Sherwood r-963 as pre/pro against other High-End separates...?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by granite_g, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. granite_g

    granite_g Agent

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    I thought this would make an interesting thread.... I currently own the sherwood r-963 and have been very happy with the performance in music and ht. The 963 replaced my denon 3802, which I thought was a good unit. But after A/B testing I feel the 963 was much more neutral and has a better sound-stage. The denon sounded more bright and at reference levels would get distorted.
    I have been thinking of going separates but I'm so happy with the 963, especially as a processor. My thoughts are to add an external amp(maybe the new sherbourn 7/channel/200 watts) to get better detail and clarity, also more volume/ db's.
    My question is there that much difference in sound qualtiy and performance to justify spending double the price for a different processor( anthem, b&k, rotel,lexicon,integra or any other top-end unit)maybe....? I just think for what the 963 offers for features it makes an great pre/pro.
     
  2. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Judging from the lukewarm review that the 963 received in the secrets of HT and hi-fi and its incorrect implementation of bass-management, I wouldn't think it would be able to compete with separate prepro offerings from Anthem, B&K, Rotel, Lexicon and the likes. This is just from reading the review as I have no experience with this unit myself.

    My 2 cents.
     
  3. Joris R

    Joris R Auditioning

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    Yogi,

    If you go back to the review you mentioned, you will see that the reviewer was very positive indeed on using the R-963 as a processor/pre-amp. He had it running as a pre-amp in a more than decent setup. He had nothing negative to say about the sound of it even in such a revealing setup on the contrary even he praises the sound more than once.

    He however has negative things to say about the unit's bass management and especcially it's implementation. He was obviously disappointed with it.
    It however would be much cheaper to add an outlaw ICBM and have much more possibillities than any pre-amp or receiver can offer concerning bass management.

    granite_g
    Considering the fact you allready own this receiver, the adding of a separate amplifier would be a sensible upgrade option in my opinion.

    Could you give us a bit more of your thoughts on the 963,
    what do you like about it, what do you hate about it and maybe compare with other receivers you are familiar with.
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Joris, thats the reason for my wording 'luke warm'. Reviewers rarely give anything a 'cold review'. They never come right out and say negative things about components. If you compare the 963s review to some of the other ones on the site like the B&K's, or the Anthem's or the Lexicon's you will get the underlying sense of feeling that the 963 is somehow not up to par with some of these prepros. That's all I mean. Given my sonic abilities, I probably wouldn't be able to distinguish between a 963 and a Lexicon, or a Tag, or a Meridian in a DBT myself. So take what I say about the 963 with a grain of salt esp. since I havent heard it. I am sure other experts here would be able to comment on the 963's prepro capabilities. Can the others chime in please.
     
  5. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Since I'm the reviewer that wrote the R-963 review I can comment on it. This isn't the first time I've commented on the review.

    If you want someone to write a review filled with hyperbole, then I'm not the guy to ask to review a product. If you want someone to tell you "This is the greatest product ever" in review after review after review, I'm not the guy to ask.

    With repsect to comparisons with the B&K review (I did the Ref30), you might be surprised to note that the R-963 replaced the Ref30 for a couple of months in my reference system, as I searched for a replacement, and handled itself just fine in that capacity.

    Was it the equal to B&K? For DD/DTS yes. For CD yes. As an analog stage? Not quite, but I use the EMM Labs switchman 2 for a multi-channel preamp. I haven't found anything that beats the switchman as an analog preamp.

    As an under $1500 pre/pro it is definitely worth considering. The fact that you can also use it to drive Zone 2 in stereo is a plus.

    Regards,
     
  6. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    There you have it guys, straight from the horse's mouth. Thanks John for stepping in and clearing any doubts in my (our) mind(s) regarding the 963's prepro abilities. I have always regarded your reviews ( along with J. Johnson's, R. Hardesty's and J. Atkinson's) as some of the most objective ones in the industry. That should put to rest anyone's fears of using the 963 in their HT as a capable prepro.
     
  7. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    I don't know about the Sherwood, but the 3802, while a good receiver for its price, is a far cry from almost any decent separate prepro at any price.
     
  8. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Sihan,

    Please name a SHIPPING "decent" pre/pro for $699.

    Austin

     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  10. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    For its price the 3802 is a pretty darn good prepro esp. with good external amps.
     
