Sherwood-Newcastle Amp -- Reviews please

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian AM, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. Brian AM

    Brian AM Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was just wondering if anyone had experience with the 9080 five channel amp... How would you say it compares with mid-fi amps like parasound, rotel, NAD, etc???
     
  2. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2000
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello this is my first post but I have read these boards for years. I have nht 2.9, ac-2 and vs 2. along with two svs for a 7.1 setup and Im using denon 4802 as a pre-amp. I have gone through about 10 different amps in the last year or so. I bought the Sherwood am9080 not expecting much because of the low price. Boy was I wrong, this amp is sweet, powerful and never fatiguing. Great for home theater and music, especially rock, female voices and strings. I bi-amped the 2.9s using fourchannels and last channel for center and this works great with my hard to drive nhts. The Sherwood bested the 4802s internal amps easily. Now for the controversy..it is better in my system then the rotel rb993, rotel rb-985 which I thought were to grainy and a tad bright.I have a McCormack dna-1 deluxe which is a very expensive amp and I prefer the Sherwood! who would have thought ? I also have owned carver 4.0t which is 375 watts but think the Sherwood sounds as powerful. Also have had HK pa5800-loved the sound but needed more power...I hope this helps thanks I just want to say that this is just my opinion and in the end you will have to try them for yourself because I have been mislead plenty of times by reviews
     
  3. Brian AM

    Brian AM Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate your input John. I just purchased one and have yet to receive it. I'm hoping that the 120 watt per channel will be more suitable for my Axiom ti80's than the 85 wpc Parasound I'm running them with now.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
  5. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can the Sherwood amp be turned on/off by a non-sherwood prepro's DC trigger?
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have no idea.
     
  7. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 1999
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    REVIEW Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080 multichannel amplifier, $1199.95 list

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    etown.com -- April 30, 1999 -- Its specs hint that this amp is the real thing. Each

    of the Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080's five channels is rated at 120 watts

    into 8-ohm loads, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, less than 0.05 percent THD (total

    harmonic distortion), all channels driven. Connect it to a 4-ohm load

    and you'll get 200 watts per channel (wpc) at less than 0.09 percent

    THD. There's even a 2-ohm rating, which provides 320 wpc at less than

    0.09 percent THD and supports the company's claim that this amp will

    operate into very low-impedance loads. Designed as a matching companion

    to the Sherwood Newcastle AVP-9080R surround preamp/processor, the

    AM-9080 multichannel power amplifier is one of the more outstanding

    audio values I've come across in recent memory.

    Technically inclined readers will appreciate that the Sherwood is "fully

    spec'd." The 120-wpc power rating is with "all channels driven" into a

    specific impedance (8 ohms), over the full audio bandwidth and with a

    specified percentage of total harmonic distortion. With so many

    companies touting bogus specs (such as A/V receivers measured with just

    one channel driven into a 6-ohm load at 1 kHz with no THD given), it's

    refreshing to see it done right.

    Good specs are just the beginning. The Sherwood's build quality, design,

    features and audio performance are all well above what you might expect

    at its price point. This amp is a no-brainer recommendation for owners

    of the matching AVP-9080 processor, but there's no reason to stop there.

    Because similarly-powered competitors generally cost more and in some

    cases deliver less, anyone considering the purchase of a mid-priced,

    five-channel amp should audition the AM-9080.

    Features:

    **120 watts x 5 channels

    **modular construction

    **7-1/16 x 17-3/8 x 17-3/4 inches (HWD), 70.5 lbs

    Connectivity:

    **gold-plated RCA inputs (unbalanced)

    **five-way binding-post speaker terminals

    **Digi-Link jack for remote on/off with compatible products

    Look & feel:

    Weighing in at a hernia-inducing 70 pounds, the AM-9080 is

    built like a tank. The overall aspect is clean and attractive, with no

    external heatsinks to slice hands or collect dust. The silver-gray faceplate holds only a lighted standby indicator/button and a round power switch. The front panel has a brushed-aluminum surface, though if you're into hewn-from-solid-metal audio jewelry, this isn't the amp for you.

    The real beauty of this amp (indeed of any amp) is within its cabinet.

