Kenwood KR-3600

Kenwood KR-3600

 

The Kenwood KR-3600 receiver was one step up from the bottom of the line KR-2600. Both the KR-2600 and the KR-3600 utilized slightly lower grade components relative to their upper end brothers the KR-5600, KR-6600 and the top of the line KR-9600. They had JT-FET transistors as opposed to the better MOS-FET and SIL-IC  in the amp circuit instead of the Dual Range Operational Amplifier used in the larger models. Still, the KR-3600 is a good receiver. It's 22 watts per channel can fill a room with sound.

 

Kenwood KR-3600 Left

 

It has the signature styling of the mid 1970's Kenwood stereos with fat push buttons and a big weighted tuning knob. It also has the basic features any music listening would need with a high filter button, loudness control, tape monitoring facilities, a protection circuit and connections for two sets of speakers, a tape deck, phono, auxiliary jack as well as headphones.

 

Kenwood KR-3600 Right

 

The dial face has the beautiful Kenwood blue and amber glow to it and incorporates a dual purpose signal strength tuning meter as well.  The KR-3600 was introduced in 1974 and was on the market until around 1978. It retailed for around $250 and, as mentioned above, was at the lower end of Kenwood's receiver line.

 

Kenwood KR-3600 Dial

 

Made in Japan by known as Trio most everywhere but the US it was probably one of the best values at its price point at the time. For those interested, it does have an Aux input which can be used for an MP3 player if you have a 3.5mm to dual RCA connector cable. Make sure your player uses the 3.5mm plug. Most do but there may be variations.

 

Kenwood KR-3600 Back

 

Kenwood is one of the iconic names in vintage audio. While their lower end models aren't heavily sought after they are still in demand from anyone wanting to build a good performing vintage system on a budget. With good performance, good build quality and the basic features one would need it's a pretty good choice for entry level vintage audio enthusiasts. A really nice version of the KR-3600 will cost you around $100. Not bad if you're on a budget. Average condition units sell for about $50.

 

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Kenwood KR-9050

 

Kenwood KR-9050

 

Many audio enthusiasts consider a monster receiver to be one that puts out 100 watts per channel or more. Well, this Kenwood KR-9050 puts out just that - 200 watts per channel. So, I guess it would be considered a monster receiver. It certainly has the size at almost 2 feet wide, over 18 inches deep and over 52 pounds! Still, the KR-9050 probably takes a back seat to the KR-9600 that collectors are the most fervent over. I'm not sure why because the 9600 has some design issues that can be difficult to overcome and only puts out 160 watts per channel. Perhaps it's that the KR-9600 so firmly established itself as the top of the line receiver for Kenwood it overshadowed the KR-9050 when it came out. The KR-9060 is really just a KR-9600 with a bronze faceplate.

 

kenwood-kr-9050-left

 

The Kenwood KR-9050 is the largest and most expensive receiver ever built by Kenwood.  It is also the most powerful at 200 watts per channel with only 0.02% total harmonic distortion. And, of course, Kenwood produced some of the best tuners ever. With its Quartz Lock, adjustable IF bandwidth and two-level Stereo Sensitivity there really isn't much more you could ask for in a tuner.

 

kenwood-kr-9050-mid

 

The KR-9050 is stuffed full with features and has analog meters spanning practically the entire length of the front of the receiver.  It also has a 1/4 inch MIC input with its own level control so you could even play your guitar through this receiver though I don't know if I'd recommended it. The only drawbacks to this receiver are that the switches are made of plastic and the knobs are plastic as well with metal caps and are not crisp in their operation.

 

kenwood-kr-9050-right

 

Wow, look at that massive toroidal transformer! It's actually larger than the transformer in the Pioneer SX-1250. Also, notice the large heatsinks that take up about a third of the inside of the unit.  As many audio techs know the KR-9600 has issues with both the power switch as well as the TA-200W power packs and Darlington transistors it uses which are prone to failure and replacements are virtually unobtainable. In contrast, the KR-9050 doesn't use the TA-200W or Darlington parts and is built with more easily replaceable parts. That is important if you plan on doing a restoration. A Kr-9600 that needs a resto is a totally different animal than a KR-9050 that needs the same.

 

Kenwood KR-9050 Inside

 

Kenwood receivers are a site to behold when fully lit up and the KR-9050 is no exception. It is definitely one of the nicest looking receivers in the dark.

 

kenwood-kr-9050-lit

 

Being a true monster receiver the Kenwood KR-9050 is not cheap. It's not very easy to find either and is probably more rare than the KR-9600. I've seen one sell for $1500 but I've seen a few listed at over $2000. That's a pretty big chunk of cash for a receiver but if you're a Kenwood fan and want a holy grail receiver from them then this might just be the one.

 

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Here's a video showing the massive Kenwood KR-9050 in action:

 

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