the new Outlaw 950 preamp - will it live up to its hype?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Razvan V, Aug 21, 2001.

  1. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    What do you guys think? Is it going to be a killer preamp competing in SOUND quality with preamps that cost much more or is it just going to be an OK preamp at the same level as other preamps in this price range ( say Parasound 1800)?
    From what I've heard and read the Outlaw products seem to be good but not exceptional. There's one person on the Sony TA-E9000ES message board who claims to have listened to the new preamp at some audio show and he thought that the preamp was nothing special soundwise.
    Razvan
     
  2. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    I posted this in another thread before I saw this topic.
    Yes, Outlaw is the first company to produce a full featured pre/pro at a reasonable price. However, based on their product history it seems like expectations are excessive.
    The 1050 receiver is nice but really only a small savings over comparable units. The 750 amp (internet price $1100)is an anemic version of the ATI 1505 (internet price $1250)so the savings is around $150.00. The odds that the 950 will be a "Lexicon Buster" or even compete with products "twice its price" are slim. We can only hope.
    Tom
     
  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    YES, sign me up for the beta test!!!
    Oh, so this isn't the beta test..... well then get lost! Don't excite us without reason or else we can't be responsible for what happens to you???
    I really don't give a rats ass what you say about the 950... I'm gonna test it, whether OA says so or not.... [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
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    DFAST, 5C, DVI, HDCP, SafeAudio, Macrovision and Lewinski!!!
     
  4. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    So Outlaw products are overrated?
    Since Outlaw will sell the preamp for $900 how much do you think that their cost is? $300, $400 at the most? Considering that the preamp will have a lot of features I wonder how high the quality of the parts used in making it really is. Featurewise it sounds good but soundwise I don't see it competing with anything over $1200. Its durability is also in question since it will probably come with a 2-year warranty at a time when its competition offers warranties for at least 3 years. Even Sony has a 5-year warranty on its preamp. The Outlaw will probably be obsolete too a few months after it's released since it doesn't have a firewire connection. I think that Outlaw should have released a more expensive preamp, for say $1500 - $1800 incl a firewire connection and where the emphasis should have been placed on sound quality and not features ( who cares about their DSPs anyway?).
    R
     
  5. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Razvan,
    I think you are jumping the gun on attacking the sound quality of an unreleased product. I don't belive that anyone has had the chance outside of Outlaw to listen to this unit, so that 'person' on the Sony forum is either mistaken or lying.
    I think that an internet based company can use the expensive high quality parts needed to make a great sounding Preamp for $950. It remains to be seen whether or not the 950 will actually sound great, but I don't think the price is a limiting factor.
     
  6. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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    Razvan,
    As of our exchange of last week, when I last spoke to someone from Outlaw Audio, I have been told that absolutely no one has heard the Model 950 pre/pro at any show of any type. The only place they could have heard it is in the factory where it's being built. And if they heard it there, then they heard a unit that is still "under construction" from the software side. And I think you'd have to admit that it'd be pretty difficult to judge the sound quality of a piece that's not finished ... right? [​IMG]
    Have you given Outlaw a call and talked to them yourself? Here, I'll even save you the hassle of having to look up the phone number ... it's 1-866-OUTLAWS (1-866-688-5297). According to your profile, you're in the continental USA, so it's a free call for you. Why don't you talk to them directly instead of assuming the worst based on comments from "a friend of a friend" or instead of trusting the rambling postings of satisfied customers like John or myself? [​IMG]
    If you're really interested in the Outlaw 950 give Outlaw a call. They're nice people and they'll answer your questions to the very best of their ability.
    Take care,
    ------------------
    pat----
    home: [email protected] ... office: [email protected]
    no home page yet, so ...
    Entertainment Center ---==*==--- DVD Collection
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Razvan, my background for the last 22 years is electronics manufacturing, particularly procurement management and I have a bit of an idea of the actual cost of electronic components in the industry. What we pay as D-I-Yers, no matter what the source, is no indication whatsoever of real manufacturers' costs. Outlaw Audio can buy one heck of a lot of quality parts for $350 - $400! If the design is first class, that parts cost is not a limiting factor. The old rule of thumb was materials cost x 4 = selling price, so since Outlaw is eliminating a selling organization and expensive advertising, their multiplier is much less. My point is that quality parts in quantity are fairly inexpensive. Let's not pre-judge. The beta-test feedback will tell tell us something, and input from trusted reviewers will add to that.
    ------------------
    "Do you expect me to talk?"
    "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
    [Edited last by Hank Frankenberg on August 22, 2001 at 07:56 AM]
     
