Kenwood VR-4090 A/V Receivers

VR-4090

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

User Reviews (21)

Showing 1-10 of 21  
Jason   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 28, 2002]
Strength:

Lots of them. Strong sound, even from normal speakers. Cool remote. Tons of inputs and outputs. And with my mp3 cdr understanding DVD player, I can get tons of music on just one disk. (Though be sure to encode the MP3''s at a high bitrate... you''ll regret it otherwise)

Weakness:

I haven''t found a way to set a default volume for separate devices. I wish I could. You also have to mash the IR buttons on the remote pretty good to get a response. I wish it had component video out, since most dvd players are shipping with that now. Combining that with the Universal Video would be AWESOME. But probably the biggest weakness is that they discontinued it, and it''s hard to find these days.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jcadwell   AudioPhile [Apr 26, 2002]
Strength:

digital sound, flexibility, crossover, inputs

Weakness:

can''t comment on the amplifier section but makes an awesome pre-processor. Difficult to figure out if you don''t read the manual :)

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.

Similar Products Used: First A/V receiver
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Boodah   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 05, 2002]
Strength:

Awesome, clean power, lots of features and loads of inputs.

Weakness:

Remote is a little finicky, but seems to work well if you don''t point it directly at the receiver (go figure).

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).

Similar Products Used: Kenwood VR-309
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
John   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 30, 2001]
Strength:

Very flexible; the most audio and video I/O connections of any receiver/amplifier in its' class including 14 digital (7 optical, 7 coaxial) connections! Combines both composite and S-video signals into high-quality S-video output. Autimatically configures attached devices and recognizes and properly configures analog, digital PCM, Dolby digital, and DTS signals - a real benefit when playing old CX or Dolby Surround laser disks and new DTS DVDs on a Pioneer DVL-909 laser/DV disk player! Very clean sound once unit is properly configured for room size and speaker position and size. Good bass - but make sure the subwoofer used has good power with adjustable turnover and gain. Four year parts/labor warranty a plus. Fascinating RF remote but . . .

Weakness:

Confusingly complex RF 2-way remote. Thoroughly reading the instructions and following them exactly still resulted in several hours of frustrating configuration. However, considering that the receiver is controlling a turntable, a new CD-changer with CD text, an old CD/cassette dubbing deck, a DVD/Laser combination player, a new high-end S-VHS ET VCR, an older standard VHS VCR, a 15 year old Sony Beta digital VCR and an analog cable converter attached, some set-up complexity is to be expected.

Overall, an extremely flexible unit with comprehensive features, multiple A/V connectivity, good power and and clean, crisp sound. An OUTSTANDING value!

Similar Products Used: Replaced an Aiwa AV-X500 Pro-Logic AV receiver/VCR combo.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob Graham   Audiophile [Aug 07, 2001]
Strength:

Tons of inputs, Lots of power, Great sound, Powerful remote

Weakness:

None so far

Upon receipt noticed that unit was very heavy. Appears to be very solidly constructed. Instructions were very easy to follow and setup went without a hitch. Kenwood's web site contains interactive on line user manual which is very clever.
Unit sounds great in both stereo and theater modes. drives my Polk RT55s to ear shattering levels when asked. Remote works almost every device in my system completely. Only complaint is that I can't bring up the guide on my satelite receiver.

Similar Products Used: Sony 935, Pioneer first generation dd receiver
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 02, 2001]
Strength:

Have been reviewing receivers for some time. Audiophile quality for mid range money. This has quality touches, heavy unit, (42 pounds) gold coax connectors. I think the remote is great - is two way with LCD screen. Unit is very powerful and very very clean sounding. Dead silent even with gain high. Super plus: to check out company, I got through to Kenwood on toll free number several times with helpful techs. Plus they give you a 4 year warranty - can't be beat! Another special bonus - don't be fooled by Harmon AVR 510 - they tell you they have the only receiver to play MP3s. Well I am playing MP3s fine through digital in on the 4090B. (from digital out on my computer) Not a plus - the great sound quality of this receiver will reveal that MP3s don't sound so great compared to original quality CDs. Great source material will sound great on this unit.

