Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

Is Sherwood the UFO of HT equipment?


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
74 replies to this topic

#1 of 75 OFFLINE   Anthony GT

Anthony GT

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 106 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 17 1999

Posted March 24 2002 - 06:55 AM

I'm not convinced the Sherwood Newcastle line actually exists. Has anyone seen the new R-963 receiver? Frankly, my attempts to even find one to look at have met with such resistance that I would hesitate to buy one even if I could find it. So far I have: 1. Sent Sherwood an email asking for dealers in my area, never heard back. 2. Called Sherwood to find a dealer in my area. After going through a cyptic phone menu the person gave me a phone number for a rep in MD. I called later but the number was for a fax machine. Doh! 3. After posting my problem on this forum, Jeff Hipps, who works for Sherwood, was very helpful and gave me the name of a dealer in Silver Spring(about and hour and fifteen minutes from me). I decided to call before I trekked out that far. Sadly, after 2 calls to this "dealer" all I ever got was their voice mail and they never called me back. 4. Now I'm starting to get irritated. I try steps one and two again. Again, no response to my email and this time nobody returned my voicemail left at Sherwood. So now I'm starting to doubt the existance of this receiver and the company. It is just some sort of shadow company run by the CIA or other government agency? Is it just a slush fund for Senators to go to the Bahamas on? Jeff, I'm sure you will read this and respond. My questions are: Why is it so hard to get any information from Sherwood? Wouldn't it make more sense to just list the dealers on the website? Is Sherwood in business to sell products? If so, why do they seem intent on keeping a customer away from the products? I'm no Sam Walmart but I think if Sherwood is trying to make things and sell them then the next logical step would be to make them available. Finally, several people in other Sherwood threads have asked this question and it always goes unanswered - Is there any authorized online dealer for Sherwood Newcastle products? Hell, at this point I would buy from an UNauthorized dealer if they would let me return in 30 days. At least then I could actually see one! Has anyone else had experiences like this with Sherwood or is this just a plot to keep me away from them? Anthony I forgot, at his point, even if I could find a 963 and wanted to buy it, should I? How does this reflect on any service issues I might have in the future?

#2 of 75 OFFLINE   Jah-Wren Ryel

Jah-Wren Ryel

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 132 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 07 2000

Posted March 24 2002 - 11:21 AM

The sherwood stuff occasionaly shows up on ubid in "the high-end room." I'm pretty confident that they are authorized to sell it, as they are authorized to sell other brands like klipsch, denon, mondial, etc. But, I do not recall what the warrany duration was on the sherwood units and waiting for the occasional sherwood unit to pop up there is not much better than what you have been going through already.

#3 of 75 OFFLINE   Marvin E

Marvin E

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 91 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 01 2001

Posted March 24 2002 - 11:40 AM

Anthony:

I have the Sherwood Newcastle R-863 which I purchased from for $832 hometheateradvantage.com including shipping about two weeks ago. I believe they are an Authorized Sherwood Online Dealer. It took me a while to find the R-863. I've used Sherwood Newcastle receivers for years; back when they were made in the U.K. There would be an enclosed card with the personal handwritten initials of the technician who performed the Q.A. test prior to shipping to the U.S. Now, I believe they are made in Korea where some other high-end gear is made. Sherwood America is a top a notch company that has NEVER refused to provide me with immediate E-MAIL responses to questions or RETURN calls from Customer Service. They have never played the Authorized Dealership games that Denon and Yamaha play. Let me give you an example of what I mean: after I set up my R-863 which took about hour or so, I started to experience auto detection dropouts and some video antenuation in the DD EX mode. I called Sherwood and talked to Eugene in Customer Service who assured me that the problem was not in the receiver and he suggested I try another DVD player. I called Home Theater Advantage and got an RA Number, put the receiver back in the box, ready to send it back. I live in your area, so the return shipping wasn't that much, but I decided to give it another try. I reinstalled the R-863 and I tested it using an old Samsung DVD Player. Eugene was right: the problems were not in the R-863. It was caused by Panasonic RV80. I called Home Theater Advantage back to cancel the RA Number. My salesman told me "to play around with the R-863" for 30 days just to make sure I was happy with it. (The advertised return policy was 14 days!) I will tell you what my frustration is: Sherwood Newcastle products don't have the high visability that Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, and HK have. I believe that Sherwood Newcastle receivers are just as good as or better than the brands that most frequently appear on Home Theater Forum. From what I understand, and Jeff can confirm this, I believe Sherwood is rebuilding its dealer network. I looked at the Denon and Yamaha receivers; their product manuals are difficult to understand and the Denon remote, well you know the rest of that story. I did happen to find a Sherwood Dealer in California that told me that after he heard the R-963, he decided to stop selling other brands..it was that good.hometheateradvantage.com

