Expert Opinions PLEASE!!! Aragon 2007, Outlaw 770

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam_Reiter, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    OK. I have definately decided to go PRE/PRO. I am selling my super high end car audio amps (BRAX) to finally start upgrading my Home theater.

    Now, as far as the amps go, I am really looking at the Aragon 2007 and the Outlaw 770. Both seem to have similar specs. Most obvious, 200wpc x7 @ 8ohms.

    Now, here is where I need advice and opinions. How much difference in quality is there going to be between the two? Basically, the only problem I have with the Outlaw, is for my peace of mind, I would REALLY like to have that THX Ultra 2 cert. It just makes me feel better. Whether that is retarded or not, is another matter. [​IMG] How important is the THX Ultra 2 certification to you guys?

    Second, here is the deal. Once I sell everything, I will have $3900. I was planning to go the Outlaw 950/770 combo (keeping in mind I would like to upgrade to the REF 50 AVM20 caliber 'pre' by next year. 950 to me is temporary) So the combo is $2500 with the $200 off. Then, I was going to get the SVS Ultra with amp. I allready own the Rane PE-17 EQ for the sub. My question is, should I put off the SVS, to get an Aragon 2007 and Outlaw 950? Aragon 2007 is THX Ultra2 Certified, and then save for the SVS? Or, are the differences between the amps not worth giving up a kick butt sub for right now. Keep in mind I have NO SUB right now!!!

    Please give me your opinions, and maybe what you yourself would do given the situation. I will be eventually upgrading my speakers for 7.1 to nOrh. What I have now is crap... Cerwin Vega's, but, I am building this HT around the pre/pro.
     
  2. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Gee Adam, I'd do it right the first time. You are just gonna lose money by buying and then re-buying in a year. the Outlaw is a GREAT piece for the money, and I'm sure you'd be happy, but it's not upgradeable and has a few limitations. You could probably pick up a Ref50 for like $2400.00 and then you'd have $1500.00 to spend on an amp if you say you'll have $3900.00. You can get a hell of an amp for that much. Or you could get an Anthem for like around three if you found a sucker for a dealer and then you would still have enough for a decent amp.
    You could probably get a package deal if you bought them together.
    So what if you have Cerwin's. If you feed them a clean and good quality signal they are gonna sound that much better (one would hope) than if you fed them an ok signal. Worry about your electronics, I think, first.
    Then try to buy your speakers in a package and you'll get a bigger discount than if you piece-meal them together. Get speakers that will compliment your electronics. If you like a certain pre/pros features, but it isn't a good match for your speakers then you might be stuck with something you don't really like because it didn't go well with what you already bought. Now MAYBE the differences are gonna be negligible, but it's just something to consider. There are a lot of speakers that are gonna sound good, but there aren't (imho) alot of pre/pros that are gonna be all things to you.
    I hope that makes sense. That's what I'd do, but then again I might be dumb. Maybe I spent my $10000.00 the wrong way.
     
  3. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Thanx Chris. That was a really good post. However, it not quite was I was looking for.

    Firstly, I absolutely want the amp first. I like the idea of getting an amp with 200 watts per channel, because for me, that seems the most future proof for me. 200 watts is most likely overkill for most speakers, but, plenty of headroom and should be able to handle anything I want to throw at it down the road.

    As far as the Outlaw 950 goes, I dont really see it as a waste, because A[​IMG] It will certainly work for the time being, B) I can always use it in another room once I upgrade to a better Pre. c) And quite honestly, I really want to wait until at least the next Flagship Pre of some of these brands come out before sinking $3-$4k in one. I want to see the next Anthem AVM20, the next Ref50, the next big Outlaw, the next Rotel 1066. I would rather pick from the next bunch. I am really not comfortable with committing to one yet. I would rather put that money into upgrading speakers for now.


    Basically, my whole reason for the original post is. How much better of a sound quality, from a HT standpoint and a MUSICAL standpoint, will the Aragon 2007 amp sound over the Outlaw 770. As in, it seems Aragon is a real quality product. It has the certification that I would really feel comfortable haveing, the THX Ultra 2 cert. Should I care that its certified? Will it sound ANY better at all over the Outlaw 770? Obviously , you might need a really good pre and speakers to tell a differennce. But, lets just say for arguements sake that we are using a really nice Pre like AVM20 or REF50, and some nice B&W's or Dynaudio speakers or something of that caliber, and we are just switching out amps between the Aragon 2007 and the Outlaw 770.


    Or maybe better phrased is, will the Aragon 2007 sound better, or last longer, etc etc, than an Outlaw 2007? So much so that I should go without an SVS Ultra Subwoofer in order to get an Aragon 2007 amp ($2500 or so) instead of an Outlaw 950/770 combo for $2500? Or maybe you can also ask, how good is the Outlaw 770 stacked against a Aragon 2007?

    To me, the Aragon is the best looking of anything I have seen yet. Looks dont really mean much tho, really. Also, am I giving to much credit to the THX Ultra 2 certicication?
    These are the questions that I really need answered or opinions given on. Thanx so much you guys.
     
