Outlaw Audio helped pioneer the direct web-to-consumer channel for audio/video electronics and is among the most successful in that small but growing arena. Its latest introductions include an aggressively priced preamp/processor and compact 7-channel power amp that ask the question: Is an A/V receiver your only sensible choice with less than a couple grand in hand?
DOLBY DIGITAL PERFORMANCE
All data were obtained from various test DVDs using 16-bit dithered test signals, which set limits on measured distortion and noise performance. Reference input level is -20 dBFS, and reference output is 1 watt into 8 ohms. Volume setting for reference level was -3.5.
For most people, flagship A/V receivers costing $4,000 to $6,000 are just too much: too much size, weight, complexity, and, for sure, money. But the cheapest models are too limited in connections and, more often than not, too flimsy. The result?
Pioneer sure packed an awful lot of stuff into its new A/V receiver, the Elite VSX-74TXVi, beginning with the mouthful of letters in its model name. Far more engaging is its iPod connectivity: this is the first receiver we've seen to offer fully integrated control for Apple's ubiquitous iPod music player.
Starved for new music? For talk (left, right, or center)? Sports? Comedy? Weather and traffic? Satellite radio delivers all these and more by the dozen. Yamaha is among the first A/V receiver makers to bring satellite radio home, via a new XM-ready line that includes the RX-V657 model here.
Designers of surround sound receivers have a tough job. In a multikilobuck flagship model they can use the best parts, the most advanced signal processing, and the most elaborate construction to deliver the features and performance specs users want.
Don't buy this receiver if you have a bad back, a rickety rack, or a bulging credit limit. Because Denon's latest flagship, the AVR-5805, is as tall as many receivers are deep, as deep as many are wide, as heavy as a pair of many other flagship models - and as expensive as a two-year-old Kia.
Also, Side Effects, Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics: The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest, Little Caesar, White Heat, True Bloods: Season 5, Beautiful Creatures, Parker, The Last Stand, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle.