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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Cain, Dec 23, 2001.
A show of hands please???
Except for the people who are involved in the BETA test, I believe no one will be receiving any 950s from Outlaw until sometime in the New Year. Please feel free to prove me wrong. Anyone heard anything from them as of late???
What is it with the BETA test? Why is the release of a pre/pro such a production? How long has this thing been delayed already?
Original target date was early September....snicker snicker.
Thanks, Randy. If the 950 were the first pre/pro in the world, I could understand the delay...maybe. What's going on?
Here's my guess: the first units will ship in late January/early February if we're lucky. The chances on getting it by Christmas are zero as the Outlaws are taking the next week off. Outlaw will probably have a 950 on display at the CES in Vegas in January.
Keith: nobody really knows what's going on except for the Outlaws themselves and maybe the beta testers.
As long as they get it right, I will wait at least until someone comes out with something comparable, maybe Sherwood Newcastle's new pre/pro.
Because of all these delays the Outlaws already lost me on the 770(I wanted an amp and I got tired of being led on). Now that other manufacurers will be coming out with new pre/pros. I'll wait and see the competition before buying the 950.
The preamp that I've always wanted is the Integra Research RDC-7 but at $4000 it's too expensive for me. I wonder how the 950 will compare to the Integra or the B&K Ref 30...
In case you're interested, I've hooked up a few HTF members with a wonderful authorized Integra brick&mortar dealer who will sell the RDC-7/RDA-7 package for $6900 plus shipping, or $3150 for the RDC-7 alone. Email me at [email protected]
ps- the RDA is an incredibly overbuilt 7 channel amp. Though it's very conservatively rated at 150 watts, it'll drive even extremely insensitive speakers to prodigious output levels. I've compared it to the 7/200watt $6000 Lexicon felt it was easily on par. The Lex weighs 65lbs, but the Integra weighs 112lbs.!!
I ditched my 950 plans and went with the Anthem AVM 20. I couldn't wait any longer, given the other new equipment I have been purchasing (most ordered a while ago) and no DD/DTS processor/receiver of any kind in my possession.
It should have been obvious to the Outlaws long before today
that the 950 would not ship before Christmas. Perhaps they didn't
want people who might buy the 950 to buy something else for
Christmas, since the 950 will probably (?) ship in January or
maybe February. More people want to buy their toys before
the holidays than after.
I don't think your compareing apples to apples (i know, you said you wonder) as far as the 950 vs. the Ref 30 & RDC-7. I have serious doubt's that a $900.00 pre pro could even come close.
I think I am siding with you on this one, I think they knew that it would not be possible to get the product out by Christmas. I believe a lot of folks here give the Outlaws the benefit of the doubt, but from what I have read the past few days, they are starting to lose sales to other products. I wish them well and hope the 950 is a sonic success when it finally is released. And are the Beta testers, if they received the product, allowed to post comments??? if not when???
The beta testers are not allowed to post any comments until the test period is over. Failure to abide by this rule will result in that person or persons being thrown out of the test and the loss of the 950.
That said, I am disappointed that these guys haven't said anything about this yet. However, I would assume that they will post something on their website today to explain the latest.
Ash - I don't think that the Outlaws will post anything on their site until maybe next week.
Anthony - I've tried a low priced preamp, the Parasound 1800, and it wasn't very good sonically. I hope that the Outlaw 950 will sound much better than the Parasound and compete with $2000+ preamps.
I don't know what everyone is worried about!!!
I fully expect Santa to arrive tonight around 3am, decked out in full red suit and jolly HO HO HO and sweep down the chimney with a 25lb box containing one Outlaw Audio 950 Pre/Pro for me when I wake up on Christmas morning.
Then, I'll wake up and realize that it was all a dream and the 950 has been replaced with a bunch of coal.
Maybe I'll get my 950 by Valentine's, but by then I will have probably fallen out of love and have move on to my "mistress" (some competitor's pre/pro)
The Outlaws have sent out an email detailing the issue for the delay. I know the wait for the 950 has been long, but I understand the rational and appreciate their honesty and dedication to getting the product right. I have included the email below:
Has another year gone by?
There's quite a bit to talk about, but we know that everyone is beginning to wind things down and get into the "holiday spirit". That being the case, we'll try to keep this as short as possible and get right to the details. Besides, we know what you are all REALLY interested in, so we won't waste any time and we'll get right to the news:
MODEL 950 NEWS
As our last Newsletter went "to press" in early December, we were still optimistic that we might be able to get the Model 950 out in time for it to appear under a few trees this year. However, we also said that we weren't going to ship until we were ready. Given that Santa is about ready to clear security, put his tray-table in the locked and upright position and take off, it is obvious that we aren't going to meet that date.
