Sherwood Newcastle Receivers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom-K, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. Tom-K

    Tom-K Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anybody have any experience with any of their products? The R-963 looks quite impressive, and the R-863 looks pretty impressive also, I'm trying to determine all the differences between the two since their is about an $800 street price difference. Appreciate anybody's comments.
     
  2. Jeff Loughridge

    Jeff Loughridge Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the R-956 and am pretty happy with it. I got it off Ubid for about $500.00 last September. It is a well designed, clean sounding receiver. I wish there was more versatility in bass management. I also wish the digital inputs were assignable to different video inputs, instaed of being fixed. I like it a lot, though.
     
  3. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    As you may already be aware, both the Sherwood Newcastle R-963 and R-863 receivers decode all of today's mutlti-channel formats including DTS-ES Matrix and Discrete, DTS Neo Music and Cinema, Dolby Digital including Surround EX, Dolby Pro Logic II Music and Movie. The only format we do not decode is DTS 96/24. Both switch High Def video signals (54 mHz bandwidth on the component video inputs). They perform all essential functions including bass management and volume control in the analog domain. And both are DVD-A/SACD ready with 100 kHz amplifier bandwidth, 192 kHz/24-bit D to A converters from Analog Devices for all 8 channels, and have 7.1 channel direct inputs complete with bass management.

    Here are the differences between them.

    Sherwood Newcastle R-963 120 W x 7; 6 rear panel digital inputs (4 optical, 2 coaxial) with a 7th (optical) on the front panel; 4 rear panel A/V inputs with a 5th on the front panel; phono input; upconverts PCM digital signals to 192 kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit word depth; Indpendent Room 2 ouput with S-Video, Composite video and fixed or variable left and right analog audio; Dedicated Room 2 remote; The receiver can be reconfigured from 7.1 to 5.1 plus stereo. This allows the rear center amplifiers to drive Room 2; 12-volt output; Remote Control. The R-963 ships with our version of the Theatermaster MX-500. This is a 12-unit, pre-programmed and learning remote control with an LCD display and Macro capability.

    Sherwood Newcastle R-863 100 W x 7; 4 rear panel digital inputs (2 optical, 2 coaxial)with a 5th (optical) on the front panel; 3 rear panel A/V inputs with a 4th on the front panel; no phono input; no digital upconversion; Indpendent Room 2 ouput with Composite video and fixed or variable left and right analog audio; Dedicated Room 2 remote is optional; Audio amplification for Room 2 requires an additional amplfier; no 12-volt output. The R-863 ships with our version of the Theatermaster SL-9000. This is a pre-programmed and learning remote with Macro capability but without any LCD screen.

    Jeff
     
  4. Tom-K

    Tom-K Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff, are you with Newcastle? I infer this by your response. If so, Will your pre/pro that is due out in September do all the same things as the 963? Or maybe more? What about price will it be roughly the same? Less? More? Thanks for your input.
     
  5. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I am with Sherwood.

    Feature wise, the pre/pro will have the same functionality as the R-963 plus fully adjustable DPL II music mode and Dolby Headphone.

    Tentative SRP is $1500.

    Jeff
     
  6. Tom-K

    Tom-K Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff, Thanks for the input. One more question. Are you allowed to give the names of your authorized dealers that sell online? If not, how about some dealers here in St. Louis area? I am very interested in your 863/963. Thanks again.
     
  7. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Jeff:

    So long as we have someone on line from Sherwood, I'd like to ask about the power ratings. I'm helping someone pick equipment and he has focused on the Newcastle 963.

    As I look at the specs, it appears to me that the 120 watts is only with 2 channels driven, and there is no indication it is from 20 Hz to 20 Khz.

    Am I correct, and if so, doesn't this mean it's not really 120 watts per channel on the same playing field with the receivers that measure from 20 Hz to 20 Kz with all 7 channels driven? If so, what is it actual power rating with all 7 channels driven 20 to 20. I'd like to compare apples to apples if I can.

    Thanks.

    Deane
     
  8. Joris R

    Joris R Auditioning

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    I'm also interested in the answer to that question.

    On the Sherwood website the specifications say:

    In stereo mode it delivers 120 Watts per channel at 8 Ohm (20hz-20Khz) THD @ rated output 0.05%

    In Surround mode(Front) 120 Watts x 3 at 8 Ohm ; 1 Khz

    In Surround mode(Rear) 120 Watts x 4 at 8 Ohm ; 1 Khz

    I however doubt if this rating is that important.

