Outlaw Audio 976 Processor Owner's Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 128 Old 11-23-2017, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Outlaw Audio 976 Processor Owner's Thread

Being that pre-orders are now live, figured I would start this thread.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/976.html

Focusing on sound and video quality, ease of use, and expanded connectivity, the Model 976 has what the Outlaw customer expects: a true, no compromise, "best in class" product.

The Model 976 offers both balanced and conventional outputs in a 7.2 configuration fed by high quality DACs. The analog audio inputs stay analog through and through to maintain signal purity. As was the case with the Model 975, we've included a robust power supply with a compact torroidal transformer.

Between the pure analog inputs, support for 4K and all current forms of HDR, the Model 976 allows us to deliver a new, advanced product to those who want the benefits of the latest in HDMI, but who are unable or unwilling to install an 11-channel speaker system.

If you're looking for a 7.2 channel pre-pro that focuses on suberb sound quality and the latest in video capabilities, your search ends here!

Among the Model 976's many features are:

•Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Digital decoding; DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio and DTS decoding

•Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS NEO:6 processing

•10 band PEQ for each channel

•All Channels Stereo

•Advanced Dual Core DSP

•HDMI Standby Pass-Thru

•Quadruple Crossover Control (Separate settings for Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R, Surround Back L/R)

•Lip Synch Delay

•On Screen Display (via HDMI only)

•192 kHz 24-bit DAC's for all channels



•4 HDMI 4K/HDR Inputs

•2 HDMI 1080P Inputs; 1 on rear panel, 1 on front

•2 HDMI Outputs; 1 HDMI 2.0b/ HDCP 2.2 output

•7.2 XLR/RCA pre-amp outputs

•4 Digital Inputs (2 coaxial, 2 optical)

•7.1 Analog Audio Input

•4 Stereo Analog Audio Inputs

•High performance tuner

•Direct access station tuning via remote control

•12-Volt Trigger for remote input

•Advanced Config. Settings

•Discrete IR on/off and input commands

•Aluminum Front Panel & Remote Control
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post #2 of 128 Old 11-23-2017, 06:54 AM
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One of these and their 7140 amp would be an excellent setup IMO.
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post #3 of 128 Old 11-23-2017, 10:42 AM
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I like the new industrial design that Outlaw is using. It looks modern but should age well.
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post #4 of 128 Old 11-23-2017, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njfoses View Post
Being that pre-orders are now live, figured I would start this thread.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/976.html
That page was leaked, pre-orders are not quite live yet.
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post #5 of 128 Old 11-23-2017, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
That page was leaked, pre-orders are not quite live yet.

You can actually pre-order through that link.
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post #6 of 128 Old 12-03-2017, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njfoses View Post
You can actually pre-order through that link.
But how long before delivery starts? Anyone know for sure.
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post #7 of 128 Old 12-06-2017, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Now "officially" available to pre-order.

We're pleased to inform you that we are officially taking pre-orders for the Model 976 surround processor. A limited number have been shipped over by air, and they will be ready to ship next week. The bulk of the shipment is already steaming over on a "fast boat" and they should be in your hands before Christmas. However, since some of the first shipment is already spoken for, if you want to be one of the first to get one, we urge you to ORDER QUICKLY!

For those who haven't been following the Model 976's progress, it is a high-end preamp/processor focused on sound and video quality, ease of use, and expanded connectivity. The components, build quality, features and performance are blended together in a unique product unlike anything else in the market. For the most part, the features and specs have not changed since the original announcement, so rather than repeat them here; you will find all the information and pictures here.

One other thing that has not changed since our earlier announcements is the Model 976's price. At $899 it will set a new standard for audiophile surround sound processors!

However, for the holiday season we're making the Model 976 even more attractive. Until December 28th 2017, we'll include the FTB-01 Bluetooth adaptor at no extra charge. As described below, it is a $49.99 value that adds full access to Bluetooth streams.

Even better, if you have purchased any single item directly from Outlaw Audio within the past ten years with a price over $250, or if you purchased a Model 990 directly through Outlaw, we are sweetening the pot even more! Those Outlaw owners may choose between an immediate $100 cash discount, which brings the price to $799, or $200 in Outlaw Bucks. These Outlaw Bucks are good starting 30-days from date of purchase for use on any single purchase totaling over $500, during the following six months.

It is important to note that this is NOT a trade-in program; you will not be returning your existing product. Rather, it is an expression of thanks to our customers for their patience in waiting for the Model 976 as well as for their past patronage.

