Best Pre/Pro amp under $1k Outlaw Model 976??? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-10-2019, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Best Pre/Pro amp under $1k Outlaw Model 976???

Hello Guys and Gals

It's time for an upgrade and I really want a pre amp but not for allot of money.
I was looking at the Outlaw audio model 976 but I don't see any reviews on this model.
It scares me that hardly anyone is talking about it, I know it does not have Dolby Atmos so is that the reason why no one has this model? I wanted to try something different other than the usual Denon, Marantz, Yamaha ext. I am currently only running 7.2 so I really don't need Dolby Atmos at this time. Someone please point me in the right direction if this is a solid buy or should I look elsewhere?
My setup is in my signature below for reference, thanks all who reply.

Video: BenQ HT3550 4K Projector - Elite Screens Manual Grande Series - 128inch
Pre Amp: Marantz 7705/ Power Amplifiers: Emotiva XPA-3, UPA-700
JBL - Stage A190 Towers L/R , Stage A135 Center , Stage A190 surrounds , Atmos Klipsch rp-500sa
Subwoofer PSA 2xV1801 / Xbox One X, Nvidia Shield, Darbee Darblet 5000

Last edited by iceatola; 08-10-2019 at 11:33 PM.
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 12:06 AM
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I've had mine about two months and am very pleased with it. I had amps so only needed pre/pro and like you was not interested in Atmos. The 976 fit the bill. IIRC the next up was an NAD and was about double the price. I love the sound presentation across all inputs. I use phono, Bluray and blue tooth (+$50 for dongle) streaming the most. All are superior to what I had. I tell my friends I have a whole new record collection it sounds so good. I doubt you would be disappointed.
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Peja View Post
I've had mine about two months and am very pleased with it. I had amps so only needed pre/pro and like you was not interested in Atmos. The 976 fit the bill. IIRC the next up was an NAD and was about double the price. I love the sound presentation across all inputs. I use phono, Bluray and blue tooth (+$50 for dongle) streaming the most. All are superior to what I had. I tell my friends I have a whole new record collection it sounds so good. I doubt you would be disappointed.
Thanks for sharing I needed to here this because hardly anyone on here has even talked about this preamp. Question is your HDMI switching been working good so far? Because my Emotiva had problems from the very start and yesterday it finally gave out on me.

Video: BenQ HT3550 4K Projector - Elite Screens Manual Grande Series - 128inch
Pre Amp: Marantz 7705/ Power Amplifiers: Emotiva XPA-3, UPA-700
JBL - Stage A190 Towers L/R , Stage A135 Center , Stage A190 surrounds , Atmos Klipsch rp-500sa
Subwoofer PSA 2xV1801 / Xbox One X, Nvidia Shield, Darbee Darblet 5000
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 01:32 AM
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Best Pre/Pro amp under $1k Outlaw Model 976???

Why not something like a Denon x4400H which are on closeout for under $1000?

11.2 processing, 9 powered channels.

Audessey XT32 EQ (Better than most).

And it’s new, meaning it comes with all the bells and whistles you’d ever need. For years to come.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)

Last edited by Russdawg1; 08-11-2019 at 10:11 AM.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Why not something like a Denon x4400H which are on closeout for under $1000?

11.2 processing, 9 powered channels.

Audessey XT32 EQ (Better than most).

And it’s new, meaning it comes with all the rings and bells you’d ever need. For years to come.
That sounds interesting but I already have amps so I really don't need a receiver any more, plus I want something that is going to give me the best sound possible. With receivers because they give you all the bells and whistles so to speak they will whimp out on amp power allot of times. So I really just want a pre/pro so I can just focus on sound quality and processing. But if your telling me that I can get a receiver that can do it all with very good amp power then I am open for suggestions. So I will keep that one on my list thank you

Video: BenQ HT3550 4K Projector - Elite Screens Manual Grande Series - 128inch
Pre Amp: Marantz 7705/ Power Amplifiers: Emotiva XPA-3, UPA-700
JBL - Stage A190 Towers L/R , Stage A135 Center , Stage A190 surrounds , Atmos Klipsch rp-500sa
Subwoofer PSA 2xV1801 / Xbox One X, Nvidia Shield, Darbee Darblet 5000

Last edited by iceatola; 08-11-2019 at 06:05 AM.
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 06:55 AM
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With receivers because they give you all the bells and whistles so to speak they will whimp out on amp power allot of times.
Since you have external amps this wouldn't be an issue
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by iceatola View Post
Thanks for sharing I needed to here this because hardly anyone on here has even talked about this preamp. Question is your HDMI switching been working good so far? Because my Emotiva had problems from the very start and yesterday it finally gave out on me.
HDMI switching within the 976 has been flawless. I have gaming, security system and 976 HDMI connected to my TV. My 976 is connected to two turntables, SACD player, Bluray, CD changer and a Directv DVR. The only noticeable difference is when switching TV back to 976 from either gaming or security. It takes a couple of seconds more to handshake.

