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Questions About The Model 950 Processor

(Last updated 2010)_The Model 950 Has Been Discontinued

Q. What is the Model 950?

A. The Model 950 is the Outlaws' first stand-alone component surround sound processor/preamp/tuner. As you would expect from the Outlaws, it is a high-performance, high-value product that sets new ground in that category. The features of the 950 are detailed below.

Q. What is the current status of the Model 950?

A. The Model 950 is in stock and available for immediate shipment.

Q. What does the Model 950 cost?

A. The Model 950's current price is $799 plus shipping and handling. That price is subject to change without notice.

Q. Is there an "Outlaw family discount" on the Model 950?

A. No. The "Family Price" that was previously available with the Model 950 has been discontinued with the new, lower, price. However, anyone who purchases a Model 950 is eligible for any other Family Pricing that may be available on other products, including any package prices for the 950 in combination with our amplifiers.

Q. What if I haven't ordered before and I want to order the Model 950 at the same time as one of your amplifiers. Are there package prices?

A. Yes. There are packages the combine a Model 950 with each of our multi-channel amplifiers. Consult the order form on our web site for the latest package price combinations. Note that these prices supersede the "Family" discount, and there is no additional discount if you are an existing Outlaw customer.

Q. I live outside of North America, but would like to purchase a Model 950. Do you have 230 volt versions available, and can I purchase one?

A. Unfortunately, the Model 950 is only available in a 120 volt model, and since we are not currently able to provide adequate service for the Model 950 outside of North America, we regret that we are unable to ship the unit outside of North America at this time.

Q. I 'd like to purchase a Model 950, but even with the newly reduced price it's still a bit above my budget. Do you have any "B Stock" versions available?

A. We do offer B-Stock Model 950s, but only in combination with the purchase of a new multi-channel amplifier. The latest pricing on packages that include a "B-Stock" Model 950 with a Model 770, Model 755 or Model 7100 amplifier are available on the special B-stock order form on our web site.

Q. Where is the Model 950 made, and who designed it?

A. The 950 is manufactured in an ISO 9001 certified production facility in Malaysia that also produces electronics for a wide range of famous consumer electronic brands. It was designed by a team of engineers in the US, Asia and Europe who have devoted many man-years to the design task. The basic platform of the Model 950, including the basic audio path, the menus and interface, the configuration of the remote and many other aspects of the design were solely created by the Outlaws and were implemented by engineers and consultants under our direction. While others may offer products that are derivative of the Model 950, they share OUR design, not the other way around. We were the first ones to offer a product using this platform, and there is a good reason for that: we initiated and designed it.

Q. But what about all the other products that use this platform. Are they different from the Model 950? Are they the same? What's the deal?

A. As mentioned above, the Model 950 is based on a totally unique platform that was developed by and for the Outlaws. However, as part of our arrangement with the manufacturer of the 950, they are permitted to offer differentiated versions of the 950 platform to other companies in recognition of their significant contribution of engineering/production manufacturing resources. It isn't our place to say who those companies are, as that is a confidential business matter for the manufacturer and their customers. Similarly, we can't comment as to how anyone who does use a version of the 950 may choose to differentiate it. You'll have to ask those other companies about that. What we can say is the following: The Model 950 is the best value in its price class in terms of features and sonic performance.

Q. What are the specs of the 950?

A. The complete specs for the Model 950 are included in the owner's manual, which is available for download from our web site.

Q. Can I look at the owner's manual before I purchase a Model 950?

A. Yes. The latest version of the Model 950 Owner's Manual is available on our web site. Please feel free to download it and take a look.