  8. Michael Halse

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    Razvan, It sounds like you are quite happy with your sony and unimpressed with outlaw. Have you heard one or checked the quality? From most reports from Outlaw "Owners" they are quite happy with value for money and very importantly after sales service. And your reference to a 2 year versus 5 year warranty means nothing at all! Saying it "Probably will have a 2 year warranty"is bad enough, but the warranty is not necessary a measure of quality - there have been a lot of 9000es preamps that have died, played up etc.Also if you think their markup is 300 cost to 1000 sale who knows? But i bet the Sony goes through a lot more "sticky fingers" with prices jumping up all the way from Japan or Singapore to end user.
     
  9. Curtis_Edwards

    Curtis_Edwards Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Hank. Electronics have RIDICULOUS markups by the time they get to your local stores for sales. Quality electronic components are very very cheap when they are purchased in bulk and it is not inconceivable for the outlaw pricetag to have a 100% profit margin after they are done. So even for the $950 or so it costs for the pre-amp. Don't think they are not making any money.
    Just my thoughts.
     
  10. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    If the Outlaw preamp is anything like the reciever I'll pass. This could change so I'm optimistic.
     
  11. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Currently I have an Adcom GFP750 2-channel pre amp that has a HT Bypass switch. I'm currently running all seperate amplification to all my channels via the Technics AC500 processor for movies. I'm very pleased with the Adcom's performance in 2-channel but would really like to have a pre/pro that does well in 2-channel as well as HT. If the Outlaw 950 is a good performer in 2-channel music than I may give up my Adcom GFP750 for this model. I really don't expect it to be better than the Adcom but if it performs well enough in 2-channel music, I may take the loses and purchase it.
    I'm definately not going to be one of the early purchasers of the 950.
    ------------------
    What if it gets no better than this!?!
     
  12. Michael Yung

    Michael Yung Stunt Coordinator

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    Expectation on this preamp is indeed very high but I too do not think that the 950 is going to be a Lexicon killer. The 950 is designed to be an entry level preamp and originally Outlaw was going to produce a 'high end' preamp but apparently that has been tabled.
    When trying to compare the 950 to another piece of A/V gear, I think it is more reasonable to look at it as a package then by itself. What I mean by this is compare the 950 w/ an amp to a similarly priced A/V receiver. Assuming that the 950 is paired w/ Outlaw's own 750 amp, at $2000, will this combo be better then say Denon 4802 or Integra 9.1?
    I know this comparison is premature but I think high end receivers is the real competitor to the 950. If the 950 doesn't improve by a wide margin over what these high end receivers then I would think that Outlaw has missed their target.
    Anyway, just my $.02 worth of opinion. Hopefully we'll have beta test reports soon so there will be less speculations and more facts.
     
  13. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    I too wonder how the Outlaw preamp will compare to receivers in the $1500 - $3000 range.
    So far I owned/listened to a quite a few receivers and preamp/amp or receiver/amp combos: Sony V444ES, Sony DA777ES ( fabulous receiver, too many quality control issues though), B&K 307 ( sounds too warm for my taste), Marantz SR-18, Marantz SR-18EX ( both Marantz receivers not as good as the 777ES in 2-channel), Parasound 1800 preamp and Sony TA-N9000ES amp, Sony TA-E9000ES preamp and Sony Ta-N9000ES amp, Onkyo 696 and the 9000ES Sony amp, Denon 3802 and Sony TA-N9000ES, Kenwood 5090 Sovereign series receiver, Denon 4800.
    Of all these the Sony 777ES receiver and the TA-E9000ES/TA-N9000ES combo sounded best in stereo while the combo Parasound 1800/Sony TA-N9000ES was best for 5.1. The Kenwood receiver was also very impressive, its sound was as good as the Denon 4800.
    If the Outlaw preamp coupled with my TA-N9000ES amp will be as good in stereo as the Sony 777ES or the Sony preamp/amp combo and as good as the Parasound 1800/Sony TA-N9000ES in 5.1 channel then I'll buy it. Considering that the Parasound 1800 is $899 and the Sony preamp can be bought new for around $1000 maybe that the Outlaw preamp at $900 will be comparable to the Parasound and Sony.
    Razvan
     
  14. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    ...
    [Edited last by Ricky T on August 22, 2001 at 01:09 PM]
     