#4 of 75 OFFLINE   Stefan A

Stefan A

    Second Unit



  • 400 posts
  • Join Date: May 27 2001

Posted March 24 2002 - 11:57 AM

Unless you must have Sherwood, I say forget them. What happens if you need some kind of support or repair from them once you have the product? If it is this hard to buy their stuff, good luck on warranty issues. There are enough hi end stores around here that I am sure you can find something comparable (Gramaphone, Soundscape, maybe tweeter) A whole bunch in the DC area.

#5 of 75 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

Wayne Ernst

    Screenwriter



  • 2,589 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 24 2002

Posted March 24 2002 - 04:24 PM

[quote]

I am sure you can find something comparable (Gramaphone, Soundscape, maybe tweeter) A whole bunch in the DC area.

[quote]

There's a store on Rt 50 (Virginia side) about 1/2 mile west of the 7 Corners area in Fall Church which carries the Sherwood Newcastle receiver line. I don't recall the name of the exact name of the store.
"My reality check ... just bounced"

#6 of 75 OFFLINE   Marvin E

Marvin E

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 91 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 01 2001

Posted March 24 2002 - 04:45 PM

I don't think you are going to find anything that compares to Sherwood Newcastle at Soundscape, Tweeter or any place else. Sherwood has been in business since 1953. The R-963 is an Innovations 2002 Award Winner. Product availability does not equate to potential service or warranty problems. Over the past 6 years or so, I have never had a warranty problem. Service related-issues have been resolved over the phone with Customer Service. Tell you what you do:check UBID on a regular basis and see how many Sherwood Newcastle refurb units you see for sale. Now compare that to the Onkyo, Denon and Yamaha receivers.

#7 of 75 OFFLINE   John Kotches

John Kotches

    Screenwriter



  • 2,636 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 14 2000

Posted March 24 2002 - 10:26 PM

Anthony, I can't comment on the number of them in existence, but I can say with a high degree of certainty that a minimum of one R-963 receiver exists. I have it in as a review sample. That's about the extent of my commentary for now. Regards,
Surround Music Enthusiast / Curmudgeon in Training
Opinions are my own, not representative of the publication I write for.

#8 of 75 OFFLINE   Kevin McCurdy

Kevin McCurdy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 184 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 13 2000

Posted March 25 2002 - 03:44 AM

Wayne, I believe the store your referring to on route 50 in Virginia is Sound Images.

#9 of 75 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

Philip Hamm

    Lead Actor



  • 6,885 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 23 1999

Posted March 25 2002 - 05:01 AM

I have A Sherwood Newcastle Pre/pro and amplifier. I can assure you that they do exist. Also, that the sound quality is exceptional with my examples of this brand's work.
Philip Hamm
Moderator Emeritus

#10 of 75 Guest_John Morris_*

Guest_John Morris_*
  • Join Date: --

Posted March 25 2002 - 05:22 AM

I almost bought one just last week on Ebay. It sold for $1000! Man, I could kick myself on that one... Also, if you have a question or need any help with a Sherwood product, you can always email the VP of the company, who also occasionally hangs out here on HTF and elsewhere. I've never had a problem getting help or an answer from Sherwood Newcastle within a day of asking. Usually, they get back to me within hours. However, if you don't care about 7.1, you'd be best served by getting the 9080 combo like Phil has.

#11 of 75 OFFLINE   Matt Parsons

Matt Parsons

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 69 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 18 2001

Posted March 25 2002 - 06:29 AM

John Morris,



Check it out - http://cgi.ebay.com/....tem=1340039156



Your not dead yet. Good Luck.

