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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. If you’re a Kenwood fan and want a holy grail receiver from them then this might just be the one.
Here’s a video showing the massive Kenwood KR-9050 in action: