AT A GLANCE
110 watts x 2
PC-USB and phono inputs
Bass, treble, balance
No HDMI or other video switching
Ethernet but no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
Although not an AVR, Outlaw&rsquo;s second-generation stereo receiver has an intelligently chosen feature set, bodacious industrial design, and lots of clean power for music lovers on a budget.
One might argue that no single product category has brought vastly improved sound to so many, so fast, as the now-retro stereo receiver. Models poured in during the (mostly) Japanese mass-market audio explosion of the 1970s, when Classic Rock was just rock. My first receiver was a 15-watt-per-channel Pioneer SX-434, but it just as easily could have been a Marantz, Sansui, Kenwood, Luxman, or any of several other storied brands. Today, top-line stereo receivers from the &rsquo;70s&mdash;their shiny silver faceplates bristling with knobs, buttons, and toggles&mdash;command eyebrow-raising prices on eBay and are lovingly restored by vintage hi-fi buffs.