Outlaw 950 - Atlantic Tech P-2000 - Sherbourne P7/1000

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  • SiliGoose
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 942

    Outlaw 950 - Atlantic Tech P-2000 - Sherbourne P7/1000

    We all know these are clones. I'd like to hear any speculation/conjecture about possible differences these units may have. It's quite possible they'll be the exact same pre/pro but we don't know.

    I noticed the P7/1000 and the P-2000 have four logos printed beneath the display while the Outlaw only has 3. Check out these images:

    Sherbourne P7/1000: http://www.smr-home-theatre.org/ces2...mage_048.shtml

    AT P-2000: http://www.smr-home-theatre.org/ces2...mage_005.shtml

    Outlaw 950: http://www.soundcenter.fi/950_front_300.jpg

    The pictures of the AT and Sherbourne units aren't of high enough quality to read the 4 logos. I wonder what the 4th one is? (it would be funny if it said, "licensed by Outlaw")

    Perhaps this is a clue to the differences? -perhaps not.

    Any thoughts?




    -Sili
    www.campmurphy.net
  • Brandon B
    Super Senior Member
    • Jun 2001
    • 2193

    #2
    You've chosen an old 950 pic. The new one has 4 logos -

    Dolby
    DTS
    Cirrus Extra Surround
    Cirrus Triple XO

    From all the reading I've been able to do, the units are functionally identical. Cosmetic changes ONLY. IIRC, this included one of the beta testers comparing looking at the guts of his and comparing to photos of the AT.

    BB

    Comment

    • Brandon B
      Super Senior Member
      • Jun 2001
      • 2193

      #3
      From a poster on HTT

      "I exchanged e-mails with Ron Fone at Sherbourn the other day about the release and features of their version of the Eastech/950. Ron was only specific about 2 differences between the Sherbourn and the 950. First, their unit will have the standard Sherbourn front panel. In case you haven't seen a Sherbourn amp, the standard front panel is a steel plate, much thicker than the 1/8 or 3/16 inch aluminum I believe most manufacturers use.

      The second difference that he was specific about was a change in the component video filtering to increase the bandwidth to 55MHz. The 950's bandwidth is 45MHz.

      Other than that, his response was (and I quote) "Insofar as the differences are concerned I will not comment but suggest that you ask Outlaw.". It sounds to me like there will be some additional differences, but I could easily be wrong.

      Release is still scheduled for early to mid-June and the MSRP will be $1500."

      A second poster below him indicated there were NO other differences from his source at Sherbourn.

      BB

      Comment

      • Andrew Pratt
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 16507

        #4
        given that outlaw just pulled the composite to s-video conversion on their unit maybe the others will leave it in or modify it so that it works more reliably. I'd bet with a little more time they should be able to fix that quirk.




        Comment

        • SiliGoose
          Senior Member
          • Aug 2000
          • 942

          #5
          You've chosen an old 950 pic. The new one has 4 logos -
          Ahhh!! That is a good explaination.
          Thanks for the info.
          However, the image on Outlaw's site still shows only 3 logos too.

          Is it true that the green button is black on the final version? I've read conflicting reports of this.




          -Sili
          www.campmurphy.net

          Comment

          • Brandon B
            Super Senior Member
            • Jun 2001
            • 2193

            #6
            I have seen no conclusive info on button hue.

            If they do fix the composite upconversion down the road, I will be rather cheesed off. I actually needed this feature. Well, needed in the sense that do to the limitation of inputs on my TV, I will now need to either forgo hooking up my VCR, or forgo using the Svid output of my satellite box in favor of composite because the 950 will no longer upconvert my VCR's composite signal.

            At this point, the triple XO is the only reason I am still getting the Outlaw (if/when I get it).

            BB

            Comment

            • Bruce
              Senior Member
              • Aug 2000
              • 156

              #7
              Note about the bass management options on the Eastech platform when using analog-bypass. In analog-bypass mode the prepro sub-out port is ALWAYS producing a bass signal with <80Hz information, i.e. "double-bass" output if your main speakers have any output below 80Hz.