I came from the dark ages with a 20+ year old Fosgate #5 Dolby Surround processor and Bryston pre-amp. I know it's apples and oranges but I cannot describe how superior the quality of sound presentation is with the 976 in both 2ch and surround modes. Best $1000 I've ever put into my system.
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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@iceatola Here's a link to a review for the 976. https://www.avnirvana.com/threads/ou...r-review.3778/
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 11:08 AM
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A decent AVR vs a pre/pro in an equal (dollars) matchup will win virtually every time when looking at the features. I've had more than my share of pre/pros, and AVRs. I've owned 3 Emotivas, one Integra, 2 Onkyos, a couple of Marantz, and probably twice that many AVRs, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, and of late, Yamaha. Currently I have 2 Yamaha AVRs, and one Yamaha integrated.

I'll stick with an AVR for multi-channel sounds.
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post
A decent AVR vs a pre/pro in an equal (dollars) matchup will win virtually every time when looking at the features. I've had more than my share of pre/pros, and AVRs. I've owned 3 Emotivas, one Integra, 2 Onkyos, a couple of Marantz, and probably twice that many AVRs, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, and of late, Yamaha. Currently I have 2 Yamaha AVRs, and one Yamaha integrated.

I'll stick with an AVR for multi-channel sounds.
The OP is interested in sound quality not features. He doesn't even want Atmos....

OP... looks like the Outlaw or the Emotiva 700 are purdy much your only two options for new under a grand.

There's more options if you could go used or refurbished..?
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WOKNROX View Post
The OP is interested in sound quality not features. He doesn't even want Atmos....

OP... looks like the Outlaw or the Emotiva 700 are purdy much your only two options for new under a grand.

There's more options if you could go used or refurbished..?

Where was I was advocating for Atmos? Saying that a pre/pro is better at sound quality is a misnomer. They are pretty much equal in that regard.
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post #12 of 27 Old 08-11-2019, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post
Where was I was advocating for Atmos? Saying that a pre/pro is better at sound quality is a misnomer. They are pretty much equal in that regard.
I didn't say you said anything in regards to Atmos...

Read your first sentence....

I quoted the OP by saying he was only interested in a great sounding preamp... and not all the fluff that comes with an AVR.

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post #13 of 27 Old 08-12-2019, 01:31 AM
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Came across this thread as I'm in a very similar situation.

Sort of thinking about grabbing a Onkyo TX-RZ820 myself. I can get a refurb right now for $559(cdn). Anyone think that's a bad idea for any reason?

Much cheaper than the Outlaw or the Emotiva 700, has the pre-outs, has amps if I ever want to use them and has Dolby Atmos and DTS: x(even though I currently have no need for them).

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post #14 of 27 Old 08-12-2019, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeratt View Post
Came across this thread as I'm in a very similar situation.

Sort of thinking about grabbing a Onkyo TX-RZ820 myself. I can get a refurb right now for $559(cdn). Anyone think that's a bad idea for any reason?

Much cheaper than the Outlaw or the Emotiva 700, has the pre-outs, has amps if I ever want to use them and has Dolby Atmos and DTS: x(even though I currently have no need for them).
I cannot believe the prices on Amazon CA for the newer rz730, rz830 and cousin lx503. Even the Denon x3400 and x3500 are way more than the rz820.

I know a few members here have the rz820 and like it, so look at the 820 dedicated thread and check out issues, settings etc.

here is the rz810 bench test, I imagine the rz820 will be similar.
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-12-2019, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
I cannot believe the prices on Amazon CA for the newer rz730, rz830 and cousin lx503. Even the Denon x3400 and x3500 are way more than the rz820.

I know a few members here have the rz820 and like it, so look at the 820 dedicated thread and check out issues, settings etc.

here is the rz810 bench test, I imagine the rz820 will be similar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma5gR_HAocc
Oh nice, thx for the clip.

