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Sherbourn SR-8100 Slim AV Receiver Review

by June 19, 2013
Sherbourn SR-8100 Slim AV Receiver Review

Sherbourn SR-8100 Slim AV Receiver Review

  • Product Name: SR-8100
  • Manufacturer: Sherbourn
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: June 19, 2013 22:15
  • MSRP: $ 899 (Currently on Sale for $599)

Sherbourn SR-8100 7.1 Receiver Specs


  • Full support for 3D, CEC, and ARC
  • Xpressview™ switching, provides fast, clean input selection
  • Twin Cirrus® 32-bit dual-core fixed-point DSP’s
  • Sherbourn automatic multi-channel room correction and loudspeaker setup
  • 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 (3 separate manual EQ banks; each bank has 11 bands per each main channel and 3 bands for the sub)
  • Integrated Bluetooth 3.0
  • 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.


  • HDMI in/out – 4/1

  • RCA in/out – 4/0

  • 1 – audio out (mix out, unbalanced, stereo)

  • Toslink in/out – 2/0

  • Digital coax in/out – 2/0

  • USB in/out – 1/0, input for SW upgrade only

  • 12v Trigger in/out – 1/1

  • IR remote in/out – 1/1

  • RS-232 serial control input

  • Subwoofer output 1 (line level XLR balanced). Unbalanced with supplied RCA adaptor

  • 7.1 multichannel inputs

  • Zone 2/3 analog outputs

  • Dimensions: 17” wide x 4” high x 16.5” deep (includes feet and connectors, no rack kit)

  • Weight: 25 lbs / 12 k


  • Slim design, only 4.25" tall
  • Above average build quality
  • Zones 2/3 work with HDMI audio
  • Balanced subwoofer output
  • 7.1 analog multichannel Inputs
  • Built-in Bluetooth


  • Lacks multichannel analog outputs (because of lack of space with slim design)
  • No Network features


Sherbourn, a Jade Design company and sibling to the Emotiva brand, has released a series of home theater gear with the goal of bringing professional performance to the consumer.  Their multichannel receiver, the SR-8100, is designed to provide essential features and technologies, along with the requisite power for driving 7 full size speakers, all in a compact, easy to use package.  List price is $899, but it is currently on sale for only $599.


The SR-8100 shipped double boxed, guarded by its Styrofoam cradle and a fabric bag.  Among the included accessories were a balanced to unbalanced adapter for the subwoofer, spare fuses, and adapters for rack mounting the receiver.

Editorial Note: Not mentioned in the video review is Sherbourn's 5 year warranty, which is well above an industry standard 2 or 3 years. Also not mentioned is that it includes a 25% off upgrade certificate towards your next processor or receiver.

Full Sherbourn SR-8100 Video Review

The front of the unit is fairly minimal with just the basics.  The aluminum buttons look nice, but the standby button had some wiggle that made it feel a little wonky and the volume control had an indent to denote position, despite being continuous travel.

The display is a dimmable affair in blue.  With a thick aluminum faceplate and minimal branding, the overall look of the unit is sophisticated and understated.

Highlights of the back of the unit include a balanced subwoofer connection, 7 channels of amplification with a switchable back/height/front biamp/zone 2 option, a 7.1 analog audio input, 4 in/1 out HDMI, 2 trigger outs, IR in/out, and an RS232 Port.  The USB port is only used for firmware updates (definitely disappointing).  Short of pre-amp outputs should one choose to use external amps, the compact chassis has been loaded with everything needed for 99% of home theater setups.

The SR-8100 eschews all non-HDMI video connections out of a need for space savings, or perhaps just common sense.  If you're still clinging desperately to your VHS, or perhaps a Nintendo Wii with component video, be prepared to invest in an HDMI converter.  Despite being a Wii owner, I, for one, welcome our new HDMI overlords.

A quick look inside reveals a large power bank and big heat spreaders which make up the bulk of the 25lb weight, pump out 80 watts with all 7 channels driven, and keep everything running cool without much interior space to spare in the, not even, 4" tall chassis.

Sherbourn SR-8100 Build Quality

 Sherbourn SR-8100 Internal View


Setup was simple enough as I connected my 5.1 system and ran the auto setup routine.  There was one hiccup along the way when, with my large speakers, the SR-8100 inexplicably set the crossover point for my main speakers at 175hz.  A quick adjustment in the easy to navigate menu brought those back down to 80Hz.  The process of automatically setting parametric EQ points is detailed thoroughly in the manual and based on a single measurement point.  While perhaps not as sophisticated as other systems, the end result tamed some of the pronounced high end response of my JBL speakers for a pleasant, neutral response.  Up to 3 additional EQ presets can be set manually using the built in 11-band parametric EQ.

Zone 2 and 3 outputs are able to play audio from HDMI signals, as long as those signals are also selected for the main zone.  Zones 2 and 3 can also play a non-HDMI signal independently, with more info clearly detailed in the owners manual for those looking for more complex, multi-zone setups.

One feature that I could see being quite useful is the Bluetooth audio connection.  By selecting the Bluetooth input and pairing any Bluetooth equipped device, audio played from the source device is sent wirelessly to the SR-8100.  This makes it easy for a friend to share their playlists, or to easily transition from headphones, to a car, to a home system all with the phone in your pocket.  I found the range with my Nexus 7 tablet to be excellent, more than 20 feet through walls.  While the sound quality of a wired connection is far superior (depending on what version of Bluetooth use), you can't beat the convenience.

Sherbourn SR-8100 front panel

Sherbourn SR-8100 Front Panel View

Sherbourn SR-8100 rear panel

Sherbourn SR-8100 Rear Panel View

Wrap Up

As a sibling to Emotiva, I expected the Sherbourn to play loudly and cleanly, and I was not disappointed.  I pushed the volume as far as I dared for fear of damage to my hearing, and did not hit the top end of what the SR-8100 was capable of.  For those with larger rooms or less efficient speakers, this mighty mite will still feel right at home.

This is a great performing product for someone looking for a compact system that doesn't skimp on power or features like wireless Bluetooth connectivity.  While there are still some firmware polish issues showing through, and some finish choices that don't make complete sense, the SR-8100 delivers where it counts.  At only 4.25" tall with the rubber feet, it seems unlikely that the Sherbourn could compete with a full-sized receiver like my Onkyo TX-SR706, but that's exactly what it does, even besting that particular receiver in power output.  For folks looking for a solid power plant paired with a capable, though shy of perfect, processor, all in a simple and small package, the Sherbourn SR-8100 fits the bill and is priced right.

About the author:
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Marshall is an Educator by trade, and currently lives in Oregon. He was lucky enough to grow up in a musical household, and though the AV equipment wasn't the greatest, it was always on. His dad introduced him to Queen, Paul Simon, and Sgt. Pepper's, and his mom played Lionel Richie and Disney Soundtracks. When Marshall was 14, his uncle passed down a pair of JBL towers and Marshall finally had his own system. Having enjoyed podcasting and video production over the past 10 years, Marshall is happy to be contributing at Audioholics.

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