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How is Kenwood VR-509? (1 Viewer)


Aug 31, 2001
Kenwood VR-509 is really a bargain and has great features. I need opinions from the owners.

Chuck Kent

Supporting Actor
May 29, 1999
John: I just bought one to go into my bedroom system. So, over the next few days, I hope to get a better feel for it. Mine replaced a Sony DB830 receiver (which is a wonderful unit. But no DPL II!)
Initial impressions...
Positives: Dolby Pro Logic II! (I already have this in my living room setup and it is THE real deal.) 2 channel based TV and movie sources will decode into surround much better than ever before. The DPL II music mode is also wonderful for all of your 2 channel CDs.
Variable Input Sensitivity - You can match source volumes so that if you go from a softer sounding CD source to the typically louder FM tuner, you don't get blasted.
The setup procedures are fairly well thought out and easy to follow on the unit's front panel display.
The front panel display itself is pretty easy to read, even from over 10 feet away.
The remote comes with a fairly good library of basic controls for quite a few other maker's gear (TVs, VCRs, CD players, DVD players, etc.) The remote's LCD screen (which shows what mode you're controlling) lights up for 8 sec. when you press a button.
The 509 has a good compliment of connections. Enough for most of us.
Negatives: The 509 isn't rated for 4 ohm speakers...at all (nearly all modern speakers are NOT 8 ohms as the manual seems to think. This may be a problem for me the more I run the unit.) The final amp output transistors are not separate transistors but IC power pack modules (the KAM-1 amps?). Sound-wise, it doesn't hurt anything. But from a heat disipation stand point, it may be a different story (I owned a Yamaha several years ago with IC output modules and they failed from heat. But the cooling scheme on the Yamaha was semi-radical and it flat out didn't work. The Kenwood cooling is the standard tried-and-true regular heat sink method and I'm more confident in it.)
The remote is not backlit. As I said above, the LCD screen lights up (fairly dimly though) but the rest of the buttons don't.
The manual is poor. I've been using this gear for years and I found it hard to understand. Newbies will need help if they want to get the most out of the 509.
All in all, it represents a good value. I bought mine at CC for $359 (not the best bargain) but they also threw in a Sony center and surrounds speaker package worth $80 or so.
While I won't use the speakers, I can sell them and make my final price better.

Rik P

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 25, 2001
I have had the VR-510 for 2 months and recently upgraded from the VR-209 boy have they improved theyre DSP. It has such a nice warm sound all the way around(it makes want to cuddle up next to the fireplace with a fine box of last years wine.)
I don't know what your upgrading from but these new Kenwood receivers sound gooood regardless of the Remote,Setup& Manual. And that's what it all comes down to. I'm not sure if the THX is such a big deal on the 510 any way. In my opinion I would recommend saving the Extra money and getting the 509. I got a great deal on the 510 since I know someone that works for Kenwood.
You wont be disappointed.


Supporting Actor
Oct 23, 2000
John, here's a heads up for you....Kenwood doesn't get a lot of respect around here (despite all the positive responses to your post so far), possibly due to some inferior products that they've put out in the past that hurt their reputation, that they're having a difficult time living down.
With that said.....I recently bought the VR-507 and I love it! Before this I owned the very reliable VR-309 DD/DTS receiver for two years but I wanted DPL II and based on my satisfaction with the 309 I decided to go with another Kenwood. I chose the 507 over the 509 because I didn't have a need for component video switching or an RF remote. It offers a lot of features for the money (I found 5.1 Circle Surround to be a pleasant surprise) and IMO it performs as well for HT (my primary use) as receivers costing much, much more!
Good luck and welcome to HTF!

Martin Fontaine

Supporting Actor
Aug 15, 2001
Me too I'm thinking about upgrading to the 509. Compared to the 405, if I play the same DVD, using the same AC3 5.1 audio track, using the same speakers as I was using before, will it sound better or are the only sound improvements from the 405 (Not talking about the remote, the extra inputs and s-video/component switching here) the ability to use DTS and DPL2?
I should upgrade by X-Mas...

Harry W

Stunt Coordinator
Jul 28, 2001
I got the Kenwood VR-505 a few weeks ago at Circuit City for 199.00(of course it's on sale now for 189
But for the money it does me great.DD 5.1 and DT and Pro Logic decoders, easy set-up,makes those DVD's come to life.


Mike LS

Supporting Actor
Jun 29, 2000
quote: The 509 isn't rated for 4 ohm speakers...at all (nearly all modern speakers are NOT 8 ohms as the manual seems to think[/quote]
Every Kenwood reciever I've ever owned or set up has shown manual ratings for 6 ohm speakers....still an oddity, since speakers are for the most part either 4 or 8 ohms....not that big a difference, but I thought I'd point that out.
Also, the newer Kenwood receivers hardly put off any heat at all. I'm running a VR-4080 as my main unit right now and it's never gotten more than slightly warm to the touch no matter how long I've used it.
[Edited last by Mike LS on September 03, 2001 at 01:41 PM]

Chris Eriksen

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 10, 1999
Harry W said
I got the Kenwood VR-505 a few weeks ago at Circuit City for 199.00(of course it's on sale now for 189

If it goes on sale within 30 days, CC will refund the difference. I have used this policy many times - just show them your receipt.
I hope this helps! :)

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