Acurus ACT-1 Preamplifiers

3.7/5 (10 Reviews) MSRP : $899.00


Product Description

Delay (15 to 40 milliseconds), Test Tones, Mute, Record, Select, Volume (center, rear & overall), Center Mode, Surround Mode, Auto Input Balance


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by K. Kennedy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2016

Bottom Line:   
All I can say is WOW! I picked this up on eBay for $160. I was going to use this for the kids home theater but now it's in my main system. The sound quality is pretty extraordinary for the price. My Emotiva XSP-1 is more user friendly and versatile but at $1,000 that's to be expected. By comparison, the ACT 1 gives up nothing in sound quality. The clarity and build quality is in another class. Why don't they make stuff like this any more??

The only bad thing is that mine didn't come with a remote so I'm using the Redeye universal App on ios. It's a little clunky, but ok. My next purchase will be a matching ACT 1 remote if I can find one for cheap.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ronald A a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2016

Bottom Line:   
I bought this processor for $100 used 6 years ago for a small bedroom home theater. It comes with a very simple but functional remote that's essential for operation. Best value purchase i've ever made. Sound quality is simply amazing. It easily competes with home theater receivers in the $2,000 range. I use an Anthem DV2 processor in my main home theater and while this processor is much more versatile, the ACT 1 has a much quieter background nearly the same sound quality. I liked the ACT-1 so much, I purchased a second Act-1 for my son last year when he went away for college. Unfortunately the price almost doubled and most units don't come with the original remote.

Still, at $200 this is a real sleeper and giant killer in my opinion. The circuit is fully discrete, e.g., no integrated circuits, and can easily be repaired or modified which is an added bonus. Keep in mind this processor is about 20 years old and some used units may need servicing. Also, if you absolutely must have any of the digital decoding formats created in the last 20 years, the Act-1 will be a disappointment. But in my opinion, for a small room, the ACT-1's discrete Pro Logic discrete decoding is much better sounding than modern digital surround decoding formats.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John Cusimano a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 17, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I think this is the most pre amp for the money and gives you the best of both worlds. I wanted a pre amp that would still give me good stereo 2 channel and good 5.1 dts surround.
It is doin every thing fine. I dont hear nor have I ever heard any hum buzz or noise of any kind. I am running some power threw it front and rear crown macro ref. 760 per chann. and a hafler bridged to mono at 750 for the center my crowns make noise with the cooling fans but Never any noise from the pre amp

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   local audio shop



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by David Whiteside a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I have never used the ACT 1 for an AV setup but only for stereo. I have a B&K amp with celestion speakers, MIT speaker wire, transparent interconnects, and a velodyne sub. I have been expremely pleased with the ACT 1 in using it as a stereo preamp. The simple or "lean" desogn of the front panel is nice looking but makes changing settings annoying because I have to keep getting the manual out to see what's what. However, that's a pretty minor complaint.

I have never had any problems with hum. I do use a hospital grade power cord, though. I don't know if that makes a difference compared to the experiences of some of the other reviewers. Overall, I think this was a great buy for the money I paid for it.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Robert Bolmgren a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This is an update of a previous review I left at this site. I recently replaced my ACT-1 with the McIntosh MSD-4. Now, I'm not faulting the Acurus for not being up to the MAC-4 in surround sound quality. My new MAC is more than 3 times as expensive(Yeah, if you can afford it, the multi kilobuck processors will take you up those golden stairs). What gripes me is that I spent the last year and a half struggling with serious artifacting and corruption of wide screen movies on my new Mitsubishi 4:3 HDTV 50" rear projection set. It has the integral line doubler that can't be switched out and I assumed that the problems I was having was the fault of the TV.

Silly me......

I hook up the MAC-4 (which doesn't use on-screen menus) and the artifacting is reduced 90%. Not believing my eyes I try the ACT-1. The wide screen version of "The King and I" looks like crap. With the MAC-4 its gorgeous.

When I bought the ACT-1 and complained of the audible hum my stereo shop said, "That's baseline...perfectly normal."

That translates to: "Gotcha! If you don't like it, tough..."

My new MAC-4 is quiet. Yes, put your ear 4 inches from the center channel and you will hear some noise.

With the ACT-1 I could hear the hum from the comfort of my listening chair TEN FEET away in two different houses I used it in.

YES I LIFTED GROUNDS...YES I BROUGHT IN SEPARATE 20 AMP LINES FROM THE POWER POLE AND STILL THE HUM AND VIDEO NOISE FROM THE HIGHLY TOUTED ACT-1 WAS STILL THERE.

I'm mainly angry because for 4 years I've been treated as crazy by the very people you expect straight answers and quality components from. MY stereo shop and the people at Acurus.

Yeah, I'm a sucker. You can guess what a positive refernce I'll be to anyone I meet that is even considering buying the ACT-3.

I hear they're having problems shoving THAT piece down peoples throats because of the same kind of shoddy engineering and bean-counting economies that ham-strung the ACT-1.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1996




Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



Magneplanar:



CRIMSON: