Outlaw 950 Update To Be Posted 10/16

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug_B, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

    Feb 11, 2001
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    I received an email response from Scott at Outlaw today on the 950. They plan on posting an update by tomorrow afternoon that includes features, price, and beta test availability.
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
  2. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 28, 2000
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    Great! Let's hope that the unit will be available by Thanksgiving.
  3. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

    Feb 11, 2001
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    Yes, Thanksgiving sounds good to me, too. I am a bit concerned about the fact that beta testing apparently hasn't started. Must one be a beta tester to have a 950 in one's hands by turkey day (38 days away)?
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
  4. Matthew Anderson

    Matthew Anderson Second Unit

    Sep 24, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Matthew Anderson
    That is good to hear. I'm anxious to know the final specs and price. I know that the Outlaw family discount will help some also. I wonder how many actual beta testers will be given the chance to test the product?
  5. John Cain

    John Cain Second Unit

    Nov 19, 2000
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    Thx for posting this Doug, I look forward to the announcement..
    -- John
  6. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

    Aug 26, 2001
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    It's done been posted. I got an extensive E-mail from them today, and it's like WOW! Can they really do that for $900.00?
  7. Jah-Wren Ryel

    Jah-Wren Ryel Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 7, 2000
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    Ya wanna cut & paste it here? I couldn't find a link on their website.
  8. Jeff H

