CEDIA 2018: Simaudio Moon 390 hits a GRAND SLAM

We’re fortunate to get to learn, listen and play with lots of great products.  But sometimes we come across something that surprises us.  In the Roon Labs booth at CEDIA, they had assembled an army of the best streaming DACs for attendees to listen to over Audeze headphones. In that sea of great devices, one stood out from the rest….

All of the usual suspects were lined up the booth: dCS, T+A, MyTek, Bryston, Moon by Simaudio to name a few. All of which offered something special and different.  After listening to almost all of them, my favorite was the Moon 390 Network Player. It offered the total package, at an amazing price point and a sound that I would be proud to own and listen to everyday.

In today’s age, homes are getting smaller and space is a premium. We don’t have endless amounts of real estate to drop in a stacks of components and cables. Maybe we don’t need to?  The Moon 390 offers a complete package in a smaller box that includes :

  • a quality pre-amplifier
  • a headphone pre-amplifier
  • a phono pre-amplifier with support for both MM and MC cartridges!
  • a DAC capable of 32/384 PCM, Quad rate DSD, and MQA
  • a streamer that is Roon Ready and supports Moons MiND2 protocol
  • 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI outputs to provide video switching and audio from your HDMI source

I absolutely love the fact that they added HDMI. If you are like me, and have your stereo in a shared space in your home, the is a high probability there is a TV in that room.  Having the ability to have a HDMI switch for your TV sources as well as the ability to easily pull the audio from these sources is a real convenience.

Just add an amp and your favorite speakers and you have assembled a fabulous system.

The Moon 390 is shipping now at a price of $5200 USD.

Phono Pre-amp

Interest in Vinyl continues to grow (YES!) and we continue to see manufactures add a Phono input to various products. Unfortunately most times, it is a bolt on, with limited support for just moving magnet (MM) phono cartridges. This isn’t the case on the Moon 390 which felt more like a full dedicated phono pre-amplifier. Dominique Poupart of Simaudio provided us a demo of the Moon 390 Phono Pre-amp features in the following video:

Moon MiND Streaming Support

Moon refer’s to their streaming technology as MiND (Moon Intelligent Network Device).   With the release on the Moon 390, Moon has updated their streaming capability from MiND to MiND2.  A complete list of its features follows with Roon support being the newest edition:

  • Roon Ready
  • Tidal, with Tidal Masters support
  • Deezer with Deezer Hi-Fi support
  • Qobuz, with Qobuz Sublime+ support
  • Tune-In Internet radios
  • Music Services fully integrated in MiND Network Player and application
  • UPnP Compatibility

Existing customers with any Moon equipment that support MiND, can have their dealer upgrade it to MiND2 as a hardware upgrade.  Poupart mentioned that the upgrade is available at a significantly discounted price for the month of Sept 2018 for existing customers. Specifically the upgrade cost during the month of September is 500 USD or 650 CDN. After September the upgrade price increases to 1000 USD or 1300 CDN.

An interesting feature of MiND is the ability to stream from one MiND device in your home to another. For example if you played vinyl on your turntable connected to the Moon 390 in your living room, you could stream the turntable to another MiND capable device in your bedroom.

Headphone Pre-amp

We spend a few minutes listening to different content types 16/44, MQA, Double DSD on the Moon 390 streamed from Roon to a pair of Audeze headphones.

The sound was dynamic, light, airy, easy to listen to. I was tempted to find a way to squeeze the unit into my camera bag as I exited the booth. Next time maybe we can have a listen to it through a pair of speakers with a turntable hooked up to it.