Review: Sim Audio Moon i 3 Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

I will start off with this, If money was no object would I still owns this Sim audio I3 Intergraded amp? Yes indeed I would.
Its a gem, I'm getting right to the point in this review.
Anyone who wants to learn about Sim Audio just go to their web site
This unit has control on most speakers I tried it with, this also depends on how large a room you have and how loud you like burning your ears out.:O)
The one thing most audiophiles should know is to let this gem burn in.
Right out of the box the bass is noticable and the highs can be thin with little edge, but once this baby comes to life and forms you will be very pleased.
I listen to a variety of all types of music and different types of audio gear so its hard to get things goig the way you want it to go when it comes to good synergy. Hey sometimes you get it sometimes you don't.
I do have a list of my favorate set ups but this review is for the Sim i3.
When it comes to being matched up with a great cd player or a dvd player I chose the phillips 1000 dvd player..amazing.
SACD along with great sound and if you like movies hey who's better than you now! I'm a two channel guy but now I'm very happy to enjoy both thanks to Sim audio and the great synergy I have.
I can't forget the JM speakers from France knock out sound smoothe and rich for a speaker of its size.
If your budget is not so tight, or if you think your system might be better because its twice as much..or more, don't be fooled by hype because hype is out there like the Flu.
I would reccomemnd this amp to anyone I know.
If you have hungry speakers like maggies which I owned or Martin logans you might want to go separates, but In my oppion if you don't have much of a big room you should not have a problem.
Sim audio is really speaker friendly.
I tried Greshman Acoustic Avant Garde' rx 20 speakers on the Sim i5080 very close of being the same as the i3 but the i3 has more juice, but then again i5080 had a great time playing music on these speakers, It was more pleasing.The krell fpb 300 was retailing for 10 grand at the time was not so pleasing to my ears or anyone I know or their pockets..does someone have the flu?
I listen to new age blues pop easy and small classical music.
Synergy counts.
I like to judge a whole system rather than just one component,Everytime I tried the Sim audio i3 in a different set up it did the job right and for the money its very reasonable compared to the madness thats out there in price.Clean sound no hum or buzzes lots of air..just let it break in and don't lose your mind.
The bass is very quick, I had a couple buddies from our audio club come by to hear this and the first thing out of there mouths was " Dam this thing sounds quick".
Then the next thing said, "Wow the sound stage is very deep" these guys were surprised especially when some of them hate solid state.
All I can say is if you can get a good dealer honest enough to back his product line up and lend it to you.. then do so.
I'm very happy and I can thank companies like Sim Audio Phillips And Jm-Reynaud for making me enjoy my music the way I intended to, I thought I couldn't after bumping into so many companies that promise the world of musical components rather its the world of hype you get caught up into.
Well enjoy as much music as possible and hope you enjoyed my review thank you.

Associated gear
Phillips 1000 dvd player.
JM-Reynaud speakers model type - offrande'
Cables - Analysis Plus, Bi wire oval 12 or 9 and RCA copper oval in, or oval 1.

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Naim audio 3.5 cd player with flat cap power supply and Naim's nac 102 pre amp.
Edge amp 4 and amp 8 along with sl1 pre amp hope I got that model number right.
Rotel 990 amp 981 amp 970-971 amp 1080 amp and 971 pre amp, also 971 cd player.
Sonic Frontier sfl 2 pre amp, Anthem 1 amp and Anthem 1 pre amp.
Conrad Johnson Premier 8a mono blocks and aslo the 11a Cj amp.
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Sim audio p5 pre amp and the w3 amp.
And some old vintage tube gear made from Lafayette.
I think I'm done but I'm missing just a few.
Interesting and entertaining review. In other equipment, you mentioned the Plinius 8200. Did you own this amp and have a chance to audition with your JM Renaud's?
I must say I am not in agreement with the review by Mgwatt. I own both the i3 and the i5. The i3 is merely the older ''budget'' Celeste line of Sim products with a new ''Moon'' faceplate. Parts quality and above all sound quality is nowhere near the i5, although the i5 itself is good - but not great - integrated. Anyone doing comparative listening with a Plinius 8200 will immediately notice the musical superiority of the Plinius, especially in the midband and above. For lower bass, sim is pretty well untouchable although it has a dryer, more synthetic low end, if you like your music that way. The i3 is a nice little integrated that is more in line with upper mid-fi such as Creek and Rega amps. But to compare the i-3 to naim, even the naim 5, is a non-issue. Too bad Sim feels the need to put a pretty face ( but it does look pretty!) on their economy design to make it pass for the upper I-5 class. I am not disappointed in my i-3 don't get me wrong, its a nice little integrated, but way overpriced for what it can do, as the i-5 is also overpriced.
Upper midfi?? Never heard the amp myself. However one of the reviewers at soundstage is using the I3 as his reference amp. Must have something above midfi sound going for it.
I got the I-3 almost by accident. The dealer lent it to me, and I didn't have anthing else to do. I've had it about a week, and while i believe it is still breaking in, I agree that it is one of the finest amps I have heard. I had momentary thoughts about taking it back and getting the bigger brother, but this one is so darn good, I don't see the point.

I'm driving Aerial 6's in a 16x23 room that is open to an adjacent room, and i've also had Magnepans (1.6's and MMG) which i found as hard to drive as the 6's in this space. Prior to the Moon, Audio Research gear was the only thing that seemed to work. I had a Roksan Kandy that had the power, but ouch, the sound. Can the Aerials drain the little Moon? Sure, but at a point where i would rarely listen. I've also tried Linn, AVG, Jolida, and a Cary V-12 on these speakers. Actually the Underwood Jolida 502B wasn't bad.

I was about to trash everything and start over.

I'm currently using QED bi-wire and a consonnance 120 for the front end. (The moon remote also operates the consonance!).

I'm not really using very many tricks or kinks other than careful placement of the Aerials. This I-3 just sounds good. It keeps surprising me. I only have three problems with this amp. One is the goofy little rubber feet, but they must be the ticket. Two is that the remote is a little hard to operate. I find myself overshooting volume adjustments, etc. Three is that I really like upgrading. I love buying amplifiers especially. I really wanted to get back into tubes again. I want something more expensive! This amp has no right to sound this good. And now every time I think about getting something else, I just don't see the point.
One thing I didn't mention about the I-3 is that my model is the Special Edition. (I-3 SE). Having not heard the standard edition, I can't comment on the differences. But I would still agree with Mgwatt. I can afford a lot more, but I really like this one.