    Jeff H Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 8, 1999
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    here is the email:
    Dear Jeff,
    As is the case with many businesses, the Outlaws are scrambling to keep up
    with the dramatic changes occurring in the world since September 11th, and
    in particular the impact that those events have had on the national
    economy. In addition, there is the constantly changing pace of technology
    to deal with, not to mention the fact that the competition is doing
    anything but standing still. Despite all the turmoil and uncertainty we
    remain confident about the future.
    With that in mind, you may have noted a departure from our usual practice
    of all-inclusive "Newsletters" on a "kinda sorta monthly" basis. Rather
    than wait and group things together for longer tomes it seems more
    appropriate at this time to bring you the news when it happens in single
    topic updates. You should have received one recently to inform you that the
    ICBM is now available and shipping.
    This time around we have a significant amount of news about the Model 950
    that we felt could not wait until the end of the month. Thus, place your
    tray tables in the locked and upright position, stow your carry-on bags in
    the compartment above your seat and fasten your seat belt because we're
    almost ready for take off!
    Latest News From The Outlaws: Special Model 950 Edition
    We're very aware of the fact that the forthcoming Model 950 has been the
    subject of many hot discussions since we first announced it earlier this
    year. Some of you saw a very early sample at the HiFi Show in New York, and
    our most recent sample missed the Home Theater Forum gathering in LA by
    three days. At this point we can report that things are moving rapidly
    towards the completion of the project and our goal is to be able to deliver
    it to you by Thanksgiving.
    Before the naysayers have at it, we'll face the music up front with a
    caveat or two. Things DO look good for the late November delivery date, but
    it is always possible that problems with agency or licensing
    certifications, supplier problems, software code delays or other unforeseen
    issues might interfere. And, when it comes to the final testing, we will
    not ship the product until it sounds right and works the way we - and you -
    The bottom line: Can we absolutely, 100% guarantee a ship date? No. Will we
    do our absolute best to ship for Thanksgiving? You betcha! Will we slip the
    date if needed to make certain that the product is 100% perfect? Did you
    even need to ask?
    OK, you might (and will) ask, if they are that far along, where's the beta
    test? The answer is that at the end of this Newsletter you will find the
    instructions for sending in your beta test application. Although the
    hardware is mostly put to bed, our main interest is to exercise the unit's
    software through the beta so that any major issues can be resolved before
    shipment by changing the software. Sorry, that's all you get here. Read on
    and you'll get the details later.
    We've made mention of the unit's specs and features before, and we are
    finally able to take the wraps off some of the things we have kept to
    ourselves until now. In addition to answering many of the questions we've
    seen in the various Internet discussion groups, the following should
    provide answers to many of the individual questions addressed to us via
    To start, here some information announced today for the first time:
    -The Model 950 will be the first surround sound product to feature Cirrus's
    new "Triple Crossover" capability. Developed specifically for us by the
    software team at Cirrus (formerly Crystal Semiconductor) in conjunction
    with the Outlaw team, this will give you the ability to individually set
    the crossover point for the speakers in three groupings: Front Left/Right,
    Center, and Surround/Surround Back. Within each of these speaker groups you
    may choose a crossover point for the bass management at 40 Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz,
    100Hz, 120 Hz or 150Hz. This is one of the most requested features for the
    Model 950, and we are please to be among the very few products at ANY price
    that offer this type of bass management flexibility.
    -While the Triple Crossover takes care of sources that are routed through
    the digital decoding and processing, we are very aware of the need to
    provide bass management for the "5.1 Direct" input that will be used for
    external sources such as DVD-Audio or SACD. While it would have been nice
    to include the comprehensive bass management capabilities of the ICBM
    within the 950, the cost and complexity of doing that would not be possible
    within the pricing target set for the 950. However, in order to provide
    some way to control bass with direct inputs, we have included an 80Hz
    filter on the direct input. This covers most speaker systems a 950 user is
    likely to have. For those who require the more precise settings possible
    with the ICBM we will most likely offer a special package price for the 950
    and the ICBM.
    -Speaking of analog inputs, we realize that there are still many audio
    enthusiasts who have significant analog libraries. To accommodate high-end
    analog sources where you do not wish to have the signal run through the A/D
    - DSP -D/A path so that the analog input is never digitized, we are pleased
    to announce that all analog inputs may be chosen as a "bypass". In that
    mode all A/D and D/A conversion is bypassed, and the analog source goes
    straight through to the volume control. You can do this on not one input,
    not two inputs, but on EVERY L/R analog input. Again, we can't think of ANY
    product out there that does that.
    -Of course, for home theater applications, digital decoding and processing
    is essential, and the Model 950 will have it all. As previously announced,
    it will have the full suite of Dolby and DTS modes, including Dolby
    Digital, Dolby ProLogic II, DTS 5.1, DTS-ES Discrete and Matrix and DTS
    Neo:6. IN addition, we will be among the very first, if not THE first
    surround processors to offer Cirrus Extra Surround. This process will
    enable you to listen to ANY digital or analog input source in 5.1, 6.1
    (added center back surround) or 7.1 (decoded mono rear surround back
    channel, fed to two outputs, each at -3dB), depending on your speaker
    configuration. Extra Surround may be set to automatically switch to a
    surround mode that takes advantage of 6.1 encoding when a flag is present,
    or you may select it manually. We will have the absolute latest code for
    this exciting mode, and expect it to be the favorite for many listeners.
    The Model 950 will be the first component "separate" processor/tuner/preamp
    to offer Cirrus Extra Surround.
    -Elsewhere on the surround sound front, we will be among the very few
    processors to offer the COMPLETE range of adjustments for Dolby ProLogic
    II. You will not only be able to select from three DPL modes (Movies, Music
    and standard ProLogic), you will also be able to turn the Panorama on and
    off, but there are also separate settings for Dimension and Center Width so
    that you may adjust the mode tailoring specifically to your taste and the
    specific acoustics of your room and the influence of speaker placement. We
