Outlaw Audio VS. NAD .. Please help


Any thoughts about a Outlaw Audio Model 950 Pre-Amp and Model 7100 amp combo?? Would it be better than to get a Nad T762 A/V receiver alone? Will the Outlaw Amp safetly handle a 4 ohm load?

If someone was giving me a gift, I would much prefer the Outlaw combo. Of course, it costs considerably more. I would be shocked if the Outlaw amp didn't handle 4 ohm speakers with as much or more applomb than the NAD. Outlaw has a nice site---go write them an e-mail in the tech department. Outlawaudio.com


I would have to agree with G-Man. The Outlaw is more money, but should sound a bit better. The 7100 is rated at 165 wpc x 7 into a 4 ohm load, so that is not a concern. If you do get the Outlaws, don't forget to buy interconnects!

yes, indeed...great combination. I only have the Outlaw 7100 running my Kenwood 9070D. I couldn't afford the 950/7100 combo, but it still runs great with the set-up I have now. I'm sure you won't regret the purchase. And yes it can handle a 4ohm load

Interconnects, for what? And does the Model 950 PreAmp have a sub jack (probably a studid question) Thanks

Guess what I meant was is the Outlaw Audio a A/V PreAmp, if not how would the sub get the bass signal?


Interconnects connect the 950 pre/pro with the separate amp. Don't assume that they are thrown in free like the interconnects that come with a separate CD player or DVD player. When you get something like the Outlaw combo, buyers are often picky about their interconnects, so no one throws them in. You need to buy them separately, but Outlaw sells their own, which are pretty good. Cost is about $100.

The sound of the Outlaw is very good, but not for everyone. Their amps are a little dry and cooler sounding than the NAD. If you want a warmer sounding amp, get the NAD. BTW, what speakers are you running?

The Outlaw 950 is an A/V pre-amp and an excellent one at that. As far as interconnects, any reasonably manufactured ones would be indistinguishable from very expensive ones, as far as audible performance is concerned--and probably the same as measured performance. Most people use short interconnects between the other components anyway. Speaker wires are usually your long run connections. And 50 cent a foot Radio Shack or Monster Cable is also indistinguishable from ultra expensive wire. The only possible exception might be if you are running incredibly long wire runs to your surrounds---like over 50 feet. Just get good inexpensive 14 gauge wire that is coated to reject RF signals---which is almost all good wire.

Remember, the speaker companies just use regular OFHC copper in the speakers they build. They don't use expensive "tweako" wire. So if the long runs of wire in the speaker don't degrade sound, why would shorter runs of the same or better wire do worse?

Your main decision will be whether to use a coaxial or optical interconnect for your CD or DVD player---and both are fine.

Ive decided on the Axiom Epic 80 system for speakers, in which the M80 fronts have a 4 ohm load, which is the reason that I went with Outlaw as a choice. However I havent ruled out NAD. I can spend around $2000 for seperates (A single A/V receivers internal amp power just won't do) Like a Model 950 Preamp, and Model 7100 or 755 amp. But since the speakers are only about $2000, haven't I budgeted to much for the Preamp and Amp? I read something someone said that the speakers should be the most expensive item in HT, my mixture is around 50/50, with exception of adding a sub, which is not in the $2000 speaker amount. Axioms will handle lots of power, I want the most I can get naturally, in a room 20x23 w/12 ft ceilings. And one last thing....I always hear people refer to amps and receivers as sounding warm, and cooler, etc. etc. BUT I havent the slightest clue what that means. I live in So. Indiana and the only store in this area that sells anything is Circuit City, Best Buy, and a place called Risleys which sells mostly Yamaha receivers, B&W speakers and Paradigm speakers. However I do live relatively close to Indianapolis, Nashville, and St.Louis if anyone has ideas on good places to shop for audio equipment like NAD, Outlaw, etc. PLEASE HELP

Actually I just went to Outlaw site and saw that I can get 4 monoblocks rated at 300wts into 4 ohms for $1124 and the 5th monoblock is free. Im just gonna start with 5.1 anyways. So the 5 individual monoblocks with same power output as the Model 755 5 channel amp is about $150 cheaper. Does that sound like a good deal?


I happen to like the Outlaw monoblocks, and the special (5th one free) sounds great. Since Outlaw is internet sale only, you won't find it in stores to audition--just like the Axioms. Youu basically have to buy it and then ship it back if you don't like it.

I am reading a bigger problem--you are not sure what to get because you haven't heard good quality HT due to the lack of good dealers near you. In other words, you can't be sure what you are getting since you haven't heard it yet. I think we need to get you to a dealer to sample what is really good stuff.

You sound like you are in southwestern Indiana based upon your description. If so, there are two NAD dealers in the area. I checked the NAD website and found two dealers, the first is in Terre Haute (The Audio Connections, Inc., 812-232-1663) and another one in Bedford (I am not sure where Bedford is, but the name of the business, no kidding, is Dr. Crankenstein, 812-278-7757). These are the only dealers i could find in southern Indiana. NAD is definitely worth the listen if you are concerned about your budget. They will give you high quality sound on a budget.

I am also aware of a nice dealer in Carmel (near Indianapolis) called Premier Custom Audio & Video (317-580-1032) which carries a line of products called Adcom, which are very reasonably priced (about the same as Outlaw) and sound very, very nice. A little warmer than Outlaw, yet has that same clean, focused sound. You can also find Adcom at Picture Perfect Sound in Champaign, IL, which sounds like it must be not too far from you (if you are willing to go to St. Louis). Worth checking out.

Speakers are a harder question since there are so many good speakers out there, but the dealers above should have something good in their stores.

Well, that is enough for tonight--gotta go, but I will check back in with more info if you want it.

Thank you so much for all your help Hawk, you have been helping answer several of my questions over the last couple months. Ill do some research and find out what these dealerships have to offer, actually I went to the Terre Haute one, but was very dissapointed, they only had very old units there, nothing like the T762, or 752 and the store was not organized at all. I guess the hardest thing that I am finding out in that everyone always ask what is the best receiver, speakers, amp, etc, etc, etc for x-amount of dollars, and the experts (i.e Hawk-Ha,Ha) always say its up to the person listening to deside what sounds best to him/her....BUT I have no idea what good sounds like! Whats warm, cool, laid back, harsh sound like? Thanks for all your help

Shaun --

I applaud your desire to move to better equipment for a more enjoyable music and viewing experience. "Hawk" & "G-Man" have given you some good advice about taking the time to travel to reputable stores to hear a quality setup. Regarding interconnects -- with the lower end gear ("Japanese Mid-Fi") I expect that he is correct in stating there is no difference between the RCA plugs that come with the CD/DVD player and a more expensive interconnect. As you get better equipment, you wil find there is a remarkable difference. There are some decent cables from AudioQuest and Kimber that will not break the bank. But, evaluate that for yourself. This is one of the really enjoyable aspect of this hobby! Have Fun!

