To Philip Beaudette,
I just read your article on the Simaudio Moon Evolution 700i integrated amplifier and I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed it and will be following your reviews from now on.
I have a pair of Genesis 5.3s in one room and a pair of Focal 826 Ws in another room in my house (all with corresponding 5.2-channel surround sound). I just bought the Moon Evolution 600i integrated amplifier and I can't decide where to use it and I am feeling like I am missing out by not stepping up to the 700i. As someone who has experienced both, I would love your opinion.
All the best,
I didn't have the 600i and 700i at the same time so I couldn't compare them side-by-side. Now, having said that, I still feel very confident telling you that you're not missing out on very much (if anything) by not going to the 700i. If the 700i exceeds the performance of the 600i, it would only be in very subtle ways (some of which may only be measurable but not easily audible). Both of these integrated amps are very similar in their design and construction, and although the 700i boasts a little more power, this shouldn't be a factor with your Genesis or Focal speakers, both of which have high sensitivity and an impedance load that wouldn't make either amp flinch unless your listening room is the size of a concert hall. In short, the 600i is an incredible-sounding piece, and although it might be the less expensive of the two, it doesn't really take a back seat to the 700i, or to any other integrated amplifier in my experience.
As for which pair of speakers to use the 600i with, you'll need to experiment a bit, although I'd love to have the opportunity to hear it with the Genesis speakers, mostly because I have no experience with that brand and my knowledge of them is only based on what I've read. But I'd suggest pulling out a stack of music and listening to determine if one combination or the other seems more synergistic. The 600i has no real sound of its own, so what you'll be hearing is what your speakers and the rest of your system is doing. I'm actually a little bit envious of your position. It should be great fun, not to mention educational. . . . Philip Beaudette