This all adds up to an incredible value. Place your order now to assure the earliest possible shipment. As always, while an order now reserves your place in line, we never charge your credit card until the order ships.
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post #8 of 128 Old 12-06-2017, 03:14 PM
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I was really hoping that they would provide codec supports for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X.
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post #9 of 128 Old 12-09-2017, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanAaron View Post
I was really hoping that they would provide codec supports for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X.
Atmos / DTX-X processor is coming according to Outlaw.
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post #10 of 128 Old 12-17-2017, 10:33 AM
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I have had my Outlaw 976 since Tuesday now and so far I am very impressed overall with the sound quality. I can't really comment on the video aspect yet because I have my sources connected directly to my LG Oled. I listen to a lot of MC music like sacds and dvd audio discs and the sound is excellent so far. I listen to all my music through the 7.1 analog inputs because I really like the dacs in my Oppo 205.

I read the manual before getting the 976 and setup did not take long at all. I tried going with the auto setup but it failed because I did not have 2 back surround speakers. I have a 6.1 setup and Outlaw Ben from tech support was good at explaining what happened. It was no big deal though because I really prefer to do a manual setup myself and that is what I did using the 976 test tones for balancing the speakers.

The sound stage is quite big and full sounding like Adrian L mentioned, and I am liking this more and more as I go through various sacds. The noise floor is incredibly low on the 976. This is one quiet prepro. Movies sound very good as well and dialogue is quite clear. I am hearing everything better now with good detail in the front stage.

I ran REW for all of my speakers and applied the EQ recommended filters to the PEQ of the 976. It was not hard after using the match response to target and then looking at the EQ adjustments it suggested. I tried using the EQ for all my speakers but decided to just use the subwoofer filters for now. The other speaker responses looked pretty good as they were. My graph on REW for the sub looks smoother now with EQ applied even though I do get an overall lower bass output. I have been watching movies with EQ on and off to compare the sound.

I have had to turn the gain on my sub up just a bit but that is ok and not unusual when you get a new prepro. I have been trying to decide on whether to keep the 976 or stick with my Marantz AVR but I am definitely leaning towards the 976 because the sound is so good and I have always wanted to go back to separates.

Outlaw has invested a lot of time into making the 976 a quality component and it is evident in the sound I am hearing. I wish I could accommodate Atmos but I just can't for now, so the 976 is a good match. For me it is all about the sound and the 976 delivers this well. Thanks for reading my review.
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Last edited by mdanderson; 12-17-2017 at 12:34 PM.
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post #11 of 128 Old 12-18-2017, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdanderson View Post
I have had my Outlaw 976 since Tuesday now and so far I am very impressed overall with the sound quality. I can't really comment on the video aspect yet because I have my sources connected directly to my LG Oled. I listen to a lot of MC music like sacds and dvd audio discs and the sound is excellent so far. I listen to all my music through the 7.1 analog inputs because I really like the dacs in my Oppo 205.



I read the manual before getting the 976 and setup did not take long at all. I tried going with the auto setup but it failed because I did not have 2 back surround speakers. I have a 6.1 setup and Outlaw Ben from tech support was good at explaining what happened. It was no big deal though because I really prefer to do a manual setup myself and that is what I did using the 976 test tones for balancing the speakers.



The sound stage is quite big and full sounding like Adrian L mentioned, and I am liking this more and more as I go through various sacds. The noise floor is incredibly low on the 976. This is one quiet prepro. Movies sound very good as well and dialogue is quite clear. I am hearing everything better now with good detail in the front stage.



I ran REW for all of my speakers and applied the EQ recommended filters to the PEQ of the 976. It was not hard after using the match response to target and then looking at the EQ adjustments it suggested. I tried using the EQ for all my speakers but decided to just use the subwoofer filters for now. The other speaker responses looked pretty good as they were. My graph on REW for the sub looks smoother now with EQ applied even though I do get an overall lower bass output. I have been watching movies with EQ on and off to compare the sound.



I have had to turn the gain on my sub up just a bit but that is ok and not unusual when you get a new prepro. I have been trying to decide on whether to keep the 976 or stick with my Marantz AVR but I am definitely leaning towards the 976 because the sound is so good and I have always wanted to go back to separates.



Outlaw has invested a lot of time into making the 976 a quality component and it is evident in the sound I am hearing. I wish I could accommodate Atmos but I just can't for now, so the 976 is a good match. For me it is all about the sound and the 976 delivers this well. Thanks for reading my review.


