We are expecting too much from our new equipment.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Knapp, May 22, 2002.

  1. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    I have been reading alot lately about the Outlaw 950 pre-amp. Since I got one, I have been scouring the forums looking for tidbits that I might use. What I see surprises me. The Outlaw is a sub 1K processor that performs like a pre-pro costing double its price, and yet there are those that are un-satisfied with what it offers.

    It seems that everyone that has one of these units reports that it produces ultra-clean stellar sound, and it does. This is one of the best sounding units I have heard. In my system it produces a glorious soundfield, full bass and truly believable surround ambience. This is the bread and butter of any processor, it is what we should strive to acheive....superior sonic capabilities. The 950 has this in spades.

    But when someone reports on the incredible sound quality of the piece, the inevitable happens...a multitude of questions arise from the peanut gallery concerning what magic tricks it can or cannot perform.

    "Can it assign the bass from the FM band to the right channel in the Cirrus movie mode?" "Does it allow me to select the second zone while re-routing the frequencies above 12K to my headphones?" "Is there a way to adjust the crossover for each speaker individually? I use a different brand of speaker for every channel and that would be useful to me." etc....ad nauseum.

    People, lets get a grip here. There are products out there that will blow us away with majestic sound. They can make our television image appear to be merely a window that we are looking through. They are able to give us a life-like 3 dimensional soundfield that allows us to be placed admist the noise and clutter of a busy metropolitan street or in a vast field with butterflies and sparrows.

    When I read comments like the above, I realize that many have lost our awe for the core values we sought to begin with. There are those that seek ease of use or gee-gaws above all else. It is no longer enough that a coffee maker can make the finest coffe you will ever drink, now it must have a cream and sugar dispenser, be able to make 20 cups, and then stir each cup counterclockwise just after adding the international flavor of choice from the custom data base it has stored.

    When I see wonderful equipment (of any manufacturer) being grilled over the lack of some really esoteric feature, I just have to shake my head. Yes Mr. Smith the "BigRig 556" amp can produce all the super-clean power you will ever need for your sound system but alas Im afraid it cannot be reconfigured to work in your car and boat as well like the "Crappola 192".

    Features are great things, but lets not lose sight of what we should really be looking at....quality. Id take a 1/2 scoop of premium ice cream over 2 scoops of bargain brand any day. Even if the bargain brand had sprinkles, peanuts and hot fudge.

    Just my view,

    Mike
     
  2. Brian Schucher

    Brian Schucher Supporting Actor

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    OH! You must work for Outlaw! hehehehehe [​IMG] great post Mike
     
  3. Jody C Robins

    Jody C Robins Stunt Coordinator

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    Agreed.
     
  4. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Well stated[​IMG]
    We all need to remember that what works for one does not work for all. The best we can hope for is a system that suits our individual needs and produces sound/picture quality that meets our individual expectations. Bells and whistles are nice to have but most people don't use all of the features of there equipment anyway. How many of the members here actually compile a list of which DSP modes work the best for every CD/DVD that they own?
    BTW, anyone with an ounce of class knows that that coffe must be stirred clockwise in order to maintain proper flavor to aroma balance!
     
  5. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Mike:

    While always insightful, you have outdone yourself with this post. My hat's off to you, sir.

    Larry
     
  6. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Michael,
    As others have noted, well put. The fact that you own a 950 and are speaking from experience makes you very qualified to talk about the reality of its performance. As you know I've been in that position for some time and what you said echoes my sentiments as well.
    And, be aware that you are now opening yourself to attack by those who seem to have nothing to do but make assumptions based on hearsay rather than personal experience. I've said from the beginning that people should take the time to audition this product for themselves and then see if it meets their requirements.
    That's simple enough to do if you are serious about finding equipment that suits your taste - especially in this world of 30 day money back guarantees. I've done this many times in the past and expect that I will do this many times again in the future.
    Thanks for sharing your opinion on this. And make sure your flak jacket is on, EB!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    Michael, well said!
    I will note ,however , some people will merely ask about a feature that is neccesary to their particular set-up and are not out to gripe but rather seeking personal info.
    For example:
    I really don't care much about component video switching, but it seems that there are a lot of people who only have one set of component video ins on their tv and regaurd this as an absolute neccesity. I find that not having enough video input on my tv would inspire me to buy a new tv ,not bash a pre-pro or rcvr that lacked enougd switching, but alas I seem to be in the minority...
    as another example ,I would appreciate 2 sets of 5.1 inputs for dvd-a & sacd, to me this seems useful, to others not.