The main advantage in getting monoblocks is usually getting a powerful amp that can be right behind the speaker with only a few feet of speaker wire. Obviously, this causes a big disadvantage in having quite a few long runs of interconnects to the A/V pre-amp which are far more costly and far harder to find in long runs than good speaker wire, which can be bought in spools at Radio Shack, Tweeter, Walmart, etc. And let me repeat, NO ONE has ever been able to distinguish 50 cent a foot speaker wire from $100/ft speaker wire in BLIND listening tests. They only say they notice things when they KNOW the type of wire which is there. This test has been done so many times as to make re-stating it very redundant. The many feet of wire that even expensive speaker manufacturers use internally in their speakers should make obvious what even $8,000/pr speaker manufacturers KNOW about wire. They just won't say it publicly because it angers retailers and wire manufacturers--as they get no benefit from saying this obvious fact. Afterall, retailers might stop selling their speakers.

It is far easier to buy a multichannel amp for a new system, such as the Outlaw.It keeps things far neater and if you get any quality amp you won't suffer one iota in performance. Monoblocks are mostly good in limited applications--such as when you may need one or two more channels to power extra speakers in your set-up. For instance, say you have a 5.1 set-up with a 5-channel amp, but have a 7.1 pre-amp. At a later date it may make sense to buy one or two monoblocks or even a stereo amp to power a 6.1 or 7.1 set-up.

While the general rule of spending more on speakers is a good one, I wouldn't get caught up in it. Getting a great combo, such as the Outlaw combo, gives you enormous flexibility in speaker use. You basically don't have to worry about most any speaker you will buy and you will always have more power than neceassary. And you certainly will never have a problem driving the Axiom 80's, or almost any other speaker system for that matter. And to allay any fears you may have, the Outlaw amp isn't warm, cold, clinical, or any other description. It will simply amplify the signal given it--that's all. The amp and pre-amp frequency response goes far beyond audibility and all distortion levels are so far below audibility as to be totally unimportant. All speakers you choose will always have frequency limitations and much higher distortion. Although some are better than others and people often prefer the anomalies of one speaker to another. Heck, people often prefer a far less accurate speaker to an almost neutral great one. Such is life.

Shaun --

"G-Man" continues to make good points. Let me add two more to his posting.
1. If you establish a relationship with a reputable dealer, he/she will be comfortable letting you borrow equipment (including cables and speaker wire) to try in your own system. You will spend more initially than buying over the web, but you will save continuously thereafter as you upgrade your gear.
2. That there has never been a MEASURABLE difference between interconnects and cables is more a reflection of the ability to measure such differences. To state that there is no difference because it is not measurable is akin to the "flat earth" belief or stating equivocally that there are only 9 planets in our solar system as we were all taught. Leave room for that paradigm shift!

TRUST YOU EARS! If you like what you hear, go with it. But always remain open minded about upgrades and things that will change the character of the sound from your system. If the interconnect is something you want to delve into, visit usedcables.com for a variety of inexpensive used items. Then judge for yourself. While advice from other audiophiles is interesting and contradictory, the bottom line is that you enjoy what you see and hear.


Good to know if I have questions at this site there is always someone here to help, usually unbiased and always understanding to help us just getting started, thanks G-Man, Hawk, Berny, and Dan Starr. You guys helped a million


Even Aristotle knew the earth was round--as did anyone who viewed a lunar eclipse. Afterall, you can see the circular outline of the earth on the moon. You didn't need to be a scientist--just reasonably observant and clear-headed. Flat-earthers have never been observant or clear-headed. Certainly scientists benefit from having better instrumentation to have the ability to measure and calculate many things they previously weren't able to measure, see, or explain. And I am sure they will continue to learn.

The fact is, scientists ( especially physicists, electrical and audio engineers) say that the only parameters that effect performance below radio frequencies are resistance (R), capacitance (C), and inductance (I).

The "lie" that high-priced cables and wires sound better has been disproved, exposed, refuted, and shamed so many times by genuine scientific and audio authorities that the professional community doesn't even address it anymore. No one has ever been able to pass ABX tests on wires or cables.

If no one can distinguish a difference in an ABX test,than what is the point?

I guess the point is financial interests of retailers and wire manufacturers and tweako magazines (that sell ad space) spreading the "good news".

And as is true in so much of life, the propagandists, agenda people, and cultists have mostly won the day.

Bravo Professor G-Man, so what brand of cables do you recommend for connection of amp to preamp? What gauge of wire from speaker to wall plate with binding post? And do banana plugs really even matter over bare wiring? I thought I would use the banana plugs in the back of the amp to make a cleaner connection, as well as from end of wire into wall plate to look nicer

I recommend the least expensive Monster Cable or good Radio Shack wires and cables.

Banana plugs are a convenience--but they don't matter electronically. You can make a good connection various ways. If you like Banana plugs--use them. Just don't spend a fortune doing it.

I'm using monster cables, just because I like the way they look and I can get it cheap. If was not getting a deal, I will be using Radio Shack cables. With seven inputs on the 7100, i have to be frugal, oy! Saving up for the 950 next.
Shaun, I believe you can get a deal from Outlaw audio if you buy their amps and interconnects at the same time.

That is as good as any reason and better than most for buying wire and cable.

Pride of ownership and good looks can be very important properties---particularly if you can afford those qualities:-)

An A/V dealer I had been friends with (long distance via the phone) for 25 years sold me an Aragon 2007 amp and an Aragon A/V pre-amp at cost so I bought it last year. He had just gotten the representation and wanted to look good to Klipsch--which had bought Aragon. I love the looks of it---like it belongs in the Museum of Modern Art---and the blue glow on both pieces. It plays great--but I am sure I could have spent far less and have gotten similar performance---just not similar glee in ownership. It looks great even when it isn't on :-0)

With amps and pre-amps there definitely is a point of rapidly diminishing returns. Heck, with most electronics.


I suspect the last thing you need is more advice, but I am going to give you some anyways. I would suggest that you listen to some Adcom separates. They are similar to the Outlaws in quality (actually perhaps a bit higher) and I have been recommending Outlaw because the Adcoms cost more, but I just went by my local Adcom dealer and the prices have dropped such that I think you should consider them strongly. Seems new models are coming out and you may wish to check out the older models because they are very good.

I checked at www.adcom.com, and there are dealers near you in Carmel, Indiana (Premier Custom Aduio & Video: 317-580-1032), and Champaign, Illinois (Picture Perfect Sound: 217-351-6980). If you go to one of these, you should be able to hear the Adcoms demo'ed against a good receiver and then you should be able to hear the difference in the sound quality. If you decide that there is no difference to you, check out the receivers that they can recommend.

Thank you hawk, and everyone else, and by all means please send more advice, for I fear for my death if I dont do this right by my wife!!!!

I went to Adcom.com. Found Pre-Pro/Amp combo for around $2000 (For GFA 7700 amp, and GTP 830 pre-pro). So do you really think that Adcom would be better for the money? The GFA 7700 Amp is rated @ 175 wpc into 8 ohms, does that mean that its rated 350 wpc into 4 ohms? Would Adcom handle 4 ohms? ADCOM VS. OUTLAW, any thoughts?

It doesn't mean it will have double the output into 4 ohms. In fact, it would be good if it had over 250 watts into 4 ohms.

By the way, the Adcom GFA 7700 is a 5-channel amp--not a 7-channel amp like the Outlaw. Outlaw also makes a more powerful 5-channel amp at 200 watts into 8 ohms and 300 watts into 4 ohms for $1299.

But I would definitely get the Outlaw combo on sale at under $1600. It will be more power than you will ever need or use with this sytem.

