Outlaw 990 VS Yamaha RXV1500

My local audio guy has offered me the 990 at a good price. I am wondering though if I will get any improvements in sound over my yamaha receiver which I am using as a pre into a 7 ch amp...
I assume the 990 is a trade-in or a used model, since Outlaw is an internet direct retailer not sold in stores.

I faced a similar choice between the Sherwood-Newcastle P-965 (same platform as the Outlaw) and the Yamaha 1500 & 2500 and Denon 3805 receivers 2 years ago. One of the tests I do with a preamp or receiver is to turn the volume all the way to maximum with no source playing, and then listen to what comes out of the speakers. When I did that with the Yamaha, the hiss coming out of the speakers was much louder than with the Denon or the Sherwood. I did not do additional testing to determine if the hiss was coming from the preamp section or the amp section of the Yamaha. I bought the Sherwood and have been fairly happy with it, except for a few occasional quirks.

With your Yamaha used as a preamp into the 7 ch amp, do you get noticeable hiss from the speakers with no source playing? If you do, then the Outlaw would probably be a big improvement. If you don't, then the hiss that I heard from the Yamaha is probably coming from the amplifier section, which you are bypassing, and so the Outlaw would only be a small to moderate improvement. Any improvement would be more noticeable with music than with movies.

P.S. -- If I was in the market for a pre-pro right now, I would want HDMI 1.3, which the Outlaw does not have.

P.P.S. -- Outlaw's website has active forum discussions where people have compared exactly the two models you are asking about.
I have another pre/pro based on the Sherwood-Newcastle P-965--the Boston Acoustics AVP7. I haven't heard or compared it to the Yamaha you're asking about. But I concur with Javachip that the Sherwood-Newcastle P-965 is clean and quiet. I've had mine for 1-1/2 years; it replaced an Outlaw 950 and outclasses it in every possible way. Fundamentally, it's a very good-sounding unit with excellent d/a conversion and digital surround decoding. It's also nice that it has 7.1 analog inputs and outputs. I use them, and it makes the unit usable with the new lossless audio with the right HD DVD or Blu-ray player.

The only thing is, it's last generation's technology. It doesn't provide any HDMI switching, let alone decoding, nor does it decode Dolby TrueHD, DD+, or DTS Master. I'm already bumping up against this limitation with an HDMI-output cable tuner/dvr, HD DVD player, and Oppo 980. But I'm hanging onto the AVP7 for now because 1. it sounds really good and 2. I don't have the cash to burn on an HDMI 1.3-capable pre/pro right now. I *may* get a Panasonic Blu-ray w/7.1 outputs to use with it.

That was a sticking point with me purchasing the Outlaw, 1.3 HDMI..However, how much software(B/R has the new True HD or other lossless formats?.. I've been holding out to see if BR vs. HD war is over...I don't have the ability as many do on this site to buy new hardware at the drop of a hat....

UGGGGG.....Think I'll stick with the Yammie for a while longer . Makes a great pre for my situation.. Don't think I'll put the old girl to pasture just yet....
Zigonht, you can be sure the reason the price of the Outlaw 990 is dropping fast is because it's obsolete, and I bet a replacement is in the wings. That's what happened when I bought my 950. I was so pleased that the price had dropped to $699 (summer of '05), and soon after I bought it, the 990 was released with higher res DACs, 7.1 input, Dolby PLIIx, and DVI switching.

Early in 2007 I got a cable box/dvr with HDMI output, followed by a Toshiba HD DVD player with HDMI 1.3, and I also have an Oppo DV-980 which transmits digital surround over HDMI 1.3, whether sourced from DVD, DVD-A, or SACD. Suddenly, I've gone from no HDMI to where I wish my pre/pro had full HDMI 1.3 capability, not just for the HD DVD player, but also for extracting the most from using the Oppo as an SACD player.

Plus, I plan to get a Blu-ray player sometime in the next year. Although few if any Blu-ray discs use Dolby TrueHD, several have uncompressed multichannel PCM, and the sound of that is probably as good, and also is transmitted via HDMI.

You could enjoy uncompressed PCM via the 7.1 analog connection, but only for one device. A pre/pro with full HDMI switching capability would enable you to hook up multiple HDMI-out devices, extract and decode the uncompressed audio tracks, and send the hi-def digital video signal on to the HDTV. The Outlaw 990 can't do that.

I don't know what you're willing to spend, but the Integra 9.8 (I think) is the pre/pro that does that. Also, Onkyo's line of receivers support full HDMI 1.3. The cheapest pre/pro solution is the Onkyo TX-SR705 AV receiver, which has 7.1 pre-amp outputs (the TX-SR605 does not), so you can use just the processing part with your own amplification.