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Sherbourn SR-8100 7.1 Channel Receiver Preview

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Sherbourn SR-8100 7.1 Channel Receiver

Sherbourn SR-8100 7.1 Channel Receiver

Summary

  • Product Name: SR-8100 7.1 Channel Receiver
  • Manufacturer: Sherbourn
  • Review Date: April 12, 2013 09:00
  • MSRP: $899
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now
  • 80 watts/ch x 7 (all channels driven)
  • 4 HDMI 1.4 inputs and one HDMI 1.4 output
  • Full support for 3D, CEC, and ARC
  • Xpressview™ switching, provides fast, clean input selection
  • High Definition Surround Sound with Twin Cirrus® 32-bit dual-core fixed-point DSP’s
  • Supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, DTS, DTS ES, DTS HD, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS Neo:6, SPDIF, PCM 8 channel (note: some audio formats are only supported via HDMI)
  • Sherbourn automatic multi-channel room correction and loudspeaker setup (calibrated measurement microphone included)
  • Flexible quadruple bass management, with 12dB or 24 dB per octave crossover filters, configurable in precise 5 Hz steps below 80 Hz (and 10 Hz steps above 80 Hz)
  • Powerful parametric equalization provides exceptionally flexible manual control (3 separate manual EQ banks; each bank has 11 bands per each main channel and 3 bands for the sub)
  • Separate 7.1 channel pure analog direct input for connecting SACD or other surround sources
  • Integrated Bluetooth 3.0 for CD quality audio from mobile devices with apt-X™
  • Zone 2 and Zone 3 audio support
  • Balanced and unbalanced subwoofer outputs
  • Video-On-Standby sends audio and video to the display even when the SR8100 in standby mode
  • Last Video Memory allows viewing of one source while listening to another.
  • High quality headphone amp included for private listening
  • Comprehensive control via full-color OSD (on screen display) over live video with adjustable transparency
  • All adjustments are made in real time over live video and audio
  • Ergonomic custom remote control included

Connectivity

  • 4 – HDMI 1.4 inputs with 3D and CEC support
  • 1 – HDMI 1.4 output with ARC
  • 4 – Line inputs (unbalanced, stereo)
  • 1 – 7.1 unbalanced input (7 channels plus sub, unbalanced)
  • 1 – Integrated Bluetooth receiver
  • 2 – zone audio outputs (unbalanced, stereo)
  • 1 – audio out (mix out, unbalanced, stereo)
  • 4 – digital audio inputs (2 - optical Toslink; 2 - coax)
  • 1 – USB input for SW upgrade only
  • 2 – digital audio outputs (1 - Toslink optical, 1 – coax)
  • 2 – Antenna inputs, AM and FM
  • 1 – Trigger input 
  • 1 – Trigger output
  • 1 – IR remote input
  • 1 – IR remote output
  • 1 – RS-232 serial control input
  • 1 – Subwoofer output (line level XLR balanced). Unbalanced with supplied RCA adaptor
  • 7 – Speaker outputs (4 ohms / 8 ohms) gold plated 5-way binding post
  • 1 – Remote control with CEC control panel

UPDATE: Full SR-8100 Video Review now available.

There are people out there that will eschew anything that the general public learns about. You know the type. They liked band X before they got a record contract and "sold out". They have coffee makers you've never heard of, speakers from someone's garage, and an imported car with one of those long, thin license plates. This is a person that will never buy something from a well know manufacturer, now matter how good the products.

Then there is the other type of fellow. The guy that has very specific needs. And those needs don't have a thing to do with networking or AirPlay or game systems. This guy is interested in one thing - audio quality. This guy isn't satisfied with not using features in a receiver; he doesn't want those features included at all. Not exactly bare bones, but a targeted product. Something that perfectly fits his needs.

Sherbourn Audio has something for both of these guys.

The SR-8100 is a 7.1 receiver that is targeted squarely at the consumer that wants a high end product that worries more about audio than making sure it works with your phone. The SR-8100 features a 450VA power supply and a proprietary short signal path Class A/B amplifier topology. It puts out 80 watts x 7 into 8 ohms with all channels driven.

sr-8100-back

Sherbourn SR-8100 Receiver

Glancing at the back, you can tell right away that Sherbourn was more concerned with audio than video. There are four HDMI inputs and one output. These are version 1.4 HDMI connections and support CEC, 3D, ARC, and Standby Pass-Through. Sherbourn has also included Xpressview switching for fast transitions between HDMI inputs. There is an on-screen text menu overlaid over live video as well. But HDMI is where the video inputs and outputs start and end. There is no support for any legacy video connections (meaning you'll have to run those cables directly to your display).

Audio, however, is a completely different story. To start with, Sherbourn has lined the seven pairs of speaker terminals (5-way binding posts) across the bottom. This makes it very easy to access them. There are four pairs of RCA-style stereo inputs, one set of 7.1 inputs (unbalanced), and two of each type (optical and coaxial) digital audio inputs. There is a balanced (XLR) output for the subwoofer with an adapter provided by Sherbourn to allow for an unbalanced (RCA) connection. There are IR and trigger inputs/outputs, RS-232 input (for custom installer), a USB port for software updates, and a Zone button.

The Sherbourn SR-8100 supports up to three zones of audio via RCA outputs. If you only want a five channel system in the main home theater, you can use those internal amps to power the second zone. The second zone can also accept any input on the receiver including digital ones. The third zone is limited to analogue inputs only. The only acknowledgement that Sherbourn has included on the SR-8100 that you might have a phone is making the SR-8100 Bluetooth compatible. For devices with apt-X this means you can stream CD quality sound from your player/phone to the SR-8100 wirelessly. Bluetooth also works on Zone 2.

sr-8100-top

Sherbourn SR-8100 Top View

Of course, the Sherbourn SR-8100 supports all the latest audio formats including Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, DTS, DTS ES, DTS HD, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS Neo:6, SPDIF, and PCM 8 channel (some require an HDMI connection). It features Twin Cirrus 32-bit dual-core fixed-point DSP’s and flexible quadruple bass management, with 12dB or 24 dB per octave crossover filters, configurable in precise 5 Hz steps below 80 Hz (and 10 Hz steps above 80 Hz). Most importantly, however, it has an integrated multi-channel room correction system with an included mic. For the more technical of users (or installers), the SR-8100 has three banks of 11 bands of parametric EQ for each channel and 3 for the subwoofer. This allows for extreme flexibility of customization of sound.

Lastly, the Sherbourn SR-8100 has a high quality headphone amp for those interesting in private listening. At 17” wide x 4” high x 16.5” deep, the SR-8100 is a very short receiver and should play nice in nearly any installation. At 25 pounds, the Sherbourn is no slouch and features a rugged steel chassis and solid, extruded aluminum faceplate. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the big manufacturers, the Sherbourn SR-8100 has it where it counts. As long as you are worried more about audio quality than networking features.

Conclusion

Sherbourn has taken a stand with the SR-8100. They have said, "We will create a receiver and it will sound AWESOME!" It may not connect to your computer or stream cat videos from YouTube but that's not what you want is it? The Sherbourn SR-8100 can push 80 watts into 8 ohms all channels driven, it has three zones of audio, and can stream CD quality bluetooth audio from your phone. With an integrated room correction system and three banks of 11 bands of parametric EQ for each channel and 3 bands for the sub, even the most dedicated tweaker will be happy. At $800 MSRP, this is an audiophile-quality receiver at consumer-level prices.

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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