Receivers

Sherwood RD-7503 7.1 A/V Receiver and BT-R7 Bluetooth Adapter

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

After unpacking the RD-7503 and placing the receiver in my cabinet, I couldn't wait to get everything connected. I started with the speaker cables first since they tend to be the most time consuming. The speaker binding posts on the RD-7503 are three-way posts which allow cable to be inserted from the top, bottom, or directly into the post via banana connectors. It is tedious to hook-up bare wire to 14 binding posts in a 7.1 system so I would always recommend that you take the time to terminate your speaker cable with banana connectors. This greatly simplifies the process should you have the need to move or change the equipment in the future. One note about the RD-7503 speaker connectors is that they don't accept spade connectors. I would also like to see the designers put the labels for the individual speaker terminals above or to the sides of the terminals themselves. In the current design, you have to look under the connectors to figure out if it's the Surround or Surround Back speakers that you are working with. While a minor detail, this sort of simple change really helps when you are configuring a unit with bare wire and the receiver is only a few feet off the floor in your cabinet.

Moving on to the HDMI connections was a breeze. The RD-7503 has 3 HDMI inputs which I immediately filled with my satellite DVR, PS3, and DVD player. I wished that there was an extra HDMI input for expansion, but the three connections were more than enough for now. I ran a single HDMI output cable from the RD-7503 to my HDTV. I moved on to the component video connections. I connected my media server to the RD-7503 via component video but I also had to run a component video cable from the RD-7503 to my HDTV. The reason for this is that the RD-7503 does not perform any video processing on the incoming video signals. This means that while the RD-7503 is capable of switching the video output based on the receiver input that is selected, it is only capable of sending the video in the same format as the source. From a cabling perspective, if you use HDMI, component video, S-Video, and composite video source devices with the RD-7503, you must run one cable of the same type to your HDTV in order to enjoy the video. In my case, I ended up running an HDMI and component video cable to my HDTV.

The next thing I was looking for were the on-screen display (OSD) menus for the RD-7503. The owner's manual makes a small reference to the fact that the OSD menu is only available via composite video via the Video Monitor Out connection. I hooked up a composite video cable to my HDTV, changed the input on the display, and after hitting Setup on the receiver was finally looking at the OSD menu of the RD-7503. The next thing I wanted to accomplish was to use the automatic room setup feature of the receiver. Using the supplied microphone and the OSD menus, I sat back and listened as the RD-7503 sent out test tones to identify the speakers, their distance from the primary listening position, and their overall response characteristics. Once the process was done, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the RD-7503 had correctly identified all the speakers in my listening room, and had correctly identified the distances and adjusted the levels for each speaker to achieve a uniform balance in my listening room. The next thing to do was to start enjoying.