Outlaw 950 w\Camelot vs. Anthem Avm20

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Mess, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. Scott Mess

    Scott Mess Auditioning

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    I currently own an Outlaw 950, and came across a great deal on a Camelot Roundtable DVD player which I also use as my CD player. I am using Coax for my DVD audio, and Analog for CD (utilizing Analog Bypass). The sound of this combination is great, but I have been considering selling the Camelot, and using the money to buy an Anthem AVM20 to replace the Outlaw 950. I would then use the money from the sale of the 950 to purchase an Arcam CD player and perhaps a Denon DVD player, or maybe just picking up the Arcam DV88, and using that as the DVD/CD player.

    The main question I have is, if I am running the CD player through straight analog, bypassing the internal DAC's of the Preamp, and utilizing the DAC's of the Camelot, would the sound quality be any different by going to the Anthem, or would I just be getting more features?

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
  2. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Hi Scott,
    I'm curious... Do you have reason to believe that the Anthem will provide you with $2000.00 better performance? What useable features does the Anthem have that the 950 doesn't? Those are the questions I asked, and being objective, I could see no reason to spend over triple the money on the Anthem.
     
  3. Scott Mess

    Scott Mess Auditioning

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    Russ,

    That is exactly what has crossed my mind, but I figured that I would pose the question to the collective wizdom of the forum.

    I still wonder however, does the Analog circuitry make a big difference between the two processors if I am utilizing the DAC's in the Roundtable.
     
  4. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    I think that the analog circuitry is the only real difference these days between affordable and high end components.
    The fact that Outlaw just can't eliminate the hiss issue completly[I don't know if you have that problem,I'm on my second 950],is a "sighn"that the Anthem is designed and executed better.Having said that,sounding "better" is subjective,so you're the only one who can determine that for yourself.I would expect to sound "better",but not by much, as usually my experince with electronic components.
     
  5. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Scott,
    Have you tried using the DAC in the 950 to see how it compares to the one in the Camelot? The 950's DAC is pretty good. I don't know what DAC the Camelot uses or if it is their own proprietary one.
     
  6. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Russ,

    Maybe he values sound quality, usability and upgradability. Do you not read what's going on over in the Outlaw forums? This box is broken, my friend. The noise floor isn't even close to spec and doesn't look like it ever will be. You've even complained about the brain-dead global level settings. The BM is a joke as well. The triple crossover is a marketing gimmick that anyone who's looked into sat/sub integration has quickly dismissed. The 951 may be different but the AVM-20 looks one helluva lot better than a box with no resale value and no future.

    Austin

     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    so you're saying you like the Outlaw?
     
  8. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Lurve it! NOT

    Brilliant marketing plan combined with the poorest execution of any audio component in recent memory. A state of the art sub $900 pre-pro - who in their right mind wouldn't snap this thing up in a second? Outlaw could've had it all - instead, through an uncredible series of amateurish blunders, they threw it all away and seriously, maybe irreparably, damaged their reputation in the audio world. The one thing a company like Outlaw simply can't afford is to have their products perceived as low-quality and problemmatic. Yet, somehow they managed to do this in spite of their best intentions - infuriating long-time customers and scaring off many potential ones. I'll be very interested to see how Outlaw deals with the calamity they brought on themselves.

    Austin
     
  9. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Austin,
    What you have on the Outlaw Forum is the same 3 people chronically bitching about the 950 just because that's what they do. I will be the first to agree that it is not perfect, but not one single piece of electronic equipment I have ever owned is. I have no hiss, and will live with their design decisions since all in all it is a very capable unit and does the things it is designed to do well. I'm not willing to throw the kind of money required for the Anthem at my system to get a possible 5% increase in sound quality or an aditional feature I don't need. There have been head to head comparisons with the Outlaw and Anthem, and the Anthem has barely come out ahead if at all. I do have Harmon's flagship receiver which I use as a pre/pro, and other than L7, I prefer the Outlaw. If something comes along I like better, then I can sell it for whatever or toss it, and not look back. The Anthem had better be upgradable, because you would think twice about buying a new one every couple of years.
    Anyway, that's just my feeling about it. YMMV, especially if you have money to burn. [​IMG]
     
  10. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    yea what Russell said. Sounds like youve found a product that you like better Austin. As a happy 950 owner, Im glad your pleased to. I think I'll go listen to my piece of crap 950 now:>
     
  11. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow - touchy, aren't we guys?

