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Outlaw 950: review and discussions. (1 Viewer)

dave alan

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
256
"...trying to point out that the 950 isn't the best thing since sliced bread." you forgot to add, "in my opinion".

in my opinion, the IS the best thing since sliced bread...that's why i own one. also my opinion, of all the head units of any kind i've listened to over the years, sony and yamaha, though they seem well built and certainly have a big audience, are the thinnest, lowest quality sound producers. maybe i have a tin ear...maybe those who own them grow accustomed to them after adjusting their systems to them...i don't know...the point is, it is simply my opinion and so, not really worth much. certainly, at least, i wouldn't express my thoughts on the subject as though i'm pointing out a fact.

next up the ladder (again, in my opinion), are the denon, onkyo, marantz, h/k receivers. all good companies providing products for a specifically targeted demographic.

i think, that if you have an entry level system of player, speakers and amplifiers, you will not notice "as much a difference as you expected" simply by replacing your old receiver with the 950. it's not a magic box. it should be coupled with an entire system equal to it's abilities to assess it properly.

think of it this way. when has anyone visited a high-end shop to listen to a krell, lexicon, integra research, etc. that was connected to bookshelf speakers, a 100 watt sub, a dvd player from 4 years ago that doesn't pass dts signal and a hodge-podge of mismatched amps or 75 wpc multi amp?
and you never will. the opposite will be true and those prepros will be demoed through the best equipment the store has to offer...rightly so.

take your 950 to such a shop, if you really want to know how it performs, and play it with the same set up that the krell controls. every format. i'm not saying the 950 will be "better", or win some sort of prize, i'm only saying it's smart...and, the only way to truly be critical.

if you are looking for the 950 to improve the rest of your system, it won't. it will do the opposite. it will accent it's weaknesses. if you read the posts of those who are happy with the 950, you'll notice that generally, they have above average systems. conversely, generally, those who complain have much less to work with.

i'm quite proud of the fact that i'm a schooled musician who has played professionally for 36 years (my first session gig in a studio was at 13 yrs. old, so i'm not THAT old yet). i've had the pleasure of hearing every conceivable playback system in every conceivable environment. manley, apogee, etc. adc/dac's that cost 9,000 for 2 channels. the krells dac's pale in comparison. i wouldn't ever buy a krell thinking it should convert on a par with apogee's best.

my ears are not tin. i did compare. the 950 is an excellent product. the better your entire system, the more it is evident. this is my not so humble opinion. if i omitted your pet piece of equipment, if i offended anyone and if seem anything other than a person who did his homework and is defending that fact, i ever so humbly apologize.
 

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2000
Messages
5,726
Anyone who wants to come and visit, and I'll let you hear the hiss.
Go to the Outlaw site. Even with the new units, there have been enough complaints about the hiss, that it must be real.
I would guess that those experiencing hiss issues are either using under powered amps or in-efficient speakers causing the pre-amp to be played at an unusually high gain.
The hiss is worst on the most efficient (most sensitive) speaker I have, my rear center. And, just to give you another data point, when I calibrate my system, most of the speakers are either 0 dB or minus a couple dB. I have to set my rear center at -9 dB.
I have TWO Acurus A200x3 amps. That's 200 W per channel for all 6 channels. The A200x3's predessor, the 200x3, was tested by Audio magazine a while ago. They got 350 W into 8 ohms, and 550w into 4 ohms per channel. If that ain't enough power for you, I don't know what is.
I'm also running the 950 and my amps through an Equi=Tech 2Q (that's 20A capable, folks) balanced power unit, and a 20A circuit in my family room. So it isn't dirty power either. (And, the hiss doesn't change with or without balanced power anyway.)
In my opinion, for anyone that does think the 950 is the greatest thing since sliced bread, I would have to wonder what your frame of reference is.
The 950 hiss is worse than the Sony TA-E900ES I have now. The 950's ergonomics are worse than the Sony too. And I don't even like Sony! :)
I had a Yamaha receiver before that. The 950's hiss is worse. And then even prior to that, pure analog pre amps like Nakamichi and Adcom, the 950 is worse than.
And here's another ergonomic miss: I use a switched outlet to power on the 950. But the 950 powers on in Standby, even though if the 950 is ON when I turn off the switched outlet. So the way that the 950 powers up defeats the whole purpose of "sequential" turn-on. (Sources 1st, then amps last.) If the Sony is in Standby when powered off, it powers back up in Standby. But if it is ON when powered off, it powers back up fully ON.
 

Bob Saylor

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 8, 1999
Messages
92
Kevin,

If you had hiss with the Sony too, you may be getting it from somewhere besides in the processing. Just guessing here but it seems logical.
 