    I don't think that you can really hear the difference between a receiver that has a continues power output of 120 Watts versus 100 Watts if all other characteristics are the same.

    The real difference you hear between a more poweful amplifier and a less powerful amplifier i think is the dynamic power, the headroom the amplifier has.

    If you compare the dynamic power ratings of the R-963 with receivers of other brands or for instance the R-956 it is very impressive to say the least. I have heard the R-956 and compared it with the Onkyo 787 and I thought it was definately in the same league if not better (Power and sound).

    I thought the Onkyo's ease of use was quite a bit better than the Newcastle, so I'm wondering if the R-963 has improved upon the R-956 in this regard.
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I'm using Sherwood Newcastle seperates in my system. Based on my brief experience with the AVP-9080 preamp and AM-9080 amplifier I would enthusiastically recommend Sherwood Newcastle products. My speakers have never sounded so good. You may want to budget for a universal remote control though. [​IMG]
     
  10. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    I noticed that Sherwood seems to measure the power of the amp with all channels driven 20 Hz to 20 Kz, but they seem to measure the receivers in a manner that gives the illusion of more power than they actually deliver.

    I am suspect that the receiver only delivers about 95 watts instead of the rated 120, but I'd like to confirm this. Granted, the difference in performance between 95 watts and 120 is not monumental, but wouldn't it be nice to know the facts.

    I was hoping the fellow from Sherwood would clarify this for us, but he seems to have disappeared.

    Deane
     
  11. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Deane,
    Is it fair to characterize Jeff in this fashion:
     
  12. Anthony GT

    Anthony GT Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm interested in this receiver as well. Jeff, when you check I'd like to hear about the power rating and any online authorized dealers as well.

    Does anyone have one of these? If so, how easy is it to use?

    Thanks!

    Anthony
     
  13. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    Tough crowd! Go to work for a day and they think you're a coward.
    (and thanks to John Kotches for his defense)
    Anyhow, yes, usability is improved over the R-956.
    As to power, output, our AM-9080 amplifier weighs 76 pounds. It is rated at 120 W RMS x 5 from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with less than 0.05% THD into 8 ohms with all channels driven simulataneously. And it is further rated at 170 W RMS x 5 from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with no more than 0.09% into 4 ohms, again, with all channels driven.
    Our 42 pound receiver cannot do this.
    The R-963 has 7 identical discrete amplifiers each capable of 120 watts RMS into 8 ohms from 20 Hz to 20 kHz at 8 ohms with no more than 0.05% THD. The power supply is capable of storing and delivering between 450 and 500 watts. If you drive 3 or 4 channels, we can deliver 120 watts per channel. If you drive 5 channels, measured power (at 1 kHz) falls to 90 to 95 watts per channel. For 6 channels, it can deliver around 75 watts per channel and if you need to drive all 7 channels to full output, the R-963 has about 65 watts per channel.
    We can argue about what's is sufficient for a long time, but in my opinion, all channels driven to full output is not a real world test. Typically, at least one channel is at least 6 dB louder than any other channel. If that channel were at 120 watts, the other channels would be at 30 watts!
    So, I think the power is ample. If any user decides after purchase that he needs more power, the R-963 has preamp outputs for all channels (including a pair for the sub) and we will be shipping a new main amplifier in the fall that weighs over 80 pounds and is rated at 165 W RMS x 7 from 20 Hz to 20 kHz into 4 ohms with no more than 0.09% THD will all channels driven. That's 1.155 kilowatts!
    Jeff
     
  14. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    Deane:
    As to your "apples to apples" request.
    CEA has just completed new amplifier testing and reporting guidelines that are designed to allow consumers to do just that.
    The primary power disclosure for all consumer and professional amplifiers rated at more than 5 watts RMS will be the power output at 1 kHz into an 8 ohm load with 1% THD.
    Amplifiers with more than one channel must drive all unmeasured channels to 1/8 rated output simultaneously while the tested channel is measured. Each channel is then measured, in turn, while continuing to drive all of the other "untested" channels to 1/8 their rated output. The results are recorded and reported in the usual way.
    Some may feel this standard is too loose, other's may feel it is too difficult, but once it has been implemented by CEA members, apples will finally compare with apples.
    Jeff
    P. S. Of course, manufacturers may still provide secondary disclosures that further quantify the capabilities of their amps.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Jeff,
    Let me tell you the 70+lb behemoth 9080 is tough enough to move and situate in a rack already! I can't imagine what the next amp will be like! [​IMG] It sounds fantastic though. [​IMG]
     