    I'm happy you're happy. My point stands - Outlaw had a golden opportunity to stick it to the arrogant "powers that be" that have the nerve to charge 2 grand and up for a pre-pro. They failed. Miserably.

    After breaking promise after promise regarding delivery, they produced a unit that can justifiably be attacked on any number of fronts - sonic, user interface, upgradability, support, etc. That you gents are pleased with your units demonstrates either that these considerations are unimportant to you or that they are justified by the price/performance of the Outlaw product. Fine. Just don't tell me or anyone else that the 950 is the be-all and end-all in pre-pros, equivalent to units costing thousands more. It's not - you know it, I know it and everyone else knows it. It's a $900 pre-pro with its own $900 set of problems and compromises. It really irks me when you 950'ers advise people looking for solid performance that the 950/770 combo competes favorably with anything in the same price range. It doesn't. For $2,000 they can do MUCH better.

    Austin
     
  12. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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  13. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    So you owned a 950 and sent it back Austin? Or did you listen to someone else's 950? If not, why are you quoting the few on the Outlaw forum who think they should have gotten a $10,000 pre/pro for $899? I own and am happy with my 950. I certainly did not dismiss the triple crossover, I needed it. The 950 does everything that I wanted, and sounds, to me, MUCH better than any comparably priced receiver. A 5 year warranty and a 30 day return policy made it easy to demo, and the sound made it impossible to return. I guess I am one of only 99% of the happy owners, but the huge, vocal 1% dissatisfied are the only ones you care to listen to.
     
  14. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Come on, Russ.

    The 950 has some serious and REAL problems and you know it. When the real specs on this unit come out, if ever, you guys are going to be seriously pissed. The 950 vs. AVM-20 and they're equal - gimme a break, Russ!

    You're bottom-feeding again and one of these days you'll learn the lesson - you get what you pay for. A $950 pre-pro isn't going to trounce a $2,000 unit unless the audio market is standing on its head. It's simply not possible in the capitalist system in which we live. All the little electronic gizmos (DACs, DSPs, etc.) come from the same places at the same cost, the assembly is done in the same places at the same costs, the distribution channels are the only difference and that cost differential is a known quantity. Unless there's a tech or engineering revolution, this stuff is cookbook, don't you see that?

    I understand that the 950 would be a step up from a Denon 1602 or a previous generation HK510. That does NOT imply that this box is 95% of one backed up by real engineering and quality control.

    Austin

     
  15. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill,

    As I said, I'm happy you're happy. If you don't know the downside of a triple crossover, I suggest you do a little research - the problem is not trivial.

    The 950 is not a receiver - I'm sure you know this. Therefore it cannot be compared to a receiver on a comparable price basis - still with me? It CAN be compared to a receiver's front end if you are willing to discount the receiver's price by the estimated cost of its amps. So would you care to put up the 950 against a $1600 receiver? Let's say a Denon 4802? I thought not.

    As far as my owning a 950, I'm a grown-up. I long ago determined that in order to acquire quality goods one must pay quality dollars. The 950 at $899 is not quality dollars and since I understand costs, I therefore understand that the 950 is not quality goods. This simple, tried-and-true formula has not been shaken in the least by what I read on the Outlaw forum nor what I hear in this.

    Austin

     
  16. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Your funny Austin. You seemed to have "jumped" on the "its really just a piece of crap" bandwagon a little late though. Dont remember your name from earlier discussions. Thing is nobody (I think this is so)cares anymore. Me/Those are happy are just relaxing/listening, you/the 3 OL forum "experts" are set fast to continue to fuel it. Your not seeing many other pro outlaw camp, cause most have moved on. Me, I just like toss it out every now and then, no hard feelings though:> [​IMG]
     
  17. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    "As far as my owning a 950, I'm a grown-up. I long ago determined that in order to acquire quality goods one must pay quality dollars."

