Acurus Act4 Preamp/Processor


This is an initial review of the product straight from the box and in factory setting configuration. It is my initial impression.
Once I opened the box, removed the unit, unpacked and set it in its place I was not moved nor impressed and questioned my decision. Not very aesthetic and the manual was, let's say cheap. Nevertheless I did the connections, read the manual, powered it on and kicked back with the very minimalistic remote. My first test was with Pandora via app on the tv. Pandora is far from great SQ as everyone knows but it's easy to test genres. I will say that I was wowed with the superb sound that was spewing from my speakers. A very impressive initial experience. Next I placed a SACD into the transport and was completely caught of guard with what I was experiencing. It literally blew me away, the crap eating grin on my face I think is embedded permanently. Holy cow it was great. Next was a standard 5.1 Concert DVD the sound was above superb and the video clear and sharp. I am truly ecstatic about the superb sound and video. My initial thoughts are forgotten. I'm even accepting of the minimalistic remote, the cheap owners manual, the aesthetics of the unit or even of the bothersome touch screen brightness. Perusing the manual it's obvious I have a lot to learn. 
For straight out the box this is the best sound and video quality I have ever had the pleasure to experience.  I can only imagine what it will be once it is set up properly for my environment.  It only gets better from here.
Associated equipment is intentionally not listed as is no mention of types of genres played. In this case it's all about my initial impression of the Acurus Act 4. So far beyond superb.
I've been in this hobby for a long long time and have had some really great systems in my days but I had never been as wowed before. Truly impressive. Damn expensive for a 23lb box though.
gillatgh
Do you have the 16 or 20 channel ?
How have you done the PEQ setting ? Manually or else ?

Mine ( 20 channel ) has a minor issue with analog XLR input ( i16 )

´´..touch screen brightness ´´ You have the choice of 4 intensities .
No issues there


@ maxwave, I have the 16. The review was done at factory settings straight out of the box. No settings changed.  Have not yet changed any settings or PEQ. When I do, and I will, after it gets connected to the web, I'll dig deeper into its capabilities. I need a modem line installed and AT&T was a no show for the appointment. I have not yet had any connectivity issues.The idea of standing at the unit to perform setting activity is abhorrent to me.  I do miss the OSD function 
So far it's been impressive in its audio and video quality with all sources I connected.

When connected to the web , you will be able to use a smart phone, a tablet or a laptop to be used as a remote. It is much better than the ´´minimalistic ´´ remote.
For PEQ, you can do it manually ; use Room Wizard ; or wait for the ’´ Acurus Speaker Parameter EQ Tool, or ASPEQT ´´ to be launched.
My room is a difficult one . I did the PEQ manually . It is far from  being excellent.
Good luck


Maxwave, evidently you have gained some knowledge thru trial and error. I was understanding that when connected all menu functions were available at the listening position. Am I correct?  I'm fairly sure only minimal tweaks to PEO will need to be made as listening environment is quite audio friendly. Last night I attempted the speaker distance and level settings. I never could get the level setting to 75db at listening position. Will converse with Indyaudio monday. I set them at 65 for time being. Test tones seem to be subdued when compared to my previous unit. Any thoughts on this?
´´when connected all menu functions were available at the listening position ´´   :  yes for the 16 channel.
Your unit may also require a firmware update

( the 20 channel is a bit restricted in that matter(menu fonctions) because of his firmware ; I have been told by Indy Audio Lab technician )

Room treatment and PEQ calibration : 50% of audio quality.
Another AudioGon member has ACT 4 : hifihandyman

(My unit is a 16 channel that has been upgraded to 20 channel)
75 db
65 db

it is rather 7.5 db   and  6.5 db
@maxwave, was trying to set speaker level to THX standard at listening position using internal noise generator on white noise settin. 
@gillatgh 
Sorry for the misunderstanding

I would appreciate if you could give me the setting for THX standard.
I have never heard about that .
This could improve the sound of my systeme.

My audio knowledges are  rather limited.
AudioGon helps me in that matter.

@maxwave , THX standard is the recommended setting for sound pressure level at listening position which is 75db optimal for each speaker.80 dB is acceptable but not optimal and usually used when SPL meter does not read in smaller increments. Equipment that is THX certified must meet this standard and is usually annotated on the equipment.  I also do not know if this applies to a configuration that exceeds 7 channels.This only applies to HT (home theater) type of components such as amps, processors etc.That's not to say that non certified equipment cannot reproduce THX (which it can) when properly set up. I set up the Act4 at 65 which was the highest at my position I could get but it was not satisfactory and I am still working on my best solution.
@gillatgh     
 Thanks
I will probably hire a professional audio technician next year for 
setting of the ATC 4 .(PEQ)
I will wait next year because I want to move to another location , and do not want to pay twice.

It would be wise to write the final setting of your unit.
When implementing a new firmware update, all the settings are erased.

@hifihandyman wrote me in a PM that he ordered the  ASPEQT.
If he was living in my country ( Canada ) I would ask him If I could
borrow it for a week .
You can ask your dealer to lend it to you.
I can not do the same, I bought mine from  the manufecturer last year.




@hifihandyman