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Sherwood Newcastle AVP-9080R
32 Reviews
rating  4.47 of 5
MSRP  1200.00
Description: A/V preamp w/ built in DD, DTS, Pro-logic & six channel input


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Reviews 1 - 5 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by qwikdo a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2002

Bottom Line:   
After reading many reviews I thought it was time to upgrade my system. Before I was using a Adcom GSA-700 connected to Sony DVP-650V for Dolby digital and DTS. I listen to the system 50/50 for movies and music. I thought with all the features and rave reviews I would try the sherwood to see if it would improve my system. For movies it does the job very well. The sound is very spacious and great during demanding passages. I tried all types of movies and overall it did a fine job. When switching to two channel music I was very dissappointed. I thought this preamp made my music sound thin and bright. I thought that amps really make the difference in sound, boy was I wrong. I couldn't believe how much of a difference in sound it was from my adcom. My adcom was very smoooth in the highs and midrange. Playing the music loud and for a long time I notice I began to get listeners fatigue which never happened before. I switched back to the adcom which took about an hour to hook everything up, but I noticed the sound of the adcom to be more nuetral. It presented the music in a coherent manner which was lost with the sherwood. For movies the sherwood beat my adcom by a little bit. The panning of sounds in Digital\DTS was better with the sherwood. I wanted to keep the sherwood so bad because of the features and price but I will end up selling it. For movies I highly recommend it, but for 2 channel music it doesn't cut it. If music is of concern for you don't get this preamp.

My system includes:
Sherwood 9080R preamplifier
Sherwood 9080AM for 2 centers and rears
PS-Audio CX200 Amp for fronts
Parasound CD-1000 CD Player
Sony DVP-650V DVD Player
Mirage M3Si fronts
Mirage MCSi 2 centers
Mirage 595is rears
Kimber 8TC speaker cables all around
Kimber PBJ interconnects

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   auction

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Marr a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Due to the lack of local dealers, I took a chance and purchased the amp and preamp from smarthome.com during a limited-time sale of $1099! I have found this combo to be just right for my needs. My usage is 50/50 music and movies (including vinyl) and the Sherwood combo has handled my Magnepan MG3's and MG1's very nicely. I plan to add a center channel and sub in the near future. My overall rating is based on four-channel usage.
Highly recommended!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   smarthome.com

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rich a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 19, 2000

Bottom Line:   
After submitting the first review on this site of a very early production AVP-9080R, I am providing an updated review. I know this is not considered proper form as many individuals continually re-post reviews (sometimes under bogus names) in an effort to raise a products ratings - a very annoying habit that is all too common on this site. However, I do have several legitimate reasons for re-reviewing this product. First and foremost I have been able to evaluate four different units for extended periods. Second, I have now had over a years experience with this product and am very familiar with its sound in relation to other preamp processors.

Why four units? Well lets just say the earliest production units had some minor operational "quirks" with some of the rarely used features. Unless you had one of these first units you should not experience any of these issues so I won't go into details. Suffice it to say that all functions on the AVP-9080R now function flawlessly. The only reason I mention them is to emphasize, and I can't emphasize enough, how totally outstanding and amazing Sherwoods' customer service is on their Newcastle products. E-mails are answered personally by marketing vice president Jeff Hipps, most often the same day! Questions & concerns are professionally and courteously handled - you can tell that Sherwood wants no dissatisfied Newcastle customers. Any kind of customer service these days is rare; Newcastle service is nothing short of phenomenal.

With the exception of one unit, which hummed when placed in any of the surround modes, the sound on all units has been uniformly excellent and in accordance with my previous review. I have not experienced any of the below mentioned "hiss" or any other significant problems related to sound. I will admit missing the slight ticking noise on the volume control with my first review; all samples with the exception of the most recent unit have exhibited this. Perhaps Sherwood has addressed this as well.

After all this time with the AVP-9080R, my initial evaluation of sound quality stands. It is indeed very neutral and quiet. The analog bypass in particular is worthy of praise even by the most critical audiophile standards. Just select an analog input, engage the tone direct button and you will pure and simply get the same beautiful (or awful) unadulterated sound from your source components' analog outputs. Absolutely transparent! The internal D/A converters seem to be of good quality, although not quite up to the standards of the best D/As in some of the very high dollar processors. Still, you should get very respectable sound when using the AVP-9080R's internal conversion. Keep in mind that the AVP-9080R will not handle sampling rates over 48 kHz, there is no provision for 24-bit/96 kHz processing - you'll have to use the six channel analog inputs (or a stereo analog input).

