By Todd Anderson on Feb 15, 2019 at 4:59 PM
  1. Todd Anderson

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    Indy Audio Labs Officially Releases Its Acurus Muse Processor and M8 Amp

    [​IMG]
    (Acurus) The all-new Muse preamp (top) and M8 amplifier.

    (February 15, 2019) Indy Audio Labs, makers of Aragon and Acurus branded home theater processors and amplifiers, has officially launched the all-new Acurus Muse immersive sound processor and M8 amplifier.

    Originally revealed at CEDIA 2018, Muse is a highly capable pre-pro that carries a rather tempting price tag of $5,500. The unit offers owners 16-channels of processing power, delivering up to 112 different surround sound and immersive sound audio configurations. That figure includes immersive arrays taking advantage of Muse’s 15.1 Atmos processing capabilities and 11.1 DTS:X decoding; Auro-3D technology – the third immersive technology on the market – is not included. Of course, a range of legacy codecs along with upmixing solutions like Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X are provided.

    Video-wise, Muse offers HDMI 2.0b compatibility. That means full support for modern 4K HDR video requirements, including HDCP 2.2 copy protection and Dolby Vision passthrough. The unit’s backside offers owners seven HDMI inputs along with two HDMI outputs (one is HDMI 2.0b, the other is HDMI 1.4).

    Connectivity features also include 12 balanced XLR outputs and a DB9 connection point. If you’re doing the math, it quickly becomes evident that Muse’s native XLR outputs can’t support a 16-channel setup. That’s where the DB9 connector comes into play. Acurus sells a single CAB-20 cable ($249) that splits the DB9’s output into four balanced XLR connections… thus adding the necessary channels for 15.1 performance.

    In order to fine tune output, Muse’s settings offer fairly standard loudspeaker adjustments (delay, polarity, speaker size, and crossover settings), along with PEQ and Acurus’s proprietary ASPEQT Room Correction System.

    The front of Muse’s reasonably small rack-mountable chassis (3.5” x 17” x 15”, 23 lbs) is wickedly gorgeous, sporting the Acurus name laser etched in a black satin anodized faceplate. Here, you’ll also find a colorful 5” LCD touch-panel that gives access to a user interface that Acurus says is “intuitive” (setup is also available through a free mobile app).

    According to Indy Audio Labs Co-Founder/CTO, Ted Moore: “With the availability of the Muse and M8, Acurus has performance audio solutions that span a huge spectrum of installer applications, especially given the Muse’s ability to natively decode 16-channels of Atmos content.”

    Speaking of the M8 ($3,500), this 8-channel amplifier delivers 160 watts per channel (8 ohms, all channels driven, THD <0.08%) or 320 watts per channel in bridged mode, using a class D topology. Interface options include IR, 12V trigger, RS232, Ethernet, and compatibility with various third party solutions.

    The M8’s size matches that of the Muse, while adding 11 lbs to the overall weight.

    “Applications are abound for the M8, including bundling as a companion amplifier for our ACT 4 20-channel immersive processor when rack space is a factor,” says Moore.
     
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Comments

Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, Feb 15, 2019.

    1. Jack

      Jack Moderator
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      Those look so very interesting and I really like the name "Muse". Class "D" amp means high power and not much heat dissipation for use in many A/V racks.
      Thanks for the update
       
    2. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      This is pretty cool!

      I’ll just mention, Class D amplification also means more of the walls power can be turned into sound. With the need to potentially power 11 channels of power, the idea of losing half or more of an outlets available continuous current becomes a more serious concern. These amps are often 90+% efficient.

      I think this smaller form factor is great. I wish it was more common.
       
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    3. thrillcat

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      Acurus will never not win the salivating industrial design award.

      According to my friends who heard it at CEDIA it is well worth it’s price tag.

      The DB9 connector and breakout cable is a great idea for keeping base price down for those who may never go over the base channels. I’d have liked to see an actual rack mountable breakout box option, however. But still, awesome.

      Oh, and same friends reported positively on the room correction. Always a concern today, with great 3rd party options, DIY options, and some less desirable proprietary options.
       
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    4. Grayson Dere

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      The MUSE processor and M8 amp offering seems like a great contender in the mix of today's plethora of Home Theater electronics.
       
    5. Todd Anderson

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      I put in a review sample request for May timeframe. Hopefully they’ll be up for the opportunity!
       
    6. Todd Anderson

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      Great news - we’ve got a review booked. Several months out, but AV NIRVANA is going to take these beautifies for a spin!
       
