Mondial ACT-3 upgrade/trade in program

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Craig Robertson, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    this has been discussed in other threads, like this Aragon Stage One thread, but i thought it could use it's own thread as a single source of info for interested members.
    basicly, Mondial is going to offer current ACT-3 owners two options:
    1. trade in your ACT-3 for $1500 credit towards the purchase of the just released $4000 Aragon Stage One pre-pro. OR,
    2. upgrade your ACT-3 to "nearly Stage One performance" (Mondials words) for $900. upgraded features include:
    7.1 surround
    Pro Logic II, dtsES and a few others
    24-bit/192kHz DAC's for all 8 channels
    8-ch analog pass-thru
    Mondial had originally expected to offer the upgrade beginning in May (with a four month window of opportunity), but on 28Mar posted that it's still about 90 days out, ie end of June. i wouldn't be suprised to see it slip some more though, as these things often do.
    i've paraphrased info here that i've gleaned from the Acurus forum on Klipsch/Mondial's web site. you can reach that forum thru links at www.klipsch.com. the thread specific to the upgrade is several pages long but a very interesting read.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Craig- I'll put my 2 wish list questions here from cruising this thread and the Stage One thread:
    1) I did see the comment that the rear panel will be "new". I can hope that there will be a digital output then! [​IMG]
    2) Maybe nobody knows yet, but I can hope that there will be modes to "expand" 2.0 (DPL) and 5.1 (DD/DTS) sources to take advantage of a 6.1 or 7.1 speaker system.
    I almost pulled the trigger on an ACT3-ABM maybe 4 months ago. Got cold feet when I saw all the comments about the high noise floor. But now with the upgrade looming, still might be an option.
    I have a Sony TA-E9000ES now, but I want DD EX and DTS-ES and #2 above (like the CES modes in the Outlaw).
    I have 2 Acurus A200x3 amps (with an external DPL processor) to get 6.1 with the Sony. So you can see why I'd be interested in the upgraded ACT3! [​IMG]
     
  3. DaveW

    DaveW Auditioning

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    Help me out with this please. I have an an ACT3 with the ABM upgrade. While it sounds great, it's not the easiest piece to tweak - I'm forever trying to figure out which part of the manual to read ( original or the ammended one that came with the ABM chip). Since it also does not have componet video switching, what am I to gain by doing the trade in or upgrade vs. selling it and probably come close to getting for it what a new Outlaw 950 would run? Any comments/ideas? Thanks
     
  4. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    Kevin-

    looking at the Stage One specs, it has a digital out (toslink), so i expect the Act 3 upgrade will as well. as to the expanded surround modes, i think that it is a pretty safe assumption that they will be there. from your post, it looks like you don't have an Act 3 to upgrade, do you have one on hold somewhere?

    Dave-

    the Stage One has HD component vid switching, the upgraded Act 3 should as well.

    i think you are looking at two completely different routes. either you sell your Act 3 and use the money to buy a cheaper (altho probably very capable unit), or add money to your investment and end up with nearly a $4000 Stage One. (post upgrade i'll have spent $2700). it really comes down to do you want to spend anymore money and what do you want to end up with. if you sell,keep in mind that there is a renewed interest in new and used Act 3's due to the upgrade (ONECALL immediately sold out their remaining stock of new units when the upgrade was announced), use that info to your advantage to get the best price. it's worth $1500 in trade to Mondial towards the Stage One, $900 (the cost of a 950 as you mentioned in your post), i think would be underpriced. i think it's safe to say that if you sell it online, the purchaser will be using it for either upgrade or trade in.
     
  5. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    I am 99% certain that the upgrade for the Act 3 does not allow for component video switching. The upgrade consists of all the latest surround formats, 7 channel analog passthrough, 24/192 DACs and possibly a bigger powersupply. I was part of the big discussion on the Klipsch forum in relation to the Act3 upgrade. It seemed unlikely that Mondial would go through with the upgrade for monetary reasons but when B&K announced an upgrade for their Reference 20 processor, Mondial/Aragon followed suit.

    I sold my Act 3 prior to this and am going with the Outlaw 950 instead. If i still had my Act 3 today, i would still go with the Outlaw since i think that designing a processor from the ground up is better than having to workaround a current piece (Act3) to accomodate an upgrade path. Don't get me wrong i think the Act 3 will still be a good processor but i just have a good feeling about Outlaw's new prepro, especially after reviews from the Beta testers.
     
  6. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Serge, did you experience the high noise floor that the Act 3 unit has been rumored to have?
     
