Kick Ass Receiver Starts to Ship - Sherwood Newcastle News

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Morris, Sep 5, 2001.

  1. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Hi All,
    As a response to a question I sent him back on Aug 28th, he sent me the following press release, asking me not to release any info on it until the 5th. Since that is today, here is the press release he sent me.
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    FOR RELEASE SEPTEMBER 5, 2001
    Contacts:
    Jeffrey Hipps
    Sherwood America
    [email protected]
    (714) 870-5100, ext. 103
    SHERWOOD NEWCASTLE ADDS TWO
    DIGITAL RECEIVERS TO AUDIO LINE
    R-963 Has “Edge of the Art” Design
    with Improved Performance in Every Area
    R-863 Does Almost All at a Budget Price
    INDIANAPOLIS, IN ., September 5, 2001 – Sherwood America Inc., a leading manufacturer of high performance audio equipment, is now shipping its two newest digital A/V receivers. The Newcastle R-963 is an “Edge of the Art” receiver designed to compete with the very finest available. It’s sibling, the R-863, has nearly every performance and convenience feature of the R-963, but costs 40% less.
    The top-of-the-line Sherwood Newcastle R-963 offers stellar performance in virtually every significant area:
    Multi-Channel Audio Performance—Rated at 120 Watts RMS with no more than 0.05% THD into 8 ohms for each of its 7 channels, the R-963 maybe the first receiver on the market that can be truly called DVD-A and SACD ready. Not only does the R-963 offer 100 kHz audio bandwidth and 192 kHz, 24-bit DAC’s for all 8 of its operating channels, it may also be the word’s first receiver with complete bass management for it’s 7.1 channel direct input. “Now,” according to Jeffrey Hipps, Sherwood’s Sr. Vice President for Marketing and Product Development, “consumers can finally hear these advanced audio formats with their proper tonal balance.”
    Two Channel Audio Performance—Not to be outdone by its multi-channel capability, the R-963 is also the world’s first receiver to offer complete “Digital Re-Mastering” for the PCM sound track of any CD to the levels available from DVD-Audio. Using Analog Devices new AD-1896 Sample Rate Converter, the R-963 allows the user to “Re-Master” (convert) their conventional 44.1 kHz, 16-bit sound to 192 kHz Sampling Frequency and 24-Bit Word Depth. According to Hipps, “With the R-963, we are finally bringing CD sound into the 21st Century.” For those with strong ties to the 20th, the R-963 retains a phono input for LP record playback.
    Video Ready—With 4 rear panel A/V inputs and 1 more on the front panel, all with S-Video and composite video capability, the R-963 offers impressive connectability. But the two component video inputs (and single component video output) are where the video really shines. Their 54 MHz bandwidth is fully capable of switching even HDTV’s highest frequency signals.
    Home Theater Capable—The Newcastle R-963’s digital decoding capability includes: Dolby Digital and DTS; Dolby Pro Logic 2; DTS-ES both Matrix and Discrete; and DTS Neo. The R-963 will even decode Dolby Digital Surround EX material using Crystal Semiconductor’s New Crystal EX algorithm.
    The Home Theater capability doesn’t end with decoding, the R-963 has 6 rear panel “assignable” digital inputs (four Toslink and two coaxial) and an additional “Play Station 2” compatible Toslink input on the front panel.. Additional theater features include: Cinema EQ; Video Input Custom Labeling; Optical Digital Output; dedicated rear panel 12-Volt trigger; and a rear panel Infrared Control input to operate the entire system from a remote location.
    Remote Control—In today’s market, the user’s typical operating interface is no longer the receiver’s front panel. It is now the remote control. For the R-963, Sherwood Newcastle has chosen to use a custom version of Universal Remote Controls’ Theatermaster MX-500. This remarkable remote control uses hard buttons and customizable LCD screens to provide virtually complete control of up to 10 separate components.
    Multi-room capability—With many of today’s finest receivers now used as the centerpiece in a custom-installed home theater, single room operation in a receiver of this class is no longer sufficient. To claim it’s rightful place in the Custom portion of the business, the R-963 has advanced multi-room capability. Its independent Room 2 Audio Video feed can be operated with fixed or variable audio level, has both composite and S-Video capability and features a separate, dedicated Room 2 Infrared remote control. The R-963 can also be reconfigured to use the two rear-center amplifiers to drive the audio for Room 2. This allows R-963 owners to have 5.1 sound in their main theater and stereo in the balance of their home--all from this single receiver.
    “The most remarkable thing about our Sherwood Newcastle R-963 is not it’s performance,” quipped Hipps, “It’s the price.” The Suggested Retail Price for the R-963 is $1,999.95.
    The Sherwood Newcastle R-863
    For those who can survive with only a little less, Sherwood Newcastle has also begun shipping the R-863 receiver. Rated at 100 Watts RMS with no more than 0.05% THD at 8 ohms into each of its 7 channels, the Newcastle R-863 offers every impressive feature of its big brother except:
    The R-863 does has neither the “Digital Re-Mastering” nor the phono circuitry of the R-963.
    The Room 2 Video Feed is composite only. The rear center amplifiers cannot be reconfigured. There is no 12-Volt trigger and there is no Room 2 Dedicated remote.
    The preprogrammed/learning remote will only operate 8 separate devices and has no LCD window.
    “But,” says Hipps, “these small sacrifices result in big savings.” The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail price for the Sherwood Newcastle R-863 is $1199.95.
    As a final addition, both the R-963 and the R-863 will be available in Newcastle’s traditional “Titanium” finish and in Black. Said Hipps, “We wanted to reinforce the universality of these receivers. We think they do everything a consumer could want. Having them in black assures that no one will pass one up due to its color.”
    Sherwood Newcastle is a high-performance brand name in the field of audio and audio/video. Sherwood Newcastle is a division of Sherwood America, Inc., now part of
    Etronics, one of the world's leading multimedia, auto sound, and home electronics manufacturers.
    Since 1953, Sherwood has designed and manufactured high-performance, cost effective audio gear. Newcastle is our best. Refined, musical and distinctive, each Newcastle component reflects our simple philosophy: Use the best parts and get the basics right.
    ---------------------------------
    Man, what else could you want in a receiver??? With the usual dealer discounting that can occur for SN stuff, a bring it home price of around $1200 sure would make the R-963 a real tempting upgrade to almost anybody's HT system.
    Jeff also told me that their new pre/pro would debut at the January CE show.
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
    ----------------
    DFAST, 5C, DVI, HDCP, SafeAudio, Macrovision and Lewinski!!!
    [Edited last by John Morris on September 05, 2001 at 05:14 AM]
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    John, thanks for the press release posting - interesting specs on those receivers. The eventual street prices should be very tempting. I'm anxiously awaiting the Outlaw pre/pro with its October release. It would be nice to get specs and pricing on the Sherwood pre/pro before the CES in order to compare the two. Interesting note on the Crystal EX mode - I wonder if its the same advanced Crystal mode that Outlaw hints that may be in their pre/pro.
    ------------------
    "Do you expect me to talk?"
    "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    very interesting...I can't wait to hear what their pre amp will do.
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    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     
  4. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    John -
    A couple of questions you might be able to answer. Bass mgmt - can you select different XO points for different speakers (or even groups)? I'd really like to be able to set a different sub XO point for my front 3 vs. my rear 4 speakers.
    Video - I saw a reference on some site that said the 963 would downconvert component to S-video or composite. Any cahnce it would convert composite to S-video (albeit at a degraded performance level)? My TV has a component and a SV input, but plugging in the composite also on either input overrides the better connection, and I want to use them both. This means to plug in a game system or VCR, I have to go through the coax antenna input, or swap cables. PITA.
    WHen is this unit expected to hit the street? Or has it?
    BB
     
