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Here's the latest on the Outlaw 950 (4/9)

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91 replies to this topic

#1 of 92 Guest_John Morris_*

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Posted April 09 2002 - 03:31 AM

Hi Folks: I just got off the phone with Outlaw and here is what they've told me with regard to the 950 and the reported problems with audio drop out and S-video output.
- Outlaw is not going to ship any more units till the problems are solved.
- All the new owner's Credit Cards have been credited back with the purchase price and the owners have been given the option to either send their 950 back now, or wait till the fixed units are available. Not a single owner has opted to send their unit back(two owners still need to call Outlaw back to let them know what they want to do).
- They have confirmed that audio drop outs do occur on the new units, but strangely not on the beta units. Unfortunately, these drop outs occur randomly and their occurance is neither repeatable nor predictable. They can occur on any type DD disc and may be related to some software and hardware value tweaking done to make the mode auto-lock quicker? But maybe not. For some reason, the problem occurs when the units lose the data bitstream. Cirrus and Easttech engineers are working on this 24 hours a day and Outlaw is hoping to have the mystery solved within a few days(optimistic estimate). How long it takes to fix the already manufactured units will depend on the problem that is identified.
- The S-video problem has already been solved and was due to a component on the S-video board which slightly bumps the S-video signal output to maintain/improve the S-video image over a long cable run. Unfortunately, some TVs cannot handle this slightly higher S-video signal output. This problem is already being fixed.

As you can imagine, Outlaw is very upset about this and is very sorry for the inconvenience and additional delay that everyone is undergoing. In the meantime, I'm just continuing to enjoy my beta unit which has none of these problems...

#2 of 92 OFFLINE   Larry B

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Posted April 09 2002 - 03:44 AM


Jeez, I can hardly wait for the fireworks when the "We hate Outlaw" contingency sees this post. And I was wondering what I was going to do for excitement today. Posted Image


#3 of 92 Guest_John Morris_*

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Posted April 09 2002 - 03:49 AM

Larry B: I'd like to think that they are probably as frustrated with these problems as I am. At the same time, they also probably realize that no amount of testing and planning can ensure that these kind of problems will not occur. Heck, even the $10K Lexicon MC-12 had audio problems when it was first launched.
I just feel so bad for the Outlaw gang. I know how much blood, sweat and tear, those folks have put into this unit.

#4 of 92 OFFLINE   Larry B

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Posted April 09 2002 - 03:58 AM


I know the feeling, as I bought the Proceed PMDT when it first came out. As you may know, this $5,500 machine was plagued with problems. (My dealer ultimately gave me full-credit.)


#5 of 92 OFFLINE   Jeffrey_S


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Posted April 09 2002 - 04:10 AM

It's too bad, for all concerned, that these defects exist. I very much understand that things like this do happen, as Merc and Larry B have pointed out. I, for one, am just happy that Outlaw is keeping us informed. So long as I hear an official update every few days, I can endure the added wait.

Because of this latest delay, and due to the fact that Outlaw had already started production and shipment which has now stopped, it would also be great if, once they nail things down, they could give us an estimated shipping schedule based on when you reserved the 950. I would greatly appreciate this kind of info and would not hold it against them if they needed to revise their timetable periodically. I just like to be kept informed.


#6 of 92 OFFLINE   Samuel Des

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Posted April 09 2002 - 04:17 AM

I also feel bad for the Outlaws. I felt that it was a great policy to give back full credit -- while allowing the owners to keep the unit until it is fixed.
I am made out of water. You wouldn't know it, because I have it bound in. My friends are made out of water, too. All of them. The problem for us is that not only do we have to walk around without being absorbed by the ground but we also have to earn our livings.

#7 of 92 OFFLINE   Bob-N


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Posted April 09 2002 - 04:29 AM

That's really too bad. The Outlaws have a big one on their hands now but are doing the right thing (over and above IMHO) in crediting current owners and giving them the option of sending the units back or not.

I just hope that the problem can be fixed soon or else you will start hearing the "boo birds" again.


