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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AVspec, May 9, 2002.
Will, I'm having the same problem with AM too.
Will- Cool, you finally got one!
Any news on the noise floor?
Any news on any "popping" when switching (digital) inputs?
Any news on any delay when the 950 has to lock on to a new digital source? (PCM, DD, DTS, ...)
There is an audible hiss when your ears are near to the speakers and I have heard some popping noises, but the 950 sounds MUCH nicer than my old Sony receiver, as expected. The main issues I have with the 950 are usability issues. Using the remote at night is interesting since some buttons light up showing words with no relation to their function. The ALT buttom turns on the Tuner. The ENTER button is the one that bypasses the digital and uses the analog inputs. Wierd.
The subwoofer volume is not settable for each individual source. It's global. Another problem is that, to increase or decrease the subwoofer volume you have to hit about eight buttons, give or take. That's tedious. Creating a macro helps but a macro to do this takes (what I consider) a VERY long time to send to the pre/pro and even after all that time the pre/pro is in a state where you can't adjust the subwoofer level yourself, unless you first press yet another button on the remote (called the AUD button), in addition to the macro button. Bottom line: My old Sony receiver doesn't sound nearly as good as the 950. But my old receiver was much easier to use. And my receiver could get AM stations without static.
On the last two units I had (Beta #2 and the "final" unit) here's what I found. (I didn't even try the tuner on "Beta #1 because it was a prototype - now I wish I had).
Beta #2 actually pulled in AM better than the "final" unit - using the same cheap included AM antenna. FM was fine on both.
I'm not sure if this is a sample to sample variation or just a lousy antenna. I don't get good AM reception in my HT anyway (it's practically a concrete bunker) so I never really gave it a second thought. However, that's really begging the question.
One of these days I'll brush up on my AM antenna technology (anyone out there want to offer a suggestion for AM antennas?) and construct an outdoor AM antenna to see what the 950 is capable of. I seem to remember years ago doing something with a copper wire strung between two trees. Any ideas on this? What AM antennas are not snake oil devices?
And, like Will, I've sometime found that "cheap" radios pick up AM better than the AM section on receivers. My Denon 5700 was terrible at this as well.
What's the story here? Is AM an afterthought or can it be improved by a better antenna (without going crazy?)
Is anybody able to get decent AM radio on their 950, with the antenna provided? I live close enough to my radio stations that AM reception shouldn't be a problem.
Now that the 950 is shipping, it was only a matter of time before all the criticisms of the unit are posted.
My 950 makes a popping sound when switching the
inputs, e.g. DVD to VCR or TV and also when switching
the digital inputs, coax 1 to coax 2. When the unit
is turning on and off it also emits a loud pop
regardless of which amp I use, a Citation 7.1 or Pass
Labs Aleph 30 (I tried it in two different systems).
In the Outlaw Saloon section, I see that another individual
is going through a similar problem. I emailed Outlaw inquiring whether this is normal or a product defect.
Another beef is the detachable power cord, there's no third connector for the ground, so you can't easily replace the power cord with something more substantial. There are probably replacement cords in the computer industry, but I don't remember seeing any in audio (though I don't claim to have actively looked). If I recall correctly, the cord is 2 x 18 gauge.
Another niggle is the remote control, it seems as if its programmed to turn on the Outlaw any time any input is selected, including TV. Most times I watch TV, I don't want the outlaw on, so it's use as a universal remote is somewhat limited. If there is anything to get around this issue, please let me know.
I am going to reserve judgment till it breaks in, since I got it on Thursday May 8. However, my initial impression is that it seems at least competent when I used it in my 2 channel setup. In the HT setup there are too many variables to consider before giving a conclusive review.
A multi-room question.
Are there direct IR codes for the multi-room function, or from the second room do I need to really hit menu and go through the menus from a remote room to turn it on, select a source and adjust the volume? The long way doesn't make sense. I feel like there has to be direct IR input and volume controls for multi room. Can anyone confirm this?
Sorry, but I didn't mean to imply that I thought your SONY receiver was "cheap." I was talking specifically about a couple of "cheap" radios I own (under $50) that pick up AM better than my 950 (and also better than my 5700 did.)
And, the thing I find "interesting" is that my second 950 unit (the second beta that I had for about a week before the final version shipped) actually pulled in my favorite AM stations better than the final one. Since supposedly there was no change in the tuner between these two units (not counting Beta #1) I have to feel that it has something to do with the way that the AM tuner is adjusted. Could it be that AM is such an afterthought these days that builders don't do any fine tuning on individual tuners? I seem to recall many many years ago that if I wanted to improve AM reception not only did I make sure the antenna was up to snuff but I also tuned a couple of pots in the AM circuitry, listening to the stations as I trimmed the pot. There was a big difference in AM reception if the AM tuner was adjusted a bit.
