The moon 430HA
2- Yep. 3.5k MSRP
$3500. Ouch. Not as bad as I'd anticipated, but still pretty bad. And for everything they did right on this, it's insane that they didn't have an XLR passthrough, only RCA. Don't know if they're afraid of it taking some business from their preamps, but even a line-level XLR out would've been cool by me. Still, due to my innate gear whoredom, I'm still interested to see what the consensus is on this, especially given how incredibly well the higher-end Simaudio integrateds (i600, i700) have apparently paired with the HE-6.
Wonder if there's a discount of poor headphile gear whores... :(
I saw this while nosing around....help me understand a couple things about this unit.
Probably the most exploding category in audio electronics right now is one that barely existed 10 years ago: dedicated headphone amps. The latest models have all the build quality, features and over-the-top engineering of the finest conventional amps. Plus prices to match: Simaudio just announced a new model for $3,500 -- plus another $700 if you want the USB digital-to analog converter option. And Beyerdynamic's new A2 comes pretty close, at $1,699. Both represent very serious efforts at state-of-the-art headphone sound.
The Simaudio Moon Nēo 430HA (shown above) is a fully balanced design rated at a whopping 8 watts into 50 ohms, probably enough to drive any headphone ever made. An optional digital-to-analog convertor (DAC) board handles PCM signals up to 32 bit/384 kilohertz, and DSD signals up to DSD256 (quad DSD) resolution. The analog version has RCA and XLR inputs, and balanced 4-pin XLR, 3-pin XLR, and 1/4-inch outputs. The version with the DAC adds USB, coaxial and Toslink optical digital inputs. The Nēo 430HA's slated to ship in Q3 of this year.
What do you all think about the 2 versions (Amp only and Amp + DAC). I think it is pretty smart........
I hear ya there. On another I think it was a thread on another forum, someone stated 'another over-priced headphone amp'......and someone else stated - overpriced=no, expensive=yes.......pretty distinct difference. The ones I'm looking at go from mid $2k (Naim V1 amp/DAC), $4200 (Simaudio amp/DAC), $5500 (Auralic Vega/Taurus or Eddie Current 2A3/Metrum Octave), $7k (Auralic Vega/Cavalli Liquid Glass). I'm looking for a one time purchase - end game - so I don't go on the treadmill of buying / selling that I have done with mobile audio. The Auralic combo is what I am dreaming about currently, but the closest retailer is Atlanta - would rather purchase from my local guy (Naim/Simaudio). I may be able to listen to the Naim gear, this Simaudio piece, and the Auralic combo in the next several months. I'm hoping the sound of one of the systems just truly grabs me......I'm afraid that they will all sound amazing (but one doesn't 'blow away' the others), and then it will be something other than the sound / experience that will tip the decision.