Simaudio Moon 600i V2 Review • Very good dynamics, detail and presentation
Simaudio Moon 600i V2 is a transistor amplifier, in the case of which there is only an amplifier and nothing more. Up to 5 W works in class A, then goes to AB. No negative feedback. Double mono honest is not an attempt to show symmetry inside the case, but a separation that begins with two equal-sized power toroidal transformers.
By the way, here I satisfied my interest on the subject of who makes power transformers for Simaudio Moon. In this particular machine, they are produced by the American company Avel Lindberg, and they are wound at a factory in Sri Lanka. This is the kind of globalization. However, I don’t see anything bad here.
Further on the filling, I did not find anything unusual: solid assembly, decent components, including custom-made ones. This is just the case when the absence of the unusual is rather pleasing. I will not say that originality is bad, but when I found a switching power supply in the preamplifier and simultaneously the digital source of the Simaudio Moon 390, it was a little uncomfortable.
However, I have come across amplifiers with impulse quality and decent sound – and in this case, too, everything ended well. But audiophile conservatism, it is: looked at the insides of the Simaudio Moon 600i V2 – and calmed down.
The functionality is simple. Inputs are line-level only, individually adjustable ± 10 dB. The output volume can also be limited for each input, and the inputs can be named. In addition, if the amplifier supports SimLink joint control and works in tandem with a digital source supporting proprietary MiND technology, then through the native application on the tablet it is possible to control the volume and inputs.
Such switching can be configured for only one input – by default it is a balanced amplifier input. The device also has a pair of unbalanced line outputs, two pairs of speaker terminals and an RS232 control interface.
One thing somewhat upset – the circuitry is declared as balanced, and there is only one balanced input. That is, if the owner suddenly wants to use a decent native digital source, and, for example, not the youngest native phono stage, then he will have to choose what to connect via a balanced connection and what via an unbalanced one. It is illogical. The oldest Simaudio Moon 700i v2, by the way, has the same input configuration, so it’s not about economy.
The M-eVOL2 has a very smooth volume control, which uses an R2R matrix – the same as in the brand’s older preamplifier. Looking ahead, I will say that the adjustment is really very smooth. So smooth that I don’t even know if it is necessary in this form. But even at a low volume, the sound retains integrity and harmony, does not become flat. That, perhaps, is all – then just listen.
And one more thing about the installation. In principle, it is most logical to arrange the components in a rack, in the most familiar way. And in the case of an amplifier, this is exactly what should be done – after all, it heats up quite noticeably and needs air. But with other components of the manufacturer, you can do differently – use the Evolution Series Bridge.
These are special spacers equipped with dampers that allow components to be stacked on top of each other (it is logical that they are suitable for older series devices with equally spaced triangular anchor points on the cases). In the case when the devices are one of those that do not give significant heating, this can be a good option if you are constrained in the ability to use a large classic equipment rack.
The test system consisted of a Simaudio Moon 780D v2 DAC, a Simaudio Moon 650D player (worked exclusively as an external disk transport), and Dynaudio Confidence 20 bookshelf speakers . By the way, this is not the first time I’ve heard this acoustics in a similar combination – the Simaudio Moon components are in the showroom at the Dynaudio factory.
Calm and neatness
To begin with, I put on a Bingo Miki & Inner Galaxy Orchestra “Montreux Cyclone” CD. The presentation was calm and intelligent, but confident, without timidity. The sound is light, but not brightly transparent, but slightly dull – only this is never a veil. The detail is very good, only there is no sharpness at all. Everything is smooth, calm, not intrusive and at the same time disposes to thoughtful listening and immersion.
There is not much bass in conjunction with actually two-way bookshelf speakers, but the control is good. There is peace of mind. One could call it softness, but the elaboration is just very decent – there is both speed and volume. At the same time, there is no heaviness or rudeness.
The middle is very pleasant, a little restrained, but not at all cold and not boring – there is no formalism at all, and the detail is good. There seems to be not a lot of top, but everything is clearly audible – also detailed and legible. Complex parts in music are beautifully intertwined, the sound is multifaceted and quite airy. The device (and the system as a whole) works very well for quiet sounds, shades and intonations. Scene, volume and air are fully present.
