OUTLAW 975 - Page 18 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by apodaca View Post
I am posting this so that potential buyers are aware that the 975 in combination with low sensitivity speakers will reveal the lack of headroom in volume/SPL output.
Has nothing to do with speaker sensitivity. What's the input sensitivity of your amp? There's probably a mismatch between the 975 and the amp. Get an amp with adjustable input sensitivity.

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Old 01-24-2016, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by apodaca View Post
I decided to give the 975 a second chance since I first tried one a couple of years ago that had HDMI problems. I figured that eventually problems would be ironed out via firmware updates etc. Prior to sale I contacted Outlaw for technical advice since I had read on the Outlaw forums about people experiencing a decreased headroom in volume output with the 975. I was assured that the 975 in combination with the 5000 amplifier would work with my somewhat inefficient 84 dB, Sunfire speakers.

This turned out to be false. I am struggling to reach 90dB on some source material. Just to check, I used my NAD 326Bee as a pre-amplifier connected to the 5000 amp and I was able to generate higher SPL. I contacted Outlaw and they claimed nothing is wrong in their design, and they have not heard of any customers having the same problem. This is a lie since other people have posted their problem on Audioholics (stating that Outlaw was contacted) and even the Outlaw saloon. My only option it seems is to ship unit back and lose the one way shipping. Not cool.

The 975 also still has HDMI handshake issues that although have been improved upon, are nevertheless troublesome at least with my gear (Pioneer DV-58AV, Sony PS3, Vizio XVT LCD). Basically it does not always detect a source on the HDMI inputs so either switching or power cycling is necessary. I am also sometimes experiencing audio dropouts in both source players at random.

I am posting this so that potential buyers are aware that the 975 in combination with low sensitivity speakers will reveal the lack of headroom in volume/SPL output.
I've had a 975 for a few years now. I do not have HDMI problems, but I had more volume when I was using my Onkyo as a preamp for my mains/center. I believe there is a headroom issue as well.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:00 PM
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I have to say I'm running a 975 with an Outlaw Model 5000 amp along with my SVS Prime speakers (87db sensitivity) & I have no volume issues whatsoever. I can barely go above -18 on the 975 without it being almost ear-bleedingly loud.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:02 PM
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It is not on all source material but older CDs in particular before the loudness wars crippled their dynamic range, have a lower output that one usually needs to turn the volume dial up to compensate etc. (on these I max out at 90dB peaks).

I was debating keeping the unit until they release a new processor, but we lost video during transformers BD playback on PS3, and I just noticed the case is noticeably warped...sigh

On a more positive note, the 5000 amplifier works pretty well and is built like a tank.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by apodaca View Post
I am struggling to reach 90dB on some source material.
Before you send it off, could you check the volume setting that gives 75 dB (Cwtd) from the internal test noise?

What kind of source material is the most problematic? edit: I see you mention old CDs.

The issue is not lack of headroom, but gain. If it were headroom, the audio would be clipping in the 975 before the amplifier clips. The 975 can overdrive any normal amplifier (signal-swing-wise).

Deadwood Atmos theater [HTOM]
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs

Last edited by Roger Dressler; 01-25-2016 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Before you send it off, could you check the volume setting that gives 75 dB (Cwtd) from the internal test noise?

What kind of source material is the most problematic? edit: I see you mention old CDs.

The issue is not lack of headroom, but gain. If it were headroom, the audio would be clipping in the 975 before the amplifier clips. The 975 can overdrive any normal amplifier (signal-swing-wise).

I get what you are saying and Outlaw mentioned this as well and yet I can get 100 dB peaks with my NAD preamp driving the same amplifier using the same source. Even an Anthem receiver could do the same with internal amplifier stage.

Maybe Outlaw 975 has problem with input gain if there is such a thing for PCM vs DTS ?. At any rate, I set -20 at 80 dB but will double check. If I raise dB on speaker level menu then the max volume available is also reduced by the same amount weird but true. Not very friendly for low sensitivity speakers.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post
Has nothing to do with speaker sensitivity. What's the input sensitivity of your amp? There's probably a mismatch between the 975 and the amp. Get an amp with adjustable input sensitivity.
Sensitivity does affect maximum output available. There is no mismatch as both amp and preamp are Outlaw products.

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Old 01-25-2016, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by apodaca View Post
I get what you are saying and Outlaw mentioned this as well and yet I can get 100 dB peaks with my NAD preamp driving the same amplifier using the same source. Even an Anthem receiver could do the same with internal amplifier stage.

Maybe Outlaw 975 has problem with input gain if there is such a thing for PCM vs DTS ?. At any rate, I set -20 at 80 dB but will double check.
I have a 975 here, but the system is packed for a house move. In the past, I took note that a volume setting of -28 gave me 75 dB, at the MLP. My speakers are claimed to be 86 dB (2 dB more than yours). With your speakers, I would need to set to -26, and to get to 80 dB, it would be -21. If you get 80 dB at -20, it looks like your unit is working the same as mine, FWIW.

Quote:
If I raise dB on speaker level menu then the max volume available is also reduced by the same amount weird but true. Not very friendly for low sensitivity speakers.
That is correct. Like most AVRs and pre-pros, the gain trims and volume controls are all done by the same gain element. It's just a table of offsets that defines the gain trims. Others may do a better job of masking that interaction by sectioning off 12-15 dB of the control range for the trims.

I agree the 975 does not have a lot of reserve gain on tap. In my case, I do not play music very loud, 60-70 dB, 80 when rambunctious, so it has not been an issue. And indeed older CDs were "printed" quieter than newer ones. I have 2 different versions of Brothers in Arms, and I looked at both of them in Adobe Audition. Both have peaks reaching full scale, so in order for the newer, louder one to sound louder, the average was increased while the peaks were truncated. Yes, they used some fancy DSP processor to do it to avoid clipping (which is not the case on a lot of CDs ), but the percussive snap is just not the same. So the new on is on the shelf, and the old one is on the server. My point is that it may well be the case that your amps are being well exercised, but for much less of the time (lower average loudness with higher peak-to-average ratio). Small consolation, I suppose.

Last point: the 975 has a pretty low noise level. Adding gain in the output stage will raise that. The Marantz 7702 had higher gain, but I had to install 10 dB attenuators on the outputs to keep the hiss/buzz below audibility in my quiet room. Now that takes away from the headroom!

Deadwood Atmos theater [HTOM]
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by apodaca View Post
Sensitivity does affect maximum output available. There is no mismatch as both amp and preamp are Outlaw products.
Sure it "does affect maximum output available". Never said it wouldn't.
Max. clean preamp output and amp input sensitivity don't necessarily match only because it's the same manufacturer. Have you looked up output/input sensitivity of preamp/amp?

Markus

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