Outlaw Audio

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,687
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
Are there any Outlaw Audio users out there? I have the model 7140 amp which has been powering my rear stage for several years without issue. I turn it on via a 12V trigger from my Marantz AV7702 MKII. Again, this configuration has been working flawlessly for years. A couple of nights ago when I powered on the Marantz I noticed the 7140 did not power on. I tried powering it on manually but this was also unsuccessful. The unit does have power. I know this because depressing the power button caused it to initially power on and a few seconds later I heard the relay kick in to connect the speakers after the inrush current had subsided. The unit would even produce audio from its connected speakers but only as long as I held that button. Let go of the button and everything immediately shuts down. :unsure: Even Outlaw support says they have never seen anything like this and have issued an RMA. I REALLY hate the thought of shipping this monster across the country for repair even though it is still under warranty.

I did remove the unit from my rack and try to power it on with nothing [trigger cable included] connected. Same results. It shuts down the moment to power button is released.

Any thoughts?
 

Attachments

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,687
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
Hey Robert - Mine is in warranty but it still cost me $139.00 to ship this beast back so I'm not exactly happy right now. Meanwhile my Acurus A200x3 that powers the front stage is running strong after over 10 years and has never had a single issue. To tide me over while the Outlaw is away I've pulled out my very old Onkyo TX SR805. I purchased the Outlaw 7140 partly because the Onkyo suffered the front LCD panel demise that was common with this unit but it is still functional as a power amp.

I hope you never do have a problem with your model 7140 as the support experience has changed dramatically. They were still very responsive and helpful overall but they now use a ticketing system and you'll likely get a single update per day. When I purchased this amp I had some initial issues and back then [2016] Outlaw would respond within hours or sometimes even minutes when you needed help and work with you until the problem was resolved. Those days are apparently gone. With this new system they didn't even have a record of my purchase.

As I said, they still took responsibility and provided an RMA # but the process was very corporate and cold compared to days past when I would get a phone call within minutes of reporting an issue. Growing pains perhaps but I got spoiled on the old experience and don't know if I would be comfortable buying from them again in the current environment. It also bothered me that they discontinued the model 7140 within a year of me purchasing it brand new. I can't remember that ever happening with any of their other products. Repair time was stated as 3 weeks but I'm hoping I'll have it back sooner than that.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
49,328
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Hey Robert - Mine is in warranty but it still cost me $139.00 to ship this beast back so I'm not exactly happy right now. Meanwhile my Acurus A200x3 that powers the front stage is running strong after over 10 years and has never had a single issue. To tide me over while the Outlaw is away I've pulled out my very old Onkyo TX SR805. I purchased the Outlaw 7140 partly because the Onkyo suffered the front LCD panel demise that was common with this unit but it is still functional as a power amp.

I hope you never do have a problem with your model 7140 as the support experience has changed dramatically. They were still very responsive and helpful overall but they now use a ticketing system and you'll likely get a single update per day. When I purchased this amp I had some initial issues and back then [2016] Outlaw would respond within hours or sometimes even minutes when you needed help and work with you until the problem was resolved. Those days are apparently gone. With this new system they didn't even have a record of my purchase.

As I said, they still took responsibility and provided an RMA # but the process was very corporate and cold compared to days past when I would get a phone call within minutes of reporting an issue. Growing pains perhaps but I got spoiled on the old experience and don't know if I would be comfortable buying from them again in the current environment. It also bothered me that they discontinued the model 7140 within a year of me purchasing it brand new. I can't remember that ever happening with any of their other products. Repair time was stated as 3 weeks but I'm hoping I'll have it back sooner than that.
Outlaw isn't the same company as it was many years ago. Their personal service is not what it once was in my opinion.
 

George LL

Auditioning
Joined
Jun 10, 2006
Messages
14
Real Name
George Lerma
I wonder how this compares to Emotiva service. I am looking at Emotiva and Outlaw and this may weigh in on my decision... (Outlaw does seem to offer more bang for the buck, however).
 

Dave Upton

Audiophile
Owner
Moderator
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
3,705
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Dave Upton
I wonder how this compares to Emotiva service. I am looking at Emotiva and Outlaw and this may weigh in on my decision... (Outlaw does seem to offer more bang for the buck, however).
There are only a few companies that have the service levels we all want these days. I tend to buy Anthem now largely because they are bulletproof in terms of quality, and service is really impeccable.

I hope you get this sorted John.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,377
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
I wonder how this compares to Emotiva service. I am looking at Emotiva and Outlaw and this may weigh in on my decision... (Outlaw does seem to offer more bang for the buck, however).
I've bought a lot of Emotiva equipment, 11 components if my count is right, and my few interactions with them have been a little less than ideal. They have frequently had quality control issues with minor aspects like lights and displays. Sometimes their displays simply don't operate correctly. But that's not really an issue with an amp.