    As far as bass management, global vs 3 way x-overs, notch filtering, etc., your right first give me the sound quality then we'll look at all that ...
    Gee-Gaws are only good if they serve sound quality...
     
  8. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    People would never consider letting their TV switch their audio and yet have no problem letting their audio gear switch their video signals.

    If quality were a concern you would get an outboard video switcher and be done with it. Of course, that means a little less convenience and so will fall on deaf ears.

    Mike
     
  9. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    Mike, I totally agree with your assessment. However, IMO, audio enthusiasts spend hours and hours quibbling and fretting over *all kinds* of things that make no audible difference. Why should the 950 be left out of those discussions?

    --Steve
     
  10. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    BTW, anyone with an ounce of class knows that that coffe must be stirred clockwise in order to maintain proper flavor to aroma balance!
    only in the northern hemisphere!!!!

    Steve, your right, maybe the point should be (as with all equipment)"for $950 they made it sound good first,and only left out a few features"....Of course I'm constantly amazed at how many people are more fascinated with the gear than the music coming out of it....
     
  11. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Once again, well said, Mike!
    Hey, the fact that I can get my upgraditis-ridden mitts on a pre/pro for less than $1K with the feature set of the 950 is good enough for me...you won't hear any complaining from this guy! [​IMG]
     
  12. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Mike,

    I agree with you 100 Percent!!!! At the end of the day, the sonics of the unit is what counts the most. People will always find faults with anything in life. I guess it's human nature....
     
  13. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    You know what though? Features (or the lack thereof) do matter.

    I'm convinced the 950 is a great sounding unit but it is lacking certain features that keep me from owning one.
     
  14. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    Your right Camp , me too...but better missing features than sound quality..........
     
  15. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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    I don't think anyone is arguing with that Camp. However, if one wants features not provided by the 950 at $900, then they should go spend more than $900 to buy a unit that does have those features (e.g.; Rotel 1066, Anthem AVM20, Lexicon MC12 [​IMG] ).
    It's really pretty simple ...
    • More features without lower quality sound equals higher cost.
    • More features without higher cost equals lower quality sound.
    Outlaw made the right choice, in my opinion (which is probably absolutely worthless to most people here). They concentrated on the sound. Then they added what features they could while not degrading the sound and still hitting their target price.
    They can't please everyone, but they have pleased me. [​IMG]
     
  16. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    There is a major difference between a feature that allows the unit to function and one that is a gee-gaw.

    Most of the complaining Ive seen is based on a lack of gee-gaws.

    Mike
     
  17. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  18. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Those debates (arguments) that I have been a witness to never concern the quality of the Outlaw 950, but take issue with people that continually try to make it sound like this $900 pre/pro is as good as other models costing 5 or 10 times more.
    Obviously Outlaw has designed a great piece and delivered it at an incredible price. But, it is what it is. It isn't a Lexicon MC12 or a Tag-Maclaren or a Krell or an Aragon or a Theta. It isn't even a Pioneer 49TX or Denon 5803.
    When anyone tries to make others think something is something it isn't, then it is not only right, but a requirement that others that know differently say so.
    There, that's my say on the generalities of the subject that Mr. Knapp wants to discuss. He can send me his 950 for a weekend and I'll be happy to discuss specifics with him. [​IMG]
     
  19. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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  20. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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