6+ speaker cables and Monster Cable interconnects. I haven't used this receiver for home theater but I heard it with Paradigm Monitor Series and DCM speakers and i must say that it sound terrific.
Like I said, it have a clean soundwith good definition in the vocals. It has a good varietyt of inputs including S-video which is uncommon in low budget receivers.
About the remote I must say that it offers a lot, and I mean a lot of features. The only problem with it is that you have to navigate over its menus everytime you want to do something. It is also slow and unresponsive especially with the volume control.
Aside this problems this is a fine receiver with just the right tools you need for a great music and home theater system.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo TX-SV575, Denon 1800.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
John P.   Audiophile [Oct 18, 1999]
Strength:

Superb sound quality.
No noticable distortion, even at extremely high volume levels.
Flawless mode digital mode switching (form analog to DTS to 5.1 and back again)
Beautiful styling
Powerful and fun remote control
Enough inputs to satisfy almost any audiophile

Weakness:

Badly marketed

The VR-3080 is most definitely worth the best $700 bucks that I have ever spent. The 3080 not only matches, but in some instances blows away much more expensive units from some big name manufacturers. The sound imaging on the unit is dead on, and it has enough power to "wake the dead" with surprisngly 0 noticable distortion. Kudos to Kenwood.

Similar Products Used: Varied
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff Sumbillo   [May 01, 2001]
Strength:

Good price, lots of features, good performance

Weakness:

remote, bass management

I bought this unit about a year ago....It's been working great. Just wanted you all to know who own the unit and have been complaining about the remote. If you contact kenwood, they will give you a FREE mini kicker remote control. It's a nice hand held and programmable (slightly). It doesn't lag like the LCD remote. It will control volume, power annd input selection nicely. You can use the LCD for configuration and showing off and the kicker for normal use. The unit has worked well, but I've had a problem with the bass management. I just bought a sub and I cannot get the main speakers to cut off the frequency at 80hz. The sub gets 80hz and below..as well as the main speakers. I don't know if this is a problem with my unit or not. Besides that, the unit is great.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 27  

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