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New Pre-Pro on the Block - Acurus' ACT-4

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

With the huge wave of tablets and smartphones hitting a decade into the millennium, consumer-electronics manufacturers are constantly trying to find new and better ways of integrating mobile devices with every piece of electronics out there. One example is AV receiver manufacturers offering control apps for smartphones and tablets. One company in particular is putting a lot of emphasis on this in their products—Indy Audio Lab's Acurus brand.

The made-in-USA manufacturer recently gave a sneak peek of a new preamplifier-processor, the ACT-4. Enveloped with a rich and intuitive graphical interface, the ACT-4 is a breeze to set up. Not only is the UI available on smartphones and tablets, a similar interface can be found on the front LCD of the unit.

Quote:
“People today are accustomed to rich UI [user interface] experiences on their smart phones, tablets, and in their vehicles. Even special-purpose devices like thermostats and refrigerators have attractive, intuitive, web-based interfaces,” states Ted Moore, CTO, Indy Audio Labs. “While many competitors in home A/V still rely on antiquated two-line character displays, today’s customers expect much more, especially from a piece of high-end gear. We’ve integrated a front-panel touchscreen that more closely resembles a mobile phone with full-color graphics and simple-to-comprehend icons.” From CePro
Quote:
“To provide our customers with the modern interface they want, we’ve built in a rich graphic display in our new preamps and home theater processors that provides the level of convenience and control modern customers have come to expect,” boasts Land. “Our rich UI is accessible not only from the front panel of the unit, but also through our web app built into every product we make. This saves time and reduces the typical hassles associated with setup and operation of an A/V system.” From CePro


Other big news about this unit is that it utilizes Indy Audio's proprietary Enhanced Ethernet Control (E2C) technologies, which allow its products to be recognized by other devices on the home network.

This was only a small glimpse into the new ACT-4. I think it's great to add a new contender to the roster of pre-pros, and this one offers new potential to anyone who is in the market for one. The ACT-4 will be available at CEDIA Expo 2013 and is expected to ship later this year with an MSRP of $3999.

For more info, check out www.acurusav.com

What do you think? Is a graphical interface important to you?
post #2 of 38
Yes! Although the quality of the sound is MOST important, I've been saying for years that the receiver manufacturers need to improve their user interfaces and I was surprised that no one had introduced a bit-mapped display into the receiver interface.

Aside from the aesthetics, one of the most important aspects of such an interface is that it can be presumably updated over time, either to improve the interface or to add new features to the receiver or pre-pro.

Just looking at the posts on this and other sites demonstrate how convoluted it is to use today's A/V components. By having such an interface and also making it work on phones and pads, if designed well, it could make a lot of people more comfortable with such components and help sales. I wouldn't expect to see this at the low end of the lines, but certainly the high-end models from each manufacturer should have this.

And if any of these A/V manufacturers were really smart, they'd publish their APIs and let developers design their own apps for these receivers. It was the eco-system that made the iPhone, for one, what it is today.
post #3 of 38
Agreed. It ssems Pioneer attempted this a few years back with no success. Hopefully this unit will grab some attention.
post #4 of 38
Pre/Pro/Receiver nirvana will be reached when it can run XBMC. Imagine that!
post #5 of 38
Thats a pretty sweet looking unit!
post #6 of 38
Yes Interface tends to be important to me especially if it's simplistic and intuitive then all is gravy with the important inputs/outs and the right amount of number of HDMI which I just did a quick look at their Website, and it has 7 a good Room Correction, and made in the good ol USA.

Djoel
post #7 of 38
Finally, a $4k pre-pro that may actually be compared to $4.5k pre-pro, unlike the UMC-200 that can't even compete witha $1k receiver used as pre-pro but claiming to be as good as a $4.5k pre-pro!
post #8 of 38
Woot! Nice to see fellow Hoosiers doing something great. See there really is more than corn in Indiana! biggrin.gif
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Finally, a $4k pre-pro that may actually be compared to $4.5k pre-pro...

What do you base that on?
post #10 of 38
Cool! But the Act-3 was better looking. Unfortunaly, my unit has some problem with the DD/DTS modes. With those modes a slight buzz was present in the center speaker all the time.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

What do you base that on?

Read my post carefully, there is a word "may" there.
post #12 of 38
A good interface is important but as long as you can use it easily, sound and a proven track record all around are more important.
Edited by comfynumb - 8/3/13 at 10:04am
post #13 of 38
Did´nt Klipch bought Acurus a long time ago? I cant remember..
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by surap View Post

Did´nt Klipch bought Acurus a long time ago? I cant remember..

Yes I heard that too. And I thought the Acurus brand was eliminated then. I used have the 125x5 amp. Great amp. Wish I still had it sometimes.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Finally, a $4k pre-pro that may actually be compared to $4.5k pre-pro, unlike the UMC-200 that can't even compete witha $1k receiver used as pre-pro but claiming to be as good as a $4.5k pre-pro!
Did you forget to include the words "in my opinion" somewhere in your post above?

It seems to me based on what I have heard about the UMC-200 that your statement falls in the minority out of the owners, users and reviewers of this particular processor. Anyone is entitled to have their opinions, but it would be nice to be able to separate opinions from facts.
post #16 of 38
Why can't we go anywhere without people sticking up for Emo? One comment and someone has to say something, it's getting old.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Why can't we go anywhere without people sticking up for Emo? One comment and someone has to say something, it's getting old.
I agree. However it is a two way street. The brand gets bashed then others will come and talk about its virtues. Round and round it goes. My comment above was more in relation to the opinion being posted in a factual manner then an attempt to be all rah rah for the brand or company. Apologies for going off topic.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

I agree. However it is a two way street. The brand gets bashed then others will come and talk about its virtues. Round and round it goes. My comment above was more in relation to the opinion being posted in a factual manner then an attempt to be all rah rah for the brand or company. Apologies for going off topic.