There are a few reasons for this, but the most critical one involves a software issue we'll describe below. From a hardware side, we're ready to go, and the boards are being produced, stuffed and tested, and the remotes are in production as you read this. However, the software code, both for the DSP and the operating firmware is incredibly complex, and during the course of our testing something came to our attention that was simply not acceptable to anyone testing the unit.
As some of you may have read in the various on-line forums, there have been reports of compatibility issues with some of the recent DVD releases. Using the discs under discussion we found that there was, indeed, something amiss. Our investigation, and that of other engineering consultants, has found that there is most likely an incompatibility between some new DVD releases and the way in which products with 6.1 or 7.1 DSP react to embedded flags. Unfortunately, as a 6.1/7.1 product, the Model 950 exhibited an adverse reaction to this situation. This is not something we could have anticipated, and the unit is otherwise to standard, (as are the products from other manufacturers that exhibit the same problem). However, having discovered the problem we had to see that it was resolved.
We are currently working with the software design teams and other consultants to rectify the situation, and trial code is being tested despite the short holiday week. Unfortunately, the timing is not favorable due to holiday and end-of-year shut downs, and it may be another week or so before we are satisfied that the new code is 100% compatible with all known problem discs and with the root cause for this situation. Once the final code passes our internal tests it will go out for beta, and at that point we will be ready to burn it into e-proms, insert them into the boards, assemble and test the units and have them out to you.
The bottom line: As you might imagine, while we are reluctant to set a hard ship date at this time, (given all that has gone on to date), we are fully confident that it will be within the next three weeks or so. Skeptics may say what they will, and we're prepared for the usual comments in the on-line forums. Since the alternative would be to release a product that contains a known bug, we'll opt to take the flames about the delay now, rather than complaints about an unsatisfactory product later.
Remember, this is something that we didn't invent, and the problem is not one that could have been surfaced by any existing test material. It's a real world problem that (fortunately) we were able to catch at the last minute, and we have no apologies for doing that. The fact that other products may be suffering the same problem is clear evidence that this is not part of some "cover up" by the Outlaws. The Outlaw engineering teams will be working throughout the holiday week to solve the problem and then have the unit submitted for the necessary approvals. At this point we can only say that we'll keep you posted as to the progress.
(As a side note, our first production run is already pre-reserved and our second production run is almost completely sold out if all the reservations are executed. Our financial people would love to see us show those sales on our books before the year closes. However, we ain't gonna do it just to keep the Outlaw Bean Counters happy. Our goal is to keep YOU happy.)
We realize that many of you have been waiting quite some time for this product, and we know that this seems like an endless series of delays. Therefore As our way of saying thank you to the many loyal supporters who have hung in there with us throughout what has seemed to be the gestation period of an elephant, we want to do something to make the wait a little more worthwhile.
To express our thanks for your patience, we will include a pair of our 1.8-meter PCA audio interconnects at no extra charge to everyone who places their name on the Reservation List on or before 11:59PM EST on Christmas Day, December 25, 2001. If you have already placed your name on the list you do not need to do anything, as your reservation is already recorded and you will receive the cables when your order ships. This is a $49.95 value, and the offer will NOT be extended beyond the stated deadline.
Again, thanks to all who have waited for the Model 950. No one wants this product to ship more than we do, and you have our firm commitment that we will get it out as soon as this problem is resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
MODEL 770 NEWS
With all the attention given of late to the Model 950, we thought that this would be a good time to bring you up to date on it's companion piece, the Model 770 amplifier.
This is one awesome product, weighing in at over 85 pounds. The first samples are now in test, and we'll have one in action in our CES demo room. Although the 770 shares the same design heritage as the award winning Model 750, there are a few major differences that will set this apart from any competitive product within hundreds of dollars:
· Dual torroidal transformers so that the unit can deliver 7x200 watts in a package that is under 17.5 inches deep INCLUDING CONNECTORS. The use of a standard single transformer design would have simply made this unit too deep for most home shelves. · Five pairs of output devices per channel, to deliver power with headroom to spare. · The use of a circuit breaker instead of fuses for the protection circuitry. This is something typically found only on very high-end equipment, but we've designed it into the Model 770. · A three-second turn-on delay to prevent any possibility of transient noise leaking through when the unit is powered up. · High-end, machined RCA jacks and improved speaker terminals. · For those who want to plan for a Model 770, the approximate dimensions are 7.75" high x 16.38" deep (without connector clearance) x 17" wide. · Remember, the weight of this puppy is about 86.5 pounds, so be certain that anyplace you plan to put it is capable of supporting that kind of weight! · You might also want to think about a dedicated circuit, as the power draw is 1800 watts!
