Outlaw 950 Arriving today, What to expect?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NickSP, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    I pulled the trigger on the Outlaw 950 and it is arriving today. My old Proton will have it's retirement ceremony soon [​IMG]
    So has Outlaw gotten rid of all the hissing and humming that went with the early models? I can't wait enough to hook it up and see what evryone's been talking about.
     
  2. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    I actually just returned my 950. While they have made strides in reducing the hiss it was just too loud for me. I have Klipsch speakers so of course any hiss is going to be louder with those but if I'm going to spend $900 I don't want to hear hiss at my listening position. The processing of the 950 was great though, very crisp and detailed. I have gone back to my Denon 3300 until my Rotel arrives next week.[​IMG]
     
  3. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    I love my 950. The hiss is minimal (I can barely hear it from 6" away from the speakers). I have had none of the problems that others had and am very impressed with it. It was MUCH better sounding than any of the recievers in the same price class (in my living room). It does not have all the extra sound fields and adjustments that big name recievers have, but it is very simple to use and sounds fantastic.

    The remote is very good, although it takes some getting used to and needs to be programmed manually to get some other sources to work correctly.

    The tuner is about average. I used to think it was very good, but the more I live with it the more average it seems to be. That being said, it is still very acceptable.

    I would have liked to try it out against the Rotel, but couldn't get my hands on one. As I said, it does beat out recievers in the same price class, including the Denon 3802 and 4802, H/K 520, and the Yamaha 5590. By the way, the Yamaha had WAY more hiss than the Outlaw. The H/K and the 4802 were close to the 950 sound-wise, but the 4802 was much higher priced than the 950 and my Parasound amp, with less of a warranty, and the H/K didn't have the bass management I was looking for.
     
  4. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

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    Hey Nick! Enjoy your new toy, I know your amps will sound great with the 950![​IMG]
    E
     
  5. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    No hiss here.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I own one, and I also did not send mine back before the 30 day return window. Perhaps I got one of the ones without major hiss issues (I sure can't hear it from my listening position 10 feet away, and the hiss measures 51dB on a SPL meter 1" from the tweeter).

    Now if you do get a hissy unit, do not hesitate to contact Outlaw, there are a very small percentage of units that have audible hiss from the typical listening area. Those are problematic units. Outlaw will take care of you if you let them know there is a problem. And you still have the 30 day return policy to test things out if you get antsy about the situation should get get a hissy unit.

    I bitched and moaned for about week regarding the remote control, but after just spending some time teaching the remote the button functions from other remotes, I am pretty happy with the remote nowadays. (Except for the thin plastic peeling off the remote's face).
     
  7. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    Thin plastic peeling? Could you elaborate Pat?

    The reason I ask is that the 950 remote came with a protective plastic covering, just like the thin plastic that covers the display on most new AV equipment. I have no idea why they put it on there, other than to keep it looking new until the owner unpacks and sets up. I find it hard to see through when on the display so I take it off. I also removed it from the remote, which made it easier to see the button labels that are not directly on the buttons themselves. Under the plastic is a nice finish.
     
  8. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    OK, please tell me this 950 has a breakin period or something because I am not impressed in the music and HT modes upon comparing this to the Proton. The Proton sounds much fuller and richer in music and much more trnsparent in HT.
    I also purchased a Kenwood VR6070 from Best Buy and have been listening to it for the last hour and so and I feel it is slightly better than the Outlaw in music as I have not done any HT in the Kenwood yet.
    But so far the Proton prepro is the best of the three followed by the Kenwood and then by the Outlaw. These are my opinions based upon my listening and not intended to flame any brand. Also the hissing is audible at about 4 feet from the speakers and I am sure at night it will get more obvious. No such problem with the Kenwood though.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Well, return the 950 then, if you're not happy with. No matter what the happy owners will say will convince you to keep it. Stick with the Proton if it makes you happy.

    Bill, there is a plastic film that covers the IR at the top of the remote, but that's not what I was describing earlier. I was talking about the plastic that covers the buttons on the bottom rows (basically the re-labelling of those buttons by Outlaw). There's bubbling of the plastic, and I didn't know if that was just protective plastic, or I'd be removing the labelling off the remote if I took off the plastic.
     
  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    My 950 hisses to about 2 ft from all my speakers except the rear center; that one is up to 4 ft, which hits my listening position. Outlaw says they are still working on it, so I decided to keep mine and will just swap it when they have a "fixed" unit.

    Some ergonomics are whacked, for example, you have to be in a 5.1 DSP mode before you switch to the 6 channel (5.1) analog inputs, or else you only get output from the front L + R. (Same for the test tone generator.)

    I still hate the remote. But I have gotten used to it. I'd much rather have a dedicated remote for the 950, rather than a "jack-of-all-trades" universal remote. If I wanted a universal remote, I'd buy a Pronto or something.

