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Outlaw 950? Asleep the past 10 years (part 2) (1 Viewer)

Frank Chang

Nov 23, 2001
I feel like Rip Van Winkle, asleep for the past 10 years!

10 years ago I designed and built a SOTA (“state of the art”) HT from scratch, no walls and plenty of space. Lexicon CP-3 THX (upgraded to CP-3A) processor, Snell THX speakers(dipole sides) all custom built in including sides, mains, center, and 2 subs, 3 audiophile stereo amps with plenty of power to minimize distortion/clipping, at any listening levels. Barco data grade projector in a dedicated rear projection room. Pioneer elite laser disc, all formats of VCR’s including Hi-8, 2-SVHS, ED beta, Super Beta, new digital VCR, (I do some tape editing), DVD, and Satellite TV (all S connected)! Also audio sources minidisc, tape, tuner, CD, etc. The Lexicon piece is lacking in switching so 2 JVC switchers JX-S900 and JX-S700 are connected to Lexicon inputs. We have been very happy in our HT and I have not looked at any processing equipment in over 10 years other than some simple eprom upgrades to the Lexicon. The vendor who help me design the HT is out of business and all the sales people I knew in other stores must be selling cars, shoes, refrigerators or something else other than audio video equipment cause they are nowhere to be found. Anyway after reading the posts on this forum you guys are much more knowledgeable and obviously less biased than any sales person.

Looking at the current HT AVR’s (see part 1) I’m thinking I need to upgrade my component pre-amp / processor in my now not so SOTA HT. All the current AVR’s are quantum leaps ahead of my Lexicon processor (original THX, and Pro-logic I) in technology and switching. Should I get an AVR receiver for increased and updated I & O’s (optical, component, etc.) and and the newer processors for PL2, 6.1/7.1, DTS-ES, etc. I think I would use and enjoy pro-logic II quite a lot with my current viewing preferences. This room is not used for serious audio. I have a separate dedicated room (with no video) with a different set of audiophile components for serious music listening.

How about the phantom (I believe still not available) Outlaw pre/pro product, the 950? It looks like it will be a while before I can get my hands on one if the number of posts on this board are any indication! It should be better quality sound than the AVR’s of the same price. But how much better? I will be very interested to hear from you lucky HT fanatics who are already on the waiting list and won’t be able to wait til Xmas to open your new toys. I don’t think I can afford the newest Lexicon pre/pro right now with my two kids away in private colleges. Will the 950 be an up or downgrade from an old CP-3a? Would it be crazy to replace an old component Lexicon THX processor with one of the newer AVR’s used only as a pre-amp for the switching, connections (optical, component, etc.) and processing, keeping my existing speakers and component amps? There must be other pre/pro’s available that won’t max my credit cards.

What about my still very functional but dated dipole side THX speakers? I believe the original THX spec was the side dipoles were not full range (I have plenty of bass with 2 subs connected to stereo amps) but the highs may be lacking. My THX sides are custom built into the room, placed at the theoretical null point from the ideal listening position, and will be difficult to change or move. How well will they work with the newer 5.1 / 6.1 discrete AC3 Dolby digital decoding? In my HT room it will be difficult to incorporate newer rear channel speakers, cause its quite custom built, with custom cabinets, lighted glass display shelving, fireplace etc. Should the AVR or Pre/pro be THX certified to match my room and current equipment? Has the newer THX ultra 2 changed the specification and placement of the surrounds? Does anyone have experience using the old dipole THX speakers in a newer 5.1 or 6.1 system?

I would like answers to all the above questions and suggestions/opinions for which AVR would be best (don’t need amps) or current pre/pro that won’t max my credit card. Sorry for the long post and myriad of questions but I’ve been asleep for a long time! Thanks in advance for all you experienced HT experts who have keep up with the advancing technology. Please feel free to answer only the questions you have specific knowledge or experience with. Hopefully with all the knowledge and experience on this board, all the questions will be answered without kicking me off this board on my first day!

Rip Van Winkle]

Razvan V

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 28, 2000
The Outlaw 950 will hopefully be available in a few weeks. There's no waiting list yet. Most of us expect it to sound as good as a $2000+ processor. For more info on the unit go to www.outlawaudio.com there you can find pics of the unit and an excellent FAQ. The 950 sounds excellent on paper - its parts and especially its DAC's seem to be of the finest quality.
Nov 10, 2001
I'd be curious to know what the 'problems' would be with the 'sound' of the Outlaw 1050. Everything I can find says its capability to play MUSIC well is WAY UP on the scale. And that the decoding is right 'on spot.' Combined they knock the Tokyo-stuff off the shelf - as Japan rarely pays attention to what something SOUNDS like - only what lights it displays.

If one might go into exotic 'separates' (non-Tokyo), the sound CAN be good but you'll be paying big bucks - and as implied 'big bucks' doesn't guarantee any sound that 'small bucks spent wisely' won't produce (eg the WASTE of money on something with the Tag-McLaren brand - if I want a Formula 1 car I'll buy a CAR not an AMP)

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