Outlaw Audio 976 Processor looks to be no longer available: damn shame!

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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Looks like the 976 Processor isn't available anymore. That is a damn shame. Here was a processor with 9 channels of fully-balanced, high-quality outputs for $1k. Insanely good deal. I guess the lack of support for newer audio formats killed it, but the raw performance is a lot better than any of the behemoth processors that are had from any of the major processor manufacturers. It was the perfect vehicle for putting together a lower cost/high-performance home theater using active speakers. Let's say you made that the heart of a Presonus Eris XT active speaker system with a couple Hsu subs, you would have had an absolutely killer home theater for less than $5000 that nothing could touch for the same cost. It hurts to think that Atmos 'height' channels are what killed it. No equivalently-priced Atmos system would sound nearly as good.
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Looks like the 976 Processor isn't available anymore. That is a damn shame. Here was a processor with 9 channels of fully-balanced, high-quality outputs for $1k. Insanely good deal. I guess the lack of support for newer audio formats killed it, but the raw performance is a lot better than any of the behemoth processors that are had from any of the major processor manufacturers. It was the perfect vehicle for putting together a lower cost/high-performance home theater using active speakers. Let's say you made that the heart of a Presonus Eris XT active speaker system with a couple Hsu subs, you would have had an absolutely killer home theater for less than $5000 that nothing could touch for the same cost. It hurts to think that Atmos 'height' channels are what killed it. No equivalently-priced Atmos system would sound nearly as good.
Yeah I saw that too I'd been thinking about buying one one day for my personal setup outside the theater.

Bummer bro sorry
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Looks like the 976 Processor isn't available anymore. That is a damn shame. Here was a processor with 9 channels of fully-balanced, high-quality outputs for $1k. Insanely good deal. I guess the lack of support for newer audio formats killed it, but the raw performance is a lot better than any of the behemoth processors that are had from any of the major processor manufacturers. It was the perfect vehicle for putting together a lower cost/high-performance home theater using active speakers. Let's say you made that the heart of a Presonus Eris XT active speaker system with a couple Hsu subs, you would have had an absolutely killer home theater for less than $5000 that nothing could touch for the same cost. It hurts to think that Atmos 'height' channels are what killed it. No equivalently-priced Atmos system would sound nearly as good.
I'm sure the economy wasn't very helpful either it's probably been rough on the smaller companies like Outlaw
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
So it was specifically due lack of the Atmos type feature set? Or just too small of a niche market?
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
Looks like the 976 Processor isn't available anymore. That is a damn shame. Here was a processor with 9 channels of fully-balanced, high-quality outputs for $1k. Insanely good deal. I guess the lack of support for newer audio formats killed it, but the raw performance is a lot better than any of the behemoth processors that are had from any of the major processor manufacturers. It was the perfect vehicle for putting together a lower cost/high-performance home theater using active speakers. Let's say you made that the heart of a Presonus Eris XT active speaker system with a couple Hsu subs, you would have had an absolutely killer home theater for less than $5000 that nothing could touch for the same cost. It hurts to think that Atmos 'height' channels are what killed it. No equivalently-priced Atmos system would sound nearly as good.
Maaaaybe there's hope they might be coming out with a newer more atmosy model? ..... Maaaaybe?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
So it was specifically due lack of the Atmos type feature set? Or just too small of a niche market?
I don't know exactly why it was discontinued. I would guess that it's the lack of Atmos support combined with the silicon shortage and also shipping and logistics problems created by the pandemic. The audio market has now lost a fantastic option to base a surround sound system on. So many audio enthusiasts are so incredibly dumb to have let this happen. If you want to equal the performance of the 976, you probably have to spend nearly three times as much for an equivalently performing processor. But people want their height channels, even if it comes at a big cost to the overall sound quality.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Maaaaybe there's hope they might be coming out with a newer more atmosy model? ..... Maaaaybe?
I hope so, but I think that is a long shot. What's more, an Atmos version would necessarily be a lot more expensive.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I don't know exactly why it was discontinued. I would guess that it's the lack of Atmos support combined with the silicon shortage and also shipping and logistics problems created by the pandemic. The audio market has now lost a fantastic option to base a surround sound system on. So many audio enthusiasts are so incredibly dumb to have let this happen. If you want to equal the performance of the 976, you probably have to spend nearly three times as much for an equivalently performing processor. But people want their height channels, even if it comes at a big cost to the overall sound quality.
I haven't seen measurements of the 976, will go look. There are some multich fans who don't care about the Dolby/DTS processing and have multich dacs, too. Let alone active/powered speaker use. I have pointed people at the 976 before, and you're right, don't think there's much to compete particularly at the price point....
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
I don't know exactly why it was discontinued. I would guess that it's the lack of Atmos support combined with the silicon shortage and also shipping and logistics problems created by the pandemic. The audio market has now lost a fantastic option to base a surround sound system on. So many audio enthusiasts are so incredibly dumb to have let this happen. If you want to equal the performance of the 976, you probably have to spend nearly three times as much for an equivalently performing processor. But people want their height channels, even if it comes at a big cost to the overall sound quality.
Sorry bro
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Field Marshall
I saw this the other day also and it is a shame. It really shows you how hard it is for these smaller AV companies to keep up. It's hard for them and expensive for them to keep their products fresh and to get updated new products out. Who knows if they even made their money back from the R&D of this product alone. It'll be interesting to see if they dip their toe back into the processor game.
I remember emailing Parasound about getting back into the processor game and it was a hard no way, never again will they deal with HDMI products because the specs change I guess all the time. They stay in their lane now.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Field Marshall
Maaaaybe there's hope they might be coming out with a newer more atmosy model? ..... Maaaaybe?
I remember even they were developing this one they said after this is out they are going to start working on an Atmos processor. My guess is that just fell apart, was too difficult and cost too much money. I don't know that but that would be my guess.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I saw this the other day also and it is a shame. It really shows you how hard it is for these smaller AV companies to keep up. It's hard for them and expensive for them to keep their products fresh and to get updated new products out. Who knows if they even made their money back from the R&D of this product alone. It'll be interesting to see if they dip their toe back into the processor game.
I remember emailing Parasound about getting back into the processor game and it was a hard no way, never again will they deal with HDMI products because the specs change I guess all the time. They stay in their lane now.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
I am not surprised at all, as I have been saying, for AVP, stick with Yamaha and Marantz or Denon (for those who don't mind using AVR as prepro). They are big enough and sell enough to have the necessary resource for producing and supporting the complicated AVPs/AVRs. Smaller companies can make nice amps and DACs but not AVPs/AVRs, not even Anthem, NAD and Arcam any more (used to, until HDMI2.0/4K etc.) imo.