              With mains that have a -3dB of 31Hz, if I want to use the triple xovers for DD, DTS, DPL-II with digital input to the 950 prepro and have the mains set as small and a sub plugged into the prepro sub out I'm just fine.

              But, if I want to use analog-bypass with a CDP or a CD transport+DAC for PCM playback, I only have two options;

              1) Find a way to physically turn off the power to my sub (I can't because it doesn't have a power switch).

              or

              2) Go into the 950 setup menu and adjust the sub-trim down to zero. This means I must also remember to adjust it back up to the correct level when I want to watch any digital input to the 950.

              Actually a third option is to go into the setup menu and set the main speakers to Large, but again I then have to remember to set them back to small when I want to watch a movie. Correction, it's said you also get "double-bass" with this setting.

              None of these methods is really acceptable for a prepro that is touted to have "audiophile-like" transparent 2-channel preamp characteristics.

              I am really disappointed that Outlaw didn't even provide a toggle command on the remote to disable sub output in analog pass-thru mode.

              This may actually eliminate the 950 from my acquisition list.




              Bruce
              ____________________________________________
              Bruce

              Comment

              • Andrew Pratt
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Aug 2000
                • 16507

                #8
                Brandon if you look in radio shack or click the link to Parts express on the top of the guide site you should be able to find a $5 device that will convert composite into s-video. I'm using one on my VCR and see no visiable effects of the conversion on my 50" toshiba TV...might be the workaround you need.




                Comment

                • SiliGoose
                  Senior Member
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 942

                  #9
                  None of these methods is really acceptable for a prepro that is touted to have "audiophile-like" transparent 2-channel preamp characteristics.
                  I think it's acceptable (though not ideal) for a pre/pro costing only $900.

                  They didn't think of everything but for the price it's still a great deal.




                  -Sili
                  www.campmurphy.net

                  Comment

                  • Brandon B
                    Super Senior Member
                    • Jun 2001
                    • 2193

                    #10
                    The news (not rumor, but direct quote from Outlaw) is that they have restored the composite to Svid upconversion capability.

                    I am very pleased, although I feel sort of lame for being grateful at being given back something I was supposed to already have.

                    Bruce -



                    This is a link for a single outlet IR controlled power relay. Handles 15 amps. You could plug your sub into it. It has a function to teach learning-capable remotes (like the 950's) it's code. You could then create a macro that when you switch to analog bypass, it kills power to your sub.

                    More money than a lightswitch, less walking.

                    BB

                    Comment

                    • Bruce
                      Senior Member
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 156

                      #11
                      Brandon,

                      Thanks for the link, seems like this could be useful for a number of things.




                      Bruce
                      ____________________________________________
                      Bruce

                      Comment

                      • Brandon B
                        Super Senior Member
                        • Jun 2001
                        • 2193

                        #12
                        Got mine yesterday afternoon.

                        3 logos, no triple XO logo, guess they thought it was overkill/geeky to have 2 Cirrus logos on there.

                        Like it so far. NO evidence of the hiss issues some other are seeing. It is definitely very clean and quiet. Now I am going to go use it a lot. I'll try for some kind of review this week.


                        BB

                        Comment

                        • Andrew Pratt
                          Moderator Emeritus
                          • Aug 2000
                          • 16507

                          #13
                          Looking forward to it Brandon...i'm on the waiting list but i likely won't get mind for some time unless they really ramp up production.




                          Comment

                          • Brandon B
                            Super Senior Member
                            • Jun 2001
                            • 2193

                            #14
                            OK, here's an "early impressions", not really a conscious review. My 950 has about 25 hours of use on it, only some of which is my time. (my kid is watching Bob the Builder and Blue's Clues in Dolby Prologic II Cinema while I am at work).

