Review 4 of 9
, from Charlotte, NC, USA|
Year / Model Reviewed:
Ease of use, good power rating, good sound, sturdy faceplate buttons.
CD transport terrible.
I owned my unit for about 90 days before returning to store. This model has 22 watts of RMS power and multiple sound curves for nice sound. The tuner has good reception (though no better than the eight year old Pioneer receiver it temporarily replaced.) Additionally, buttons on the unit are solid. Many car receivers today have buttons/dials that feel as if they will break after about a week. Unit played all CD-R's that I tried, but found that Circuit City's house brand of CD-R blanks, STI Certified, would drag when inserted or ejected. Visual inspection of several disks showed no physical damage or any other physical attribute that would account for the problem. My theory is these blanks are thicker than some other brands though this is not visually obvious. Upon extensive trips to various stores, found that this phenomenon only occurred on Kenwood models and was not limited to the 715S. I have since tried this brand of CD-R blanks in 2001 Kenwood models and found the condition to still be present though much more intermittent. I have encountered no such problems with this brand of CD-R blanks when testing units from Sony, Pioneer, Clarion, JVC or Alpine. Closer (non-scientific) comparison of Kenwood units to other brands seem to show that the Kenwood CD transport mechanisms are slower and louder than most other brands. For this reason, my next unit will NOT be a Kenwood unit which is disappointing given Kenwood's good mix of features at each price point in their car receiver line. My recommendation would be that if you must have a Kenwood car receiver, test it with every brand of CD-R and CD-RW blank (CD-RW only applicable to 2001 models) that you plan to use in the desired model before purchasing. I know some of you are saying, "Why didn't I just stop using that brand?". That was an option (and I no longer purchase any STI Certified CD-R blanks), but how was I to know which brands would or would not work in the future as I do not limit myself to one particular brand of CD-R blanks. I finally returned the unit because the dragging continued to get worse over time.
Similar Products Used:
Sony, JVC, Alpine, Clarion, Pioneer