Since I placed all of my music (over 500 CD's) onto a Motorola Zoom that I got solely for this purpose, the only other component to my audio system is a receiver. So streamlined that I can park it on top of a cabinet for maximum accessibility and to show it off. The unimaginative black box receiver was not going to work for me. I wanted something with designer qualities, sleek and eye catching. The old Marantz had more style than anything on the market today. My budget was up to $2000 but no matter where I looked, all I saw was the "Black Box". I kept imagining something in a gloss white finish, with rounded edges and not too many buttons. Sort of what Steve Jobs might create. I was convinced there was no one of that creative mindset in the audio industry. Then I saw the Sherwood NetBoxx R-904NW. I couldn't believe it! Everything I wanted and more than I needed. It was perfect. I am fully aware that Sherwood, as a brand, is not in the audiophile category of products. But who cares...Look at it! I use it strictly as a stereo receiver. No surround sound, no video switching and no streaming. I select an album or playlist from my Zoom or an FM broadcast and I'm done. The 2-zone feature is nice and I use the 2nd zone for my outdoor speakers. I gives me much greater flexibility to balance the volume with the inside speakers eliminating the need for volume controls. And the Fluorescent Display? Awesome!!! Other than issues with the special streaming features, with which I am not familiar, this is the biggest criticism of the unit I have seen. It's too bright? That's the point guys. Put it out in the open, on display. You'll see it is just bright enough. It's a centerpiece. It deserves to be seen. It has style and visual appeal. Show it off. Would you hide your Christmas tree in a closet? No. These things want to interact with the participant. It's just another facet of this gem to enjoy. I almost wish it made the Star Wars Light Saber sound when it fires up, and produced a hologram of Mozart or Eric Clapton inviting me to play some music. My hat is off to the guy or gal who got this thing on the market. Sony, Yamaha et al: wake up and hire some talented designer to give your products another edge. I guarantee if you see this on display with the rest of the receiver entries, it is the first one you will go to. Put some snobby brand name on it and it will fly off the shelves. At $200 from Walmart, this is a real bargain.
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