                            For HT, I don't think you could touch this thing at a comparable price (for new stuff anyway). One complaint right now, it suffers from a little lag locking on to a digital signal. I understand this is common in higher end pre/pros, but since I went with the digital audio feed for my satellite box, it means I get a 1-2 second audio dropout every time I change channels. I have a PVR, so I don't miss anything, but it's a bit irritating. Wife may make me switch it back to an analog connection. Once I make more cables, I will have both and use the digital for cool shows with good sound only. From what the Outlaws said, this was a tradeoff between stability of lock and lag time, so I guess it's the best you can do with this generation of DSP hardware.

                            Surround sound is great though. DPLII is definitely a spiffy feature. I haven't sat and compared the other surround modes like CES or neo, so can't yet comment. Especially since I only have 4 speakers right now.

                            It also seems to do the same thing with CDs and DVDs. First snippet of sound sometimes is missed.

                            In 2 channel it is nearly as nice as my Norh ACA. As far as how good the Norh is, I have a limited frame of reference as I have not heard very many preamps in quite a while. However, going by the facts that the ACA seems to garner generally favorable reviews, and the fact that the 950 and ACA are priced identically, but are at opposite ends of the spectrum in features/functions, I find it pretty respectable that the outlaw is so near in performance. I haven't come up with a description of the difference I am comfortable with, but basically through the Norh, the music just sounds a little more "real" or closer to live. I haven't figured out if this is due to something in low end, high end or what. It is NOT in detail, the 950 is fine in that respect. I would say the MMG's sound a little brighter with the 950. With the ACA, I always wondered why anyone would put in one of the provided resistors to tone down the highs. With the 950, while music is still within my acceptable range of brightness, I can see where some might consider it fatiguing.

                            My present system, for those wondering about my frame of reference:

                            Pioneer F727 DVD/CD ->Outlaw 950->Norh ACA->Marchand XM-9->Odyssey Stratos->(L&R main)Magnepan MMG + XM-9->Crown MA-2402->sealed Lambda 10" woofers + (surrounds)950->Alesis RA100->Old small Yamaha 3-ways. No center this month. Sub later this week, waiting for some passive radiators to finish a stryke he15.3 in a temp cube (eventually will have a dual he15 unit).

                            The pioneer is fairly decent as a CD player, has some passably good DACs. I think the ones in the 950 are a bit better though. For comparing the ACA and 950, I have to use the Pioneer's DACs for it to be apples-apples, though.

                            My IC's are all DIY shielded 82859 Belden per Jon Risch's recipe, except for the free outlaw set I got with the 950. These appear to be very nice cables, and run from the 950 to the ACA HT bypass input.

                            My digital cable is presently a DIY Belden 1506A/Jon Risch cable. Speaker cable is just some decent 12 gauge at this point.

                            The woofers are not really subs, they are the first portion of a DIY speaker setup in the works. They are good in my room down to the high 20's, so my intent is for 2 ch to use them and have a large(r) sub for HT (waiting on parts). The XM9 is XO'ing to the woofers at 250 right now.

                            The Yamahas I am using as surrounds are rather unspectacular (rolled off high end, decently low but boomy bass) and the amp is rather weak for low end stuff too (but otherwise a good amp), so I am presently rerouting the bass from the surrounds to the Lambdas.

                            My room is a little live, but sitting right in the maggies' sweet spot, the effects are minimized.


                            BB

                            More info when I get time to listen more. My kid is 4 and still thinks I am worth spending time with, so my music activities have suffered this year.

                            Doesn't Pat or anyone have theirs yet? By the way Andrew, they have shipped over 200 of these things as far as I can tell. You might get it sooner than you think.

                            Comment

                            • SiliGoose
                              Senior Member
                              • Aug 2000
                              • 942

                              #15
                              1 to 2 seconds for lock-on? Oh, man. I didn't realize it was that slow.

                              I really don't think I could live with that. I use an optical connection from my DirecTivo so a delay at every channel change would be too much to tolerate.

                              I might have to cancel my reservation just for that. Bummer. -and my receiver is dying...what bad timing for me.




