Kenwood KR-2090

Kenwood KR-2090


BOTL, or bottom of the line, receiver sounds a bit harsh for this little Kenwood KR-2090. While it only produces 16 watts per channel it’s not a bad performer. Introduced in 1978 it was an affordable option for budget conscious stereo buyers.


Kenwood KR-2090 Meter


It has the classic Kenwood styling of the late 1970’s with silver face plate, large knobs and large, dark gray dial face.


Kenwood KR-2090 Knobs


The Kenwood KR-2090 featured:

  • Tape in/out
  • Phono input
  • Aux input
  • Loudness on/off
  • Selector switch for AM – FM auto muting, FM mono, phono, aux
  • Separate bass and treble and balance controls
  • Tuning meter


Kenwood KR-2090 Lamps


It’s a Kenwood so of course its tuner is far above average. Kenwood’s engineers incorporated a 3 gang tuner with a FET front end for high FM sensitivity.

At the time of production the KR-2090 had the lowest distortion of any receiver in its class and the quietest phono section as well.

Buyer’s could also pay a little extra for the optional CB-11K walnut veneer cabinet, B-11 walnut veneer side panels, or D-5 carrying handles.


Kenwood KR-2090 Inputs


The KR-2090 isn’t flawless. It does have a known problem with the power switch which many of that Kenwood line have (KR-2090, 3090, 4070, 5030, and 6030). However, it is fixable so isn’t fatal if yours quits on you. Some cleaning and wiper replacement usually remedies the problem.


Kenwood KR-2090 Parts


The smaller receivers aren’t nearly as popular as the larger more powerful receivers but they still have their place in the vintage audio realm. Many favor the smaller Kenwood stereos such as the KR-2090 because of their tuning prowess. You certainly can’t beat the price. For about $100 or so you can get a really nice and fully functional KR-2090. That makes it a very attractive option for those new into the vintage audio scene.

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Kenwood KR-6030

Kenwood KR-6030 Front


This is a nice Kenwood offering from circa 1978 until about late 1979. It’s the Kenwood KR-6030. It has the classic look of 1970’s Kenwood’s with the exception of the large push buttons that the earlier models used. Instead Kenwood went to toggle switches. The KR-6030 generates plenty of power at 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms and total harmonic distortion of 0.1%. Like a lot of the other Kenwood models it has a great FM tuner section as well. Not bad for a retail price of $525.00.



Kenwood KR-6030 Knobs


The KR-6030 also has a loudness switch, tone defeat switch and a subsonic filter switch. The analog meters are for tuning and signal strength. Options for the KR-6030 include the CB-12K walnut veneer cabinet, the B-12 simulated walnut veneer side panels and the D-7 rack mount handles.


Kenwood KR-6030 Switch


The dark dial face and amber white lights make for a nice looking display in a dark room though the KR-6030 is not usually mentioned as having a great look aesthetically.  Without the wood cabinet or side panels there is nothing to mute the overall metallic look of it. The orange stereo and phono lights don’t help much either.


Kenwood KR-6030 Inside


As with any vintage receiver the Kenwood KR-6030 is not without its problems. The most common is probably with the power switch. The switch is under engineered and tends to arc internally causing a build up of carbon which can lead to the switch failing. When this happens either the switch will not work at all or you will see the stereo’s lights flicker and perhaps hear a buzz when turning the unit on. There is a fix but it’s not for the layman. You can find more information HERE.


Kenwood KR-6030 Inputs


At roughly 19 x 6 x 16 inches it’s a decent sized receiver and it weighs in at a shade over 34 pounds (15.5 kg).


Kenwood KR-6030 Ad


The Kenwood KR-6030 is a good stereo. Plenty of power and enough features for the average user. It doesn’t have the reputation of equivalent Marantz or Pioneer units which makes it a little bit of a sleeper.  The power switch issues is a problem but can be fixed by a good technician.  A really nice KR-6030 will sell for $200 to $250. An average unit for around $100 to $150. That’s not a bad price for a receiver with its power and performance.

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