Contemplating upgrading to the Outlaw 950 Any insight?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin_Roy, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. Kevin_Roy

    Kevin_Roy Extra

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    I am currently running a Denon 4802 with the Outlaw 750. Speakers are Paradigm Studio 60's,20's, Studio CC and Servo 15 sub. I am thinking about upgrading to the 950 Pre/Pro. Can anyone give me some insight or alternative solutions to this situation. I was also thinking of the Rotel RSP1066.

    Thanks,

    Kevin
     
  2. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,

    What makes you think you'd be upgrading?

    Austin
     
  3. Kevin_Roy

    Kevin_Roy Extra

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    Austin... I guess I am just wanting to get away from using a receiver and move officially into separates. I take it you think it will not result in much improvement.

    -Kevin
     
  4. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess this is when a comparing would come in handy.

    I too have ordered an Outlaw 950 as a possible replacement for my Sony DA5ES. I currently run the Sony through a Parasound 855A amp that I would also use with the 950. I fully plan to do as much comparison as possible between the two before deciding which one to keep.

    An in-home comparison between what you have now and what you are considering an upgrade to would answer Austin's question, one way or another.

    --Mike
     
  5. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, Kevin. I didn't mean to come off so flippant. Let's get down to cases.

    Your 4802 is quite a unit. Check the specs carefully. Also, consider the usability issues. The Outlaw has some serious problems in this area. I'll assuming you already trashed the hideous remote that comes with the 4802 - if not, you should consider replacing the 8000 as your first task. The 4802 "remembers" just about everything - the Outlaw doesn't. The Outlaw has a couple gimmicks (they call them "features") that the 4802 doesn't - specifically triple crossover. You'll have to research the issues associated with multiple crossovers on your own. I will tell you they are both significant and legion.

    I'm intimately familiar with the 4802 and consider it a fine performer. I'm on record as a major NON-fan of its value point (lotsa bucks for something less than flagship). That said, it would take something pretty compelling to move me from the 4802 to some other box. The 950 does not meet this standard. It is similar in raw capability though much less refined. At best you'd be moving sideways.

    To take the other side for a minute, you already have the 750 amp which I understand is a rebadged ATI - nice unit. If you hurry you might be able to do the 4802/950 swap and net yourself a few hundred bucks. If you do this, you'll have matching green power buttons and a few bucks for software. Is that so bad?

    But you may want to consider this before you make your move. The 950 is the bottom feeder of the separates world. This has serious implications for resale that do not apply in the same degree to the resale of the 4802.

    If, as you say, you wish to make a serious move into separates, I would counsel saving up your money, enjoying your current setup and buying a bit further up the ladder when a compelling feature set comes along.

    Hope this helps.

    Austin

     
  6. Kevin_Roy

    Kevin_Roy Extra

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    Michael ...Thanks for your input. Let me know how the 950 works out for you.

    Austin.... I did not think you were being flippant. I appreciate the info you have given.

    What do you guys think of the Rotel 1066 Pre/Pro. Another idea I had was ditching the Outlaw 750 and maybe get a different amp. Say...the Parasound 2205 or Rotel 1095. Also the Anthem MCA50 was recommended. I feel the Outlaw sounds a little on the lean side sometimes.

    -Kevin
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Kevin (!), you might try to do a search on both the Outlaw and Rotel units. Quite a few threads covering both in the past few months.

    Triple crossover a "gimmick"? [​IMG] Why does then Anthem, Lexicon, and Sony ES offer similar "gimmicks" on their units?

    It does a nice job of compensating for speakers in a system with different freq response ranges.

    Phase issues? Yeah OK. When most speakers are *not* even phase coherent or time-aligned within themselves. (Only Vandersteen, Thiel, and Dunlavy among a very few other manufacturers prescribe to time-aligned, phase coherent designs.) Besides, phase vs crossover freq is a continuous function, so if you adjust the phase for the middle crossover freq, it will be close enough for the lower and upper freqs. Look at any phase response plot for speakers in Stereophile for example. Phase changes within octaves or even between adjacent octaves is not that large a magnitude. Heck, most subs do not even have variable phase knobs which is the only way I know (aside from physically moving your sub) to get perfect phase to the mains.

