I ended up with Blue Circle's NSCS integrated.
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I'm going to reserve my opinion on the looks until I see it in person, but I think the i-7 is pretty nice looking, and Sim seems all jazzed up about being able to customize the cosmetics. I'm hoping maybe that includes the LED display, because I find the red rather alarming! I was never a huge fan of the i-5's looks, so that may be part of it. I think in some ways Sim's looks don't match up with their sound quality, but obviously that's an entirely subjective statement.
Probably has the Simaudio "house" sound which is great if you like it. I owned the I-5 LE for about 6 months until I couldn't stand the weak, ill-defined bass anymore. Treble is great but that's their strength so you get this great soundstage until you notice that there's no boogie in the Sim's steps.
Since Simaudio stuff ain't cheap, get your dealer to give you the amp for the weekend and try it with YOUR setup - many of the Simaudio dealers know that Sim stuff runs lean and they pair it with Cardas Golden Cross (warm cables) and an ultra-expensive speaker setup to compensate (extra bass).
I'm not saying that it's terrible stuff but that system and room matching with Simaudio equipment is a must or you could end up with a lean system like I did...
I purchased the I-7 about a month ago. It sounded pretty good out of the box, but nothing special. However, after now about 100 hours of break-in, I am very enthused with this amp. It goes beyond just being another clean, transparent sounding amp. The music has great presence and body - it does not at all sound flat, but rather very dimensional and textured. I enjoy tube amps, but this amp is quiter and more detailed than the tube amp I have owned, yet has the tonality and liveliness of a good tube amp. In addition, the Moon I-7 is very powerful and is extremely well made with a very fine volume control that can be adjusted in very small increments.
I know this is an old thread, and probably no one cares, but......
I've had the Moon Supernova CDP for 6 months now - huge blood red display (but very accessable dimming control) which I didn't like - at first. Now, I understand - it is supremely readable - from clear across the room!
And, now I'm looking for a second CDP for a second system. And I keep noticing how small and hard to read most displays are (the great sounding Ayre Cx-5 - couldn't read it from 10 feet away with some sun coming in the room - not to pick on Ayre, there are many out there like this). I may end up with a second Sim audio player.
So, I'm now a fan of huge displays. My eyes are fine, it is just very much easier!
I thought I'd update, now that I've heard the I-7.
As it happens, shortly before auditioning the I-7, I bought a very nice used Moon I-5 from the same dealer. People interested in the I-7, who haven't heard it, might want to check out issue of Hi Fi +, the British mag, with the Chris Thomas review of the I-7. IMHO an even-handed and incisive review.
I had a couple of very nice hours with the I-7. My take on the I-7 is that while it is a fine amp, it has a lot of features and capabilities for AV and multichannel that don't interest me, but which apparently account part of the considerable price step up from the I-5. The I-7 does offer significant additional range of loudness and softness, compared to the I-5, within any given note or voice. Is that greater fidelity, or just a magnified effect? I'm not sure. Certainly, the I-7 provides great detail and transparency without harshness.
If you like the house sound, but need more wattage than the I-5, or need multi-channel application, it may be a good candidate, but there are a lot of very competitive near-reference integrateds in that price range.
On balance, it left me more interested in the updated version of the I-5, for my small room, quiet listening tendencies.
Quote Panderson " it has a lot of features and capabilities for AV and multichannel that don't interest me"
I sure wouldn't mind being able to set up my i-5 so all my sources are at the same volume level like you can on the i-7 (I think Mark Levinson and BAT have this feature, as well).
That being said, I can't get my head around the new cosmetics, so I will stick with the i-5 for now.
Quoting from Riffer "I sure wouldn't mind being able to set up my i-5 so all my sources are at the same volume level like you can on the i-7 (I think Mark Levinson and BAT have this feature, as well)."
A fair comment, a legitimate plus for the I-7. My personal preferences are based on single source, 2 channel application for now. And yeah, I prefer the low key aesthetic of the I-5. A functional beauty...