    I have liked the 950's sound though. SACDs/DVD-A's are killer on it. Triple crossover, analog bass management on the 5.1 analog inputs, the CES modes, etc. Still not much competition for it in its price range or anywhere close to it actually. The Rotel doesn't count, because there's no way around the double bass problem on the 5.1 inputs, unless you spend $249 more for an ICBM. That's not acceptable IMO. The 950 also has the double bass problem, but if you use the 80 Hz analog crossover, the problem is eliminated.
     
  11. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    Pat, I had a small plastic cover over the IR, and a full length cover that surrounded all the buttons. It began to bubble after about a week, so I pulled it off. If it is a problem, try pulling up a corner and see if it is a cover. If not, it should be covered under warranty.
     
  12. ricky ho

    ricky ho Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Nick
    I replaced a Denon 3802 with the Outlaw 950. I feel it was an upgrade and i'm very happy with the unit. I had no problem programing the remote and in fact it replaced a Easy Zapper.There iS a minimal amount of hiss which can only be heard if i stand next to my front speakers. I've found the tuner to be much better than the Denon's. As always this is IMHO. Good luck with Outlaw.
     
  13. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    I had no problem programming the remote to pretty much do everything I need for all my source devices which is more than I can say for many other remotes I have seen including the one for the H/K AVR 8000. It could use a few more assignable buttons, and doesn't feel that great in your hand, but is very servicable nonetheless. You just have to get it to understand you is all.
     
  14. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Patrick,
    Your SPL measurements are consistant with mine. I don't consider that hiss in any real world application. Anyone complaining about that is out of their bucket. [​IMG]
     
  15. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Jeff- I have a "post-summer hiss fixed" unit. Yet I still have hiss. If you pop over to the Outlaw saloon, Will, me, Applejelly, soundhound and others all have the same problem. A number of buyers have returned units because of the hiss even in the currently shipping units. That's the bad news.

    The good news is that overall, the 950 hisses in a lot less systems than it used to. High sensitivity speakers, and certain amps make the problem worse. Outlaw says they are still working to reduce the level that's present.

    BTW, I tried to do SPL measurements of my hiss, and now I'm convinced that measurements don't tell the story. My ambient noise is less than 50 dB, hence unreadable on the Rat Shack meter. Even if I put the meter right up to my worst speaker, I still get less than 50 dB. But yet I can still hear hiss from my rear speaker at my listening position, 4 ft away if I turn either ear towards the speaker.

    My prior Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro? Had to put my ear up to the tweeters to hear the hiss. (I checked this before I swapped units.) A lot/most/a sizeable percentage of people don't have the problem. But a non-trivial amount still do.
     
  17. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Patrick, I wanted to replace the Proton because I wanted to get into 6.1 as my AMC amps allow me a six speaker hookup. I trule believe that I need to give myself some more time with the Outlaw to get comfortable with the way it sounds. I have hooked the Outlaw back up and listen to it for a week and then make up my mind. Also I thought the hiss would intensify in the night but it really is not that bad. Also the hiss does not increase with an increase in the volume level. One thing to add is my Proton had a very minimal hum if I put my ear to the speker but absolutely no hum from the Outlaw.
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Bill, okay, I may just peel off that piece of plastic and hope for the best. (I'd hate to RMA the remote, especially after all that programming I've entered into it). [​IMG]
    Nick, that's the "good" thing about the hiss, it's not volume knob/level dependent. It's either there "loud", or "soft". I would characterize the hiss from my unit to be "soft" and I admit that there is a slight amount of hiss that can be heard right up close (if you change sources, the hiss momentarily goes away while it engages another source, some say that once the sources with digital processing is selected, that is when the hiss stays "active", but if you stay with only analog sources, the hiss doesn't rear its ugly head, I haven't tested this because I'm always engaged in some DSP mode with most of the inputs I listen to). I'm either used to the hiss, or it doesn't really impact my listening enough to warrant a replacement at this point in time.
    If the sound quality isn't to your liking, by all means return the unit and look for something else. No one would begrudege your choice after you've lived with it for a few weeks and the unit still doesn't involve you in the music or film soundtracks, which is the bottom line.
     
  19. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Havent visited for awhile and so here I am reading the Outlaw 950 reviews again (deja-vu all over again) and what do I see ? Nothing but complaints about qc problems, hissing etc. on the 950.
    Having sold my Lex. DC-2 for house buying purposes[​IMG] I was debating a cheap alternative such as the 950, hk520-5,onkyo tsr-800, sony da4es . Whats the consensus as far as sound goes between these units for HT ONLY? I dont care about the amps as this will be used for processing only..
     
  20. Peter Loan

    Peter Loan Second Unit

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    There are like five guys going to all of the boards, complaining about hissing and who knows what else. They are extremely vocal to say the least. The rest of us are quite happy with our 950's.
     

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