    And as far as any "hole" in the freq range being induced due to how the crossing over to the sub is done wrt different crossover frequencies, I have yet to see one piece of gear with test data that has supports this "potential" problem.

    Bottom line is that the triple crossover gives you a choice. Without, you can't even experiment.

    The nice thing about the 950, is the 30 day money back guarentee if you don't like it.
     
  8. Michael Merrell

    Michael Merrell Stunt Coordinator

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    Seperate from any discussion of specs and features, I'll reiterate my previous suggestion: compare them in your own home.

    I'm going this with the 950, since they have a 30 day return policy, and I imaging that your local dealer would have a similar option for the 1066.

    Once you compare the two (or three), you can better make the determination of whether one sounds better to you, and if so, is it enough of a difference to make a change worthwhile. I know this sounds like common sense, but I see a lot of people (myself included) agonizing over decisions that are hard to make without first hand experience. For instance, I have no idea what you mean by "lean" in your description of your amp. Likewise, the various descriptive terminology used in reviews only gets me half-way to understanding...

    I'll let you know how things go with the 950. I imaging my decision matrix will be similar to yours. I will either find the 950 to be enough of an improvement to warrant the switch, better by a level that does not justify the switch, won't be able to tell the difference, or it will not sound as good. In all but the first scenario, Austin's "saving up your money" advice will be the course to follow. The trick is determining what "enough of an improvement" means, and that's an individual assessment.

    You know, to be honest, I think I'm only trying this upgrade/comparison out of enthusiast's curiousity; I can't say that I'm unhappy with my current setup. Is that sick, or what?

    --Mike
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Yes, Mike, you are sick. [​IMG] You have what a lot of us have: upgradeitis.

    I've had my 950 for about 4 months now. I'm still thinking that if I ever come across a Lex DC-2/MC-1 for a very good price, I might pick one up just to see what Logic 7 is all about. Would be hard to give up the 5.1 analog inputs and the 80 Hz analog crossover the 950 has though (the Lexes have neither).
     
  10. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Kevin_Roy, the Outlaw is in no way an upgrade over the 4802. I had the 4802 for about 6 months and was not very happy with the amp section for HT purposes but as far as decoding abilities go, the 4802 is right there with the best. Except for the variable tripple crossovers and maybe a thing or two more, you are not gaining anything by getting the Outlaw. I would take the 4802 over the Outlaw at any time as a prepro.
     
  11. Kevin_Roy

    Kevin_Roy Extra

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I think I am going to wait and see how much extra money I can come up with to cure my upgradeitus. Did I spell that correctly? [​IMG]


    -Kevin
     
  12. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    Remember the Outlaw is sold by manufacturers such as Atlantic Technology and Sherbourne for between $1500 and $2000. If you rule out the direct sale cost savings that leaves the Rotel as the "bottom feeder". Generally receivers make marginal pre/pros. However, the 4802 is one of the few that have received excellent reviews when used in this manner. It may be a lateral move, I would like to hear your comparison. I have been extremely impressed with my 950/Acurus combination and find the triple crossover feature useful. Do the 30 day trial. You may have to move up to the 2-3k range to see a significant difference.

    Tom
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    The Denon would be a good bet, but it also lacks the 80 Hz analog crossover the 950 has for the 5.1 inputs. I actually considered the 3803 when I got the 950, but the individual crossovers and BM on the 5.1 inputs won me over to the 950. I do like the "widescreen" audio mode that the Denon's have for 7.1 though.
     
  14. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    I would agree with Kevin. What sets the 950 apart from the current crop of inexpensive pre-pros is the 80hz analog crossover for 5.1 inputs and it's bargain basement price. If I were going into SACD/DVD-A, then I'd be hard pressed not to get the 950 or use an ICBM (add another $200+, ouch).

    In that respect, the other features of the 950 over the 1066 weren't enough in my system to justifying saving $400 over the 1066. In my system, the 1066 sounded much better for my music and HT tastes when compared back to back.

    Good luck and add another suggestion to do an in home audition of all three pieces if possible. You'll probably need all of that 30 day return policy. I took about 45 days in total (probably over four weekends) to make a final decision. :b It wasn't easy.

    Bob
     

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