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Outlaw 950 pre/pro


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#1 of 28 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted March 31 2003 - 05:20 AM

I've been considering the Outlaw 950/710 combo package.

One of the main things I'm interested in is the 950's ability to apply analog bass management to a DVD-A (or SACD although I don't have SACD) analog signal.

I was wondering if any owners out there could voice their oppinions/impressions of this feature.

Also, although this doesn't apply to my current speaker configuration, I was wondering WHY Outlaw chose to sum bass below 80Hz and send it to the sub, even when the analog bass management is set to OFF? It seems to me that if someone really had true full range speakers on all channels, and wanted no bass management for dvd-a/sacd, that this would be detrimental... you would get TOO much bass in this situation. Major bummer...

Any comments on that?

Also, there are lots of positive reviews to be found about the 950, but I was wondering if anyone out there could post some complaints they've had of the 950... what DON'T you like about it?

Oh, and before you give a general blanket response of "do a search this has been covered" I'm in the process of searching and thought that I'd post as well... as there are a lot of 950 hits to sort though.

Thanks!
-Kieran

#2 of 28 Jed M

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Posted March 31 2003 - 07:57 AM

One thing I don't like about it is you can't discuss it at the HTF without the thread closing as I am sure you will discover through your search process. Another thing I don't like about it is you will hear a bunch of opinions from people who have never owned it, or heard at a "friends" house.

As far as the 950 itself goes, my number one complaint would be how it defaults to DPLII when using a dish, unless its in DD. I also really don't like how it looks, the material is fine, its built tough, its just a little too rugged looking. Speaker distance (or lack thereof)does not bother me since it is in a dedicated theater room.
And just to get under somebody's skin, I would say it easily competes with Pre/pro 3X-4X its price. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
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#3 of 28 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted March 31 2003 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
Speaker distance (or lack thereof)does not bother
So, I take it this means that it has no adjustment for speaker delay (aka distance?) That kinda stinks... I think the delays I have set on my system (yamaha rx-v995) really help...
-Kieran

#4 of 28 Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 31 2003 - 08:54 AM

If you use the 80 Hz analog crossover, the 5.1 analog input BM works as expected. As far as that summing even if that switch is dis-engaged, the Rotel 1066 does the same, AND IS A BUG. But at least on the 950, doesn't apply if you use the analog crossover, which in my opinion is still a key feature that no other pre/pro or receiver that I know of offers.

Distance settings? The 950 has them. Front L & R, front center, and surrounds + rears. It would be nice to split out the last 2, and it would be nice to have a distance setting to the sub, but that's not mandatory if there isn't a large difference in distance between you and your mains vs you and the sub.

Other complaints? I hate the remote, but I've gotten used to it. And the faceplate is asthetically challenged. Posted Image
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#5 of 28 Ricky T

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:01 AM

Get the Outlaw for sure. I heard one owner stated that he likes it better than $3-4k prepros, and would only trade for the Lexicon MC12 Posted Image

#6 of 28 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:14 AM

Kevin C. Brown wrote:
Quote:
As far as that summing even if that switch is dis-engaged, the Rotel 1066 does the same, AND IS A BUG. But at least on the 950, doesn't apply if you use the analog crossover,
What do you mean that it doesn't apply if you use the analog crossover? It sounds to me, that if you don't use the crossover, it sums all bass below 80Hz, sends it to the sub, but also sends it to the speakers. Whereas, if you DO use the analog crossover switch, it still sums all bass below 80Hz and sends it to the sub, but does not send it to the speakers. Unless I'm mistaken in my understanding of it, I don't get what your saying.

Agreed that the existance of this feature is a huge benefit... one of the reasons I'm considering the 950. I feel like any other solution, and I'd have to buy an ICBM to go along with it.
-Kieran

#7 of 28 Jed M

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:15 AM

I wouldn't trade mine for anything, even if I had a disease that was going to kill me and I could trade my 950 for the cure. Posted Image
Quote:
What do you mean that it doesn't apply if you use the analog crossover? It sounds to me, that if you don't use the crossover, it sums all bass below 80Hz, sends it to the sub, but also sends it to the speakers. Whereas, if you DO use the analog crossover switch, it still sums all bass below 80Hz and sends it to the sub, but does not send it to the speakers. Unless I'm mistaken in my understanding of it, I don't get what your saying.