#8 of 92 OFFLINE   Doug_B



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Posted April 09 2002 - 04:36 AM

They have confirmed that audio drop outs do occur on the new units, but strangely not on the beta units. Unfortunately, these drop outs occur randomly and their occurance is neither repeatable nor predictable.
This is a crappy situation for any vendor/supplier to have to troubleshoot. Hopefully, the root cause can be found fairly quickly. Even though I went down a different pre/pro path months ago, I'd very much like to see Outlaw succeed with this product; it would markedly change the pre/pro environment to the benefit of the consumer.

#9 of 92 OFFLINE   Patrick R. Sklenar

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Posted April 09 2002 - 04:52 AM


Thanks for the update!

Guess it's gonne be a bit longer before there's a 950 in Grumpy's Lair. Posted Image

#10 of 92 OFFLINE   Steve Sz

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Posted April 09 2002 - 05:05 AM

Where can I get info on these products?? Do they have a website??


#11 of 92 OFFLINE   Evan S

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Posted April 09 2002 - 05:24 AM

Steve, go to www.outlawaudio.com or do a search on this forum. If you can't get info on Outlaw products here at the HTF, something's wrong.
searching for that elusive, "perfect" sound.

#12 of 92 OFFLINE   John Tompkins

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Posted April 09 2002 - 05:37 AM

I really feel for the consumers who have waited so long and find nothing amusing about it. I also hope that the Outlaws eventually succeed as to drive the price of quality HT gear down.

As each day passes it does re-confirm my thoughts of 6 months ago, That is I will never again wait on a piece of HT gear to hit the market. Too many variables and life is too short too wait on something that may or may not meet my expectations... Sorta goes with Evans signaturePosted Image

#13 of 92 Guest_John Morris_*

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Posted April 09 2002 - 07:09 AM

Guys: Here is a cut and pasted copy of the email that I just received from Outlaw on these issues. I'd guess that many other folks have received this same email... Thanks Outlaw for keeping us all in the loop!


Having already confirmed your order for a Model 950 you will be among the first to receive this long awaited product. Your confirmation message indicated that shipments would begin this week. Unfortunately, we regret that we will not be able to meet that deadline. The purpose of this message is to let you know what is going on and to update you on our progress.

When the first batch of 950s was received late last week we made a special effort to begin shipments early, and a few Outlaw customers did receive a 950 in time to install it over last weekend. The response from those customers is that although the sound quality is all that they had hoped for and more, it appears that two problems have arisen. While not all units exhibited the problems we have decided to temporarily suspend shipments until we isolated the cause and extent of what was reported.

What has happened is that the wider range of discs, players and displays at use in the general population has revealed conditions that were impossible to catch despite the extensive variety of tests the Model 950 has undergone. These tests included extensive beta testing, licensing approval testing, in-circuit testing of the bare boards and both burn-in and system tests after assembly, but "real world" use is the ultimate test of any product. What was found was an occasional drop-out of digital signals and an issue with S-Video playback.

The digital audio drop-out problem is a random issue making it hard to repeat and harder to analyze, particularly since not all units or discs exhibit the problem. We are working with the Outlaws who have the suspect units as well as with our factory and outside engineering consultants to track down the cause and fix it. Through the use of circuit analysis and bit-stream readout, we hope to have this solved shortly, but the nature of the problem is such that we cannot predict the timing. This will likely be one of those things that is hard to find but easy to fix.

The S-Video problem appears to be an incorrect value in one of the parts, with the root cause verified as incorrect part that allowed most, but unfortunately not all displays to work properly. Units with the correct parts are being tested as you read this and if the tests validate the solution we will update existing stock and double check the parts insertion for new production.

We realize that that this may seem like yet another part of what some like to call the "Outlaw Conspiracy", but we assure you that this is not a step we took lightly. We have a substantial number of units already in our warehouse with more scheduled for production that has been halted in the factory. We know that you want us to ship them, and we would certainly like to accommodate the many who have waited for so long. However, we ask you to understand that the action we took by halting shipments (and new production) at this time is in everyone's best interests: yours and ours.