Thanks for the review! Im seriously considering picking this up, I've only ever had basically entry levels avr's which have been good enough with the pretty basic speakers I've been running but I just purchased some Ohm Walsh 2000s and I know they would benefit greatly from more power. So this paired with one of outlaws amps is looking really good to me


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post #12 of 128 Old 12-18-2017, 06:55 PM
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Is the 976 supposed to be an uptick in SQ over the 975? Is HDMI CEC supported (auto input switching, volume control by TV remote, etc.)?
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post #13 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Alexander View Post
Is the 976 supposed to be an uptick in SQ over the 975? Is HDMI CEC supported (auto input switching, volume control by TV remote, etc.)?
Marc,
Page 25 of the manual says that HDMI CEC is supported. As for how the 976 compares to the 975, I can't really say since I never owned the 975. I can say though that my 976 sounds excellent with music( sacd and dvd audio for sure) and the soundstage for movies is very good with plenty of detail.
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post #14 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mdanderson View Post
Marc,
Page 25 of the manual says that HDMI CEC is supported. As for how the 976 compares to the 975, I can't really say since I never owned the 975. I can say though that my 976 sounds excellent with music( sacd and dvd audio for sure) and the soundstage for movies is very good with plenty of detail.
What processors did you own prior to the 976?
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post #15 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanAaron View Post
I was really hoping that they would provide codec supports for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X.

Hmmm...
Very interesting..
However since the 976 lacks an LAN or USB data port..
How will the upgrade for Atmos & DTS-X be done?
Most likely through the RS-232 serial port...
But when was the last time a PC included an RS-232 port?
There are USB > RS-232 dongles available, I hope Outlaw confirms or even supplies a compatible dongle.

Just my $0.02..
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post #16 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Alexander View Post
What processors did you own prior to the 976?
Before getting the Outlaw 976 here are the last prepros/AVRs that I have owned starting with the most recent.

Marantz SR5010 receiver
Emotiva UMC-200
Emotiva UMC-1
Outlaw 950

The last three were all prepros.

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post #17 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post
Hmmm...
Very interesting..
However since the 976 lacks an LAN or USB data port..
How will the upgrade for Atmos & DTS-X be done?
Most likely through the RS-232 serial port...
But when was the last time a PC included an RS-232 port?
There are USB > RS-232 dongles available, I hope Outlaw confirms or even supplies a compatible dongle.

Just my $0.02..
I doubt the 976 will ever have Atmos or DTS-X support since Outlaw will be coming out with a more expensive prepro that will support the new formats. They will most likely provide a USB-RS 232 dongle when they release their first firmware update.

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post #18 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 07:30 PM
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RS-232 only? While reliable 20 years ago file sizes are just too large and dongles too flaky for serial updates these days [IMHO]. Ethernet should be standard on devices these days. If my refrigerator can have Ethernet why can't my processor? Baffling.
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post #19 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 07:41 PM
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IMHO...
The RS-232 method of upgrading is simply too slow, to my knowledge today the RS-232 is mainly used to interface with other network products for control such as Control 4, Crestron...
However as I posted previously, though I like Outlaw products...
In my opinion it appears to me that Outlaw needs to beef up their product development staff to step up their inclusion of features/technology..
Coming out 18 months later than its primary competition for the latest surround technologies, doesn't position itself well by then the pricing of these technologies has already started to decrease.

Just my $0.02...
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post #20 of 128 Old 12-20-2017, 07:51 PM
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I'm actually glad to have an option without Atmos and dtsx because I'll never have it with my room setup and don't want to have to pay for the added cost


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post #21 of 128 Old 12-21-2017, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm actually glad to have an option without Atmos and dtsx because I'll never have it with my room setup and don't want to have to pay for the added cost


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Agreed. Just wish there was higher quality room correction software included. You really need to use REW and manual tweaking.
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post #22 of 128 Old 12-21-2017, 04:34 AM
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Agreed. Just wish there was higher quality room correction software included. You really need to use REW and manual tweaking.


How good is REW?


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post #23 of 128 Old 12-21-2017, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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How good is REW?


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post #24 of 128 Old 12-21-2017, 09:21 AM
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Hello all!

The 976 was designed as a simple pre-pro for people wanting only conventionals codecs. So forget about an update to the Objects Oriented codecs, it won't happens as the DSP power is not there.

With that said, would some owners of a 976 test it with a CD player or DVD player connected via digital (either coaxial or optical) playing a CD, and report on the 976 behavior when starting a track, pausing then resuming playing, and between actual songs when playing a CD in a continuous, normal way. My unit have issues!

Thanks!
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Hello all!

The 976 was designed as a simple pre-pro for people wanting only conventionals codecs. So forget about an update to the Objects Oriented codecs, it won't happens as the DSP power is not there.

With that said, would some owners of a 976 test it with a CD player or DVD player connected via digital (either coaxial or optical) playing a CD, and report on the 976 behavior when starting a track, pausing then resuming playing, and between actual songs when playing a CD in a continuous, normal way. My unit have issues!

