Outlaw Audio home shop products hideout news support about
Page 9 of 10 < 1 2 7 8 9 10 >
Topic Options
#81364 - 10/02/09 02:07 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
BloggingITGuy Offline
Desperado

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 446
Loc: Beaverton, Oregon
These new 9.2 receivers and preamps are beginning to make me understand why people stick with 2 channel and tube amps.

At this point, home theater has become way too complex. The vast majority of people looking for a preamp do not need and probably don't even want all the extra gewgaws on something like the 80.2.

Top
#81365 - 10/02/09 02:54 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
Retep Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 266
Loc: Tauranga, New Zealand
I can see your point with regards to simplicity. I'm glad I kept my two channel system.

The great thing about something ilke the 80.2 is the ability to work with a wide range of setups. Net radio, HD radio, Satellite radio and networked media, awesome. I like the idea of a centralized system being able to work with nearly everything with a minimum of hassle.

Top
#81366 - 10/02/09 02:55 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Feature creep and the "swiss army knife" approach to feature sets really are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, marketing pressure and consumer demands create some very real, legitimate reasons for companies to build products with the sorts of never-ending feature lists that you see from something like the upcoming Onkyo receivers and processors. On the other hand, consumer education and consumer comfort with this sort of sophistication can be a real issue when it comes time to use these products.

Real world example time... I can name three co-workers who have relied on me to help work through setting up new AV technology at home. One bought a Rotel setup back in 2004 or so and the local dealer wouldn't even give him the time of day without charging for in-home setup at some nasty hourly rate. He'd come from very high-end two-channel gear, but the jump to surround sound and HD involved so many changes he didn't know what to do. There was no starting point for understanding how to do the setup. Another co-worker just started building his home theater last Christmas, and I helped him shop for some gear. His budget was tiny, so we went with some HSU Research speakers (a center and pair of bookshelves) and one of the cheapest Onkyo receivers on the market. The receiver will get upgraded later, probably to Outlaw separates, but setting up that little Onkyo intimidates him. (It has one coaxial and a couple optical inputs, minimal component and composite analog video switching, so basically it is a cheap 5.1 version of Outlaw's Model 1050 with just a couple newer features like PLII added. If we could have found a used 1050 for the same price as that Onkyo, we probably would have gotten that instead - it would have sounded better!) He'd be nervous about just operating something like the Onkyo 885 I have. The Model 990 would probably be a better fit (the menu structure is a lot shallower and manageable on the 990), but it would take some help from me initially. Then there's our office manager/secretary, who upgraded from old 19" and 21" TV's to DTV for the transition early this summer (she doesn't want cable or satellite). The process involved buying one new TV, a couple converter boxes for bedroom TV's, and one VCR/DVD-R player. I can't tell you how many questions that process generated: how to deal with the disappearance of the VCR for someone who records her soaps, different antenna needs, low power broadcasts prior to the transition, recording to DVD-R and how to delete a program from a DVD-RW when you're used to rewinding and going back over it, ... I could come up with other examples, and I've at times recommended that someone stay with a product like the 990 rather than upgrade to something like an Anthem specifically because of the complexity. This sort of stuff is why I tend to be critical about user interfaces and documentation.

The geek in me is drawn to the idea of something like an Anthem AVM50v (with tons of settings that can be endlessly tweaked and dialed in) or an Onkyo 885/886 (with more than its share of settings). The engineer in me looks at those interfaces and feels a strong urge to try to "fix" the interface, make it easier for people like my co-workers or friends to use. The husband in me likes the idea of something user-friendly so my wife won't gripe every time she tries to watch TV on her own. The 885 isn't particularly bad in this regard, but I think it could be improved. The Model 990 strikes a good balance, I think. It makes me curious to see what will happen with the Model 997.

Edit: I say all this not to condemn products like the Anthems or the Onkyos. They have their place in the market, and they exist for a good reason. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a way today to get really good sound quality without taking on the extra baggage associated with these massive feature lists. There is probably some real value to be had in a product that offers Outlaw-style sound quality and effective integration into a modern home theater (HDMI for HDTV's and Blu-ray, for example) without all of the other bells and whistles.
_________________________
gonk
HT Basics | HDMI FAQ | Pics | Remote Files | Art Show
Reviews: Index | 990 | speakers | BDP-93

Top
#81367 - 10/02/09 03:14 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
Retep Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 266
Loc: Tauranga, New Zealand
Quote:
Originally posted by gonk:

