Kenwood VR-309 A/V Receivers

VR-309

AC3+DTS Receiver - 100 watts x 5 channels - Video Inputs: 3 Composite, 3 S-Video - Video Outputs: 1 Composite, 1 S-Video

User Reviews (103)

Showing 1-10 of 103  
VintageTurntable   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 03, 2011]

I just purchased this receiver on ebay. I paid $123.79 and it delivers crisp,clear music even when I use my Kenwood Rear Surround Sound Speakers as stereo speakers. You won't need a subwoofer unless your front speakers are bookshelf. It has never given me any problems. $123.79 is a steal for a $400.00 Stereo Receiver! I haven't tried the Surround Sound as I don't have the equipment.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
alexmichael124   AudioPhile [Oct 08, 2009]

i received this stereo for free and have always loved it. It sounds great with everything and i wouldnt want anything els. But, one day i come home to my stereo and speakers all moved to the opposite side of the room by my stupid ass f***in retard sister and right away ik im f***ed. i cant get the stereo to play sound to any speakers and have not been able to use if for a few months now.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Craig   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 16, 2007]
Strength:

Easy setup, and many other good features

Weakness:

Needs subwoofer, but then again, whats a surround system without one??

I've had this receiver for almost 10 years now and it ROCKS!! The only problem I have had with it so far is the power button on the remote quit working. No biggie!! I have a universal. Anyway, my speaker system inludes 2 E-712's, 2 LS-10's (front A and B), 1 E-76C (center), 2 E-76's (surround) and a LW-15 for my sub. All are Cerwin Vega home speakers and are an excellent match for the VR-309 receiver. The sound is amazingly clear and crisp. I would definately recommend a subwoofer for this unit though. Throw in Jurrasic Park 3 DVD, set the receiver to DTS, crank it up to about -30 or -20 and WATCH OUT FOR THE PLANE!!! DUCK!!!! LOL!!!

Customer Service

Haven't needed any service for this receiver yet.

Similar Products Used: Had a Sony receiver years ago, don't know the model number, but it kept shutting itself off after about 5 or 10 minutes of high volume. Very annoying...Kenwood is much better!!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
joe voicheck   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 10, 2003]
Strength:

Good audio sound matching capability. Lots of flexibility on inputs. Ability to bring video through unit to display monitor. Plenty of power for clean sound.

Weakness:

Bad documentation for servicing unit. Would like better AM antenna connection. Switching problem.

The VR-309 has been a sweetheart until lately. Have gotten a power supply problem associated with times when the unit is physically touched - causes power to be switched on/off. Document, including SM, provides no help for this. Other than the current problem (which I still hope to solve), the unit has had exceptional sound quality for all speakers, my IM Fried fronts especially. Tuning the sub to the fronts is an important aspect of good audio quality. The VR-309 gives good internal adjustments for that. Plenty of power for my 15 by 30 room (-40 is more than adequate). Now if only I can figure out how to solve the switching problem...

Similar Products Used: Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer - all with less features or older technology than VR-309.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jeremy bluhm   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 22, 2003]
Strength:

DTS,Dolby Digital & Stereo mode

Weakness:

manual sucks ass(needs powered sub)

I like this reciever alot. Has great sound. You people need to learn how to use it. S-video works better than regular audio cables.

Similar Products Used: Kenwood kr-796
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
vmax   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 27, 2002]
Strength:

DD, DTS

Weakness:

Remote

I have used this receiver for over 2 years now,and I have not had 1 problem with it. Sounds great with all movies and especially DTS. The powered sub is a must that everyone talks about.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Rob   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 09, 2000]
Strength:

Style/color different from all the other black boxes; doen't get hot; nice remote

Weakness:

Takes a while to find the best way to set it up for your speakers. The setups are confusing at first

Coming from owning an 19 year old JVC RS77, these new A/V receivers are hard to get used to. The first day I set it up was a somewhat exhausting experience. You don't just fiddle with a few knobs anymore; you have to become totally immmersed in your particular units unique computer logic. Study the manual over and over. Its a whole new ballgame.
It took me a while to figure out that by turning the bass and treble in the minus area and turning the volume up, then raising the bass/treble gives much better sound. -4 treble with +4 bass seems really good. I really liked my old JVC but this Kenwood gives music many subtle nuances I had not heard before on my CD's and tape. The AM/FM response is much better in clarity than the old JVC. For the price I think it is a good value and Kenwood seems to have a good reputation for reliability. I hope it lasts me at least ten years.

