How to repair a Kenwood VR-407 Stereo Receiver Amp with a slowly or intermittently failing remote control

Since the repair of my Phillips 42 inch plasma TV went so well, I decided to research if there’s any Kenwood VR-407 repair for the remote sensor. It was great for years, then slowly, sometimes wouldn’t receive signal. Then after a while it worked again.  I had tried different remotes so I knew the remote wasn’t the issue. The cause of the issue is poor soldering on the 3 optical sensor leads, which appears to be a common issue on Kenwood receivers.

The 1st two pictures are the board to the front panel, I removed the receiver’s cover (about 6-10 screws), then partially removed the front board (several yellow screws, some cables had to be unplugged – I wasn’t able to completely remove the board).

The 3 connection points of the optical sensor looked fine, I wouldn’t have guessed they needed to be re-soldered.  On the vr 407, you don’t even need to remove the board.  I only removed the board to double check those 3 points went to the optical sensor.  The 3 points are circled in the first 2 photos in case you don’t want to remove the board.

The third photo is the other side of the front board, the part that faces out and has all the front LEDs and display.  I partially separated the front board from the front cover just to be sure where the 3 points were that needed to be soldered.  It seems most Kenwoods use a 3 lead optical sensor.  I re-installed the board and re-soldered the 3 joints and it fixed the problem.

No matter what Kenwood you have, I would try this fix if your remote starts to intermittently fail. Locate the optical sensor solder points, then re-enforce the connections by adding more solder. On my system, this solved the problem. The photo below shows the finished job, just warm up the part and drop 1-4 cm length of solder onto the joint, doesn’t have to be very precise. Here’s a link to a totally decent soldering iron that is appropriate for this type of repair, just remember to buy some flux as well.

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3 comments on “How to repair a Kenwood VR-407 Stereo Receiver Amp with a slowly or intermittently failing remote control

  1. I just did this this weekend
    I have basically put my remote away as it worked only 50% of the time
    I did exactly as described, did not even take the front panel off, just removed the top to access the solder joints

    Soldered those 3 joints and the remote has not failed in 5 days

    I AM HAPPY, no need to buy a new surround sound
    Thank you very much for the info

  2. Received this nice email from Jeff B regarding the fix, glad I could help.

    I just wanted to send you a huge thank you for hosting this info.
    My wife and I purchased the Kenwood system back in 98 right after we got married and have loved it. We recently experienced the optical sensor failure and I assumed it was the remote. I googled a replacement and ran across your fix.
    7 screws, some solder wick, flux, and new solder and my remote is working again!! I was skeptical but as you mentioned the joints looked good.
    You are hero status in my household and I wanted to voice my thank you somehow instead of being a silent internet passer by.
    Much thanks for saving us from going down a costly path and keeping our living room rocking!
    Jeff and family

  3. Chris,
    Thanks so much for the photos, they made it an easy 10 min repair. I saw lots of images for Kenwood 50x’s (different sensor location) but only yours for the 40x’s. Thanks again!

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