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kenwood receiver problem

post #1 of 122
Thread Starter 
I have had a kenwood vr-507 receiver for about 2 years now. It's worked fine in that time although in the past couple weeks it's started to act strange in that it won't respond to the remote.

At first I thought my universal remote's batteries were going bad, but it operated my tv and replaytv just fine. So I tried the remote that came with the receiver and it too wouldn't work.

Now here's the odd thing. If I power on the receiver using the physical button on the unit, it would turn on and after a few minutes the remotes would start working as if nothing was wrong with the unit. It's as if the box need to "warm up" before it would respond to a remote. After "warming up" the receiver will even let me turn it off and on with the remote. If I turn the receiver off and let it sit for a couple of hours, the problem returns.

Any theories on what the cause and solution might be?

(Apologies if this is not the correct forum to post this to.)
post #2 of 122
Wow, that exact same thing happed to me. Started about three weeks ago. I searched the boards but never found a good answer. Called Kenwood, but they were of little help. I did find that tapping on the receiver would sometimes help. This leads me to believe that the IR sensor in the receiver is failing or maybe even coming loose. Kenwood gave me the name of a couple of places to bring it in for service, but they both wanted almost $100 just to look at it. I ended up getting a new receiver, the HK AVR-525 to go with my new speakers from Axiom. Got a great price from One Call when they were running it on special for $571 shipped. To be honest, it sounds great, but not all that much different than the Kenwood, that was a good little receiver that came with an HTB-504. If you find out anything please post, maybe I'll return the 525 and fix the Kenwood if there is an inexpensive solution.
post #3 of 122
Thread Starter 
It certainly seems like the same problem. I tried tapping the top of the receiver and it helped, momentarily. How long did you own your vr-507 before it started to flake-out?
post #4 of 122

Originally posted by ChampaignWalt
It certainly seems like the same problem. I tried tapping the top of the receiver and it helped, momentarily. How long did you own your vr-507 before it started to flake-out?

Also for two years. For a second, when I read your post, I started to wonder if maybe I posted the question! There is no question it has to be the same problem, meaning someone in Kenwood has to know something about it. Please keep me posted, even if I don't return the 525, I'd like to fix the Kenwood.
post #5 of 122
Thread Starter 
This is pretty annoying. I've really liked this receiver and it's sad that it appears to be built to last only 2 years before flaking out. I'll certainly be reluctant to buy future kenwood products.
post #6 of 122
I know what you mean. When I called the repair shop the Kenwood gave me the number for, I told them what I thought was wrong and asked for an estimate to replace that part. I was told "$89 to look at the receiver and no estimates over the phone". Needless to say, I didn't feel like spending over $100 to repair a $250 receiver.
post #7 of 122
I have a VR 307 and have a similar problem.

It seems to be heat and or surround mode related in mine.

Tapping on the unit never seemed to help me, and the hardwired control of my Kenwood cd changer is very spotty as well.
post #8 of 122
Thread Starter 
I received the following email from their tech support department in responce to an email I sent to them.


Thank you for writing to us at Kenwood USA Corporation.

In regards to your recent inquiry, based on the symptoms you've stated, it
seems that the remote control or the IR sensor on your receiver is
malfunctioning. One thing you can do to try to resolve this issue is to
reset the receiver by unplugging it, holding down the power button and while
holding down the power button, plugging the receiver's power cord back in.
If after performing the reset procedure the problem still persists, we
strongly advise you to have both the remote control and the receiver
evaluated by an Authorized Kenwood Service Center to determine which one of
the two is malfunctioning. You may call 1-800-KENWOOD to find the nearest
Authorized Service Center in your area, or you may ship your unit to one of
our Kenwood Service Center locations listed below. Please enclose a brief
description of the problem with a request for an estimate, a contact phone
number and return shipping address. We also suggest shipping your product
via UPS with insurance.

Kenwood Service Center West
13030 Alondra Blvd, STE 104
Cerritos, CA 90703-2257
Phone: 562.483.8740
Fax: 562.483.8749

Kenwood Service Center East
829 Lynnhaven Pkwy, STE 128
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Phone: 757.340.1702
Fax: 757.340.6809

Kenwood Service Center Atlantic
400 Morris Ave, STE 102
Denville, NJ 07834
Phone: 973.586.3999
Fax: 973.586.4433

Kenwood Service Center Hawaii
99-1285 Halawa Valley St. B10
Aiea, HI 96701-5609
Phone: 808.486.5594
Fax: 808.486.5596

If you have any further questions or need help with anything, please feel
free to contact us again.

