Question about Sherwood Newcastle gear.

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I'm simply trying to find out if the company has changed somewhere along
the line.

I remember Sherwood from the 60s, and it was ok, middle of the road, US
built stuff. Not Mac, but not RCA either.

In the 80s, I was service manager of a large AV chain.
We started carrying the "new" Sherwood.
I sat in on the rep's meetings and listened to all the hype.
But the fact was, it was crap made on some freaking island I'd never
heard of by some far east company...Inkea, or something to that effect.

I'd never seen another brand returned so frequently for DOA and warranty
The touted 'performance specification' graph on the box, more often than
not, didn't match the serial # of the unit inside. [!]
They utilized the cheapest components available...STK outputs, single
chip phono preamps, underspec'ed Chinese caps, flimsy pcb's with foil
that would vaporize on contact, etc..

One particular model was being returned so frequently I pulled eight new
boxes from the warehouse and bench tested them.
Six were dead [or unsaleable for one reason or another] out of the box.

All that lead us to an inside joke:

Customer: If I asked you to tell me the crappiest brand you carry, would

Salesman: SureWould.


In recent years I began to see Sherwood hailed as some esoteric, hoyty
toyty gear...with a price tag to match.

Did the company change hands and actually start build something decent
or is this simply a case of the clueless buying the PR BS ala Bose and


Re: Question about Sherwood Newcastle gear.

Sherwood still has the regular line; the New Castle is their higher end and
supposedly better line.  Kind of like Sony's ES line.  When I was in the
market for a new pre-amp processor I researched their New Castle line and I
actually bought their SD-860 DVDP.  Also, the very popular Outlaw model-990
pre-processor is essentially a rebadged New Castle with some different
options, i.e. XLR's, etc.  The New Castle and a built in EQ that the Outlaw
doesn't have, etc.

There is much discussion about the New Castle on the Outlaw forum and if you
do a search you will find many reviews for the New Castle pre-processors.
The DVDP's are fairly new so not much out on them.  Also, while researching
I found that Sherwood actually produces almost 60% of the receivers on the
market today, just rebadged with the company's brand.  With this in mind, if
Sherwood is that bad than so are many others.  Most are made somewhere
overseas these days.  Usually where they have the cheapest labor available.

I sold my SD-860, but not because of performance issues.  I bought it
because it did all formats and after a brief experiment with DVDA I learned
that I preferred SACD which my Sony ES already had and it was a better
performer in this regard.  However, the Sony was also almost three times as
expensive.  Neither machine is very good with Redbook CD's, the Sony is
better with SACD, but the SD-860 actually had better video performance.
Also, the New Castle is really some sharp looking equipment.  I also will
have to mention that the guy I sold it to was wanting to use it as a Redbook
player and was very disappointed.  I think it does much better with the
multichannel formats which it was primarily designed for.

Just do a search on New Castle and you will find a ton of info.  From
everything I've read they seem to really give allot of bang for the buck.
Won't compete with the really good stuff out there, but should compete very
well in the main stream.

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Re: Question about Sherwood Newcastle gear.

Thanks for the feedback, Jack.
I'll pursue the NewCastle line further.

I guess it's like anything else, just because you had a bad reputation
for years doesn't mean you can't change and do something right.

I was floored with your 'produces almost 60% of the receivers today'
comment, however.
Sherwood's website states 'nearly one-third', which I think is much more

Of course, the same could be said of Symphonic/Funai VCR's. Which simply
means that nearly a third of the VCRs on the market are crap.

Thanks again.


Jack Dotson wrote:
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Re: Question about Sherwood Newcastle gear.

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That's probably correct, I was going on memory, which isn't that good these
days.  Sorry about that.  Still, 1/3 of all receivers on the market in
considerable.  And, as I said, the Outlaw 990 is a rebadged Sherwood as well
and this is an extremely popular pre-processor.

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