Bob Saylor

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 8, 1999
Messages
92
Kevin,

If you had hiss with the Sony too, you may be getting it from somewhere besides in the processing. Just guessing here but it seems logical. You mention having at least some hiss with everything you used. I'd be looking elswhere if I were you.
 

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2000
Messages
5,726
To hear the hiss with the Sony, I have to put my ears right up against the tweeters.
For the Outlaw, at my listening position, I can hear the hiss out of the rear center speaker, 4 ft back, simply if I turn my ear towards it.
Normal listening volume.
 

Bill Polley

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Messages
252
Kevin, I had no hiss unless I turned the 950 to +10 and listened within about 6 inches of the speaker. This was with my Parasound amp and amp gains set to max. The Parasound had a blown center channel, (which I didn't know because I only used it for 2 channel before I got the 950) and while it is being fixed I was given a new Yamaha receiver to use as a loaner. It is a late model, because it has DPL-II, but it is a something 570 or 575 model # (it escapes me). I have the Yamaha set to "6 channel direct" so as to pass on the 950 and use the Yamaha as a power amp. With the Yamaha in the system, hiss was nearly unbearable at about 8 feet away when I had the Yamaha volume at -10 and the 950 volume at -10. I lowered the Yamaha volume to -30 and could listen at the same comfortable level with the 950 volume at 00, and the hiss was lessened dramatically. What I am saying is maybe the gain on the amps is too much, or your amps do not match well electrically with the 950. The difference between the Parasound hiss and the Yamaha was huge, but adjusting the Yamaha gain downward really helped.
 

Bill Polley

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Messages
252
By the way, for me the remote does what it should, and although I live about 40 miles from the nearest metro area, the tuner works well. It is clear and detailed, and picks up stations cleanly as far away as Madison, WI (100+ miles southwest) and Rhinelander, WI. (130 miles north). This is better than my NAD classic could do, and the sound on well-broadcasted stations is very good. Living where I do, I cannot comment on multipath rejection or selectivity because it really doesn't come into play here too much.
 

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2000
Messages
5,726
Not every 950 hisses in every system. But mine does.

(The Yamaha receiver I had was the RX-V793, older, but a higher line than the 5xx series.)

I forgot to add: when I turn the 950 off, the hiss goes away. With the power amps on.

Bill- Make sure of this: it's OK to check for hiss when you 1st turn the 950 on, but you won't hear any. You have to check again after you've played something. There's a mute circuit that's active until the 1st source is selected with content.

Another ergonomic miss: Took me a while to figure this one out. Why doesn't the Power button turn on the 950?

I'm not trashing the 950. I'm probably going to keep mine. But perfect? Not even close, in my opinion. But for $899? It's an OK deal.
 

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
39,666
I have a problem with the 6-channel input mode:

In the 6-channel mode, I only get passthrough for the front left and right channels, and the subwoofer channel.

I get absolutely no output/passthrough from the center channel, nor the 2 rear channels (I've turned off the rear surround channels).

The reason I know I'm getting no passthrough is because I took my center channel output from the DVD player and plugged it into the front left input and got sound out of the front left speaker. Plug the same center channel output into the 950's center channel input and I get no sound at all. The same is true with the surround channels.

So, do I have a problem unit, or is there a system option I need to turn on?

FYI: In other modes, like DPL, or DPL II, I do get center channel output, so I think there's a problem with my 6-channel inputs on the 950 I have.
 

Bill Polley

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Messages
252
Kevin, the faint hiss in my system was always after listening to a source. I checked it this way because others had said that the hiss only began after changing sources. Mine is very quiet at all times with the Parasound, but no so with the Yamaha. To turn on the 950, just press any of the 8 source buttons. This will fire up the 950, turn on anything hooked to the main trigger, and switch to the source selected. There is no need to press power first. Is there any time when you would want to turn on the 950, a triggered amp, and nothing else? If so, just press the AUD button.

Also, when using your DVD as a CD player, simply set the CD source the same as you did your DVD (so that the digital input is the same and pressing either source allows the remote to control the DVD player). Then set the CD source to STEREO in the input config menu. When you press the CD source button the DVD player will be controlled, but the sound will be PCM stereo.
 

