Test Bench for the Web: Outlaw Audio Model 970 Preamplifier/ Processor and Model 7075 Power Amplifier

Note: The two components were tested together, with all measurements taken from the Model 7075 amplifier's speaker outputs.

DOLBY DIGITAL PERFORMANCE All data were obtained using various test DVDs with 16-bit dithered test signals (except where noted otherwise), which set limits on measured distortion and noise performance. Reference input level is -20 dBFS, and reference output is 1 watt (0 dBW) into 8 ohms. Volume setting for reference level was -3. All level trims were set at zero except in subwoofer-related tests; all speakers were set to "large," subwoofer on. All figures are worst-case where applicable.

Output at clipping (1 kHz into 8/4 ohms) 1 channel driven: 102/163 W (20.1/22.1 dBW) 5 channels driven (8 ohms): 92 W (19.6 dBW) 6 channels driven (8 ohms): 86 W (19.3 dBW) Distortion at 1 watt (THD+N, 1 kHz) 8/4 ohms: 0.03/0.04% Noise level (A-wtd): -73.7 dB Excess noise (with sine tone) 16-bit (EN16): +1.5 dB Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0, -1.5 dB

MULTICHANNEL PERFORMANCE, ANALOG INPUT Reference input and output level is 200 mV; volume setting for reference output level was -18. Distortion (THD+N, 1 kHz, 8 ohms): 0.02% Noise level (A-wtd): -87.7 dB Frequency response: <10 Hz to 89 kHz +0, -3 dB (DSP bass management not engaged)

STEREO PERFORMANCE, DIGITAL INPUT Reference level is -20 dBFS; all level trims at zero. Volume setting for reference level was -2.5. Output at clipping (1 kHz, 8/4 ohms, both channels driven): 99/155 W (20/21.9 dBW) Distortion at reference level: 0.04% Linearity error (at -90 dBFS): 0.05 dB Noise level (A-wtd): -73.9 dB with 96-kHz/24-bit signals: -79.9 dB Excess noise (with/without sine tone) 16-bit (EN16): 3.5/3.75 dB quasi-20-bit (EN20): 20.5/20.5 dB Noise modulation: 0.1 dB Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0, -1.8 dB with 96-kHz/24-bit signals: 20 Hz to 22 kHz +0, -3 dB (DSP bass management engaged)

BASS-MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE Measured results obtained with Dolby Digital test signals. Subwoofer-output frequency response (crossover set to 80 Hz): 24 dB/octave above -6-dB rolloff point of 81 Hz High-pass-filter frequency response (crossover set to 80 Hz): 12 dB/octave below -3-dB rolloff point of 80 Hz Maximum unclipped subwoofer output (trim at 0): 7.3 volts Subwoofer output distortion (from 6-channel, 30-Hz, 0-dBFS signal; subwoofer trim set to 0): 13%* Crossover consistency: Bass crossover frequency and slope varied somewhat for multichannel-analog inputs (see Notes). Signal-format consistency: Consistent for all applicable formats; choice of analog filtering or DSP bass management for multichannel analog signals. Speaker size selection: All channels can be set to "small." Speaker-distance compensation: Available for all main channels.

*Notes The Outlaw Audio duo delivered strong performance in most regards, with 5- and 6-channel power equal to or better than that of many A/V receivers I've tested that were spec'd at 100 to 140 watts per channel.. D/A linearity was excellent, and in general, noise levels were only a couple of dB shy of the ideal. Subwoofer output showed high distortion in our 6-channel, 0-dBFS 30-Hz test, but I make three observations: The chance of this 6-channel-full-scale signal ever occurring "in nature" is exceedingly small; the character of the distortion observed was such that most products would be well outside of the passband (say, 100 Hz and above) and thus irrelevant; and the sub output from 1- and 2-channel signals was just fine. Lastly, the Model 970's simple analog-domain filtering for its multichannel inputs yielded a measured crossover point closer to 110 or 120 Hz than the specified 80 Hz - a small matter indeed.

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