Sherwood Newcastle R-725 A/V Receivers

R-725

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
sactohye   Audio Enthusiast [May 28, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent sounding amplifiers. The FM tuner section. Ability to add a SS processor. Very good phono preamp.

Weakness:

No signal strength meter for the tuner. No S-Video switching.

While it may seem a bit late in the day to be reviewing this piece of equipment, one gets a very good feel for it after many years of use. In addition, any reliability problems will have surfaced. When I first bought the Sherwood Newcastle R725, I did not have any Dolby Digital sources, only a stereo TV and Hi-Fi VCR. I bought the R725 because it could accommodate a surround sound processor being added later and in fact, that is what I did. When I bought a DVD player, I also bought a Technics SH-AC500D Digital Surround Processor which I have also reviewed. Originally, the R725 drove a pair of JBL L65 Jubals, a B&W CC3 (later a JBL SC305, also reviewed) and a pair of Realistic Minimus 7s with no sub woofer. It now drives B&W 604s for the front, LCR600 center and 602s for the rear along with an ASW 650 sub (also reviewed). In stereo mode, this receiver has ample power to drive the JBLs and the B&W 604s to high sound levels without distortion. The sound is always clean and clear, whether the source is digital or analog or its tuner. One of this receiver’s strengths is its excellent FM tuner. The sound quality from my local Public Radio classical station is always very good, approaching the sound quality of a CD at times. However, there is no signal strength indicator, which makes orientating the antenna problematic. These days, one should just be thankful that one can get a receiver with a good tuner section, tuning meter or no. Another feature is its phono preamp, something lacking in most A/V receivers. The phono section of the R725 is quiet and the RIAA equalization is accurate. The sound quality, with a high quality cartridge, is very good. The R725’s Pro Logic decoding is quite good with excellent separation and no noise. The amps have no trouble driving all the speakers even on demanding bass passages. There is no sign of strain on the amp’s part, even when it was driving the Jubals without a subwoofer. With the Technics SH-AC500D switched in, only the R725’s amplifiers are used. Again, loud passages, even with lots of bass are handled with ease and no sign of strain. The sound is always clean and clear, free of noise and distortion. I have not used its remote control for the past five years because I bought a Marantz RC2000 MkII remote (also reviewed). The R725 has plenty of inputs and can handle two tape decks and two VCRs along with a CD/DVD player and turntable. It's quite a versatile receiver, even by today's standards. Unfortunately, it cannot switch S-Video sources. Being able to label the video inputs and tuner station names is a handy feature as it makes the display more informative for family members who are not well versed with A/V receivers' nomenclature. The manual is easy to understand making the setup and operation go smoothly. After seven years of use, the R725 has not had any problems. It has been an excellent performer and will be for some time to come. Complete system: Mitsubishi WT-42315 LG LST-3510A Sherwood Newcastle R-725 Technics SH-AC500D B&W DM604 S3 B&W LCR600 S3 B&W DM602 S3 B&W ASW650 Philips CD-960 Akai 630D Advent 100A

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
al   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 12, 2002]

I just wanted to add a little praise to what I have read, and actually prompted me to buy the amp. Especially the part about it being ready for an external decoder. I'm really truly impressed by the sound quality of this little cheap amp. All that I've read I've actually found. Great bass, midrange clarity, good highs with no brilliance. Quite an impressive balance.Surround and stereo alike. Shoots the Denon avr 2600 out of the water (it was broken anyway :-)).Grab one of those when you can !

Similar Products Used: Denon avr 2600
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gabe   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 10, 2000]
Strength:

Powerful stereo mode

Weakness:

surround kinda weak?

In stereo mode, this thing RULES. Period. The sound is very rich across the whole spectrum, and it can get LOUD! At high volumes there is not much more distortion than at low volume (which is very little!).

5 Channel mode is good, but not stellar. If I were to do it over again, I probably would have gotten the 945. The 725 does pro-logic fine, but I find that I need to increase the rear level all the way up for it to sound right. 2x65 Watts in the rear compared to 3x130 in the front is OK for prologic, could be better, but for DD/DTS its a little lame.

I didn't have the same problem as the guy below. I bought the technics/panasonic sh-ac500d DD/DTS decoder, which is BTW a great decoder at a decent price. Get one from ebay. Anyway the decoder works fine and watching DTS movies is a real blast. But I do find that I once again need to increase the rear levels (using the decoder) all the way to max to get the proper surround levels. The other annoying thing is that when using the decoder, I cannot adjust the tone. I don't have a sub, so there isn't enough bass watching DD/DTS movies and I wish I could just crank up the bass a little.