                              -Sili
                              www.campmurphy.net

                              Comment

                              • Brandon B
                                Super Senior Member
                                • Jun 2001
                                • 2193

                                #16
                                It is kind of tiresome. I'd would check with some other people who already have the unit. I haven't seen any other complaints, so maybe by Dishnetwork box might be partly to blame. I haven't previously used the optical out.

                                BB

                                edit: Sili - I've posted a poll question in the 950 feedback forum at outlaw to see what others are seeing for this time lag. Check there later, or I'll report back.

                                Comment

                                • John Holmes
                                  Moderator Emeritus
                                  • Aug 2000
                                  • 2703

                                  #17
                                  Congrats Brandon, enjoy!

                                  I hope the lock is just the dish network.




                                  "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
                                  "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

                                  Comment

                                  • Andrew Pratt
                                    Moderator Emeritus
                                    • Aug 2000
                                    • 16507

                                    #18
                                    Hmm Brandon you might want to call Outlaw on this one. The last I heard they have significantly shortened the lock on time with the last firmware. I hope its not this slow on all the pre amps out there or you guys are right this is going to be a major black mark on the unit.




                                    Comment

                                    • Brandon B
                                      Super Senior Member
                                      • Jun 2001
                                      • 2193

                                      #19
                                      Gonk (Jim Prillaman) on the outlaw board has suggested it may be my sat tuner taking time to reacquire audio, not the 950. I will do some testing tongiht and see. Since the sat tuner had basically instant audio when changing channels through the analog connection, and this was with the added step of PCM-> analog audio conversion, doesn't make complete sense to me, but welcome to my life.

                                      The outlaw does blip over the first fraction of a second on a DVD too, even when it is already set to the correct digital format. This only occurs at the beginning of the disk, though, not at chapter jumps or anything, so I think it's pretty typical.

                                      BB

                                      Comment

                                      • SiliGoose
                                        Senior Member
                                        • Aug 2000
                                        • 942

                                        #20
                                        Thanks for the updates Brandon.

                                        Did you not use the digital out of your satellite receiver with whatever component was replaced by the 950?

                                        My, that was an awkward sentance. I'll be sure to check out your thread at the Outlaw forum too.




                                        -Sili
                                        www.campmurphy.net

                                        Comment

                                        • Brandon B
                                          Super Senior Member
                                          • Jun 2001
                                          • 2193

                                          #21
                                          Sili -

                                          My previous unit was a 6-7 year old sony PL receiver. Not a digital jack to be found. So, to answer your question, yes, I didn't.

                                          In spite of RAF's contention that this has NOTHING to do with the 950 (I don't want to get into it with him, I've completely bailed on HTF because of his non-objectivity re the 950, and may have to quit posting at Outlaw to keep from losing it too), when I was using the analog outs on the echostar unit, there was nowhere near the audio lag. There is a fraction of a second lag (1/3 - 1/2) when changing channels, inclduing video. WIth the digital audio connection, there is additional lag after the video comes up where the OSD of the 950 pops up over the video, labels it as S/PDIF, changes to PCM, and audio kicks in. It is long enough to miss a sentence or two from people speaking. I have not, however, tried locking the decode mode on for the 950 or any of that, which may reduce it.

                                          I understand, as people have pointed out, that in analog there is no digital signal to analyze and so it is faster, but my confusion is, does the sat tuner not have to perform this analysis itself to convert the PCM ot analog for its outputs? Or is it "locked" to look for a PCM signal.

                                          Anyway, as I said, I will try locking the format tonight and see if there's some improvement.

                                          What I will buy is that the 950 is as good as possible in this regard, and this is the nature of the beast.

                                          BB

                                          "I picked up a fruitcake on the way" - Norman Osborn

                                          Comment

                                          • Brandon B
                                            Super Senior Member
                                            • Jun 2001
                                            • 2193

                                            #22
                                            OK - variation on my latest post at outlaw's forum:

                                            I did some experimenting tonight with my echostar PVR/501. The delay in mine is consistent, even on a PCM source, and locking the mode doesn't seem to affect it.

                                            Part of the delay is due to the 501, and is present even through analog connections. That is about 1 second of it when changing channels. However, there is no delay when using the PVR pause and other functions.