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    7. Kal Rubinson

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      Any EQ options?
       
    8. Todd Anderson

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      It has an auto EQ package... I'm checking with Acurus about other EQ.
       
    9. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      Very cool Todd. Look forward to your impressions.
       
    10. Kal Rubinson

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      "Auto EQ package."
       
    11. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      Hey Kal, Acurus developed their own proprietary eq method instead of licensing DIRAC or similar.

      They have released very little details on how their eq works or what it is.

      If I were a betting man, I would guess it is based on minimum phase IIR filters and probably is basically generating a few peq filters to tame room modes. I don’t suspect it is as sophisticated as some of the others given the development time, lack of details, and chipset they use.
       
    12. Kal Rubinson

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      I am OK with that but I was just asking what it was. Proprietary is OK in principle.
       
    13. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      They call it ASPEQT.

      I’m ok with proprietary too. I’ve just had a lot of
      Mixed experiences with it. My subjective experience with and measurements of some proprietary have shown severe flaws. On the other hand, products like Anthem ARC have proven pretty useful for what they are.
       
    14. Todd Anderson

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      From Acurus:


      “Yes there are manual EQ settings as well in the speaker setup section of the MUSE front panel GUI or through the web interface You could use these instead of ASPEQT or go in after the auto EQ and fine tune if you want.”
       
    15. Todd Anderson

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      I guess the big question: bass Management!
       
    16. Matthew J Poes

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      Well the ACT 4 was hugely flexible. Is it the same as the ACT 4?

      Can you ask them what ASPEQT is? How does it work? Does it use multiple listening position measurements? What kind of filters does it you? Over what range does it apply the filters?

      Inquiring minds want to know!
       
    17. Kal Rubinson

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      Here's what I found out about ASPEQT:
      "The ASPEQT system is a standalone tool for Acurus processor (ACT 4 OR MUSE) integrators that uses four measurement microphones in conjunction with a very small networked signal processing unit that communicates with the processor. The processor's tone generator is applied individually through each speaker in the room layout and the measurements are taken from four different positions in the room. The system then performs proprietary analysis on the measurements and calculates an "optimized mapping" of the room's acoustic environment. The calculation results are uploaded to the Acurus processor (ACT 4 or MUSE) through the LAN and the processor will update its internal EQ settings accordingly. All the processes are automated and setup adjustments are available via the front panel GUI or through any mobile device. ASPEQT will provide the integrator with a very user-friendly, rapid acoustic optimization tool whilst also furnishing a wide-range of customization options for more detailed analysis and adjustments if desired."
       

      Attached Files:

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    18. Matthew J Poes

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      Thats helpful. The most detail I've seen yet. Thanks for finding that Kal.

      Kal, would you interpret that to suggest the actual correction is based on the EQ capabilities built into the unit. That it is automating the process that is currently possible manual? If so, then this is exactly what I suspected it was. That is ok, I would rather basic PEQ done right than complex FIR room transfer function inversion done badly.

      I just hope they made good choices (or provide good controls) to avoid applying any PEQ above 500hz or so. Trying to apply anything but shelf filters using IIR filters that high isn't a good idea based on in room measurements, of any kind or quantity. I also hope the room curve generation that is used is reasonable, as that has screwed up a lot of the existing prodcuts on the market. Either the room curve they use is wrong or it is wrong for the speakers being corrected.
       
    19. Kal Rubinson

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      That is all I know but I have asked for details about the relationship between the EQ kit and the target devices. I suspect that they do not have enough documentation available. For example, ASPEQT is not covered in the documentation for the ACT4 or the Muse.
       
    20. Matthew J Poes

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      That’s helpful. I loook forward to what you find.
       
    21. Todd Anderson

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      Thanks for getting that info Kal. Interesting that it deploys 4 microphones... that's rather unique.
       
    22. Matthew J Poes

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      It’s designed to simplify setup. Lexicon did the same thing.

      https://www.soundandvision.com/content/lexicon-mc-12-v4-room-eq-upgrade-kit

      If you think about it, let’s say you need 12 measurements to get good information. Then you only need to take 3 measurements to get all 12. Such arrays are more common for professional setups. However since REW is single channel, we can’t be fancy like that with REW.

      I am curious how it’s used. Some systems have matrixed the mics together which gives effectively An average. However the impulse response is wrong and it doesn’t tell you anything about the deviation spot to spot, so it also introduces potential errors.
       
    23. Todd Anderson

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      Simplified sounds nice! I’m curios too
       

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