My Onkyo TX-NR3007 just died on me recently() so looking for a replacement now. I also have a Emotiva XPA-5 that has literally been sitting in my closet for many years now that I've been waiting for an excuse to use again. Might have to pull the trigger on the rz820 and pair it up with the XPA-5. Kind of doubt I'll find anything better for cheaper.
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K pulled the trigger. Order Total: CDN$ 587.99(US $443.49) after taxes(free delivery). I'm good with that price. It appears to have everything I wanted and more. If it lasts as long as my tx-nr3007 did I'll be more than happy.
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-08-2020, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by iceatola View Post
Hello Guys and Gals

It's time for an upgrade and I really want a pre amp but not for allot of money.
I was looking at the Outlaw audio model 976 but I don't see any reviews on this model.
It scares me that hardly anyone is talking about it, I know it does not have Dolby Atmos so is that the reason why no one has this model? I wanted to try something different other than the usual Denon, Marantz, Yamaha ext. I am currently only running 7.2 so I really don't need Dolby Atmos at this time. Someone please point me in the right direction if this is a solid buy or should I look elsewhere?
My setup is in my signature below for reference, thanks all who reply.
@iceatola : By this time you may have made your decision, but I think it is important to address some of the points you make:
  1. No one talks about Outlaw 976: People tend to talk (or post) when things go wrong, and 976 is no exception. That said, Outlaw 976 has its owner's thread, and reasonable review. Additionally, Outlaw Audio has their own forum as well (aptly named "saloon"). Personally, I think Outlaw Audio 976 requires a fairly adequate knowledge of AV components, when it comes to setting everything up, especially tweaking the PEQ and running REW sweeps. I won't say 976 is exactly plug-n-play, as many AVRs' are.
  2. Most people aren't willing to invest time and effort into exacting their setup, "good enough" is good enough for them -- this school of thought will naturally gravitate towards all-in-one setups, notably AVRs' with a lot of marketing and bells and whistles.
  3. In the cosmetic department, 976 and its remote can be classified as "industrial", especially when compared with aesthetically pleasing AVRs'. Many buyers' are also swayed by the look-and-feel of the websites they buy from -- just look at Onkyo site and then the Outlaw Audio site.
In general, these characteristics scream "by nerds for nerds" when looking at Outlaw Audio 976. Maybe, and MAYBE, that's the reason why no one really talks much about Outlaw Audio 976.

Personally, I switched from Marantz 5010, to Outlaw Audio 976 + Outlaw 5000 Amp, and have no complaints.
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Equipment:
* Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SE L/C/R, Rythmik Audio E15HP sub-woofer.
* Outlaw Audio 976 prepro with 5000 amp
* Apple TV 4K, nVIDIA Shield TV, Sony XBR55X810C
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post #18 of 27 Old 02-09-2020, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by choombak View Post
@iceatola : By this time you may have made your decision, but I think it is important to address some of the points you make:
  1. No one talks about Outlaw 976: People tend to talk (or post) when things go wrong, and 976 is no exception. That said, Outlaw 976 has its owner's thread, and reasonable review. Additionally, Outlaw Audio has their own forum as well (aptly named "saloon"). Personally, I think Outlaw Audio 976 requires a fairly adequate knowledge of AV components, when it comes to setting everything up, especially tweaking the PEQ and running REW sweeps. I won't say 976 is exactly plug-n-play, as many AVRs' are.
  2. Most people aren't willing to invest time and effort into exacting their setup, "good enough" is good enough for them -- this school of thought will naturally gravitate towards all-in-one setups, notably AVRs' with a lot of marketing and bells and whistles.
  3. In the cosmetic department, 976 and its remote can be classified as "industrial", especially when compared with aesthetically pleasing AVRs'. Many buyers' are also swayed by the look-and-feel of the websites they buy from -- just look at Onkyo site and then the Outlaw Audio site.
In general, these characteristics scream "by nerds for nerds" when looking at Outlaw Audio 976. Maybe, and MAYBE, that's the reason why no one really talks much about Outlaw Audio 976.

Personally, I switched from Marantz 5010, to Outlaw Audio 976 + Outlaw 5000 Amp, and have no complaints.
Yeah I switched to Marantz 7705 instead

Video: BenQ HT3550 4K Projector - Elite Screens Manual Grande Series - 128inch
Pre Amp: Marantz 7705/ Power Amplifiers: Emotiva XPA-3, UPA-700
JBL - Stage A190 Towers L/R , Stage A135 Center , Stage A190 surrounds , Atmos Klipsch rp-500sa
Subwoofer PSA 2xV1801 / Xbox One X, Nvidia Shield, Darbee Darblet 5000
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post #19 of 27 Old 02-12-2020, 09:55 PM
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Best Pre/Pro amp under $1k Outlaw Model 976???

