Acurus - What happened and why? long
After years on the hifi merry-go-round, I have had one hell of an education. You simply do NOT always get what you pay for. In an effort to make myself feel better about all of the money I've wasted over the years, I started to work my way back down through the chain, listening to less expensive equipment with each change.
In my searches, I found one brand in particular that was a seemingly ridiculous value -Acurus. While not terribly sexy to look at, Acurus equipment employed solid circuit topology. In stock form, their pieces were competetive or better than Adcom, Rotel, Parasound pieces at similar price points.
The real revelation, however, came after simple modifications to Acurus pieces. The RL-11, once modified, is free of what I feel was its main weakness: a slight touch of treble grain that held it back from truly stellar performance.
The DIA series of integrated amps were actually quite polite, but lacked that last bit of inner detail. A series of modifications opened them up to the extent that they could go head-to-head with big money separates.
The Acurus amplifiers could actually sound downright bright in some systems, but again, once modified, these (specifically the A100 and A200) were better than many of the big name amps that I have owned.
So it's obvious that these were well designed and reliable products, held back only by cheap parts (a necessary evil at their price points).
So why was the plug pulled? I have listened to numerous Aragon pieces. They are better than stock Acurus items, but fall short of modified Acurus amps and preamps. Was there ever any explanation for the discontinuation of the Acurus line?
Please note that I have owned Rowland, Krell, Threshold, Sonic Frontiers, etc. I'm not comparing performance to Arcam or Musical Fidelity.