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The Outlaw 950 Saga - My Thoughts (1 Viewer)

John Cain

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 19, 2000
Messages
359
I have been interested in the Outlaw 950 for over one year now.
As I was planning to build my dedicated FP HT, I kept looking around for a top notch pre/pro, and the 950 kept popping up in the mix. I looked at and liked the Anthem AV20, but was disappointed that it lacked some of the newer processing modes. The Anthem people promised an update that would ship in March 2002, but I wondered if that date would slip.
As I kept researching equipment for my HT I kept an eye on the 950. Followed all threads here. Read the Outlaw Web page. Wished their Forums had a 950 section. ;)
Then came November and work on my HT started. I kept switching back and forth between the Outlaw and the Anthem. Ultimately I decided to cast my lot with Outlaw, partly because of the units lower cost:partly because it shipped with all processing modes I wanted: partly because I sincerely appreciated their updates and their desire to share the development process, warts and all, with so many of us: and partly because I sincerely believed this unit would sound very good, and offer the features I wanted the most.
I was crushed when it did not ship by Christmas, but now it was becoming obvious my HT was going to take a very long time to complete, so I patiently waited. I signed up the first night we could, I got in at 10:02 and eagerly placed my name on the waiting list.
I then began to follow a series of events that started to make me wonder whether or not the Outlaws were idiots, or whether or not they were simply pushing vaporware and constantly leaking just enough information to stop me (and others) from jumping ship. There was always a glimmer of hope that the unit would ship "within the next few weeks". There was always a convenient excuse regarding reasons the unit was not going to ship. It went on and on. I began to question some of their posts and messages.
Then the Beta testers were released and we began to get information to suggest that the 950 really looked to be everything most of us had hoped it would be. And it also gave me hope that the unit really might ship in my lifetime after all.
Then the big news, the week the units were set to ship. And then early units appeared to have some very serious bugs. Then the shipping stooped and we fell into a black hole of first hand information from the Outlaws. Leaks of a fix started but nothing substantial.
When I woke up this AM, I was just about at the end of my rope with the 950. Then I got an e-mail from the Outlaws when I switched on my PC.
I must say that I am impressed by the candor, the detail and the explanation that was in that e-mail. IMO it was one of their best and it jumped me back to where I was in late November, impressed with a company that sincerely wanted the best product possible, who cared about me, my business and were committed to excellence. I can only imagine the difficulty of tracking down this type of intermittent problem; but they appear to have done it quickly and efficiently.
So now we wait again..hopefully for just a short period longer until the rest of us receive our 950s.
Outlaws I appreciate your efforts, your candor and your honesty. I wish you the best in the short term and long term future.
Let's all keep our fingers crossed that no more problems pop up in the next few months.
-- John
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
John,
I've read your thoughts and consider it to be a well thought out piece.
:emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup:
No one would like these units to ship more than I would so, for a change, I can be on the other side of the table in seeing what others think. I would like to hope that the major hurdles have been cleared but I also realize that in any complex piece of equipment there is always room for growth. The fact that while the kinks were being worked out with the dropouts and the S-video Outlaw was able to take advantage of the down time to incorporate the latest Cirrus Logic enhancements to programming the chip shows that this is a moving target in an ever-changing landscape.
I would hope that the fact that the EPROMs are, supposedly, plug-ins (they asked us, in the beta testing application process if we would be comfortable with swapping out an EPROM) that there might be an upgrade path for the 950.
But even if this is not the case, you are getting a unit that contains a snapshot of some of the best that electronics has to offer at this point in time. Since, as in computers (which, essentially the 950 is) things are obsolete before you open the box, this is not surprising. And at under $900 the 950 is one of the best bargains out there today.
If Outlaw ever releases a "premium pre/pro" (although the 950 is a hard act to follow today) I would assume that one of the many features would be user upgradability, perhaps through some computer interface?
Who knows? Maybe USB2? (Sorry, - Firewire just doesn't cut it any more.)
:laugh:
Just kidding about that last one, gang.
 

John Cain

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 19, 2000
Messages
359
Hi RAF. You and I have chatted since the old CEForum on CoupuServe.

I remember you had a Pioneer Elite (if I am not mistaken) and hundreds of DVDs.

I'm not worried about the 950 being upgradable, since it already ships with all the sound/processing modes I am interested in having.

I can hardly stand the wait, and look forward anxiously to getting the unit.

Take care, many thanks for all your informative posts, and the time you take to make this Forum a more enjoyable place for all who visit.

-- John
 

Steven Simon

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 14, 1998
Messages
3,310
Real Name
Steven Simon
John,

I have had the fixed unit in my system for 1 week, and all I can tell you is, it will be well worth the wait..... As RAF says, this piece will a tall order to follow...
 

Serge Breton

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
528
like i said,

by the end of THIS month, many of us at the top of the list will have 950's in our homes (finally).
 