Wrong post

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post #20 of 27 Old 05-22-2020, 08:02 PM
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Yeah I switched to Marantz 7705 instead
any regrets or new thoughts?

i'm in the same boat. have active meridian speakers. also have amps should i choose to use my passive speakers. the meridians accept balanced ins which you don't find on AVRs.

that being said, i don't listen critically any more and 5.1 is really all i need... though, i guess you don't have to listen critically to appreciate good sound quality.
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post #21 of 27 Old 05-28-2020, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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any regrets or new thoughts?

i'm in the same boat. have active meridian speakers. also have amps should be i choose to use my passive speakers. the meridians accept balanced ins which you don't find on AVRs.

that being said, i don't listen critically any more and 5.1 is really all i need... though, i guess you don't have to listen critically to appreciate good sound quality.
I have NO regrets at all with my Marantz 7705 Pre-Amp. Sound quality is really good and excellent on HDMI switching with no lag at all. Get it, you will not be disappointed

Video: BenQ HT3550 4K Projector - Elite Screens Manual Grande Series - 128inch
Pre Amp: Marantz 7705/ Power Amplifiers: Emotiva XPA-3, UPA-700
JBL - Stage A190 Towers L/R , Stage A135 Center , Stage A190 surrounds , Atmos Klipsch rp-500sa
Subwoofer PSA 2xV1801 / Xbox One X, Nvidia Shield, Darbee Darblet 5000
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post #22 of 27 Old 06-08-2020, 04:44 PM
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Wow, all this AVR and emotiva suggestion really missed the point that the outlaw 976 can feed balanced XLR pre out on all channel vs the RCA unbalanced out of the other device ? This is a major sale point.

We are in 2020, im looking for something to feed my soon to be shipped outlaw 7000x ... I hope the 976 will get an update soon with real HDMI 2.1 support that would in theory support 8K and next gen console. Its the only thing thats holding me back right now, seem a bit outdated for late 2020.

But beside that, did my research and for real balanced XLR pre out to power a 7.1 system ( my room will never be able to handle more speaker so its futur proof by this limit ) the 976 seem like the better product for the money out there.

Anyone know if they will release a real HDMI 2.1 version soon ? This year ?
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post #23 of 27 Old 06-09-2020, 08:17 AM
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Anyone know if they will release a real HDMI 2.1 version soon ? This year ?
Boutique brands like Outlaw depend on suppliers having pre-built HDMI solutions to buy and considering the largest receiver maker in the world is doing models with only a single 2.1 input for 2020 I'd guess it'll be a year at the minimum. Outlaw was selling the 975 with a 4k switch until not too long ago. Smaller companies can't really develop their own in-house solutions.
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post #24 of 27 Old 06-09-2020, 10:22 AM
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another option:

IOTAVX AVX1 $885.32
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post #25 of 27 Old 06-09-2020, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jrampoldi View Post
another option:

IOTAVX AVX1 $885.32
For that price, ill look at the new denon 2020, the cheapest that features RCA pre out will at least have better room correction software, codec decoding and pass 8k HDMI 2.1 ... still Il try to wait for 2021 but with my new speaker set up and amp I really need something to pre out the signal and dam, I dont want to buy an AVR the year before everything becomes 2.1 since I already plan to use a lot the next gen console that will use 2.1 ... Maybe for now ill try to find a old HD avr with pre out and only use ARC from my tv to feed my 5.1 until I can really buy something 2.1 with pre out.
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post #26 of 27 Old 06-14-2020, 10:50 AM
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"Personally, I switched from Marantz 5010, to Outlaw Audio 976 + Outlaw 5000 Amp, and have no complaints."



Choombak...I just ordered a 976 and a model 5000...please entertain a stupid question...does the 5000 get hot enough that it is a bad idea to sit the 976 right on top of it? I ordered these two to replace a Receiver... shelf-space-wise it would be nice if I could sit the 976 right on top of the 5000...is that a bad idea? Should the 5000 have its own shelf?

thanks!
BV
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post #27 of 27 Old 06-14-2020, 01:29 PM
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The 2020 Denon x3700h has internal amps, but you can fully disconnect them with a pre-amp mode that has 4 volt prepro output (which is very nice - as opposed to many receivers stopping at ~1.5 volt). Based on last years performance testing the Denon is right up there at the top of all the units - even surpassing most of the boutique equipment.

It has all the fluff you aren't sure you want right now, but if you are already paying $1k you might as well have it in case your preference changes, right?
That fluff, to include the new HDMI 2.1 standard, and Audyssey multiEQ XT32 with dual sub EQ.

it's $1200 MSRP - so just 20% over your threshold. You might even be able to find it less than $1200 by contacting different authorized vendors or finding a coupon code or holiday sale.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...sts-1-8-a.html


Otherwise I'd just find a used pre-pro a couple years old and go that route.

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