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Rotel or Outlaw?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 of 26 OFFLINE   BillyJClark

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Posted June 03 2004 - 11:33 AM

I am making the upgrade to separate components, but wanted to get some advice on my upcoming decision. The SVS sub I recently added was based on feedback I read during my research on this forum. You guys were ABSOLUTELY right on with the sub, so let's hear your thoughts on pre/pro, amps..... First, my existing equipment; B&W 604 mains B&W LCR600 center B&W 601 surrounds (4 of them to make a 7.1 system) SVS PC+ 20-39 sub System is about 50/50 HT/Music in a moderatetly sized (16ft X 18ft room.) I have "demo'ed" about everything out there, and I have decided that my budget/ears have steered me to Rotel. Even without having a store at which to demo the Outlaw gear, I am leaving them in the mix, mainly due to the fact that their "bang for the buck" ratio is extremely high, and I don't have the kind of cash to simply ignore that.... Next, here are the equipment packages I'm looking at; Option 1: Rotel RSP-1068 pre/pro Rotel RB-1080 200 wpc (for mains) Rotel RMB-1075 125 wpc (for surrounds and center) I know someone at the store and can get all this for just under $3000 (with about a 20% discount). Option 2: Outlaw 950 processor Outlaw 770 200 wpc X 7 channels Outlaw gear is priced well, and would save me about $500 ($2502.95 with cables, shipping and all....) My question(s) is/are; 1) Is there a difference in sound quality (and if there is, is it worth the extra 500 bones for Rotel?) 2) Will there be a difference in power (200 wpc with the Outlaw, but surrounds and center will only be 125 wpc with the Rotel)....or should the 125 watts of Rotel power be enough for HT surrounds and centers. 3) I am pretty decided on these 2 options, but if anyone has any other suggestions, PM, email, or drop them into this thread, along with any other sage advice you may have. Thanks

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted June 03 2004 - 02:02 PM

1) yes there's a big difference in sound. The 1066 was generally found to be better then the Outlaw when people bought both...and the 1068 is a lot better then the 1068 2)I'm running the 1075 for my fronts centre and subwoofers at the moment and its got TONS of power. For surround duty its easily enough amp for you....besides the 1080 is very very nice 3)Other then read the reviews on Club Rotel you sound like you're heading in the right direction to me.

#3 of 26 OFFLINE   BillyJClark

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Posted June 03 2004 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the input.....especially what you said about the Rotel 1075 powering fronts, center, and your 2 subs. I took a look at your link....those subs are BIG! If the 1075 can push them, I am sure that they can handle surround duty in my setup. As far as people preferring the 1066 over the outlaw, I tried to search for some comparisons, but didn't have much luck on this forum. Thanks for letting me know.

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Ned

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Posted June 03 2004 - 02:42 PM

Since you are going 7.1, DPLIIx is vital, and the 950 doesn't have it. There is no reason to match pre/pro and amps. Buy whichever amp you think is better, not just because it's the same brand. If you get the Rotel, make sure it doesn't have the hiss or hum problems reported by some. Also mention it to the dealer before you buy and see how honest/receptive they are to the situation.

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   David S

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Posted June 03 2004 - 03:34 PM

Billy, The price will be greater than the $500 when you buy all the cables separate with option 1. Closer to $800/$900 considering you need 7 cables. Don't sell the Outlaw short too quickly, think about their 30 day return policy.

As for the reviews of the Rotel 1066 "sounding better" or a "big difference in sound" than the 950, well these are subjective as well, I for one like my 950 better than the 1066 (although I did not listen to the 1066 in my home/system). They were said to be different, the 950 having more detail and clarity, the 1066 edging it in warmth. I do agree with Andrew, the 1068 looks to be a great Pre/Pro and for the additional $$ could be a improvement. A $800 improvement, who knows?

Ned - why is DPL IIx "vital" for 7.1? Many 950 owners run their system in 7.1 with the 950 and are very happy. Curious as to vital?

Other than comments in these thread, head over to the Outlaw forum, for some completely unbiased 950 opinions
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#6 of 26 OFFLINE   DanaA

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Posted June 03 2004 - 03:55 PM

Nobody can spend for you, but, if it was my money, I'd go with the Rotel 1068. Owned and loved a 1066 before, but, having heard the 1068 recently, I think it is a significant upgrade in both flexibility and sound quality. I'd really investigate the hiss/hum problems that came out with the first batch of 1068's. I thought Rotel had made the necessary changes to eliminate the problem, but I'm not sure. Andrew would know better of whether this is true or not. As for the 1066/950 sonic differences, I heard mixed things. I think David is pretty accurate as to what I heard, but with a slight lean toward the 1066, especially in two channel sound. One advantage of Rotels is that they are firmware upgradable and Rotel is pretty dilligent about issuing upgrades. The Integra 9.4 sounds pretty dang good to my ears and I've been hearing good things about the new Sherwood pre-pro as well. There are still more that you might want to consider. I'd check features and audition, audition, audition. And, by all means, do consider mixing/matching your pre-pro/amp selections by features and cost. That's one of the advantages of having separates. I do keep wondering if a new pre-pro is on the horizon with Outlaw. I'm pretty sure that they must at least be considering it, as the 950 design is a couple of years old now.