Emotiva used to offer an enormous bang for the buck, but in recent years they've been developing more progressive technology, which is probably driving up prices. I bought my first product almost exactly ten years ago. It was an XPA-5 Gen 1 amp, which cost $719. The current version is $1,600. Mine had a faulty light out of the box, but returning an 80 lb item for such a minor thing didn't seem to make sense. For that same reason, they should have better QC or at the very least, check units before they ship. Other things I've gotten from have have often had similar problems, but the sound quality and price kept me coming back.

My most recent purchase was their flagship XPA-DR2 amplifier. I was hesitant about the new tech they've incorporated, with efficient switching power supply as an example, but an amp that can provide 800WPC to my 4Ohm speakers was attractive. After breaking in, I've found the amp to have fabulous sound. The imaging is outstanding and it's very relaxed and easily controls my very difficult to drive speakers. Where some of the tech is obvious is in the weight of the amp. Their previous Reference two channel amp weighed about 110lbs, but this one weighs 42lbs, with essentially the same output specs. The difference in weight is almost entirely due to the less conventional (and heavy) power supply.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Dirk

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,687
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
My most recent purchase was their flagship XPA-DR2 amplifier. I was hesitant about the new tech they've incorporated, with efficient switching power supply as an example, but an amp that can provide 800WPC to my 4Ohm speakers was attractive. After breaking in, I've found the amp to have fabulous sound. The imaging is outstanding and it's very relaxed and easily controls my very difficult to drive speakers. Where some of the tech is obvious is in the weight of the amp. Their previous Reference two channel amp weighed about 110lbs, but this one weighs 42lbs, with essentially the same output specs. The difference in weight is almost entirely due to the less conventional (and heavy) power supply.

Ah Mr. Rice, your timing is impeccable. I had been meaning to ask you about your impressions of this new amp after having had some time with it. I'm limping along with my very old Onkyo TX SR805 until Outlaw can return my model 7140. When they do, however, I have already decided it will be relegated to powering fewer channels. When I fully recover from the new hardwood floors we just had installed I will be looking at this amp along with D Sonics offerings.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,377
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
Ah Mr. Rice, your timing is impeccable. I had been meaning to ask you about your impressions of this new amp after having had some time with it. I'm limping along with my very old Onkyo TX SR805 until Outlaw can return my model 7140. When they do, however, I have already decided it will be relegated to powering fewer channels. When I fully recover from the new hardwood floors we just had installed I will be looking at this amp along with D Sonics offerings.

Thanks for the feedback!
The XPA-DR2 is exceptional. The difference really shows up with music, especially HD music. The imaging really opens up and has depth, width and height with my Thiel mains. Most of all, it tames the "Beast" of the Thiels, which are legendary for being intolerant of poor electronics. The high end is controlled much better than it was with the old (XPA-2 Gen 1) amp. It also runs exceptionally cool.

The thing is, that amp seems a little absurd with Klipsch, because you'll never scratch the surface of its power. The difference between the efficiency of our speakers is about 15dB, which is a factor of about 50. As in, 50 watts for me is 1 watt for you. It would just be a lot of money to spend for 550 watts (at 8 Ohms) when you're unlikely to ever go past... maybe 20... it you really crank it to absurd levels. The dynamics definitely wouldn't be limited by available power.

I'd be tempted to suggest an amp from the regular XPA line, because you can get a five channel for the same price as this 2 channel.
 

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,687
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
The thing is, that amp seems a little absurd with Klipsch, because you'll never scratch the surface of its power. The difference between the efficiency of our speakers is about 15dB, which is a factor of about 50. As in, 50 watts for me is 1 watt for you. It would just be a lot of money to spend for 550 watts (at 8 Ohms) when you're unlikely to ever go past... maybe 20... it you really crank it to absurd levels. The dynamics definitely wouldn't be limited by available power.
Yea, I guess you still haven't finished teaching me the difference between power and gain. :) I probably do play my music louder than most but, with a quality source, I can rarely tolerate anything more than maybe 70% absolute volume. I guess I'm just curious to hear what ridiculous power actually translates to, especially after perusing the D Sonic site.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,377
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
Yea, I guess you still haven't finished teaching me the difference between power and gain. :)
Actually, this is speaker efficiency, which is like having more power and more gain, compared to my speakers. But, that whole power vs gain issue is probably THE MOST (almost) universal, wide-spread misconception in audio. In fact, the perception that gain IS power (the two have nothing to do with each other) is something most people are so committed to that if you try to explain how it actually works, they are more than likely to accuse you of having no idea what you're talking about.
 

Dave Upton

Audiophile
Owner
Moderator
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
3,705
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Dave Upton
Actually, this is speaker efficiency, which is like having more power and more gain, compared to my speakers. But, that whole power vs gain issue is probably THE MOST (almost) universal, wide-spread misconception in audio. In fact, the perception that gain IS power (the two have nothing to do with each other) is something most people are so committed to that if you try to explain how it actually works, they are more than likely to accuse you of having no idea what you're talking about.
Overhead and extra power is nice, but there is another huge factor here that isn't being discussed: transient response and damping factor.

