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#35796 - 12/11/01 09:37 AM I would like to see a 950 Saloon...
Kevin C Brown Offline

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
I am extremely intrigued by this piece of hardware.

I have a Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro now, which I am mostly quite happy with. But I am looking to change to something with (THX) Surround EX/DTS-ES support and 5.1 (or better yet, 7.1 analog inputs).

Here are some features that I would forward to in the 950:

1) 5.1, or preferably, 7.1 analog inputs.

2) Dolby Digital (THX) Surround EX/DTS-ES discrete. Also, the unit *must* have sound fields that take advantage of the rear channel(s) for std DD/DTS discs. (I.e., using Dolby Pro Logic deprocessing of the L + R rears to create the rear C speaker as typically done for genuine EX/DTS-ES DVDs, can result in a collapse of the rear sound field if there's too much shared, mono info between the L + R rears as possible on std DD/DTS discs. For std DD/DTS discs, there could be simple *averaging* of the signal between the L + R rears into the rear center.) I almost got a B&K Ref 30, except that it doesn't have 6.1 sound fields for std DD/DTS disc.

3) Flexible bass management: individually setable crossover freqs between "sets" of speakers. One value for L + R mains, one value for L + R rears, and maybe a value for front center, and another for rear center(s) speakers. 10 Hz increments from 40 to 120 Hz.

4) Internal digital processing of *at least* 24 bit/96 kHz. This is for crossing over the mains to the sub, and even desirable for DD/DTS surround field processing. (The B&K has this, but drops down to 48 kHz for surround processing.) And, if you got to 24/192, I wouldn't even have heartburn about doing DVD-A/SACD bass management digitally!

5) Bass management must be available for 2 channel/stereo listening.

6) At least 1 digital output for recording. 2 would be better.

7) Re EQ.

8) THX post processing.

9) Nameable inputs.

10) Auto speaker level calibration/distance calibration. (The Parasound AVC-2500u has this. But then you have to buy a separate "volume card" to control the volume of the 5.1 analog inputs!)

11) Software upgradeable. *And*, a history by the manufacturer of providing software upgrades.

12) Great 2 channel stereo sound.

13) Headphone output.

14) Acceptable, useable remote.

If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!

#35797 - 12/11/01 10:19 AM Re: I would like to see a 950 Saloon...
gonk Offline

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
I like your list. Is this a "wish list" or a "can't wait to have when I get my 950 list"? I ask because while a number of the items are known to be in the 950, there are several that are believed to be or known to be missing from the 950. If it is a wish list, then it looks like you did pretty well.

1) Latest picture of the back panel indicates 5.1 analog input, with a switch that I'm guessing may to be enable/disable the 80Hz crossover option.

2) DD, DTS, DD Surround EX, DTS-ES discrete and matrix, DTS Neo:6, DPL II, and Cirrus Extra Surround are known to be included, as well as 5 channel stereo and 7 channel stereo. Cirrus Extra Surround will reportedly allow use of center surround channel(s) for any source (I'm thinking of it as a substitute for the Model 1050's beloved Surround 6.1 mode).

3) Yep, although the increments of control are reportedly (as of earlier this fall) 40 Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120 Hz or 150Hz. That's separate control of the crossover point for mains, center, and surround/surround back.

4) They are reportedly using some Cirrus 24/192 DACs.

5) I think that there is bass management available for 2 channel inputs, but there is also the option to sacrifice bass management and digital processing entirely in order to retain a completely analog signal path from stereo input to output for any stereo input on the unit (nice if you have a good CD player or a CD transport and DAC and want to avoid A-D conversion and D-A conversion).

6) One coaxial output, one optical output.

7) Here's the first one I'm not sure on. The 950 FAQ does list a "Theater EQ" that may be what you're talking about.

8) No THX. I don't think we'll see THX in an Outlaw product for the forseeable future. Maybe the "high-end" pre/pro will include it, but I sort of doubt it.

9) This is something I'd love to see, but I haven't seen anything that said the 950 would have it.

10) Now that would be an interesting feature! Again, though, I haven't seen anything indicating that the 950 would have it.

11) It sounds like the 950 is built to allow a certain amount of software upgrading, but I don't get the impression that it allows a lot here.

12) I'm hoping so, too! And while we won't know until we get to hear it, I suspect this one is a safe bet.

13) Heh-heh. Common question, with a somewhat disappointing answer: no sign of a headphone output on the pictures of the alpha unit.

14) I have really liked the 1050's remote, and it sounds like the 950's remote will add a few very useful features (macros, learning).

Hopefully a 950 Saloon will appear in the next week or so (maybe when the reservation list goes up), since it has been and continues to be a very hot topic around here. If they move all the old 950 threads out of "New Product Suggestions," it'll put a big dent in the new products saloon!
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#35798 - 12/11/01 03:37 PM Re: I would like to see a 950 Saloon...
Kevin C Brown Offline

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA

I currently have #3, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 13 with the Sony. 12 and 14 are "close enough." For now.

I would view 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12 as "must haves" (or else why upgrade ). And the rest are "negotiable" depending on what's there or not there vs the price.

Based on your list, looks like it comes very close to what I'd be looking for.

I have recently looked at the Marantz AV9000, B&K Ref 30, Parasound AVC-2500u, Rotel RSP-985, and just now the Acurus ACT3-ABM (I have 2 A200x3 amps).

I guess me, like the rest of the world, anxiously awaits shipment of the 1st units, and then magazine/user reviews...

Thanks for quick and knowledgeable response!!

Oh, and I'll add a #15: attached metal plate logo...
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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