Some quirks I've found out on the Outlaw 950 not in the manual

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lewis Besze, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    All of these relates to the 6ch external input,which supposedly a bypass[except the ever active lowpass xover].
    Tone controlls are active
    Theater compensation is active.
    Speaker presence setting [I.E. center "none"] active.
    This however doesn't create a "phantom" center using the 6ch input it will discard this info.
    However when the internal DD DTS ETC.... decoding being used the mains create the "phantom" image[as it should] when no center was selected.
    This makes me wonder just how the signal is being routed from input to the output.
    I'm not complaining, marely observing,so if some of you can verifye this please do so here.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    >>> Theater compensation is active.

    That doesn't make sense. That would imply some type of digital processing.

    ??
     
  3. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Bingo!
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Uh oh... [​IMG]
     
  5. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    You're ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about the tone controls, Lewis. They ARE active on the six-channel "bypass" inputs (which I haven't been using YET because I lack SACD or DVD-A.) Unless they have analog tone controls in this unit, the so-called "bypass" is NOT an analog bypass at all. The increased volume level (in my system) on the 6-channel direct input vs. a 2-channel stereo input with Bypass engaged would also suggest that something else is happening here.

    Additionally, the tone controls are active whether or not Bass Management is activated on the 6-channel inputs via the rear panel switch.

    Some good news: When choosing Bypass from one of the two-channel inputs, the tone controls definitely ARE NOT working even though they show up in the OSD and can be adjusted. They make no difference in the sound. However, if you press the Tone button on the remote a third time in stereo Bypass mode, you get a control to set L-R Balance. Is that done in the analog domain?

    I've been a pretty big Outlaw supporter but this one doesn't look good. Is it possible there is NO six-channel analog bypass on the Outlaw 950? Just an analog input that goes to the Outlaw's A/D/A conversion?

    RUMOR MONGER MODE: Could THIS be the real reason for the lack of Outlaw communication for over a month? It sure would raise hell with the Outlaw's suitability for SACD playback.

    I hope we all kept our original packing materials because we may need them.

    "I see a bad moon arisin'"
     
  6. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    I was trying to use it for a multi-room system. I had the main dc trigger going to my B&K Ref 7270 amp and it worked great until I turned on the multi-room function and turned off the main zone. My amp stayed on. When I turned off the multi room function my AMP turned off. On my unit the main DC trigger still passed voltage even when the main zone was off if the multi room was on. I figured that the main zone would only send the voltage if the main zone was on regardless if the zone was on or off. That is why the zone has its own 12v trigger. Is anyone else able to duplicate this?

     
  7. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Bob_L is correct. Tone controls and other items ARE active in the 5.1 Analog Input. Here's my take on this subject.

    I think that someone at Outlaw mis-labeled this by calling it "Bypass" because is isn't that at all. The reason for the 5.1 analog inputs is because DVD-A and SACD multi-channel source material can only be input in analog mode because of those supposed copyright issues that don't allow digital output at the present time from these players(which is a subject for another discussion.) The reason for "Analog Bypass" is to allow for very little interference from the 950's circuitry when listening to 2 channel sources. People want the ability to keep the source material Analog all the way through, bypassing any ADC and DAC.

    In the case of the 5.1 analog inputs you are not dealing with a "pure" analog source since it already started out as a digital signal on the DVD-A or SACD media.

    In my case I use the 5.1 analog inputs for my DVD-A source material from my RP31 player and straight Analog 2 channel from my SACD s channel player (Sony 9000ES). If I ever go to SACD mltichannel I'll get a player that does both SACD multi and DVD-A so one set of 5.1 analog inputs will not be a limitation. But that's something for the future.

    Therefore, I don't really think that this is a "quirk" of the 950 but a mis-labeled input. It's 5.1 Analog but it's not 5.1 Analog "Bypass." So I would classify this not as an "Uh-oh" but an "Ah-ha" situation - not exactly the same thing.

    Speaking of possible "quirks" on the 950, let me throw this one out for your consideration. As some of you know I've recently added a phono pre-amp to my set up (Parasound P/PH-100) to start listening to my vinyl (it sounds great!). Usually I use the 2 channel "Analog Bypass" mode for the "purest" sound, even though the dynamic range of records are a bit limited. Still sounds better than I remember it in the past.

    However, sometimes I use the regular STEREO setting and, on occasion, the 5STEREO or 7STEREO (depending on the source material) and here's something I've noticed. There is definitely the sound of more bass when using the 5STEREO or 7STEREO mode than when using just STEREO mode. Why would this be? Is this a psycho-acoustic thing or is there actually bass boost with the 5STEREO/7STEREO modes? I thought that all these modes did was to reproduce the STEREO signals in 5 and 7 channels while maintaining the Stereo imagery. Any takers on this?
     
