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Processor Opinions... Denon, HK, Outlaw?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Todd_RIC, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. Todd_RIC

    Todd_RIC Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello everyone,

    I've just about got my selections figured out for my HT room. The equipment I plan on using is listed below, but one issue I need to decide on is the sound processor. I could either use a Denon 2803 ($800), an HK 325 ($800), or a Outlaw 950 ($700 when purchased in a bundle with the amp) for processing. The Denon has 7.1 pre-outs and 100Mhz bandwidth for component video switching, but doesn't offer a 7.1 processing format (only offers DTS Neo 6). Same story with the Outlaw but I'm not sure of the bandwidth on this unit and I've read alot about some quality problems with this processor. The HK offers 7.1 pre-outs, Logic 7, and a 50Mhz bandwidth... I have to do more research to find out if that is enough bandwidth to handle HDTV. The bandwidth issue will probably be a moot point anyway as the projector I'm now leaning towards (NEC HT1000) has multiple component inputs so I would just bypass the processor anyway.

    Here's the system:

    Display: NEC HT1000 $5,000
    Processor: HK 325/Denon 2803 $800
    Amp: Outlaw 770 $1,800
    Speakers (front): Paradigm Studio 100s $1,900
    Speakers (center): Paradigm Studio 100 $950
    Speakers (surround): Paradigm Studio 20s (two pair) $1,200
    Speakers (sub): Paradigm Servo-15 $1,500
    DVD Player: Denon 1600 $500

    Total: $13,650

    I've got a $15K budget and I've also got to buy a screen and cables... All the other "pre/pros" I've seen start at the $1,600 price range and go up from there. I really like the Parasound Halo C2, but I'm not willing to compromise on the other components in the system to step up to something like that. What would you guys recommend as a sound processor amongst the three options I've mentioned? Also, is there any other processor option I'm missing that might fit into my budget? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Todd:

    As far as the Outlaw it does the following surround modes: Doly Digital Surround EX, Dolby ProLogic II, DTS-ES and DTS Neo:6 and Cirrus Logic’s Extra Surround, in addition to 5 Channel Stereo and 7 Channel Stereo modes. The Cirrus Logic Extra Surround gives you 7.1 surround processing.

    On the video end the component video switching exceeds 45Mhz.

    It will be a prefect match with your 770 power amp.

    The 950/770 combo is the one that I am using and I couldn't be happier.

    Parker
     
  3. Todd_RIC

    Todd_RIC Stunt Coordinator

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    Parker,

    Thanks for the info. I was unfamiliar with the Cirrus processing. 7.1 processing is a good thing! I am a bit concerned about some of the bugs I've read about with the 950, however. I've heard they issued some fixs for some of the problems, but it's all a bit disconcerting. Knowing me, I'll probably end up going with the Outlaw 950 because in theory, it should be a better processor than an integrated unit and now I know it does do 7.1 processing. I'm still a bit open on this processor issue though. If only I could get the HALO C2 for $800... ;-)
     
  4. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Todd,

    Given those three choices, you should get the Outlaw 950 and reap $200 savings if you order at the same time as the 770 amp.

    Another under $2k option is a receiver like the HK AVR8000 or Denon 3803 combined with a big 200x3 amp (used under $800). The HK would give you 5.1 Logic7.
     
  5. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Todd:

    The only issue that is with the 950 is passing the LFE in DTS ES which has been addressed with an updated EPROM. The new unit that you purchase will have the upgraded EPROM in it.

    I would at least give the 950/770 combo a try in your home as Outlaw has a very generous return policy if you aren't happy with it.

    Just make sure that you bring a buddy over to help you get the 770 into the house as it weighs in over 100 lbs in the box and over 90lbs out of the box. No need to get a hernia over an amp? [​IMG]

    I believe that once you go the separates route you will never go back to a receiver combo again.

    The combo price (with a $200 savings) on the 950/770 makes this combination a great deal. I can recommend these two products without hesitation.

    Parker
     
  6. Todd_RIC

    Todd_RIC Stunt Coordinator

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    I know they put out a fix for the LFE problem. I think they also have a bass management problem for multi-channel analog input sources??? It wouldn't apply to me, but it's just cause for general concern.
     
  7. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Todd:

    I haven't heard of any problems with the bass management of the 950 in any mode. Those people that I know that have their players with analogue out into the inputs of the 950 haven't mentioned a thing about this to me and believe me they would have if it existed.

    Parker
     
  8. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Parker,
    It's the double bass issue and is well noted. It's been fixed most recently by a software upgrade by Rotel since they had it too.
     
  9. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    the outlaw double bass problem is nowhere near as bad as rotel's and rotel's problems have NOT been fixed. The last software update did help in a few areas but there are a number of bass management issues that still exist.

    the 950 has a double bass problem on the multi-inputs should you choose NOT to engage the 80hz analog crossover. If you turn the crossover off, your main speakers will receive a full range signal and a copy of the bass below 80hz is sent to the sub. With the analog crossover switch set to "On", all bass is routed correctly.
     
  10. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    I need the bass experts in here from Outlaw. But if your referring to the double bass issue as dragged out between advocates of Outlaw and Rotel.

    In my vague way. Outlaw had no double bass issue on analogue inputs, as did the Rotel. Outlaw had the only built in bass management for 5.1 inputs. If you owned another prepro and wanted the flexibility of bass management for your SACD and DVD-A without the crossover controls the 950 included for analogue, you had to purchase (recommended by many professionals) an ICBM (made by Outlaw) for this task.

    The grip over at Outlaw was since many owners of Outlaw have unusual systems (truly capable “large” speakers) the Outlaw came default for ideal bass-management set up for a majority of systems running with speakers set at “Small”. . Making it difficult for those with full range speakers to work round the default setup to defeat it completely as regards bass summing.

    Outlaw has (appeared to me) in my short tenure picking up the ins and outs of AV to have been quicker to recognize and deal with certain issues which were unexpected surprises that arose with audio systems, as certain new formats have been added (DVD-A SACD) Engineering and offering the ICBM when SACD and DVD-A early adopters realized there was an Achilles heel to their great new sound. And subsequently including the default bass-management they did on the 950 (ideal for many systems) leading much of the pack in recognizing an issue and addressing it before other manufactures who were late to the game, (and following Outlaw) as they each in turn address these quirks.

    Outlaw I expect will come up with the ‘next best way’ to implement bass management in the most user friendly configuration, using feedback from real-life bass issues, on their next design. They seem to see forward, implement, then refine. At least, I hope that’s the path they continue.

    Bass issues are not my strength at the moment, some will have the specifics down better and might jump in.
     

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