Help me choose a Prepro...EAD, Aragon, Acurus and others

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric A, Feb 7, 2003.

  1. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    I posted this over at AVS but I thought I might ask the same question here.
    I have recently sold my Lexicon DC-1. I tried the HK AVR-8000 and while I liked it it just didn't cut it for me. So now I am looking for a used prepro in the $1200-$1500 range. With this unit I am going to be using it for music and HT about 50/50. It will also have to perform as my DAC for now. I do not want to lock myself into a non-upgradeable unit for reasons you will see in my selections. Two of my selections mean going ahead and putting all my money in the unit now and saving for an upgrade to get them up to date later. One selection would mean I could get everything now. I have narrowed it down to 3 I am really looking hard at right now:

    EAD Encore/Ovation 5.1
    Pros-Great DACS for music, DD, DTS, Upgradeable to 7.1
    Cons-No DPLII or Logic 7(This would be a plus because we use it for alot of DSS programming), Older DACs, Upgrades are expensive

    The EAD would be my first choice for music. I have owned a DSP 7000 and I loved it. I just wonder how well I could get by with old DPL coming from Logic 7.

    Aragon Soundstage
    Pros-Great preamp section, DD, DTS, Upgradeable to 7.1 (not as expensive)
    Cons-No DPLII or Logic 7, DACs are not as good as EAD, Have to upgrade by June

    The Aragon is very interesting and would split middle ground with me between the EAD and the unit below. The upgrade would be less expensive and give me most everything I need for HT and music.

    Acurus ACT-3
    Pros-Inexpensive upgrades, Full blown 7.1 processing with DPLII, Most everything I want now
    Cons-Not the same quality as the 2 above, DACs are not as good as the EAD, Preamp section not as good as the Aragon

    The Act-3 is a pacifier in a way. I have owned one before and I liked the sound but hated the flexibility. If I purchase it I would immediately send to Aragon for the upgrade and have my cake and eat it too but I wonder if I would be satisfied in the long run.

    As you can see, I am trying to decide whether I want to compromise a few features now for top notch processing and performance in the long run or should I not worry about it and get everything now at a little lower quality. I really wish I knew how good the Act-3 upgrade is going to be. Thanks for the input.
     
  2. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    you kind of have mixed up info in your pros and cons, you list cons for the Soundstage as if it is not upgraded, and pros for the Act-3 as if it is upgraded.

    concerning the cons for the Soundstage, once you upgrade it, it will have DPLII, as well as several other formats.
    as for pros for the Act-3, it needs the upgrade to have 7.1 processing. for Act-3 cons, once upgraded, it would have the same preamp section as the $4000 Aragon Stage One, much better than the Soundstage without the uprade, or equal to the an upgraded Soundstage. both units, once upgraded will have the same 24/196 dacs as the Stage One.
    I am not familiar with the EAD, but i own a both a non-upgraded Act-3 and a Stage One. if you buy either an Act-3 or a Soundstage, i recommend that you upgrade it. the Act-3 is a nice piece of gear, but it is not in the same league sonicly as the Stage One.
     
  3. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    Craig,
    I am sorry I thought I stated my budget was $1500. This would mean I could get a Soundstage and not have it upgraded or get an Act-3 and have it upgraded for about the same money.

    It does not really matter now, I purchased a Soundstage today from a local dealer. The unit is new and I got a killer deal. I can upgrade the Soundstage and purchase the Stage One. I will probably keep the upgraded Soundstage and sell the Stage One.
     
  4. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  5. CarltonCobb

    CarltonCobb Auditioning

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    How exactly does the upgrade work if one acquires a used Soundstage?

    Thanks,
    Carl
     
  6. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  7. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    I just upgraded my Act-3 for a Stage One. It's a great upgrade for me at this time. I still have the Act-3 and am willing to sell it for $500. I plan on listing it on the Hardware Sale area of HTF today. But, if you wanted to send it into Mondial/Klipsch for their upgrade to 7.1 I think You would be quite happy with it. Adam on the Klipsch forum has done a side by side comparison of the sound of the upgraded Act-3 and the Stage One and says they sound very close to each other.
     