Thanks for the advice G-Man. I talked to a guy who works at Axiom, and he said that he had 1000 watts going into each speaker, does that sound bogus?


Adcom will handle 4 ohms, easily. And, while I cannot be certain (as teh Adcom website and product literature doesn't have much detail), I believe you can count on the 4 ohm output to be somewhere in the 250-350 wpc range, without question. On an amp of this quality, 350 is the likely figure. However, I recommend the GTP-860 pre/pro, which I saw yesterday for $797.00, same price essentially as the Outlaw 950. It is a big step up from the 830 and the price has dropped because they are coming out with a new 860, Model II, so you can get the better model pretty cheap (relatively speaking, of course).

My point was to have you hear the Adcoms and decide for yourself if you thought the sound was better than a simple receiver. I was very disappointed to hear about your experience at the NAD dealer in Terre Haute. Sadly, that happens a lot with audio dealers in more rural and small town locations. But the point is that that particular dealer was not going to help you determine what you like.

Now I have thought of another solution--Rotel. I did some digging on the 'net and found there are three Rotel dealers in the Indianapolis area. Here they are:

Address: 6371 N. GUILFORD AVE.
Phone: 317 255-4342

Address: 612 STATION DR.
Phone: 317 580-1922
Web Site: www.digitechcustom.net

Address: 6330 E. 75TH ST.
Phone: 317 845-2277
Web Site: www.triphasecustom.com

Check out the RSP-1066 pre/pro along with the RMB-1075. Now this is a bit more money, but again you should hear this combo against a receiver. Also, check out the Rotel RSX-1065, which is a receiver from Rotel but it sounds like the Rotel separates. It is incredibly sweet sounding. If I could afford it, I would be sorely tempted to buy it myself.

My personal preference is for the Rotel, but any of the discussed products are worth getting if you really want something that sounds cleaner, smoother and more detailed than the run of the mill receiver. But the bottom line is that if you are willing to spend this kind of money, you should get what you like. Don't buy something and then wonder and worry that you should have gotten something else (buyer's remorse). Take some time to listen to a few different options and then purchase what you like the best and can afford.


i'm so glad i got into this conversation. i've been in the prowl for an upgrade for my system aswell. i recently bought boston acoustics speakers and i'm using an onkyo a/v receiver to run them. i want to get seperates as well. so far i narrowed down to adcom gtp 880/ adcom gfa 7807 or rotel rsp 1098/ rotel rmb 1095. now rotel 1098 is close to 3k (wow) and 1095 is 2k. very expensive propsition. the adcom combo will run me about 4.3k. adcom amp is 7ch, rotel is 5ch. i'm not sure if there is any movies out there using 7.1 (let me know if any one knows of a movie or music rec in 7.1)

so, i'm leaning towards adcom simply because of that reason. if any one knows more detail on either of these amps performance, please let me know. however, if you have any suggestions on other brands that will be in the 5k pricerange, i'll consider that aswell.

rotel rsx 1065 is a beautiful reciever. however, you need to add a stereo amp to get the full 7.1ch, otherwise it has amplification for only 5ch's.

Hawk, could you tell me where you found the Adcom pre/pro for $797.00. Me and the wife are going to Indy next weekend to check out the units that you suggested, she thinks Im crazy for driving 3 hrs just to hear home theater equipment! By the way does anyone know what web sites companies should be considered to buy amps, pre/pro, receivers, etc, etc. AND one more thing, what does "flagship" receiver mean?

It just means that it is the absolute top of the line product for the company.


That is the price offered locally by a dealer called "The Big Picture" here in the Denver, CO area (a home theater specialist).

Berny is correct about "flagship" receiver just means their top of the line.

My wife thinks I'm crazy, too, but I remind her of her obsessions (shoes and cookbooks) and she keeps to herself.

Amen brother Hawk, mine too. Does that Denver dealer have a web site or a phone #, maybe they can ship their products.

Hey, has anyone compared the Rotel RSX-1055/1065 to NAD 752/762? They seem to head-on comparable models worthy of considerations. I am trying hard to decide which one of those to go for. Oh, I keep hearing about NAD coming out with 753 and 763. Any info on these?

Also, a friend of mine suggests going for the Rotel RSX-1055/1065 which are 5-channel receivers but get an extra tube amp to drive the front speakers purely for listening to music. Has anyone tried that approach? I'm just afraid that sonically they won't match and as far as amplification power goes, there is also a big difference.

G-Man, does your comment on going for inexpensive speaker cables also apply to various interconnect cables like coaxial and optical?

Sure. The least expensive Monster Cable coaxials are audibly and electrically the same as $500 cables. Nothing wrong with Rado Shack cables either. These cables carry only a fraction of what they are capable of carrying.

Hey Shaun,
How about an update on your equipment? Have you put it all together yet?


I have missed your post, so I didn't know to answer your question. Sorry about that!

Hey, I happened to think of you last night when I saw some new specials pop up on the website for accessories4less.com. they have the Adcom 7605 amp ona closeout for $559.99--that is a huge savings if you are interested. They only show two units left, so they won't last long, I am sure.

As for the Denver dealer with the Adcom pre-amp, yes, they do have a website. Here is the link:


The preamp I saw and told you about is in the store at Quebec and County Line Road in Englewood, CO. Their phone number is (303) 771-7129. Talk to Jeff.


I have spent some considerable time evaluating both the Rotel 1055 and the NAD 752/762. In my view, the sonic quality of all three units is first rate, but the Rotel has a very different sound from the NAD. I would not say either sound is better, just different. Both companies have top quality pre/pro sections and the sound emanated from each of the receivers is very clear, very clean and focused. It is quite a step up from the sound one is used to hearing from the typical mass market receiver.

Where they differ, however, is primarily in the amp section. The Rotel is leaner sounding, crisper and just a tad light on the bass. This is not necessarily a bad thing simply because one can get used to the bloom from an over-weighted bass that you usually get from a mass market receiver. In short, I may be a bit unused to the sound of the Rotel because most of what I hear from my Denon may in fact be a poorly controlled bass. It would be nice to spend some serious time with the Rotel to get used to it and determine whether it really is light on the bass or if I am just betrayed by the sound from my Denon.

The NADs on the other hand are warmer and fuller sounding with weightier bass. It is closer to what I am used to hearing in that it seems to cover the entire audio range very well, but it is ceratinly cleaner and more focused than my Denon.

Although the sound is different, and your personal preference on the sound will largely determine which brand you would choose, part of the reason that the Rotel costs more is that they have a much more expensive front fascia and higher quality switches. It does have a more luxurious feel to it. NAD, on the other hand, eschews spending any money on the front panel arguing the money needs top be spent on the inside, not the outside.

I hope this helps.

Im real fired up that this post is back in action, and Im very greatfull to all of you who have helped. The one thing that Im set on is my speaker selection, B&W 600 S3 series. The 603s for fronts, LCR 60 for center, and 601s for surrounds. #1 because the $$$$, at my local dealer they can cut me a deal of $1697 (tax included) for the speakers. #2 because I listened to them at a store in Indy and I though they sounded pretty good. And #3 because I think from what Ive heard that B&W for the most part is a good product, and Im getting a good deal of savings off MSRP. ONLY---I cant decide on Amp/PreAmp. They will be purchased about 1 1/2 months after the speakers (so my wife doesnt freak) but my decision isnt clear. Thanks Hawk for the insite on the Rotel, and NAD. At the Indy store I heard the 600 series B&Ws with Rotel Amp and PreAmp and it sounded great, they say that the two companys are very similar. However the Rotel is quite a bit more expensive than some other brands, I would like 200 wpc and the Rotel amp RMB 1095 is around $2000, and the pre amp RSP 1066 is about $1500 (BUT, its just so pretty!!!). What amp/preamp would be comparable to the Rotel, just a little less expensive??? NAD, Outlaw Audio, etc, etc? The room is 19 X 23 foot with 12 foot ceilings.