No problem Jason. It does get bashed quite a bit.
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

Did you forget to include the words "in my opinion" somewhere in your post above?

Why does everyone get put off when people don't write, "In my opinion." Almost everything written on a forum is someone's opinion. You can infer the opinions from the facts. Also, the reason you can leave out "I think" from every sentence. The reader knows who is speaking.
post #20 of 38
Early thumbs down from me. Why do I need a fancy color display on the unit? Either its in a closet, or one is generally trying to reduce light leakage in to the room. And who is getting up to go the processor to adjust anything on a frequent basis?

The web or iOS enabled access is much more important, so good marks for that. Still to early to tell, but the actual design of the apps looks fairly iffy (graphic artist - with questionable HID skills)
post #21 of 38
If they were smart they would make at least a 9.2 setup. I can't see spending this much money or more and only getting 7.1 or 7.2. The 8 year old pre I traded 6 months ago did 7.1. Not that I'll be trading my new pre anytime soon but it is nice to see an American company producing electronics. More competition in this price range can only benefit the consumer.
Edited by comfynumb - 8/4/13 at 9:19am
post #22 of 38
Competition in the $2,500 to $4,500 range is heating up! The new Yammy pre is coming out soon, and it's 11.2 like the Marantz. If the Yammy is a solid performer they will sell a ton of them. Hopefully my next pre will have ATMOS but I'm assuming that could be a few years away wink.gif
post #23 of 38
So true. I'd go with the Yamaha 5000 before even contemplating the Acurus.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Competition in the $2,500 to $4,500 range is heating up! The new Yammy pre is coming out soon, and it's 11.2 like the Marantz. If the Yammy is a solid performer they will sell a ton of them. Hopefully my next pre will have ATMOS but I'm assuming that could be a few years away wink.gif
Finally Silent Cinema in a Yamaha preamp without having to buy a receiver. Should be interesting as to what else they may do with individual components.
post #25 of 38
I would only buy a pre-pro in that price range if it had the following in addition to feature found in a Denon 4520CI

+ XBMC
+ Internal replaceable HD or HDs
+ new HDMI standard
+ Controllable via web browser (in addition to apps).

W/O the space allocated for the amp, I want a small computer in its place.
Until then, the Denon 4520ci will be more than what I need. I don’t have the Denon yet but it’s on my very short shopping list especially it’s free via Amex rebate points.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by NK215 View Post

I would only buy a pre-pro in that price range if it had the following in addition to feature found in a Denon 4520CI

+ XBMC
+ Internal replaceable HD or HDs
+ new HDMI standard
+ Controllable via web browser (in addition to apps).

W/O the space allocated for the amp, I want a small computer in its place.
Until then, the Denon 4520ci will be more than what I need. I don’t have the Denon yet but it’s on my very short shopping list especially it’s free via Amex rebate points.



There is nothing like a dedicated pre, much better than cramming everything into one case. Better specs and better sound. I do understand why people buy AVR's, I have also. But not since I went with separates around 8 years ago smile.gif
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post

Finally Silent Cinema in a Yamaha preamp without having to buy a receiver. Should be interesting as to what else they may do with individual components.



I've never owned a Yamaha product, but I've demoed them before. Lots of features and very musical is how I would describe them. I welcome their pre and any other one in this price range, and although I just upgraded mine this can only help by the time I'm ready ready for a new one. IMO the Marantz AV7005 started the best bang for the buck wars and then took it to the next level with the AV8801. All this will benefit us that want the best sound possible without spending a fortune to get it. I'll put money on the the new Yammy being a "hit it out of the park" piece of gear.
post #28 of 38
Comfynumb, what's the difference between a pre-pro vs a receiver with pre-amp mode (where all the amp section is turned off)? Shouldn't they have the same quality?

Reason I ask is because many of my clients move "backwards" from their Krell pre-pro (and alike) to Pioneer SC 57 and SC 68 run in pre-pro mode and use their power amps and/or monoblocks (some Mark Levinson, some Krell, some Classe)
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Comfynumb, what's the difference between a pre-pro vs a receiver with pre-amp mode (where all the amp section is turned off)? Shouldn't they have the same quality?

Reason I ask is because many of my clients move "backwards" from their Krell pre-pro (and alike) to Pioneer SC 57 and SC 68 run in pre-pro mode and use their power amps and/or monoblocks (some Mark Levinson, some Krell, some Classe)



IMO having used both, my pre's have performed better than my AVR's in pre mode. I think that it's because a pre only does processing and an AVR has to be both amp and pre. More room for quality parts. They'll show you how the AVR measures the same but I've always found them lacking something. I'm not saying AVR's don't make good pre's and to be honest I haven't owned one in awhile. But you can't argue with this;


Edited by comfynumb - 8/5/13 at 5:42pm
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Yes Interface tends to be important to me especially if it's simplistic and intuitive then all is gravy with the important inputs/outs and the right amount of number of HDMI which I just did a quick look at their Website, and it has 7 a good Room Correction, and made in the good ol USA.

Djoel

With internal parts made elsewhere. Might as well say Assembled In The U.S.A.
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