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Sherbourn PT-7030 7.1 Channel Preamp/Processor Preview

Sherbourn PT-7030 7.1 Channel Preamp/Processor

Sherbourn PT-7030 7.1 Channel Preamp/Processor


  • Product Name: PT-7030
  • Manufacturer: Sherbourn Technologies
  • Review Date: March 20, 2012 03:30
  • MSRP: $2499
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Twin Cirrus 32-bit dual-core DSP processors for true 192kHz performance
  • Support for all standard audio formats including Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital True HD, Dolby PLIIx, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS HD, DTS Master Audio, DTS Neo 6, SPDif, PCM 8 channel (some audio formats only via HDMI)
  • Genesis Torino high-performance video scaling engine for true 10-bit processing
  • Faroudja DCDi Cinema Format Conversion and Truelife video enhancer
  • HDMI 1.4a Deep Color Compliant, ARC, CEC
  • Discrete multichannel parametric EQ for all channels allow precise room correction
  • Balanced XLR 7.2-channel outputs
  • Balanced analog inputs
  • 3-Zone capability
  • Ethernet control capability
  • RS232 remote with extensive driver set
  • Audiophile performance
  • 5-year warranty
  • Intuitive, graphical OSD for setup and operation over HDMI or component
  • HDMI 1080p scaled output available from all legacy video inputs
  • Fully balanced inputs and outputs (including dual sub-woofers)
  • High-voltage, low impedance main analog outputs (up to 7 VRMS)
  • Independent parametric EQ
  • 0.5 dB level trims
  • Bluetooth wireless audio
  • iPod/iPad support
  • Extensive drivers for all popular automation systems

Since the parent company for Emotiva took over Sherbourn Technologies, many have been waiting to see what they'd produce. A while back, we reported on their first amplifier offering and now we receive news of their first processor. The PT-7030 is a seven channel unit that promises a full feature set to accommodate even discerning home theater enthusiasts.

Currently, we have very little to go on with the Sherbourn's new PT-7030 Pre/Pro. The image on the website is a rendering and doesn't include a shot of the back panel. Sherbourn is promising shipping in early Q2 of 2012, though, so we're guessing that their website will be updated quite soon.

As you might expect, the latest HDMI version is supported along with 3D, ARC (Audio Return Channel) and CEC, however there is no Standby Pass-Through feature (Sherbourn analyzed the intended market and opted to not make the required changes to the selected video engine). The PT-7030 sports six HDMI inputs and two outputs that are selectable in regards to which are active (1, 2 or 1+2). There are three composite and two component video inputs as well. All inputs are upconverted to HDMI for a true one-cable solution. HDMI GUI menu means you won't have to connect a second cable for your on screen menu.

For those concerned about video quality, the PT-7030 features the Genesis Torino video scaling engine with 10-bit processing. This chipset utilizes Faroudja DCDi Cinema Format Conversion and Truelife video enhancer. All this means that all of your inputs can be scaled up to 1080p. Pairing this with the twin Cirrus 32-bit dual-core DSP processors for true 192kHz audio processing and compatibility for all the latest audio formats, and you've got a processor that is ready for anything you throw at it. With the PT-7030 targeting the installer market, we can really see this being a very popular feature, particularly for those wishing to integrate new technology with legacy hardware. To make it even more flexible, the GUI is included over component as well as HDMI for ease of use.

In fact, installers are really squarely in the crosshairs of the PT-7030 on just about every feature. The Pre/Pro includes extensive drivers for all popular home automation systems right out of the box. It has an Ethernet port that can be used for full system integration so custom installers can use the latest control systems. There is no media streaming at present, which doesn't seem problematic given that most custom installers will want a dedicated media streaming solution rather than something integrated into a receiver or processor. Additionally, the PT-7030 includes a proprietary room correction system that was designed specifically for Sherbourn and is built under license from Tact Audio. This is actually a Sherbourn specific, professional caliber room correction package, and isn't the Tact Theater Dynamic Room Correction System.

While the PT-7030 is billed as a 7.1 channel processor, it has, according to the press materials, 7.1 channel analogue (RCA-style) inputs and 7.2 outputs in both unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR) formats. For those with a high-end source that want to keep everything balanced, the PT-7030 also sports a set of stereo XLR inputs. Three zones of audio are supported and you can send composite video to the external zones provided you feed that as a source into the unit (no digital to analogue video downconversion). The PT-7030 brags Bluetooth and iOS support though it is unclear if these two are connected or separate. We don't see a USB port on the front which, we're hoping, means that AirPlay is supported, though networking may be only through Bluetooth or, perhaps, an extra dock.


The Sherbourn PT-7030 is clearly not a device that is being fully revealed to the public just yet (there is still some mystery for Sherbourn dealers and installers to salivate over). But the skeleton of the new Pre/Pro from Sherbourn looks very promising. While the lack of streaming or networking may concern those looking for an all-in-one solution, we're not terribly surprised given the focus and target market for the product. There is a real honing in on audio and video quality which is something we really like to see in a Pre/Pro. Sherbourn is also all about it's warranty and has historically served its CE installers well. Upconversion to HDMI and Ethernet control support means that even the trickiest installs will be covered. While the $2500 price tag might be a bit daunting for consumers, custom installers will likely find the specialized features worth the extra money for their clients. For now, all we can do is wait for more details to emerge.

For more information, please visit www.sherbourn.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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