Excellent choice in speakers! I have owned B+Ws before and I really like the B+W sound. I am sure you will be very pleased once you get your system up and running (your wife will be pleased, too!).

Now, for your electronics, I really appreciate the quesiton of cost. If you liked the Rotel sound, I think you would like the Outlaw Audio combo, the 950 pre/pro and the 7100 amp run $1598 for both. That is less than half the cost of the Rotels and they sound very, very close! I don't think you could pick them apart in a blind test. Additionally, I think the Outlaw customer service people are very knowledgeable and can help you get your system configured.

The NAD separates are really too expensive--they cost as much as the Rotels (and are just as beautiful with their satin silver face plates). However, you should consider their new T773 receiver, which will be just as powerful as the Outlaw separates. It will be released next week and I am assured the price will be about the same as the Outlaw separates. The NAD sound is a bit warmer than the Outlaws and Rotels.

The last alternative I can think of is the Adcoms. If you can't get the GTP 860 pre/pro I told you about at the Englewood store in my previous post, call Ed at Kief's: (785) 865-4337, ext. 109, for a Adcom pre/pro. He sells them at a pretty good price. I priced an 860/7605 combo last summer for $1999, I think. You can also get one of the remaining GFA-7605 amps from accessories4less.com, which is selling them for $559.99 (MSRP is $999) and get your pre/pro from Kief's.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for your quick reply and help Hawk. One last thing, Im still not quite sure about the power output. My understanding is that the preamp/amp combo that you have listed as well as the NAD T773 will only have l00 to 125 wpc or so, but will I need the extra power from say a amp that will put out 200 wpc. Not only am I worried about having the extra power at my disposal, but I have been lead to believe that if I put more power thru the speakers they will sound better. Thanks for all your help

You have plenty of power for either B&W's or any of the Axiom speakers. Just because a speaker may be capable of receiving a large power load doesn't mean it benefits from it. Most speakers benefit from playing 10-25 watts above their bottom end driving range.

I rarely believe what some of the speaker companies say their speakers can tolerate in watts anyway. Possibly the Axiom's can tolerate huge amounts of power--but I doubt they benefit from it. There are people driving B&W speakers with weak tube amps and getting good results.

I would get the Outlaw separates and be happy in the knowledge that they are an excellent match for speakers that are many times more expensive than those you will be buying.

Hello, G-Man and Hawk

I read all the post in this thread and found extremely useful because I am leaning toward separates or integrated amplifier instead of receiver. I am considering Maggies 5.1 w/ MMG front and considered NAD 752 but I got shocked after visiting local dealer who had Rega Cursa 3+ 2 Exon($2,000), Rega Planet CD player + Ruark Speaker(don't remember the model but $2000 for 2 front channel). The sound was awe-inspiring. But the problem is that way beyond my budget! SO, here i throw a difficult question to answer. If you had a chance to listen all or some of the above system, can i expect the similar quality sound from Maggies?

If so or if not, what should I choose as pre/pro+amp or integrated amp for Maggies? Since I don't need tuner in receiver I would rather put that money onto better quality integraed amp or pre/pro+amp. Hawk mentioned that NAD separates are too expensive but what specific model are you mentioning? And do you think it isn't worth the money compared to NAD T773? Sorry for putting out so many questions all at once but I believe you can figure out the point of my questions. My uses would be 90% classical music + 10 or less DVD movie and I am a little bit flexible on budget from $3,000-5,000 for the above system including CD/DVD player. Thank you in advance.

All that was mentioned previously would be fine for Maggies: Outlaw Audio, NAD, ADCOM, Rotel. All things considered, the Outlaw combo that is on sale for $1598 is a hellaciously good system and good deal. The Outlaw pre/pro is excellent--as is the amp. If you really want to guild the lily get the 200 watt amp--although it is unnecessary.

As I doubt the Ruark speakers are planar speakers like the Maggies, I doubt they will sound similar. But Maggies do have a great spacious sound. You need to listen to them and ascertain if they are your cup of tea. If you have the room--they are very nice.

Yea, Ruark that i mentioned was not a planar, but when i listened to the symphonies through them it was very focused warm and so on. The same was true to ProAc Response D15 which can be had for $3000 which is also quite expensive for me. So, if anybody listened to both of these and the Maggies, could you please tell me what you think?

thanks for your advice. I am seriously putting Outlaw pre/pro and amp on the top of my list. By the way, do you personly own this system? if so, are those compatible with 220V?


Just to clarify my comments, the NAD separates run something like $6000 for the S170 pre/pro and the S250 amp. I have seen the combo as low as $3800, but that blows most people's budgets. Hence, my conclusion that they are too expensive--especially when you look at the Outlaw and Adcom separates (the Rotel separates run about the same as the NAD separates). However, I was just advised by one of my NAD dealer friends that NAD has some new separates coming out this fall that will have an MSRP of $3498 for the pair. Figuring a 20% discount from the dealer and they should be very competetive, price-wise.

I cannot tell you that the Outlaw separates will be better or worse than the new NAD T773 receiver (which is supposed to be out this week). That is because I haven't heard the 773. I have compared Outlaws to the NAD 762, however, and I believe the only real difference is that the NAD is bit warmer sounding, but their resolution is extremely close, and the detail is also about equal. Both provide top drawer sound, and I would assume the 773 won't sound any worse than the 762.

As for the sound, I have heard Rega systems and they are very impressive! I know why you were so taken with the sound. However, I am not acquainted with the Ruark model, although I have heard other Rega speakers (I have heard the Naos and the Ela models). As open sounding as the Rega speakers are, the Magnepans are even more open sounding as the box totally disappears (easy when there is no box). I would agree with G-Man here that you should hear the Maggies to decide if they are the sound that you want. I will say that they are the finest sounding speaker I know of, and even the MMGs are incredible, and they are the bottom of the Magnepan line.

Now, don't forget to get a good DVD/CD player. You need to pay attention to the choice of speakers and the choice of electronics, but you need a good source player, as well.

Sleepless Mozart
thank you, Hawk. Clean slate anwer to my question! I will wait just a little bit more how the new NAD receivers sound like and then decide. Please let us know what you think when they are available. If I go with NAD 753 or 773 then I should be able to spend more money to source. I would rather buy CD only player that matches Maggies. And I will buy DVD player some time later. Any suggestion for good matching CD player. Like I said I can be flexible from 500-1500. So just recommend your excellent favorites for classical music. You deserve more than thank for educating a enthusiastic music lover who doesn't have any knowledge about these stuff.
P.S. I couldn't forget the religous experience that i had with ProAc D15 and Ruark speakers. I wish the Maggies also have this sound quality for chamber music!

