Moon and Dynaudio – AXPONA 2017

by Rafe Arnott

Fly me to the Moon…

Moon by Simaudio is a marque that seems to be making deep inroads into the audiophile consciousness these days. No newcomer to the scene – the Canadian company has been around for 35 years – the well-known Moon category of products launched in 1997 after research & development went into expanding on their initial circuit offerings, such as the highly popular “Celeste” series of high-fidelity products. The Boucherville, Quebec-based Simaudio continues to refine their designs while maintaining true to their core philosophy of conveying the spirit and emotion of music through products of distinction. A noble pursuit, and one that probably explains why I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every set-up I’ve heard over the years that was fronted with Simaudio gear.

The last few years has seen many other manufactures looking to the Moon product line to pair with their own electronics, cables, loudspeakers or software at every show I’ve attended, with the number of companies incorporating the Moon line at industry events like AXPONA almost exponentially increasing in just the last two years alone. It seems the transparency, delicacy, authority, musicality, and timing accuracy of their all their products (their digital to analog converters in particular), is garnering rightly-earned attention on the global high-fidelity stage. One of the first Moon products I had a crush on was the reference-level 810LP phono preamplifier, a simple black-box affair in a large-ish chassis with a galaxy of dip switches located on the bottom of the unit for fine-tuning every aspect of cartridge loading. Simaudio described it as an “all-out assault” on phono preampfification, and I’d have to agree with their description. But the incredible texture, palpability, and innately human presence to the sound that are hallmarks of the 810LP are present throughout the two core Moon lines.

The system Quintessence Audio had curated in Chicago featured enough Moon gear in the signal path to ensure that the Dynaudio Contour 60 loudspeakers were positively humming with a deep, emotionally-impactful sound that belied their relatively modest $10,000 price point, and had more than one listener shaking their head in appreciation of the sound while I took in the room. The Moon series is split into two distinct tiers: Moon Neo (branded as “affordable luxury”), and Moon Evolution (reference level). I’ve heard several components from both series paired with a number of loudspeakers, and they consistently deliver compulsive “love of the music” sound, with more effortless power, dynamics, and conviction as you move up the line.