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   BillyJClark

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Posted June 03 2004 - 04:30 PM

Thanks for all the response..... I was going to ask why "DLP IIx is a must for 7.1". I thought I read on the Outlaw sight that the Cirrus processors can create a 7.1 sound from any analog source....isn't that what Dolby Pro Logic IIx is???? As for the sonic differences between the 2 (Outlaw, maybe better detail/clarity....Rotel more warmth), that is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I believe I prefer the slightly warm sound that I hear when I have auditioned the B&W paired with Rotel amps. However, I am not ruling out the Outlaw, or any other brand for that matter....

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Ned

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Posted June 03 2004 - 04:36 PM

What mode does the 950 have for "7.1"? I'll actually be getting a 950 tomorrow to play around with for a few days.

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   BillyJClark

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Posted June 03 2004 - 04:45 PM

Something called "Cirrus Extra Surround"..... As I have never owned or heard an Outlaw 950 pre/pro, I can't say how it differs from the 7.1 processing of the Rotel 1068....anyone out there know?

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted June 03 2004 - 05:24 PM

Billy:

As the owner of the Outlaw 950/770 combo I can tell you that having used it for well over a year I have been nothing but pleased with the combination. For the money they are the combination to beat.

Also, so you know, they are are coming out with a new receiver towards the end of the year called the 1070 for under $1,000.

Here is a quote from their newsletter:


And here is a link to some pictures that Pat Sklenar took of the 1070 at the New York HES. Acting as a pre-pro it would give the latest and greatest with upgradability thru the RS-232 port. Tag it with the 770 or even the upcoming 790 (300 watts per channel x 7) and you would have yet another combo that is going to very hard to beat in the bang for your bucks category.

Also, give the guys at Outlaw a call, pick up the 950/770 combo that you are talking about and use it in your own home for 30 days and if you don't like it send it back for a full refund. Just make sure that you have help getting the 770 into your audio rack.

Parker

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#11 of 26 OFFLINE   DanaA

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Posted June 03 2004 - 07:20 PM

Parker, or anyone... Do any of you have a speculated price on the 790 amp? That's some brute.

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted June 04 2004 - 02:16 AM

Dana: I haven't heard but you could give Scott a call at Outlaw and I am sure he can give you a price on it. Parker

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#13 of 26 OFFLINE   David S

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Posted June 04 2004 - 02:40 AM

Billy - What I found regarding the sonic differences is 1)I really like the 950's clarity/detail for home theater/movie watching as I think its important. For music, I dig the warmth/laid back sound - and I'm getting it in my setup - I have a MSB Link DAC which has a warmer presentation and a Sony 222ES SACD player. This combo, and the 950's "bypass" mode gives me the the sound I was looking for. I will say the Sony (I also have a Marantz CD 67SE)direct to the 950 in bypass was also very pleasing. I just have the MSB and want to keep in in. The 950 sounds very good for music listening, noting that the other components and speakers are key to. In fact the 950 coupled with the warmer sounding B&W's should also be a very pleasing match.

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Ned

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Posted June 04 2004 - 12:54 PM

Ya, that's what I thought it was. DPLIIx is apparently quite close to Lexicon's Logic 7. The Cirrus DSP mode is not really in this league. If it was, a lot more people would be using it.

#15 of 26 OFFLINE   BillyJClark

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Posted June 04 2004 - 12:59 PM

Ned, Did you get your 950 today? You had mentioned you were going to be getting one to "play around with". What is it replacing/being compared to.....and, what are your thoughts on it?

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian Schucher

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Posted June 04 2004 - 03:22 PM

Have you cosidered the new Sherwood Newcastle P965 prepro? Though its more money than the Outlaw, i think its in the same ballpark as the Rotel.. zi expect it will everything you want.

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Ned

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Posted June 04 2004 - 05:28 PM

Yes I got the 950 on loan from a friend. I'm using it with 2 Acurus amps (5x200, 2x250). It replaces my 5 year old entry level pioneer receiver Posted Image

I only had 20 minutes tonight to listen to the full setup but it was a night and day improvement. The Sherwood P-965 is actually one of my top prospects right now, I'm just waiting for a reply from the Sherwood people regarding dealers in Toronto.

The 950 is quite a good unit even though it's not quite up to date. Personally, my plans are for a full 7.1 setup so the pre/pro I go with must have DPLIIx, which gives stereo rear surrounds (within reason). I was considering the Rotel 1056/1068 but the prices are a tad high and the hum/hiss issues do not impress me. My local Rotel dealer had no knowledge of such issues, which also doesn't impress me.

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian Schucher

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Posted June 05 2004 - 02:36 AM

I dont think you would be at all dissapointed with the S/N. I dont know about the Rotel but the SN is user upgradeable via USB and they have 2 firmware updates planned already. I switched from a Lexicon DC2 to the SN and havent looked back. I dont regret the purchase at all. The Lex did surely have a buttload more setup options but i didnt use them barely at all so they were wasted on me. As for the v4 DC2 i had and comparing Logic seven to DPL2x..i dont miss that either. I find DPL2x to be excellent.. Of course this is all just my opinion.

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted June 05 2004 - 09:11 AM

Since nothing is recorded in 7.1 or 6.1 for that matter aren't these 6.1 and 7.1 surround modes just a matrix of the orginal channels anyway? I am just curious. Parker

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian Schucher

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Posted June 05 2004 - 11:22 AM

I could be wrong but i think the only true 6.1 discreet channel format is DTS ES. I think DDEX is matrixed and all the 7.1 is all matrixed. What i find i like alot about Logic 7 and now DPL2x is the ability to overlay 7.1 on 5.1 soundtracks as well as 2 channel recordings.




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