Kenwood VR 510 A/V Receivers

VR 510

Enjoy authentic surround sound with this VR-510 Dolby capable and THX certified receiver from Kenwood.

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
nextmorning   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 17, 2002]
Strength:

LOUD CLEAR 110 W x 5 THX!!!! There is a differnce it's not just a marketing ploy.

Weakness:

2 Speaker Music Playback lacks something The remote Who the heck wrote that manual????

For anyone reading this review and isn't sure whether or not to buy this receiver I have two words for you BUY IT!!!! Don't listen to these guys who talk about sound escaping the room or giving sound color trust me once you crank this baby up the movies come alive!!! Especially your THX ones. There isn't much difference between DTS with or without THX but take Toy Story 2 pop it in and listen to your surround speakers they actually do something CONSTANTLY. I hooked it up side by side with the Kenwood VR 6050 and there is a noticable difference. One thing you'll notice out of the box this thing is LOUD. Turn it up and up and up and it keeps sounding better and better. The VR 6050 starts distorting at around -5DB. I have Technics speakers all around at 100W and they sing now. Music listeners beware it's not the greatest of amps for 2 speaker stereo modes. You'll need an EQ for that. But this item is meant for movies and for the price paid none compare. I've heard them or tried them all. From Pioneer to Yamaha to Sony. Please stay away from SONY!!!!! I'm very happy all I need now a a massive super loud thumping Subwoofer to replace my tired one. It's had better days. Once again buy it buy it buy it. Remember THX certification means exactly that. It's been put through vigorous testing so you know it's a quality amp.

Similar Products Used: Kenwood VR 6050 Pioneer SADX 810S Yamaha 5540 Sony STR DE1075
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
speedaddict   AudioPhile [May 27, 2002]
Strength:

Movie sound reproduction THX Select (if this is important...) Strong feature set for the price Nice (but bulky) remote (RF/IR)

Weakness:

Poor music reproduction

Picked this A/V receiver up through an open box sale at Futureshop for $500 CDN. Thought that the THX would vault this amp above the rest at this price point. Unfortunately I was wrong. I found the amp more than adequate for movie reproduction. Settings are intuitive, connectivity options are probably the best for the price (pre outs, etc.) The DSP modes are next to useless (at least with the 2 speaker configuration I'm using). At first the receiver lived up to my expectations, but as I listened closer this changed. I listen to a lot of music and the aural reproduction was somewhat lacking. It seemed dry, bland, and neutral. Some may like music sounding like this, but I am use to an old circa 1970 Sansui amp. After further investigation I found that the Kenwood had digital tone controls (bass and treble). All the sound was being mixed in digital in the Kenwood before amplification, causing a colouration to the audio. The source direct button, suprisingly, did not seem to completely bypass the digital circuitry. Overall, I liked the VR-510 for movies. Toy Story 2 sounded crisp and punchy. The aggressive sound that the VR-510 produces is condusive to movie sound, but I found it somewhat lacking for music. If you are looking for music reproduction I would advise you to find an amp with analog (not digital) tone controls and a limited amount of digital processing. I finally returned the VR-510 and exchanged it for a Yamaha HTR-5550.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha HTR-5550, Sansui
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Adam   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 11, 2002]
Strength:

Everything listed before. Very good sounding receiver with lots of features for the money.

As the previous reviewer noted, setting Up Bass Management is easy once you understand how this receiver works. All other things aside, you MUST turn up the bass peak level (in the setup menu)or turn off bass peak level clipping completely. At -30db you will get weak bass, try turning it up to the level at which your sub clips. This option defaults to -30db which is way too low. I have mine set to ~ -15db.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
kcdavebob   Casual Listener [Feb 25, 2002]
Strength:

Price, SOUND, DSP Modes, RF remote, Tons of inputs and outputs

Weakness:

Remote can be hard to figure out, but the more I use it the easier it gets.

