|Sherwood Newcastle P-965 AV Preamplifier|
|Home Theater Preamplifiers AV Preamps|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Monday, 01 May 2006|
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Right now, the lack of HDMI inputs via the Link is a problem, but that should be solved within weeks, so this is more of a notice than a knock on the preamp.
For me, the use of the preamp wasn’t as intuitive as I would have liked. While all AV preamps have their complexities, I long for the day when they are as easy to set up, calibrate and use as an Apple Macintosh computer. In comparison to other preamps I have tested and seen, I would rate the Sherwood’s ease of use somewhere in the middle of the pack. At its price, not having the absolute slickest interface might be easily forgivable.
You have to be impressed with the performance of this AV preamp when you consider how it holds up in terms of audio performance, as well as video pass-through. I have no question that the P-965 can serve well with two-channel music and even better with multi-channel audio and movies.
The feature set should satisfy just about everyone. With the inclusion of the optional HDMI Link, the price remains a reasonable $1,800 and the P-965/Link combination should perform nearly any function you could ask for. Sherwood paid careful attention to the build quality of the P-965, as the unit was very solid and the front panel conveyed quality and pride of ownership. I can easily recommend placing the P-965 on the really, really short list for those in the market for a controller in the $2,000 price range.