Even a highly efficient transducer like a Klipsch or 1-way coaxial speaker will still have moments when it needs significantly more power - largely during movies rather than music. With an efficient speaker, it's less likely you'll run out of headroom on a good amp, but an amp like the D-Sonic pretty much guarantees it.

The other side of this, which has next to nothing to do with power or sensitivity, but correlates to power is the damping factor of an amplifier. The D-Sonic amps have one of the highest damping factors on the market. What is damping factor? It's the electrical ability to put the brakes on a woofer that is already at peak excursion and bring it back to a resting state. This directly correlates to the tautness of bass and how much "punch" your speakers will have.

John's XPA-DR2 has a damping factor of >500. The D-Sonics are >1000. To me, this is probably the "secret sauce" with the D-Sonic amps that has kept them in my system. There is just no comparison between a tom or kick drum reproduced by these vs any other amp I have heard.

 
  • Like
Reactions: DavidDu

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,377
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
largely during movies rather than music.
Clearly you don't listen to Mahler. ;)

These are all factors, and all of them suck on pretty much any amp built into a receiver. I've been considering starting a dedicated thread on the subject. I know Dave and John will have things to contribute, and well as others.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,377
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
BTW, I suspect high damping factor is an inherent benefit in Class D in general. That design just brings with it a lot of other things that need to be "fixed" to make it sing. Theoretically, Class D can outperform anything, but achieving that is difficult. Though the bar is constantly being raised, especially in recent years. Good Class D amps continue to be quite expensive due to the difficulty in optimally implementing them.
 

Dave Upton

Audiophile
Owner
Moderator
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
3,705
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Dave Upton
Clearly you don't listen to Mahler. ;)

These are all factors, and all of them suck on pretty much any amp built into a receiver. I've been considering starting a dedicated thread on the subject. I know Dave and John will have things to contribute, and well as others.
I listen to a ton of classical actually, but classical is not nearly as demanding as electronic music, LF effects and transients in film - you can extract the PCM waveform and look at it in a tool like Audacity and tell that most musical content just doesn't ask nearly as much.

Sure you've got some exceptions, but no matter what content you enjoy, having an amp with fast response and extra headroom is nothing but a good thing :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnRice

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,687
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
John,

I have that same Outlaw amp, but thankfully I had no issues with it. Keep us updated.
This nightmare is still going on. I sent my model 7140 to Outlaw for RMA repair on Friday July 31st. It was received and signed for on Thursday August 6th at 11:40 AM. I notified Outlaw of both the initial shipment and the delivery confirmation on those exact dates but I received absolutely nothing in return from them, not even an official acknowledgement of receipt. Weeks passed.

I finally grew impatient and asked for an update on Wednesday August 26th. Even that request went ignored initially so I tried calling them a couple of days later. They have basically made it impossible to speak to a human being for support issues. Their phone system directed me back to the same online ticketing system where they've been ignoring me since July 31st. Only today [moments ago] did I receive a response and it simply says "I am checking on this and will follow up."

Furthermore, their ticketing system is hit & miss in terms of reliability. It times out on web requests regularly. Since this all began, every response I've received has been from the same person. I won't name him but I remember this person from years earlier when I purchased the 7140. At that time he was super helpful and you were likely to get an email or maybe even a phone call within minutes of reporting an issue. My how times have changed. It's like they're running a one man show nowadays and that one man is not happy.

It's sad and hurtful when a company markets itself on customer satisfaction and then does a complete about face. 2020 has been a challenging enough year without this kick in the gut.
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,377
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
No impressed. That would tend to indicate that they have serious QC problems and simply too many failing units to deal with.

Imagine if this was one of their $2,500 units.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Dirk

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
49,328
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
This nightmare is still going on. I sent my model 7140 to Outlaw for RMA repair on Friday July 31st. It was received and signed for on Thursday August 6th at 11:40 AM. I notified Outlaw of both the initial shipment and the delivery confirmation on those exact dates but I received absolutely nothing in return from them, not even an official acknowledgement of receipt. Weeks passed.

I finally grew impatient and asked for an update on Wednesday August 26th. Even that request went ignored initially so I tried calling them a couple of days later. They have basically made it impossible to speak to a human being for support issues. Their phone system directed me back to the same online ticketing system where they've been ignoring me since July 31st. Only today [moments ago] did I receive a response and it simply says "I am checking on this and will follow up."

Furthermore, their ticketing system is hit & miss in terms of reliability. It times out on web requests regularly. Since this all began, every response I've received has been from the same person. I won't name him but I remember this person from years earlier when I purchased the 7140. At that time he was super helpful and you were likely to get an email or maybe even a phone call within minutes of reporting an issue. My how times have changed. It's like they're running a one man show nowadays and that one man is not happy.

It's sad and hurtful when a company markets itself on customer satisfaction and then does a complete about face. 2020 has been a challenging enough year without this kick in the gut.
Yeah, I'm probably done purchasing anything else from them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Dirk

Forum Sponsors

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
344,825
Messages
4,721,345
Members
141,343
Latest member
PJay