  5. Christian Sonntag

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    Wow,
    This thing is definitely on my "look at" list for my new HT room. I've owned the Newcastle R-945 for over 3 years now and have been nothing but satisfied with its performance. It doesn't have half the features of the 963, and sold for $1000 ($1200 list) 3 years ago! Isn't silicon (and silicone, but that's another subject) the greatest thing since sliced bread?
    Cheers,
    Chris
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    Christian A. Sonntag
    "The world owes you nothing. Take responsibility for your own actions!"
     
  6. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    now , the REAL question, how will the amps SOUND?
    I certainly remember some of their past receivers.
     
  7. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Matthew,
    If they sound like the amps in the R-945 and 945 MKII it'll still blow away most of the other stuff out there in this price range. The 945 sure as hell blew away those crappy amps in the Denon 3300 I demoed for a week.
    I'm really interested in seeing what the actual street price is for these. Regardless of what it is, I imagine my wife would have a heart attack if I spent any more money on HT gear for a while. After all, I'm about to build a big 18" subwoofer!
    Brian
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  8. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: A couple of questions you might be able to answer. Bass mgmt - can you select different XO points for different speakers (or even groups)?[/quote] I was told by Jeff Hipps that the crossover frequency was "80Hz, fixed". I assume this to also mean for all speakers.
     
