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Outlaw 2200 M-Block Amplifier Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Outlaw 2200 single-channel amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member. The 2200 costs US $399 plus shipping although I read that it goes on sale for less than that.

I was surprised how svelte the 2200 is given its power capability:
Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Audio Review.jpg

The diminutive size comes from "class G" implementation which varies the power supply with signal. This sharply lowers the power loss at lower power levels allowing the heatsinks to be much smaller. Despite its low "1U" height, the 2200 is heavy though courtesy of a larger pancake toroidal power transformer.

It is always great to see balanced XLR input and trigger capability on amplifiers:
Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Back Panel Audio Review.jpg

In use, the 2200 was solid as a rock. It never shut down or complain and ran very cool even after full suite of tests. I was worried about recommendation to stack these from Outlaw but after testing, I think that can be done without much concern.

Amplifier Audio Measurements
As usual, we start with our dashboard of 1 kHz tone into 4 ohm load:
Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Audio Measurements.png


SINAD is supposed to be sum of distortion and noise relative to our input signal. Here, distortion is very low, approaching -105 dB. So the fact that the SINAD is just 86 dB tells us that the number is dominated by noise as you will see shortly. As it is, this is above average for some 75 amplifiers tested so far:

Best Home Theater Surround Amplifier 2020.png


Here is our signal to noise ratio at 5 watts and full power:
Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier SNR Audio Measurements.png


Frequency response is a bit more limited than I like to see:

Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Frequency Response Audio Measurements.png


Measured power at both 4 and 8 ohms exceed outlaw specifications:
Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Power into 4 ohm Audio Measurements.png


Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Power into 8 ohm Audio Measurements.png


Even more power is on tap if you allow higher distortion or for momentary peaks:

Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Peak and Max Power into 4 ohm Audio Meas...png


Wideband spectrum analysis shows very clean output:

Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier 1 kHz FFT Spectrum Audio Measurements.png


Those of you who are bothered by class D switching noise, should be happy to see this. Indeed I performed all of my tests without an ultrasonic filter on my Analyzer.

Thermal Stability
Performance was rock solid from cold to operating temp:
Outlaw 2200 monoblock balanced home theater amplifier Warm Up Audio Measurements.png


Conclusions
The Outlaw 2200 monoblocks provides solid performance, easily besting the amps you get in a typical home theater AVR and then some. Its slim packaging allows you to configure as many channels as you need without needing a lot of space. Efficiency is good but doesn't bring with it the light weight of the class D.

I am happy to recommend the Outlaw 2200 amplifier.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Freezing in the garage measuring speakers. Need to get a nice supply of hot chocolate to warm me up. So please donate what you can to pay for that using : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

TimW

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#2
Does class G amp design lend itself to lower distortion levels? The NAD C 320BEE, which is also class G, had fairly good performance also. Is there anything else Amir has measured that was class G? I would like to see how my class H Yamaha P3500S performs in comparison.
 

DonH56

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#3
Class G just means changing the power (voltage) rails in two or more discrete steps. Lower voltage for lower power means less heat and wasted energy; then, higher voltage(s) allow greater output power when needed. The basic amplifier is usually a class AB amplifier so its low distortion is a function of good design. Class H allows the power rails to vary continuously, increasing as the signal increases and vice-versa, so again saves power. With class G one must ensure there are no artifacts induced when switching the power rails; class H moves the voltage smoothly but is generally more complex and requires greater attention to ensuring the power supply is stable as it varies. Either design can yield excellent performance.

I do not know either intrinsically lends itself to lower distortion in the core amplifier, but either would allow you to run more bias current without as much wasted energy (heat) as a conventional (fixed-rail) design, so it is possible.
 
Last edited:

restorer-john

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#5
That is a ton of cheap power in a tiny 44mm high package. If they have rack-mount ears they could be stacked with air gaps between them in a rack for a whole house or HT setup. Amazing bargain. Great review.
 