Jeffrey Forner

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 19, 1999
Messages
1,117
You know, I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones when it comes to the 950. I say this not because I will receive one anytime soon, because god knows I'm nowhere near the top of the waiting list, but because I have not had to deal with the agonizing wait the rest of you have had to endure.
For the past year and a half, I have been in a constant process of upgrading my home theater. I started with the speakers, then the receiver, then the sub, then I replaced the sub again, got a new DVD player, picked up a 16:9 RPTV, won an Outlaw ICBM from Home Theater Talk, bought a Laserdisc player and an outboard RF demodulator, finally upgrading my speakers a second time.
All the while this odyssey with the Outlaw 950 has existed. I didn't really pay much attention to it because... well I wasn't really that interested. I did plan on replacing my receiver somewhere down the road, but I figured I would simply get a typical receiver and not move up into the world of seperates. I figured it was too much trouble and way too expensive for someone like me.
And then those beta testers stepped forward and ruin my day! :)
Not long after, I placed my name on the ever-growing waiting list and eagerly anticipate the day I receive an e-mail from them, saying I can go ahead and order mine. Yes, I may have to wait a good while (we'll know how long soon enough), but at least for me, I know that the product exists and that if I hold on long enough I will get it. I also have the benefit of knowing that it is a great product that will very likely improve the sound of my home theater several times over. I sort of feel like I've upgraded the rest of my home theater in preparation for this. It will be the cherry on top of the sundae.
Technically, I've had to wait as long as everyone else, but I haven't had to endure the drama. And for that I am very thankful. The only thing I wonder is if the drama would have made the 950's arrival sweeter. No matter. I'll be jumping with glee anyway the day it comes.
 

RichardMA

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
446
Kind of reminds me of NAD. The upscale model will doubtless feature the hallmarks of high end audio, namely

a nice thick metal front plate, heavy steel case,

maybe upgraded rear output connections.
 

Patrick R. Sklenar

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 25, 2000
Messages
330
... The upscale model will doubtless feature the hallmarks of high end audio, namely a nice thick metal front plate, heavy steel case, maybe upgraded rear output connections.
Richard,

The current version already has all three of those "hallmarks". The faceplate is thick, milled aluminum. The case is heavey gage steel with all edges rounded over smooth. And the rear connections are reported to be even higher quality than those of the 1050/750 which are already very strong and sturdy.
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
John said:
RichardMA,
And this should not be that surprising once you realize that some of the principals at Outlaw were the force behind NAD in its original incarnation. The same design philosophy is still apparent at Outlaw. Incidentally I still have two excellent pieces of NAD gear in use: An exceptional Stereo Amplifier, the 7175PE, and the remarkable 13" MR-13 monitor - in my opinion the best consumer 13" monitor ever offered to the general public. We use the MR-13 upstairs connected to one of the satellite boxes and the 7175PE is currently being used by my son at his house. The day will come shortly when I retrieve it to power some equipment in my home. Takes a licking but keeps on ticking.
 

John Cain

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 19, 2000
Messages
359
Oops, I was thinking LaserDiscs but wrote DVDs!!
Remember how ticked off Marc Wielage would get when folks called them LaserDisks ??
:)
Take care,
-- John
 

Serge Breton

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
528
hey merc,

looks as though Ottawa is 1 for 14 in it's past 14 playoff road games. Not very good odds at all.
 

Alex Yang

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
188
Jeff F.,
Until I read your post, I was in the SAME exact post, I didn't even realize that Outlaw was developing a pre/pro UNTIL I read what the Beta Testers said!!! After reading RAF's inital post, I was hooked and made a beeline straight to Outlaws website and go onto their waiting list...
Since July of 2001, I've been sitting on the fence, sold my Onkyo 797 because I heard about the Onkyo 898, then I was thinking about the Onkyo 989, but ultimately decdided the BEST of the BEST was going to be the DENON 5800, just when I was about to pull the trigger on the DENON 5800 (November 2001), I heard about the Denon 5803 being introduced during the CES show...
So January rolls on by and I'm on the forum anxiously trying to find news on CES when I come across the Outlaw thread, Late January/Early Feb... :) I was extremely happy to read all the glowing reports from the beta testers pouring in and was happy about placing my name on the waiting list!!!
But, Outlaw is not perfect...:frowning: and I was really really WISHED it was so! So my searched continued which lead me now to Evan S. and the AVM20 after extensive research and debate, I'm happy to know that Anthem will have the AVM20 with the upgrade available to "SHIPPING" retail units around August 2002, yes I know this is LATER than their original plan for Spring Mar/Apr 2002, but it is what it is...
To wrap this ALL up, my final strategy is this now: I'm already on the waiting list for the outlaw, by the time my name comes up on the que, it'll probably be around late summer and then I'll have the 30 day trial period and hopefully ALL of the bugs on the 950 will have been worked out (knock on wood that the audio dropouts on the 950 is the LAST bug, but you'll never know...), if that doesn't work out then I'll return/refund the 950 and purchase the AVM20 with PVA7 (great right up in SGHT this month with the AVM20 prominently displayed on the front cover)... Unless Anthem comes out and DELAYS this upgrade one more time, then it be the DENON 5803 for sure, as I can get a GREAT GREAT price on this unit from J&R at a ridiculously low price!!!
Anyone living in the NYC who's interested in the DENON AVR5803 should go a see the "STICKER" price on this unit...
Bring pillow so that when your jaw drops it'll have something nice and soft to land on and PLEASE do resist the urge to buy TWO of these units "just in case the first one breaks..."
Just kidding about that last statement.... I think! :)
-Alex
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
Remember how ticked off Marc Wielage would get when folks called them LaserDisks
Yep. And he was just as sensitive when people referred to him as "Mark"
:D
BTW, he occasionally stops in here, although it's been quite a while. He's still a telecinist of some note in Tinseltown.
Take care, fellow CEFORUM'er.
 

Pete Jennings

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 13, 1999
Messages
333
Mmmmmmm, SpiderMan's girfriend! Makes me want to dress in tights and learn to cast a net!
htf_images_smilies_yum.gif

Thanks RAF!
 

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