WOW. This receiver is top notch for the money paid. If you read the owners manual when setting this bad boy up, then you are home free. If you own it for two weeks and don''''t know crap about how to operate it, it might sound like crap. But after I got it all set up and everything tweeked and optimized, it blew me away. The Dolby Pro Logic II is excellent for VHS. There is hardly any audible difference between pro logic II and 5.1. Don''''t listen to people tell you that it has no bass. Bass is determined more by your subwoofer than your reciever. Plus, some people plug it in and turn it on and expect to hear perfection without setting it up properly. After I raised the peak option on the receiver, then the bass couldn''''t be better. It shakes the pictures on my walls. I watched Star War''''s Episode I the other day and it was incredible. SOME PEOPLE ARE WAY TOO PICKY!! This is an excellent receiver and Kenwood products have always been good to me.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Martek   AudioPhile [Feb 05, 2002]
Strength:

Features

Weakness:

Price, quality

Please don''t waste your money on this product. There are many other choices in this category. I looked at the VR 510 for about two seconds. I finally went with the Denon AVR-2802 which retails for $100 more. THX is a marketing ploy. There are other products out there which provide a much better value and bang for the buck.

Similar Products Used: Denon
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Adam Shiffman   Audiophile [Nov 21, 2001]
Strength:

Plenty of inputs, PLII, Circle Surround, and THX. Great learning remote.

Weakness:

Cannot go directly to source input, must go through all the options to get to the one you want. Remote is battery hungry.

Simply put, this is a great value in a receiver especially if you are an audiophile and want to make better use of your 5.1 setup. PLII is quite good, as is the Circle Surround for stereo sources. Power output seems quite adequate and the sound quality for Dolby Digital and DTS sources is also very good when using it for home theater.

I'm running Infinity IL10's up front, IL25c center and Infinity RS325's in the rear. I have tested this unit with a DVD-Audio player using the 6 channel RCA inputs and the sound quality is incredible. This is mostly due to the incredible resolution of DVD-Audio.

Back to the receiver. If you do buy this receiver, get yourself a good set of rechargeable batteries (I got the Monster rechargeable batteries - expensive yes, but they really do last)

Great value, no complaints.

Similar Products Used: Kenwood VR-406
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Ortiz   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 27, 2001]
Strength:

THX, Great sound and clarity--distinct from other receivers, PRICE

Weakness:

Manual could be a bit plainer English and getting used to the RC

I thoroughly reviewed several products before making the ultimate decision to go with the VR 510. I normally would not buy anything without getting that "first-hand" experience of trying something out. I think we can all agree that Kenwood products mirror that of top of the line products in most, if not all respects. Just in case, I did however go down to the local Circuit City to try out some of their products just to make sure. I was extremely satisfied with the crisp and clear sound the Kenwood receiver output; even the low end products seemed to outshine their more "mature and expensive" models. I was sold on Kenwood; the next step would be finding a retailer with a good enough price and warranty so as to convince me to buy it. I searched several places and found that the price oddly fluctuated roughly from $700-$400; apparently there is enough there to suggest a vast cost differential--so I read up on some of the reviews submitted by people such as myself on eopinions and audioreview.com about the product--the responses were overwhelmingly in favor of the vr 510 - it seemed that everyone review I read had something positive to say about the unit -- I found it cheapest at www.etronics.com - and let me tell you. I ordered this bad-boy on 12/22 and received it 3-day mail on 12/26 - I was very pleased with the ordering time. Etronics takes pride in their merchandise and 'THEY DO' want their customers to come back as return shoppers. I must say, they were more than prompt with getting my order shipped to me; they didn't charge my credit card till my order had already shipped! Anyway, if you're looking for a good deal on virtually anything in the way of consumer electronics, stop by etronics--they won't do you wrong. And now, I am in no way affiliated with Etronics-I just figure that I got such a good deal, why not let someone else take advantage of that same opportunity?
The vr 510 is relatively easy to setup--I set mine up all with composite video and rca audio--no coaxes coming out of my stuff. If you read the manual carefully, you will bring it all together nicely; however, if you fail to do the manual thing its justice, you will fail miserably--unless you already know how to hook one of these things up to multiple components--if that's the case-then this should be easy for those. The only thing that I find a bit difficult to use is the remote control, although, after many hours of usage that night, I can honestly say that it really does work nicely. Programming is a sinch--and whoever said you couldn't do source switching with the remote is sadly mistaken--with a bit of reading on programming, you can find it's fairly easy to set.
Let me tell you gents, the sound can be summed in one word, "AWESOME." I am glad that I chose not to buy the theater in a box combo that I was originally going to go with. Here, I get THX, DOLby digital, Dolby DIGIAL II--and THX---and yes, I did say THX TWICE--it's just that, where else can you get THX at this price?! Guys, no joke, this receiver ranks up with some of the best of the "thousand dollar" receivers out there--trust me, I have heard several. The bass is phenomenal--I raced down to Best Buy and bought Pearl Harbor and Star Wars Phantom Menace on DVD and Oh GOD, this thing really screams and roaaaaaaaaaars. My living room looks really cool now with my 52' RCA and my racks. Guys, if you're looking for a good deal for the price, go with the VR 510--if you want less than mediocre sound for the same price, go with the theater in a box--Don't short-change yourself guys, get this receiver!