I was just about to buy a Rotel RSX-1055 receiver when I read about this new product line from Marantz, the SRx400. Have you guys read about these? They will produce about 20 watts of class A power when running in stereo mode but switch to Class B when more power is required or in multi-chaneel (e.g. SR7400 can produce 105x2 or 80x5). The SR7400 is software upgradeable (same as the Rotel) and has a video upconversion feature that will upgrade s-video to component video (like the Denon 3803). Everything sounds great, but my question to you knowledgable gentlemen is how do you like Marantz's sound?


Hawk and/or G-Man
I found that Adcom GFA 7700 is now on sale for $899. I know that it is 5 ch. but since i will have only 5.1 speaker I was wondering if it would be better for me to go with Adcom and match it with Outlaw Pre/Pro. What do you think? Will this combination make a problem? Please advise me.

Black Math
The most important piece of equipment that you will buy is your pre amp/processor. It will have the biggest impact on your sound. I would buy the best one that I could. That may mean leaning toward an Adcom, NAD, Rotel, B&W, etc. The amp is not as important because most are designed to have little, if no impact on sound. Just my 2-cents worth. I own Anthem and like it very much. I believe that different cables can impact the sound of your system. The most expensive one won't necessiarily sound the best, but cables will have different capacitance. Experimentation is the best way to find what is best for you.

I must disagree with Blackmath---The speakers are by far the most important component you will buy. I would bet anyone that if I had a surround system of good ProAc, Joseph Audio, or Monitor Audio Gold Reference speakers run by a $700 Sony receiver it would sound infinitely better than a Krell amp and pre-amp driving average or above average speakers, or any number of good brands that cost $2,500 or less for a 5.1 set-up. It wouldn't even be close. Even mediocre receivers have far better distortion rates and much flatter frequency responses than the best speakers in the world. Speakers and the speakers interraction with your room are far and away the greatest distinction that separates mediocre to good sound from truly great sound.

The amount of time a speaker ever requires a 100 watt impulse is so rare as to border on insignificance in your listening enjoyment. However, a reasonably powerful amp with good headroom is important when driving 4 ohm speakers and even more so when they are inefficient. But if the NAD T762 will drive the Maggies or other speakers well--the Outlaw 7700 will at minimum match it, as will the Adcom.

The Adcom GFA 7700 has 5-channels at 150 watts/8 ohms and 225 at 4 ohms. It is marginally more powerful than the Outlaw Audio 7700 amp which producces a minimum of 100 watt/ 8 ohm and 165 watts/4 ohms per channels. Either amp is fine, but I would prefer the Outlaw, just in case I ever wanted to go with 2 more speakers and have a 6.1 or 7.1 system.

But if you choose the Adcom it would definitely not cause a problem. At $899 is strikes me as an excellent deal.

I am not suprised you enjoyed the ProAc's. They are great. Most of the speakers ProAc makes are amazing--but tres expensive. I own a pair of ProAc response 2's and they are wonderful--and expensive. But it is hardly fair to compare $2,000 and $3,000 a pair speakers with those that are considerably less expensive. Not that there aren't $2000 and $3000 speakers that aren't any better than a number of considerably less expensive speakers. As always--buyer beware.

While the Anthem pre-amp is excellent, the difference between it an the Outlaw is nominal. I own an Aragon pre-amp which is similar in price and performance to the Anthem and while they both are great, you could get similar performance from the Outlaw. The main difference might be in remote preference, build quality, and beauty. But unless you are flush with dollars, spending an extra $1,000 to $2,000 for an Anthem or Aragon pre-pro is hardly worth it. At this point you are definitely at the point of rapidly diminishing returns.

The Maggies have an wonderfully open and airy sound. But they require far more careful placement and room--as they project sound both fore and aft. If you can find a dealer that has the Monitor Audio Gold Reference series I would also give them a listen. Last year at this time I bought two pair of Monitor Audio GR10's at $1050/pr (very good price considering they are now selling anywhere from $1495 to $1895 list) along with the Gold Reference center channel at $695 (which lists around $995) and a HSU VTF-2 at $499.

While there are some speakers near their price range that I prefer to the GR10's in straight stereo listening--they jump to the front of the list when played with the 5.1 set-up--as the center channel fills in the off-axis sound perfectly making all the instruments just hang in the air exactly positioned where they should be. Of course, the better the recording, the more amazing the effect. But that will be true of most any set-up you get.

The Maggies are also great--but with a less directional and more airy sound. Both systems would be great--just depends on your preference.

I think the Denon 2900 universal dvd player plays cd's (not to mention SACD/DVD-Audio) great. I have heard a number of $2,000 cd players--none sounded any better playing music than the Denon. And while the Denon 2900 lists at $999, it can be usually found in the mid $800's. And it is built like a tank with superior chipsets in the audio and video section.


Hey, that is a great price on the Adcom amp! It is a very good amp and certainly worth more than that price. I also see no reason why you couldn't mate it with the Outlaw 950 pre/pro. I have corresponded with Parker Clack, the moderator of the Home Theater Forum, and he has a 950 and loves it. He told me he thinks it is worth two or three times its curent price. Combining it with the Adcom amp and you have a superb system.

Happy listening!

Black Math
My original point was pointed at the amp and pre amp question. You are better off with a good pre and a cheap amp than vice-versa.

G-man's argument holds no water. You can blow all of your budget on expensive speakers and amplify them with subpar electronics and you will get subpar sound. Speakers aren't designed to add or subtract anything from the audio chain, just like amps. All of the critical switching, processing, and gain takes place in your source component and pre amp.

With the way speaker building has evolved, there are phenominal values in speakers out there. That is why you see rave reviews for Paridigm, Polk, B&W (low end), Axiom, ect. You get most of the sound quality of the more expensive ones, just not the exotic finishes. You can pay way too much money on ProAc's and they will look fantastic but they aren't heads above lower priced competition. In fact there are sub $2000 speakers that are much better.

Black Math--

Pre-amps or amps are designed to pass a ruler flat signal. The pre-amp is also designed to make sound alterrations when you "ask" it to. Like an amp--it should have no sound of its' own.

How many speakers have a ruler flat response from 20Hz to 20KHz. I'll tell you--NONE. How many electronics (dvd players, cd players, receivers, amps, pre-amps, etc.) have a flat frequency response from 20Hz-20KHz and inaudible distortion--just about every one made.

The distortion levels of almost all electronic components is so farbelow that of even the best speakers that it is crazy to state otherwise.

There is no doubt that in a large room when driving inefficient 4 ohm speakers you will need high powered amplification, but that hardly negates the obvious hierarchy of the two main aspects of recorded sound reproduction.

1) The quality of recording by the engineer
2) The flatness of speaker response throughout the listening range and the acoustic interraction of the speakers with the room

Speakers are by far the area in audio that still need the most improvement. Almost everyone's receiver, amp, or pre-amp design is identical.

You can't even find two speakers made by the same manufacturer that will have identical frequncy response curves. Except for the amp sections, most receivers measure and perform almost identically and for all practical purposes are commodities. They mainly differ in amp section and in ease of use of the remote.

Illustrate to me the measurements of an Anthem pre-amp that cause it to sound any different from a $1,000 receiver's pre-amp section.

I can show you thousands of speaker curves that are graphed on frequency response in relation to db's, in relation to distortion, etc and they will all be different and to the listener will be predictable how they will sound.

