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Is anyone familiar with Sherbourne amps?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I'm doing some research on my next theater upgrade and I ran across the Sherbourn 7/2100A. Does anyone have some info on this bad boy? I've seen a few reviews out there but they haven't been too informative.
post #2 of 33
All I can tell you is that I have heard nothing but great things about them. A few people on here rave about them. Good luck on your research and upgrade quest sorry I could not be more help. J.H.
post #3 of 33
I've owned two of them. I sold the first to get the Emotiva amp. I had trouble with sevreal different Emotiva modules and eventually returned that amp and cancelled my order. I went and got another Sherbourne 7/2100A. Nothing but pleasure from both Sherbourn amps. Since I'm not an audiophile I can't comment too much on sound quality but the amps I've had have been bullet-proof at a very fair price.
post #4 of 33
Just echoing what the others have said, great amps! Probably the piece of equipment I most regret selling, haven't found anything like it since. I had a 5/1500A.

Tristan
post #5 of 33
I think the Sherbourn amps are exceptional values in multi-channel home theater applications. I own the 7/2100A and I have nothing but praise for it. I'm only using four channels to power my Magnepan 1.6QR fronts and MMG-W surrounds, but it bears mentioning that the Maggies are very inefficient high-current loads that will shut down 99% of receivers if taken to reference levels. Speakers like these require robust stable amplification and the Sherbourn has that in spades.

I don't really get caught up in "audiophile" evaluations of amps because if there is a demonstrable difference in audio quality between amps with comparable power output, I've yet to hear it. Now this isn't to say that the difference between the amplification from a HTIB receiver from Panasonic and a multi-thousand dollar Krell aren't distinguishable, but I think the difference between the Sherbourn and a Bryston many times more expensive would be negligible. Your audio buck is better spent on speakers or DACs.

This is all to say that you'd be hard pressed to find a better value than the Sherbourn for sheer power output at its price point. Outlaw is worth a look in this segment and the afore mentioned Emotiva (though the comments on reliability issues are disconcerting). Rotel is also a good choice, though more expensive per watt.

The only caveat I have about the Sherbourn amps is that they are true monobloc designs and my 7 channel model weighs nearly 120lbs. so be prepared to sweat if you can't just hand-cart it into your living room.
post #6 of 33
In all fairness to Emotiva this was early in their production run. Those issues may well have been resolved.
post #7 of 33
Another happy owner of a 7/2100A. It's a class G design and so it does not run hot.

Ed
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by skablaw View Post

I think the Sherbourn amps are exceptional values in multi-channel home theater applications. I own the 7/2100A and I have nothing but praise for it. I'm only using four channels to power my Magnepan 1.6QR fronts and MMG-W surrounds, but it bears mentioning that the Maggies are very inefficient high-current loads that will shut down 99% of receivers if taken to reference levels. Speakers like these require robust stable amplification and the Sherbourn has that in spades.

I don't really get caught up in "audiophile" evaluations of amps because if there is a demonstrable difference in audio quality between amps with comparable power output, I've yet to hear it. Now this isn't to say that the difference between the amplification from a HTIB receiver from Panasonic and a multi-thousand dollar Krell aren't distinguishable, but I think the difference between the Sherbourn and a Bryston many times more expensive would be negligible. Your audio buck is better spent on speakers or DACs.

This is all to say that you'd be hard pressed to find a better value than the Sherbourn for sheer power output at its price point. Outlaw is worth a look in this segment and the afore mentioned Emotiva (though the comments on reliability issues are disconcerting). Rotel is also a good choice, though more expensive per watt.

The only caveat I have about the Sherbourn amps is that they are true monobloc designs and my 7 channel model weighs nearly 120lbs. so be prepared to sweat if you can't just hand-cart it into your living room.

I disagree with some of what you say. I think the most important item in a home theater is the amplifier. A good amp will make bad speakers sound good. The pre/pro's are a different story because a lot of the top pre/pro's use the same DSP chips.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post

A good amp will make bad speakers sound good.

I have yet to experience this.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post

A good amp will make bad speakers sound good.

Really.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input thus far. Let's try not to get into OT arguments here - just looking for feedback on the amps.
post #12 of 33
I owned the sherbourn amp. The build quality was excellent and It was hard to tell it from my Mcintosh amp with klipsch thx ultra 2 speakers. I think you will like it alot. This amp is also bridgeable for 2x the power.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by erick.s View Post

I'm doing some research on my next theater upgrade and I ran across the Sherbourn 7/2100A. Does anyone have some info on this bad boy? I've seen a few reviews out there but they haven't been too informative.

Another vote for Sherbourn. I have owned several and currently have the new 5 channel. The beauty of it is that it comes in the same chassis as the 7 channel amp. So when I upgrade to 7.1, all I have to do is send it back and they will upgrade it with two additional monoblock modules. When you call you often get the owner and they bend over backwards to help. Unlimited power. Very quiet. Good luck.
post #14 of 33
That's a good point. Ron Fone is a really good guy to deal with.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by erick.s View Post

Thanks for the input thus far. Let's try not to get into OT arguments here - just looking for feedback on the amps.

