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Outlaw 950, take three... (1 Viewer)

Jed M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
2,029
It appears to be shipping again. Here is part of the email I received today.

Dear Fellow Outlaw,

We are pleased to announce that work has been completed on the hiss issue that you reported as occurring on your unit. As one of the first customers for the Model 950 we appreciate your loyalty, and we are sending you this message before we release this news to our general mailing list. We realize that it has taken more time than we anticipated to solve the problem, so we wanted you to be the first to know. We appreciate your patience and support during the past few months and we are confident the resolution of this issue will add to your enjoyment of your Model 950.

That said, here are the details and procedures for replacing your existing Model 950 with an updated unit:

Our plan is to send you a unit that has all the modifications related to the performance improvement. To keep things straight, be advised that the unit you will receive is rebuilt to the latest factory specifications and carefully inspected to assure that it is in "like new" condition, but it will probably not be a brand new unit. Our reason for doing this is to speed the replacement to you as quickly as possible so that you are not without a processor at any time. However, for those who wish to have their specific unit rebuilt, we will be pleased to accommodate those requests. And, as previously promised, we will pay the freight both ways no matter which option you choose.

As evidence of our confidence in these units, we are re-starting your five-year parts and labor warranty so that it starts on the date we ship the replacement, not the date for the original unit.

In terms of timing, we have already built up a pool of units that is sufficient to cover the needs of everyone who has requested a replacement due to the hiss issue. Thus, with accommodations for the Labor Day holiday, we will begin shipments during the first week of September. To initiate the process, please follow these steps:
...


We hope this information addresses all of the procedural issues, but in scanning the Saloon, we realize that some of you will have additional questions. So at the risk of making this message a bit longer than we had planned, here's a bit of a "mini-FAQ" on the Model 950 as of this moment:

Q. Is the hiss issue fixed, and what is the status of shipments?
A. Yes, the hiss issue has been solved. As you read this we are preparing to send replacement units to those who have registered with us that their 950 is one of those impacted by the problem. It should take no more than two weeks to replace those units. Once that project is complete we will immediately begin contacting those on the reservation list and begin shipping to those customers upon receipt of billing information. However, due to what is still an extensive waiting list it will take a few weeks to fill all the reservations. Our commitment to assist existing owners before re-starting shipments for new sales still stands.

Q. What was caused the problem?
A. The problem was caused by the stack-up of a number minor items. None of them would cause the problem by itself, and when you combine that with the many variables in your individual systems, you have something that was 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 externally.

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 the circuit flow was adjusted 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. All replacement units will have a slightly larger serial number label than the original unit. The serial number will start with an "01" and there will be a red dot on the label. This is your indication that the unit has been rebuilt to the latest specifications.

Q. What will happen to the unit I send back?
A. We will re-build those units to current specifications 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, and given the relatively small number of units involved, we need them for other purposes and have no plans to offer them as "B" stock.
OK, we'll sneak in two questions that do NOT involve the Model 950:

Q. What's the story on the Model 7100?
A. It is on schedule and barring unforeseen circumstances it will ship this fall. More details on the Model 7100, including the power specs will be available in our next Update newsletter.

Q. How are the Outlaws doing?
A. All things considered, just fine, thanks! Sure, we'd rather not have had to put everyone, including ourselves, through all the hassles the initial shipments have caused. However, we are confident that all of this will end up bringing you a better unit that remains the best value in home theater. Our company remains strong, and we have many exciting plans for the next twelve months that will continue to surprise the competition and please our customers!

Thanks again for hanging in there with us!
Regards,

The Outlaws
 

TomH

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 13, 2001
Messages
267
"To keep things straight, be advised that the unit you will receive is rebuilt to the latest factory specifications and carefully inspected to assure that it is in "like new" condition, but it will probably not be a brand new unit"

So after all our patience with Outlaw and the 950 we end up with a "refurb".

I will ask Outlaw to:

1. Ship me a new unit from the redesigned production line.
or
2. Issue an RMA and a refund. I will then order a new 950
or a Rotel.

