I recently purchased Outlaw Audio’s RR2160 to dip my foot back into the 2 channel waters. I made a total conversion to surround sound several years ago, but found I wasn’t enjoying my music as much as I used to.

A search of the internet pointed to Outaw’s upgraded retro receiver, the 2160, which seemed to fit the bill, so I took a shot and ordered it from Amazon. Am I glad I did! The 2160 is a beautifully built two-channel, analog receiver that mixes in some digital chops as well. On back are analog inputs that include phono and four, line level inputs, so those with analog sources are well covered.

But, the 2160 also has a built in 192/24 capable DAC. So digital sources are also well served. There are two coaxial and two optical inputs. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The 2160 also includes three USB inputs, so you can connect a computer or a USB stick directly to the unit and play files. And the icing on cake: DLNA. If you have a NAS or PC (Windows or Mac) that stores your files, you can connect the 2160 directly to your network via the built in Ethernet jack, and stream files from the NAS or PC directly to the 2160. And it works flawlessly.

All of this analog and digital capability would mean nothing if the 2160 didn’t sound good. It does, in spades. Inside the hefty chassis is a two-channel amplifier rated at 110 watts into 8 ohms and 165 into 4. My 85 db speakers were hitting 100+ db on musical peaks, with no harshness, lack of composure or collapsing of the image. The 2160 sounded wonderful, with excellent imaging, smooth frequency response, and an iron fist on the low end. I also tried the built-in crossover and a subwoofer and I was able to blend my satellites and subwoofer with ease. And if you have smaller satellites (and no sub) and need to coax a little more low end out of them, the built in three frequency EQ settings centered at 55hz, 65hz and 80hz will give an anemic satellite a little more body, enhancing the listening experience.

I played some classical fare (some Shostakovich and Mahler Symphonies, solo piano, and choral works), some Jazz vocals (Tony Bennett) and some pop (Lana Del Rey’s “Lust for Life”), among others and the 2160 always delivered the goods. Powerful, musical sound that could also bring out the subtlety in softer pieces. And operationally, it was glitch free. The volume control works in DB steps and the 2160 immediately responds to the beautifully built remote (which seems like a solid billet of aluminum, with lighted buttons) with no delay. And access to all of the features of the 2160 are available right from the remote.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced (given the performance) “retro” receiver that sounds and looks great, look no further. Hopefully, you will rediscover the joy of 2 channel music like I did. Highly recommended.

Edited by tonygeno (07/31/17 07:42 AM)