************************************************************ ****************
Kenwood U.S.A. Corporation
Consumer Services
P.O. Box 22745
Long Beach, CA 90801-5745

Hazim Jainoor
Consumer Service Representative
E-mail for Kenwood USA Corporation:
Phone: 800-536-9663
Fax: 310-631-3913
************************************************************ ****************
post #9 of 122
And all this while I thought it was just me! My VR-306 did the exact same thing. About 2 years old as well. I sold it to my parents cheap and got a Sony.
post #10 of 122
So, did you try the reset procedure?
post #11 of 122
I did... nothing. Tapping as mentionned above seemed bring it back for a few minutes, but it would stop responding again soon.

My parents had a very old receiver before this... no remote at all, and very poor sound. They're just happy to have clean sound and a remote that works some of the time
post #12 of 122
Thread Starter 
I tried reseting the receiver and it didn't help.
post #13 of 122
I was afraid of that. In my opinion, it is definitely a problem with the IR sensor on the receiver. Probably a problem with the soldering on the connection. An easy fix if you can get to it easily, which I am sure you can't. I'm actually starting to enjoy the AVR 525 I bought to replace the Kenwood. It has a mode called Logic 7 which is really making my old CD collection sound new.
post #14 of 122
I have the same exact problem

I thought it was just my remote! New batteries - didn't help. How much for a new remote? I may try that first if it's $40 or less.

Any updates on this?

post #15 of 122
I know it wasn't the remote in my situation, as I had a programmable remote that I was using as well. When the Kenwood remote wasn't working, neither was the programmable.
post #16 of 122
My VR-507 stopped responding to the remote also. It's just over 2 years old.
post #17 of 122

Originally posted by ChampaignWalt
If I turn the receiver off and let it sit for a couple of hours, the problem returns.

if you leave it on, does the problem come back after a certain amount of time?

if you meant to say on instead of off, maybe its a heat problem. you could try firing a fan right at it to see if that makes a difference.
post #18 of 122
So funny,

I have a vr-309 that on occasion will not respond to the remote. this started last year, worked fine for ~2yrs.

Obviously this is some common defect.

I get mine to respond again consistently by pushing or messing with the plastic window that covers the display and ir receiver.

I am think of getting a new reciever anyway, perhaps the kenwood 7080, but I am worried about the remote problem

post #19 of 122
Has anyone ventured into the wiring/components and taken the receiver apart? I'm thinking of trying this because I can't stand it anymore!

post #20 of 122
I looked into mine a bit, but decided not to venture further - it looks fairly hard to get to.
post #21 of 122
Same problem here with a Kenwood VR-309, picking the front of the receiver up and dropping it (1/8") temorarily solves the problem...

I was out of inputs, wanted PL II, and better bass management, so I got a AVR 525 too.
post #22 of 122
Thread Starter 
It seems to be a "lack of heat" problem. Once the receivers been on for a few minutes, it seems to work fine.

It's only a problem when the receiver's been off for an hour or so. And tapping on the top, right front of the receiver is typically enough to get it to work again.


Originally posted by 9volt
if you leave it on, does the problem come back after a certain amount of time?

if you meant to say on instead of off, maybe its a heat problem. you could try firing a fan right at it to see if that makes a difference.
post #23 of 122
When I still had it, my receiver was on pretty much from when I got home from work ~5pm till late at night ~11pm or so... the amount of time it was on didn't seem to make much difference, as this seemed to be as likely to happen as soon as it was turned on, as it was before it was turned off.
post #24 of 122
Just adding my experience to the list of failed Kenwood VR-507s.

Mine is just a little over 2 years old and has stopped responding to the remote. In addition, I am unable to SHUT IT OFF with the power button on the front.

This started a couple of months ago -- after the receiver had been on all evening, I discovered I couldn't shut it off using the remote.

I've learned in my forty-plus years that "When all else fails, hit it." I don't have room in my entertainment cabinet to pick up the front 1/8" and drop the receiver, but I learned a if I smacked it in it's face panel it would wake up and respond to the remote again. This lasted for about 2 months, and now the unit is permanently ON and permanently blind to the remote.

I guess I should be thankful it's stuck ON so that I can take my time in choosing a replacement.

I've always been disgusted the VR-507 has no on-screen display and when I discovered this fact shortly after purchasing it I almost returned it to Circuit City. At the time, however, almost none of the home theatre receivers had OSD. Now two years later I'm discovering that almost no home theatre system does NOT have OSD -- so at least that is progress!