Tom
 

Claude M

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Messages
239
Next we need to hear from the folks which had the hiss problem. Once they say it's fixed then the 950 will be back on the short list.
 

Bruce Cadotte

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Messages
98
this is the e-mail i justed sent to outlaw
"hello,i just checked my 950 for hiss again with my sound meter because i did not know that you should check the analog inputs also which i did(all of them and the 5.1 input also) thanks to recent posts(only checked digital inputs before)anyways on the analog inputs it tested right next to the speaker(not rubbing against) up to 71db's and down to 55db's from the seating place and this is turned all the way up on the pre-amp using the 755 amp with no source playing of course,now when i switch to a digital input no hiss at all unless i put my ear or meter rubbing against the speaker,please contact me about what to do"


now i do not not want a refurbished unit,i paid for a new unit that should of made the specs that was published for the unit(S/N ratio).
 

GordonL

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 14, 2000
Messages
771
Technically, is it a "refurb" when the units were never previously shipped out? You're not getting something that was actually in someone else's greasy hands so is that a big deal?

anyone who is considering paying anywhere from $500-$3000 for a pre/pro, IMHO, should add it to their short list
Heh, anyone who is looking to pay up to $3000 is looking for something that the Outlaw doesn't offer. Being the cheapskates that we are, $3000 will get you a processor with an MSRP of $3500 to $4500 - Anthem, Bryston, Aragon, Sunfire, Lexicon, et al.
 

RichardMA

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
446
It's clear Outlaw cannot afford to scrap all the processors
that need correcting. The fact they got into the market
means they will absorb a huge hit for recalls, repairs,
and the time it took to figure out the problem.
I think they are far more honest and upfront about what's
happened and the solution than ANY Japanese company would
be and those Japanese companies like automobile makers
CAN afford to recall product in large numbers.
Personally, as long as the warranty is in place, and the
units had no cosmetic or other defects, I wouldn't care
if the unit was a "fixed" one that they replaced mine
with. But then I can't stand hiss.
 

DaveHo

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
605
It's clear Outlaw cannot afford to scrap all the processors that need correcting.
Yes they can. It's called B stock goods. The refurbs should be offered for 15-20% below list. That would be the fairest way of unloading them. Sticking your patient, loyal customers with a refurb is ridiculous. I'm amazed these fools are still in business.

-Dave
 

Harris_M

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 31, 2002
Messages
7
There seem to be a number of folks who are upset with the Outlaws over the rpelacement of their 950. Did these people not see the option to have their OWN unit re-built? In any other case, including the Rotel and other units that seem to be nominated here for sainthood, you send your unit back for repair and you get it returned. The Outlaws have offered to do that, so what's the problem?

If a product needs to be fixed, the normal course of events is to take it back and well, get it fixed! Am I missing something here?
 

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
6,500


Am I misunderstanding? It sounds like they are simply correcting units which are faulty and making them available. These units have never been shipped, never been sold, never been returned- these are fresh models which were placed back on the line and minor adjustments made to correct an error. And these units are not being sold as new, but rather being made available as replacement units for those people returning their for repair-- basically a fixed replacement rather than waiting for their actual unit to be repaired.

If this is the case, I'm curious where people draw the line as "refurb". If they run a production run, only to find 50% were built with an improper chip in place. They place them immediately back on the assembly line and make the correction- are these refurbed? If the item never left their stock, and was never sold- I'm curious as to at what point you consider an item that requires a change to be refurbished.

When the initial Denon 3300 fan problem happened- Denon not only corrected the problem at the assembly stage, but stopped production and refitted thousands of "completed" 3300s in the warehouse with corrected parts. These items were packaged and sold as new, because they were new. You don't honestly believe that these should have been consider B-stock.

-Vince
 

Mary M S

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
1,544
Outlaw has had the usual compliment of 'to market and back' woes I see scattered around the web. But I agree with Harris M. I was not expecting and pleasantly surprised to read.
1.) Restarted clock on warranty and
2.) Allowing customers more than one option regarding method of replacing a unit.
I felt this was top-notch customer service.
I’ve seen sometimes bitter posts detailing lengthy turnarounds to factories for fixes and/or upgrades on other badges. At my business, offering a client more ‘choice’ always creates greater logistical headaches. I thought it was quite innovative of Outlaw to come up with an alternative route to offer, cutting further downtime aggressively.
 

