Follow up review of Acurus Act4 processor


This review is my final impression of the Acurus Act4  Home Theater processor version 1. Version 1 supports 16 channels vs version 2 which supports 20 channels. Version 1 can be upgraded to V2. This system is in a 5.1 configuration and unlikely to change. (I am aware that the full potential of this processor is not realized). Refer to the manufacturer for details. I will not get too detailed in order to keep this short but informative. 
In use daily for past 30 days approx. 4 hrs average per day for visual and audio enjoyment. Mostly audio both surround and 2 channel unprocessed stereo.
Supporting cast are B&W speakers, Oppo, Hitachi,  JL, PS4, VPI and Emotiva (a strong weak link)

1. VISUAL:
Superb picture rendition in all formats including 4k, clear, crisp with no artifacts. Not much more to say.
2. AUDIO:
This is where the Act4 really comes into its own. Please refer to my earlier post of initial impression. The Act4 has hands down the absolute best audio performance I have ever experienced over my span of 50 years enjoying audio performances, live and studio in all formats. Much exellent equipment has come and gone over the years. This unit puts itself into a class by itself.
A very involving sound where time flies by and you look and say to yourself Holy Crap I got to go to bed it's really late or work in a few hours.
Without gushing and being overly enthusiastic about a product all I will say is that I highly recommend any one in the market for a HT processor to audition the Act4 if possible before making a choice. Nuff said
3. PROs;
Audio and video performance, Customer support, supports all the latest formats, superb connectability.
4. CONs:
No ARC, (upgrade to include ARC in work, possibly available by end of year), NOT all menu items are accessible using the remote functions even with network (Only audio related menu is available) this is done on purpose per indyaudiolabs. And I get it, but still? NO on fly adjustment via remote control, NO OSD (on screen menu) again on purpose per indyaudio, Firmware upgrade is somewhat cumbersome but again understandable after communication with indyaudiolabs. Does NOT support legacy video connections (component/composite)
Has some growing pains that are adressed via firmware upgrades. Latest for my V1 is V1.750
NOTE:
This unit was designed from the beginning to be installed by professional Home Theater designers/installers who are trained in all the intricate functions,upgrades and setup of the Act4 in high end installations, so it limits it's exposure to the general market IMO. A toy for the rich and famous.
Well I'm neither rich nor famous, just a retired gray collar worker who wants to enjoy the best audio performance from his system before he meets his maker. I purchased this un-auditioned, sight unseen with only limited available research. Bottom line I took a risk. I'm also glad I did. It is state of the art equipment.
I hope this helps those that are considering a major improvement. It's not cheap but life is too short to drink cheap Tequila.
If you enjoy music at its best you owe it to yourself to audition the Acurus Act4 even if video is not your thing. It's the audio performance I was after. 

Happy listening!

gillatgh
@gillatgh You once wrote ´´ ...listening environment is quite audio friendly ´´
you are very fortunate. But it is not everybody’s situation.

In my opinion, the ACT4 should come with a ´´ auto room correction’´,included at his price ( or a bit more $ )There are so many situations that can occure for this function to be important : Speakers changes ;furnitures changes in the listening room; systeme moved , etc.
You can not call your dealer (integrater ) every time , you make a change.

ACT4 does not come with ´´ Auro 3D ´´
I hope It will come in a futur firmware or hardware upgrade .
For my personnel situation , I would rather have a second balanced
analog input (XLR) than ´´ multi input ´´ rca .

I have received, very good services and support from Indy Audio Labs, for the recent firmware upgrade : V02.197( 20 channels model)
There is still some minor issues that , I hope , will be solved in a near
future.

Like you , I have bought this unit without previous listening.
I took a chance. I will wait ,the future upgrades , to make a final
evaluation.
60% music   40% video 

And I am glad , you enjoy your unit.







