Moon Nova or Eclipse?

I recently purchased a new pair of Legacy Focus speakers that I run with a Moon I5, AQ Diamondback IC, and AQ Mammoth speaker cables. I'm in love so far, but my need for a new source was laid bare almost immediately. My initial plan was a Nova and then a W3 or W5 amp when money allows. My local dealer has only the Eclipse on display, and told me the Nova was a waste of time. The Eclipse does sound wonderful, but I left confused since I have read many positive reviews on the Nova. Has anyone AB'd the two and found the Nova to be that bad? I'm wondering because I can get the Nova and W3 for a little more than the Eclipse.
Also, is it a horrible idea to biamp with amps of different power outputs? I'm wondering if the I5 on top and a W3 on the bottom makes sense. Thanks.
There's a review of the Nova at the Soundstage website.
Check it out.
For your dealer to call the Nova a 'waste of time' reflects more on him than on the Nova. Reminds me of those guys at the airport car rental terminals, who are always trying to get me to upgrade.
By the way, I run my I5 with a Jupiter2000 and am very happy with the results; although I do have my eye on the Nova when the current cash crunch subsides!

I am a past owner of two SIM I-5 integrateds ( didn't learn the first time around) and I honestly feel that this ''house sound'' that the SIM have is faulty to begin with. I tried desperately to match the I-5 with a host of speakers and cd players - I always had this exagerated bass, thin-sounding midrange and dry overall sound. I wish I had a kinder way of saying this - but I feel that Sim amplification often is the limiting factor. Nice cosmetics, but way overrated sonically speaking. Pop in a small electrocompaniet EC-3 integrated instead of the I-5, and watch a world of neutrality and flexibility open-up. I do not own this amp any longer, but it followed my two I-5's and it's no contest in this price range at least. As for the W3, why would you want more of the same?

I felt the same way, I can't afford the Cadillac, and that doesnt make the Chevy a waste of time.
It's interesting you should say that, because I've always thought Sim had a house sound more on the warm side, and the Moon systems I've heard always impressed me as having a full midrange and detailed highs. As for the W3, I thought some more power might yeild better, more controlled bass. The Focus 2020 have 3 12" woofers each, and although they are highly efficient thats still alot of cone to move.(maybe I'm wrong in that conclusion, but the experimentation is half the fun). 95db sensitivity, 4 ohms ,10-600wpc leaves a huge window of choices, and I'm not locked on any particular amp, but the source is next on my to do list
I have very limited experience w/ the Sim Audio Nova - my friend just bought a brand new unit 3 weeks ago. He's burning it in for 1000 hrs (he got this # from speaking to other Nova owners. Sim Audio told him 500 hrs, BTW). I have listened to the Nova in his system (Audio Research SP-6A pre, BelCanto SET40 & ExcelArray speakers) & from whatever I heard, the Nova sounds very nice indeed! His system is SET-based which imparts a certain midrange quality so it very hard for an outsider like me to quantify the Nova. After the 1000 hrs burn-in, he is supposed to bring the Nova to my house & we'll listen to it in my system. I'll be better able to quantify it then as I know my system better.

However, even with this limited experience, I can say that the Nova IS NOT a waste of time!
From whatever I have *READ*, the Moon Equinox is a waste of time!
Sonicbeauty (& Mthieme):
I think the degraded sound you were hearing from the I5 is more a result of the preamp section. SimAudio's amps have always been pretty good, but not their preamps. You had an integrated, so you couldn't separate the two to figure that out.
I've heard that their digital sources were or are EAD based, which would account for some of the edginess in the presentation.
I have had several Sim Products- the Eclipse was superb, the P5 preamp a bit dry for me. However, their Attraction preamp/HT processor was the home run for me- just excellent- sonically very neutral, with an extremely low noise floor. For HT is was great, however I still seem to prefer tube preamps for 2-ch at this point.

Now, as for their customer service, that's another thing. I have been trying to contact Costa at Sim Audio for like 2 weeks now. I left a couple messages, even e-mailed him with NO reply. All I want to know is how good the new Stargate processor is compared to the Attraction I used to own. He won't even return my call, and I have spent many thousands of $$ with their company, AND highly recommended the Attraction processor to many A'Goners who have contacted me- extremely disappointing...
I have a Sim Audio Eclipse and I have to say I love it. I cannot talk about the Nova but I'm sure it's not a waste of time... I cannot see a company making an excellent unit and a piece of crap unit as well... I'm sure the Nova will have some similarities to the Eclipse. I would try auditioning it if I were you... Don't let the dealer keep you away from a unit you may want to buy... Give it a try and let your ears tell you.

As for Sim's house sound... Their amps are pretty good. Their Eclipse CDP is excellent (huge amounts of sound details). On the other hand, their preamps are not on par with the rest of their lineup...

