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Sherwood RX-4103

AM/FM Stereo Receiver

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Sherwood RX-4103

Specifications

Tuning range: FM, MW

Power output: 105 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)

Frequency response: 40Hz to 20kHz

Total harmonic distortion: 0.9%

Input sensitivity: 200mV (line)

Signal to noise ratio: 90dB (line)

Dimensions: 17-3/8 x 5 x 13 inches

Weight: 18lbs

Accessories: remote control

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rating
Reviewed Jan 14th, 2019 by GoodSammy

This was a thrift store find a few days ago. Unit was relatively clean and powered on in store.
Once on my bench I hooked it up to a pair of older speakers and tested the inputs. Everything was functional from the volume controls to the input selector.

IMO this unit, represents the definition of BPC. It's the turning point where low cost, big impressive size, the WOW factor of 100+ watts of 'music power', was more important than actual audio performance. This was produced around in the era where old line brands were outsourcing or going out of business. Their names were more valuable than the manufacturing facility, for example Sansusi. This is probably generic unit that wore the badges of many brands.

I don't expect to find audiophile grade stuff at thrift stores. But this has got to be the worst piece I've ever brought home..most of my finds are passed (at cost) to co-workers who are looking to get something for their kids at college or garage. The rare collectible, I restore and keep for my personal use.

My audio tests are standardized on newly rescued units by streaming Talk Talk's 'The Rainbow' from Tidal to my iPad. I send the stream over AirPlay to an Apple TV. The conversion to analog comes from the optical output to a Modi3 DAC. The speakers are a garage quality pair of Pioneer's. This lets me to qualify my subjective remarks with a bit of a baseline.

To put it mildly, this unit is crap. I'd rank it slightly better than an iPhone hooked to a pair of computer speakers. Even on the low end Pioneer speakers there's a big difference between this Sherwood and a Realistic STA850, my workshop system. I didn't want to chance blowing up better speakers in case there was something wrong.

BTW, the Realistic has been fully restored with audio grade caps and transistors. Sounds great on better speakers.

Setting the tone to flat response, the Sherwood's bass was boomy without any detail or texture. The treble was harsh and tinny.
Even with tone adjustments I could not get it near the perceived 'quality' of my reference unit. Maybe installing some new caps and transistors would improve performance. But as with most BPC, this has a 'unibody' chassis. You have to remove all the boards to change even a simple capacitor.
For $20, this BPC is not worth the cost. Free would be about the right price point.

 

Comments

re: RX-4103

I must ask a silly question... what is "BPC"?

re: RX-4103

Not a silly question. It means "Black Plastic Crap" and alludes to the faceplate of many cheap equipement made mostly while late eighties.

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