  8. CarltonCobb

    CarltonCobb Auditioning

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    Will the upgraded ACT3 pass a stereo analogue signal all the way through to the preamp out without digitizing the signal?

    Know any place I can get a look at the rear panel of an upgraded act3? If the Soundstage (upgraded) is worth the extra 800 it will cost me used I might go that way.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Carl
     
  9. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    The upgrade Act-3 does have analog by-pass. If you check the Klipsch/Aragon forum. They may have a manual or info on the upgraded Act-3. I'm not sure if the back side of the Act-3 needs to be changed since it has extra RCA jacks for twin centers and sub outs. The new board may utilize current jacks. I can't say that's how it done for sure though.

    On the Klipsch/Mondial Forum. On page three of the Act-3 upgrad thread there is a pdf manual that can be downloaded.
     
  10. CarltonCobb

    CarltonCobb Auditioning

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    Do you have the original box for your ACT3 as well as the manual? Can you provide some pix of your unit?
     
  11. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    The Theta Casa Nova would be another good option. I would place its performance in line with the EAD stuff.

    The Casa Nova is fully upgradeable as well. Only other units that can say that is the more expensive Theta Casablanca and the even more uber-expensive Meridian 800.

    Problem is getting lucky enough to find one used for $1500, but I believe I have seen some that low on Audiogon.
     
  12. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    Carlton,

    I don't have the original box. But, do have the manual with receipt. It was a store demo. But, according to the salesman wasn't used but for a few days while their other Act-3 was being used by a customer. They had just added the Advanced Bass Module the day I bought it. It's in very good shape. No scratches that I can see.

    I don't have a digital camera sorry.
     
  13. CarltonCobb

    CarltonCobb Auditioning

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    A casa nova is on audiogon now for 1800/offer..theft recovery, no box or manual or remote.....I'll pass.

    Any unit I buy I think I want DPL II, anyway. The ACT3 with the upgrade is sounding pretty good at about 1500 with the upgrade cost considered. For that kind of money one can only buy a new Adcom (with some left over) or a Pioneer Elite TSX47 (and a bunch of other japanese receivers)or used high end processors that do not do DPL II. I like the idea that TV broadcasts in standard DPL will be processed into discrete channels via DPL II.

    Carl
     
  14. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    Guys I have both the Soundstage and the Stage One (silver) right now. I cannot decide which one to keep or to keep either one. I have not opened my Stage One and will probably put it on Ebay for around $3k. The Soundstage does sound wonderful. The one I purchased was a dealer demo with no box. I have the receipt showing purchase date of 2-7-03 so I will have 2 years of warranty from that date. I cannot decide if I should upgrade it and go through the hassle of shipping it back to Mondial and being without a prepro for a few weeks or try to sell it for $1650 and keep the Stage One. Any thought from you guys. Thanks.
     
  15. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  16. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Eric, hows the soundstage working out ? ..what do you think about its sonics
     
  17. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    I love it and cannot complain although I do not have an amp right now. As you know I sold the 3 channel and I am waiting on a 5 channel and a 2 channel. The unit is outstanding but because of my situation I am going to sell one unit and keep the other. Which ever sell first.
     
  18. James Gallup

    James Gallup Agent

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    Eric,

    I just bought a Proceed AVP and upgraded it to an AVP2 for a total of $3900. "I" believe this gives you the best of both worlds(Analog/Digital)and will definitly compare to any "EAD" product, but the ACT3/Upgrade combo could be very close at much less cost. Your mileage may very
     
  19. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    That's a very good deal James, considering what you should of/could of had to pay. What is that 50% off MSRP of a new AVP2? [​IMG]
     
  20. James Gallup

    James Gallup Agent

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    It's about 40% Scott and it does sound phenominal[​IMG] I do feel sorry for those that bought the AVP at close to retail and then wanted to upgrade. The cost of going that route is prohibitive for most people[​IMG]
     

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