Just my 2 cents
I will seek out the Nova for a listening session after reading these remarks, thanks. It makes me mad though, the more I think about it, to be told that decent digital starts at 5k as he put it. I thought it seemed exclusionary,(is that a word?) and kind of contrary to the idea of spreading this hobby amongst the average guys like myself, who can't afford a reference transport and dac from Levinson, yet still want a safisfying system. I don't mean to get too philosophic here but the irony hit me today with my family talking about the things we are thankful for, when I'm rolling 6 thousand dollar cd players around in my head. I'm sure I can be completely happy with something less than a state of the art piece.
SimAudio is the manufacturer, not a dealer. I would guess that their sales Rep. would be busy with business, perhaps travelling and talking to dealers - the person you should be talking to! They can't be expected to be at your beck & call. That's what the dealer is for.
Golden ears- with all due respect, every other high-end mfr I have dealt with have always made the time for a key question or two- in fact, many of them actually believe that great customer service will make a happy customer- not a novel concept. Ed from Theta is great- when I had some key techie questions about my Dreadnaught amp, he even got the designer (David Reich) on the phone! Also, Israel Blume at Coincident is supremely knowledgable and answers the phone personally.

The two examples above are just a small example of the great customer service I have found from many of the high-end mfr's, and I purposely gave one example from a large company, and one small, both of which have excellent customer service. Sim Audio could take a page out of that book. I'm still waiting to hear back from Costa, and if I don't hear back, that tells me something.

Too bad, 'cause once you actually DO get him on the phone, he can be helpful. BTW, I am in sales myself (database/IT info), and trust me, if I even get a whiff of a potential prospect with interest in my company's services, I am all over it like white on rice...
I have sent Costa questions 3 times and have recieved prompt replies every time. I wonder if he is inclined to not judge their products himself but to let the consumer decide? For what it's worth, the Stargate Aurora combo was reviewed in Home Theater last month I believe.
Okay Sutts. It's nice to know that some are responsive. However, the question you're asking is: (quote)

"All I want to know is how good the new Stargate processor is compared to the Attraction I used to own."

That is something that a dealer should be able to answer for you. If you're looking for an objective opinion, you probably won't get it from the manufacturer. What do you expect to hear? They'll give you the company line. The dealer may even do that, because he's selling them also, but at least he is selling other things.
You MAY get an objective opinion on Audiogon, but the only real way to find out which is better is to listen for yourself.
Agree with Jlamb about "waste of time", dealer really loves money :) My dealer told me that Nova is generally the same circuitry as in Eclipse, but not balanced, and with internal power supply (ok, ok, plastic tray). I run i-5 with Nova about two month... Amazing sound, neutral and crystal clear. Tried Marantz and Linn Genki before - Nova is incomparable better IMHO.
BTW, when I have a question to Costa, usually I have the reply the same day.
Golden Ears- point well taken. Well, all is not lost- Costa finally DID get back to me. The answer was as I suspected- the Attraction is still the sonic champ (superior dacs, etc.), but newer Stargate has more options...
My two cents is that if you can afford the Eclipse (used around $2500.00), you won't be disappointed. In my system, it bested the Wadia 850, Audio Aero Cap mk 2, and most recently, the Krell SACD standard (not sure what Fremer and Valin heard when they reviewed it). The Eclipse does everything right to my ears; expansive, open and detailed soundstage, tonally natural (whatever that means!), taut and tuneful bass, extended highs, blah, blah, blah. Anyways, buy what you can afford and keep what sounds best to you. Good luck!

I hear you on the dealer's "elitist" point of view. Saying crap like "decent digital" starts at $5K. I've heard very good players at around $2000 and I bet there are cheaper players or DACs that can do wonderful music, for less than that.(Bel Canto DAC2, Perpetual Technologies, etc...)

I'm going to say something controversial here, but I think Audiophiles have done more to alienate people from this hobby than anyone else could do. Some audiophiles are flat out weird, in my opinion. They can listen to music only if its being played by a gazillion dollar system. If its a "real world" system they won't even consider it. As if the gear is more important than the music. Which is why I don't consider myself an audiophile, but a MUSIC LOVER instead.

Hell, I can listen to music on a boombox radio when I'm at the beach or working in the lab...even though I have a decent rig at home. But as I said, I love music more than I do the gear.

Anyway hope you have a lot of luck in your search for a CD Player. I'm in the process of upgrading my source and the Moon Nova is one I'm considering strongly...
Fire your dealer. He is putting his own interests ahead of yours. He does not deserve your business. Personally, I would contact Simaudio and relate your experience. I doubt Simaudio would be pleased with this authorized dealer's characterization of one of their (excellent) products. It's dealers like this chump who are killing the high end market. Who knows, maybe Simaudio will show their appreciation to you.