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Secrets Benchmark Product Review
 

Outlaw Audio 1070 7.1 A/V Receiver

Part II

September, 2005

John E. Johnson, Jr.

 

In Use

The 1070 instruction manual is very clear and explicit, so it is easy to read and use.

I configured a digital input and 5.1 analog input set for my Yamaha universal DVD player, and a stereo analog input set for my McCormack CD transport and DAC. Speakers were Paradigm Studio 20s, Monitor Audio Studio 20 SEs, and Carver Amazings. Nordost cables connected everything.

Peter Tribeman, President of Outlaw Audio, said that I should try the 1070 with my ribbon speakers, even though they are a very difficult load for amplifiers (low impedance and low sensitivity).

So, I did, and I was really surprised! I cranked it up most of the way, and there was no clipping, even with full orchestral music.

It turns out that the 1070 has a clip protection circuit that prevents it from going into a hard clip. This means that whatever the speaker, the distortion will be kept at a lower level than might otherwise be the case.

I know that, on the surface, 65 watts does not seem like a lot, but we have to remember that the watts vs. sound level is a logarithmic function. If we went from 65 watts to 650 watts, it would only sound twice as loud.

In fact, we typically listen at just a few watts, or even less, so 65 watts does produce a decent SPL, even on my demanding ribbons.

In any case, the receiver was plenty for the Paradigms and Monitor Audios.

The sound quality was very neutral, with a bit of brightness only when I reached the limits of the power amplifier.

Female vocals (I consider this a very important test) were excellent, with no excessive sibilance that plagues many mass market receivers.

Although not a real powerhouse, the 1070 was quite good with movies. As I have mentioned in other mass market receiver reviews, one technique for mitigating the power issue is to use a crossover of 50 Hz or 60 Hz to all your speakers, even if they are large (you might have to set the crossover higher, say 80 Hz, if the speakers are small), and use a good subwoofer to handle everything below the crossover point. This will free up a huge amount of amplifier energy to drive the speakers, since the low frequencies are very power-demanding.

As I said, 65 watts will still produce a reasonable volume. For two channel listening, just use efficient speakers, at least 90 dB/w/m. For surround sound listening, when you have 60 watts being delivered to each of seven channels, it will be plenty loud. But, this receiver will work best in small home theater rooms.

On the Bench

Below are our Secrets Benchmark findings for the Outlaw Model 1070 Receiver. An article explaining our Benchmark criteria is located HERE. Each criterion has a maximum score of 10 points. If a criterion is not tested, it is not included as part of the calculation (total points available).

This receiver has just about every feature you can want, including DVI switching (but not HDMI). The power amplifier put out more than 90% of spec with all seven channels driven. We test the maximum output for a five second period, which is a terrific strain on the amplifier.

Secrets Benchmark Results

 

Function

Score

Notes

Time Alignment

   
Global A/V Delay 10 Points Delay up to 200ms, in 10ms increments.
Speaker Delay 5 Points Each channel is independent but increment is only 1 foot (0.5 foot preferred).

Volume

   
Muting 5 Points There is a mute button on the remote but no option for it to be a cut vs. an X dB attenuation.
Power-On Volume / Max Volume 5 Points Power-On volume can be set, but not maximum volume.
Input Level Trim 10 Points Each adjustable from -6 dB to +12 dB.
Volume Scale 10 Points Relative scale rather than absolute.
Speaker Calibration 5 Points Adjusted in 1 dB increments only (0.5 dB preferred).
Headphone 0 Points Has its own volume, but cannot monitor a different source from the main zone.

Dolby Digital

   
Basic Functions 10 Points Meets basic requirements for Dolby Digital.
DRC (Dynamic Range Control) 10 Points One button press on the remote, but several button presses from the front panel. Indicator on front panel when DRC is active.
Dialogue Normalization 0 Points Does not offer an indication of the current DN value.
Lock-on Time 10 Points Fast.
640kbps AC-3 Not Tested  

Dolby Digital EX

   
Basic Functions 10 Points Meets basic requirements for Dolby Digital EX.
Flag Respect 10 Points Responds correctly to flags.

Pro Logic

   
Basic Functions 10 Points Meets basic requirements for Dolby Pro Logic.
SurrEnc Flag respect Not Tested  

Pro Logic II

   
Basic Functions 10 Points Meets basic requirements for Dolby Pro Logic II.
Non-mandatory Music mode features 10 Points Includes Panorama/Width/Dimension.

DTS

   
Basic Functions 10 Points Meets basic requirements for DTS.

Bass Management

   
Crossover frequency selection 10 Points 20 Hz increments. 10 Hz increments is best.*
Crossover Slope selection 0 Points No slope selection.
LFE Trim 0 Points None offered.

DVD-Audio

   
Bass Management for 5.1 Analog Input 10 Points Allows digital bass management, as well as analog bass management, and the ability to turn it off completely.
HDMI DVD-A Input 0 Points None offered.
iLink DVD-A/SACD Input 0 Points None Offered.

THX

   
Certification 0 Points Disappointing since there are many sub $1,000 units which are THX Select certified.
Re-Eq defeat option N/A  

Audio Customization

   
Parametric Subwoofer Eq 0 Points None.
Surround Mode Pre-Set 0 Points DPL-IIx is default, and cannot be changed.
Multiple Surround Management 0 Points No option to reroute or copy surrounds/rears.
Academy Mono Filter 0 Points None offered.
Downmix 5 Points Does so by selecting Stereo mode.

Miscellaneous

   
Front Panel Dim 0 Points No option.
Settings Storage 0 Points Settings are not retained.

Preamplifier

   
Maximum RMS Output Voltage at Pre-Out 0.76 volts

0 Points

We prefer at least 1.0 volt RMS, and 2.0 volts RMS is best.

Power Amplifiers

   
2 Channel Maximum RMS Power Output 89 watts x 2**

10 Points

We prefer at least 25% above rated output for all channels driven. For the 1070, this would be at least 81 watts per channel.
7 Channel Maximum RMS Power Output 71 watts x 7**

10 Points

Output with all channels driven should be at least 90% of rated output. For the 1070, this would be at least 58.5 watts per channel.

Video

   
Up-Conversion of Composite Video, S-Video, and Component Video to DVI/HDMI 0 Points Up-converts composite and S-Video to component video, but not to DVI.
DVI and/or HDMI Switching 5 Points Has DVI Switching. 5 points if it has DVI switching. 10 points if it has HDMI switching.
Component Video Switching Bandwidth 10 Points 1070 has 100 MHz bandwidth. Must be at least 100 MHz.

Total Score

205 Points out of 380

Ratio = 0.539

* Note: The Outlaw 1070 has individual Bass Management (crossover) settings for the left/right/center/surrounds/surround back speakers.

** Note: The original measurements in September, 2005, gave 69 watts per channel with two channels driven and 60 watts per channel with seven channels driven. Based on our measurements, Outlaw modified the circuit and sent us another unit in March, 2006.  We then retested it, this time using a Variac that let us adjust the AC to 120 volts powering the 1070 even when the amplifier was delivering full output (typical wall AC outlets will drop a few volts under these conditions). The new tests showed a maximum RMS output of 89 watts per channel with two channels driven, and 71 watts per channel with seven channels driven. Therefore, the 1070 now exceeds specifications with 120 volts constant input, and this means it is very likely to deliver the specified 65 watts per channel x 7 with most household AC power outlets, even if they are less than 120 volts (typical might be 115 volts).

Click HERE to go to Part III.

Copyright 2005 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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