posted a few days ago on a P-965/AVP-7 thread that a firmware update for the Newcastle units (P-965 and R-965) is in the works for both the SNAP-enabled models as well as those without the hardware upgrade. Check this post
The word from the BA owner who flashed the Sherwood 4.1 on his AVR7120 was that there was no change to his unit, but that his OSD confirmed the loading of the 4.1 Sherwood FW. Boston FW revisions seem to be either 1.0 or 2.0, with no documentation to note any changes from one to the next. It seems all the BA models shipping currently have Boston firmware equivalent to the Sherwood 4.1. Since the Sherwood 4.1 firmware is the latest revision for non-SNAP equipped units, there is no immediate need to upgrade the BA units unless one is able to install the flash memory upgrade and load the Sherwood 5.xx SNAP firmware.
For those who are wavering on whether to buy the Boston or Sherwood version of these preamps or receivers, take note: The bugs present in the BA models are also in the Sherwood units
, with the SNAP equipped units possessing their own unique and separate bugs related to the room EQ setup. And, since Sherwood seems committed to support both the R-965 and P-965 whether they have had the SNAP required hardware upgrade or not, it seems a safe bet that there will be firmware releases in the months ahead that the increasing number of Boston owners will be able to utilize.
Personally, I am happy with my AVP-7. Refining its' useability by correcting some of the bass management issues along with adding quad crossover capability would be icing on the cake. But for those who think that the BA components that are selling dirt cheap at the moment will be useless without support from BA, you need your heads examined. They are great looking and sounding models just the way they are. Once you have them set-up, you can just kick back and enjoy the music and movies.
The likely scenario is that the bugs in BOTH the Newcastle and Boston models will be corrected right around the time that most of the current owners are ready to upgrade to HDMI 1.3 equipped pre-pro's or receivers with Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD processing built in. And guess what - Sherwood can't do that to their current units without additional hardware changes. So, if you are in the market for a top flight pre-pro or receiver and the BA units look like they will fit your needs, don't let the firmware support issue keep you from buying them. If you have to have room EQ right now
, get a Denon, HK, or Pioneer AVR.
I agree with the post by power
earlier in this thread that suggested that you are basically getting the AVP7 for free when you buy the combo as the A7200 is easily worth $1500. I bought the AVR7120 in February when there were no AVP7's or A7200's to be found. Then, when the preamp/amp combo became available, I jumped on the opportunity and sold the AVR7120, because I know that when the AVP7 becomes outdated, I will still have the A7200 and will only need to get a new preamp. That works for me.