The main reason people rave about all kinds of receivers, amps, etc. is pride of ownership issues, reiterating what tweako magazines have said, repeating what salon audio dealers and audio retailers have said, and repeating what friends have said.

So few people really know what a good flat speaker response should sound like. Many prefer bumped lower midranges and think it has good bass. Most of the speakers that people rave about aren't even close to having a flat response. You can look at their on-axis and off-axis graphs and see that.

Give me as close to ruler flat speaker response and if I want to make alterrations I can do so in the pre-amp section.

Black Math
"The main reason people rave about all kinds of receivers, amps, etc. is pride of ownership issues, reiterating what tweako magazines have said, repeating what salon audio dealers and audio retailers have said, and repeating what friends have said."

What part of your argument doesn't apply to speakers as well? In fact more people rave about speakers than they do their components.

Are you saying that things like quality of volume controls and output transistors are the same in a $700 Sony reciever as say an Anthem, Bryston, Adcom, Outlaw preamp? Will you have as many volume steps? Are you saying that a $700 sony reciever will not alter the sound in the critical gain stage?

I can also say that an Arcam CD92T (now CD93T) will blow the doors off of the Denon on CD playback. If you are going to hook your DVD player up via analog connection, the Arcam DVD players are the only sub $2,000 units that I have heard that can do a decent job on CD.

Of course the argument applies to speakers.People rave about all different components for all different reasons. Most of them nonsensical.

But in fact speakers do sound very different from each other. Look at their graphs.

Show me the same difference on other components.

I am saying that the quality of the volume controls and output transistors in an Onkyo, Sony, Anthem, or Aragon unit will be audibly indistinguishable when matched within 0.15 db's during moderate volume playback on the same speakers. Both cheap and expensive volume controls come in infinite attenuating form. That is hardly a distinction. Yes--I am saying the Sony will not alter the sound in the gain stage in any matter that is audible. Its measurements say as much.

Okay--what are the measurements on the Arcam that "blow the doors" off the Denon? I'd like to know. I don't care if the Arcam is made of Krypton--what are the measurements that distinguish the sound it makes from any other cd player?

Or are you hearing things that aren't there or are just unmeasurable?

Black Math
G-Man States: "I have heard a number of $2,000 cd players--none sounded any better playing music than the Denon." He did not mention bench tests and measurments because he didn't have any. This was a statement made purely on supposed listening. I mentioned the Arcam player was better on CD based upon my own listening experience. I felt that the Arcam for CD and a Sony for SACD and DVD was the superior option. I did listen to Denon in my evaluation.

I will go on to say that you have never measured a $700 Reciever with Joseph Audio Speakers, nor have you measured Krell with cheaper speakers. You haven't changed volume levels with either equipment. You haven't done source switching, you haven't measured rf interference, you haven't measured digital inputs and analog inputs. If you have...break out the measurements. If not, quit trying to make to make yourself feel better because you made erroneous equipment purchases.

Talk to somebody that can never find the right volume level while listening to their equipment because the control is in 2db (or greater) steps. Even worse, talk to somebody with a preamp that sounds worse the more gain that you apply to the outgoing signal. Do you have measurments for this?

Why does Vinyl sound better than CD if CD measures better?

I go back to my original post. Buy the best pre/processor that you can. It will be the best decision that you make. That may be the Outlaw, it may be Rotel, it may be Lexicon.

G-Man, Hawk, And Black Math,
All your comments are so much appreciated. The deal about ADCOM 7700 is on Accessories4less. The reason I was asking whether or not I had to get Adcom was that compared to Outlaw 7100, it has more power in 8 ohm and 4 ohm load. Since i came to know thru this thread that the more power does not neccessarily mean that is better, I asked to myself that I had to get Adcom even though it has only 5 channel. I am still torn among NAD 762 and Outlaw pre/pro and amp and Outlaw 950+Adcom7700. I am being benefited from your debate on these issues. You guys are so wonderful! Some day, I might be able to help other guys to save tons of time by advising them. More thoughts are extremely welcome. Also, more suggestions on DVD and CD players are needed. What I looked at up to this point were Arcam, Rotel, and NADT751i around $500-700 each. But as always tight budget is a concern.
Thanks a lot!!

Black Math--

The bench tests and the specs of all the equipment I mentioned--and those you mentioned (and those I didn't mention) are almost all available from manufacturers and certain periodicals that do the actual testing. Other than amp sections that mainly differ in power, the remainder of the measurements are blindingly alike.

There are four things the human ear can differentiate: frequency response, volume level, noise, and to a lesser extent--distortion. Since almost all modern audio components, from a $15,000 rip-off amplifier to a $75 portable cd player have flat frequency response, neglible noise, and neglible distortion--their sound has no signature and no personality. Any two of them--2 amps, 2 cd players, 2 preamps, will sound exactly alike as long as their levels are matched within 0.15 dbs (unless they are faulty or an engineer diddled with their outputs). This has been shown ad infinitum in so many AES demonstrations that professional audio engineers don't even address the issue anymore. There has never been a single properly conducted double blind test at matched levels to contradict this statement.

Think about it---there is no such thing as an effect without a cause. And what could cause a sonic difference except a skewed frequency response, a high noise floor, or unusually high distortion?

Larry Klein, who once was the technical editor of Stereo Review (the predecessor of Sound & Vision) once suggested a delightfully ironic solution to the difficulty of matching levels within 0.15 db's (much more difficult than it sounds) between receivers. He said, "You don't need any instrumentation to match levels within 0.1 db's, all you need to do is fuss with the volume controls until A and B sound exactly alike, at which point the levels will be perfectly matched. BINGO---I love it!

On the opposite end of the spectrum where there are always large differences in sound---loudspeakers. Every loudspeaker ever made is at least slightly different in measureable and audible frequency response than every other. Hence--they all sound different.

What is so bizarre is that over 95% of the reviewers I read have NO CLUE as to how to relate the measured performance of a loudspeaker--if they measure it at all--to its' sound.

I look at subjective high end magazines and find rarely any correlation between measured performance and listening appraisal.

You think a well engineered LP sounds better than a well-engineered CD? That is simply erroneous. The only possible exception is that the LP master tape may sound as good as the CD. LP's sound worse and worse the more they are played--as the signals are distorted from needle weight, dirt, and an ever increasing noise floor. Only tweako's, those that are brainwashed, and glazed donuts think otherwise.

All the above said--I would love to own a Lexicon or Bryston AV pre-amp. They are beautiful, superior build quality, great pride of ownership, and the Lexicon can manipulate almost infinitely any signal. But the Lexicon or Bryston will not pass an AUDIBLY cleaner straight non-processed signal any better than any other well-made pre-amp. They may measure somewhat better that an owl probably wouldn't even be able to hear--but I don't deny there isn't satisfaction in owning great engineering.

But distortion in all speakers and subwoofers is so many orders of magnitude higher than every piece of electronics it is crazy to think otherwise. The best speakers in the world have a far worse frequency response and far higher distortion than my $100 Sony Walkman.

Black Math
If all of your double blind testing propaganda is true, why aren't you advising shaun6142 to go to Best Buy and buy a Sony reviever and an Apex DVD player? With the money he saves he can buy a high quality set of HT speakers? Outlaw and ADCOM certainly must be ripoff's because everything electronic sounds the same?

