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