Acurus Act 3 vs Lexicon Processor

Looking for a processor for HT only that I will pass through my preamp into my cary cinema 5 amp. Want 0 noise. Would like to spend $500 or less so the above fit nicely. Opinions?
I have the Lexicon DC-1 and would recommend it. It's great sounding, has all I need. DTS, DD, and Lexicon's Logic 7 - which is actually really nice. It's also dead quiet.

I can't compare it the Act 3.
The Act 3, unfortunately, stock, ISN'T a dead quite unit, no. It is a tad noisy, but not as noisy as others. It's got about a 90db signal to noise. Others I've had are around 96 or higher...which is better.
I've never had a problem at all with the Act 3's I've owned, and would continue to use them in a pinch for cheaper, quality/superb sounding 5.1 pre's. I wouldn't however own ANY LEXICON! I've sold em over the years, heard em in many many systems, and they're very "plain vanilla" digital sounding pre's IMO. Not so musical, a bit sterile, and I definitely wouldn't use em in a high end 2 channel system on their own, that's for certain! Again, this is my experience.
If you simply want "wiz-bang" surround stearing and processing, and overall quality of sound isn't so critical, the Lex is good. If you need more refined sound, even the old ACT 3 punishes the sound quality of the Lexicon stuff! I say this from years of experience with both brands.
I have an ACT 3 that was moded by the factory however, that's extrememly quite, if almost dead quite from the speakers! It's upgraded to 24/192 dac's and such, 7.1 channel pass through, direct analog in's for all inputs, bass managment, DPLII (at least as good as Logic 7 on Lex). But then something like that's a bit more money used.
However, if you need dead quiet, you'r leaning more towards the Lexicon between that and the standard stock Act 3. Personally, I'd look elsewere
"Personally, I'd look elsewhere?" Where would you look. Again, I only need the processor for HT, music is handled elsewhere.
If it is only for movies, get a Rotel 1068 and save a bunch of cash, it has great adjustments for each speaker, bass management and individual tone controls for each speaker is IMO a really nove feature.
I know there are alot more expensive units that MAY be better....but if you not anal about a simple movie system the Rotel is a great buy. And the opinion on the Lexicon by the other poster is simply opinion....the Lexicon can and does sound very good, and I have alot of experience with my fathers unit.
At $500? That is tough. The act 3 is a veritable bargain in this price range. But it isn't the quietest in comparison to some. So that's probably out.
I'd probably consider used Thule 5.1 dd/dts piece. The Outlaw 950 is good sounding for the money for certain, but a little shy on dynamics IME.
Actually, dare I say it, but a used receiver from Yamaha makes for a good AV pre/pro for movies. Anyway, seems to be detailed enough (most better than, say, a Classe SSP25), and rather dynamic used as a pre/pro. For cheep some of these more recent pieces are worth a try.
Remember, for $500, you don't have much choice. Still, not bad
If you really want to save a lot of money, and you're doing this only for movies - here are some more thoughts:

The B&K AVP3090 is a steal on the used market at <$300, and somtimes close to $200. It sounds great and is reasonably quiet, although may be suseptible to RFI that requires special attention. You can probably get a Ref 20 for under $500, and Ref 30 maybe for a tad more than $500 depending on condition/age. B&K service and support is the best I've experienced from any company. The 3090 doesn't have optical in, but does support DD and DTS.

I don't have experience with the Rotel 1068, but do with other Rotel pre's and it's been good. They're not bullet-proof like B&K, but they are built nicely, and sound great.

The Sherwood-Newcastle AVP9080r can be had for $200 and is quiet. Setup isn't as user friendly or flexible as the B&K nor the Lexicon DC-1. One strength is it has 5.1 inputs.

I tried several Yamaha receivers before finally going to a separate pre/pro, and amp. Don't waste your time and money on them.

I'm not sure if this is a fair comparison, but I had the Acurus Act 1, which is pro-logic only, and while for the money it was nice, it was very noisy and prone to ground loop. It's also a bit bright. I don't know of these traits are common to the Act 3.

Back to the Lexicon DC-1, I went throuh all of the above, still have the 3090, and the Sherwood, and the DCs is my primary HT processor. I frankly can't relate to the comments made above. The sound quality rivals many pure stereo pre's I've tried, including Rotel RC1070, and also Classe CP35. It has its shortcomings, but I really like the flexibility (7.1 capability) 7.1 inputs, Coax and Optical ins (though only 2 of each), and easy, flexible setup. My use is PRIMARILY music videos in a dedicated home theater, so the music quality is important to me. I generally watch movies upstairs in a less critical environment (ie the family room) using the B&K as a pre-pro.

