Outlaw Audio sells directly to customers, building performance- oriented components that offer exceptional value for money. Outlaw’s new 7.1-channel Model 1070 A/V receiver is a case in point. The receiver’s simple yet well-finished appearance easily equals that of more costly receivers from big-name Japanese competitors, exhibiting high quality parts and a solid feel throughout.
Outlaw conservatively reports the 1070’s power output at 65Wpc at 8 ohms. The receiver offers 100MHz component-video switching for three sources, upconversion from S-video and composite to component video, and input switching for two DVI sources. I used both the component and DVI connections without loss of picture quality.
The Outlaw’s backlit remote at first feels a little flimsy, but in practice it’s a delight to use. The 1070’s setup procedure was so easy and straightforward that I was off and running in about 15 minutes.
First impressions were shockingly favorable. The 1070 serves up wonderfully smooth and natural highs, midrange that is clear and neutral, and overall sound that is very clean. The receiver’s bass drive capabilities are surprisingly good, too; this little guy has some punch and delivers it with finesse. Following audiophile ideals, the 1070’s few sins are those of omission, meaning bad things such as brightness and smearing never mar the sound. Although missing the last bit of detail, the Outlaw still sounds really good.
I began with two-channel music sources, first listening in stereo and then using surround modes. I completely enjoyed the 1070 on Madonna’s Confessions On a Dance Floor CD [Warner Bros.], where it sounded clean, kept up with the fast tempo of the music, and produced sufficient bass drive to keep my feet tapping. On multichannel DVD-A and SACD material, the 1070 again sounded clean, neutral, and non-fatiguing. Significantly, the 1070 can perform digital bass management on incoming 7.1-channel analog signals—a useful feature even some premium-priced AVRs do not provide.
On movies, the 1070’s punchiness and neutrality made for consistently clear dialog reproduction, minimal muddiness, good speaker control, and a convincing surround-sound bubble. Even the dynamically taxing Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven proved perfectly enjoyable through this receiver, which kept up with the action and drove my full-range main speakers quite effectively. While probably not intended for use in huge rooms, the 1070 does a nice job in small to medium sized listening areas.
The Outlaw 1070 is a fine receiver for the price, and truly an audiophile’s component. Match the 1070 with neutral, smooth, high-sensitivity speakers and you’ll see that crime does indeed pay.