  4. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    In my opinion, THX certification for an amp does not mean much in terms sonic quality. It means the amp meets some criteria that THX has for each amp -- this can also be limiting in that the amp manufacturer might have to give up some things sonically that they wouldn't want to do to get the certification. Now, THX processing in the pre-pro is a different matter, that can make a substantial difference.

    As for the amps, see if you can demo the Aragon somewhere and if you don't want to order the Outlaw, see if you can find an ATI dealer (the same factory and similar design was used to make the Outlaw 750 as the ATI 1505) you can at least get a rough idea of how they would compare.

    For the amp, the most important thing is knowing what speakers you are going to use. First decide on the speakers for the room that they are going to fill and then pick the amp that can match well with them. If you upgrade the speakers last, you already know what the weak link in the system will be so the whole question will be can you live with great electronics in front of uh, so-so speakers as a short term solution?

    As for the Outlaw 950, I think its quite good, especially for the $$$. It's revealing enough that you can hear the differences between different amps. I've been switching amps in and out, trying a Citation 7.1, a Sherwood newcastle amp, and a B&K ST-140 within the past month. All of the amps sound quite different to my ears in my HT system. I don't regret buying it for an instant and don't imagine replacing it soon.
     
  5. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Adam, sorry my post was of no use to you. It was late and I felt lonley.
    I do have the ATI 1505 however, (only replied cause Ted mentined it) and can tell you that it is a beast. It is a little on the bright, clinical side but it isn't siblant or anything. I wouldn't consider it warm sounding. It is VERY well built and can kick some butt. Every review has said it is over-built.(is that possible?) I think Ted is right on Outlaw being their little brother so could you assume the same thing?
    The Aragon amps are "recommended components" and are mentioned as a reference amps in a few magazines. (I'm talking about their 8000 series)
    I wouldn't put too much stock into the THX thing for the amp as Ted suggested. Alot of amps could pass their requirements, but some manufactures don't want to pay the costs of getting their stuff certified.
    I think only you can decide what is best. Opinion? Aragon. But for me it would be more for the prestige of owning one than if it was really better.
    Outlaw makes great stuff and is highly rated as well.

    But then again I could be dumb. I have an ATI.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I'd buy new speakers first then work on your electronics.

    As far as the OUtlaw issues go:
    Personally buying the Outlaw knowing you'll upgrade is a bit of throwing your money away IMHO. Going the B&K route isn't bad and allows you to spend $1500 on amps which is easy to do for that price.

    I won't doubt the Aragon is a better amp for the long term as they are well built but they do run hot so proper ventilation will be a key and something to consider however better sounding is something you can only answer. There will be a few threadfarters who try to convince you otherwise by telling you about blind tests but they aren't you and aren't spending your money so you need to make up your own mind.

    Perhaps you can buy both and use the return policy from Outlaw and Aragon(thru your dealer) to compare and return the one you don't like. Most dealers have a take it home on Saturday and return it by Monday or Tuesday type thing w/o a charge policy or atleast the crediable ones I know do.

    If the Outlaw does indeed sound like most all of the other ATI products then it will be bright. Now we are back to personal tastes again.
     
  7. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Well.... damn. I am so confused. My ideal speakers I would use for all 7 speakers are the nOrh 9.0 Marbles. Seeing how that would be $10,000 for all of those, most likely not. However, I will eventually have at minumum, the nOrh Marble 9.0's for the Front left/right pair. That way I have a kick ass and gorgeuous pair of loudspeakers for 2 channel music. Then I will most likely go, nOrh synthentic marble 9.0 or 6.9's for the rest of the speakers. I might possibly make the 2 side surrounds the nOrh Pyrymids since they are omni directional and might be better for that surround. I will have to see.


    But, I might be leaning towards the Aragon for a few reasons. I really do like the looks. The best in IMHO. It is THX Ultra2 Certified, which, even IF it doesn't mean much, it makes me feel much better. Plus, if in a year, the next batch of pre-s don't get signifigantly better, I am sure the Aragon Stage One will be alot cheaper, and it seems like a FINE piece of equipment and will match perfectly!! Plus it too is THX ULTRA 2 Certified.


    I can see myself being perfectly happy with the Aragon 2007. However, because I know how I am, I can see me getting like an AVM20 or REF50 or Stage one down the line, and then if I had an Outlaw 770, feel the need to upgrade to a seemingly "better" brand amp.

    I know it seems like I am going about it backwords, but, to me its better to secure the power now, maybe go with a cheap pre to tie me over. Its like I just want to see what the next Pre's are going to be.

    I dont know, maybe I just sell some more stuff like my mountain bike or my Cisco Routers and get the Aragon Stage One and 2007 combo ans start from there?

    I am so confused...... help.
     
