June 23, 2019
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The new Simaaudio’s Moon 390 – Classic outside, most modern inside.

The new Simaaudio’s Moon 390 – Classic outside, most modern inside.
The storied Canadian company Simaudio just released this easy-to-use device that combines the look, feel and sound of a traditional high-end stereo preamp with an impressive array of the most modern features.

Most notably, it features the MiND 2 streaming module (a built-in network player that lets you stream music from the likes of Tidal and Deezer, as well as files stored on a NAS or USB drive or computer) and it has multi-room capability. This means that can stream signals from its digital or analog inputs to other MiND 2 zones in your home.

The main difference between the Moon 390 and most of the other network audio players available is its high-resolution streaming: It can play Tidal tracks with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution – and it supports playback of up to 32-bit/384kHZ PCM and DSD 256 files via its Ethernet and USB ports. The Moon 390’s hardwired network connections are accompanied by Wi-Fi and wireless aptX Bluetooth streaming options. Its digital inputs include coaxial, optical, and AES-EBU, along with four HDMI 2.0 inputs and one HDMI-ARC port.

In terms of digital sound performance (we used it with Tidal), we were very impressed with the sound stage, as well as the clarity and the clean separation between the instruments and the vocals. At all times, the 390 sounds crisp and dynamic without any harshness. And while high-res audio is a big plus of the Moon 390, it also sounded great with 16-bit/44.1kHz. Analog sources are also well-supported: Both stereo RCA and balanced XLR inputs are provided, and the built-in phono preamp accommodates both moving-magnet and moving-coil phono cartridges. And the setup options even allow you to select gain, impedance and capacitance options for the phono input, as well as switch between a standard RIAA or an IEC EQ curve.

Simaudio is particularly known for is phono stages, so we were eager to test its analog performance too. The result did not disappoint: Its sound is again very crisp and dynamic.

As you see, Simaudio’s Moon 390 is probably the best equipped and most versatile stereo preamplifier on the market. It will satisfy you whether you want to stream high-res audio tracks or play your vinyls (or other analog sources). And on top of that, it allows you to stream its beautiful sound to multiple rooms in your home. And if you need a high-end stereo preamp that offers HDMI switching, including HDMI-ARC to stream sound from Netflix when watching TV for example, it can do that too – and much more.

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