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Simaudio Moon High End Audiophile Amplifiers and Sound

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  #21  
Old 03-10-2018, 01:20 AM
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Jerome W Jerome W is offline
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Hello Dan and friends,

So I received the Neo260D player 2 days ago.
I am extremely pleased with the unit.
I am using it in 2 modes. As a cd drive with a WireWorld Gold Starlight 6 AES EBU cable into the AMR DP777 dac. And as a standalone cd player using the rca analog outputs to my GAT preamp.
I am impressed by the built quality. Reminds me of Mark Levinson gear. I love the huge display.

For both configurations, I get a very refined and classy sound from my CDs. The accuracy of timbres is superb. The stereo image is extremely sharp and the sense of space in the recording is awesome. The noise level is extremely low. Silences are very «*deep*». I must say that I never heard CDs sounding so good.
The internal dac of the 260 is really excellent. I could leave easily with it and be very happy. The AMR has the same level of very high resolution and refinement, but it adds a few degrees of weight, texture, and better dynamics. First I thought that I was just getting a higher spl but with most recordings it became obvious that the AMR was not actually sounding louder. It is sounding stronger. The bass especially gets better definition and slam.
I guess, but it is only a guess, that the 260 and the AMR must be very close if not identical to the big Moon 650 player. I think about this because when listening to the 260 with the AMR dac I get the feeling that I am just listening to a better 260. The overall personality of the sound does not change at all. I should check but as far as I remember for its 16/44 dac, the AMR uses like Moon Burr Brown chips. They are probably the same. ( The AMR uses 2 separate dacs, selectable, one for Red Book and one for high resolution files ).

I do not regret at all ordering the Moon with the inboard dac. If one day I want to sell it ( this would be unlikely but who knows... ), I will sell it more easily. Moreover, Moons states that using the XLR outpouts of the player will lead to a better sound. But my preamp is an unbalanced one.
This player is a real high end one, with a very revealing yet ultra refined and musical and non fatiguing sound.

I have yet to compare it to my streaming system but I seriously doubt that the little SqueezeBox with its linear PSU may be at this level. I would need a far more «*serious*» streamer like the Aurender, Lumin and so on....

Just a few words on CD transports.
When I was using the McIntosh MDA1000 dac in my main system, and this was during full 7 years, I tried quite a few high end drives and I compared them and to my Squeeze Box. The MDA is a stellar dac but it puts his hands on the signal fed and delivers always the same sound, no matter the cd drive used ( as long as it has an AES EBU output, the MDA sounds a bit better through it than through coaxial outputs ) and I had lots of trouble in making the difference between the Squeeze Box and a high end cd drive. This was also the case at Jean Marc’s place comparing the Squeeze Box to the MCD1000. So I got the wrong feeling that CD drives do not matter with a stunning DAC as the MDA.
Then came the review of Emile on various dacs and the presentation to me of the AMR DP777. I bought it and compared it very carefully to the MDA1000. Yes, no doubts for me : the AMR was a winner in terms of definition and purity.
But less forgiving than the MDA. Some files on my SqueezeBox and some CDs on the Meridian 500 transport were sounding not so «*good*» as through the MDA and listening fatigue could appear.
So here comes the Neo260D player. And no matter the CDs I am playing through it and the AMR, the sound is fantastically musical and smooth.
Conclusion : CD drive may not be important with the MDA1000 because the MDA colors the sound and looses the highest resolution to reveal the differences. But with a high resolution dac, if you still play CDs, the need for a great CD drive is obvious.

Thanks a lot Dan for pointing me towards this stunning product.








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Last edited by jdandy; 03-10-2018 at 02:51 AM. Reason: enlarge photo
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  #22  
Old 03-10-2018, 02:54 AM
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Jerome.......I am pleased to read you are happy with the MOON Neo 260D DAC/Transport. I am equally pleased to hear the DAC in the 260D is at such a high level. No doubt having the DAC as part of the package offers you options that a transport only cannot provide. The MOON Neo 260D sure looks good in your rack. Happy listening my friend.
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LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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  #23  
Old 03-10-2018, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Jerome.......I am pleased to read you are happy with the MOON Neo 260D DAC/Transport. I am equally pleased to hear the DAC in the 260D is at such a high level. No doubt having the DAC as part of the package offers you options that a transport only cannot provide. The MOON Neo 260D sure looks good in your rack. Happy listening my friend.


Thanks Dan !
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  #24  
Old 03-10-2018, 05:00 AM
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At this rate, Ivan will have to add Simaudio to his stock list... Best price on 888?
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  #25  
Old 03-10-2018, 10:49 AM
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Jérôme, interesting write-up of your experience with the Moon.
And the comparison with the AMR DAC.
There is still a lot of life in the silver disc.
Enjoy!
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  #26  
Old 03-10-2018, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jdandy View Post



Ding dong the CD’s dead, or so goes the incessant chant of the magazine pundits who need to fill their pages with endless dribble about one prediction after another. Those magazine pages need to be filled with something. The fact is CD sales have been declining for years as high-res downloads and CD quality streaming entered the audio scene, but by no means are CD sales dead, nor are there any shortages of CD players and CD transports being introduced by respected audio manufacturers. I guess they must have missed the memo that CD’s died. One such respected audio manufacture, Simaudio in Quebec, Canada, isn’t influenced by the CD naysayers. They continue to offer the MOON Neo 260D Transport/DAC for those compact disc connoisseurs who reject the media’s herd mentality, and continue to embrace the impressive audio performance delivered by compact discs.