Habu

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#7

AudioSceptic

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#10
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Outlaw 2200 single-channel amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member. The 2200 costs US $399 plus shipping although I read that it goes on sale for less than that.

I was surprised how svelte the 2200 is given its power capability:

The diminutive size comes from "class G" implementation which varies the power supply with signal. This sharply lowers the power loss at lower power levels allowing the heatsinks to be much smaller. Despite its low "1U" height, the 2200 is heavy though courtesy of a larger pancake toroidal power transformer.

It is always great to see balanced XLR input and trigger capability on amplifiers:

In use, the 2200 was solid as a rock. It never shut down or complain and ran very cool even after full suite of tests. I was worried about recommendation to stack these from Outlaw but after testing, I think that can be done without much concern.

Amplifier Audio Measurements
As usual, we start with our dashboard of 1 kHz tone into 4 ohm load:
View attachment 49645

SINAD is supposed to be sum of distortion and noise relative to our input signal. Here, distortion is very low, approaching -105 dB. So the fact that the SINAD is just 86 dB tells us that the number is dominated by noise as you will see shortly. As it is, this is above average for some 75 amplifiers tested so far:

View attachment 49647

Here is our signal to noise ratio at 5 watts and full power:
View attachment 49648

Frequency response is a bit more limited than I like to see:

View attachment 49649

Measured power at both 4 and 8 ohms exceed outlaw specifications:
View attachment 49650

View attachment 49651

Even more power is on tap if you allow higher distortion or for momentary peaks:

View attachment 49652

Wideband spectrum analysis shows very clean output:

View attachment 49653

Those of you who are bothered by class D switching noise, should be happy to see this. Indeed I performed all of my tests without an ultrasonic filter on my Analyzer.

Thermal Stability
Performance was rock solid from cold to operating temp:
View attachment 49654

Conclusions
The Outlaw 2200 monoblocks provides solid performance, easily besting the amps you get in a typical home theater AVR and then some. Its slim packaging allows you to configure as many channels as you need without needing a lot of space. Efficiency is good but doesn't bring with it the light weight of the class D.

I am happy to recommend the Outlaw 2200 amplifier.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Freezing in the garage measuring speakers. Need to get a nice supply of hot chocolate to warm me up. So please donate what you can to pay for that using : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Where did the term "monoblock", or even "monobloc", originate? Why not just "mono amp"? No one says "stereoblock", do they?
 

mhardy6647

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#11
Where did the term "monoblock", or even "monobloc", originate? Why not just "mono amp"? No one says "stereoblock", do they?
:)
Good question!
Where did the term linestage or interconnect come from?
We don't talk about ampstages ... and maybe outerconnects would have been just as good a term for wires.
Edit: and while we're on the topic ;) -- we have integrated amps -- but no one seems to refer to power amplifiers as disintegrated amps!

:cool:

Good ol' Class G.

HitachiSR2004
by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

andreasmaaan

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#12
Hi again @amirm, great set of measurements, thanks :) You didn't happen to measure distortion vs frequency or IMD did you? Just out of curiousity given its excellent performance in the tests you've posted..
 

peng

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#13
Does class G amp design lend itself to lower distortion levels? The NAD C 320BEE, which is also class G, had fairly good performance also. Is there anything else Amir has measured that was class G? I would like to see how my class H Yamaha P3500S performs in comparison.
Are you sure? As far as I can see, the C320BEE is class AB, not G.
 

peng

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#14
Conclusions
The Outlaw 2200 monoblocks provides solid performance, easily besting the amps you get in a typical home theater AVR and then some.
------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Freezing in the garage measuring speakers. Need to get a nice supply of hot chocolate to warm me up. So please donate what you can to pay for that using : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Thanks again for a great detailed review. I do have a question, engineer to engineer kind of question but obviously may not be a practical question..:)

Is there a way using your test gear/setup to measure an AVR, such as the AVR-X3500H or similar that you have in the queue in such a way that you could bypass the preamp of the AVR? If you have a Marantz AVR, I can think of using the analog multi-channel inputs, yes/no? That would seem more like an apple to apple comparison of the power amp in an AVR to an external power amp.