On the whole, the sound absolutely gravitates towards thoughtful intimate listening – it seems to exist only for a specific listener, and does not try to fill everything with itself, without fail and roughly attract attention. And with all this there is dynamics, and intelligibility, and a lot of subtle points. An unusual and pleasant combination.
The next disc is Sylvain Luc “Trio Sud”. The recording itself is quite expressive, open, with raised bass and lower mids, which are enough to make even a slightly unbalanced system lose control. But that did not happen. The scale and volume are audible, but everything is within the bounds of decency – and the sound does not fall into vulgar emotionality. But he does not lose his free charm either. However, at the same time, the volume is not compressed, I did not notice any craving for intimacy here. And the whole expression of music looks in our case a little more restrained, a little neater, but without losing in details and shades.
What, again, is unusual – the sound very delicately balances between restrained conservatism and some kind of honest transparency. There is no shyness, angular tightness or boredom here.
Plus control over acoustics. The new Dynaudio Confidence series clearly does not require a “welding machine” as an amplifier, but it is also obvious that the acoustics does not intend to forgive the flaws in the path – and if there were problems with control, it would be perfectly audible.
Played The Album Leaf “In a Safe Place”. The atmosphere is very good, but still neat. There are things on this album with a specifically written bass: it is not deep, but in some cases it almost makes your ears sound – an obvious overload. In our case, this feature is audible, but the acoustics did not start – everything is within the permissible limits. As for the rest, the system divided and singled out different parties very nicely – everything is somehow in plain sight, clearly, but not pretentious. And the sound does not disintegrate at all into details.
Then you need something more complicated and more energetic. I decided to listen to DJ Krush’s “Zen” album. A good, complex varied rhythm, far from simplistic, good elasticity and harmony of the sound in general. You can hear a lot of details, the scene is complex. But here it turned out too light, in my opinion. And sometimes a little gloom would be needed, even if slender and detailed. The rest is flat bass, middle and flat top. At the same time, you can hear that the music is complex, multifaceted – and, moreover, it is written very well.
After – a compulsory program in the “heavy genre”. Included Shape Of Despair “Illusion’s Play”. And here it turned out interesting. Attack, drive, detail, even the general atmosphere – everything is there. And sharpness or simplification is also not audible. But all synthetics in music are noticeable very clearly – somewhere the synthesizer is not very good, somewhere else something. And the music, which seemed to be conceived and played like metal, turns out to be a little puppet-comic and not at all scary.
This effect is familiar to me – in practice it is a dilemma for fans of the genre. Either agree with a similar sound, or choose albums that are really well (albeit very dirty) recorded. Or choose a system that will be easier to play, but denser, without going into nuances so much.
What’s more interesting about this kit is that it didn’t impress me with a system with extremely legible and corrosively detailed sound. Although you can hear a lot. Because the whole presentation as a whole does not emphasize the detail or decent timbre honesty, which, meanwhile, are present.
Cecilia Bartoli, Andras Schiff’s “Italian Songs” CD just didn’t want to stop. I love this music and it was a pleasure to listen to it here. First of all, due to the details, very good elaboration of each part (without any sharpness and prickleness) and an excellent scene.
Perhaps sometimes the sound seemed too restrained and intelligent, but it would suit a calm listener who appreciates delicacy without question. I lacked the expression and liveliness a little. Although I did not hear anything plastic or simplified. Apparently, he just got used to a more open presentation when listening to this recording. But in general, everything is not bad.
And finally – the Eighth Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams. In principle, everything is also very good. First of all, I want to listen to music. The sound turned out to be lighter and more solid than I expected, but there is no porridge, no loss of dynamics. Good string parts, good orchestral stage, air. Such is the presentation – neat and light. It was a bit unusual, but I didn’t want to turn off the system – there was something special about it.
The amplifier is definitely not for everyone and everyone. But if someone sinks into the soul – it will not be easy to find an analogue. The functionality, except for that very single balanced input, is optimal – I see no need to add or subtract. And the honed own sound signature and character always command respect.
Even taking into account a very, very ambiguous price, with which the device will not easily get along in the market. But there are enough amplifiers that strive to impudently smudge the listener or sluggishly mumble on the sidelines – but such a combination of accuracy, intelligence, calmness with obviously very good dynamics, detail and clean presentation is not common at all.