“Since the advent of the CD, listeners have been deprived of the full experience of listening.” – Neil Young PonoPlayers...
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Michael Fremer has posted a review of the Simaudio Moon Evolution 650D CD player ($8000) at Stereophile. His conclusions:
At $8000, the Simaudio Moon Evolution 650D, made in North America, is not inexpensive. But it's beautifully built (if not so beautiful to look at), and it performed flawlessly during the review period. Most important, its sound rivaled the best PCM digital I've heard in my listening room. I'm sorry I didn't have the dCS Debussy here for a direct comparison, but I suspect that the 650D is comparable for $3000 less. Still, the price of the input-board upgrade has yet to be announced; if you need a hi-rez USB connection, it will cost somewhat more.
The Moon 650D impressed me with its extremely solid yet supple bass performance. If your speakers go low, you'll appreciate what it can do. As I write this, I'm listening to the pipe organs on Pipes Rhode Island (CD, Riago CD 101), and this player has bottom-end muscle. But more than that, the 650D is essentially free of glare and grain on top, while exhibiting exceptional transparency and transient clarity. It also managed sweetness and delicacy without sounding soft or mushy. The 650D made CDs and CD-resolution files sound about as good as I've heard them sound here, while its decoding of hi-rez files produced exceptional soundstage width and depth combined with analog-like imaging.
I loved Simaudio's Moon Evolution 650D. Ignore the somewhat less than appealing industrial design and go directly to the sound, and I think you'll love it as much as I do.
You can read the full review here.