  8. James Gallup

    James Gallup Agent

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    Well Adam I've had the ARAGON for about six weeks now and it is outstanding. I was originally using a yamaha rxv2300 receiver as the processor with this amp and it sounded SIGNIFICANTLY better than using the yamahas internal amps or my friends 5 channel Adcom that I used for comparison. I then bought a Rotell 1066, but it did not provide enough voltage at its outputs to drive the amp even close to rated output, so back it went. just 2 days ago I bought a dealer floor model Proceed AVP with full warranty etc.. for $1900 and I'm in audio heaven. The Aragon is a beautiful piece to look at and I would say it's very neutral in its presentation. It's extremely dynamic and as I said, I don't think it leans toward the "bright" or "laid back" side. Very neutral in my opinion. I paid $2550 for the Aragon and couldn't be more pleased. I can't comment on the Outlaw since I haven't used one, but the Aragon is a significant step above the less than six months old Adcom I used for comparison and will quite possibly be the last amp I ever have to buy. If it fits in your budget, you wont be dissapointed. I will echo what one of the other responses said though and that's to say that better speakers will give the most improvement in the long run.
     
  9. Cary P

    Cary P Stunt Coordinator

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    James,

    I am interested in this voltage mismatch you are referring to with the Aragon. What spec do I need to look at to determine if there is a mismatch? I am considering an Aragon 2002 amp for another system (not mine) using a Marantz SR7300 receiver as a pre-pro for the 2 front channels.

    By the way, about how much does the 2002 go for? I figure if you paid roughly $2500 for the 2007, the 2002 should go for about $1250 - $1500. But I've been unable to get any firm info regarding pricing. Thanks,

    Cary
     
  10. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Adam,

    To spend most of your $3900 budget on electronics is not good. You should build around the front 3 speakers and sub, not the prepro or amp. Here's what I would do for sure:

    1) Buy the three front speakers that you want to keep for years: Norh 9.0 and matching center. Use your current speakers for rears (for now).

    2) Get the Outlaw or Rotel 1066 prepro.

    3) Buy 3 good used amp channels from guys on this forum: ie, Acurus 200x3 for $600...someone has two for sale here; and people are selling every week.

    4) Get a lesser 4-5 channel amp for rears/rear centers.

    5) Get a subwoofer.

    Later (the icing)
    1) Get four small Norh speakers for rears.
    2) Upgrade your amps if you must.
     
  11. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    My opinion... There's no way in hell you or anyone else on this board would be able to tell any sonic difference between the Outlaw and the Aragon at a level-matched 85dB using real music and real speakers in a blindfolded test.

    For all of those who are going to jump down my throat at this blasphemy I have only two questions... (1) How did you do the level-matching and (2) who did the amp switching while you were blindfolded? If you can't answer those questions then you don't know jack.

    But more to the point... If you are convinced that you must have a 200 WPC amp I would recommend buying one or more used amps from a name you recognize. Or get the Outlaw. Or get the Aragon [​IMG]

    --Steve
     
  12. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Well, thankfully my budget increased since this was posted. I now have the nOrh cd-1, the Anthem AVM-20, the Aragon 2007.

    Next week I am getting the Yamaha S2300 DVD player (same chips as the $250 Panasonic DVD that had the best picture quality in that shootout) but also plays DVD-A and SACD. Supposedly this Yamaha is definately the best Universal out so far and the ONLY universal to not have the Chroma Bug.

    I have two more items to sell and them I am getting the Rocket Loudspeaker 5 speaker package. (will add the 6th and 7th later)

    Hopefully the wife lets me get an SVS ultra with tax money. Maybe even a new tv. God knows I need a tv. My piece of crap 27" JVC is ready to get the bucket.

    Additional options down the road will be a kick ass line conditioner, and HD-DVD when it hits.
     
  13. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Adam:

    Nice choices on the amps, etc. I was hoping to jump in before you had made a choice and highly recommend the 950/770 combo from Outlaw. The 770 is an extremely clean power amp that is very neutral to the sound field. It doesn't add anything or take anything away. It just reproduces what the preamp feeds it without any coloration of the signal. At -20db from reference I have a hard time staying in the same room at this sound level. Reference is downright scary. The 950 is an fantastic pre for the money. With all the various decodings it does it is very very hard to beat for the money. IMHO the 950/770 is the combo to beat when it comes to the best bang for your bucks.

    Now you have to chose between a tube SV Sub or their new box subs. Their new B4 is the killer sub of the year.

    I have heard nothing but great things from friends that have the Rocket line of speakers and the finish on these speakers is fantastic.

    Parker
     
  14. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    Adam,

    Good listening with your new equipment! I just received my new Aragon Stage One a week ago. And would love to have the Aragon seven channel amp to match. IMO for HT either the Outlaw or the Aragon would work just fine. But, musically the Aragon would be the one I would want. Matched with the Anthem you should be very very happy. As far as Line conditioners.....I would recommend VansEvers line of Line Cleaners. I have the Model Reference 85 Line Cleaner. This conditioner does some very special stuff for both my Stage One and amps in music and picture quality on my Loewe set.

    Here's a link.


    http://www.vansevers.com/
     
  15. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    I then bought a Rotell 1066, but it did not provide enough voltage at its outputs to drive the amp even close to rated output, so back it went.
    [​IMG] ? Never heard this[​IMG]
     
  16. John-Tompkins

    John-Tompkins Second Unit

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