New Outlaw newsletter

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas_Berg, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

    Feb 28, 2001
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    Real Name:
    Having moved through the Labor Day weekend, we've marked the unofficial end of summer in spirit, if not by the literal letter of the
    calendar. That means you'll begin to find a chill in the air more often, and time spent all summer in the back yard will now be
    spent in the home theater. The Outlaws are ready to help you get the most enjoyment from that time with a wide range of home theater
    products. That includes the Model 950, which is now back in full production.

    We have all sorts of things in store for you as the season moves forward, so let's get on with the news.

    MODEL 950 NEWS

    We are very pleased to say that the Model 950 is once again in production and shipments are resuming. As most of you know, we
    decided to halt production to resolve a noise problem that was reported by some of the early owners. Although the problem was
    reported by a relatively small percentage of the units shipped, we felt that it was important enough to temporarily pull the unit
    from the market. As those who are still waiting for a 950 will attest, it took much longer than we anticipated to find a solution
    that did not, in turn, cause other problems.

    However, thanks to the hard work of our engineering teams in the US and Asia, and thanks to devotion of many members of the Outlaw
    community that were pressed into service to help us test some of the interim solutions, we have cleared this issue. The resulting
    product truly delivers on our promise to bring you the best value for a full-featured processor-tuner anywhere in the market.

    Since our first obligation is to those who already have a Model 950, we are now in the process of working with those Model 950
    owners who have reported the problems to get them updated units. For those who are interested, they have been given the option of
    receiving a refurbished unit with the current specifications or having their unit repaired. The Outlaws are paying the freight both
    ways and re-starting the warranty to align with the receipt of a corrected unit. The corrected units have already begun to ship and
    we hope to have all the current owners taken care of this week.

    At the same time as we work with the current owners, we are also re-starting the process of notifying those on the 950 reservation
    list. We have already begun contacting the "reservationists" and as you read this some have already received their unit. Depending
    on how quickly the factory can provide us with new stock we estimate that it will take up to ten weeks to get through the entire
    list. Of course, those who put their reservations in towards the beginning of 2002 will get their units first, others will be at the
    end of the process.

    In summary, if you already own a Model 950, you already have the data you need to correct any problems you might have encountered.
    If you have been waiting for one, a unit built to the new standards is currently in production with your name on it. Of course, if
    you have been waiting for all of this to settle down before ordering, now is the time!

    For all the attention to the Model 950 over the past few months, the story this month is actually rather short. In summary: any
    previous problems have been corrected, those with units exhibiting the problems have an opportunity to have their unit replaced with
    an updated one, and those who have been waiting will soon have a new unit built with the updates shortly. However, we realize that
    there may be some unanswered questions in all of this, so we'll take a bit of space here to answer some of the issues under
    discussion in our Saloon and the various forums in the past week or so with the following "mini-FAQ"

    Q. What was cause of the problem that started all of the delays?
    A. The problem was caused by a combination of component value issues. Each was minor when viewed by itself, but the combination of
    otherwise insignificant issues occasionally stacked up to cause the problem of excessive noise on the analog channels when the
    volume was raised to the absolute maximum with no input source. When you combine the minor nature of each of the individual problems
    with the many variables in everyone's individual system, you end up with something that is very hard to track down. No, there wasn't
    one single root cause. Unfortunately, tracking everything down, validating the fixes and making sure that the fix didn't take break
    anything else was obviously a lengthy process, but we needed to take the time to do it right and test the fix both internally and

    Q. How did you solve the problem?
    A. Given the fact that there were a variety of minor issues contributing to the cause, the fix was a number of adjustments. In broad
    strokes, some component values were changed slightly and other adjustments were made to avoid the introduction of noise.

    Q. Were there any other changes made to the product?
    A. Nothing major that alters its performance. As we've said all along, if a unit sounds good, it IS good. If it was in a system
    where there was a hiss issue, the changes will fix that. Some very minor upgrades were made as maintenance issues that all
    manufacturers make as running changes during a product's life cycle, as well as to allow for the integration of the fixes to the
    hiss problem.

    Q. How do I know that the unit I receive has been updated?
    A. The units sent to existing Model 950 owners as replacements will have a red dot on the label to indicate that the unit has been
    brought up to current design specs. ALL units shipped to new customers are new units and as such they are in full compliance with
    the new spec. They were built that way from the start

    Q. I've been on the reservation waiting list for a long time. Can you tell me where I am on the list and when I might expect to
    receive the notification that my unit is available?
    A. We'd love to give you a delivery date estimate, but since the list is lengthy and some of the items involved in predicting your
    place in line are out of our control. For example, we have no way of knowing how many of those on the list will convert their
    reservation to a purchase, though the initial results are that the conversion rate is very high. The combination of that figure and
    the rate at which new units are shipped to us will influence things greatly, and we'd rather be conservative and not predict a date
    than offer one and risk disappointing you.

