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#93999 - 03/12/14 08:25 PM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: mdrconsult]
mdrconsult Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/27/07
Posts: 124
Loc: Austin, Texas
Nancy, Thank You for your response. Obviously not exactly the answer I was hoping to get.

I was hoping you could narrow it down to this year, next year or longer. I really want to get rid of my Onkyo, I have been wholly under-whelmed from the moment I got it. I've been waiting and waiting for something from Outlaw. Although the 975 looks good, it's just doesn't have all that I'm looking for in a modern processor. If I knew something was coming in the next year or so I could hang on. But with Outlaw not providing any clear direction I can't see how I can justify waiting any longer. I hate to say it, but I think you're loosing another loyal Outlaw customer.

To the rest of the Saloon, I guess I'm going to start shopping for a new processor. Any recommendations for a processor in a price range of $1.5-3K, preferably the lower end, but for the right features and quality I would pay more. Obviously I will look at the Marantz systems Outlaw is reselling, but to be honest I have never been a fan of Marantz products. For those that remember, the proposed 978 from Outlaw would have really filled the bill for me. Here are a few things that are key to me:

1) GREAT Audio Quality!
2) Room Correction
3) XLR Pre-Amp out, I have long runs to my amps
4) Ease of configuration and management

All the rest of the bells and whistles are nice, but not critical to me.
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#94000 - 03/13/14 12:51 AM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: mdrconsult]
sdurani Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 765
Loc: Monterey Park, CA
Originally Posted By: mdrconsult
To the rest of the Saloon, I guess I'm going to start shopping for a new processor. Any recommendations for a processor in a price range of $1.5-3K, preferably the lower end, but for the right features and quality I would pay more.
I wouldn't spend that kind of money until seeing what was announced at CEDIA in September.
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#94001 - 03/13/14 06:25 AM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: mdrconsult]
ndskurfer Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 120
Loc: Bismarck, ND
Originally Posted By: mdrconsult
If I knew something was coming in the next year or so I could hang on.


If you look back in the 997 thread, I believe I may have said something very similar to this back in 2008. That was 6 years ago...

I would look at what is available now. I waited because of that carrot that was hanging out there in front of us the entire time, and I appreciate that Outlaw isn't using that strategy now. I have since upgraded processors, but will likely do it again once something comes along similar to what what you described, but at an affordable price point. I currently own a processor very similar to the 975 for now.

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#94002 - 03/14/14 04:31 AM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: mdrconsult]
Strider53 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 33
Loc: Detroit
So its been what, 18 months or so since the cancellation of the 978?
Too early to start the speculation on what a new processor should have/not have?

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#94003 - 03/14/14 02:07 PM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: sdurani]
renov8r Offline
Desperado

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 325
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: sdurani
Originally Posted By: mdrconsult
To the rest of the Saloon, I guess I'm going to start shopping for a new processor. Any recommendations for a processor in a price range of $1.5-3K, preferably the lower end, but for the right features and quality I would pay more.
I wouldn't spend that kind of money until seeing what was announced at CEDIA in September.


The fact is that the "landscape" for the kind of product that many of us want to see is not all that compatible with the "marketing plans" of the big guys in the audio business. One of those "big guys" basically was responsible for "knifing the baby" that was supposed to what we were hoping for...

The other thing that is undeniable is that the "goal posts" do keep moving -- there is no doubt that 4K is bigger deal to the geniuses in marketing for the big guys than any actual customers, just as 3D was far more important to the marketing bozos than consumers! That said there are other moving targets that seem to be a LOT easier to hit -- high bit rate audio formats, greatly expanded codecs for multichannel, installation / setup menus that don't look overly geeky, some easy way to relate the value of such a purchase to life partners perhaps through easy integration with existing smart remote systems...

I do think that the big guys will be touting 4K pre-pros at CEDIA and my gut says that since the firms that make the chipsets for this are almost certainly overstocked that does create one of those situations where it is practically cheaper to go with the "latest and greatest" than to try to go forward with what are now "legacy" chipsets.