Unless I am reading it wrong, you are correct.
Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.
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#8 of 28 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:22 AM

From the 950 Owner's manual:
Quote:
Analog Bass Management

The Model 950 provides Analog Bass Management when 6 Channel Direct is selected. This function, which only applies to a source connected to the Multichannel inputs, is controlled via a small toggle switch on the rear panel of the Model 950 (see item 18 on page 9).

When the switch is in the Up position, the Analog Bass Management function is On, and the unit will provide an 80Hz crossover for the Left, Center, Right, Left Surround and Right Surround loudspeakers. Bass below 80Hz from all these channels will be sent into the subwoofer (.1) channel. If the switch is set in the Down position, no crossover filtering occurs, providing the full bandwidth signal, including all bass information, to the speakers. However, all information below 80Hz is still summed and sent to the subwoofer output.
Note: Since in the Off position bass information is not removed from the speakers outputs, it is recommended that, unless you are absolutely sure your loudspeakers can handle the low frequency information, or that this function is supplied within your DVD player, you leave this switch in the Up/On position.

Once you have connected a component to the Multichannel inputs and set the Analog Bass Management, you should never have to change it, unless you get different speakers or a player that includes its own bass management.

-Kieran

#9 of 28 ChrisHeflen

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:55 AM

You would find alot of info over at Outlaws website.
www.outlawaudio.com

...then go to the "hideout" then to the "saloon".

The people that post are very nice and the guy who goes by "Gonk" is kinda the main man who knows his "shtuff".

#10 of 28 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:59 AM

I just felt like I might find less biased oppinions here...
-Kieran

#11 of 28 Nick V

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Posted March 31 2003 - 11:10 AM

I can't believe this. Is there a single cheap pre-pro that can work as a complete analog pass-through?? I don't want all the bass to sum to the sub. What the hell is going on in these engineers' minds to do this on purpose?? The analog BM is a great option although I understand the bass is out of phase, but why can't you have a straight pass-through when the BM is disengaged??

I am not interested in the Outlaw (too ugly) but I am interested in the Sherbourn. I assume everything is exactly the same in the Sherbourn.

Anyone know if the Adcom and ATI pre-pros can pass DVD-A and SACD signals unaltered??

Nick V (extremely frustrated)

#12 of 28 Philip Hamm

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Posted March 31 2003 - 11:33 AM

Quote:
I was wondering if any owners out there could voice their oppinions/impressions of this feature.
The analog bass management works very good.

I'm very happy with the Outlaw 950. My one complaint so far is that you have to be playing a 5.1 mode when you select "6-CH IN" in order to get the 6 channel in to work well. (see my post at the Outlaw site). IMO until the upcoming release from Sherwood Newcastle there's no competition in the $1000 area in a new pre-pro.

I have a few minor nitpicks with the unit. The remote could be better. The inputs should be nameable. It would be nice to have an RS232 port for easier upgrading than replacing a chip (the current upgrade method). It could be faster finding signals.

The performance of the unit is fine in my house. I like it.

Nick, you can always get an Outlaw ICBM - it's a fantastic analog bass management tool for multichannel sources.
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#13 of 28 Chriss M

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Posted March 31 2003 - 12:57 PM

If bass is summed to the subwoofer on the multi-channel inputs, an ICBM cannot help with this. You would have to remove the sub pre-out from the icbm every time you used the analog inputs in order to get correct bass management.

The quick solution is to just turn off the sub, assuming you want pure pass-through to your main speakers and do not want to use an external analog crossover to route the signal to your sub.

#14 of 28 Kieran Coghlan

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Posted March 31 2003 - 12:59 PM

Chriss M:

That wouldn't work, either, because a lot of SACD/DVD-A material has .1/LFE information, that is strictly on the .1/LFE channel. If you unplugged your sub, you'd loose that info.
-Kieran

#15 of 28 Chriss M

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Posted March 31 2003 - 01:18 PM

Yup that's true. Do alot of discs actually use the .1 channel for bass? It seems odd to me on a high quality SACD or DVD-AUDIO disc to put mono bass information in the LFE channel. I know that some of the "audiophile" recording labels have been using the .1 channel for other things, like an added height channel.