  7. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    Martice,

    i know you asked Serge, and hopefully he'll answer as well. with my Act 3, i have to have my head within inches of the speakers to hear a slight hiss. since i never sit that close during movies or music, it has no affect on my listening experience.
     
  8. Paul Gere

    Paul Gere Second Unit

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    Craig,

    Thanks for bringing this thread/info over to HTF. Good to build awareness for this great opportunity. I've been eagerly watching the Klipch boards (as have many others) anticipating more "official" announcements confirming the what's and when's of the ACT-3 trade-in/upgrade.

    Cheers,

    -Paul
     
  9. Serge Breton

    Serge Breton Supporting Actor

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    Martice,

    same experiences as Craig so the noise floor is not so much an issue as people perceive it to be. It WAS an excellent prepro and IF the ACT 3 upgrade is done properly without cutting corners than it should be a great processor in todays market.
     
  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Craig- I don't have an Act3, but I've seen you can get them for $700 on ebay and audiogon.
    My one problem with the Outlaw?
    No distance setting to the sub. So how can you be sure that you can get the time alignment correct between the sub and the mains?
    See the following for more info.
    http://ubb.outlawaudio.com/ubb/Forum15/HTML/000209.html
     
  11. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    Mondial has posted on the Acurus forum cofirming that the upgrade will not have component video switching. this may or may not be relevant, depending on the number/type of sources vs. inputs on the video side of your system. for me, it is not an issue.
     
  12. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    I used to think that video switching wasn't important. I like to hook up as directly as possible. But, with more and more video media heading our way. Like HDTV, X-Box, Progressive scan DVD players and whatever other toys come our way. I think having a Pre/Pro with high quality switching may be a must. Many TVs only have one component input. So adding other component cable products will need a route to the TV. Just my $.02.
     
  13. DaveW

    DaveW Auditioning

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    Darrel, I'm with you on that. I've got an Act3 with video cables of various sorts going to both a projector and a TV in the same room.. Two sets of componet cables for DVD and HDTV going directly to the projector, the rest through the Act3. You should hear my wife yell when she tries to turn the system on herself and select the source and input! There is some manufacturer ( I can't remember who now) that converts all incoming video signals , composite and S video, to componet output. Just run cable over to your display. Do you know how much easier that would make life around my house?
     
  14. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    Darrel-

    it certainly makes sense to run multiple component sources to one point, switch them from there and run only one set of component cables to the display, that's how i'd design a system. unfortunately, we're still early in the game, most pre/pro's only have two inputs, leaving the guys with multiple sources still screwed.

    i plan on going CRT FP soon, i'll end up running all my sources to a scaler of some kind and then go RGB out to the PJ, so component switching is not an issue for me, at least with my current plans.

    DaveW-

    did you buy your Act 3 in the Portland area? if so, perhaps we bought from the same dealer.
     
  15. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    i've just remembered and have posted at the acurus forum as well:

    Mondial had at one time considered an external component video switching option for the Act 3, to be controlled via the DB connector on the rear panel. perhaps enough interest in such a product could persuade Mondial to consider it again.
     
  16. DaveW

    DaveW Auditioning

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    Craig, I purchased mine from The Art of Audio in Beaverton and had the ABM chip installed by Home Theater Experts in Wilsonville (out by Frys ). It took about 4 months to get the unit from Art of Audio after ordering - it was fairly new at the time and Mondial couldn't keep up with demand or still had a few bugs to work out, the story kept changing.
     
  17. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    i purchased mine at Home Theater Experts in July 98, also purchased the ABM upgrade there and installed it myself. they have treated me very well over the years. i swung by there yesterday or the day before, looks like they've gone to being open by appt only.[​IMG]
     
  18. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    Thought it was time to revisit the up coming Stage One upgrade with some information.

    Here are some good questions and answers from the Klipsch Forum. I cut and pasted to make it easier to follow. At least for me.

    1. Will the Stage One be available in black?

    (Answer) Yes.All products will be available in both Silver and Black.

    2. Will I be able to set separate speaker distances and crossovers or will there be a global crossover at 80Hz?

    (Answer) Separate distances is a Dolby and THX requirement. Crossovers are adjustable but global.

    3. Does it have user assignable inputs?

    (Answer) I'm guessing at what you mean here...

    We purposely avoid assignable inputs. Each input has coaxial digital input, s video input, and composite video input. There are also three toslink (hard assigned to the TV, DVD, and CD input and take precedence over coaxial if both are present) and three component video inputs (hard assigned to TV, DVD, and Video input)Along with the ability to select your video signal separately from your audio signal, there is plenty of flexibility, and no required customization to simply use the piece.