Similar Products Used: JVC, KENWOOD
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Darryl   Casual Listener [Jan 06, 2002]
Strength:

Great price for THX! Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro-logic 2, 2 component video inputs, good DSP modes and most importantly sounds great!

Weakness:

Scary remote (but nice looking). cd/dvd shares same on screen input

I bought this beauty in Nov, 2001 and haven't looked back since. It totally destroys my Pioneer which was only 1yr. old. I'm using old front speakers from a Pioneer stereo set from 1988 and centre and rear speakers from Sony from 1994 with no subwoofer. Still this system refuses to sound like crap! DVD's sound great especially with THX (Jurassic Park and Gladiator) as well as cds and regular radio. If your into videogames like Playstation 2, then get this system. Hooked up through the optical it sounds truly amazing, (here's a tip: use dolby pro-logic movie2 or music2 for best sound). Your games will never be the same again.
MY complaints are as follows; 1 the remote while very cool looking with LCD screen is very intimadating, too much buttons and that macro thing takes too much time to figure out. Also the cd/dvd button, my dvd uses a optical input and the cd uses a rca input but on front panel of the system I have to press INPUT 3 times to get ANALOG to listen to cds. There is no INPUT on the remote.
However this system still rocks especially if like videogames!

Similar Products Used: Pioneer VSX-D498
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Peter   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 09, 2002]
Strength:

dd,thx

Weakness:

poor bass

I was replacing my 5 year old Yamaha that only had pro logic and the kenwwod looked good. I thought I could get away with only spending $400, but was waay wrong.The yamaha had clean power only 75 watts and made this kenwood sound like a jvc, or a pioneer. It is fair for music and good for movies.If its a money issue for $400 i would by a onkyo tx-ds595 no thx but will sound alot better. I sent mine back after 2 weeks because it was just a piece of sh_t! If its not a money issue buy an Onkyo tx-ds797 like me and you will hear what i'm talking about.

Similar Products Used: yamaha, onkyo
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Danny   Audiophile [Dec 12, 2001]
Strength:

Its ability to properly decode dvds and bring out the rear speakers

Weakness:

Needs a little more bass for music

I bought this reciever because of the low price. It had no box and the kenwood emblem was missing off the front panel. I already owned and was satisfied with my Yamaha but I noticed this reciever was capable of THX so I bought it. After I got it home and hooked it up using the same speakers that my Yamaha was using I quickly noticed the difference. I had hoped I wouldnt but it was obvious. The DVDs sound so life like its amazing. The rear speakers have never, ever sounded this good before. I watched Pearl harbor and my mouth dropped. Anyway I have bose Acoustimas series 5, the bose center channel VCS-10, and bose rear speakers a100s. I dont have a subwolfer but eventually plan on it. Now, I dont know what to do with my Yamaha. I guess I will put it in my bedroom and let it play music only cause the Kenwood is definitely more for movies than music.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha r-v1105
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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