#12 of 75 Guest_John Morris_*

Guest_John Morris_*
  • Join Date: --

Posted March 25 2002 - 06:54 AM

Hi Matt: Thank you so much for the link, but I was referring to the R-963 receiver, not the 9080 combo. I was looking to replace the R-956 currently being used in my bedroom system and $1K for the 963 was one heck of a good price. Still, if sound quality for two channel or multichannel analog bypass music is your primary concern, even Jeff H from Sherwood Newcastle says that the 9080 combo will beat the 963 receiver.

#13 of 75 OFFLINE   Stefan A

Stefan A

    Second Unit



  • 400 posts
  • Join Date: May 27 2001

Posted March 25 2002 - 07:29 AM

[quote]

Product availability does not equate to potential service or warranty problems. Over the past 6 years or so, I have never had a warranty problem. Service related-issues have been resolved over the phone with Customer Service.

[quote]



Yes, that is true. But, product availability didn't seem to be the main issue - the way I read the original post. It sounded like he couldn't get any customer service or anybody to sell the product to him. Including info directly from the manufacturer. With that in mind, I would say there IS potential for problems in the future.



I am not saying anything against the quality of the receiver. Perhaps it is true that the highest end stores in Baltimore does not have an equivelent product.



All I am saying is that the problems originally posted is cause for some concern about the dependability of the company. It's good that you have not had a problem in the past six years, but that does not mean the future will be the same - especially with his experience so far with them.

#14 of 75 Guest_John Morris_*

Guest_John Morris_*
  • Join Date: --

Posted March 25 2002 - 07:40 AM

[quote]

Yes, that is true. But, product availability didn't seem to be the main issue - the way I read the original post. It sounded like he couldn't get any customer service or anybody to sell the product to him. Including info directly from the manufacturer. With that in mind, I would say there IS potential for problems in the future.

[quote] It is really easy to find out anything you desire about a Sherwood piece, including where you can buy one today. Just email the Senior VP of Marketing, Jeff Hipps at jeff@sherwoodamerica.com . You also may be able to reach him directly via phone at 1-800-962-3203. It doesn't get much easier than that.


#15 of 75 OFFLINE   Anthony GT

Anthony GT

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 106 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 17 1999

Posted March 25 2002 - 10:36 AM

Thanks for all of the responses guys! Marvin E: Thanks for the info about hometheateradvantage.com. At least I know where to order one if I want to! I'm glad you have had great performance and service from Sherwood over the years, but not replying to emails and phone messages is not a confidence instilling-factor for me. Stefan: I'm still trying to find one mainly because I usually research the hell out of everything before I buy. From the specs it seems like the 963 may be the best value in it's category. I also like the fact that they are using a custom MX-500 remote. One knock on prior Sherwood models that I saw was that the interface/remote left a lot to be desired. So instead sticking with what they had, they seemed to decide to make their product better by adding a highly regarded remote, even though it's from another manufacturer. I take that a good sign that they care about performance rather than corporate ego. Of course, it's hard to evaluate when you can't find one! John K.: Do you have timeframe on when your review may be available? I would love to read it! John M.: Maybe you skimmed my long post, but I did contact Jeff at Sherwood. He was helpful but the dealer he gave me the name of didn't return my calls either. Anthony

#16 of 75 Guest_John Morris_*

Guest_John Morris_*
  • Join Date: --

Posted March 25 2002 - 10:46 AM

[quote]

Maybe you skimmed my long post, but I did contact Jeff at Sherwood. He was helpful but the dealer he gave me the name of didn't return my calls either.

[quote]Anthony: Wow. I'm sorry about that. I guess I did skim your post too quickly. My Bad.

As for the dealer not calling back, there is no excuse for that. I hope Jeff is monitoring this thread and can kick some dealer butt. I bought my original Sherwood Newcastle piece from SoundCity in NJ. That was officially OK with SN because my local SN dealer is a butthead and I refuse to buy from him. If you already know that you want an R-963, I'd shop for it nationally and then just before you buy, OK it with Jeff. That way you can get a rock bottom price AND a valid warranty... although as long as the unit had a valid serial number, I've never heard of anyone getting turned down for warranty repair.

