Some further information regarding the Outlaw 950 availability situation

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RAF, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Since I have been annointed the resident "unwitting pawn" here [​IMG] I thought I would share an e-mail that I received from Outlaw (heard "en passant?") in response for my request for any additional information they could provide to help clarify things for our members and visitors here.
    My use of the 950 pre/pro for well over a month has convinced me that this would be a hot product and that there would be limited availability. The performance you get for the price you pay is, in my estimation, going to shake up the separates/receiver industry. This is not based on rumor. This is based on my extensive experience in all aspects of HT and audio for almost 50 years.
    However, there has been a lot of conjecture and confusion regarding the release and the availability of the 950 so Outlaw graciously replied to my inquiry and said that I could share the following with all of you:
     
  2. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

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    Any idea if outlaw plans to release any numbers? I know they had said before that they didn't want to before release, but I though maybe they would do so now.
     
  3. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    Not seeking clarification nor criticizing, but my interpretation of what was written was that it's possible that if one placed their order today, it might take as long as a year to fulfill the order. Hmmph...
     
  4. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

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    While I don't think that the lead times will be as long as that, I do imagine that the clone companies are getting a little nervous about how long they will have to wait to be able to sell their products.

    FWIW, the way I read it they were ready for everything that happened until the beta testers were released from NDA. That was what? First of March?

    I'd guess that orders after that will be a couple of months out at least. It depends on what 'long lead time' means in long lead time parts.

    My reservation wasn't until the first of January, and I still hope to have my unit by the end of April at the very worst.
     
  5. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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  6. Will

    Will Guest

     
  7. Sam Sugob

    Sam Sugob Auditioning

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    Will, Were the Outlaw 950 beta testers released early in February? I thought that it was closer to mid or late Febuary as I thought RAF reported? Am I mistaken? Are you possibly mistaken?

    RAF, Gene or JohnM: Please let us know when the Outlaw 950 beta testers were finally released?
     
  8. Will

    Will Guest

    Hey Sam,
    The above email arrived February 11, so you could classify it as early or mid February, but you probably would not want to say it was in late February. As I recall, some of the beta testers told us about themselves when the email came out or maybe a day earlier, since some of them were told it seemed (at the time) a little bit before it became public knowledge, or at least that's my recollection of the event. [​IMG]
    Will
     
  9. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    this is probably a stupid Question, but what is going to happen with those that decide to wait and hear what others have to say before we order it. At this time I am really not in need of another pre-pro, but if the reviews are great, I just might find an extra $900 burning a hole in my pocket and decide I "need" a new one. Will it be a few months? 6 months? 1 year? 2 years? how long before it is avail to those that aren't on "the list"???
     
  10. Jim Prillaman

    Jim Prillaman Stunt Coordinator

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    rodneyH-

    It's a good question -- "how long until the pre-orders are done and Outlaw has 950's in stock for immediate order/delivery?" Unfortunately it doesn't have an answer. If I had to guess, I'd suspect that they'll spend April delivering pre-orders -- maybe have stock available in May? If they're manufacturing as many units for the product launch as they'd planned to order for the product's first year on the market, then there will be a great deal of need for quality control and testing (and, as Bob_L said, it looks to be a pretty sweet year for Eastech, even before the clones start rolling off the assembly lines). Hopefully, by the time the first reserved units get settled in to their homes and people start getting feedback onto the forums (and maybe a couple published reviews), you'll be able to order one and get it fairly quickly. I wouldn't expect any official timeframes until mid-April at the earliest, though. Between the difficulties of trying to get good QA over a new product being manufactured in volume halfway around the world, the logistics of the apparently massive reservation list, and the scrutiny of the online community, I expect that Outlaw will be pretty tight-lipped about details until they have product in hand.

    Also, I doubt that we will ever know how many reservations there were, or how many units they are producing for the product launch. Because Outlaw is privately-held, they are not required to disclose such information, and they have had a pretty firm policy in the past of not saying anything about it.
     
  11. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Some of you are reading much too much into the Outlaw e-mail that I posted here. Or possibly some of the wording was a bit obtuse. In any event here is some additional information and/or clarification (cleared with Outlaw personnel).

    The mention of a one year time from had to do with the amount of parts they now have on hand based on their original guesstimate for what they would sell in one year's time. Because of the increased interest in the 950 they now realize that these parts will be used up in a much shorter period of time. Reading this as meaning that if you haven't ordered a 950 by now you won't get one for a year is incorrect. They are making every possible effort to order additional parts to take care of the additional anticipated orders.

    Everyone who has pre-ordered a 950 by now (even if nobody drops out) will have a unit within 60-90 days. They told me that they cannot be any more exact than that because some of this would depend on where you are on the list and how many, if any people in front of you will release their unit to somebody else. I would think, in reading the letter you people received that they expect to start shipping the first units right after you provide your credit card information, but that's me talking, not them.