    This is a fully modular design, with each amp channel mounted on a

    separate vertical circuit board that plugs into a backplane (similar to

    the way expansion cards plug into a PC). Each channel has its own

    massive solid-aluminum heatsink. The only components shared between

    channels are three humongous power transformers. I've never before seen

    this premium construction method used on an amp at such a low price

    point.

    The rear panel is basic, with five gold-plated RCA inputs and five pairs

    of good-quality plastic binding posts. The power cord is permanently

    attached. A Digi-Link connector allows a compatible component such as

    the Sherwood Newcastle AVP-9080 processor to remotely switch the amp in

    and out of standby mode. This makes system operation no more difficult

    than with an A/V receiver.

    Performance: The AM-9080 has performed flawlessly during several months

    of almost continuous operation. Other than the clicking of a few

    protection relays during power-up, the amp produces no turn-on or

    turn-off thumps or noises. The unit stays relatively cool even after

    extended sessions of 5.1-channel mayhem. No fan is necessary unless

    you're going to enclose it in a tight cabinet.

    I've spent many happy hours listening to the AM-9080 in both two-channel

    music and 5.1-channel configurations using two very different sets of

    speakers. The preamp/processor in all cases was the matching Sherwood

    Newcastle AVP-9080. Initially, I used the amp to drive my long-term

    reference speaker complement, which consists of B&W Matrix 801 front L/R

    speakers, a Matrix HTM center speaker and a pair of Infinity Quadrapole

    surrounds. Because the B&Ws have plenty of low-frequency extension, I

    generally run them full-range. No subwoofer is necessary in my 12 x

    16-foot listening room.

    Although the Matrix 801s are a fairly benign 8-ohm load, they sound

    their best with an amp that generates plenty of current. They also

    require an amp with a high damping factor to firmly control the big

    12-inch woofers. The Sherwood took hold of the big B&Ws and never let

    go. Lows were solid and full, with plenty of punch. The all-important

    midrange was accurate and realistic, high frequencies clean and

    extended. I've had these speakers for close to eight years and have

    heard them with more amps than I care to count. The Sherwood, while not

    equal to the very best, is certainly right in there with the pack.

    I also used the AM-9080 to drive a complete set of Audience-series

    speakers from Dynaudio. At 4 ohms nominal impedance, these speakers are

    a bit tougher load for the partnering amp than the B&Ws. I spent some

    time listening to the floorstanding front L/R speakers as a full-range

    stereo pair, then added the powered sub to relieve the amp of bass

    duties.

    Once again, the AM-9080 proved equal to the task. I never felt the amp

    was getting in the way of this $4500 speaker package. In fact, the

    combination is beguiling, especially when good 5.1-channel soundtracks

    are played loudly in all their glory. There's no feeling that the amp is

    running out of steam even on the most dynamic peaks.

    Of course, audiophiles may prefer a bit more, shall we say, delicate

    touch for stereo music recordings. I won't try to snow you by

    rhapsodizing about the amp's magical ability to transport you to some

    sonic nirvana. At just $240 per channel, the AM-9080 is hardly going to

    cause Krell and Madrigal to lose any sleep. What you will hear is

    better-than-average solid-state sound, with plenty of grain-free detail,

    solid bass and reasonable soundstaging.

    There are a number of fine five-channel amps to choose from in the

    sub-$1500 price bracket, including models from Rotel, Parasound, Adcom

    and Marantz. The Sherwood's specs, design, build quality, styling, and

    performance are as good as -- if not better than -- these

    well-established brands. At $1200 list, the Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080

    is a stone-cold bargain.

    Rating: * * * *

    -- Lawrence E. Ullman
     
  8. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does the Sherwood compare to the Anthem MCA5?

    I'ver heard that the Sherwood lacks dynamics and sounds a bit slow, whatever that means.
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    In my experience the only thing the Sherwood lacks is a high price tag. [​IMG]
     
  10. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff,

    Does this feature mean that an external DC trigger can turn the sherwood on and off. What are the compatible products?

    **Digi-Link jack for remote on/off with compatible products"

    Thanks,

    Ricky
     
  11. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 1999
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    An external DC trigger will not turn the AM-9080 on or off. Only Sherwood and Sherwood Newcastle models with our proprietary DigiLink III circuitry can do that.

    Jeff
     

Share This Page