    asked our engineers to give us EVERY possible DPL adjustment, and they
    -The Model 950 is equipped with a complete separate multi-zone system. You
    may select a separate source for the second zone, and adjust the volume in
    the second zone through the use of an IR sensor in the zone. We've even
    provided a separate trigger jack that works in concert with the multizone
    system so you're your remote room amps will only turn on when they are
    -Yes, of course the remote has direct access to all input sources and easy
    selection of surround modes.
    -Other "neat stuff" includes a special equalization circuit for use with
    movie sound tracks, an easy to read two-line display for system messages,
    easy to understand on-screen menus, HDTV compatible component video
    switching, a removable power cord, and one or two more things we might fit
    in before shipment.
    -The unit is designed with the capability for software upgrades through
    replacement of an E-PROM chip. We have included that as a something that
    might, or might not be used in the future. No guarantee that there will be
    any upgrades, as we can't foresee the future. In addition, there are
    certain things on the horizon that would require a basic architecture
    change and a replacement of the main DSP processor. When you get to that
    point, the upgrade is more than can be accommodated through software only
    -At this point we do not have final pricing or information about the
    "family discounts". However, we are committed to an introductory price of
    $899 that we expect to maintain for at least the first three months of
    availability. Pricing beyond that point is subject to change without
    -The Model 950 will be available with a 230-volt power supply for worldwide
    use. All units will have the ability to display the on-screen menus in
    either NTSC or PAL video formats. However, the 230-volt model may not be
    available until late December.
    Beyond this new information, the basics remain as previously announced:
    -Seven A/V inputs, all with S-Video
    -Dedicated "audio only" inputs for CD and Tape
    -Four optical inputs and two coaxial inputs for digital sources
    -Coaxial and optical digital outputs
    -An FM Stereo/FM/AM tuner with 30 presets
    -Discrete Power On/Power Off Controls for ease of use with programmable
    remote controls or in complex integrated theater systems.
    There are some things we can't release at this point, and those are the
    system specs. As you read this the final spin on the unit's motherboard is
    being made on the pilot manufacturing line. The specs for the alpha units
    were well beyond our expectations, and are comparable to units double the
    950's price. We fully expect that the boards now being made for the beta
    units will be even better, so we'll wait for that before releasing things
    such as S/N, channel separation and so forth.
    Oops, did we mention the BETA TEST?
    OK, at this point we've probably tempted you enough, so here are the ground
    rules and the instructions for putting in your application:
    1. To apply for the beta test, please send an e-mail with the following
    information to the following address: [email protected] Note that
    any applications sent to any other address will be rejected and the
    submitting e-mail address will be disqualified from consideration for a
    place in the test. This is essential to avoid clogging our sales and
    service desks with mail connected to the beta test.
    -Your name, physical address, daytime phone, evening phone and e-mail
    -The following information about your audio system:
    Brand/model of speakers at all positions
    The brand and model of your power amplifier(s)
    -The following information about your video display system:
    Type of display: Front projector, rear projector, direct view CRT
    set or plasma display
    Is the display analog or "digital ready"?
    -The following information about your source equipment:
    We presume everyone applying has a DVD player, but let us know
    if you have a unit with DVD-A or SACD capability
    Let us know if the DVD player has progressive scan outputs
    Are you using any "analog only" sources such as a phono preamp
    or tape?
    Do you use cable, satellite or off-air for television reception?
    If digital cable or satellite, is the audio connection analog or
    Do you have an HDTV set-top?
    2. All applications must be received by us no later than 7AM Eastern
    Standard Time on Monday, October 29, 2001.
    3. We will select five test participants and notify them by phone and/or
    e-mail during the week of the 29th.
    5. For those accepted a testers, you will be required to install the unit,
    use it with a variety of sources, and provide us with written reports on
    certain key aspects of the product. We may ask you to test specific aspects
    of the unit's performance, and we'd like to be able to talk to you at night
    to discuss and problems you encounter. If that will cause problems for you
    with other family members, please keep that in mind before sending in an
    application. We may also ask you to open the unit and replace the software
    e-prom, so some minor mechanical and technical ability is helpful. Brain
    surgery or rocket science not required, but nimble fingers will be helpful.
    6. Participation in the beta test will require that you sign an agreement
    acknowledging the basic conditions. Foremost among those is a
    confidentiality clause that will bind you to keep your participation in the
    test and the results you encounter during the test confidential during the
    test period. Of course, you will be free to discuss your experiences after
    the test is over and we release you from the confidentiality clause.
    However, any public discussion of the test DURING THE TEST PHASE will
    result in your immediate dismissal from the test and possible legal action.
    We're REALLY serious about this.
    7. As a token of our appreciation for your help, all participants will be
    offered the opportunity to purchase their unit at the conclusion of the
    test for 50% of the "family" price. If you do not wish to purchase the
    unit, we'll pay the freight for you to return it to us.
    8. This is NOT a contest, and we reserve the right to change the conditions
    of the test to accommodate our needs and requirements, given advance notice
    to the testers.
    It looks as though we've said enough for now, so take some time to review
    the information above, and send in your beta application if you are
    interested. We expect to have the next edition of our regular Newsletter to
    you in early November, and at that time we'll provide updates on our other
    product plans. However, before we leave, a few brief, final notes:
    -The first shipments of our analog and digital interconnect cables are
    scheduled to be loaded on a 747 this week. We'll send out a notice to you
    when they are in stock and available for shipment.
    -Work continues on schedule for the Model 770 Amplifier. More news in
    -The ICBM is not in stock for immediate shipment. Look for David Ranada's
    review in the current issue of Sound & Vision.
    -The Model 750 and Model 1050 continue to be available in stock as the best
    values in home theater audio today.
    That's all for now. Don't forget to leave the home theater room
    occasionally to enjoy the fall foliage!
    Best wishes from the Outlaws!
  9. John Cain