Bottom line: For stereo listening and casual prologic or DD viewing, the 725 is awesome. Especially in stereo mode, I can't stress that enough. So much power. If you're going for a big home theatre system you might want to consider a reciever like the 945 that has 100 watts all around, and DD/DTS builtin because a seperate decoder is a bit of a hassle.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Kris   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 02, 2000]
Strength:

Obvious build quality. Looks. Awsome power/sound quality in Stereo mode.

Weakness:

Lots unfortunately. The most upsetting being that this is not TRUE Dolby Digital ready (read below). No Svideo hookups.

Well I have had this receiver for approx. (6) months now.
I have it hooked up to a Denon DD decoder. I also was dissapointed (can't return it), to find out that I needed to use my DD decoder as a preamp. Also that in doing so...I cannot hook up my VERY expensive (5) channel seperate amplifier that I intended on using for HT.
I believe that this unit is an Absolute sham! If I can't use the receiver as a preamp... than what good is it used with a decoder!?
You see if you use a DD decoder with volume control.... than what the heck do you even need this receiver for!? I can just hook my (5) channel amplifier directly to my Denon DD decoder and bypass this receiver all together!!!!!!

I am very upset about this to say the least. This receiver is absolutely useless as a "Dolby Digital Ready" receiver... and should not have been marketed as such.

I also went out and just bought a new Dolby Digital DVD player thinking that my problem was somehow the Denon DD decoders problem!!!! Now I have just waisted more $$!!

The sound quality using just the Denon DD decoder as the preamp is FLAT, TINNY, HARSH, to say the least. Not good.
Sorry.... but I like my audio adjustable to fit the room. I don't need the DSP modes... etc., but I would like to warm it up a bit... especially the dialog/center channel.
With this receiver I would not even be able to use an EQ.

This receiver in todays digital world is really only useful for its "stereo" mode. And that by itself is quite superb I must say. I will keep this receiver for just that... listening in stereo. That is all it is any good for.

Now I have lots of components I just don't need and I feel that this product is responsible for this. Lots of waisted $$ and having to now go out a purchase a seperate new receiver for my home theater.

Well enough sniveling from me.
DAMN IT THOUGH!!!!!!

I must give this receiver the lowest possible score as I purchased it for what it was advertised to be..... and that it certainly is not ("DOLBY DIGITAL READY"). Sorry folks, and I want my money back!

Similar Products Used: Sony A/V receiver
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Kevin   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 16, 2000]
Strength:

Obvious build quality and workmanship. Massively powerful and clean stereo amp section. Superb audio performance. Excellent ProLogic processor. Cinema Bass. Three Year Warranty. Digital Ready.

Weakness:

Nominal: Remote ergonomics and layout. Digital inputs bypass the pre-amp See below.

I'd like to offer a different, and hopefully more balanced, perspective than that offered by previous reviewers. In my opinion, the mediocre ratings offered by the guys below are a real injustice to the R-725. Here's my take:

The R-725 is an outstanding ProLogic Receiver and an absolutely superb Stereo Receiver which also just happens to be fully Digital Ready...The catch is that to capitalize on the Digital capability, you must connect an external decoder/processor with it's own pre-amp controls as I'll explain below.

For music, the R-725 really shines. With 165 watts / channel @ 8 ohms it has massive head room with peak dynamic power rated at 390 watts / channel @ 2 ohms. I am the original owner of a pair of ADS L1290 Tower Monitors rated at 300 watts per channel. These speakers really come to life, especially at loud volumes. The power delivery of the R-725 is clean and undistorted all the way up to volumes which go far beyond practical listening environments and it's obvious the R-725 still has more power on tap if you need it. The sound is full, rich and warm yet detailed with no signs of harshness or brightness. The depth of the soundstage is amazing and the imaging is nearly 3-D. There have been times when I've caught myself double checking to see if I inadvertantly left a surround setting on when listening to various Jazz or Classical pieces. I can hear details in the music, especially symphony, which have really surprised and stunned me. I previously owned a top of the line Yamaha R-9 Stereo Receiver. It was extremely powerful and very precise but with an unforgiving tendency to sound overly harsh. For a long time, I thought it was my speakers...until I got the Newcastle. I now listen to Jazz, Classical, and Rock on DSS for hours on end without growing weary.

Surround capabilities for movies are also quite good. In Prologic, the channel separation, imaging and dynamic range are excellent. With 130 watts/channel front and 65 wpc rear, there's definitely more power than you can realistically need to fill a room with some great 3 dimensional surround effects. I also really enjoy the Cinema Bass function which boosts frequencies +/- 80 Hz 4-6 db for the front 3 channels. It makes a big difference for the center channel and dialogue. I won't waste any words on the DSP surround modes except to say that if you're the type that likes boingo effects, it does have Hall, Stadium and Theatre modes.