Sound quality in Dolby Digital, DTS, & Pro-Logic is first rate and again tonally neutral. There is no THX or Re-EQ feature to tame bright soundtracks, which will be reproduced with perfect accuracy (the way I prefer it). Everything from the most earth-shattering explosion to the most subtle foley effects are faithfully reproduced. I am constantly blown away when playing discs such as Saving Private Ryan (DTS), Air Force One, and Titanic (DTS) which I have experienced on much more expensive processors. The other DSP sound modes are, as I mentioned previously, worthless. I haven't listened to them since my first day with the AVP.

As I also mentioned, the AVP-9080R has only 3 digital inputs (1 coax, 1 optical, & 1 RF) which is a limitation. I ended up purchasing an MSB Digital Director which works flawlessly with the AVP-9080R and provides ample digital ins and outs.

Do I sound like a walking advertisement for this product? Probably, but rest assured I have no affiliation with Sherwood and have nothing to gain by posting a favorable review (besides I have plenty of other things to do with my time). Do you need to listen for yourself? Absolutely. Make no judgments based solely on any review. My ears aren't golden enough to warrant a "just go out and purchase it" recommendation and anyone who claims otherwise is deluded, conceited, or just has no knowledge of audio. Everyone has different taste, needs, equipment, and listening rooms - all of which dramatically effect the suitability of any one product to the end user. I do however, feel this product warrants consideration by anyone in the market for a pre/pro; even those who would otherwise dismiss the Sherwood Newcastle AVP-9080R as an unworthy challenger to the many "high end" alternatives. Again, highly recommended.

Review System:

Polk Audio RTA-11TL (mains)
Polk Audio CS350-LS (center)
Polk Audio Monitor 4 Series 2 (surrounds)
Boston Acoustics SW-10 (powered subwoofer)
B&W DM302 (additional mains used in reviewing the AVP)

Carver TFM-35 Stereo Amplifier (mains)
Carver TFM-6cb Stereo Amplifier (center - bridged)
Carver TFM-6cb Stereo Amplifier (surrounds)

Pioneer Elite PD-54 CD Player
Pioneer Elite CLD-59 LD/CD Player
Proscan PS8680Z DVD Player
Echostar Dish 4700 Satellite Receiver (w/digital output)

MSB Digital Director/Jitter Reduction
Tekna Sonic C-10 & C-12 Speaker Cabinet Vibration Control
Monster M1.2 S Speaker Cable (mains & center)
Monster M550i Interconnects (mains & analog out from CD player)
Monster XP (surrounds)
Monster Interlink 400 MKII (center & surrounds)
Monster Lightspeed & Coaxial Digital Interconnects

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Lee a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Primarily purchased as a home theatre processor, this preamplifier from Sherwood Newcastle is one which has few shortcomings in home theater or music listening alone.

Despite the clicking sound that is evident in my speakers when turning the volume switch the sound is quite natural when playing DVD's.

Playing such movies as 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Mouse Hunt' with the AVP-9080R's built in DTS decoder made me feel that I was in audio nirvana, hearing every nuance in the recording..

I do notice that when playing movie soundtracks in Dolby Digital or DTS the preamplifier brings about a noticeable hiss into the rear channels. Not too sure if this is the speakers or the Sherwood Newcastle. Is this the same problem that was posted in earlier reviews?

All in all, I find it hard to believe that spending twice the amount as for this unit will truly bring twice an improvement in sound quality. Great job, Sherwood Newcastle!

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 2, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This product represents a superior concept in design and function. In a nutshell it performs as beautifull as it looks. Minor problems were quickly rectified with superior customer service. Jeff Hipps at Sherwood said "We will move Heaven and Earth" to make it right with when I reported problems with the AC inputs on the back of the unit. A word to the wise; do not plug your power amplifiers into these AC inputs. It will blow the fuse and could potentially damage other aspects of the component. Speaker hiss has also been a problem. An addition of an advanced MR application would be well received, but, for under $1k...

Summary: Great value, solid build, stylish looks. Very few bugs. Go get this one before Sherwood figures it out!

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Reviews 1 - 5 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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