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Upgrading pre/pro from ACT-3 to ??? (1 Viewer)

Paul Gere

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 3, 1999
Messages
282
As the title states, I'm considering upgrading from the Acurus ACT-3 that I've enjoyed for some time now. I know Acurus is offering an upgrade to the ACT-3 later this Summer, but I'm also considering other options and am curious as to what I should be looking at for a true upgrade vs. lateral move. Pre/pro's such as the B&K Ref 30, Anthem, Outlaw 950 and others come to mind, but I'm interested in pro's/cons and other suggestions in and around the $2,000-$2,500 range (new or used).

HIGH Priorities: GREAT soundtrack reproduction with wide soundstage, wide dynamic range and incredible clarity. Accurate and clean stereo performance. Versatile bass management features. All the most relevant flavors of processing (7.1, DD, DTS, DTS-ES, DPL II, etc.). Future upgrade potential, 12v trigger (at least one!), 7.1 analog inputs.

LOW Priorities: Video switching capabilities, OSD, Digital output, cheesy DSP presets.

Associated equipment: Parasound HCA-2205 amp, Paradigm Studio Reference 100's, CC450 center and Studio Reference dipole surrounds. SVS 20-39+ subs (2) and Samson S-1000 amp. Marantz DVD player (7010). Other swell stuff.

Thanks in advance for your pre/pro suggestions!

Cheers,

-Paul
 

Michael Mohrmann

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 30, 2001
Messages
1,394
Paul,

While I think that the Anthem AVM-20 sounds great for both music and movies and is upgradable, it is currently lacking some of the features you requested. The AVM-20 does not have DPL II nor DTS-ES capability, plus it only has 5.1 analog inputs.

The AVM-20 is slated to get a hardware/software upgrade (~$300) in a few months for DPL II and DTS-ES, but as in all things audio there is no guarantee. I personally would like to see the addition of DPL II for 2 channel movies sources (I hear that DTS-ES is a waste of time if you have DPL II or Logic 7 or Trifield or ...).

Also, the AVM-20 does not have the triple crossover system of the Outlaw 950. It has a single global crossover, switchable between 40-160 Hz by 10Hz, for all "small" speakers.

The rest of the information about the AVM-20 is really good news, but because it lacks a few of your desired features, it is probably a waste of time listing them.

Michael
 

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2000
Messages
5,710
I would personally say, that if you are happy with the ACT3 as is, that I would just take the Klipsch/Mondial upgrade path.
I have 2 Acurus A200x3 amps. I also have a Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro.
Have much preferred dealing with Mondial/Acurus as a company vs Sony! :)
But, the ACT3 upgrade won't work for me, because I do want a digital record out, and I want bass management on the 5.1 analog input. I was really disappointed to find out that the upgrade to the ACT3 won't include either of these.
But I like the company, I like the looks of the original unit, and I like what I'm hearing about the Stage One...
But I'm headed in the Outlaw direction for now. I just don't see how anything on the horizon can touch this unit in terms of bang for the buck (value)...
 

Paul Gere

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 3, 1999
Messages
282
Thanks for the comments/suggestions. Kevin, I'll be interested in the ACT-3 upgrade as more info. becomes available - as I DO like my ACT-3's overall performance.

Anybody got thoughts about an ACT-3 vs. B&K Ref. 30 comparison?
 

Craig Robertson

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 12, 1999
Messages
982
with your Act-3 and your $2500 budget, you could take advantage of the Mondial trade in offer and get the Stage One.
 

Paul Gere

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 3, 1999
Messages
282
Craig,

Not exactly... you see, my budget (if I don't upgrade the ACT-3) factors cash from the sale of my ACT-3. [$2000-$2500 Budget = cash from ACT-3 sale + more cash]. That puts the Stage one a bit out of reach (sure would love one, though!).
 

Craig Robertson

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 12, 1999
Messages
982
i understand completely. i'm an Act-3 owner as well. i can justify the $900 for the upgrade, but i'd be much happier with the Stage One.
 

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