As mentioned above, we'll have a working sample at CES, and we'll have photos on the web site after the show. The Model 770 will ship in mid-February, but we will honor the package price and Outlaw Family pricing for 950/770 combination orders even though the 950 will ship first.
MODEL 1050 NEWS
The Outlaws are pleased to say that you have continued to validate the tremendous value that the Model 1050 represents with the strongest vote we can think of: purchases. When we are asked how the 1050 stacks up against competitive units it is nice to say that sales of the Model 1050 have increased in each of the last four months, setting records for us in the process. And to top it all off, in its' latest issue Stereophile Guide To Home Theater has awarded the 1050 the EDITORS' CHOICE GOLD award for receivers.
Our only news this month concerns an anomaly that a few of you have noted in our Saloon. As one of the first products in the market to offer 6.1-channel operation, the Model 1050 was designed for compatibility with the data flag that is intended to automatically switch units into a 6.1 mode when a 6.1/7.1 encoded disc is playing. Although the Model 1050 is fully compatible and built to applicable standards, it appears that there is an anomaly with a small number of units in combination with certain DVDs that causes sporadic muting.
Again, this is something that only a few owners have encountered, and most 1050s do not appear to exhibit any problems whatsoever when playing the same DVDs.
Regardless, any anomalies are NOT a fault of the 1050's design, but rather due to some external software change beyond our control. The 1050 has been around for 18 months and plays virtually every other DVD flawlessly.
If you are among the few who encounter this anomaly, there is an easy fix. All of the discs involved in this problem also carry a DTS sound track. Thus, by simply switching your DVD player's bit stream output and/or the DVD menu so that you use the DTS, rather than Dolby Digital output for these discs, the issue is resolved.
We are investigating the dimension of the issue further, but due to the limited number of discs involved and the availability of the DTS soundtracks as a fallback, we do not foresee any DSP modifications necessary. This is a different case than the Model 950 where the problem was more pervasive and where we will be able to resolve it production, than in the case of the 1050 where we have a proven, existing platform.
OTHER OUTLAW NEWS IN BRIEF
· As noted in the Newsletter sent out earlier this month, the Outlaws will be at CES in early January for meetings with the press and international distributors. Please remember that like many trade shows, there will be increased security and rules concerning badges will be strictly enforced. As our display will be inside a controlled area, you MUST have a valid CES badge to gain entry and we cannot "sneak you in". However, if you have a CES badge due to other business affiliations, please stop in to see Scott and some of the other Outlaws at the Alexis Park. When we come back from the Show we'll post the text of the press releases we will issue in Las Vegas. · For those who have inquired about the special "Magnapan" edition of the ICBM, the main difference from the "standard" ICBM is the range of crossover points. The ICBM Special Magnapan Edition's 80 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, 200 Hz and 240 Hz crossovers were selected by Magnapan for the greatest degree of integration with all of their current speaker offerings as well as older models. The low pass information may be redirected to the main speakers or the main speakers and the subwoofer. Please send us an e-mail if you have specific questions about this product or wish to order one. · Response to the PCA and PDO cables has been well beyond our expectations, and we thank all of those who have ordered them. In fact, our cable products have been such a success that we will be announcing a new addition to that line during our press conference in Las Vegas. Hint: The nickname for the state of Las Vegas is a clue to something about this new product. We hope to have it available in mid to late February. · Although our engineering teams will be working though the holidays to resolve the issues holding up the Model 950, the Outlaw sales and service team, including Jamen and Scott, will be spending some well deserved time off with their families this week. This means that the response to your calls may be a bit slower than usual. However, we will have coverage on incoming e-mails in anticipation of those "I found a 1050 under my tree and need some help setting it up!" questions. Just please bear with us if it takes a little longer to answer to your inquiries than normal. We'll also be shipping all in-stock products next week, but keep in mind that there may be delays in delivery due to the schedules of our shippers.
Well, that's it for this year, and an interesting one it has been. Once again, we would like to thank all the loyal Outlaw family members for their support and encouragement for our products, our people and our concept. We remain committed to our mission of delivering the highest value in high performance audio (and video!) products to you in 2002 and for many years ahead.
All the Outlaws wish you and your family a year of good listening, great health, prosperity and peace.
Happy Holidays to all from the Outlaws!