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2000
Messages
5,726
Bill- When I see the "Power" button on the remote for a piece of eqp, I shouldn't have to read the manual to figure out why it doesn't power up said component. :)
 

dave alan

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
256
hiss and remote, hiss and remote, hiss and remote.
i finally did the ear to the tweeter "test". my spkrs are rated @ 92db sensitivity. with ear pointed directly at the tweeter i hear hiss @ 30" (of course, that's with no source playing, the refrigerator and computer unplugged, the windows shut tightly and duct tape over my dog's snout.

my remote came imprinted with alien symbols copied off the wreckage from roswell, but it still only took 1 day to remember which button to push to select the desired function of my preamp.

anyone out there enjoying SACD as much as i am? so far, my favs are: james taylor, "hourglass", "celebrating the music of weather report" (many great musicians) and spyro gyra "in modern times". all are multi-channel mixes. MAN, it sounds GOOD!

i would like to try some classical sacd discs. does anyone have recommendation(s)? any other sacd discs someone would recommend, i would appreciate hearing about them.
 

Jed M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
2,029
I actually prefer the discrete nature of the power button, but to each his own. If you ever get a third party remote it may come in handy. I hate toggle power buttons when trying to program a macro. :angry:
 

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
39,666
Okay, for some reason, I had the 6-channel input on last night with the problem, but I tried it again today, and that did the trick for me, but I must say, I'm a bit disappointed that you can't cycle the source buttons on the face of the 950 to get to the 6-channel analog input. If you have a broken remote control, there's no way of gaining access to the 6-channel analog input.
 

Lewis Besze

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 28, 1999
Messages
3,134
I would guess that those experiencing hiss issues are either using under powered amps or in-efficient speakers causing the pre-amp to be played at an unusually high gain
Actualy lower sensetivity would be helpful in this case,as the "hiss" doesn't increases with the volume setting,with the new "corrected" version.
The old one behaved differently.
Just for the record,My "new" unit has a bit higher noise floor,with digital inputs,then the old:frowning: ,but the analog inputs are much quieter,and as I said the volume setting has no bearring on the noise level.I also noticed the lower gain levels as I had to recalibrate my rig.
I'll keep it till I get something better.
 

Rich Strauss

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 8, 2001
Messages
56
Patrick,

Regarding your problem with the 6ch input mode:

I had the exact same problem with my new 950 & it nearly drove me crazy until I figured out what was going on. The 6ch input mode has the same BUG as the speaker level calibration! If the pre-pro is in stereo when you switch to 6 ch, you only get the front 2 channels & the subwoofer. If the pre-pro is in a multi-channel mode, e. g., Dolby D when you switch to 6 ch, then you get all six channels. This work-around is pretty easy, but I am dismayed that this was not caught during testing of the new fixed units.

Rich
 

Mike Knapp

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 4, 1997
Messages
644
Real Name
Mike
Im not sure why that would be seen as a bug. If you want to use the 6 channel input as a "bypass" for 2 channel SACD then it not switching to 6 channel mode automatically would be a good thing.

Either way, the source(6 channel direct) being selected is producing sound in the mode (stereo) that was previously selected. That makes perfect sense to me. If it changed modes, there would be complaints about that. This is absolutely logical, it may not suit everyones needs, but it is the ONLY way it should be done.

Mike
 

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
39,666
Maybe my expectations are different: When I select the 6-channel analog button on the remote control, I want all 6 analog channels to be bypassed/sent to the outputs going to the amps.
It should not matter if I was previously in the 2-channel analog bypass mode (of any of the various analog sources) before I switched to the 6-channel analog mode.
Since I don't have SACD (2-channel/6-channel), perhaps it's a problem of pre/pros that can't be all things to all people. Nonetheless, there should not be a "memory" effect/problem of going from 2-channel direct to 6-channel direct because the inputs are totally different as you select from any of the available 2-channel analog inputs and the only 6-channel analog input.
This, to me, is a flaw. But to others, it appears to be a feature. :D
 

Larry B

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Messages
1,067
Mary:
Very interesting post, but I do take exception with one point you made:
Some of the latest offerings in all or partially digital amps which are succeeding in sonically resolving some of the demons which plague tube and solid state technology.
And instead replacing them with an analytical sound, devoid of emotion and musicality.
Keep in mind that music is, by its very nature, analogue.
Larry
Edit: Admins, please feel free to remove this post if it doesn't fit in with the intended flow of the thread. I won't be offended.
 

David Sim

Agent
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
42
I got the 950/770 package from Outlaw a few days ago and I can't stop smiling every time I listen to it.
I tried to find a hiss but cannot. I read through the posts here and duplicated all of the things that people said made the hiss appear but no hiss.
I put my ear right up to the tweeter and heard virtual silence each time.
Does anybody have the hiss problem with the 950/770 combo?
If not, maybe people should start looking at their amps.
Sometimes I wish stuff like this was never posted.
I bought a toshiba rptv and never even paid attention to the hiss until I read about it here. Now it annoys the hell out of me. :)
I'm glad that I didn't find a hiss on my Outlaw setup.
I'm extremely happy with my purchase.
 

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