Of course, the problem is that if you have never heard this receiver and you are not sure you want one, you may have a problem. Right now, as with many new products, the R-963 seems to be pretty scarce. Dealers are keeping their inventory very close to the vest and if they still have the old Sherwood reciever or pre-pro/amp combo, they are hesitant to order a new R-963 till they sell what they've got.

Sorry, I couldn't be of much help with your search. Posted Image


#17 of 75 OFFLINE   Jeff Hipps

Jeff Hipps

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 194 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 02 1999

Posted March 25 2002 - 10:54 AM

Anthony: I understand your frustration and thank you for your persistence. Once upon a time, there were 21 hi fi dealers within a 3 block radius on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Santa Clara, CA. Now I'd be amazed to find more than 1. Even many who claim to be retailers are, in fact, custom installers in a masquerade. There are a diminishing number of outlets for any brand. And virtually no dealer wants to be a pioneer. If you don't already have consumer demand for your goods, no one wants to carry them. And it's not about product quality. I've had conversations with audio execs across the spectrum. Even companies with gold plated quality reputations can't find dealers in all of the top 100 US markets. Compound the lack of dealers and their lack of gumption with our slow delivery, and it can be difficult to match interested consumers with the outlets that carry our brand. So we're embarking on a modest advertising campaign. We've got a nice full page ad that will begin in the June issue of Stereophile's Guide to Home Theater along with an additional 1/3 page of dealer listings. We'll repeat the ad for at least 3 issues (4 months). Hopefully, the list will grow and we'll live long and prosper. If nothing else, those who want to see a high performance product will know how far they may have to go to find it. And if you want the current list, e-mail me (jeff@sherwoodamerica.com) and I'll forward the entries as of today. Jeff

#18 of 75 OFFLINE   Ranga

Ranga

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 109 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 30 2000

Posted March 25 2002 - 11:58 AM

On the issue of customer support, I'd like to chime in as well. I have a sherwood newcastle 756 DVD player. About 6-7 months ago, I sent a couple of e-mails and spoke to a couple of folks at Sherwood (Someone called Eugene and probably Jeff as well). Till date, I have not had my questions answered. In fact, the question was about the crossover frequency on the DVD player and also if the crossover is in effect when the speakers are set to LARGE or when using the digital outputs. I think it was Jeff who volunteered to get the information from the factory. The website is useless and the manual does not address it as well. If not for the fact that I am waiting for a good universal player at a reasonable price, I would have replaced the sherwood long ago. Their service sucks!! Ranga

#19 of 75 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

Brian Bunge

    Producer



  • 3,719 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 11 2000

Posted March 25 2002 - 12:43 PM

Jeff, I will tell you of one dealer of the Newcastle line that is excellent. His name is Alan Jones, owner of Audio Alternative, in Lilburn, GA. He has been the absolute best when it comes to customer service and knows the products inside and out. My dad's old R-500 receiver had an amp channel go out about 5-6 months after he bought it. At the time the newer R-525 had come out and he replaced the 500 with the 525 for only $100 more. As far as I'm concerned he's one of the best dealers I've had the opportunity to come in contact with. Also, he truly believes in the Newcastle line. After buying a Denon 3300 and hating the sound compared to my own R-500 receiver, I'm a believer too! I took back the Denon and bought the R945MKII, which I'll use until I upgrade to separates. So hurry up and get that new pre/pro and 7-channel amp to market! Brian
Brian Bunge
RAD Home Theater

#20 of 75 OFFLINE   Marvin E

Marvin E

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 91 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 01 2001

Posted March 25 2002 - 12:43 PM

From my perspective, I think the situation with Sherwood might be that the level of service they provide to their customers, which is usually on a personal basis, could be overwhelming at times. I think it would be difficult to respond EVERY technical or installation question. No company is perfect and I'm not making excuses for Sherwood, but try calling Sony, Panasonic, or Pioneer on the phone. See how long it takes for them to respond to your questions by EMAIL, if at all. There's a big difference between a company making an honest attempt at answering questions and companies that totally ignore the conusmer. Think about it: why would Jeff take the time to answer questions, exposing himself to irate customers if he did'nt care about customer satisfaction? Could someone give the names of other VPs that appear on this Forum?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users