I continue to think that the same kind of disaster of having a Chinese manufacturer "back out at the last minute" is every bit as likely NOW as it happened before. I similarly think the hard core world of really committed tinkerer-level manufacturing is growing. With 3D printers being widely availble it ought to be possible to "mock up" the often tricky physical layout of an innovative piece of home audio in a fraction of the time / money than it took with older methods. Similarly with the right kind of connections to individuals /firms that have launched things at Kickstarter and/or been on teams with open source efforts like ardunio or raspberry pi one could get the "core" of a design team that would work right in the USA or globally through remote connections. Once everything was at the right stage it might be possible to then bring a "ready to hit the production line" concept / prototype to the kinds of onshore contract electronics firm that maybe have seen business from DOD fall off due to cutbacks / lack a real demand for "Amazon PrimeDrones" and then get the whole thing moving forward at far more affordable level and with greatly accelerated roll out.
Maybe I am too much of a dreamer and the big guys that continue to make "me too" products that are overpriced and overcomplicated can get by with continuing to squeeze the little guys. Maybe the technical, legal and financial hurdles that continue to plague the other "little guy" direct-to-consumer audio products firm are evidence that things cannot be overcome. It is frustrating to see this as just a potential purchaser and most be positively maddening for folks that demand on this business as their livelihood...

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#94004 - 03/14/14 07:38 PM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: renov8r]
sdurani Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 765
Loc: Monterey Park, CA
Originally Posted By: renov8r
I do think that the big guys will be touting 4K pre-pros at CEDIA...
Oh it's going to be a lot more than that. The tag-line for this year's CEDIA Expo is "hyper change", because there is a perfect storm coming with a trifecta of new technologies in audio (object-oriented), video (4K) and connectivity (HDMI 2.0). And all of it happening simultaneously. Hard enough for the big guys to keep up with, even with their massive purchasing power and economies of scale. Imagine how much more difficult it must be for smaller independent companies like Outlaw.


Edited by sdurani (03/14/14 07:39 PM)
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#94014 - 03/16/14 01:41 PM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: sdurani]
EEman Offline
Desperado

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 482
Loc: Canton, MI
Agreed. There's no way Outlaw is going to be first to market with the latest technology. They are, in my opinion, a "me too" company with the added bonus of not compromising previous performance for the sake of new technology. Or stated another way, the Outlaw paradigm is to provide proven technologies in an architecture that gives the greatest bang for the buck.

Originally Posted By: sdurani
Originally Posted By: renov8r
I do think that the big guys will be touting 4K pre-pros at CEDIA...
...Imagine how much more difficult it must be for smaller independent companies like Outlaw.
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#94022 - 03/17/14 11:56 AM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: mdrconsult]
renov8r Offline
Desperado

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 325
Loc: Illinois
See the thing is that I really do believe that there is still a whole lot of potential for someone with the right mix of ideas to make a profound difference in the direction of direct-to-consumer audio / home theater products.

From what I know about working in larger organizations there is a whole bunch of concern about "keeping the front line sellers happy" and that typically involves all kinds of decisions about things that happen before anyone has really made any decisions / designs for a "new" product -- things like having a "good/better/best" range of offerings, giving buyers reasons to "move up" to the more profitable product, making compromised on the 'entry level' offerings...

Don't get my wrong, I completely with EEman that it is exceedingly unlikely that any of the "big guys" that sit on the standards boards for things like HDMI or 4K will willingly allow a tiny firm like Outlaw or similar direct-to-consumer firm make a huge leap in terms of TIME TO MARKET for these technologies BUT I do think that there is probably a way to profitably sell something VERY "up to date" inside the price framework that exists.

Right now:

Outlaw Model #975 $549

next "step up" is

Marantz AV7701 $1699

above that is

Marantz AV8801 $3599


(yes I know about open box specials / combos / refurbs, but those are current 'normal' selling prices)

Seems to my with eleven hundred bucks between the entry model OR nineteen hundred bucks between the 7701 & its big brother there is room for something in either category. The amount of features that are in even the 7701 seems excessive to me -- the darn thing supports TWO FULL zones with HDMI and a THIRD zone with audio. Really, who uses those "features"? It has been capable of 4K upscaling since its introduction, how many people could possibly be using that?