  8. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    RAF,

    Here's a guess about the 5STEREO and 7STEREO modes on the 950. This would be the same as most 5 channel/7 channel stereo modes found on today's processors/receivers. I don't believe that the bass frequencies (or any frequencies, for that matter) are "divided" among the available speakers. The 2 channel material is just sent to each speaker, subject to the available crossovers. Bass coming from 5 (or more) points in the room could overload the bass (or maybe cancel some of it?).

    And then there is the issue of the subwoofer. If all speakers are set to "small", and the speakers have different crossovers (as available on the 950), what does the sub get? Frequencies below the main's crossover? A full-range signal?

    Michael
     
  9. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Ok so it's "misslabeled",and why the "theater compensation" works on this input? Is that necesarry for music? I think not.
    As for the added bass on the 5-7 channel "stereo",are you running the main 5-7 speakers "small"? If yes then the summed up bass from all channels can create that effect.My old Denon Avr-3600 did the same thing on 5ch stereo.
     
  10. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the opinions on the 5Stereo and 7Stereo bass summing. That's probably what's going on here since I'm using THX settings (small and 80Hz crossovers all around).
     
  11. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Unless there ARE analog tone controls in the 950, this puts the lie to that claim because all the non-bass content is digitally processed!
    Having the 6-channel analog bypass inputs so I could purchase a multichannel SACD or DVD-A player in the future and upgrade while staying with the 950 was one of the major selling points to me. If this latest discovery is revealing that those inputs are digitized internally by the 950 -- and I can NEVER hear the DAC's in my outboard SACD player -- it is VERY disappointing and not what Outlaw was selling before we purchased these units.
     
  12. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    ... And if the 5.1 analog input *is* being manipulated digitally, why not call a spade (lug) a spade (lug) and have access to the triple crossover for it? And the digital delays, etc...

    Sometin' smell fishy to me...

    I don't know 'bout y'all, but I was under the *distinct* impression that the 5.1 analog inputs were *kept* in the analog domain... That's the whole point of having a *separate* analog crossover for them.

    [Added] And need I remind anyone that the ADCs on the Outlaw are "only" 24 bit/48 kHz...
     
  13. Tony Lai

    Tony Lai Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds like a lot of hoary justification to me...

    Is it true analog or is it digitised?

    That is the simple question THEY must answer.

    Anything else just clouds the issue.

    T.
     
  14. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Bob thanks for your email!
    I agree with your points and other's as well,however before someone try to make this to be the "conspiracy" issue that was brought up before, don't!
    I have no alternative motive here but to find out what exactly going on.I have had some discussion with Scott regarding the "hiss" issue,and we're in the process to make a swap on my current 950,but this thing is "new" so I'll bring this up next time I call them.
    Overall this is a good product,and hopefully be even better after some of this things get worked out.
     
  15. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    not to poke...but it seems the more i read about the 950, the more relieved i am that i did not buy one. good luck getting the "bypass" figured out.

    kevin t
     
  16. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    sounds like a quirk to me although i hope this was not done intentionally for the 5.1 passthrough. Straight wire with gain and access to 5.1 inputs with an 80Hz crossover as an option. This should be all that is in the signal path besides the volume control. I notice too when using the analog bypass and switching between the analog/digital input and the bypass that the sound is extremely clean but there is a 3db difference in volume as well. I don't know what all this means but i hope/trust there is no additional processing going on.
     
  17. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    If I can read correctly, tone controls active in the 5.1 signal stream does not equal "straight wire with gain", even if the signal is kept in the analog domain.

    Did I miss something?
     
  18. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    am i missing something or do the 5.1 inputs on the 950 not do what they are suppose to do?
    I'm just repeating what was quoted by the Outlaws themselves "straight wire with gain". I'm not trying to stir the pot but when you claim you have provided an 5.1 bypass/passthrough that is what the customers including myself expect. In other words having the tone controls and other digitising in the signal chain is unacceptable. I have not tested the 5.1 inputs yet but the digitising if this indeed is occuring obviously should not be the case. Did the beta testers miss this or what? These quirks/issues should have came out long before the 950 became mass market.
    RAF,
    i understand your take on this but i still see this as an "uh-oh" situation here. No matter how you look at it the signal is no longer analog because the signal is receiving some sort of processing and worse case scenario a second D/A conversion. Not good in my book. [​IMG]
     
  19. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I too am curious about this and I'm sure the Outlaws are monitoring these threads.

    Direct Stream Digital (DSD), especially, should not be subjected to any PCM conversion. There goes the whole point of having SACD's sonic benefits.