Similar Products Used: nothing like this, but tested it against the Onkyo TS-575 and could not tell the difference.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Greg Cutshaw   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 11, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent value for the price, Good sound in Dolby digital

Weakness:

None considering the price

I am rating this 5 stars considering the fact I paid $399 for it at Circuit City (a bargain). My dad listened to it and liked it so much he bought one at Crutchfield for $369 a week later. I'm new to the refurb business but it is available for $249 refurb or on Ebay for $299 open box.

Rear surrounds - Radio Shack Pro-X44AV
Front speakers - Sound Dynamics w/ tweeter, 10" woofer
(just replaced the Fronts with Pro-X44AV)
Infinity BU-120 subwoofer
Center speaker Older model Radio Shack similar to the PRO-X88AV.

I bought the VR 309 and because it was so good I thought I might as well step up to the VR-3080 ($699 at CC) and get the LCD remote, discrete output circuit, real loudness function and a few other perks. I had the 3080 one day and returned it in disappointment. I could see only very minor improvements in the mid range sound and NO improvement in the amount or tightness of Bass frequencies usually associated with a discrete output design. I went back and got another VR-309 and am sticking with that. The VR-309 doesn't really have a Loudness control that varies the bass boost according to the volume setting. What it does have is a bass boost control that merely sets the Bass setting to 10 when pushed. If the bass is already set at 10, then there is no effect.

The 309 is a little weak on bass but has just as much bass as the 3080. The 309 remote is average but I am not big on having one remote control everything. BTW the 3080 remote did not control all the functions on my Sony TV and refused to operate the PLAY and STOP fuctions on my DVD player.

The 309 sound quality in stereo and Pro-Logic modes is average. The sound quality in Dolby Digital mode is spectacular and hard to believe in this price range. My old Sony had a more dynamic sound in Pro-Logic mode but was not as clear in stereo mode. I did compare the 3080 and the 309 in Stereo and Dolby Digital (DD) modes and found the 309 to be as good as the 3080 at low and high volumes. The channel separation is excellent. The subwoofer output which I believe is crossed over at 80Hz does a fantastic of sending only the bass to the sub. I set all the speakers to NORMAL which the Dolby spec says to do unless they can produce frequencies below 80 Hz with ease. By the way, I have replaced my 10" woofered Sound Dynamics with the Radio Shack PRO-44AV and couldn't believe the clarity, power handling and bass response even at high volumes. I also tried the PRO-88AV's and the 44AV blew them away (go figure). Laugh if you want but you won't believe the sound that the 44AV's produce compared to some $250 speakers. Keep in mind that I also have a separate 12" subwoofer wired into the receiver's sub out port.

I would highly recommend this receiver to anyone.

Similar Products Used: Older Sony STR series Dolby Pro-Logic receiver, Kenwood VR-3080
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian Treinen   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 11, 2000]
Strength:

Features, price, can get it boxed with fronts, surrounds, center and 100w powered sub as HTB-502

Weakness:

None significant

This is a GREAT reciever. Cost aside this is an excellent reciever that has recently bested Yamaha and Technics units costing much more in reviews. Add in that it costs so little (especially bundled as the HTB-502) - I got mine from shop4.com for $469 shipped as the HTB-502. It was a no brainer. Setup was easy, sound is great, plenty powerful. Would recommend without hesitation.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Nikolai Krjanovskicz   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 29, 2000]
Strength:

built-in DTS decoder,S-video

Weakness:

sound accuracy & detail,stereo sucks,more like 65watts than 100 watts to me

Purchased this unit last November.

The stereo mode of this unit just doesn't compare to the Yamahas and Denons. For HT, it's bearable although I would say this is a cheap way of getting yourself into DTS. The DTS mode is simply disappointing. Dolby Digital is quite ok but overall I would say you'd be better off with a Yamaha, Denon or HK.

I completely agree with the guy below(Mr Black), yeah, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY THE YAMAHA RX-V495 at about the same price you'll get cleaner sound for stereo and DD.

Similar Products Used: Denon,Yamaha,Krell,Bryston
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-10 of 103  

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