    4. What 7-channel processing modes does it have? Will it have something similar to Logic7 or the Cirrus music and cinema processing modes available on the new Outlaw 950?

    (Answer) DTS NEO:6 is a 5.1,6.1,7.1 format.

    5. Will the only way I can connect my SACD player is through the DB25 connector? And what will you be charging for the cable to do this, or will it be included as it is with the Integra Research pre/pro?

    (Answer) Yes, a DB-25 cable will be required. We will make one available on our website shortly, but price is unknown at this time. No, the cable will not be included.

    6. If I have both a DVD-Audio player and an SACD player how would I go about connecting both to the Stage One?

    (Answer) An external Switcher? Connect one only two channel?

    Use a universal player? Lot's of options, although there is no way to connect two multichannel analog devices at this time.

    7. Does it have both 2-channel and multi-channel analog bypass?

    (Answer) Yes. Each and every analog input can be used as a "Stereo Direct" input. This is a separate function over the eight channel analog input.

    8. What will the warranty be, and will it be upgradeable through software and/or hardware, or is this it?

    (Answer) Our warranty is 2 years. The piece is built with the same type of architecture as the ACT-3 and Soundstage, so the inherent ability to be upgrade is there. Whether or not "this is it" remains to be seen, and can only be determined by the market...not us. We've left the door open as wide as we can, without charging you for the future in advance.

    9. How committed is Klipsch to making the new Aragon line of amps and processors successful?

    (Answer) As committed as Klipsch is to make anything successful.

    10. I assume it will have DD, DD-EX, DTS, DTS-ES ( discrete and matrix), and THX Surround EX processing modes?

    (Answer) Dolby Digital Surround EX, and THX Surround EX are essentially the same thing, but yes, your assumption is correct. All those modes are supported...And then some. (Pro Logic II, THX Advanced Cinema Mode, THX MusicMode, DTS NEO:6)

    11. The coming upgrade (US$900) will last forever like the ABM upgrade or available for certain period only?

    (Answer) We will consider running it for a longer period of time, once we are able to gauge it's success.

    I hope more information continues to come our way in the next weeks.
     
  19. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Darrel- Wow, thanks!
    (I'm personally still waffling between the 950, the 1066, and upgrading an ACT3...)
    I could add a few questions (and I know that I have to go cruise the Klipsch forum too... [​IMG] ):
    1) Will there be a distance/delay setting for the sub? (950 and 1066 don't have this.)
    2) Any bass management on the 5.1 analog input? Or, from reading the other set of questions, will there be a 5.1 input, or just the DB-25 connector?
    3) Also from the other Q's: "(Answer) DTS NEO:6 is a 5.1,6.1,7.1 format." This isn't quite true. Up until this point in time, the only available application of DTS NEO:6 has been to expand 2 channel sources to 6.1 or 7.1. (Rotel, Outlaw, Denon, Yamaha, etc.) Aragon would be (among) the first to apply this to 5.1 processing. And even if that is the case, would you be able to apply DTS NEO:6 to a 5.1 Dolby Digital signal? Doesn't seem likely...
    Anyway. Thanks!! [​IMG]
     
  20. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    Thanks Kevin,

    If I were going to use the $900 upgrade then I would be looking at other Pre/Pros also. But, I think the Stage One will suite me for the next few years or until the 10 channel Stage Two comes out and I upgrade to that! Of course I don't know if there will be a 10 channel Pre/Pro from Mondial in two years. But, if there is. I'm sure there will be an upgrade offer then as well. Mondial looks to have a good partner with Klipsch. And their money should give future products a real boost. I have a friend who has gone through three Rotel Pre/Pros in the last year and the way Rotel changes units without an upgrade offer takes them out of my picks. Outlaw, is to me to be an entry level Pro/Pro and a company with a limited history and assets. My Act-3 was my entry level unit towards separates. We all choose our path based on personal experience and preferences. This just happens to be the way I'm going.

    As to your questions.

    1) Will there be a distance/delay setting for the sub? (950 and 1066 don't have this.)

    I would guess not. At least not at this time. Unless THX specs call for it.

    2) Any bass management on the 5.1 analog input? Or, from reading the other set of questions, will there be a 5.1 input, or just the DB-25 connector?

    Bass management for 5.1 or 6.1 etc.. hasn't been mentioned anywhere form Mondial that I've read. I'm not a fan of multi-channel music. At least for now. Availability of software is the determining factor for any of the new formats.

    I think I read that more information is coming out this week on the Stage One from Mondial. I hope some photos of the back panel and a online manual shows up also.
     

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