I only listen to stereo SACD so i don't really have any experience with the multi-channel mixes.

#16 of 28 Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 31 2003 - 07:36 PM

Kieran - Yes, you still get the summing to the sub if the 80 Hz analog crossover is engaged. THAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. But since that info is REMOVED from the mains, voila you have a CROSSOVER which is high pass filters *in combination* with low pass filters. Make sense? Posted Image
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#17 of 28 Philip Hamm

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Posted April 01 2003 - 12:17 AM

Wow, getting complicated here.

Quote:
If bass is summed to the subwoofer on the multi-channel inputs, an ICBM cannot help with this. You would have to remove the sub pre-out from the icbm every time you used the analog inputs in order to get correct bass management.
I was actually referring to Nick's post
Quote:
I can't believe this. Is there a single cheap pre-pro that can work as a complete analog pass-through?? I don't want all the bass to sum to the sub. What the hell is going on in these engineers' minds to do this on purpose?? The analog BM is a great option although I understand the bass is out of phase, but why can't you have a straight pass-through when the BM is disengaged??
when I wrote that. Sorry for the confusion, I should have made that more clear. Nick, the ICBM will work great with any prepro that has absolutely no bass management on the analog inputs. I used to use it with my Sherwood Newcastle AV-P9080 and it worked phenominally.

We're really making a mountain out of a molehill here IMO. The ONLY time anyone should have a problem with the bass summing on the Outlaw 950 is if you have five FULL SIZE speakers that can ALL handle low frequencies equally well. Personally I think anyone who can afford five speakers like this and has the room to put them in is not interested in a $899 preamp. Posted Image

IN SUMMARY: If you have speakers set to small, and you should, there is NO double bass problem with the Outlaw 950.
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#18 of 28 BruceD

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Posted April 01 2003 - 06:57 AM

Quote:
We're really making a mountain out of a molehill here IMO. The ONLY time anyone should have a problem with the bass summing on the Outlaw 950 is if you have five FULL SIZE speakers that can ALL handle low frequencies equally well.

I think you are missing the fundamentals here.

If you use the triple crossover in the 950 to it's advantage for DD/DTS, for example calibrating the mains with a xover @60Hz especially with main speakers that have an F3 below 60Hz, then use of the analog 80Hz xover for DVD-A/SACD will be calibrated incorrectly. Remember, you adjusted the volume level on the sub to blend with the mains when they were crossed @60Hz.

If you simply turn off the analog high-pass 80Hz xover for DVD-A/SACD, then you get "double-bass". Also, it appears many have found the phase between the digital and analog filters is incorrectly matched.

#19 of 28 Philip Hamm

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Posted April 01 2003 - 08:51 AM

Quote:
I think you are missing the fundamentals here.
If you use the triple crossover in the 950 to it's advantage for DD/DTS, for example calibrating the mains with a xover @60Hz especially with main speakers that have an F3 below 60Hz, then use of the analog 80Hz xover for DVD-A/SACD will be calibrated incorrectly.
I believe that the 80Hz crossover on the 5.1 inputs is ONLY applied to those inputs. If you set the triple crossover to different values that will only affect the digital modes, not analog pass-through.
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#20 of 28 Kevin C Brown

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Posted April 01 2003 - 12:14 PM

My setup:

all small everywhere, sub on.

80 Hz analog x-over, on.

Digital x-over settings: center 120 Hz, mains 60 Hz, rears/surrounds 100 Hz.

Everything calibrates as it should: speaker levels, and phase between the fronts and sub.

Phase would be the only issue anyway, because for speaker levels, you use the levels in the 950 for the digital crossover, and the levels in the player for analog 5.1.

There is the issue of the phase difference to the sub between the digital and analog crossovers, but that's not because of any *difference* in crossover freq selection, but more globally, digital vs analog. (Caveat, some people like me see this, some don't. Just flip the switch, invert the input on the sub when switching back and forth.)
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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