As Deserving of superlatives as our previous Newcastle components were, with our new R-972 receiver we've erupted onto new ground. Never before has Sherwood, or any other brand, integrated a $13,000 professional Room Equalization system into an audio/video receiver.
But our inclusion of Trinnov's Optimizer in the Sherwood Newcastle R-972 is only part of the story.
The 972 maintains the Newcastle brand's reputation for exceptional audio performance and adds contemporary creature comforts like : full support for HDMI 1.4 an Advanced Graphical User Interface(GUI) for user setup and control; a multi-brand, pre-programmed and learning remote control that communicates with the 972 via IR or RF and can operate the entire associated system from anywhere in your home; scaling and deinterlacing of all incoming video to any of several High Definition resolutions including 1080p; support for the lossless audio tracks now available on selected Blu-ray and HD-DVD titles; XM Radio Connectivity; USB capability; RS-232 two-way communications port; advanced multi-zone capability and more. One can even add piano black end caps for a more Uptown appearance or rack adapters.
Sherwood Newcastle R-972 A/V Receiver Trinnov Optimizer Application Notes
Our Newcastle engineers have been tasked with simple but exacting goals.
Get the basic performance right. Make the receiver easy-to-use. For the audio path, they insisted on the same circuit topology that earned our '65 series audio components rave reviews worldwide.
With 100 Watts RMS per channels from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with no more than 0.02% THD they succeeded admirably. Noise levels are exceedingly low. S/N is rated at 105dB.
HDMI's latest 1.4 standard is fully accommodated.
Video from the R-972's 11 inputs (4 HDMI, 3 Component, 4 composite/S-video) can be scaled by Silicon Optix Reon video processor to user selected standards including 1080p. The R-972's dual 32-Bit TI audio DSP chips provide complete audio control including native decoding for Dolby and DTS latest lossless formats.
With a 4-gang FM tuner and XM Radio connectivity, over the air broadcasts are fully supported. The R-972 even has a front panel USB input for use with appropriate hand-held devices.
The R-972's ease-of-use fully achieved our engineer's objectives.
The receiver's advanced Graphical User interface makes system setup a breeze. One need only follow the on-screen prompts to achieve state-of-the-art performance. For typical operation, The 972 comes with Newcastle's unique Dual-Mode TM Preprogrammed and learning remote control. With the remote in the RF mode, the R-972 can be operated from anywhere within the typical home. Translation circuitry built into the receiver converts the RF output from the remote to a rear-panel IR output. Once the IR output is connected to a Blaster or IR connection block, complete system operation is available even when the components are located in a closed cabinet or an adjoining room. Control via the R-972's rear panel RS-232 port is also available and Newcastle is already partnered with such companies as Crestron, AMX, Control 4, etc. whose code libraries typically already include Newcastle components.
Once set-up is complete, the R-972(as well as many of its siblings) includes a key safeguard.
All operating parameters can be stored into a password protected memory bank. Should the receiver cease to operate as expected due to babysitter or other error, the installer or advanced home-owner can follow a series of button presses to restore the original operating conditions. This "installer custom memory" can save many hours of troubleshooting.
The R-972 also supports such advanced features as : Input renaming; adjustable audio/video synch delay by input; automatic digital/analog signal polling; front panel convenience input pack including USB, optical digital plus analog audio and video; automatic set-up; headphone output; Cinema EQ; and more.
The R-972 is fully equipped for whole-house audio/video.
It supports 3-Zone operation with independent preamp level audio and video available for Zone 2 with audio, only, available in Zone 3. Like many current receivers, the R-972 can use the rear-center surround amplifiers to fully power the speakers for Zone 2 or it can be configured in Room 2 Automatic mode. When in Automatic mode, the receiver changes from 7.1 operation to 5.1 plus stereo (for Zone 2) as required preserving the complete presentation in the main room.
Perfect audio reproduction requires we follow only one rule: duplicate the recording venue.
If your speaker's response and placement match the studio or dubbing stage, you're in!
But, of course in the real world, speakers are in the wrong spots, response isn't ruler flat, and room dimensions determine bass response.
The advanced mathematicians and acousticians who developed the Trinnov Optimizer recognized that to duplicate the sound of the original recording required the ability to electronically control not only speaker response but also speaker placement.
Accuracy demanded both frequency fidelity and spatial fidelity.
Trinnov's scientist recognized, mastered and patented the use of advanced mathematics called the Bessel/Fourier Transform to add direction and dimension to frequency and time.
Their product is a dedicated computer commonly used to make recordings and soundtracks. The two Optimizers 20th Century Fox uses on their dubbing stage to create movie soundtracks were $17,000 each.
To accurately identify speaker response, placement and room modes, the Optimizer uses a 4-capsule Acoustic Probe to measure the room and speaker system in three dimensions. Speaker distance from the probe is measured to the nearest centimeter.
Azimuth and elevation are accurate to ± 1 degree. Once the data has been acquired, Newcastle's Trinnov module reports the results, uses the advanced mathematics of the Bessel-Fourier transform to calculate appropriate playback filters and uses the calculated digital IIR and FIR filters to optimize speaker response.