Heck look at all these inputs:
HDMI In: 7 (including front HDMI input)

Component In: 3

Composite In: 4

HDMI Out: 3 (2 x Simultaneous, 1 x Zone 2)

Component Out: 1

Composite Out: 2

Analog L&R In: 6

And networking:

Networking: AirPlay, DLNA 1.5 certified Audio/Photo Streaming, Internet Radio, Streaming service capability (Pandora/SiriusXM/flickr and Spotify)

Just create a less "glitzy" pre-pro that is "handicapped" in only doing 4K video pass-thru / source switching, sane amounts of inputs, all the various codes and TOP NOTCH high resolution / narrow bandwidth computerized audio equalization for a much more attractive price and I would be thrilled to spend something quite a bit more than double what the 975 sells for ...

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#94034 - 03/19/14 07:34 AM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: mdrconsult]
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
I have felt for many years (and posted about it repeatedly along the way) that the "everything plus the kitchen sink and turbocharged garbage disposer" approach to surround receivers and processors is detrimental to consumers and smaller manufacturers for a couple of reasons. First, it incorporates a lot of source functionality into a processing/switching device - functionality that is currently very subject to planned or unintended obsolescence, and that can be achieved separately just as easily (and often with better interface and feature sets). Second, it makes an already-difficult product development process significantly more challenging, both in capital expenditures and in overall design quality. That makes it harder for the smaller brands (brands that are more likely to prioritize the consumer's overall experience) to develop new products. It also makes marketing products that forego the "kitchen sink" feature set approach difficult, even though they actually provide a better value to consumers.

I still am pretty comfortable with my Marantz AV7005, although after we finish our renovation this year I am seriously considering replacing it with a Model 975. I may also try a Model 975 while we're moved out of the house. Like renov8r, I still like the idea of a Model 975 "big brother" that leaves off or prunes back many of the same things (no networking, limited analog support) but offers a healthy supply of digital inputs, good audio processing (including some auto setup/room correction goodies would be nice), good analog audio section, and perhaps some good video processing to go with the video switching. If the industry would quit changing HDMI versions, developing something like that would be a lot easier.
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#94036 - 03/19/14 01:01 PM Re: Outlaws Next Pre/Pro? [Re: mdrconsult]
candyman Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 76
Loc: Beaverton
Originally Posted By: mdrconsult
To the rest of the Saloon, I guess I'm going to start shopping for a new processor. Any recommendations for a processor in a price range of $1.5-3K, preferably the lower end, but for the right features and quality I would pay more. Obviously I will look at the Marantz systems Outlaw is reselling, but to be honest I have never been a fan of Marantz products. For those that remember, the proposed 978 from Outlaw would have really filled the bill for me.


I am/was in a similar situation. My Outlaw 990 has been the processor in my primary system for about 8 years now. I was hopeful and waited for the 997 and 978 as potential replacements. Obviously that didn't happen for well documented reasons. I have no disappointment in Outlaw, just that it eliminated a potential candidates from the replacement list. I do believe Outlaw is currently overcompensating from the 997/978 experiences by not sharing future information on an upcoming processor.

I looked at a used Marantz AV7005 and new AV7701 and AV8801. The AV7005 & AV7701 don't have the room correction I'm seeking so they aren't long term solutions. The AV8801 was better but doesn't have the desired value proposition. I added the Yamaha CX-A5000 to the potential list and, through my research, felt it was a bit better than the AV8801 but wasn't willing to pay $3k for it.

At this point, I've taken a short/long approach. I picked up a B-stock Outlaw 975 on the current sale--nice price--as a short term solution. I lose my 990s XLR pre-amp outs and it won't have room correction. It gives me HDMI (finally), supports newer processing technologies, and saves me money to fix or replace my TV which is exhibiting video problems. The 975 just arrived so I'll have a few weeks to evaluate it. If the 975 meets my short term goals and provides the desired benefits, I get an interim upgrade while I continue my search for a long-term replacement.

Rob
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Surround: Martin Logan Fresco i via Outlaw OAWA3
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