As for Digital capability, it does have one notable limitation. Like another reviewer, I bought a dvd player with an AC-3 Decoder built in thinking this would be a relatively simple and inexpensive way to achieve 5.1 Digital. Wrong!! Unlike some other digital ready receivers, the problem here is that the 6 channel inputs on the R-725 all go directly to the amp section and completely bypass the receiver's pre-amp section. Since the DVD did not have a master volume control, I nearly blew the roof off with a full unbridled 520 watts blowing through the speakers!!

After talking with another reader who had a similar experience and checking with Sherwood support, I found out that the R-725 only works with an external digital decoder/processor which has pre-amp controls like volume. Since I was basically happy with the R-725 in every other respect, I decided to go ahead and spend a little more on a decoder. I got the Technics SH-AC500D which features both Dolby Digital and DTS. It also has digital coax and optical inputs, full set-up controls and a nice little remote. It sounds great and has excellent separation and imaging. (If you want to avoid paying full retail or dicking around at auction for a used one, go direct to Panasonic and pick up a refurb with full 90 day warranty for even less. I got it for $172 shipped in 2 days.)

Back to this review: Another issue that the guy below raised is that you lose tone controls on the R-725( When on, the decoder serves as the pre-amp and it has no tone controls) I was a little annoyed with this at first, but with the right speakers properly configured including a Subwoofer, you won't really much miss the tone controls for 5.1. Since DD and DTS have a dedicated LFE channel, you really DO need a Sub to get the full benefit of 6 channel digital. ((For a great bang for your buck HT fix, go to Costco and pick up a powered Sub for

Similar Products Used: Yamaha R-9 Stereo Receiver. Kenwood ProLogic. Technics ProLogic. Sherwood Prologic.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Andy   [Mar 13, 2001]
Strength:

Power, Sound quality in stereo, good connectors, features-superb, buy it!!

Weakness:

pro-logic only, remote could be nicer but not a biggie

I bought this amp in stupidity I should have bought a normal stereo amp and then added a decoder later I thought as I was setting it up, I thought that i was going to have to buy a stereo amp as well because the stereo on surround amps is pants yes, NO, not this one, as soon as I tried the first few seconds I knew that this myth was pap and that this amp really was good in stereo. The 130w of power was superb in stereo and in surround the effects are excellent considering that it is only a £130 pro-logic amp. The features are superb and details such as being able to programme the delay for the rear speakers dd to the fealing you get of having a bargain. Although the remote is not aesthetically pleasing it does have all the functions you will need.

Similar Products Used: pioneer, kenwood, yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Steven   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 02, 2001]
Strength:

Without question first class and built in Great Britain with power to spare.

I usually don't take the time to write reviews but because I read a few reviews below that stated the R-725B didn't have DD ready or a few other extras. They in fact were reviewing another A/V receiver because the the R-725B does without question. I have found as others have stated the Newcastle R725B has unbelievably power and crystal clear sound and you feel you can reach out and touch the person talking or singing. Fantastic Receiver great buy and would buy another Newcastle receiver!

Similar Products Used: Kenwood, H&K, Nackamichi
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brooke McClelland   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 2001]
Strength:

Looks good, gobs of power, price, build quality.

Weakness:

Stupid remote, no digital :( Sherwood doesn't exist anymore.

This receiver is a great value for its musical ability alone. This really moves my Paradigm Monitor 9's. It tested at 177 watts/channel. Where else can you get so much power for the price. Stereo mode is excellent. Neutral, very life like with good bass and smooth, clear highs. Turn it up and it sounds even better. Surround is weak but adequate enough to push my little rear's. Built-in cooling fan is a great touch. Definitely worth the money.

Similar Products Used: HarmonKardon, Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Cathy & Steve   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 25, 2001]
Strength:

Built to last even has built in automatic fan to keep it cool and first class connections. Fantastic Seperation!

We have used the AV Receiver for about a year now and the bottom line it is one of the most under rated receivers on the market. The sound reproduction is breath taking and clear as a bell at very high or low volume. Some times it shocks me, you believe the people are in the house it's that clear. Sherwood's Newcastle line is without question state of the art and with 165 plus watts per channel in stereo mode will give any receiver out there a run for there money. Once you own one you will understand why they call it King of the hill!

Similar Products Used: Harman/Kardon, Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
K.D.   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 25, 2001]
Strength:

Built to last first class quality, on question about it. Loaded with features!

Weakness:

None so Far!

I purchased mine for music purposes, I'm a great music lover and I had a chance to list to one hooked up to my friends stereo system and it was awesome so I purchased one my self. I have had it for about six months and am totally pleased. I can not point out enough that the quality is first class and the sound reproduction is totally awesome and when playing music or what ever one would believe they were live or one could reach out and touch them. I must also mention I also hooked it up using a first quality Equalizer and sound meter! Thanks Newcastle! Keep up the great work!

Similar Products Used: Teac. Denon,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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