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Moon by Simaudio 680D streaming DAC

As you would want and expect, the Moon 680D is able to seek and play from all of the major sites and all hi‑res source material. If your home is so configured it will also support multi-room synchronous playback. The 680D offers nine input options covering all of the expected options including USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF, Optical, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and aptX audio for Bluetooth, and to aid wireless set-up. The unit has two included Wi-Fi antennae giving a nod toward the robustness of the wireless capabilities. The FRM-3 metal remote is robust and very capable.

The MiND2 app is also your path toward all firmware updates. One was available during my time with the 680D. It was simple and painless. Nice to see as they typically incorporate a half dozen or so updates annually. As I opened the app it indicated a firmware release was available and initiated the update. Simaudio handles all aspects of audio in house but they do work with some outside programmers who excel at network related programming to make sure all aspects of their MiND2 works optimally on as wide a variety of systems and networks as possible. MiND2 is, of course, totally proprietary. All of the audio specific portions of MiND2 are developed and maintained in house. Once initiated, the 680D’s screen indicated an update in progress. A few seconds later it was done and on with the music I went. No Harry Potter style Dark Arts mastery required; Moon does offer YouTube instructional videos should you want to watch how to install, but these are not mandatory to set up the 680D. Given the net-savvy skills of the average six-year-old today, it’s literally child’s play.

One welcome upgrade feature is an external power supply. The £7,200 Moon 820S can provide DC for power up to two separate components, from a pool of six products in the Moon range. So, if you had the aforementioned 740P preamplifier (or, for that matter, the 810LP phono stage) it could also utilise the 820S to power both units with higher end power and greater isolation. It’s always nice to have a system upgrade path should you want one.

Speaking of upgrade paths, one challenge with DAC’s is advancing technology. A great amp or preamp can provide decades of reference quality functionality. DAC’s, however, can be surpassed with changes in digital technology. Many of my colleagues have expressed concern about expensive DAC’s becoming outdated in short order. How can you have confidence that your new pricey DAC will be credible in the future? I spoke to Dominique Poupart, Moon’s product manager, who said that product obsolescence was not a concern with Moon’s DAC design. By using daughterboards, Moon can switch out the DAC chip to something more advanced when the time comes to move on from the ESS 9028Pro chip. This would be a dealer upgrade to manage warranty concerns. Dominique did mention that since the 680D was a fresh design there were no current plans for any chip changes on the table currently, yet the path was already in the planning for the future. Also upgradeable is the MiND2 platform; should a MiND3 ever become available the upgrade for the dealer would be very straightforward. This is not an empty statement either; any owner of an original MiND streaming platform was able to upgrade in this same fashion to the new MiND2 when it became available. That’s reassuring to know when you are spending almost nine grand on a DAC! Dominique was excited that Moon is able to allow its products to evolve and yet bring existing owners along with the advances in technology.

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Tags: 680D MOON BY SIMAUDIO STREAMING DAC

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