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Kenwood eXcelon Z919

MP3-capable CD receiver with CD changer controls

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Item # 113Z919

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Overview

Our take on the Kenwood eXcelon Z919

It is said that "MP3" is the most searched-for term on the Internet. More people than ever are visiting MP3 websites and downloading desired music files onto their computers' hard drives — transferring (or "burning") compressed MP3 files onto CD-R data discs. That's great for playing back on a computer (using MP3 player software), but wouldn't you like to hear those tunes in your car? Check it out — Kenwood eXcelon's Z919 CD receiver will decode your MP3 data discs, giving you a CD changer's worth of music (up to ten hours) on one disc. Who says you can't take it with you?

It is said that "MP3" is the most searched-for term on the Internet. More people than ever are visiting MP3 websites and downloading desired music files onto their computers' hard drives — transferring (or "burning") compressed MP3 files onto CD-R data discs. That's great for playing back on a computer (using MP3 player software), but wouldn't you like to hear those tunes in your car? Check it out — Kenwood eXcelon's Z919 CD receiver will decode your MP3 data discs, giving you a CD changer's worth of music (up to ten hours) on one disc. Who says you can't take it with you?

And with features like DRIVE distortion-reduction circuitry, Digital Optimum Servo Control, Zero-Bit Mute, and Precision Digital Timing, you'll also get superb performance from your standard discs or CD-Rs. Kenwood rounds out the package with 4-way high power (22 watts RMS/45 peak), the powerful system-tweaking capability of the built-in KEX equalizer (with six highly-adjustable presets), and the tenacious CR2 tuner. The elegant fold-down face (with its extra-large, easy-to-read display) motors down to give you easy access to the CD slot. Three sets of preamp outputs will accommodate any plans for adding external amplifiers to your system.

The Z919 will control the Kenwood C907 10-disc CD changer. If you add one to your order, you'll save $$ with our package discount. A wireless remote control is included.

Details:

  • motorized, fold-down face (fixed)
  • multicolor LCD display with fluorescent backlighting
  • will play MP3 files that have been recorded with fixed bit rate (64 Kbps, 96 Kbps, 128 Kbps, etc.) or variable bit rate compression
  • file search and folder search give you easy access to all tracks on MP3-encoded discs (Note: this unit will not audibly search through an MP3 file, it will only skip from file to file.)
  • KEX equalizer with six adjustable presets for tone adjustment
  • System E's+ crossover #151; for better performance from all your speakers, and independent crossover control/customized output from the driver's seat, whether you use the built-in amp or external amps
  • Source Tone Memory stores tone/volume settings for each source
  • CD changer controls (will only control the C907 10-disc changer)
  • CD Text
  • disc naming
  • DRIVE distortion reduction circuitry
  • zero-bit mute
  • 3 sets of preamp outputs
  • clock
  • wireless remote
  • 22 watts RMS/45 peak x 4 channels
  • CD frequency response 10-20,000 Hz
  • CD signal-to-noise ratio 96 dB
  • FM sensitivity 9.3 dBf
  • 2-year warranty

What's in the Box:

  • AM/FM/CD/Changer Controller with 10-amp mini blade fuse inserted into chassis
  • Trim ring
  • Sleeve
  • 2 Side brackets (for "E" mounting)
  • RC-601 wireless remote
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • Wiring harness with in-line noise suppressor
  • 2 Radio removal tools
  • 1 Threaded rear support stud
  • 1 Rear support stud extension
  • 2 Rubber bushings
  • 2 Side bracket screws
  • 4 Panhead ISO-mount screws
  • Instruction Manual (English)
  • Instruction Manual (Spanish/French)
  • Warranty Card
  • "Caution" sheet (says to load/eject CDs with the unit in the horizontal position when testing the unit).
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Expandability
AUX Input No
Audio/video Input ---
USB Input ---
CarPlay No
Android Auto No
Siri Control No
Android Control No
Memory Card Slot No
Bluetooth Compatible ---
Satellite Radio Ready No
HD Radio ---
Navigation ---
iPod Compatibility
Full size ---
Nano ---
Touch ---
iPhone ---
General
RMS Power (CTA-2006) 22 watts
RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
Peak Output 45 watts
RMS Power Bandwidth N/A
Preamp Outputs 6-channel
Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs ---
Video Screen No
Preamp Voltage 1.5 volts
Screen Size ---
Display Color Multi-color
Key Button Color Green/Blue
EQ Bands None
Wireless Remote Yes
Steering Wheel Control Compatible ---
Parts Warranty 2 YEARS
Labor Warranty 2 YEARS
Tuner
FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
European Tuning Yes
Seek/Scan Seek
Radio Data System No
High-res Playback ---

Product Research

Features
Changer Controls
TV Control Features

Remote
Warranty and Illumination/Clock Notes

Features

Display Illumination: The unit has a multi-colored display. The tuner frequency, CD track number, CD track time and CD Text are displayed on a dot matrix readout with light blue illumination. The clock and CD mode indicators (SCN, RDM, RPT) are displayed with light blue illumination. The source icons and other display accents are displayed with green illumination. The round sound level indicator is displayed with medium blue illumination. The LOUD and MP3 indicators are displayed with orange illumination.