Finally, since you're talking about used here - I'm sure it's not gotten by you that you can buy one, if you dont like it resell it and move on to the next one.
Have a ACT-3 with the base management. Can't say a bad thing about. Built well and sounds good. Easy to use as well, an important factor if there are wife and kids in the equation. Have no experience with the Lex.
What about the audio refinement pre2? I appreciate all opinions thus far!
Good grief! It is so fashionable to dump on the old Lexicon DC-1. Certainly it won't do the job for high resolution playback like SACD,DVD-A, or even vinyl because it lacks any kind of analog bypass. I certainly don't use mine for critical listening. But for television, movies and concert DVD's it does just fine. The best Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks are simply awesome on the DC-1. And it is dirt simple to set up. Lexicon's instructions are even written in a way that anyone can understand and do the setup with ease. Try that with a Denon, Sony, Theta, or EAD instruction book. You can find DC-1's for as little as $500 if you are patient. For that price it is a screaming bargain. Be sure to get at least version 2.1 with Dolby Digital and DTS. I have had mine for around 3 years and have not felt the urge to upgrade even after auditioning the mighty Theta Casablanca III(Yes it is a lot better but for 7 large or more to get one, I'll keep the DC-1). You will have to pry my DC-1 out of my cold dead hands.
"Back to the Lexicon DC-1,...the DCs is my primary HT processor. I frankly can't relate to the comments made above. The sound quality rivals many pure stereo pre's I've tried, including Rotel RC1070, and also Classe CP35."
"Good grief! It is so fashionable to dump on the old Lexicon DC-1." (jimburger)

To each his own. I am very glad there are many out there that simply love their Lexicons. I've not only sold them retail, but have been to many a setup, store, home, show, or othewise, and I simply don't care for the sound at all, personally. In the Lexicon's defense, the stearing, channel separation, and overall dynamics are very good indeed. I just think that most it falls flat in the other areas. They're not musical, airy, ultradetailed, or prisine, even high-end sounding, nor refined. I'm just spoiled by better sound. Actually, as mentioned above, even the Rotel stuff betters the sonics of the Lexicon IMO. I know someone who's selling their 1068 in mint cond, if interested. for $600-700, a much better choice I think.
good luck
I respectfully disagree with Flrnlamb's opinion.

I had a Rotel RSP-1068. It was a very nice unit - easy to work with, with some reasonably flexible features. Sounded decent too.

I sold it to buy a Lexicon MC-8, which was a HUGE jump in functionality and sound quality.
Not a problem. To each his own indeed.
However, you'll find no professional reviews that describe the Lexicon's sound as pristine, high-end, refined, audiophile-grade, or world class sonically, etc...none! You make you're own assumptions
I don't pesonallly now any high end audio/video guys in this buisiness (and I know a bunch), who sell and or can get deals on Lexicon, who actually own the processors either! There's simply much much better stuff sonically.
Hi Flrnlamb - I understand that you don't care for the Lexicon processors, and that's absolutely OK. Let's separate personal opinion from fact though.

A quick Google search finds numerous e-zine and print magazine profession reviews which describe various Lexicon models' sound quality in glowing term, despite your assertion that there are none.

You may very well not know any people "in this business" who own Lexicon, and that's OK too, but that does not mean they don't exist. I know quite a few.

Again, I respect your opinion, but let's not stray into posting our personal viewpoints as fact.

Did you do any listening comparison's of the MC-8 versus other Prepro options before you purchased it? If so, would you mind sharing your insights?

Flrnlamb, Ultimate AV gives the Lexicon RV-8 its Platinum Award. You shoot your credibility to pieces when you make absolute claims like that... people know how to use the Internet.

Here's the link:

"Lexicon's RV-8 is a literal monument to home theater receiver performance and functionality."

"There's been a debate raging for years among audiophiles about whether one should devote more system money to speakers or amplifiers. I've been inclined to say speakers, but when I drove the (approximately) $3000 Infinity Betas using the Lexicon RV-8, it was transformed from a pleasant-sounding system to one that stepped up to almost top-shelf performance. The bass produced by the floor standing Beta 50s, which had been impressively deep but undistinguished and soft sounding, firmed up and gripped the music with a new-found rhythmic authority. The slightly metallic top end became sweeter, airier, and more extended, and most importantly, the entire sonic picture cohered, delivering overall sonic performance one usually expects from far more expensive speakers."
Did you do any listening comparison's of the MC-8 versus other Prepro options before you purchased it?

I did indeed. As I mentioned, I owned a Rotel RSP-1068 prior to the Lex (and a Rotel RSX-1055 receiver prior to that). The Lex is quieter and less clinical. I also compared to an Arcam processor (AV-8 I think it was). The Arcam sounded nice, but it was a bit closed-in sounding at frequency extremes. There was a touch of graininess via the analog passthrough.

I did an in-store comparison between the Lex and a Classe processor, and found the sound to be very similar in the demo system, but the Lex was easier to work with despite the LCD display on the Classe. In addition, the Lex is easily upgradeable.