Chu Gai

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
7,270
For those owners who do not have a hiss problem, what is Outlaw's or for that matter your position on these units? Should Outlaw also modify those, or do you intend on asking Outlaw to 'correct' your units?
 

Bill Polley

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Messages
252
If the "fools" are being "ridiculous" because they are "sticking their patient, loyal customers with a refurbished product", then maybe you were a fool for holding on to your unit when you had a 30 day money-back warranty. If your unit was so bad, you should have returned it right away. Then you could have bought a Rotel or Anthem, or even waited and bought an updated 950 if the new ones reviewed better. The Outlaws are offering an incredibly generous deal. They are taking care of all current owners first, and allowing them the option of trying a refurb side by side in their own home, or returning their current unit for updating. Yet someone whines???
 

Gregg Loewen

Founder, Professional Video Alliance
Insider
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 9, 1999
Messages
6,458
Location
New England
Real Name
Gregg Loewen
hi guys. Im with Bill on this one.

I have had mine in my rack for quite a few months now and am extremely happy with its performance. Its not leaving any time soon.

I am glad Outlaw Audio is back in the ball game.

Regards

Gregg
 

Lewis Besze

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 28, 1999
Messages
3,134
I'm one of those who's waiting on the replacement unit.
The corrected version is just fine with me,as a matter a fact,I'll will only swap the main unit,the remote and manual will go back untouched. Provided that they fixed the problem.:)
 

Legairre

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 4, 2000
Messages
815
Our plan is to send you a unit that has all the modifications related to the performance improvement. To keep things straight, be advised that the unit you will receive is rebuilt to the latest factory specifications and carefully inspected to assure that it is in "like new" condition, but it will probably not be a brand new unit.
The above statement from Outlaw says it all. It's "rebuilt" an in "like new" condition. I know if I was shopping for a new car and the dealer said he had one with a rebuilt engine at the same price as the ones with factory fresh engines I'd say take a hike. Just my 2 cents. After waiting more than a year people can receive "rebuilt" units. This is a joke right?
 

Bill Polley

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Messages
252
Why is it a joke? You are not buying a rebuilt unit. People with existing units who wish may either have theirs updated or can try a refurbished in their own home side by side with their current unit. Find a car dealer that will offer that. How can you gripe about service like this??? Did Rotel give all owners brand new units when they had a hiss problem? How about Sony? I am on the waiting list for a 950 and am fairly pissed at the wait I was subjected to. I have looked at other products but kept deciding to wait "1 more week". This solution is very fair and has been enough to sway me to wait these last couple (I hope!) weeks.
 

David S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 2, 1999
Messages
166
here here Bill. Amazing how even the Rotel owners (those who have zero interest in this product) seem so offended/or involved in a decision that most of the "Outlaws" are happy with. Yea waiting for everyone waitin sucks, but the Outlaws are more than coming thru here.
For some more humor read the posts at the Outlae sight. One poster basically thinks Outlaw should replace your unit for as long as you own it. Seems to think if a year from now you, for example change your speakers or amp, and "suddenly" you experience "hiss", your 950's at fault, and should be replaced.
Some will never forgive or let up, my advice is buy the Rotel and get on with some "happy" listenin:D
 

TomH

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 13, 2001
Messages
267
I have been using the 950 for several months. Even with the minor hiss I am extremely pleased with the unit. If they can really solve the problem it will be even better.
Customer service has been outstanding. I do not believe that you will find anything close from the mass market Japanese companies.
Outlaw has offered a refund any time before the unit is fixed and an additional 30 day trial on the new unit.

"The problem was caused by the stack-up of a number minor items."

There really is a difference between electronics that have received a series of manual revisions, design changes and repairs when compared to final production units.

I am sure that Outlaw will have no objection to providing factory new unit to those who are willing to wait.

The Rotel has problems of its own and is more expensive but they continue to issue upgrades.

Tom
 

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