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Product Review
 

Outlaw Audio 990 SSP and 7125 Multi-Channel Power Amplifier

 

Part I

December, 2005

Matthew Abel

 

 

Specifications:

 

Outlaw 990:
• Codecs: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby
    Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby
    Headphone, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS
    Neo-6
• 24/192 DACs on Each Channel
• Dimensions: 7.8" H x 17.4” W x 17.8” D
• Weight: 28 Pounds
• MSRP: $1,099 USA

Outlaw 7125:
• Power: 125 Watts RMS x 7 into 8 Ohms
• MFR: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
± 0.1 dB
• Dimensions: 5.0" H x 17.2” W x 16.2” D
• Weight: 51 Pounds
• MSRP: $999 USA

 

Outlaw Audio

www.outlawaudio.com

Introduction

The 990 is Outlaw's second foray into making a full featured surround processor. Replacing the previous model - the 950 - the 990 adds numerous features and technological advances while maintaining Outlaw’s strong tradition of value oriented products by keeping the price at a very reasonable $1099.

As I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-49TX receiver in my system, I needed an amplifier to accompany the 990, and for this Outlaw provided their new 7125. The 7125 is also a second generation product, replacing the 7100 in Outlaw's lineup. While the 7125 may be at the lower end of Outlaw's amplifier range, it is no slouch by anyone's standards, producing a very reasonable 125 watts into each of its seven channels.

At $999 the 7125 is an ideal companion for the 990, and Outlaw has even sweetened the deal by offering the pair for $1,898, which is $200 less than the price for each, added together. As with all Outlaw components, the 990 and 7125 are sold only through the Internet and can be auditioned for 30 days risk free.

The Design

Outlaw has assembled a very competitive feature-packed unit in the 990. To start, the 990 has all of the current Dolby Digital and DTS codecs, including Dolby Headphone. All of the processing for these surround modes is handled by a Cirrus Logic CS49400 DSP, feeding Analog Devices AD1852 24/192 Sigma-Delta DACs. In addition, the digital processing can apply a user specified lip synch delay to each of the inputs, individually.

On the analog side of audio, the 990 features both a radio tuner with 30 station presets and a moving-magnet phono input. A unique feature at this price, the 990 has both balanced and single-ended preamplifier outputs, which is very impressive. For its video signals, the 990 can transcode from either its composite or its S-Video input to a component video output, making connections to your display simpler. The 990 also has two DVI inputs and a DVI monitor output, making it very well equipped from the video input side. Finally, the Outlaw 990 is software upgradeable through either its USB or RS-232 interface.

The 990 has a handsome front panel that is relatively austere, given its large area. A narrow stretch down the middle holds the display and all of the main controls. The controls consist of four cursor control buttons flanking a center enter button and eight other smaller buttons for controlling the tuner and radio presets (3), on screen menu, mute, input, surround mode, and tone control. The input and surround mode selections are accomplished by first pushing their respective button and then using the cursor up and down buttons to get what you want. I prefer to have direct selection for both of these, even on the front panel, but this is a minor inconvenience. The front panel is rounded out by a solid-feeling volume knob, a full featured set of front inputs (composite video, S-Video, stereo and optical digital) and input for the set-up microphone. These front panel inputs are nicely hidden under removable covers.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

 

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