Acurus ACT-1 Preamplifiers

Acurus ACT-1 Preamplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

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

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 19  
[Jul 06, 2019]
PGC


Strength:

I bought this mostly for the remote control to control the very nice Acurus RL-11 line stage preamplifier. Hauntingly good on older movie soundtracks. Surprised that it sounds better than the more expensive Acurus ACT-3 processor.

Weakness:

It will work on newer movie soundtracks but you lose all the bells and whistles. Lack of flexibility and designed for music so lacks a lot of the transparency you hear on a good line stage.

Price Paid:
$190
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1999
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Jan 24, 2019]
Tom Christiansen


Strength:

The Acurus ACT-1 is a 1990's era surround processor. What's unusual about this processor is the discrete decoding circuit. As far as I'm aware, Acurus is the only manufacturer to ever use discrete audio circuits for video decoding. All other manufacturers past and present use integrated circuits. As for the sound, it's very good. Compared even a high end receiver you will hear tighter bass, more natural midrange, and clearer treble. I really enjoy this unit.

Weakness:

If there was a negative I would say the lack of a display. The remote and TV/display are needed to fine tune delay and other settings. The chassis has some sharp edges which will cut you. Not kid or pet friendly.

Price Paid:
$150
Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Dec 16, 2018]
DJ Cora


Strength:

There's a lot of hype around this deceptively obsolete home theater component but whatever. Living in Hawaii its hard to find good vintage audio equipment so when I saw the ACT-1 at an estate sale in LA I didn't hesitate. It had some history and belonged to a famous Hollywood insider who I never heard of which was a plus. If new receivers were good at decoding older movie scores I wouldn't have bought this. Great supplement to our home theater since we watch a lot of older movies.

Weakness:

Expensive for a 20 year old processor. Hard to find in good condition especially if you live in Honolulu!

Price Paid:
$350
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1998
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Dec 12, 2018]
JoeMcClure


Strength:

This review is from the perspective as a Dolby Pro-Logic decoder. Bar none the best home theater decoder for HiFi VHS tapes. If you have a lot of VHS tapes you won't get a clearer or better soundstage than with the ACT-1. Oddly the more expensive ACT-3 is a weaker design and i'm not sure why considering it was a much more expensive decoder. On VHS HiFi audio this little guy even outperforms my friend's mega-buck ($6000) McIntosh MX122.

Weakness:

Useless without the original remote. Only good for Dolby Pro-Logic.

Price Paid:
250
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
2000
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Nov 13, 2018]
Evan Jone


Strength:

Vintage HT processor with discrete circuit. Super clean decoding. Small sturdy chassis. Excellent remote and instructions. Simplicity. Seems well built, but only time will tell. Paid $210 which seems expensive at first, but not really considering this is a near new audiophile hipster component for the VHS/DVD crowd.

Weakness:

Age. Age. Age. Hoping it won't need service. Doesn't decode any audio or video format created after 1995. Paid $60 for the original remote because I'm stupid.

Price Paid:
$270
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1998
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Jun 25, 2018]
Lawry


Strength:

Discrete decoding stage. Very clear and precise especially compared to my much more expensive Acurus ACT-3. Remote is incredibly functional and elegant compared to modern processor remotes. Simple. Slim chassis looks fantastic.

Weakness:

Build quality like most Acurus equipment is mediocre. Doesn't play modern digital surround formats. Expensive, especially the remote which took me a year to find. A bit noisy, but not terrible like the ACT-3.

Price Paid:
$219
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1999
OVERALL
RATING
4
[Nov 14, 2017]
Bud Purvine
AudioPhile

One of the best values in Home Theater. These sold for around $800.00 street price when new. You can find them for under $300.00 on the used market. I have a McIntosh processor that costs around $4000.00 and this little ACT-1 will give you about 95% of the sound quality if you use it in a small to medium sized theater. I use it in conjunction with a 120" front projector and have watched about 50 movies in the last 4 months. It is a little hard to set up, but once you have it dialed in, the sound is breath taking and you can just leave it the way it is.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 14, 2017]
Peter L.
Casual Listener

I bought this off Ebay a few months ago for $160 to replace an Acurus ACT-3 which I didn't like. It was more than I wanted to spend for a Pro-Logic surround processor, but I like the way this old technology sounds. I rediscovered it after hearing it at a friends house last year. There's something special about the sound of simple discrete processing. The ACT-3 also has discrete processing but in comparison sounds closed in and hazy. Interestingly, I bumped into one of the original Acurus engineers at CES and he explained that the ACT-1 outsold the ACT-3 by 4 times. There should be a lot of used ACT-1 processors but they are relatively hard to find especially ones with working remotes. The ACT-3 by comparison is much easier to find on Ebay....I can only guess because of the lower sound quality and not price which appears similar for units in good condition. My only negative comment about is that it does have a slight hum which is also present in the ACT-3. Oh....I lied...it also doesn't decode any of the newish formats so you're stuck with Pro-Logic Surround which is fine by me. Pro-Logic actually sounds pretty amazing on blu-ray

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 21, 2016]
Wiltse C
Audio Enthusiast

I Bought this used on Canuck Audio Mart for $115 in ok condition. It exceeded my expectations. Just wish it had come with a remote. The lack of a display makes it hard to control, but once you have all the settings dialed in. NBD. Highly recommended if you're looking for first rate audiophile sound quality and don't mind the awkward interface. Oh yeah, it was engineered in the late 1990's so none of the new surround formats which don't really sound too good anyway.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 24, 2016]
K. Kennedy
Audio Enthusiast

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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