    Q. What happens to all the units the original owners are sending back? What will you do with them? A. That's a good question.
    Despite all the rumors, the number of units involved is actually rather small. We will re-build those units and hold them in reserve
    for service replacements, review units and other internal purposes. Of course, they cannot, and WILL NOT be sold as new. Besides, we
    need them for other purposes (like a birthday present for the Outlaw's brother-in-law!) and have no plans to offer them as "B" stock
    at this time.

    Q. If I own a Model 950 from the original production and did not return it for a replacement, what will happen if something develops
    in the future?
    A. That is precisely what the FIVE YEAR warranty is for. We stand behind that warranty and will honor it as stated with any problem
    unit being repaired or replaced at our option. However, the current replacement program with pre-paid inbound freight is a limited
    offer and will not be available for units that have not had a problem with hiss. As we have said on numerous occasions, if your unit
    has the "hiss problem", we presume that you would know by now.

    Yes, it's been a long road, but we trust you will find the end result to be worth the wait. In fact, many happy Model 950 owners are
    already enjoying the best value processor preamp in the market today. We understand the frustration this has caused some of you, and
    for that we apologize. At the same time, we also appreciate the support of the loyal Outlaws who have contributed in many ways to
    bring the Model 950 to market. Both the Model 950 and the Outlaw organization in general are better today in many ways for all the
    comments and concerns you have expressed. For that, you have our sincere thanks.


    The Outlaw product line is more than just the Model 950, although all the attention it gets may make it seem that way. Both of our
    power amplifiers, the Model 770 and Model 755, are in stock and available for immediate shipment. Our innovative bass management
    system, the ICBM continues as an important product, for as we survey the new fall model lines for DVD and AV receivers, we see that
    many players and most receivers lack the bass management and re-direction needed when using "Analog Direct" inputs. We pleased to
    see that some have even suggested using it in combination with products that are otherwise competitive to our Model 950! Helping to
    link everything together are our line of PCA, PSC and PDO interconnect cables. They are ready to ship to connect your system
    together! Indeed,

    As to the Model 1050, it is also in stock for immediate delivery. Thanks to its advanced design it remains a sonic benchmark for 6.1
    products. In fact, it was just named a Recommend Component by The Perfect Vision for the second year in a row. Who are we to argue
    with that?

    New Product News

    Although the Model 950 has obviously consumed more of our engineering time than we would have liked, we are closing in on some new
    products to be released during the next six to eight months.

    As previously announced, the Model 7100 amplifier will be the first out of the gate, and it is proceeding on schedule. Custom
    designed for the Outlaws, it will deliver 7x100 watts (8 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, less than 0.07% THD, all channels driven) with the
    remainder of its specs very much in line with the sonic performance of the 770 and 750. The initial samples are now being built, and
    we hope to have the complete spec listing along with pricing, packages and a release date in our next newsletter.

    Beyond that we have other products in various stages of concept and design, but it is a bit too early to say anything more than that
    at this point. We'll let you know what we're working on when we get a bit closer to the real thing.

    As a note on future product development, we are changing the way we recruit beta testers. To date we have publicly recruited testers
    on a product specific basis, but that required that we reveal a bit too much product information too far in advance of the release
    date. Thus, to make it easier on all concerned, at some point in the next two months we will begin the process of establishing a
    confidential database of those interested in beta testing. All interested Outlaws will be invited to fill out a Beta Tester Profile
    outlining the components in their system and their special interests so that when a product is ready for test we will be able to
    select testers without having to go through the entire data gathering process.

    This is a much more efficient way of managing tests, and it will help us from having to spill the beans off the Outlaw's chuck wagon
    about new products before it is appropriate. Yes, we know this will keep you all guessing, but let it not be said that we didn't
    learn anything from the Model 950 experience. Not having to constantly recruit testers will enable all interested Outlaws, while at
    the same time leaving the beta test roster open at all times will give everyone the opportunity to put their name in our Outlaw hat
    without having to worry about submission deadlines. It will also allow us to test products in advance of their release date without
    building anticipation too far in advance.


    The Editorial Outlaw's comments this month are a by-product of all the discussion about the Model 950 over the past few months. Like
    the rest of us, he has seen all the discussion about the various artifacts attributed to one product or another. Some might call it
    "wine word audio", as the issues involved in describing the way sound is heard are sometimes as subjective as the way in which wine
    or other types of food are compared.

    First, it is worth reminding everyone that the evaluation of an audio product is a combination of ingredients, with things such as
    system components, room acoustics, listening levels, speaker placement and other variables each having the capability to make an
    individual component sound one way in "Installation A" and another way in "Installation B". Add to the mix the variations in each
    person's hearing and then factor that what sounds good to some people doesn't sound good to others. Perhaps you might call the
    latter the "different strokes for different folks" factor.