  16. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    Jeff,

    I have a few questions about my Sherwood RD-7103. First I like the sound of this receiver and the features are great but i'm haveing a little problem with the power output. About a month ago I was looking on the back of my receiver and noticed there are no pre-outs there, I thought I had read there are pre-outs in the manual and on your guys web site. Well I was right I looked back in the manual and it does say there are pre-outs for all channels, so i'm wondering what happend? also as I got looking more on the back of the receiver and I saw that the power consumption is 200 watts but the receiver is rated to output 500 watts RMS. My dad and many other people on this forum said that it is impossible for this to output 500 watts and only consume 200. I called Eugene with tech supprt and he said that it is 100 watts x 5 RMS and that the power consumption has noting to do with the power output. That does not make any sense to me at all. I would realy like to know the true power output of this receiver. I would really like to keep this receiver and not upgrade but if the watts are to low i'm worried about the receiver clipping and blowing out my paradigms. Thanks

    Ryan
     
  17. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Jeff:

    Thank you for your response and your candor in discussing power ratings. Yes, these forums house a "tough crowd", which I think has been very good for the industry (I'm one of the wimps, though). What happens is that good products get showcased and garner sales momentum, while poor products get shuned. As a result, end quality is propelled upward at a faster rate.

    I can't disagree with anything you have stated about power and performance. Since you were kind enough to be around on the forum, I wanted confirmation if my overall understanding of these things was correct. From your posts, it appears it is.

    I believe the person I am advising, who is interested in Sherwood Newcastle, would be better off with the Newcastle separates than with the 963 receiver. He is using Atlantic Technology 370 THX speakers in a room with an excess of 3500 cubic feet. I want him to realize that the 120 watts from the AM-9080 amp actually gives him more power than the 120 watts from the 963 receiver.

    Deane
     
  18. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    Ryan T:
    Of course power output and power consumption are related. There's no free lunch and our perpetual motion machine doesn't work any better than anyone else's. Perhaps the 200 watt consumption printed on the back panel is overly conservative.
    Your RD-7103 is a very well featured receiver sold at a budget price. It decodes Dolby Digital and DTS, has a 5.1 direct input for expansion, has Cinema EQ and more. It has 5 identical discrete amplifiers. And it sells for less than $200. I have even seen it advertised for less than $150! The receiver is rated in stereo at 100 W RMS per channel from 40 Hz to 20 kHz into 6 ohms with no more than 0.9% THD and meets that spec. As you drive more channels, the available power per channel falls off. As far as I know, total power is competitive with our real world comptitors and it should be fine for virtually every user. Keep in mind that real-world power output rarely averages as high as 1 watt per channel.
    Deane:
    In this age of powered subwoofers, those of us raised on full spectrum, non powered speakers (old fogeys like me) sometimes have a hard time juding how much power is required to drive a system to a satisfying and realistic sould level. As I recall the power/frequncy distribution numbers, more than half of the power output (and perhaps as much as two-thirds) is used below 100 Hz. So an amp with 50 watts above 100 Hz can easily keep up with a 100 watt powered subwoofer.
    (Actually, I'd proably be perfectly comfortable with a bi-amped system that had only 30 watts above 100 Hz and 100 Watts below.)
    As to your friend with the AT's:
    I suspect that the R-963 would be more than sufficient to drive his system to reference level. Would it sound better with the separates? I don't know. But I can tell you this, the R-963 is one of the few receivers on the market with what is essentially an analog signal path and one of the very few capable of 80 dB S/N in the surround channels. If I were the adviser, I'd try one first.
    Jeff
     
  19. Ryan T

    Ryan T Second Unit

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    Jeff,

    Thanks for the speedy reply. I think i'm going to keep my sherwood for a while. I'm very happy with the way it sounds I was just worried about the watts and the pre-outs. Since I don't think i'm going to have any real problems with the watts being to low I think I will keep it. Thanks for your help.

    Ryan
     
  20. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, you're right again. Us old timers have a hard time realizing how much less power is needed when you send the bass to a powered sub.

    Again, thanks for your replies. The manufacturers who monitor these forums learn the most about what consumers are thinking, and perhaps more importantly, are able to clarify misconceptions and misinformation about their product.
     

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