                                            The 950 is only responsible for about 8/10 of a second of delay while it relocks. This is actually non-objectionable as far as changing channels, once I mentally isolated the portion due to this lockon. It doubles what was there, but total is now just about a second and a half, and through analog it was very close to a second.

                                            The 950 does it when using the PVR pause and jump functions also, however, which is mildly bothersome and a little disappointing. I do feel this is probably just the nature of the beast however, and not peculiar to the 950. If it becomes an issue (it bugs my wife) I will just parallel some analog cables and use the digital when watching shows with high quality audio.

                                            Likewise, the first fraction of a second on a DVD is muted too. Since this is generally just the menu lead in, again not really something I will grind my teeth over.

                                            Others at that forum seem to feel this will vary with sat tuners due to the quality of the digital output. This seems unlikely to me, but then I am not highly familiar with the behavior of digital audio equipment at this point.

                                            BB

                                            Comment

                                            • SiliGoose
                                              Senior Member
                                              • Aug 2000
                                              • 942

                                              #23
                                              Brandon,

                                              I can't thank you enough for performing these experiments. I'm leaning ever so strongly toward waiting for new pre/pros (like the new Sherwood). Then again that 30 day trial period is hard to pass up.
                                              It's unfortunate that matters of convenience are so hard to nail down by manufacturers.

                                              my confusion is, does the sat tuner not have to perform this analysis itself to convert the PCM ot analog for its outputs? Or is it "locked" to look for a PCM signal.
                                              If it helps, my Sony SAT-T60 (DirecTV/Tivo unit) outputs via the analog and optical simultaneously.
                                              Analog should require a minimal (if any) lock-on time as there is no decoding necessary by the processor.




                                              -Sili
                                              www.campmurphy.net

                                              Comment

                                              • Andrew Pratt
                                                Moderator Emeritus
                                                • Aug 2000
                                                • 16507

                                                #24
                                                Thanks brandon, between this and the multi room issuse I'm not so sure about the outlaw now...




                                                Comment

                                                • Brandon B
                                                  Super Senior Member
                                                  • Jun 2001
                                                  • 2193

                                                  #25
                                                  OK, I am confusing as well as confused I guess.

                                                  What I mean is the satellite tuner itself is receiving a PCM audio signal from the actual satellite. It (the sat tuner, not the pre/pro) has to convert this PCM to analog audio internally before sending that out its analog jacks. Why can it do this faster than the 950? Is it because there is no "mode analysis" inside the sat tuner, since it is all one system and it knows what's coming?

                                                  And if this is so, why does mode-locking the 950 not seem to improve this for me? Perhps the tuner is the one creating this hiccup when it puts out the PCM.

                                                  However, it seems unlikely, as soon as the channel change takes (in other words the video has come up) or as soon as the program is unpaused (PVR function), the 950's OSD comes on saying it is acquiring lock, so it must be getting the bitstream with no delay.

                                                  Anyone here used a digital TV tuner with a receiver/prepro that had better performance than this?

                                                  BB

                                                  Comment

                                                  • SiliGoose
                                                    Senior Member
                                                    • Aug 2000
                                                    • 942

                                                    #26
                                                    What I mean is the satellite tuner itself is receiving a PCM audio signal from the actual satellite.
                                                    Ok...now I see what you're saying.
                                                    I hadn't thought about it that way. I see your point now...and am stumped.

                                                    Anyone here used a digital TV tuner with a receiver/prepro that had better performance than this?
                                                    I use a DirecTivo unit by Sony mated to my HK AVR-7000. The auto-detect lock-on is immediate. In fact, I get sound before the picture appears on-screen (which probably takes 1/3 of a second to appear). If a $1600 receiver can do it I fully expect the performance of any pre/pro to match what I'm used to.

                                                    Further, I never have problems with lock-on at the start of CDs or DVDs. Nor on layer changes or when pausing the Tivo.




                                                    -Sili
                                                    www.campmurphy.net

                                                    Comment

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