  9. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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  10. DaleB

    DaleB Stunt Coordinator

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    Will they have a selectable crossover for the sub(s)?
    If so they should make a competitive pre/pro.. I would rather use a separate amp like a B&K, Anthem, Parasound, etc. etc... myself. No slam against Sherwood, I am not impressed with amps from any receivers in general.
    And instead of spending $3000 for a super-receiver I would use the money for a good pre/pro and separate amp(s).
    The Sherwood seems to have lots of features for the buck, looks like it has potential.
    [Edited last by DaleB on September 05, 2001 at 11:21 AM]
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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  12. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

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    I am still a laserdisc worshipper.To me R-945(or MK2) is still the best of all,cos on-board RF demodualtion is provided.
    Recent new models(R756,R956,R6106,R7106) were design for the new DVDphiles generation,does these two new models also friendly to AC3 laserdiscs or just DTS laserdiscs only?
    The new models announced sounds very delicious to me,if i am only interested with DVD playback only.
    I thought that we have a representative from SHERWOOD in HTF?Maybe he can verify some queries we have in mind?
     
  13. Gregory S

    Gregory S Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,
    I know that you built ACI Emeralds with an LE touch. Did you audition the R-945 and 945 Mk II with your Emeralds or any other ACI speakers?
    I have the Sapphire III LE's and am looking for a receiver that would mate well with them. I've been thinking about the Marantz 7200 and Denon 3802. Do you have any advice? I hear that the Marantz is warm sounding - do you think it is too warm sounding for the Sapphire/Emerald's? I'm also wondering how the 100 Hz crossover of the Marantz would work with the Sapphire's.
    Thanks for your advice,
    Greg
     
  14. GregoryK

    GregoryK Agent

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    Brandon:
    In an earlier post, (search is down at the moment), I reported that Sherwood had told me that the 863 will do upconversion from composite in to S-video out, so I think that you would be all set without going to Radio Shack.
    I also remember a post about on-line retailers for the new models. Does anyone have e-tailer sources for these models?
    /Greg
     
  15. AVspec

    AVspec Supporting Actor

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    I also still have a R945 as my main HT system and still really like it. The amps are very, very good in it even though I have since moved to separate amps only for more power and a bit better sound (QSC EX800's and 1250).
    I thought they were also coming out with a new Pre/Pro? Is there any word on this?
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    -Mark
    **** Digital Vortex ****
    The Digital Electronic Site
    www.digitalvortex.com
     
  16. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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  17. Scotty Parish

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    Andrew,
    Say, you wouldn't have that Rat Shack part number for the composite/S-video converter would you? I searched their web site and came up empty.
    Thanks
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  18. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Gregory S,
    It's nice to know someone remembers my system! Of course, how many other people do you know with my last name? I wonder if Klaus Bunge of Odyssey Audio is any relation.
    Anyway, when I originally auditioned the Denon I was still using my ACI Opals in my main system. I was actually comparing the Denon to my old Newcastle R-500 DPL receiver. For 2-channel audio the old R-500 sounded better than the Denon. If I had to label each I'd say the Denon was bright and the Newcastle was warm. Can you imagine Sarah McLachlan's voice sounding bright or thin? That's how she sounded with the Denon. Between that and hearing all the clickety-click sh*t during quiet passages I just couldn't live with it any longer. So after a week I took it back and went to my Newcastle dealer and picked up the R-945 MKII. I cannot tell a difference on 2-channel audio between the two Sherwood receivers. That tells me that they put the same attention to detail in all their receivers; not just their top of the line units.
    Another interesting thing was that the Denon weighted about as much as the R-500 while the R-945 outweighted them both. That tells me that the R-945 has a beefier power supply than the Denon. Whether or not that's of any real benefit is anyone's guess. But I've had the R-945 for about 1.5 years now and it's still going strong.
    I must say that I really love my Emeralds even more than the Opals. They are definitely more forward than the Opals. Snare drums are much sharper and have more impact. Vocals are even better. With the ports plugged and sitting atop my dual SV12 based subs they really sound amazing. I can't imagine using the Emeralds with a Denon receiver. I think the Sapphires would sound wonderful with a Newcastle receiver.
    Incidently, the Opals are now in the spare bedroom along with the old R-500. I've got them hooked to the computer so I can listen to CD's while surfing!
    Brian
    P.S. I don't know if you're familiar with Ellen from here and SMR but she has Sapphires and 3 Emeralds and is seriously considering the new Sherwoods. She's just torn between a receiver or holding out for Newcastle to come out with a pre/pro.
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  19. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    Hey Brian,
    I too would be interested in a Sherwood pre/pro even though you know I can get Denon at a big discount. Now if Sherwood could somehow manage(Outlaw too) to come up with a 7 channel surround mode ala Logic 7, THAT would be awesome.
    In fact, the first company that DOES come out with an inexpensive Logic7 competitor will definitely have a leg up on the competition.
     
  20. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] All that and still a fixed XO of 80hz [​IMG]
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