Edit: I say all this not to condemn products like the Anthems or the Onkyos. They have their place in the market, and they exist for a good reason. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a way today to get really good sound quality without taking on the extra baggage associated with these massive feature lists. There is probably some real value to be had in a product that offers Outlaw-style sound quality and effective integration into a modern home theater (HDMI for HDTV's and Blu-ray, for example) without all of the other bells and whistles.
That's why there's equipment at all levels. needs & wants

Top
#81368 - 10/02/09 03:55 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Retep:
That's why there's equipment at all levels. needs & wants
True. My point is that I don't know how much exists right now that offers the particular set of needs and wants that includes sound quality at a Model 970 or Model 990 level and features such as HDMI support without also having a lot of additional stuff. That particular niche may be a bit under-represented in the market right now...
_________________________
gonk
HT Basics | HDMI FAQ | Pics | Remote Files | Art Show
Reviews: Index | 990 | speakers | BDP-93

Top
#81369 - 10/02/09 05:08 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
Retep Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 266
Loc: Tauranga, New Zealand
Quote:
Originally posted by gonk:
Quote:
Originally posted by Retep:
[b]That's why there's equipment at all levels. needs & wants
True. My point is that I don't know how much exists right now that offers the particular set of needs and wants that includes sound quality at a Model 970 or Model 990 level and features such as HDMI support without also having a lot of additional stuff. That particular niche may be a bit under-represented in the market right now... [/b]
I wasn't negating what you said, just stating a simple fact. It's the same in the cell phone market, some of us just want a phone that works as a phone without the bells and whistles.

But as you suggested when and where do you draw the line. Scope creep is problematic, but finding the balance to please a good portion of the audience is tough and it's impossible to please everyone. Personally I like options as long as it doesn't sacrifice sound/video.

I guess the question I have is, what would you strip away and what would you keep?

Keep the connectors, surround processing, video switching/scaling, and auto setup for sound etc and then forget the rest?

Top
#81370 - 10/02/09 06:09 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
ecniemann Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 44
Loc: Greenfield, WI
Quote:
Originally posted by Retep:
The upcoming Integra DHC-80.1 looks really really impressive. Probably has everything you could ask for including net radio.

Looking forward to the 997, but it'll be a generation or two behind some of the stuff announced at cedia, unless of course, Outlaw changes things up.
Actually looking at that link, the 40.1 has everything I would ever use. It looks like the 80.1 steps up to balanced outputs (which I would never use), and has a different processor. Not sure that validates a price of more than double the 40.1.

Top
#81371 - 10/02/09 06:10 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Phew! - I don't know where you draw the line, since each person will put the line in a different place. The audio processing and D/A conversion is important no matter what, and it would be at the heart of a high-performance basic unit. Video switching has a huge convenience factor, but I could see having something more akin to the old-style transcoding switching you have on the Model 990 (might need deinterlacing for 480i sources before converting from analog to HDMI because some TV's don't like to get 480i over HDMI, but anything past that would be open for debate). Basic auto setup is also a big convenience item, but it might be an opportunity to scale back - either just do something like the 990 (no room EQ) or remove it entirely.
_________________________
gonk
HT Basics | HDMI FAQ | Pics | Remote Files | Art Show
Reviews: Index | 990 | speakers | BDP-93

Top
#81372 - 10/02/09 06:28 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
ecniemann Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 44
Loc: Greenfield, WI
Quote:
Originally posted by gonk:
Feature creep and the "swiss army knife" approach to feature sets really are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, marketing pressure and consumer demands create some very real, legitimate reasons for companies to build products with the sorts of never-ending feature lists that you see from something like the upcoming Onkyo receivers and processors. On the other hand, consumer education and consumer comfort with this sort of sophistication can be a real issue when it comes time to use these products.

Real world example time... I can name three co-workers who have relied on me to help work through setting up new AV technology at home. One bought a Rotel setup back in 2004 or so and the local dealer wouldn't even give him the time of day without charging for in-home setup at some nasty hourly rate. He'd come from very high-end two-channel gear, but the jump to surround sound and HD involved so many changes he didn't know what to do. There was no starting point for understanding how to do the setup. Another co-worker just started building his home theater last Christmas, and I helped him shop for some gear. His budget was tiny, so we went with some HSU Research speakers (a center and pair of bookshelves) and one of the cheapest Onkyo receivers on the market. The receiver will get upgraded later, probably to Outlaw separates, but setting up that little Onkyo intimidates him. (It has one coaxial and a couple optical inputs, minimal component and composite analog video switching, so basically it is a cheap 5.1 version of Outlaw's Model 1050 with just a couple newer features like PLII added. If we could have found a used 1050 for the same price as that Onkyo, we probably would have gotten that instead - it would have sounded better!) He'd be nervous about just operating something like the Onkyo 885 I have. The Model 990 would probably be a better fit (the menu structure is a lot shallower and manageable on the 990), but it would take some help from me initially. Then there's our office manager/secretary, who upgraded from old 19" and 21" TV's to DTV for the transition early this summer (she doesn't want cable or satellite). The process involved buying one new TV, a couple converter boxes for bedroom TV's, and one VCR/DVD-R player. I can't tell you how many questions that process generated: how to deal with the disappearance of the VCR for someone who records her soaps, different antenna needs, low power broadcasts prior to the transition, recording to DVD-R and how to delete a program from a DVD-RW when you're used to rewinding and going back over it, ... I could come up with other examples, and I've at times recommended that someone stay with a product like the 990 rather than upgrade to something like an Anthem specifically because of the complexity. This sort of stuff is why I tend to be critical about user interfaces and documentation.

