The Kenwood Kr-9400 is one of Kenwood’s iconic receivers from the mid 1970’s and was their top of the line receiver at the time. At 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms it was an early predecessor of the later monster receivers. It debuted around 1976 and retailed for about $750.00.
The KR-9400 features the classic Kenwood styling from the 1970’s. Blue, green and red lighting on the dial and meters makes for a colorful display. The volume and tone functions have detent controls. Kenwood uses a triple function meter for Signal Strength, Multipath, and Deviation depending upon which button is depressed. It also features triple tone controls and a Dolby FM switch (requires a Dolby adapter).
The build quality of the KR-9400 is exceptional. The pre-amp utilizes low-noise, metal encapsulated transistors to give it a high signal to noise ratio. The FM decoder has phase lock loop IC circuits which allow for extremely high FM stereo separation. It also has a large power transformer and huge heat sinks.
There is no coupling capacitor between the output and speakers so total harmonic distortion is very low at 0.02%. The KR-9400 is easy to work and is laid out very nicely. It also has real transistors as opposed to the hard to find power packs the KR-9600 has.
When Pioneer came out with the SX-1010 at 100 watts per channel, Kenwood responded with the KR-9400 at 120wpc. Marantz then released the 2325 at 125 wpc. The watt wars then began in earnest through the late 70’s and into the early 1980’s.
The Kenwood KR-9400 didn’t sell as well as the Pioneer, Marantz, or Sansui top of the line receivers though. Maybe that’s why they are harder to find these days. The KR-9400 performs well though, is exceptionally built and is reasonably priced relative to it’s competitors of the time. The KR-9400 sells for about $400 to $600 depending upon condition.