The Outlaw 976 is doomed to fail, for the minimal feature set and specs., other than for the form over function and/or nostalgic kind of reasons, I can never justify spending $1K on such a thing instead of an AVR-X3700H. That's just me I guess.:D And I have had my fair share of AVPs already, two in less than 3 year so I don't think I am biased against the idea of AVPs.:D
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
If you want to equal the performance of the 976, you probably have to spend nearly three times as much for an equivalently performing processor. But people want their height channels, even if it comes at a big cost to the overall sound quality.
I can see that you are really impressed with the 976, but no you don't have to spend nearly 3X.... unless you put a lot of value on certain things such as the 10 bend PEQ, and balanced output. Also, I don't think there would be "a big cost to the overall sound quality..., in what way I wonder? There isn't much chance the 976 would do better than even an AVR such as the X3600H on the bench. For someone who believes in the so called go by their ears, then okay, I can't argue with that..., but I think you do value measurements as well as ears obviously.:)
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Field Marshall
I am not surprised at all, as I have been saying, for AVP, stick with Yamaha and Marantz or Denon (for those who don't mind using AVR as prepro). They are big enough and sell enough to have the necessary resource for producing and supporting the complicated AVPs/AVRs. Smaller companies can make nice amps and DACs but not AVPs/AVRs, not even Anthem, NAD and Arcam any more (used to, until HDMI2.0/4K etc.) imo.

The Outlaw 976 is doomed to fail, for the minimal feature set and specs., other than for the form over function and/or nostalgic kind of reasons, I can never justify spending $1K on such a thing instead of an AVR-X3700H. That's just me I guess.:D And I have had my fair share of AVPs already, two in less than 3 year so I don't think I am biased against the idea of AVPs.:D
I hear ya 100%. I have always been a processor guy but I'm running a Denon X3400H as my processor now because it was cost effective, has great features plus XT32 and when I need to replace it, I won't have to spend an arm and leg. It's the best option for me.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I haven't seen measurements of the 976, will go look. There are some multich fans who don't care about the Dolby/DTS processing and have multich dacs, too. Let alone active/powered speaker use. I have pointed people at the 976 before, and you're right, don't think there's much to compete particularly at the price point....
The only review with some limited measurements I could find was Mathhew's. If measured on AH or ASR's bench, I bet it would perform okay but not better than the D+M AVRs/AVPs but that's just my educated guess, i.e. still a guess.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
The only review with some limited measurements I could find was Mathhew's. If measured on AH or ASR's bench, I bet it would perform okay but not better than the D+M AVRs/AVPs but that's just my educated guess, i.e. still a guess.
That's my assumption as well. I saw the limited info at audinirvana....
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I can see that you are really impressed with the 976, but no you don't have to spend nearly 3X.... unless you put a lot of value on certain things such as the 10 bend PEQ, and balanced output. Also, I don't think there would be "a big cost to the overall sound quality..., in what way I wonder? There isn't much chance the 976 would do better than even an AVR such as the X3600H on the bench. For someone who believes in the so called go by their ears, then okay, I can't argue with that..., but I think you do value measurements as well as ears obviously.:)
The balanced outputs are a big deal if you want to use powered speakers, especially ones with high-sensitivity inputs like many studio monitors. That is what made it so good. Try a 40-foot run of unbalanced cable to a powered rear surround. The end result will be very noisy. The PEQ is nice, but from what Matthew told me it is a bit cumbersome.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
The balanced outputs are a big deal if you want to use powered speakers, especially ones with high-sensitivity inputs like many studio monitors. That is what made it so good. Try a 40-foot run of unbalanced cable to a powered rear surround. The end result will be very noisy. The PEQ is nice, but from what Matthew told me it is a bit cumbersome.
Agreed, if you need balanced and only 7.1 processing.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Agreed, if you need balanced and only 7.1 processing.
If you started to build a system on a budget, such a processor gives you a huge leg up for only $1k. Matthew measured the outputs as well and said that the outputs were as good as his MOTU audio interface could measure. Again, try assembling a system of equivalent audio performance for the same cost compared to what you can do with a 976 processor and some good powered monitors; it can't be done.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
If all you need is 7.1, you could also just buy a high-end preowned 7.1 processor or AVR.

I recently sold my $5,500 Denon AVR-5308CI for $1K. Or was it $900? :D

I bet people can get some preowned 7.1 AVP from Krell, Bryston, ATI, Lexicon AVP for $1K.

But as @Gmoney says...
 
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