I tried the Linn Unidisk SC, which I really wanted to like because it has nearly everything in it that I was looking for, but I found it to be lean and forward-sounding in my setup, and had no 7.1 capability.

I also tried a Meridian processor, but it was pretty much useless without other Meridian components in the stack - seemed to me that an all-Meridian system is pretty much of a necessity.
Dawgbyte, my credibility is very much intact, thank you. The statement-"Lexicon's RV-8 is a literal monument to home theater receiver performance and functionality.", is NOT A GLOWING REVIEW OF SONIC EXCELLENCE!...this should be obvious! Also, this is a RECEIVER REVIEW, not a pre/pro!!
Also the review statement-"using the Lexicon RV-8, it was transformed from a pleasant-sounding system to one that stepped up to ALMOST top-shelf performance", is also NOT A GLOWING REVIEW OF SONIC EXCELLENCE!!! Sorry once again.
please feel free to tell me where this ad puts any Lexicon pre on the same rung as high quality audiophile refined separates? I'm lost with your response here
flrnlamb, it would be nice if we got to decide our own credibility. That decision actually belongs to others, and I think in this case Dawgbyte had it right. As Rex also pointed out, there are many, many reviews posted. I'm sure that in your own mind you can rationalize all of them away though.

It just sounds like from your postings that someone at Lexicon ate your Fruit Loops!

All I did was ask about two processor and the half the messages are confrontation. I appreciate your views and opinions. Now let it go.
Dawgbyte, I'm confused by your contradition in stances on the sonic merits of audio gear, in direct comparison to professional audio mag reviews. In another post earlier you stated that Revel Studio's/Salon's are "Bright, and you find them sonically harsh, colored(?), and fatiguing, etc. And yet EVERY PROFESSIONAL REVIEW on these states that these specific speakers are simply ultra high end, even "Stereophile Class A rated" designs, the anti-thesis of your claims.
On this post(Act3 Vs. Lecicon),where you claimed the lexicon's sonic merits were directly in line with all the "glowing reviews", you said my credibility was surely shot, in that I CONTRADICTED the magazine's reviews, of which you gave me some references(I felt they said nothing personally).
So how do you respond to the fact ( has all the mag reviews on Revles) that Revel Studio's/Salon's are obviously reviewed by the highest end mags/reviewers as simply wonderful, even world class passive speakers,(I've heard the Revels, and they're are nothing you're stating, they're very transparant and refined actually.) when you're stating credibility issues with others who contradict what you feel are great reviews of other products? This does seem somewhat hypocricial. Surely you must concure. Your clarificiation here would be appreciated.
Acutally Jamesw20, I AM pointing all this towards the actual sonic Merits of the Lexicon vs others!(in this case, the Acurus). If anything, my friendly jousting with Dawgbyte and Rex simply helps state my possition, to clarify what the Lexicon actually sounds like.
For instance, Dawgbyte CLEARLY states that Revel Studio's/Salon's are bright, fatiguing, harsh, and colored. And yet, Lexicon's are world class processors sonically. This would raise some credibility questions to anyone following allong, if you ask me.
The entire audio world rates Revel Studio's/Salon's either at or near Stereophile Class A Rated! The same here feel that Lexicon is the pinacle of high end sound reproduction. You do the math. I think this should help clarify the REAL sound quality that's coming from the Lexicion, in dirrect corelation to the tastes of those endorsing them here. Again, the most outspoke advocated of Lexicon pre's here thinks Class A rated Revel speakers sound lousy...?!
Flrnlamb, I agree with your assessment of the ACT3, as I really enjoyed mine, especially the price. Have never heard a Lexicon, so don't want to jump into that fight. However, I would like to know where you got the 7.1 passthrough mod on your act3, as I would buy one in a second. I sold mine because it didn't have dvd-a/sacd capability. Also, I'd jump on a Rotel 1068 at the price you quoted.
Michaeljbrown, the unit I have was upgraded from the factory with 24/192 DAC's, DPLII, DTS Neo6/movie/music, DPLII movie/music, DTS EX processing, 8ch input and, also, direct pass through for ALL 2 channel analog inputs, for sonic purity!
Basically, the unit has all new digital processing, retaining all the original preamp section, analog volume control, etc. This upgraded piece was never released to the public/manufactured, and is rare and hard to find.
It's now nearly dead silent as far as background noise goes. The old ACT 3 had 90db signal/noise. This one has over 100db signal to noise! It's much more detailed than before, and more refined and sweet sounding, like the Krell HTS piece actually, but MUCH more dynamic!!!
I've not come across another processor as dynamic as these ACT 3's really. That and the clarity of sound makes for a superior process/preamp! Ofcourse mine can do SACD/DVDA from the 8 channel in or any of the 2 channel analog in's for 2 channel SACD/DVDA or other analog sources! Very nice indeed. They're hard to find though. I'm having serious challenges letting go of mine, cause it sound pheonominal, and is RARE!