    Although, there shouldn't be ANY digitization going on at all in the supposed analog bypassable inputs.

    I agree with the sentiments here. This has got to be explained truthfully and accurately. And fast. I don't like this "death of a thousand paper cuts" any more than any other customer or potential customer.

    Dan
     
  20. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Well, the Outlaws must be monitoring these threads or someone is discussing this with them since I received a call this morning from them that explains this a bit more and should put some people's mind a bit at ease.
    Before I get to the explanation I want to inject a small editorial comment or two regarding all this:
    The Outlaws, like a lot of companies have chosen not to address issues here in person but only at their own forum which is set up for that. That is their right and I won't chastise them for what is a business or personal or whatever decision. However, in my observations of the Internet "scene" (as best as I can in the time I spend surfing - which has to be balanced with a personal life as well) I have noticed that a lot of questions go unanswered on the Outlaw forum for long stretches of time. That has probably been the cause of some of the adversarial conditions that exist (information about orders, shipping, features, specifications, etc. etc.) One need only take a look at the most controversial of what have become known as the "Outlaw Threads" here to see what I'm talking about. And some of these threads have become so heated that certain otherwise rational people have overstepped the bounds of forum rules and are no longer participants here. Also, others observing all this have, for whatever reason, chosen to add fuel to the fire by throwing in occasional what we have termed "thread farts" - possibly spurred on by the actions of others who got very heated about what is nothing more than equipment. (An example of something that treads close to the line on that is Kevin T's comment here in this thread which serves no purpose other than to provoke. I've left it because it serves as an excellent example of what I'm talking about.)
    Be that as it may, I still feel that if I find something out that is possibly relevant to the topic of the thread that I should share it with the members for consideration. Of course, then there are those who will cry "unwitting pawn" but I can live with those types of criticisms considering the source and placing them in their proper context. Anything that rationally discusses hardware is relevant here and information exchange is what the forum is all about. Ironically, a lot of people who have been asked to leave because they can't follow the rather liberal rules here are the first to start complaining on other forums. Just because an item is a hot topic doesn't mean that it is receiving favored treatment. If certain brands receive more attention here than others it's because that's what the membership wants to talk about not because of any master plan or censorship or whatever.
    That said, let me share with you what I learned about this issue.

    In my conversations with Outlaw, it is now clear to me that "bypass" means "non-digital" in the Outlaw Lexicon (thus the term "bypass" being applied to both the Analog and the 5.1 Analog input modes on the display of the 950.)
    When I pressed them about whether or not there is any A/D/A conversion going on here in any case they answered with a firm, "No, not at all." According to them, everything that is available in the bypass mode - even user configurable options - acts in the analog domain. For example there is tone control, even in bypass, but here's the story. The Volume control is actually part of a Volume/Tone control analog integrated circuit. No A/D or D/A involved at all. And if you keep the Bass and Treble each set to "0" the tone control is not activated and is a non-factor. And if you do choose to use the tone controls (I don't) processing is analog.
    And regarding the "Theater Compensation" mode, Outlaw informs me that this is also totally analog in implementation. Once again, if you don't turn it on, it's not there. So, to summarize, according to Outlaw everything in any of the "bypass" modes is analog through and through. Is it a true "straight wire with gain" situation? My take on this is that in practice it is (or it can be if one chooses to set all the options to "off" or "0") Of course, I don't want to ignore the theorists who would correctly point out that a true bypass would not introduce anything into the mix. It is true that if something is present in the box there can be some residual effects, albeit unintentional, due to the nature of components. And, as was pointed out in another thread on this forum discussing related matters, whenever you pass something through a box, even if the box doesn't do anything at all, the fact that you use connecting jacks introduces a possible source of spurious signals, not to mention various field effects, etc. So the "straight wire with gain" analogy is only good up to a point.
    However, for all practical matters, the analog-only circuitry in bypass mode is going to accomplish the main goal of a "bypass" circuit - maintaining the integrity of analog sources throughout the signal path. In the 950 Outlaw has given people a lot of options to use as they see fit, or to ignore by turning off.
    Of course, not every piece of equipment is a good fit for every individual so you have to make you choice based on your needs. I find it interesting that some people want one-button solutions for some things (like turning LFE on and off) but insist on multi-step functionality in other areas. A product with as many possible options and settings as a digital pre/pro really needs some technical references to field questions such as the ones that are the topic of this thread. That way those who want to be able to look under the hood in a bit more detail can do so, while those who want to "set it and forget it" (with apologies to Ron Popeil of Infomercial fame) can do that just as well.
    The 950 manual is functional but limited. I'm hoping that at some point in time technical documentation will be made available on the Outlaw site (the logical place for this) so that we can have questions answered in a less roundabout way.
     

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