Sherbourn amps are very well built and sound great. I owned a 5/1500a that was great. They sound neutral and can power whatever speakers you throw at them.
post #16 of 33
Sherbourn is a great company. Their amps are well built, sound terrific and their customer service is stellar. I owned 2 of their products and was never disappointed in build quality, sonics or ability to produce power when needed.

If it meets your criteria and budget, I would not hesitate in purchasing their amps.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post

I disagree with some of what you say. I think the most important item in a home theater is the amplifier. A good amp will make bad speakers sound good. The pre/pro's are a different story because a lot of the top pre/pro's use the same DSP chips.

I can only comment on my experience so that may well be what you've witnessed, Hans. I guess in my mind I would think that if a particular amp made speakers that were otherwise "bad", sound "good", then one wasn't giving the speakers the required power at the speakers' nominal impedance prior to the change in amp.

It isn't that I don't believe different amps sound different through the same speakers, I just haven't heard improvements on an order of magnitude with respect to cost.

When I auditioned my Magnepan speakers, for instance, I first heard the 1.6QRs through a two channel Rotel. I then went into another room and heard 1.6QRs again, but through two channels of a Classe home theater multi-channel amp. I wasn't there for hours upon hours, but during my admittedly limited test of various material, I couldn't tell one bit of difference and the Classe cost considerably more than the Rotel. I'd buy the Classe, but if I didn't have the cash for it, I'd buy the Rotel and be confident that any improvements attainable via more expensive amplification would be much less dramatic than if I were to, say, spend the difference on a pair of Magnepan 3.6Rs, which through the same amps sound MUCH better than the 1.6QRs.

I'd also consider other more value-oriented upgrades before a change in amplification. I know its said all the time, but it is rarely, if ever, heeded: acoustically treating your listening space will probably give you the best bang for your buck in overall sound improvement of any upgrade. If I were buying budget speakers, like Infinity Betas, I'd hold short of getting the Beta 50 towers and pick up the 40s along with two acoustical panels to put at the primary reflection points. The bigger 50s have more oomph in lower frequencies, but it all just adds to a muddled mess of sound without something to tame room modes. Just food for thought.

A final comment, I agree with Hans' assessment of the ubiquitous DSPs in mid to high end receivers and processors. I see the real difference in the DACs used to send the audio to your pre-outs and subsequently to the amplifier post-processing. Stepping up in receivers to a model that utilizes high end DACs over the next highest model with less expensive components can yield significant results if you have the speakers to reveal them. I know it isn't an apples to apples comparison because the price differential is enormous on a relative scale, but using the multichannel output of a Denon DVD-5910 with zero processing sounds worlds better than pumping the same track out through the DVD player's optical output and then processing it in a Pioneer VSX-1015TX receiver. No ammount of EX or DPL or Cinema or Neo6 can get the level of clarity and detail across that the pure sound of those high end Bur Brown DACs in the Denon.

I know I'm dragging things off topic, but to reiterate: You will not be displeased with your purchase of the Sherbourn.
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input so far - I appreciate it.
post #19 of 33
Each of the four major components in a system contribute to the overall SQ, with the percentage of which does what determined by the quality of each:

> You've got to have good quality and reliable playback from the source. That goes without saying.
> The processor (either standalone or as the preamp/processor within a receiver) is key. It's the many things, including not only the qulaity level of the key parts such as the ADC, DSP, DAC, volume control, and op-amps and similar, it is how everything is "glued together". How good is the layout? is the grounding proper and things correctly aligned from board layer to board layer, if applicable, and so forth.
> The amp (again, either standalone or within a receiver) is obviously important, as well. How much headroom? Can the power supply deliver? What is the noise floor? And more...

That being said, Sherbourne does make very respectable amps, in the same "high-mid" category as ATI, Outlaw, the bigger Emotiva, and similar. VERY well built, designed properly, reliable and they sound great. You can't go wrong.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by phtnhappy View Post

Each of the four major components in a system contribute to the overall SQ, with the percentage of which does what determined by the quality of each:

> You've got to have good quality and reliable playback from the source. That goes without saying.
> The processor (either standalone or as the preamp/processor within a receiver) is key. It's the many things, including not only the qulaity level of the key parts such as the ADC, DSP, DAC, volume control, and op-amps and similar, it is how everything is "glued together". How good is the layout? is the grounding proper and things correctly aligned from board layer to board layer, if applicable, and so forth.
> The amp (again, either standalone or within a receiver) is obviously important, as well. How much headroom? Can the power supply deliver? What is the noise floor? And more...

That being said, Sherbourne does make very respectable amps, in the same "high-mid" category as ATI, Outlaw, the bigger Emotiva, and similar. VERY well built, designed properly, reliable and they sound great. You can't go wrong.