  15. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    The Outlaw prepro is perhaps the most and longest awaited, most hyped up product ever on the forums.
    When comparing outlaw prices, one must use the best available prices, online or otherwise, for other brands (i.e, ~ 30-40% off in some cases). The Outlaw receiver is competitive at $599, and now $499...but really not any better than competing $700-900 retail modesl from Sony ES, Denon, Marantz, etc. And one magazine recently tested the 1050 at ~ 61x5 into 8 ohms, but only ~63x5 into 4 ohms. 63 watts into 4 ohms if pretty weak. And most receivers usually pump ~ 1.4-1.5X into 4 ohms....not 1.0X.
    The 3 year old Sherwood 9080 prepro was a great sounding piece, but limited in features. Retail was $1200, online $800 NIB. I doubt if the Outlaw 950 prepro will sound any better in stereo than the 9080, and no better for surround against Sherwood's next prepro. If the Outlaw prepro parts cost about $350-400, then it would compete will current recent/near future model prepros retailing $1200-1600...before their online discounts, which bring street prices to $800-1100. Outlaw prepro over the top of the line receivers, such as Denon 5800 & Integra 9.1? I wouldn't bet on it; I think the processing in these receivers is more competitive with prepros in the $1800-3000 retail category.
     
  16. Will

    Will Guest

    quote:
    I doubt if the Outlaw 950 prepro will sound any better in stereo than the 9080, and no better for surround against Sherwood's next prepro.
    [/quote]
    I want a sub-$1200 pre/pro with DPL II. I'm not wowed
    about Outlaw, but it looks like they will have theirs
    out before anyone else.
    Any idea when Sherwood's next prepro will be out?
    I want to consider all prepro's with DPL II in the
    sub $1200 range, but hate having to wait ... and
    wait ... and wait. (Of course, I'm waiting now for
    the Outlaw 950, but hopefully not for much longer.)
    [Edited last by Will on August 22, 2001 at 06:13 PM]
     
  17. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    As I stated before, if it doesn't perform above it's price range, then what's it all for? You basically have an entry level pre/pro with a lot of features perfect for the Sony or Marantz power amp using consumers that want to own seperates but don't want to explore out side of the more well known brand of electronics. Wait a minute, let me correct myself on this one. I remember hearing the Sony 9000es pre/pro and it was a damn good performer on HT and although not as good a performer in 2 channel as it is on HT, I can see why it has a strong following. If the 950 doesn't perform better than the Sony pre/pro than what's it all for? Other than the capability to play 6.1 or 7.1 formats I can't see the advantage of owning one. I would really like the 950 to surprise me and be one of those units that shakes the industry down to it's under pants!! I'll be on that long line with the rest of you folks itching to get one of them into my system.
    Hopeful in New York.
    ------------------
    What if it gets no better than this!?!
     
  18. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    I doubt that the Outlaw preamp will sound as good as the Sony. The Sony cost is $1700 MSRP + $100 for the upgrade kit which by the way improved its 2-channel performance greatly. I don't know if a $900 preamp can sound as good as a $1800 preamp.
    On the other hand Outlaw can't afford to release a $900 preamp that sounds just like a $900 product. If the new preamp doesn't sound at least as good as preamps costing more than $1300 then who's going to buy it especially now when other companies will come out with their DPL II 7.1 preamps costing not that much more ( Sherwood for example)? I mean I'd rather buy a great sounding Sherwood for a few hundred bucks more than an average sounding Outlaw.
    It is also possible that the $900 preamp will sound just like a $900 product and people will still buy it just like many people bought the 1050 receiver although it didn't sound better than receivers that one could have bought online for the same price.
    Razvan
     
  19. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    As I mentioned earlier the Outlaw 750 is just an anemic ATI 1505. Considering the marginal savings and lower performance it really is not such a great deal. This is a small direct sales company with no marketing costs. An amp that is superior to the ATI for the price of the 750 should have been possible and would have been a bargain.
    If they follow this strategy for the 950 I would expect it to compete with products in the $1000. to $1400. range but no more. Maybe they will wake up.
    Tom
     
  20. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    Why would they wake up? It seems that the 1050 receiver sold quite well so that there's no reason for them to change their game. I wonder why all this 950 hype from the people on this board though. Are they really expecting a $900 preamp to sound like a $2000+ one? It seems that Outlaw has been quite successful at making their products look much better than they really are.
    Razvan
     

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