It just doesn't seem like it's worth $100 plus to fix it (and probably 2 weeks to 2 months without it). AND it sounds like gaining access to the solder joints to re-touch them is not for an amateur like me.

So replacement time is here, and Kenwood sadly equipment is not even a consideration now. I still use a 1970s-era Pioneer receiver that still works great, and had a 1990s-era Pioneer that was still working fine when I retired it for the Kenwood. It may not be fair to judge Kenwood on one unit, but I expected more than 2 years of life for the money I spent on it.
post #25 of 122
The descirbed symptoms are indicative of a cold solder joint. This is essentially a bad solder connection on some PCB in the unit. When it warms (or is vibrated/hit/shocked/or placed underwater (c, the joint expands and makes contact again. When it cools off the joint contracts and breaks contact (much like a bimetal thermometer).

If you can get to the area where the IR receiver is connected to a PCB, it is that PCB that is most likely the problem. Wiggling/flexing the board or alternatively hitting it with freon and a hair dryer will usually isolate the improperly soldered pin(s). If you have good eyes you can sometimes spot them visually.

This is a very common problem with electronics, and if you can wield a soldering iron (and can take things apart and put them back together) it is usually a very simple fix.
post #26 of 122

I emailed Kenwood's "Customer Relations" department to tell them how disappointed I was with the failure of my VR-507 and how it no longer responds to the remote...and how many other people have experienced the same problem. I even included a link to this thread so they could see that others have had the same problem.

Hazim Jainoor, the same person that responded to ChampaignWalt's email (earlier in this thread) sent me an ALMOST identical email...the big difference being this line at the end of the letter:

"Upon approval of your documentation, you will receive a One-Time Warranty Authorization form to cover this one repair only."

Whoo-hoo!! My impression and my attitude about Kenwood has turned around 180 degrees now! I faxed Kenwood an overload of documentation on my receiver, its purchase receipts, etc. and in less than 24 hours they faxed back a one-time warranty authorization. I'm waaay outside of warranty on this unit and I didn't purchase additional warranty, so this is purely an act of Kenwood's generosity. Frankly I'm shocked...I didn't know good customer service like this still existed! Perhaps they've been made aware of enough of this kind of failure that they're willing to, on a case-by-case basis, authorize one-time warranty repairs on this failure.

So if you've also had a VR-507 or similar receiver stop responding to the remote...it's worth your time to email Kenwood and see if they'll repair it. Who knows? Just like I discovered, it certainly doesn't hurt to ask them.

It cost about $13 for me to UPS the unit to them. I don't mind paying that if it gets me a working receiver again. (Though I gotta admit I'm a little disappointed at not having the opportunity to get a brand new toy. Things have changed a LOT in the past two years since I bought the Kenwood!!)

And after this experience, I think I'll check out Kenwood's current offerings -- I may still decide to replace it, and Kenwood is definitely back in the running again!

post #27 of 122
Follow-up on my follow-up:

I sent my VR-507 and it's remote control to the repair facility with all it's authorization paperwork taped to the top on 1-17-04. The VR-507 returned home today (2-12-04) in a brand new box with new packing material and a brand new remote control. I hooked it up this evening and am enjoying high-quality Kenwood sound in my home theatre once again! And I'm REALLY enjoying the ability to use a remote control again!

There wasn't anything wrong with the original remote control...I rarely used it because I have a universal remote that I programmed with macros to run my system. I suspect sending along a new remote is probably standard practice after a repair simply because it's the one part of the system most likely to receive abuse.

I am SO impressed with Kenwood after this experience. I had NOT purchased any type of extended warranty and they were NOT obligated in any way to make the repair on a unit that is out of warranty.

This experience has restored my faith that indeed, good customer service DOES still exist! At least, it still exists at Kenwood!

post #28 of 122
First I am surprised, next I am very impressed. I have a Kenwood VR7070 which I like, but have never had to test Kenwood's customer service. This was very good of them.
post #29 of 122
I have the VR-309 with has the exact same problem. The problem comes and goes. However, most of the time the remote doesn't work at all. And when it does work, it only works for a few minutes. It is definitely a problem with the unit and not the remote. I have numerous universal remotes all of which no longer work with the Kenwood receiver. I have since replaced my unit with a Pioneer unit. The Kenwood now sites in my electronics graveyard.
post #30 of 122
Anybody have any new info regarding this problem?

Has anyone tried to get it fixed? If so, what did it end up costing?

I too have the same problem, and the time the unit is on does not seem to make it any better. It just won't respond to any remote.
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