    Yes, at a certain level you can bypass all of this by just looking at measurements, but even that has its pitfalls. For example,
    some testers and magazines utilize different test protocols than others, and that may explain why the same component sometimes tests
    differently with different reviewers.

    There are some situations, such as those used by some speaker manufacturers, where a carefully calibrated room and test scheme is
    used with carefully trained listeners in a "blind" environment to attempt to remove all the variables. That is probably the best way
    to compare audio products, but even then the results that are compiled are themselves open to speculation. We've seen (and heard)
    processes such as that at work, and it is a very interesting process totally unlike the reviews of casual listeners.

    But, at the end of the day, that doesn't mean that any one, single test routine is better than others. You have to use a combination
    of reviews when evaluating a product, but then you have to go one or two final steps further to make certain that everyone is
    speaking the same language and to do the best you can to remove bias of the reviewer once the product's identity is revealed. After
    all, when you know the brand and price of a product under discussion it is sometimes very hard to be totally objective.

    The reason for talking about this? We've had to do a great deal of critical listening to create the Model 950 and our other
    products. (Not to mention what all the Outlaws do on their "day jobs".) At the same time, a quality listening experience is what we
    hope to deliver in all our products and we recognize that particularly for an internet-only company such as ours, you have to depend
    on reviews not only from the magazines, but from your fellow audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts. That's fine, and we encourage
    consumer reviews not only in outside forums, but also here in our own Saloon.

    All we urge is a word of caution. Everyone is clearly entitled to their own opinion, and that is one of the things that makes this
    the fun hobby it is. However, we also want to make certain that you understand the variables involved when reading someone else's
    opinion. At the end of the day, the one opinion that matters is YOURS. It's good to hear how something sounds to someone else, in
    that person's room, with that person's equipment and through that person's ears. Is it valuable to get someone's opinion? Sure. But
    remember, as our automotive friends may say, "Your mileage may vary". Before making an equipment choice, try the subject component
    out in your own system, in your own room and apply the criteria that are important to YOU. After all, you are the one that has
    listen to it!

    That brings us to this month's book suggestion. It's not a pot-boiler that will keep you up all night or one of the historic works
    that we favor. Rather, it's a tried and true classic that is very much to the point of this month's essay. As we've said, one of the
    important things about evaluating audio products is that everyone uses terms that are readily understandable. When you describe a
    component as sounding one way, it is helpful for the person reading the post or review to understand what you mean.

    One of the original developers of the lexography of audio is the legendary J. Gordon Holt, the founder of Stereophile Magazine. His
    "The Audio Glossary" (ISBN #0962419141) stands the test of time in establishing a common language for those describing the way
    things sound. We can think of no better baseline, and every audiophile should have a copy on the shelf.

    That's it for this month. It's nice to have some good news and we hope that you all enjoy the fall season. Don't forget to step
    outside the home theater once in a while to catch a last few days of Indian Summer or to watch the leaves begin to change. However,
    the Outlaws do allow you to avoid the outdoors and lock yourself in the home theater for critical things such as the outcome of the
    Wild Card races and the start of football !

    Thanks and regards

    The Outlaws

    The contents of this Newsletter Update are copyright © 2002 by Outlaw Audio, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution or
    reproduction is prohibited. Outlaw Audio and the Outlaw Audio logo trademarks of Outlaw Audio, Inc.
  2. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

    Apr 18, 2002
    Likes Received:
    "The contents of this Newsletter Update are copyright © 2002 by Outlaw Audio, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution or
    reproduction is prohibited. Outlaw Audio and the Outlaw Audio logo trademarks of Outlaw Audio, Inc."

    Was posting this here an infringement of the copyright??
  3. Peter Overduin

    Peter Overduin Supporting Actor

    Jun 30, 1997
    Likes Received:
    No, it isn't. In this case, the entire email is posted. If segments were posted and no credit given, then possibly. Putting it in a print publication with paid subscription would be classified as an "unauthorized distribution." Also, since it is email to anyone who signs up, with a non-subscription site, there is not loss to the originator. There is also no "expectation of privacy, profit," or other financial considerations since anyone can, in fact, sign up to get the email.

    Reposting articles from on-line publications where a paid subscription is required to receive the information or article, would be. That would include scanning an article from DVD ETC., for example, and reposting it in a thread here at HTF.
  4. Bruce Cadotte

    Bruce Cadotte Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 21, 2001
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  5. Bill Bradstreet

    Bill Bradstreet Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 7, 2001
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    Hmm... I'm curious what the price and release date for this amp will be for sure. I need to decide on the 950 since I got my letter the other day. Marrying it to a 7x100 amp would be a perfect fit for my room. The price will have to be right though. If it is too high, I'd rather get the 5x200 755 with a better THD number (even though I really don't think I would be able to hear the difference between .05% & .07%).

    The only problem with getting a new amp is then I'd want matched speakers. ;-) ...something I've lived without so far.

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