Sherwood Newcastle P-965 and A-965
- Attractive design, extremely powerful, separate sound processing, perfect channel separation
- Too may cables, radio tuning is problematic
Too may cables, radio tuning is problematic
Price$ 5,990.00 (AUD)
If you're currently shopping for a mid/high-end home theatre system, or are perhaps looking to move onto something more serious after an initial foray into the wonderfully addictive world of home theatre, then the Sherwood Newcastle P-965 and A-965 combo could be just the thing you need.
The P-965 processor/preamp is basically the same as the Sherwood Newcastle R-965 receiver, except the amplification has been stripped out leaving only the processing capabilities. The A-965, on the other hand, is an all-conquering, high-current seven-channel amplifier that really means business.
Why would you want two separate components when you can get basically the same thing for almost half the price in the form of the R-965 receiver? That's easy. Power. To get more power out of a home theatre system you need to be able to put more power into it. But pumping lots of power through an amplifier can adversely affect the decidedly more delicate processing or preamp stage of audio reproduction. This can introduce unwanted noise into your audio output, not to mention the fact lots of power also generates lots of heat--again not good for the subtleties of audio processing. To top it all off, powerful amplifiers require large, heavy transformers, which add substantially to the bulk of the machine. By keeping the amplification separate, Sherwood is able to employ a more powerful amplifier which means cleaner audio reproduction at higher volume levels.
The A-965 amplifier weighs an impressive 32kg, most of which can be attributed to the two massive toroidal transformers hiding behind the front panel. A toroidal transformer is so called because of its doughnut-like shape, as opposed to the cube shape of most "E-I" type power transformers installed in modern receivers. Quite why a toroidal transformer is better than an E-I transformer is something for the physicists to debate. We consumers can just be happy in the knowledge that it goes loud and does so with ease.
Located behind each of the two transformers are seven independent mono-block-style amplifiers, one per channel, and each sitting on its own circuit board. According to Sherwood Newcastle, this minimises crosstalk between channels (crosstalk is distortion caused by audio information from one channel leaking into another). The back panel contains seven binding post-style speaker connectors and seven gold-plated coaxial input connectors. Installation is as simple as plugging the right cable into the right hole.
Obviously, since the P-965 is a processor only, it has no speaker connectors itself and instead passes a line level output from each channel to the amplifier. The only drawback to this type of setup becomes apparent once it's all plugged in--there are cables everywhere. Surprisingly the P-965 weighs almost 17kg itself which is as much, if not more, than many integrated receivers.
Physically, it looks just like a normal receiver and the titanium finish looks gorgeous. Eight buttons adorn the front panel, while a multitude of functions are accessed via the 18 buttons hidden away behind the fold-down front panel. Front AV connectors for plugging in a games console or video camera are also stashed behind this panel. More in-depth setup functions (like telling the receiver how many speakers you have plugged in and where the crossover should be set) are best accomplished using the on-screen display, which is a reasonably straightforward menu system to navigate, and shouldn't present too much of an obstacle even for audio novices.
The remote is excellent, featuring a large backlit display and a well-laid-out selection of buttons, and it's of the learning variety, so you should be able to program it to replace your other remotes with little effort. I had a hell of a job trying to figure out how to manually tune a radio station using the remote; while I'm sure it can be done I had to resort to the buttons on the processor.
But who cares about radio? DVD movies and music are what this system is all about and in this respect the P-965/A-965 is superb. Pretty much every imaginable digital surround format is supported up to and including 7.1 output. Component video inputs provide high-quality video switching capabilities, while multichannel audio inputs mean SACD (Super Audio CD) and DVD-A (DVD-Audio) high-resolution audio formats can be played back through the P-965/A-965.
Channel separation for DVD movies was excellent, and a thoroughly believable soundstage was created, no matter what type of film we happened to be watching. The bang and crash action of Kill Bill was visceral in its presentation, while movies with a more refined but no less busy soundtrack, such as the remastered Star Wars trilogy, retained impact while losing none of the intricate detail of John Williams's score.
Music was no less satisfying. Even though it's generally the speakers that determine much of the quality, detail and impact of the sound we hear, the Sherwood Newcastle gear allowed our Audio Pro reference speakers to really shine in two-channel mode, whether it was classical guitar solos, Brahms or thumping rock music.
With both music and movies it wasn't so much the quality and detail of sound the Sherwood could produce that impressed but the way it did it so effortlessly. Push the Audio Pro speakers hard, and the A-965 amplifier really proves its mettle, providing an expansive, relaxed and distortion-free soundstage, even at very high volumes. Which is, of course, the whole reason you'd opt for a separate amp and processor combination over a receiver; the extra power of the A-965 really pays off when you want things loud.
There was no harsh treble or collapsing of the soundstage as is often the case with less powerful amplifiers found in cheaper receivers or--dare we say it--those receivers with rather optimistic power ratings. The Sherwood combo sounded like it could go louder than I was willing to push it. Indeed, Sherwood claims the A-965 can produce 100W through seven channels at 8 ohms. At this power, with all channels driven simultaneously, it produces just 0.02% THD (total harmonic distortion) across the frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. This is a continuous rating and the amp can produce sudden bursts of distortion-free audio (something like an explosion in a DVD movie) at up to 130W via a single channel at 8 ohms. This exemplary dynamic headroom puts the Sherwood Newcastle P-965/A-965 combination in excellent stead when it comes to movie watching, which can at times make almost unreasonable demands of system hardware.
If you're looking to take a step up from your current home theatre system but don't want to spend ludicrous amounts of money, you can't go past the Sherwood Newcastle P-965 processor and A-965 amplifier. They'll do you proud.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
cloudandco Smart Cane
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Toys for Boys
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Google Daydream View VR Headset
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Foxtel Now's new streaming device launched weeks after TelstraTV
- Logitech announce new MX Sound speakers
- Telstra looks to solve 'Entertainment Exasperation' with new 4K Telstra TV
- Sonos reveals Sonos One, an Alexa-enabled speaker that will support AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant
- Bose Introduces Tiny New Bluetooth Speaker
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTDevOps Engineer/ LeadOther
- FTDevOps EngineerOther
- FTDigital Marketing Executive - PersonalisationOther
- FTSoftware Asset ManagerACT
- TPScrum MasterNSW
- FTFrontEnd Angular DeveloperOther
- FTSenior DevOps LeadVIC
- FTNetwork ArchitectACT
- FTAccount Management/Customer Service - MULTIPLE ROLESSA
- CCJunior .Net Developer /Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- FTJunior Front End DeveloperOther
- TPSenior Business Analyst - GISQLD
- FTSales ManagerVIC
- CCJanusgraph Consultant - Telco industryVIC
- FTSenior Portfolio Analyst. 12 month contract.NSW
- FTTest AnalystOther
- FTApplication Support SpecialistVIC
- CCAxway DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst (Report Analyst)Other
- FTSr. IT Business Analyst -Investment banking Funding StructureOther
- FTJunior Infrastructure EngineerACT
- FTSenior Test AnalystACT
- FTAutomation Test AnalystOther
- TPMicrosoft Cloud Infrastructure Solution ArchitectQLD
- CCSenior Process SpecialistNSW