The Optimizer can raise or lower the sonic location of even a single speaker. With Trinnov and Newcastle you can put the loudspeakers where they fit, use the Optimizer to overcome the shortcomings of speaker placement, speaker response and room interaction and still achieve virtually perfect imaging.
An interesting byproduct of Trinnov's accurate 3-dimensional measurements are its ability to auto-correct and auto-assign both speaker phasing and channel assignment.
With Trinnov and Newcastle, even speakers connected out-of-phase and to the wrong channel will be properly recognized, corrected and assigned.
R-972 users have several performance options. EQ choices include Left/Right; Bass Only; Audiophile, and Accurate. When the filters to achieve these targets have been implemented, the user can select to remap his speakers so their virtual location conforms to either the ITU Standard for Surround Music or the SMPTE Cinema Standard. In addition, three separate and independent sound-stage orientations can be saved.
With the R-972 these choices can even be stored by input making them transparent in use.
With Newcastle and Trinnov, it is easy to assign the Audiophile target with ITU remapping for the CD input with the soundstage centered on the fireplace and to then use the Accurate target with SMPTE Cinema remapping for all Video with the image centered 30 degrees to the left and aimed at the television.
At Newcastle we have a Mantra : Get the performance right!
The concept is simple. There is no satisfaction unless the basics: Linearity, bandwidth, distortion and signal-to-noise ratio are spot on.. With over 50 Years experience designing and manufacturing high performance, cost effective gear, our engineers revel in the task.
The high current, discrete amplifiers in the R-872, R-772 and R-672 have equal power for all 7 Channels, with bandwidth of 10 Hz to 100kHz and worst-case signal to noise ratio exceeding 98 dB, they're fully compatible with the playback requirements for today's most demanding sources.
The receivers decode virtually every audio signal and format currently available.
For lossless audio, the R-872 decodes both the native data and the PCM version thereof.
The HDMI repeater in the R-772 decodes lossless from PCM while the R-672 can be used with the growing number of Blu-Ray players that decode lossless audio to multi-channel analog.
All A/V Integration
The R-872 represents Nirvana for the videophile.
Using advanced digital IC's from Analog Devices and Faroudja, signals from any of the 7 analog video inputs or the four HDMI(digital) inputs are deinterlaced as necessary, scaled to the user's chosen resolution (720p, 1080i or 1080p) and output via a single HDMI cable to the display device. (Of course, analog output is also available)
With the R-772 R-672, the 5 analog video inputs are transcoded to a single component video output while the two HDMI inputs are sent to a single HDMI out. The HDMI signal path for both receivers supports HDCP and HDMI 1.4's advanced features like Deep Color.
On the audio side our engineers didn't stop at decoding.
All three receivers offer automatic system set-up for channel level and distance and Room EQ to improve frequency response uniformity. Both the R-872 and 772 use our proprietary SNAP™ Automatic Parametric EQ. the R-672 uses the digital FIR filters in our Dual-Point™ EQ. Once you've heard your system with our Newcastle Room EQ. you'll never listen without it.
Modern Problems : Today's advanced digital world has introduced consumer problems that were previously unknown. Video processing built into most of today's HDTV sets can cause the video and audio for a program to go out of synch. Some TV Cable boxes output digital audio signals for their high def channels but analog audio for their regular channels. Changing channels can cause a loss of sound. The R-872 and R-772 have circuits to solve both of these problems by input.
Usability: These are complicated receivers designed to be the centerpiece of complicated systems.
The R-872 and R-772 have a host of features designed to simplify the operation of the receiver and the entire system.
Advanced RF/IR Remote Control: Although virtually all functions of these Newcastle models can be accessed via the front panel controls most will find it much more convenient to operate their systems from the convenience of their easy chair. Both models come with preprogrammed and learning remotes that operate in the conventional line-of-sight method using Infrared signals or can be switched to RF operation to allow equipment control from up to 100 feet away. With RF enabled, these Newcastle remotes even operate through walls so equipment does not have to be visible to be controlled. Both receivers even translate the RF signal into an IR output to operate other system components. Macro control sequences will now load perfectly even if the remote is not aimed at the equipment.
Control partners : For those who desire even more advanced system operational control, Newcastle RS-232 control codes should already be available from : Crestron; AMX, Control 4 and Savant.
ROOM 2 Feeds : Today, more and more consumers are interested in "Whole house" Audio and Video.
Both the R-872 and R-772 are capable of "Multi-Source/Dual-Zone" Operation in which audio and video for a second source can be routed to another area of the home and operated even while a different program is running in the main room.
Powering ROOM 2: These Newcastle receivers offer several options for powering the Room 2 feed.
Both models have preamp level outputs so they can be easily used with an outboard integrated amplifier or A/V receiver. In addition, both models have a new feature we call "AUTOMATIC ROOM-2." With this feature enabled, the main room can be configured for 7.1 channel operation. Then if the second zone is turned on, the main room is automatically reconfigured for 5.1 operation and the center rear surround amps are sued to power Zone 2.