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Questions about the Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker

(Last updated 2010)

Q. Does The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker require a powered subwoofer?

That is an interesting question. The loudspeakers have a -3dB down point of 52Hz (in-room). We spent many hours listening to a wide variety of music and they never sounded "thin" or lacking in satisfying bass. In fact, one of our listeners actually thought we had a subwoofer in the system. However, we want to remind everyone that in most cases, the use of the phrase "full range speaker" is a misnomer. We can think of only a handful of speakers that really reach down to 20Hz and all of them are quite large. Therefore, while the low frequency information from The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker is quite surprising, it does not preclude the need for a powered subwoofer, such as our own LFM models, in home theater systems where dedicated LFE information often extends to the low 20Hz range.

Q. What is boundary compensation and how does it work?

Depending on the proximity of a loudspeaker to a wall or corner, you may find that certain upper bass frequencies sound "boomy", or excessively forward. At these critical frequencies, this added energy manifests itself as "chestiness", particularly in male voices. To compensate for these compromised, but often necessary speaker placements, other manufacturers have added what is called boundary compensation, but they typically fall short in its implementation by using a single "averaged" adjustment for all non-ideal speaker placements.

The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker takes a different approach. After carefully measuring the effects of wall proximity and corner loading on The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker, we have engineered a unique, no-compromise Boundary Compensation Circuit that includes three different settings for each of the major room/speaker placement locations. One setting is for speaker placement close to a wall, a second setting is for proximity to a corner and the third setting is used when a speaker is located away from sound reflecting (or refracting) surfaces.

Q. You seem to talk a lot about music performance. Are The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeakers good for movies and home theater applications?

Most 2-channel audiophiles will spend considerable time ensuring their speakers are properly positioned in the room and toed in just the right amount so that their speakers reproduce music and voice with a natural timbre that is faithful to the original recording.

Unfortunately, some "home theater" speakers fall short when held to these standards. The simple way to state this is very straight forward: The Outlaw Loudspeakers sound terrific on home theater while maintaining the audiophile virtues that make them a great speaker regardless of system type!

Q. What finishes are available?

The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker will be available in two finishes: Black for $999 per pair and cherry veneer for $1,099.

Q. Will you offer speaker stands for the Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker?

As there are many great options such as B'ello, Sanus, and Plateau already available we will not offer any speaker stands. Regardless of how or where you mount your new speakers, note that the optimal stand height is 30 inches.

Q. What is the warranty for the Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeakers?

The warranty period is five years for both parts and labor.

Q. Can I buy a single, individual speaker?

Yes. While The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker is normally available in pairs, we will also make single loudspeaker purchases available.

Q. What about other models such as a "horizontal" array center channel or floor- standing speakers?

We are presently planning a high performance center channel with a unique crossover technology not attempted before. However, before we proceed with any additional models, we want to gauge the reaction to The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker.

Presently, there are about 450 companies delivering thousands of speaker models across a wide range of price points. In the online world where we live, there are several loudspeaker companies with a broad array of choices. Some companies market as many as twenty models in all shapes, sizes and technologies. While having that many choices can be great at a sandwich shop, a vast product array can be very confusing when it comes to making a decision about speakers.

By contrast, the Outlaw loudspeaker program will be very limited and focused, with each model delivering superb performance and a "story to tell'. All of the loudspeakers will be manufactured here in the US to our strict criteria and each unit will deliver performance to within dB of our reference standard. This means that all speakers in a given category will be acoustically identical to each other, regardless of when they were built. This production standard is neither easy, nor inexpensive, to execute. However, we believe the added effort will be invaluable to the performance of the finished product.

In the long term, we plan a maximum of four different speaker types, with ONE speaker in each category. You have already seen The Outlaw Bookshelf Loudspeaker, so we are not planning another model in this category. The same would be true for the center channel or any other speaker configuration.

This approach is similar to what we have done in receivers. At any point in time we have one receiver model - not a line.

In summary, it is important to restate that these are loudspeakers that we want to own ourselves. Once again, our approach probably "breaks the rules" and some of our competitors will chuckle that we will leave money on the table by not chasing lots of models at multiple price points. But that is why we are Outlaws.


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