@maxwave we agree on room correction, which in my case is not a requirement. Room correction is not a cure all, at best you gain at a loss elsewhere. As I stated this was not meant to be a run of the mill unit, it is designed for professional HT installation and any competent installer would/should make the environment audio friendly. It took me a long time to get to this point. I can take any component and rearrange furniture etc and with minor changes in placement attain the SQ I so desire. My environment has been treated extensively as I needed it. It was far from perfect. I do not have easy access to a dealer either. We can hope that the future addition of room correction will be of minor expense to current owners. In either case the Act4 is a superb piece for audio and video reproduction.  Aero 3D as far as I am aware is not yet a proven or readily available format and may be a flop. I'm sorry you cannot yet appreciate the sonic benefits of the Act4 in your environment.  Have you thought of room treatment? I'm sure the growing pains of the Act4 will be resolved. New items always have unforseen glitches. As long as indyaudiolabs listens to us and resolves the issues we are part of the development team. Unfortunately unpaid. Come on by and pay a visit and hear for yourself if you're in the neighborhood. 
@gillatgh
Thanks for the invitation. But I live in Quebec.
You are right about Room Treatment.
Next year , I plan to move to another location and I will do Room 
Treatment and I will hire a professional  audio specialist to calibrate
my unit.
I am over sixty years old and , may be , .....I getting grumpy ;-)

regards
@maxwave, Quebec no problem, hop, skip and jump to Louisiana, especially for the over 60 crowd. LOL! Might even meet a relative. I'm  no spring chicken either, my body tells me so. I get grumpy when I switch inputs and nothing happens as I grumpt before the latest update but have not had this issue since. Knock on wood.
What are some of your operational issue with your unit? Hifiman also had some glitches.
@gillatgh 
 To use i16 ( analog XLR input ) I have to go to another input ( ex. i15 or i17 )then comeback to i16.
Then , I have to go to any sound mode ( except analog ) ,click any sound mode ( except analog ) and then 
click on ´´analog’´. This is the only way I can use  i16.


About furniture moving and sound.

Surfaces such as windows and furnishings and the geometry of the walls, floor, and ceiling add unwanted resonance and coloration, making the bass either boomy or less punchy, voices less natural, and the dialogue less intelligible. 

https://www.anthemarc.com/index.php?utm_source=AnthemAV.com&utm_medium=Online&utm_campaign=Anthem%20Room%20Correction&utm_content=Redirect

The listening room is a key component of the audio system and it is also one of the largest problems in any Hi-Fi sound system. The walls, windows, floors and furniture in a room reflect the sound from your speakers and add unwanted coloration or distortion.

https://www.dirac.com/room-calibration


And I am sure, I could have found more citations


Erratum
Then , I have to go to any sound mode ( except analog ) ,click any sound mode ( except analog ) and then
click on ´´analog’´.

I should have written :
Then ,I have to go to ´´sound mode ´´and click any sound modes  ( except  ´´analog ´´.)
And then , click on ´´analog ´´  .

I do this many times a day , because I switch between audio and video.
I can only have access to ´´Party’´ mode by clicking on the unit screen.  The network remote does not work with ´´Party ´´ and ´´Night ´´ mode.   However  ,´´Night’´ mode is availlable with the physical remote.

Waiting for the next firmware update !
@maxwave,  have you made indyaudiolabs aware of the issues you have encountered? I have encountered some issues not related to yours, in my case the switching occurs but I get no audio signal. You might call it a partial switching failure. Only a cold reboots solves this. It occurs intermittent and at all inputs I have tried. I am putting together a list of issues to inform indyaudiolabs. I hope this will assist them in fixing the problem. It does at those times get aggravating but the superb sound of the unit keeps me interested in its further development. Support has been outstanding.
@gillatgh
Yes. Just after the firmware update in March.
I even sent indy Audio Labs a short video that I have made.
( Plus a written description )
This issue was there before the update but I forgot to mention it.

The firmware update solved an other issue that I had with ´´ Night mode ´´
I had to do , even much more complex operations to change the speakers layout of the ´´ Night mode ´´
I had mentionned this one to Indy Audio Labs before the update.

I though that firmware updates solved all issues at once.
I want to undeline that I have found , how to do all those operations
( clickings ) by myself , by try and error .A some point , if I have had a gun .....

I have not heard from Indy Audio labs since .


When I will received the next firmware update, I will let you know.
These days, I am thinking about upgrading my DAC/Streamer.
Changing my iFi Audio Pro iDSD for Lumin S1 or Lumin X1.

´´After that , I will never buy any audio gear for the rest of my life .´´
( to my wife )