On to a DVD reccomendation. If you have high quality decoding in your preamp/reciever and you intend to mostly watch DVD's, I would but a reasonably priced player that offers a high quality picture. Get a 75ohm video cable and let your preamp/reciever do all of the audio D/A conversion. If you need SACD, you will have to hook up audio by analog connections. If cd is important, you may want to get a good quality dedicated cd player, maybe one with HDCD.

Outlaw and Adcom supply the buyer with superior power supplies and quality designs and engineering.. And if you have a large room, difficult to drive speakers, etc Adcom and Outlaw supply some of the least expensive powerful amplifiers and separate pre-amps available. For what they are--they are a bargain.

Yes--they sound the same if a signal is played through unprocessed, but if you are willing to pay for well-manufactured, good engineered, high quality chipsets and circuitry, there is nothing wrong with having the desire to want to own that. Plus they will probably last a heckuva lot longer than your average receiver and have a much better resale value. Neither Outlaw or Adcom is a ripoff. They give you top quality power supplies and parts at a more than fair price.

Also, there are functions you may want in one receiver over another, ease of use issues, quality and ease of use of remotes, psychological and emotional issues, wanting better build quality, etc. For their parts and power supplies and build quality both Adcom and Outlaw products are normally very good deals. You could buy vastly inferior tube amps and pre-amps with less power and pay infinitely more. Or you could buy cheaper solid state receivers that at medium volume will sound as good as expensive equipment at medium volume, but you may want better build quality or have certain upgrade paths, better remotes, more power (for various reasons), etc.

I am also aware that the scientists have mostly lost the battle on many of these issues and the tweako magazines, the retailers, and their followers have won. As an analogy, It becomes very tiring to point out "evolution" to people who testify constantly that the earth and man is less than 10,000 years old.

In audio video I prefer to generally advise on which product has better parts, is better engineered, easier to use, etc--within the price range the person feels comfortable paying.

It is almost impossible to change peoples belief systems--even with facts. Just look at religions. There are hundreds of thousands of them worldwide. What are the odds any of them are correct?

I love to pay for good quality, beautiful product, the features I want, and smart engineering. I may differ from Hawk on some issues, but I think we both agree that we prefer buying the better engineered and designed equipment--and hence we often advise on NAD, Rotel, or Outlaw. We both think they give great value and engineering beyond most of their peers in the industry at the same price points. I vigorously think companies should be rewarded for good design.

But getting the flattest responding loudspeakers at the price level you can afford is always the trickiest part.

Black Math
In a labratory you can achieve any results you desire if you try hard enough. It is fine if You feel that all things electronic sound the same, but...

1. Why do you make Sony/ProAc vs. Krell/modereately priced speakers argument if you don't have test data to back it up. I am sure that you havent tested those specific components. This was an opinion.

2. Why did you say that no $2000 CD player that you have heard bests the Denon DVD player. That was not a scientific fact, it was an opinion.

3. Yow haven't admitted the fact that evolution has occured in speakers probably more that any component. Your ProAcs can most likely be sonically bested by speakers at 1/4 the price (several Paridigm Reference, Magnepan, and Castle Acoustics models come to mind).

It's OK to have opinions. It is what makes Hi-Fi fun. Companies don't have to dispute ABX testing, because it is flawed and can be tainted, distorted, and isn't always valid. I an sure that depending on what is being tested against what their are some valid points to be made on either side of the fence.

I am looking to buy an AV/receiver and I have been looking at the Marantz SR8300, the Denon AVR4802R, and Outlaw Model 950 7.1 Preamp Processor with the Model 7100 Power Amp. I will be using it with a Cambridge Soundworks Surround Sound system with also a Cambridge Soundworks PSW1 powered subwoffer and a center stage center channel.
The room it will be used in is 24'x15'. What would you recommend, the help will surely be appreciated.

You will get far better detail with the Outlaw combo than you will with either of those receivers.

Does anyone have a view what would be best between the Outlaw combo or the NAD t773? My room is about 20 x 24 and my speakers are Paradigm Reference Studio 20's and Klipsch subwoofer. Thanks.

im curious if you bought your equipment yet and what you ended up with. oh and your thoughts on the purchase


The Outlaws and the NAD will be very close to each other in terms of their dynamics, detail and clarity. The biggest difference will be in the sonic charecter of the two amps. The NAD is warmer and a little more full-bodied, whereas the Outlaws are a little leaner and cooler sounding.

I really think it is all in which sound you prefer--this is just a matter of personal preference. Neither is "better" as they both have wonderful detail and resolution. You get the one that you like the sound of best.

BTW, listen to a Rotel and you will have a very good idea of what the Outlaws sound like.


I'm not sure if you've made a buying decision about adcom or outlaw. I wanted to share some of my experiences with adcom products, i'm currently running 3 adcom amplifiers (2 gfa 5503 and gfa5500 at 350 watts @ 4ohms) and an adcom preamp (gtp-880) in my home theater and music system and couldn't be happier. I have had the chance to audition products from mcintosh, proceed, levinson, b&k, krell, ect. ect. from working it this business, although some of the products listed above do sound better, it depends on the return of your investment, in other words what sounds good to you for the money you are spending. I'll list my system below
adcom gtp880
adcom gfa5500
adcom gfa5503 x2
martin logan request
martin logan theater
martin logan cinema
boston vr towers (will have to do for now)
velodyne dd15 subwoofer
pioneer pro530hd
pioneer dv47ai
samsung sirt151 hd tuner
and monster speaker wire and interconnects

and as far as outlaw goes i've never had a chance to audition their products.

Unregistered guest
Great thread. I would like your opinion on a system upgrade.

I currently have a Marantz SR-96 receiver, which I like the sound of, but it does not have component video switching or digital audio decoding. I now have a HDTV cable box, plasma display and Pioneer 810-H DVD Recorder. I definitely want high bandwith component video switching as well as Dobly and DTS decoding and Pro Logic 2. My speaker setup is 5.1. My front L/R speakers are PSB Century 400i's, the center is a Von Schweikert, the rears are no-name and need to be upgraded, but that is another day. The subwoofer is a Sunfire.

I am considering the following options:
- Marantz SR-8300
- Marantz SR-9300
- Outlaw 950 pre/pro and use my old Marantz SR-96 as the amp (it has preamp out)
- Newcastle P-965 pre/pro and Marantz Sr-96

I have 2 component video sources now but was thinking that 3 or more would be good for future expansion purposes, which causes me to lean towards the Newcastle or the Marantz SR-9300.



Try the Yamaha RVX2400, Pioneer VSX-AX5i and the higher range Denons.

Unregistered guest
I agree with others - fascinating thread.

I'm in the market for new electronics and considering Rotel (1066/1075) and Outlaw.

I used to think that the electronics made no difference in the audio experience, it was just the speakers. Receivers, pre-amps, amps - just a bunch of wires. No influence on the sound.

But after talking to many people and reading all the magazines that claimed a difference, I decided to find out once and for all for my personal knowledge. I took my speakers, my CD player, and a CD I've listed to about a million times (music that I've heard live as well) down to Listen Up in Denver and auditioned the electronics. I had them hook up my CD player and speakers and then I listened to multiple receivers and pre-amp/amp combos.