Q. What is the warranty for the 950?

A. We are so confident of the Model 950's quality that it is covered by a five-year warranty.

Q. What is the basic feature package?

A. The Model 950's features line up this way:

Surround Processing: Dolby Surround EX, Dolby ProLogic II (two modes plus ProLogic emulation with Panorama, Center Width and Dimension Control), DTS 5.1, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete and DTS-ES 6.1 Matrix, DTS Neo:6 (two modes), Cirrus Extra Surround (Music and Cinema Modes), "Five Channel" and "Seven Channel" Surround, True Stereo Bypass
Digital Inputs: Four optical, two coaxial
Direct Input: Full 5.1 channel direct input for outboard sources such as DVD-A or SACD
Analog Inputs: Nine in total: five A/V inputs, all with both composite and "S" Video, four audio only for CD and Tape. All connections for audio/video/digital inputs are gold. All analog inputs may be switched to a "bypass" mode.
• Extensive video switching, as well as Composite-to-S Video and S Video-to-Composite conversion.
Component Video: Two inputs/One Output, HDTV capable bandwidth (40 MHz)
Digital Outputs: One Optical and one coax
Tape Outputs: One set for audio and one set for audio/video
Multi-Zone: Separate source may be fed to a second zone or tape recorder, even while the main room is off. Separate amplifier trigger for the remote-zone amplifier.
IR: Separate inputs for remote sensors in main room and remote zone.
Triggers: Separate triggers for the main room and remote room power amplifiers
Remote: Backlit, eight device capable with both internal IR code library and learning capabilities. Four separate macro programs may be entered.
Tuner: High quality FM Stereo/FM/AM tuner built-in
• Removable IEC type power cord
• Two line LCD display and comprehensive on-screen menu system
• Triple Crossover system allows selection of different crossover at 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz or 150Hz for front left/right, center and surround speakers
• Individual mode memories for each input
• "Bypass" mode for all analog inputs routes the source directly to the precision, VCA controlled, analog volume control so that all digital processing may be bypassed
• Full adjustment and customization of Dolby ProLogic II modes allows customized surround presentation
• "Theater EQ" mode to compensate for the brightness recorded into many movie soundtracks
• "Night" mode for Dolby Digital soundtracks
• High-grade, audiophile components throughout, including glass-epoxy circuit boards and fully enclosed torrodial power transformer
• DSP e-prom socketed and removable for future upgrade possibility
• Output level trim to input source or internal test tone for all channels
• Separate power on/power off remote commands for easy use with third-party programmable remotes and in complex audio/video systems
• Display Dim/Display Off settings for use in low-light home theater environments

Q. Does the 950 have the same bass management capability on the "direct" inputs as the ICBM?

A. No. The cost of integrating the complex analog circuitry of the ICBM into the 950 would raise the price well above our target. In addition, we'd rather keep the pure analog signal path of the ICBM's functionality in a separate box, away from any possible digital noise. The 950 includes a built-in, switch selectable, 80Hz crossover on the direct inputs. This should be a good match for most systems.

Q. What are the key components in the Model 950?

A. We have worked very closely with the hardware and software engineering teams at Cirrus (formerly known as Crystal Semiconductor) to create a signal path that is not only flexible, but also high quality and capable of extremely high performance. From input to output, we are proud to use the following Cirrus products in the signal path:

Cirrus CS5360 Analog to Digital Converters. This key component converts the incoming analog audio to 24 bit digital data. These parts utilize 128x over sampling techniques and have a dynamic range of over 105 dB.
Cirrus CS49326 DSP Engine. We have the most recent version of this dual-core, 24 bit processor using special software for all digital decoding and surround processing. It is recognized as the industry standard.
Cirrus CS4396 Digital to Analog Converters. These are top of the line 192 kHz/24bit "Super DACs" with a signal to noise ratio of 120dB. Taking advantage of advanced delta-sigma techniques and thanks to extremely low clock jitter, they deliver audio output of the highest purity. Unlike conventional "pack DACs", these are individual stereo pair DACs originally designed for use in professional recording applications. Outlaw is among the very few consumer audio brands to use these high-end DACs.

Q. Which amplifier do you recommend for use with the Model 950?

A. While any high-quality power amplifier will work nicely with the Model 950, you might suspect that we're partial to our own Model 770, Model 755 and Model 7100 products. The Model 770 and Model 755 are both 200-watt per channel products that take the benchmark established by our award winning Model 750 to the next level. The Model 770 is a seven-channel product, and the model 755 replaces the Model 750 as our five-channel amplifier. The Model 7100 uses the same basic architecture as the Model 770 and Model 755, but it is more modestly powered at 7x100 watts. Complete details on all of our amplifiers may be found in the "Products" section of the Outlaw website. For those who already own a five-channel amplifier and wish to upgrade to 6.1 or 7.1 operation we also offer the Model 200 M-Block, our 200 watt monaural amplifier.

Q. I've heard that the Model 950 has gone through some revisions since its introduction. What happened and which version are you shipping now?

A. After initial shipments of the Model 950 began, we found that a small number of the early production units exhibited a noise problem. It was also determined by user input that an error in the micro-code memory of some later versions did not allow the unit to operate properly in a certain configuration of DTS-ES. Both of these problems were fully addressed and solved some time ago. All units currently shipping are built to the latest specifications and include all relevant hardware and software updates.

Q. I 've also read about "Red Dot" and "Blue Dot" versions. What 's that about and which dot will my unit have?

A. The "dot" versions were Model 950s that were returned to us for modification from customers, with the dots being affixed to indicate which update has been applied to a unit that was already in service. Since all units that are currently shipping are new production, they contain the latest revisions as noted above. Your Model 950 was built from the start with all the latest revisions, so it will not have any dots, as no upgrade indication is required.

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