Button Illumination: The SRC button is backlit with medium blue illumination, and all of the other buttons are backlit with green illumination. 

1.5-volt gold-plated front, rear and non-fading preamp outputs

System E's+ Advanced Crossover System: The System E's+ system allows you to select a high pass filter for the front and/or rear preamp and speaker outputs. The high pass filter frequency may be set to 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180 or 220Hz. You may set the low pass filter for the non-fading preamp outputs to 50Hz, 80Hz, 120Hz or "through" and select the phase for the non-fading RCA of normal or reverse.

KEX/ec4 (Sound Coordinate System): 5 EQ curves are preset into memory, allowing you to recall the best preset EQ curve for different types of music. The preset curves are named "Flat", "Rock", "Top 40", "Jazz" and "Easy". Each preset has it's own bass center frequency, bass level, bass quality factor, bass extension, treble center frequency and treble level settings. This system allows you to select a bass center frequency (60, 70, 80, 100 or 150Hz), the bass "Q" (1.0, 1.25, 1.5 or 2.0), the Bass EXT mode (on/off) and the treble center frequency (10k, 12.5k, 15.0k or 17.5kHz) for more precise control of your system's sound. You may modify the preset curves and enter up to 6 of your custom curves into preset memory. If you store a custom curve in preset memory, the new curve overwrites the factory preset curve. The preset curves are recalled using the audio control menu and the preset buttons.

External Amp Control: Kenwood also calls this "B.M.S." (Bass Management System). When used with a compatible, Kenwood eXcelon amplifier, you can adjust the bass boost level of the amplifier through this head unit. You may select "Off", "1" or "2" for the desired amount of bass boost.

Display Dimming:  When turn your vehicle's dash lights on, the display will dim to a preset level you select. You may choose a low, medium or high dimmer setting. The display is not affected by the dimmer control in your vehicle, rather, it dims to the preset level you've chosen.  This feature works only when the illumination wire of this unit is connected to the dash lights circuit of your vehicle.

Swimming Dolphins Standby Display: This unit has a standby mode that turns off audio output, but keeps the display active. When the unit is in the standby mode, a graphic of swimming dolphins is shown on the dot matrix readout, and the clock is active in the lower right corner of the display. If you prefer to see a blank display, the unit may be turned completely off by pressing and holding the SRC/PWR OFF button for at least 1 second.

MP3 File Playback: This unit can play MP3 files that have been recorded with fixed bit rate (up to 320kbps) or variable bit rate compression on CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW discs. The following functions are available during MP3 playback:

  • File Search (forward and backward)

Note: The file search function skips forward or backward from one file to another. This function does not allow you to do a fast forward or reverse audible search within a file. This unit will not audibly search through MP3 files, it will only skip from file to file.

  • Folder Search (forward and backward)
  • File Repeat
  • Folder Repeat
  • Random Play
  • Name Scroll: This allows the folder/file name to be scrolled across the display, so the complete name can be seen.
  • Direct File Search (the remote must be used for this function)
  • Folder Select: This function allows you to select the hierarchical level of the folders you want to see, move from folder to folder within the same hierarchical level and return to the first hierarchical level. When you find the folder of your choice, you may begin playback of the first file in that folder by pressing the play/pause button.

CD Compatibility: This unit will play standard audio (16-bit, 44kHz, PCM) CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, and it will play CD-ROMs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs that contain MP3 audio files.

D.R.I.V.E. Circuit: With 20 bit resolution produces greater accuracy and detail by virtually eliminating digital distortion.  This is especially helpful in soft musical passages.

CD Text: This unit will display CD Text for CDs encoded with CD Text. The display is capable of showing 12 characters at a time, and can be set for auto or manual scrolling of titles longer than 12 characters.

CD Changer Control: This unit can control Kenwood CD changers equipped with the new MZ-Bus system. 

Note: At the time of review, the only CD changer compatible with this unit was the Kenwood C907 CD changer.

CD Naming: The DNPS (Disc Name Preset) feature can be used to enter names, up to 12 characters long,  into memory for up to 10 discs. When a CD changer with disc naming memory is connected, names may be entered for CDs in the changer (see CD changer control functions below). The number of names that may be entered for discs in a changer depends on the changer model. 

CD Pause: You can pause the CD player without having the tuner come on.

Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.

CRSC (Clean Reception System Control): Eliminates multi-path distortion. It can be turned off for better reception when a  multi-path situation is not present.