  11. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    AustinKW, obviously prepro's aren't going for $699 unless you don't mind getting a used, refurbished, or discontinued model. What's your point? I've already stated that the 3802 is a good receiver for its price. It was never meant to compete with prepros, but since the original poster had experience with it, it might server as a good reference point for comparison.
     
  12. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Sihan,

    The point is that using a 3802 as a pre/pro into a good quality outboard amp will run around $1100-$1200 and provide great sound for both music and HT. Using the same amp, the pre/pro would have to cost $700 to stay at the same price point. I defy you to name ANY pre/pro (used, refurb, whatever) that fits this pricing and supports the HT and audio modes of the 3802. Furthermore, IF Denon stripped the 3802 of its amps and tuner, and issued it as the 3825 Pre/Pro at around $500, EVERYBODY (even audiophiles) would be snapping them up as a great "bedroom" system. So, consider the 3802 as a 3825 with a tuner and some amps that you can use while you're deciding on your outboards. My take.

    Austin

     
  13. granite_g

    granite_g Agent

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    AustinKW,


    I strongly disagree that there is nothing that would defy the 3802. Have you listned to the sherwood 963? I own both units and i think that the sherwood is much better in HT and music. You might consider listening to the 963, I think you will be quite suprised...
     
  14. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I think what Austin meant was that nothing in $700 range can defy the 3802. The 963 for more than twice the price better defy the 3802 that is if Sherwood plans to be in business.
     
  15. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Granite,

    Huh? Please re-read my posts. I was responding to a poster making comparisons between receivers and pre/pros. Do you know anything about pre/pros? They're the "front-end" of a receiver without the integrated tuner (usually) or amplifiers.

    The cheapest pre/pro that supports modern HT decoding modes is the non-shipping Outlaw 950 at $899 (not shipping due to audio quality problems, BTW). The next cheapest candidate that I'm aware of is the Rotel 1066 at over $1000. My point to the poster was that any decent receiver's front-end (including yours) packaged as a pre/pro would make shivers run down the spines of Outlaw and Rotel if Denon (or Sherwood) produced them. At about half the price of the current price-leading pre/pros, they would sew up the market for entry-level separates in about 5 minutes flat.

    I'm glad you're happy with your 963 (as I am with my 3802). I consider all these "mid-fi" receivers as "throwaways" - to be discarded at the earliest opportunity once the copy protection issues surrounding audio and video are resolved. The "new" receivers (and pre/pros) will have FireWire digital connections to hirez audio (DVD-Audio/SACD) as well as DVI video switching - about two years away, I'm guessing.

    Austin

     
  16. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Bad cheseburger at lunch, oops I'm gonna threadfart!!

    "the non-shipping Outlaw 950 at $899 (not shipping due to audio quality problems, BTW)". NOT - there are no, zero "audio quality" problems with the 950 not causing it to ship. The "hiss" issue, which my unit currently has, to my ears, + most all other owners who have the hiss, does not lessen the fine "audio" quality of this processor.

    Yes, Outlaw stopped shipping to correct this issue, but realize that they are not "fixing" an audio quality issue. Christ, with any "source" actually playing nobody has ever reported/commented on the hiss. Its mostly been associated with very "non-real" listening stuff (eg ear to tweeter, volume to max, etc).
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  18. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    AustinKW, I never doubted that the 3802 is a great receiver for the price, and a decent prepro if mated with an external amp. However, ignoring price for a while, it still cannot compare to most, if not all dedicated prepros out there. Now of course I realize its really hard to find a $699 prepro, but that's not my point. Bottom line is, if you only have $699 to spend, then the 3802 is a great piece of equipment to spend it on. If you have more, a basic prepro will bring quite a significant increase in sound quality. This of course is based on my own auditions of the Denon receiver and other prepros at various price ranges.
     
  19. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    My mistake. I thought people were HEARING the 950's HISS. I didn't realize you could TASTE it.

    Austin

     
  20. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Sihan,

    Price can NEVER be ignored, not even for a moment! The point was, is, and remains there is NO shipping pre/pro comparable in capabilities and even close in price to the 3802. Period. It's not "hard" to find a $699 pre/pro - it's IMPOSSIBLE - they don't exist! I DO agree entirely with your point that if you have more, buy more.

    I would dearly love to see an entry-level separates market develop. $500-$600 multi-mode pre/pros along with similarly priced 5-ch/7-ch amps would really get some competition going and serve us all very well. The days of multi-thousand dollar pre/pros deserve to be numbered IMO.

    Austin

     

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