Anybody have any thoughts on this in general and/or antenna recommendations? Any good receiver of pre/pro with tuner should be able to match the AM performance of a "cheap" AM radio under similar conditions of location and antenna.
What am I missing here?
Does the 950 have a mono setting for the AM tuner? If not, that could be one of the reasons that AM sounds poorer than it should? On my bedroom receiver, it sounds like an AM signal is not coming in until I push the mono button. Then all is well. Try pushing the mono button on the 950 to see if that helps...
Thanks for the suggestion.
The Tuner Mono/Stereo switch only works in the FM mode, not the AM mode. But maybe that's contributing to the situation since you can't set this parameter in AM.
My car radio gets AM stereo radio in stereo. But my 950 and my old receiver won't get AM stereo in stereo. Here's some information on AM Stereo Radio which even includes a List of AM Stereo Radio Stations. Carver, Denon, Marantz etc. have sold tuners (either in the past or currently) that pick up AM stereo in stereo.
Can anybody get any AM station on their 950 without static? If so, how do you do it?
Can anyone tell me if the 950 has a sleep timer on it?
The 950 does have a sleep timer.
I just tested AM on my 950 and you are correct. My R945 has much lower static but does have some along with the standard AM background noice but the 950 does have much more static. Ican pick up KYW 1060 (Phila) and listen to it with no problem in AM but it does have more static them my R945.
After emailing Outlaw about the popping issue with my 950, they promptly shipped me another one. It turns out upon further investigation that when I use the external trigger to power on and off my citation 7.1 amp, the popping is really loud with both the original and replacement 950. However, when I disconnect the remote trigger and then power the 950 off prior to powering off the amp, the noise is acceptably low. Note that this is not the sequence I normally do, but I did it to test the system. I normally turn the power amp off first and then the preamp and source. This eliminates the possibility of any noise from powering down. Evidently, the external trigger is not compatible with my amp. That's unfortunate, because that was a big selling point with the wife (she complains the system is too complicated). I told her we were getting the ease of a receiver but the performance of separates.
There is still a popping sound when switching between digital inputs to analog or analog bypass, but it is relatively low in level and doesn't really bother me.
I intend to test the original unit back in my 2 channel system, as it finally should be broken in by now, before I ship it back to Outlaw. But I find a previous poster's comments that the Outlaw is not as warm and musical as his Rotel [receiver?? or was it preamp??] interesting. I suppose it all depends on where you are coming from. In my 2 channel set up, my initial impression was that the Outlaw was not as revealing or accurate as a Classe CAP-150 integrated used as a preamp. The combination of the Classe and Pass Labs was very revealing, almost too revealing and the sound was a bit dry and clinical. The Outlaw, while letting the detail through, was not as revealing (probably a good thing for HT). I'll leave it at that for now for the Outlaw's sonics. Like I said I need another listening session in my 2 channel setup.
Auto-detect and the modes? I have both DTS and regular Redbook CD’s in my 300 disc changer and if I set the CD input to DTS when a regular CD plays it goes into PLII-C? I want regular CD's to play in plain 2-channel stereo and DTS CD's to playback in 5.1 DTS. How do I setup the 950 to do this? I read the manual and the section on “Input Setup and Selection” about a dozen times but still no luck?
I have a similiar problem as I use my DVD player as a CD transport. I just change the mode manually using the sound mode buttons on my remote if I don't like the auto detect selection.
So if you last left the CD in DTS mode, the auto detect will over ride when playing a CD and kick it out of the DTS mode. I don't know why it chooses DLII-C but if you turn off the auto detect, the last mode it was in should be the one it stays in.
Thanks Bob. Were is this Auto-detect? I read the whole manual and can not find it?
what you are searching for is in the manual, but to put it simply, hold the Dolby button on the remote for 5 seconds, an OSD will pop up then you will be able to lock that input to a specific surround mode and disabling the auto detect mode. This does not solve your problem though. Say you lock that input into DTS, this mode will stay locked in DTS so if the source material does not contain a DTS track, no sound will be heard from the 950. Here is what could be done in your particular case.
You could use a digital input for your DTS cd's (lock that input for DTS playback only)and use an analog input for the regular cd's(lock the input for stereo only). This will work. All you need is a set of good line level interconnects.