Weakness:

Only flaws are scrolling through menus to change tone etc from the remote. no 5 channel stereo

4 year warranty plus great tech support beats all others in the field. Plus I purposely bought this recently since it is "last year's model" and was half price!!! Great build quality, never gets hot! Only thing missing is 5 channel stereo or pro logic II. Surprisingly, I do like a few of the including DSP modes!! This hefty beast reeks and sounds of quality. Buy one or two so I can be sure Kenwood will be around to honor my 4 year warranty, though I think and hope I won't need to use it. Kenwood puts their money where their mouth is. If other companies think they are so great, then why do they only give 2 year warranties? Rock on Kenwood!

Similar Products Used: Harmon Kardon, PIoneer
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rob Hise-Denk   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 01, 2001]
Strength:

Awesome RF/IR learning remote that works through walls, both composite and S-video can be run into the receiver with only 1 S-video cord going to the tv, tons of inputs, digital output, HDCD decoding, awesome sound!

Weakness:

A little tricky to set up properly, no 6.1 decoding, the input that is automatically chosen first when switching doesn't have a digital input (which is a pain when the main equipment you use is a dvd player, dss, ps2, etc.)

I'd like to start by saying that the problems with the remote are easily solved. If you place the receiver in a low position and make sure the receiver's antenna is pulled straight upward with the two branches fully spread in a T-shape, you will get a good signal.
This receiver sounds great, as do most receivers in its class. It has some features that you will not find on any other brand- Universal Video (which converts composite video to S-video so you only need to use 1 cord and 1 input on your tv and don't have to switch tv inputs when switching devices), a 2-way RF remote that will work through walls and does not need to be pointed, HDCD decoding, optical AND coaxial digital inputs for almost every slot, and 32-bit surround processing for your stereo-format media.
The guy below who gave it one star must work for the competition or something because his review is completely inaccurate.
This model is now a year old and being replaced by a newer model, so you can get it for about half the original price if you look around a bit.
Highly recommended!

Similar Products Used: Kenwood VR-309
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 02, 2001]
Strength:

power,imaging,separation, remote

Weakness:

none

I could not believe the difference that was made from my previous reciever(JVC RV-884). There is no noise in DD and sounds are so easy locate. It almost seems as if there is some sort of sound processing that is done in regular stereo mode that expands the width of the sound stage. HDCD automatically detects cd's of that sort and decodes it. I could tell the difference a little bit, but not a huge difference in sound.
The remote that everybody complains about is easy to use.

Cleanest amp I have ever used! buy it while you still can

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Enrico Sciullo   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 04, 2000]
Strength:

Sound was great, I have complete control over the sound. The power of this unit was just outstanding, I drove it full out and it still it was crisp and clean. I am glad I purchased puppy, makes a good addition to my system.

Weakness:

The remote takes some time to get use to but once you got the hang of it No problems.

I reviewed Denon avr-3300, avr-2800, Pioneer Elite vsx-26tx, vsx-27tx, Yamaha RX-V995 and RX-v795a Sony 555es and it blew every one away. I would recommend this Receiver to anyone who wants to enjoy there music.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
William   Audiophile [Jun 23, 2000]
Strength:

Awesome Radio Frequency Remote (UHF) and Univeral Video make this receiver very strong.

Weakness:

Have not found any yet...

This receiver is the cat's Meow. It is one of the easyiest receiver to hookup video switching wise. The new universal video feature kicks butt. I have a sat. with s-video, VCR with composite video and DVD player with s-video and all I have to do is run one s-video cable to the tv. Unlike my older receivers I had to run both composite and s-video to my tv. The receiver sounds great to be. It has plenty of power. I compared it side by side with my Denon AVR-3300 and it blows it away. It ate the Denon for lunch. All channels driver are 100 watts unlike the last report I read on my Denon where all channels driven at the same time is only 66 watts on the rear. The other awesome feature about the Kenwood is it has a killer radio frequency remote (uhf). The Kenwood is a killer receiver. If anybody needs one call 217-224-6171 or check out this website.. http://4electronicwarehouse.com/

I bought mine from the following site and they are very knowlegable and are a pleasure doing business with. I would recommend to go buy one to anyone wanting a killer
receiver with great sound and features.

Similar Products Used: Denon avr-3300, avr-2800, Pioneer Elite vsx-26tx, vsx-27tx, Yamaha RX-V995 and RX-v795a
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 21  

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