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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Available on Ebay

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

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13 thoughts on “Kenwood KR-9050

  1. “Many audio enthusiasts consider a monster receiver to be one that puts out 200 watts per channel or more.”

    Wrong. That should be corrected to 100 watts per channel or more. If you were around when this audio gear was being sold new, speakers, receivers and amps rated at 100 watts or more were pricey and desirable. Most lists online will start the Monster receivers at 100 watts per channel and rightly so. The Pioneer SX-1010 is considered to be the first Monster receiver to be offered and was rated at 100 watts per channel. Otherwise you have a great website.

    1. Hi Jack! Thanks for the comment. You are absolutely correct though some use 120 watts as a definition. It was a typo on my part and I have corrected it. Thanks for pointing it out.

    1. It’s a good receiver. My friend in high school had one back in 1977. At that time I had a Sansui 9090 DB.
      There was a bit of competition here, but we both respected each other’s equipment.

  2. I just got my kr 9050 and its the loudest frickin stereo I have ever had hands down….. you could literally dj a nightclub with this beast .. I have 4 vintage fisher 3 way speakers and 4 tweeters two of the 10s have a hole each in them hookes2 to the beast and it sounds great so anybody interested in a purchase of this contact me at 317 406 6198 Josh Hoffman its fully functional and cosmetically outstanding

  3. I have a chance to buy a 9050 that has been serviced by a tech to be in its best possible condition, for $1600CAD (about $1200USD). I’m tempted to get it even as an investment, and its value will surely increase. But it’s hard to imagine an improvement on my Sony STR-V5, in a one-BR apartment. The 9050 would just be a waste of iron, other than the investment part of it.

  4. I own many Receivers including 2 Pioneer SX1980s, 1 Hitachi SR2004, 1 Sansui G9700, 1 NIKKO NR1415, 1 Onkyo 8500MKii and many others.
    The Kenwood KR9050 I have is in perfect condition and really out performs all of them and sounds super crisp and clean!.
    The Sansui G9700 is similar in sound but not as strong.
    Get a KR9050 while you can.
    Rod

  5. I have a Kenwood KR9050 I bought in Okinawa in 1978. It’s still in good condition. I’ve thought about selling it for $1400. Is that a fair price?
    Steve.

    1. Sounds reasonable to me. One sold for $1035 in January and it wasn’t fully functional but was in nice condition. Most sales over the last year on eBay have been from $1000 to $1350 so $1400 seems like a reasonable price to start with.

  6. Kenwood produced some of the finest audio equipment the world has ever seen during the 1970s and early 1980s. Their standards were very high, just like Sansui and Pioneer. I personally own the 120 Watt per channel Kenwood KR-8050 receiver and three Kenwood Integrated Amplifiers (two KA-701s and a KA-907). They all look beautiful, sound crisp, and have a full set of tonal adjustments and other technical functions that make personal interaction with them enjoyable. The KA-907 at 150 Watts per channel using two separate transformers and four 18,000uF capacitors is an engineering masterpiece, as are the gorgeous KR-9050 and KR-8050 receivers. Solid and strong. Consider yourself lucky to appreciate and own such fine audio equipment, as it will never be made like this again in our lifetime. Larry K.

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