I am just thinking that using the AVR-X3500H, in the 5 W test, it measured only 2 dB worse than the M2200. So if the preamp is not in the loop, would it come a little closer to the M2200's performance? I am not trying to defend AVRs at all, but they (some of them anyway) may not be as bad as people think.

Conversely, if say you connect up an AV7705 to the M2200 and measure the two together as though it is an AVR or integrated amp, wouldn't the overall results (i.e. from the AV7705 input to the M2200) be a little closer to that of the best, or just above average AVR you have tested/measured so far?
 

peng

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#16
Thank you for the quick response. Actually I remember I downloaded the service manual so I took a look after I posted. It is just class AB, only one rail voltage. It is a relatively high voltage (46 V) for a 40 W rated amp, so the high dynamic output is believable. NAD's "PowerDrive" technology is their proprietary design, not class G. Most, if not all of their amps have this PowerDrive feature.

I have the C326 BEE, that I think is very similar to your 320. I have power amps from 5 W to 300/500 W and the C326 is my favorite amp.
 

mhardy6647

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#17
Not mine ;)
I don't think there's a single NAD component here nowadays -- a few have passed through over the years... they tend to not age too gracefully IME.

P2280008
by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
 

pjug

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#18
Thank you for the quick response. Actually I remember I downloaded the service manual so I took a look after I posted. It is just class AB, only one rail voltage. It is a relatively high voltage (46 V) for a 40 W rated amp, so the high dynamic output is believable. NAD's "PowerDrive" technology is their proprietary design, not class G. Most, if not all of their amps have this PowerDrive feature.

I have the C326 BEE, that I think is very similar to your 320. I have power amps from 5 W to 300/500 W and the C326 is my favorite amp.
My understanding is that the NAD stuff with impedance sensing circuit does have rail switching (they call the low voltage rail the high current rail). This is not so much to save power as it is to have same continuous power available to different speaker impedance. With 8 ohm speakers there isn't any rail switching it just runs on the high voltage rail all the time. With 4 ohm speakers it will switch to the high voltage rail for short bursts, which is why the dynamic power spec is a lot higher for 4 ohms. (Now someone correct me where I am wrong, this is just my interpretation of the NAD literature)

The outlaw amp looks like Class G where the rail switching is for efficiency. The power rating is higher for 4 ohms.
 

peng

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#19
Not mine ;)
I don't think there's a single NAD component here nowadays -- a few have passed through over the years... they tend to not age too gracefully IME.

P2280008
by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
I've read bad things about their reliability too but their older integrated amps do seem to fare a little better. Hopefully my little C326 will go good for 20 years (bought only two years ago for my desktop speakers).
 

peng

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#20
My understanding is that the NAD stuff with impedance sensing circuit does have rail switching (they call the low voltage rail the high current rail). This is not so much to save power as it is to have same continuous power available to different speaker impedance. With 8 ohm speakers there isn't any rail switching it just runs on the high voltage rail all the time. With 4 ohm speakers it will switch to the high voltage rail for short bursts, which is why the dynamic power spec is a lot higher for 4 ohms. (Now someone correct me where I am wrong, this is just my interpretation of the NAD literature)

The outlaw amp looks like Class G where the rail switching is for efficiency. The power rating is higher for 4 ohms.
Great point, thanks for correcting me! So while it isn't class G, but there is similarity that it would also switch rail voltage (via the transformer winding in this case iiuc..), but for different reasons and implemented differently than class G. Based on my limited understanding, I would prefer class G that seems more straightforward and will likely be easier to implement without negative side effects. But then I can be wrong again..
 
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