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RMAF 2011: Simaudio, Sonus Faber

Simaudio VP Costa Koulisakis with his hand on an all-silver $8,000 Simaudio Moon Evolution 650d DAC/Transport. This is the unit that Stereophile’s Michael Fremer found to be a world-beater in the November 2011 issue. Heady stuff. I hope to get up close and personal with one of these units (or it’s big brother!) at some point.

That CD/DAC was feeding a $12k Moon Evolution 700i integrated amplifier and from there, powering the $10k Sonus Faber Cremona M loudspeakers. Sound quality in this room was rich, detailed, and totally ballsy.

A note about the 750D/650D DAC/Transports. They use what appears to be an ASRC circuit as part of a 2-stage jitter elimination process before the signal is handed to the DAC chipsets. This process Simaudio calls MAJiC32 and it’s applied uniformly for all inputs and is why they call their entire unit “asynchronous”.

The difference between these to units has to do with the ESS DAC chip each is using (750D uses the ES9018 and the 650D uses the ES9016) as well as the number of DAC chips doing the processing (8/channel in the 750D and 4/channel in the 650D).

Both units are limited to 48kHz sampling over USB curently, however, that’s scheduled to change — and that’s not all. According to Costa:

We have not nailed down the exact release date for the high-rez USB option on the 650D and 750D, but it will be sometime later this quarter or in Q1/2012.

When the module becomes available, it will become the standard board in the 650D and 750D, and the current 16/48 USB board will no longer be offered.  It will impact the price by about a $1000 – $1500 premium.  Please note that this upgrade isn’t only to the USB section; there are other improvements made to the digital board that will have an impact by way of a sonic improvement on the AES/EBU, S/PDIF and optical inputs.  Therefore, the aforementioned price encompasses all the upgrades involved.

Owners of current 650D’s and 750D’s will be offered an option to upgrade at a cost reflected in the price difference between the current and upgraded version.  The upgrade will be a field upgrade.

Standing by, looking attractive and a bit more affordable, were some refreshes to the mainstays to the Moon Classic lineup including the $4800 the Moon P5.3 Special Edition, the $5550 CD5.3 Special Edition and the new $8500 W5.3 Special Edition 175wpc @ 8ohm/350wpc @ 4ohm amplifier.

Some joker kept mucking about with the digital server. No idea who that guy is (Eveyone, say “hi” to Chris Connaker of Computer Audiophile).

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About Scot Hull (979 Articles)

Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.