SNPS (Station Name Preset): You can assign names to as many as 30 stations; each station name may be up to 12 characters in length. After a name has been assigned, you may press the DNPP button on the remote to display the name of each preset station for 5 seconds. When the name of the desired station appears, you can press the OK button on the remote to select the station. If a name has not been entered for a preset, the frequency will display. As the station names are cycled, you hear the station that was tuned in prior to the DNPP button being pressed, you do not hear the stations as their names are displayed.

Selectable Tuning Spacing: You may select U.S. standard or European tuning spacing. To switch to/from European tuning spacing, turn the unit off, hold down preset buttons 1 and 5, then press the SRC/PWR OFF button (while holding down preset buttons 1 and 5). Hold all three buttons in for 3-seconds, then release only the SRC/PWR OFF button. 3-seconds after releasing the reset button, release the preset 1 and preset 5 buttons.

Source Tone Memory: Each source (CD/FM/AM/CD changer) has its own memory for KEX.P, bass center frequency, bass level, bass quality factor, bass extension, treble center frequency and treble level settings. Whenever you choose a source, the last settings used with that source are automatically recalled. 

Disc Changer Control Functions

Compatibility: This unit is equipped with the MZ-BUS System. At the time of review, the only CD changer compatible with this unit was the Kenwood C907 CD changer.

Multiple Changer Control: This unit can control up to 2 compatible CD changers.

Functions: 

  • Pause/Play
  • Audible search forward/reverse
  • Track search forward/reverse
  • Disc search forward/reverse
  • Repeat track/disc
  • Track scan: scans each track on a disc for 10 seconds
  • Disc scan: scans the first 10 seconds of each disc in changer
  • Random play: plays all tracks on one disc randomly; when all tracks on one disc have been played, the next disc in the changer will be selected for random playback
  • Magazine Random Play: randomly plays tracks on all discs in a changer
  • Text Scroll: this function permits text longer than 12 characters in length to be scrolled
  • Direct Track Search (function accessible by remote only)
  • Direct Disc Search (function accessible by remote only)
  • DNPS (Disc Name Preset): The DNPS feature can be used to enter disc names into memory. Up to 12 characters per name may be entered. When the C907 CD changer is connected, up to 100 names may be entered into memory for discs played in the CD changer. 
  • DNPP (Disc Name Preset Play): Once a disc has been named, you may press the DNPP button on the remote to display the name of each disc for 5 seconds. When the name of the desired disc appears, you can press the OK button on the remote to select the disc for playback.
  • CD Text Display: this unit can display disc and track titles for discs encoded with disc/track information
  • Search on Initials: you may search for discs by the first letter in the disc name or disc text

TV Control Features

Compatibility: This unit is equipped with controls for the Kenwood VZ907 TV/CD player.

Functions:

  • TV Band Select (TV1, TV2, Video1, Video2)
  • Seek Tuning
  • Manual Tuning
  • Station Preset Memory: 6 stations may be entered into preset memory for the TV1 band, and 6 stations may be entered into preset memory for the TV2 band
  • Auto Memory Entry: 6 stations can be automatically entered preset memory for the selected TV band 
  • Preset Tuning
  • Direct Access Tuning (function accessible by remote only)

Remote Control Functions

RC-601 Remote: Kenwood's RC-601 infrared remote control is included with this unit.

Remote Dimensions: L = 5.695", W = 1.961", H = 0.941"

Buttons:

  • Volume +/-: a rocker button used for volume control
  • SRC: selects source (Tuner, Tape, CD, CD-MD changer)
  • Tune/Track |<</>>|
  • ATT button: attenuates output
  • Play/Pause 
  • AM/Disc- 
  • FM/Disc+
  • "*" (asterisk button has no function with this unit)
  • DNPP/SBF: Allows you to display all discs name which have been preset in the changer and to select any of these discs to play.
  • Direct/OK 
  • 0-9/A-Z alphanumeric keypad

Warranty and Illumination/Clock Notes

Warranty: This unit is part of Kenwood's Excelon series of mobile audio products. Some units were incorrectly packaged with a 1 year warranty card, but, per Kenwood, the actual warranty period is 2 years parts and labor.

Display Illumination/Clock Display: This unit has a standby mode that may be activated by repeatedly pressing the SRC/PWR OFF button until "All Off" is displayed. When the standby mode is active, the  display illumination and clock will be keyed (the display and clock will illuminate when the ignition key is in the on or accessory position). When the unit is in the standby mode, a graphic of swimming dolphins is shown on the dot matrix readout, and the clock is active in the lower right corner of the display. If you prefer to see a blank display when audio output is off, the unit may be turned completely off by pressing and holding the SRC/PWR OFF button for at least 1 second; defeating the standby mode enables unit-on display illumination operation (the unit must be fully on to illuminate the display). If your vehicle does not have a switched power source at the radio location, the unit should be turned completely off using the SRC/PWR OFF button before leaving the vehicle to prevent battery drain.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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