Simaudio’s MOON Neo 260D can be purchased in two forms, as a transport only ($2000) and as a transport/DAC ($3000) with the optional factory installed 32Bit DAC. Since my choice is to use an external DAC, I purchased the MOON Neo 260D transport only version. It is a robust CD transport with an oversized power supply that provides 13 stages of voltage regulation, five of which are dedicated to the transport. For an owner who may wish to add the DAC at a later date the MOON Neo 260D can be factory retrofitted with the DAC. The proprietary CD transport hardware and software are developed in-house. The CD drive is mounted on Simaudio’s M-Quattro gel-based 4-point floating suspension for vibration damping. This is said to allow ambient and spatial cues in recordings to come to life like never before. The 260D provides two SPDIF digital outputs, coaxial and AES/EBU balanced. With over 30 years of experience manufacturing audio components, Simaudio’s know-how is clearly represented in the MOON Neo 260D.

It is suggested in the 260D owner’s manual that performance will improve through 400 hours of break-in required for the numerous high quality electronic parts. I have played one CD after another continuously since unpacking the 260D transport, and when not listening to the transport I engaged the Repeat feature that allows uninterrupted playback until manually stopped. The MOON Neo 260D now has 414 hours of break-in completed. In addition, I changed the digital cable from a Wireworld Silver Starlight coaxial interconnect to a Wireworld Gold AES/EBU digital interconnect at 129 hours of break-in, so the AES/EBU cable now has 285 hours of break-in on it as well. From day one the Neo 260D has been powered with a two meter Wireworld Silver Electra power cable.

The MOON Neo 260D transport is feeding a digital stream to a Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC. The Yggdrasil has 1471 hours logged on it. From the very first CD I played on the 260D I have remained very impressed with the musical quality this combination delivers. In fact, once past 100 hours of break-in on the 260D I was unable to detect any difference in the playback performance versus the initial hours. The 260D transport performs disc spinning tasks and digital signal delivery invisibly. Its disc tray functions are silky smooth, gliding in and out in near silence. The various control buttons, all of which are duplicated on the slim remote control, have excellent tactile feel and immediate response. The red LED display is striking and the digits are large enough to read from across the room. Should you choose, the display can be turned off, but will momentarily illuminate to show command changes, then returns to display off. The transport allows for a single repeat of the CD or continuous repeat, as well as programmed playback. The layout of the MOON Neo 260D transport controls is intuitive and takes no more than a few minutes to become second nature.

Listening to the 260D transport through the Yggdrasil DAC is pure joy. There is nothing about the playback quality from the transport that makes it readily identifiable from the Aurender N100H music server. In fact, the Gen5 USB input on the latest Yggdrasil DAC is so transparent it duplicates the same high degree of musicality as a CD playing in the 260D transport. I made direct comparisons of several CD’s against their FLAC file versions on the N100H and discovered both to be extremely close in sonic integrity, although on occasion CD playback from the 260D did manage a slightly more convincing sound stage, but for the most part the Aurender N100H music server and the MOON Neo 260D transport remained kissing cousins on one recording after another.

Some may question the need for a transport when a high-end music server is part of a sound system. I can understand the quizzical interest, but in my situation a transport provides one more useful source component that allows me to spin CD’s at will without having to first rip them on a computer, then drag and drop them on the server’s hard drive before being able to enjoy the recording. I have friends who visit and often bring a handful of CD’s they want to hear on my systems. Without a transport I would not be able to accommodate that request. In addition, sometimes I just feel like spinning CD’s, kind of like how I enjoy the ritual of playing LP’s. Handling the CD case, reading the CD booklet, placing the CD in the transport, and controlling it via the remote are all part of the fun. Some may see a transport in my sound system as redundant, but in the end I am the only one who has to be satisfied with the build and capabilities of my sound system, so I say to each their own.

I have not discovered a single thing about the Simaudio MOON Neo 260D transport that doesn’t please me. It is well constructed, simple and intuitive to operate, and performs its tasks silently. Playback quality is superb, although the DAC in use will always impact the final audible results. The combination of the MOON Neo 260D transport, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC, and Wireworld Gold Starlight AES/EBU digital interconnect make for a formidable digital playback package that comes in under $5K. That is an incredibly attractive price point for a level of digital performance that easily stands toe to toe with competitors costing three times that price or more. I would not hesitate to recommend the Simaudio MOON Neo 260D transport to anyone looking to add CD playback to their DAC. If that DAC is the new Yggdrasil, all the better. This component combination provides consistently amazing digital performance.


That would look pretty sitting next to my 430HD! Nice purchase.
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  #27  
Old 03-10-2018, 12:12 PM
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Jerome W Jerome W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bart View Post
Jérôme, interesting write-up of your experience with the Moon.

And the comparison with the AMR DAC.

There is still a lot of life in the silver disc.

Enjoy!


Thanks Bart !
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  #28  
Old 03-10-2018, 12:14 PM
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jdandy jdandy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert_Anderson View Post
That would look pretty sitting next to my 430HD! Nice purchase.
Bob.......I'm certain Simaudio can put your name on a MOON Neo260D and get it coming your way.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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  #29  
Old 03-10-2018, 12:16 PM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
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Long live the silver disk!

Thanks for sharing your findings Jerome. I’ve only heard my Moon 260D for the first time yesterday so I will have to spend more time listening and evaluating it but based on yours and Dan’s findings, I’m sure it is a great unit.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:54 PM
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Jerome W Jerome W is offline
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Long live the silver disk!



Thanks for sharing your findings Jerome. I’ve only heard my Moon 260D for the first time yesterday so I will have to spend more time listening and evaluating it but based on yours and Dan’s findings, I’m sure it is a great unit.


Hi Serge !
That's funny. The old gang all gets a 260 !
Ivan, Jim, David..... when do you get yours ?
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