Based on what I have seen I wouldn't put Outlaw in the same class as Sherbourn, unless there have been major changes in the construction. I remember taking the cover off of an Outlaw amp some years back and it kind of bent and twisted as the metal was ultra thin. Once screwed back down to the chassis it went back into shape. I just didn't see the same quality of construction. I won't comment on the difference in sound as that is really a subjective point of view.
post #21 of 33
Surprised to hear that, as the Outlaw amplifiers are built by ATI, and that is usually evidence of high quality construction.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by phtnhappy View Post

Surprised to hear that, as the Outlaw amplifiers are built by ATI, and that is usually evidence of high quality construction.


All I can say is what I personally experienced. But that was several years ago. Outlaw might well have upgraded their parts and cabinets since then. But when I had one side by side with a Sherbourn, from a build quality point of view, they were completly different units. I chose Sherbourn then and when I needed another amp last year, I returned to the brand. I feel that this is a very undermarketed piece of equipment. You hardly ever hear about them but in terms of power, build quality, engineering design, noise, they appear to be able to compete with units that are much more popular and also expensive.
post #23 of 33
I also have a 7/2100A and it's a GREAT amp. Nothing but good things to say about it.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the opinions. I've looked at the Outlaw website and have read the reviews and I don't think they're for me. More than once I saw the term "bright" in relation to their sound which definitely doesn't suit me - I prefer a "neutral to warm" sound. For reference, the best amp that I've ever owned (and I've had quite a few) was the Anthem Amp2 - 200WPC stereo amp with a tube output stage. The amp that I liked least was a Bryston 2 channel (can't remember the model number now).
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by erick.s View Post

Thanks for the opinions. I've looked at the Outlaw website and have read the reviews and I don't think they're for me. More than once I saw the term "bright" in relation to their sound which definitely doesn't suit me - I prefer a "neutral to warm" sound. For reference, the best amp that I've ever owned (and I've had quite a few) was the Anthem Amp2 - 200WPC stereo amp with a tube output stage. The amp that I liked least was a Bryston 2 channel (can't remember the model number now).

I have owned several Outlaw amps (and a Sherbourn amp). Bright is not a word I'd use to describe the Outlaws. If an ampflifier is designed well, it should reflect the input. The Outlaw amps are designed well. Folks who describe them as bright have other issues such as bright speakers and bright rooms.
post #26 of 33
Just in case you didn't get enough positive feedback on the Sherbourn:

I have a 5/5210 that I've been running for the past few years. I shudder to think of the number of hours I have on it...

Nice neutral sound, built like a tank, excellent customer service. What more could you ask for...


Scott
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by phtnhappy View Post

Surprised to hear that, as the Outlaw amplifiers are built by ATI, and that is usually evidence of high quality construction.


Not all of the Outlaw amps are made by ATI. It's mostly the bigger 200wpc 5 and 7 channel amps that are made for them by ATI. But I'm pretty sure that the monoblocks are made for them by someone other than ATI. And as for the smaller multichannel amps, I have seen people saying it both ways, it's been said that either ATI makes them for Outlaw, and also as No they do not make them for Outlaw. Offhand I can't say who it is that they use for the amps that are not made by ATI, but I know it has been mentioned a few times saying who it was, I just can't locate where it was that I seen it.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post

A good amp will make bad speakers sound good.

I just wanted to clarify that a normal amp won't make bad speakers sound good, but on my last HT mission I picked up a Magic Amp +2 and it was definitely improving my Aiwas.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

And as for the smaller multichannel amps, I have seen people saying it both ways, it's been said that either ATI makes them for Outlaw, and also as No they do not make them for Outlaw.

I don't remember where they said it, but I seem to recall that the only Outlaw amp not made by ATI is the monoblock. Since all of their amps except the mono are "Made in the USA", that more or less points toward ATI for even the smallest one.

You're right, they have never said who makes the monoblock, but from all reports it certainlly seems to sound great and do the job, so at the end of the day if it sounds good, is reliable and is priced right, does it matter?
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post

I disagree with some of what you say. I think the most important item in a home theater is the amplifier. A good amp will make bad speakers sound good. The pre/pro's are a different story because a lot of the top pre/pro's use the same DSP chips.


In my experience, speaker selection, speaker placement and acoustic treatments play a bigger role in ultimate sound quality than either the amp or preamp. I have recently added and adcom 7807 to my yamaha rx-v2600/def tech bp7002/clr3000/bpvx setup. It definately opened up the soundstage when compared to just the yammy. Just for kicks, I removed my acoustic wall treatments (absorption in front and diffusion in back/bass traps in corners; left ceiling absorption/diffusion panels in place b/c too much trouble to take down) to hear the difference between a "treated" room and "naked" room. I took down 10 absorptive panels and 8 diffusive panels and 4 2'x7'x8" corner bass traps and even with the adcom amp/yamaha combo, it sounded muddled. In fact, the yamaha on its own with wall treatments sounded far superior to the adcom/yamaha combo with no wall treatments. Anyone spending money on home theater should really think about adding some treatments to the room.
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