In blind listening tests with the sales guy switching without telling me which setup I was listening to, the differences were very clear to me. I listened to Denon, B&K, Adcom, and I don't remember what else (this was 10 years ago). I ended up with B&K because the sound was FAR more like a live experience - I could close my eyes and place the singer on the stage, the drums, everything. I don't know what design or electrical components contribute to the differences, but with some of the equipment the singer seemed to be smeared across the soundstage while with other equipment the singer was coming from a precise location.

A few years later, after having many people tell me about the importance of high-end interconnects and speaker cable, I coaxed the sales guy into loaning me various sets of both. I had my wife switch interconnects while I sat on the couch. I was able to consistently detect a slight difference in one pair - the bass was just a touch fuller and had a hair more authority. I was not able to detect any difference in speaker cable - the $.10 per foot stuff sounded like the $50 per foot stuff. The interconnect difference was significant enough for me to buy the mid-level stuff - $40-50 for 2m.

Anyway, I'm very impressed by the Rotel pre-amp/amp based on listening tests. Would love to hear the Outlaw stuff before I make a final $2000-3000 decision. But I may just jump on their current "b stock" deals and give them a try!

New member
Username: Shaun6142

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2003
As I stated in a previous post I was set on the B&W 600 series, and so my interest couldn't hold me back any longer. The 603's for fronts, LCR600 center, and DS6 surrounds, (no sub yet). Only problem is that they are just sitting here in my room in the box because it will be the end of the month before I can get the pre amp and amp. Since I havent actually purchased them yet a final opinion would be greatly welcomed for a good match to my B&Ws. I have about a $2200 budget for them. I absolutly love the look of the Rotel 1066/1075 amp combo....However I realize that I can get a Outlaw combo with about 75 watts per channel for a fraction less than the Rotels (Basically a cosmetic vs. price problem), you have to admit the Rotels look better! I have also read how Hawk suggested the Adcoms. Since I only have about 3 weeks to decide could some one help me decide if the price of the Rotels should outway the homleyness of the Outlaws or maybe the Adcoms should find there way into my heart? A 5 channel amp is all that is neccasary for now, in a room 19X23 w/12'ceilings, 50% movies, 30% music, and 20% awe factor. Any subwoofer suggestions about a $900-1000 budget there. Thanks

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 100
Registered: 12-2003
HSU is having a sale on the VTF-2's. Instead of $499 they are now $449 and shipped free. You could buy two and have no chance of sub directionality (although they aren't very directional anyway), but 2 subs also smooth out the sub performance in the room. they also are coming out with a new VTF-3 MK model that lists at $999 but will be on sale at $799.

Another great choice is the new Outlaw Audio LFM-1 that was developd by Dr. HSU with Outlaw engineers. It sells online for $579. A month ago they were selling 2 for $1,000. You might plead with them for that deal and keep both or sell one to a friend.

All the above are excellent. There are other good ones too--by SVS, Paradigm 2200, etc--but all the above have great parts, warranties, and performance.

New member
Username: Xtremeht

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
First off let me congratulate you on your B&W speaker purchase. I am using the 604's for fronts, 602.5's for surrounds and the 600 center. Excellent speakers! I have been doing a lot of research on the Outlaw gear and it seems to be very good. In fact I was thinking about getting a pair of the 200 mono blocks to drive my 604's and see how they sound. They have a 30 day money back guarantee with prepaid shipment back to them if you don't like them and they also have a 5 year warranty. Also they are built by ATI which is a high end manufacturer for several other brands as well. I would recommend the Rotel pre/pro (RSP-1066) for your preamp because not only does it look really good but the quality is very high. So you might want to consider a Rotel/Outlaw combo.

New member
Username: Shaun6142

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2003
Been a long time since I got in on this post, like I said I got the 603s, LCR600, and DS6 for surrounds. After many agonizing considerations I just decided to settle on a A/V receiver. I got the Yamaha RX-V1400. As of to date I am very happy with it all and the Yammy drives the B&Ws pretty well, just ask the wife!! The only real thing left is the sub. I have a older Kenwood sub from a "theater in a box" set up that isnt really all that bad for what its worth, but ofcourse I thirst for more power and more bass, just cant get enough of that stuff

Unregistered guest
I currently own the Outlaw 950 for over a year. I have owned McIntosh, Superphon, Onkyo, Adcom, GAS and even a custom mod of a Sansui AU-111 tube Intergrated amp by Musical Concepts. I have heard the B&K, Proceed, Classe, Audio Research and Adcom and a friend of mine owns the Rotel 1066. I got to tell ya. I'd buy the 950 over them all every time. I was so impressed by the value I ordered a 755 to replace 3 of my 4 pwr amps (Dynaco, Hafler/Musical Concepts, BGW). The Musical Design makes up the 7.1. There are many reasons one can site. There have been many good arguments for various types of pre and power amps. I have heard so many products in my time that I know exactly what I want. In a nutshell, the 950 is the best of any world I could site that counts. People talked about the build quality of the Superphon Revelation too. Big deal I'm in it for the sound and now I have had that pre fully functional for 20 years. Unless you plan on keeping your equiptment by the BBQ grill, build is the least of your concern. The sound is absolutly first rate, higher in my opinion than the Adcom, Nad, B&K, Audio Research, Rotel (and my friend will agree on this one), Onkyo, and a host of other gear I've heard. For the money and over all performance it can't be beat. I could go on and on about the minusha of sound stage, articulation, dry vs warm...etc, but that is all subjective. The only luke warm review I have even read was by someone who apears to have based his opinion on electronic statistical analysis and found the 950 lacking in in comparison to gear many times the price. Well if it was that easy you could all rest assured that spending more on great specs is the way to go. Not!! Trust your ears and then let your wallet handle the sales pitch. For the price performance combination few companies can compete, the ones that can don't offer the selection. For another great power amp and mono block that are great price/perfomance warriors also consider Monachy Audio and Musical Design. I have owned both of these and they take Adcom, Rotel, NAD and the likes to the hoop at will.

Oh, and about the interconnect and speaker cable. I used to preach the line about 'you can't tell the difference' but the fact is you can. That is if you have the right cable. Just cause it's expensive does not mean it's good. And yeah, if your cable can't compete with the .50 RadioShack than you got the wrong cable. I've been making my cables for 20 years now and I can surely tell the differenc. However, the actual Cable (RCA Plug) has a very high contribution to the over all interconnect performance (sound). You can hear pronounced differences in the highs, mids and bottom end. Cheap wire and plug will saturate, sizzle and be over all very thin. The bass will suffer as well. Like I said, I can tell the difference. That may not be true for everyone and it may not mean that cheap cables sound bad. They just don't sound as good or they sound bad to someone who is used to better. I don't care what the electronics say, my ears do my listening for me and I will take that blind test thank you very much, (if I can test with my own custom cables).
Good Luck.

Unregistered guest
It's not quite true that all amps, preamps, and other electronics are "the same", as someone argued here. When I was trying out various amps (Classe, Aragon, Bryston), my wife and son could effortlessly tell the Aragon from the Bryston (and had different favorites), and I could tell all three apart. This was in blind comparisons. (I don't buy the argument that cable makes a difference - copper is copper. Connectors can matter, though...)

It is true that speakers matter more than anything else in a system.

Anyone have an opinion on a set of MG1.6's (for l/r in a HT setup, with smaller Maggies for surround and center), driven by a Outlaw Audio Model 755?
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