The geek in me is drawn to the idea of something like an Anthem AVM50v (with tons of settings that can be endlessly tweaked and dialed in) or an Onkyo 885/886 (with more than its share of settings). The engineer in me looks at those interfaces and feels a strong urge to try to "fix" the interface, make it easier for people like my co-workers or friends to use. The husband in me likes the idea of something user-friendly so my wife won't gripe every time she tries to watch TV on her own. The 885 isn't particularly bad in this regard, but I think it could be improved. The Model 990 strikes a good balance, I think. It makes me curious to see what will happen with the Model 997.

Edit: I say all this not to condemn products like the Anthems or the Onkyos. They have their place in the market, and they exist for a good reason. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a way today to get really good sound quality without taking on the extra baggage associated with these massive feature lists. There is probably some real value to be had in a product that offers Outlaw-style sound quality and effective integration into a modern home theater (HDMI for HDTV's and Blu-ray, for example) without all of the other bells and whistles.
Totally agree. I have a few more examples. I am very tech savvy, but just the initial change is always very intimidating.

When I first upgraded to the 950, that took some getting use to in terms of all the outputs, inputs, switching, multi-zone, surround modes, etc. Now it seems easy and actually LOW featured.

My first HDTV was confusing with all the tweaks for motion, NR, picture size, different settings for all the inputs, etc. I didn't even know .1 channels existed until I did a channel search! All of a sudden, I have 3 channel 4's as 4.1, 4.2, 4.3!

Switching from Tivo to DISH was hard. DISH had a COMPLETELY different interfcae for searches, timers, season passes. I called technical support because it would not let me add more than like 25 timers. They were no help. I had to go online in a Vip 722 forum to find out how to get around that. Turned out every skipped episode counts as a timer, so I had to specify the channel.

Last, and most recent, I did upgrade to the Onkyo 886, and I have not even gotten half way through the menus yet. It is upstairs temporarily to make sure it worked. I almost blasted my zone 2 speakers due to the huge difference in how the 950 vs Onkyo works, LOL! Audyssey is very nice BTW.

So I can definitely see how the lay person is very intimidated by some of these features. You talk about Audyssey, or processing, or multi-zone, and most people have no clue. HDMI is just getting to be commonplace. I think the 9.2 channel is getting a little ridiculous though. Just too much money, speakers, and space.

Top
#81373 - 10/02/09 06:34 PM Re: Outlaw 997 vs. Onkyo 886
ecniemann Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 44
Loc: Greenfield, WI
Quote:
Originally posted by gonk:
Quote:
Originally posted by Retep:
[b]That's why there's equipment at all levels. needs & wants
True. My point is that I don't know how much exists right now that offers the particular set of needs and wants that includes sound quality at a Model 970 or Model 990 level and features such as HDMI support without also having a lot of additional stuff. That particular niche may be a bit under-represented in the market right now... [/b]
I actually think Onkyo and Denon have cornered this market. They have very up to date, mid-priced units in the $500-$800 range that are not overly packed with features, but have what you need (ie. HDMI switching, good power, good processing), and elminate some of the audiophile tweaks like balanced inputs/outputs, phono, satellite radio, zones, picture calibration, etc.

I just recommended some units to someone whose Yamaha died. Of course I recommended the 990/7075 or 7125 combo, but that may have been out of his price range. I think the biggest current drawback to the 990 is lack of HDMI support, despite still being able to utilize the optical/coax inputs.

Top
Page 9 of 10 < 1 2 7 8 9 10 >

Who's Online
0 registered (), 104 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
REP, caffeinated, WooWho, Ali, garyedward
8714 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
M.Yu 1
Forum Stats
8,714 Registered Members
88 Forums
11,328 Topics
98,694 Posts

Most users ever online: 579 @ 07/06/24 02:31 PM