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I have not heard the LSA but recently owned a Simaudio Moon I-5. I used it with Green Mountain Europas but didn't like the sound and moved to an Ayre AX7e. I much prefer the Ayre and would highly recommend it to you as an option.
I felt the Sim was brittle in the upper mid range and found it quite fatiguing to listen to. I also did not like the way the volume functioned, the volume steps are quite large and I prefer more ability to fine tune. I did try a number of different speaker cables and interconnects all with the same result.
I did a review on the Ayre under "reviews" if you would like details. Suffice it to say, the Ayre is an exceptionally musical amp with the most accurate instrumental timbre I have heard to date.
I think the other 2 posters are confusing Sim Audio with Moon Audio. The Moon Audio Reference looks identical to the LSA Statement. I used to own the DK Signature which I thought was a very good integrated. I recently saw the Moon Reference and I had to do a double-take. I really don't know what the advantage is to Moon to market a product that looks exactly like LSA's. I have to assume the two companies are in business together. LSA appears to be struggling to carve out a place in the high end market. The Moon Reference and the LSA Statement appear, and I say "appear" reservedly so, to be the same integrated. But I can't say so for sure without knowing what's on the inside of each amp. Performance-wise if it's even similar to the Statement you probably can't go wrong with the Moon, but I'd sure get lots of details on it before purchasing. Just be aware if you buy the Moon and later decide you want to sell, you'll take a substantial loss.
I found my answer. Brian Warford, President of LSA confirms that they are the OEM. He states that this integrated is better than the Standard.
Did you mean better than the LSA Signature? In your original post you were asking how the Moon integrated compared to the Signature.
Brian feels that the Moon was comparable to the Signature not better. Chris Moon feels its better than the Signature and right below the Statement even though it looks like the Statement. For $2400 I'm hoping it is a great deal. I like the MKII that I previously owned with my setup, sold it and bought the Audia Flight Two but the DK had more bass and slam even though the Audia Flight had great mids and highs.
I believing this is a step up.
Here's the scoop The Moon Reference falls between the LSA Standard and the LSA Signature in terms of design and performance.
The Moon does not incorporate John Tucker's "active load circuit" technology .
The LSA Signature and Statement do use this circuitry and it is what really puts the amp up there with the best.
The Moon Reference comes with a 1 year warranty versus a 5 year warranty and there are no upgrades available for the Moon.
I owned the original DK,MK2,MK3 and now own a Signature it is nice to know that my Signature can be upgraded to the Statement someday .
I have a friend who has the Statement and all those reviews and awards are an understatement.
That BABY performs.
Bottom line - The MOON Reference may be a bit better than the LSA Standard at less $,however,you do give up the 4 years on the warranty and the option for upgrades.
For what they are asking for the Moon Ref. it is certainly going to provide you with excellent sonics.
just remember IT IS NOT GOING TO COMPETE WITH THE LSA SIGNATURE and come know-where near the sonics of the LSA Statement regardless of the similar cosmetics
Thanks Bob. I owned the MKII and like it better than anything else I had up to this point. When I sold the MKII I then bought the Audia Flight however it made me miss the DK. I was able to trade the Audia Flight for the Moon Integrated and if it is a step up from the DK MKII that I had then I think I will be well pleased.
I have not heard the Standard, Signature, or Statements so I have nothing to compare them to. I guess when I am ready to up grade I will like at the Signature and Statement.
Thanks Bob and Foster, I am still learning how all this works. Any suggestion for full range speakers? I currently have Legacy Classics. I have had them for about 13 years and looking to replace them soon.
I have to ask. I have looked at new and used DK/LSA/Moon integrateds, and really thought what a deal. But have really had concerns about these chinese built products, and their reliability, resale value, and long term reliabilty, parts and service availability. There is one used available in my area that is sevaral years old, but again I have the same fears, and really don't know much about the americam copanies that have them built. Now I know NAD Master Series is Chinese, Cary has some built there I believe, and many other long established companies, so I know they will be around for quite awhile. So tell me am I paraniod here, or is it really as risky as it sounds ?
The DK were over-hyped when they first came out as the best integrated amp ever beats and competes with separates at 3 to 5 times its cost. That's not true but it is a very good integrated. Then LSA bought out DK and IMO made the comapny stronger and improved their product line across the board. Their Signature and Statement models have received, from top line reviewers, high praise.
But like any audio component it is about personal taste and budget. I once had the DK MKII and really liked it but got the bug and decided to upgrade to the Audia Flight Two integrated. I kept the Audia Flight for about 3 month and sold it because I really missed my DK.
I bought a new Moon Audio Integrated made by LSA. I had no problems selling my DK integrated. I love the sound and probally will keep this for awhile.
Resale comes into play if you don't like the sound but the Moon new for $2400, which is better than the LSA Standard, is a great buy. The quality and the workmanship are first rate.
I believe it is a great deal others might disagree but it works for me.
Hey Revrob. Thanks for the info. Well the ones I have seen unsold are DK, so maybe the older ones don't move. There are some on here now. Who fixes the Moon if it goes bad ? I think there is nothing wrong with Chinese built, it is the QC that is being followed by the company having it produced. I really will stay away from all these unknown Chinese Co. building in China, and imported here. Those seem to be the most suspect. They go under many names. So you like the Moon, it certainly looks like a quality piece. I have an older Mac pre and Amp and want to make a change, and have not looked at much in recent years. There sure is a lot out there, including all the ICE stuff !
LSA which purchase DK provides the warranty for the Moon. The Moon Audio Integrated is a private label but according to LSA the Moon is a step up from the Standard and just below the Signature. For $2400 is a great deal with warranty.
However $2400 can buy some great integrated here on Audiogon and I am sure that you will hear several recommendations.
Check out stereomojo dot com/AMPREVIEWS.htm really likes these amps. Just remove "dot" and replace it with "." to get to the article. Stereophile also did a review of the DK MKIII.
The DK MKII for $1,000.00 is a good deal but if you could find a MKIII for a little more that is the way I would go if you are on a budget.
Revrob, that certainly looks like a lot of machine for the money ! I think I will call Moon to discuss any issues/questions on the chinese built reliabilty warranty and long term repair parts issues. Those tyhings are of interest to me. Reading the owners manual I see this is a pretty spartan unit without any tone controls, etc... But I have always asked this question, and wonder why so many of these units do not have a stereo/mono switching capability for vinyl ?
The tone controls were something I was looking at when I decided to purchase a new integrated. I was really looking hard a McIntosh MA6900 used for about $3k.
I initially wanted a integrated that had tone controls and a headphone amp. I don't miss the tone control but wish it had a headphone input. But I got a good deal on my trade in with the Moon so I purchased it.
I never got a chance to hear the MAC stuff but I wanted to. The Moon does a phone input but I don't do vinyl.