    John Cain Second Unit

    Nov 19, 2000
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    Thanks Jeff..
    -- John
  10. Jah-Wren Ryel

    Jah-Wren Ryel Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 7, 2000
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    FWIW, here is my best guess as to the DSP the Outlaws are using in the 950 - CS4932X, I was actually looking this stuff up before reading this thread, what they said about Crystal/Cirrus just made me think it might be worth posting:
  11. Todd Schnell

    Todd Schnell Second Unit

    May 21, 2001
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    Thanks for posting the info here Jeff.
    I'm on the Outlaw mailing list, but have not received this info yet.
    This piece sounds extremely promising, & seems to be a real bargain features wise.
    Its loaded!
    I hope (and expect) it will deliver audio quality wise.
    Exciting news indeed.
  12. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Jan 6, 2001
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    [​IMG] holy crap! the 990 sounds unbelieveably incredible! Who else is gonna buy this thing?!
    [Edited last by Chuck C on October 15, 2001 at 10:20 PM]
  13. Will

    Will Guest

    It seems like it's the ONE AND ONLY pre/pro with DPL II
    available anytime this year for less than $1500. At
    least I HOPE it's available this year. [​IMG] Unfortunately
    nobody seems to know exactly when it will be out. Hopefully
    it'll be out by Thanksgiving.
  14. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Jan 20, 2001
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    I just hope that it does audio well. I would really like to have this piece. I love the crossovers for each set of speakers as well.
    What if it gets no better than this!?!
  15. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

    Oct 13, 1998
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    Lookin' good! I will start saving for it. If the beta units fair well, I'll be interested in reading the testers' comments at test conclusion. The individual speaker set crossovers are a great feature. C'mon Outlaws!
    "Do you expect me to talk?"
    "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
  16. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

    Jan 25, 2000
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    Luckily I don't see anything in there about beta testers of the Model 1050 not being eligable. So, my application is on it's way! [​IMG]
    home: [email protected] ... office: [email protected]
    no home page yet, so ...
    Entertainment Center ---==*==--- DVD Collection
  17. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

    Dec 18, 2000
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    "I gotta get me one of these!" [​IMG]
  18. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 30, 2001
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    I'm concerned about the analog audio quality of this unit too. Sounds like it will be a nice bang for the buck processor, and it does have an analog bypass, that bypasses the digital sections, but I'm a little concerned about what it doesn't bypass, like switches and the volume control. I'm guessing, but don't most AV processors use digital vol controls, or encoders? Do any of them use high quality analog potentiometers like Alps, Penney and Giles, ? And, while I'm at it, does bypass usually mean passive or that there is a still a gain stage in the circuit? B&K for one, has not provided me with satisfactory answers to these questons regarding either their older AVP series or the Ref 30.
  19. Rich G

    Rich G Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 22, 2000
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    Art, you have some very interesting questions and I hope you find the answers as I am concerned with these also. You may want to go to the outlaw forum at their site and post the question there for a direct response.
    Good luck,
    Rich G.
  20. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

    Jan 20, 2001
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    To Art and Rich. I have spoken to Scott at Outlaw about the Volume Pot of the Outlaw 950 and this was his response:
    "Thanks for contacting the Outlaws!
    Analog reproduction was an important design consideration for the Model
    950. When the bypass mode is selected, the signal remains in the analog
    domain all the way to the volume control. For this, the Model 950 uses a
    precision VCA design. This allows the 950 to deliver a signal with
    extremely low distortion and high signal-to-noise ratio."
    Any Feedback on this statement?
    What if it gets no better than this!?!

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