Sim Audio Moon 260D Neo and 250i Neo

Integrated amplifiers,
Disc players,
Digital-to-analog converters
Simaudio 250i Neo,
Simaudio 260D Neo
Sim Audio Moon 260D Neo and 250i Neo

Some products arrive with a bang. Suddenly they seem to be everywhere. They are flavour of the month, the new big thing, on the front cover of every magazine, and in the window of every store (real or virtual). Then – more often than not – they disappear almost as quickly, although this time it’s not so much of a bang, more of a whimper; brushed aside by the latest new kid on the block. It’s a disturbing tendency that’s driven in no small part by the audio magazines, always looking for a hot new story. But this rate of change is also increasing, driven by the faster tempo and shorter product lifespans, dictated by computer audio and its association with a bigger, faster-moving global consumer market that dwarfs our little niche industry. The problem is that in many (not all) cases, these high-profile products are, if not best avoided then at least approached with caution. Why? For the simple fact that their ultimate quality, reliability, and longevity remain unproven. Most of us keep our purchases for longer than the shelf-life of an audio magazine, so staying power matters. The products to buy are the ones that don’t just deliver, but deliver long-term (not just in a 30 minute demonstration) and go on delivering, year in, year out. Products, in fact, just like Sim Audio’s Moon series electronics…

The first generation Moon integrated amp graced the pages of Hi-Fi+ as long ago as Issue 13 and it was a product that we grew to love and trust. “Grew to” because it took an unconscionable length of time to run-in and reveal its true musical worth as well as its astonishing all-rounder status. It was a lesson well learnt and one that is just as crucial in the case of the latest Moon electronics, dubbed the Neo series. These products might be three generations on from that original integrated amp, but the DNA is strong, the line of descent clear and unbroken. The musical qualities that made the i5 so engaging, entertaining, and satisfying are all present and correct – and then some.

Of course, times have changed since Issue 13 and these days, few companies offer amplification alone. Moving from the slow developmental pace of solid-state amplifier technology to the ever-changing moods of CD replay came as a culture shock to some, a fatal blow to others, but it’s a step that Sim Audio took in their stride. What we have here, in the shape of the 260D Neo CD player/DAC and 250i Neo amp are their current take on that original recipe, serious audio for the budget conscious audiophile – not starter level products, but equipment that does everything well enough to present a credible challenge to far more expensive products, a performance hurdle or benchmark those more esoteric offerings will need to clear.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Articles