Thanks!
IMHO..
Outlaw missed a major point...
Besides S/W updates for new surround technologies, there are continuous updates for operational, HDMI bugs..
Todays' microprocessor products need an EZ accessible upgrade path..
There is no such thing as perfect software..
Just ask MicroSoft about Windows 10..

Just my $0.02...
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post #26 of 128 Old 12-21-2017, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
IMHO..
Outlaw missed a major point...
Besides S/W updates for new surround technologies, there are continuous updates for operational, HDMI bugs..
Todays' microprocessor products need an EZ accessible upgrade path..
There is no such thing as perfect software..
Just ask MicroSoft about Windows 10..

Just my $0.02...
Oh, it is upgradable! Just not for a new set of codecs!
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post #27 of 128 Old 12-21-2017, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by deromax View Post
Oh, it is upgradable! Just not for a new set of codecs!
I mentioned EZ accessible upgrade path..
Doing this through an obsolete 10 year old protocol such as RS-232 does not cut it in today's CE world.
Besides PCs haven't included an RS-232 serial port for many, many years..
As posted previously I like Outlaw products but to release a new component in 2017/18 using a RS-232 port for upgrades falls short...

Just my $0.02..
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post #28 of 128 Old 12-21-2017, 07:46 PM
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I see. I agree that RS-232 is ridiculous at this point in time. I think that in the past, Outlaw have been known to provided usb to rs-232 converters free of charge when asked.

Last edited by deromax; 12-21-2017 at 08:00 PM.
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post #29 of 128 Old 12-22-2017, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deromax View Post
Hello all!

The 976 was designed as a simple pre-pro for people wanting only conventionals codecs. So forget about an update to the Objects Oriented codecs, it won't happens as the DSP power is not there.

With that said, would some owners of a 976 test it with a CD player or DVD player connected via digital (either coaxial or optical) playing a CD, and report on the 976 behavior when starting a track, pausing then resuming playing, and between actual songs when playing a CD in a continuous, normal way. My unit have issues!

Thanks!
I tested my Oppo 205 with the optical out to my 976 and I had no problems with playing a cd. I did what you said about pausing etc. The cd I used was Diana Krall's All For You. The sound was quite good and better than I expected but I still prefer my analog outs from the Oppo because I like the dacs so much.

Paradigm Studio 20v5-fronts
Paradigm Studio CC-490v5-center
Paradigm Studio 10v5- side surrounds,Monitor surround 3v7-bck surr
Oppo UDP-205/LG 65C6 OLED
Outlaw 976 prepro/ Emotiva BasX A-700amp/PSA 15S sub
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post #30 of 128 Old 01-12-2018, 08:31 PM
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I've been thinking about an AV Processor for a while now. I was looking at the model 975, 976 and the Emo MC-700. I'm running a HK AVR 7200 and an EMO XPA3. This is all in a dedicated HT with a Pioneer Elite FPJ1 projector and an Oppo UDP 203. The 7200 powers the four surrounds and the SPA3 powers the front three. The Oppo connects directly to the projector through the ceiling. I've had the 7200 which was a flagship product when new since 2002 and it has been a beast as far as power and it's processing abilities have also been fine for me.

I'm not interested in Atmos and honestly, I barely know what it is. I would like some HDMI capability and the 7200 just does not offer that. I'd like to keep it for my 4 surrounds and get a processor. The model 975/5000 combo also looks like a nice deal for my purposes and I may just get that combo and move on.

I'm just not as fanatical about this stuff as I was say 10yrs ago and the prices for the three processors I mentioned fall right into the sweet spot for me. I thought about just buying another high-end AVR but for the money, they all seem kinda light to me. What I mean is they don't have the weight of my 7200. They don't seem to have the same big amp sections as my HK AVR7200 or my XPA3 which combined weigh over 100lbs. I believe the 7200 weighs 55lbs because of it's beefy amp section. When looking at a high-end Marantz AV8012 for $3k, I have to assume I'm paying for all the new processing capabilities and not necessarily the amp section. The thing only weighs 38lbs. Am I wrong about these new AVRs? I'm old school and I expect a quaility amp to give me a hernia when I lift it.

For those of you in the know about these lower-end processors and the fact that I don't give a crap about Atmos, would you go with the 975, 976 or the Emo? I'm reading that EMO processors are not always so good.

Formerly known as J--- H----. Member since 11/2002. My real name was showing up in Google too much!

What we have heah...is a failyah to communicate.

Last edited by limulus; 01-13-2018 at 07:32 AM.
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