Although one of the problems appears to be resolved, the other is still open. We will keep you informed as to our progress. While we will resume shipments as soon as possible, we must wait for the complete solution to be tested and approved before moving forward. As we have long stated, we're more than happy to take any flames for a delay that is warranted, rather than ship a unit does not meet your expectations.

On a final note, thanks to all of those who suggested corrections to the Model 950's Owner's Manual. For those who are interested in taking a look, a revised manual (Version 1.25) is now posted on our web site for you to download. Very shortly we will have a Model 950 in your hands to go with that manual.

Thanks and regards,

The Outlaws

#14 of 92 OFFLINE   Brandon B

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Posted April 09 2002 - 07:22 AM


OK, I feel a little better now.

#15 of 92 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted April 09 2002 - 07:32 AM

Hi guys!

I received my unit yesterday and was called immediately by the Sherriff of Outlaw (well within a few hours). He was quite concerned about the problems and was wondering if what I had found out.

When installing the 950, I did an almost total redo of my rack, (which includes a HD VCR, 2 LD players, 2 demods, etc). This took me about 4 hours by itself. I had time to watch a little bit of Return of the Jedi (my son picked it out). I was very impressed. The only set up I had done at that point was speaker calibration (no sub EQ yet). I didnt notice any drop outs at this point.

I did some more wiring, while listening to some DVD-A which sounded quite nice, then sat down for the evening feature of LAST CASTLE. The bass seemed a little heavy (remember no room EQ yet), and I had to tweek the CC up 2 dbs to better hear dialog. I did notice one drop out during the flick when I watched in DD. Originally I was going to watch it in dts, but the Sherriff asked I watch in DD just to test for the drop outs. Overall I was very satisfied. Im keeping my unit and will wait for the fix to come, then do an exchange. This is a pretty minor problem, but a problem none the less. I am confident that the posse will be over it and have it rectified in no time.

Ill keep you all posted as I continue to test out this diamond in the rough :-)



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#16 of 92 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted April 09 2002 - 07:53 AM

good to keep us updated guys....

#17 of 92 OFFLINE   Wayne McRae

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Posted April 09 2002 - 08:06 AM

Thanks Merc & Gregg for the detailed update.I'm going to wait and make sure this gets sorted out first.For Andrew and I it's critical that we get a good unit,with the shipping and borders to contend with up here.


#18 of 92 Guest_John Morris_*

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Posted April 09 2002 - 08:53 AM

Greg: Glad to hear you liked the 950 as much as I did. What processor/receiver did you use before the 950?

Reviews are starting to pop up here and there and all of them so far have commented on the great analog bypass and the neutrality of the processed output from the 950. Other than the known problems with dropouts, no one has really complained about the sound. I've sure sooner or later someone will report not having liked the 950 once they've heard it... any guesses as to who that may be? Posted Image

#19 of 92 OFFLINE   John Tompkins

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Posted April 09 2002 - 08:58 AM

No Larry your not alone, but what else can be said that hasn't already been stated.

I will ditto your sentiments though about not feeling even a little bit sorry for the outlaws, but rather the consumers that, at this point must be more patient consumers then I. If it were me still waiting on the 950 I would have probably been kicked off the board this time as I would have let it fly Posted Image

#20 of 92 Guest_John Morris_*

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Posted April 09 2002 - 09:01 AM

... as they was about Rotel shipping with a far less significant problem.
LarryB: Whoa? Did the Rotel unit ship with a problem or two? Did they fix the problems? Tell us about Rotel's problems, please. Instead, why not start a new thread titled, "Here is the update on the Rotel 1066 problems - including new faceplate and software upgrade for early production units". That way you can keep your reporting of the Rotel 1066 preamp problems on topic, and abide by the HTF's rules.

John T: Maybe you could help LarryB with his post on the Rotel too. Posted Image
Thanks for your help with this matter.

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