    So you have never heard one.

    "If you don't know the downside of a triple crossover, I suggest you do a little research - the problem is not trivial."

    As I said, I needed the triple crossover, and unless I want to run 6ch analog with 5 full range speakers AND a sub (which I don't), it doesn't affect me.

    "The 950 is not a receiver - I'm sure you know this. Therefore it cannot be compared to a receiver on a comparable price basis - still with me? It CAN be compared to a receiver's front end if you are willing to discount the receiver's price by the estimated cost of its amps. So would you care to put up the 950 against a $1600 receiver? Let's say a Denon 4802? I thought not."

    Yep, still with you, although I reads kinda slow sins I only gradiated 3rd grade, I did compare the 950 and a Parasound amp (about $1400 total with 10 yr warranty on the amp) to a Denon 4802, along with an Integra, and receivers in the $500-$800 range from Denon, H/K, Onkyo, and Yamaha with my Parasound, using the lower priced ones as a pre/pro only. the 950 was better than any of the lower priced units (in my opinion) and was slightly better than the 4802 (which was several hundred $$ more than my seperates. But then again, you thought that I just plain saw the stellar article in Sound and Vision showing specs that were inferior to a $300 Panasonic receiver, and decided that I would buy it due to its killer good looks. By the way, these were demos in my home with my system, not on a best buy showroom floor.

    I do not doubt that a $2000-$10,000 pre/pro will have more features, upgradeability, and possibly slightly better sound than my 950. Maybe you need to buy a 950 and put it up against any receiver you deem to be in the same class, cost-wise. Then, and only then, can you make a claim as to which sounds better. Besides, you can always return it.

    On a final note, no receiver or pre/pro on this forum (under about $5000) is free from dissatisfaction. Even the vaunted Anthem has its detractors, and look at the number of Denon owners complaining of problems and poor customer service. That is one of the main reasons I decided to try the Outlaw, and the sound made me decide to keep it.
     
  18. Scott Mess

    Scott Mess Auditioning

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    When I initially posted my question, it was really not my intention to start an Outlaw vs. Anthem war.

    I can tell you that I have the Outlaw Red Dot unit, and I have no hiss, and am in no way dissatisfied with the product, I would however have liked not to have to selct Bypass each time I play a CD, but that is not a major issue in my mind.

    My biggest question should have been phrased.....

    Will moving up to a higher priced ProPro (Anthem, Sunfire, Etc.) offer sonically better analog performace than my 950 with a Camelot Roundtable connected in bypass mode??

    I do appreciate everyones opinions and responses thus far.

    Thanks to all.
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I think you'll be primarily looking at a different feature set and of course each company's way of implementation which means falling in love or learning to live with quirks and limitations. As far as determing whether the upgradability of the Anthem is important to you, that's a personal matter with your own unique criteria. Suffice it to say, these upgrades are unlikely to continue ad-infitum.
    Looking at Anthem's specs I can't envision a reason as to why it'd sound significantly (if at all) different from your Outlaw. Understand though, that my method of auditioning components runs against the usual method of most individuals especially using your criteria. If you were to find differences, likely they'd be trivial especially when compared to factors such as your room environment.
    My own personal opinion, which with 5 bucks will get you a cup of Starbucks, is that you'll have a greater impact in your sound and enjoyment of music by working with your speaker placement as well as improving your rooms acoustics.
     
  20. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    I hope it doesn't sound like I am at war with Anthem owners. I have never heard the unit, but I hear it is fantastic. It has more features than the 950, is upgradeable, and is much more configurable. Ask a dealer if you can return a purchased unit for a full refund if it doesn't beat out the 950 to your satisfaction. Many dealers will allow this, and it is the best way to answer your question.

    (besides, it's a lot of fun playing with the stuff!)
     

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