    As to the question of how many orders were received the first day, I was told that about 100 letters went out on The Ides of March and that this does not cover all the orders that were posted the first day. Therefore it is not surprising that you may have ordered on Day One and not yet received an e-mail. They also mentioned that additional letters would be going out on Monday or Tuesday but they couldn't tell the exact number since some of this depends on the response to the first e-mail (cancellations, etc.) I got the feeling that the second batch would be about the size of the first batch (another 100 or so).

    I do know that these units are being made in batches (maybe 200-250 at a time?) so that there will not necessarily be a constant flow of product right now. I'm not privy to the scheduling or operation of the plants so I can't answer anything else on this. However, since Outlaw has stated that it will take, at most, 2-3 months to accommodate all the orders they now have in hand you can get some rough idea of where you stand once more letters go out. I assume that letters will continue to go out as product rolls in.

    Eventually, barring any great rush to get this product, all the orders will be filled and additional product will be available with very little waiting period. That's the nature of new products that are in high demand. Nobody should really be surprised by this. Eventually the market will settle down and will determine the future waiting time, if any. Obviously, if Outlaw could flip a switch and deliver, say, 1000 units today and another 1000 units tomorrow, why wouldn't they do that? I'm sure they are in this business to make money and limited availability hurts them as much as anyone else. That's just economics.

    And finally, to answer another question, the beta testers were released from the Non-Disclosure Agreement on February 11th for those who were wondering. While the pre-orders took another surge after that time, Outlaw told me that even those people are covered by the amount of parts that they have ordered. And, as their message said, they are doing their best to lock in additional parts and factory time to meet additional demands.
     
  12. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    RAF,

    very informative post once again! Kudos to you for all your help in regards to the testing of the Outlaw 950 and for keeping us all up to date as to the current status of this much anticipated processor.
     
  13. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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    Larry,
    Read the third paragraph of Roberts last posting ...
     
  14. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    It would seem fair that they post the manual between now and the 25th.

    Tom
     
  15. Jim Prillaman

    Jim Prillaman Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Will

    Will Guest

    I think it's legitimate to wonder since they haven't finished the manual yet, or for that matter, the final specs yet enough to publish them online, if they've finished fine tuning the pre/pro itself or if they're still, as they've being saying for months, still fine tuning it, still getting all the bugs out before it goes into actual production. I think the specs should be finalized by the time the unit goes into final production, and the manual maybe slightly later, but that's just a guess. [​IMG]
     
  17. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Will:

    Here's what the recent email said:

     
  18. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    The manual situation is not as clear cut as I would have preferred it myself, so I share some of the concerns that you all seem to. As you know, the beta testers, including myself, had to familiarize ourselves with the 950 without any manual at all. This was done so as to start the testing while the manual was being developed in a parallel project. Although this might seem a bit strange it really isn't when you think about it (and even less so when you actually see all the many things that the 950 can do).
    For one thing, several of the control parameters were still being tweaked during the beta test so any manual giving specifics would have to change. Secondly, the nature of a fairly complex pre/pro means that there will be several layers of printed help requested by users with different needs and/or levels of curiosity. Therefore, no manual will include every possible instruction on every possible situation. Instead, the manual should be broad enough to guide the general user though set up and use and specific enough to point to resources that will satisfy the more technical among us.
    And here's where the internet comes in. In this day and age it is quite possible (and is actually preferable for both logistic and informational purposes) to provide supplementary manual information over the web. This is the approach used by some companies (I believe someone mentioned Autocad in another thread) and I think this is also part of the Outlaw philosophy. To me, it seems the best course of action.
    While I realize that there is some degree of comfort in obtaining a manual prior to purchasing a piece of equipment (I do this all the time myself to answer questions I have) you must also realize that it is now possible for an Internet Based company to work on the manual right up until the point of shipment. This, I believe, is what's happening here. Yes, I believe that the units will ship with a printed manual, but it might be just about the same time that the manual first appears on the Web. Once deliveries start to appear at your doorsteps I not only expect a manual to be up at the Outlaw site, but some fairly active "Tips and Suggestions" as well as, possibly, some more technical references (such as the a more complete description of Dolby PL2, CES, and similar.) At least there should be some information pointing to other pertinent resources.
    The very rough draft of the manual I received a while back was still in need of some fine tuning, and not something I would present as a final product. It was definitely a work in progress, but was beginning to take shape. I expect that the final manual will at least accomplish what it sets out to do, but it will also leave some people looking for additional technical information. Time will tell and, I trust, Outlaw will provide a source for Q&A.
    Finally, Serge, I want to thank you for your kind remarks. While I'm not looking for praise here by any means It's good to know that some of my efforts are being appreciated by others. And I know that for every person who writes to me about this there are many, many more who feel the same way. If I am helping others, I've done my job here.
    Take care.
     
  19. Will

    Will Guest

     
  20. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    It's all good.
    Those who ordered should really raise their eyebrows if the people at Outlaw said they over-ordered parts and only met 25% of their projected demand.
    Can you say financial insolvency? [​IMG]
     

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