Thoughts on my Sim Moon 260D CD player

My first 'hi-end' CD player was a CAL Icon which later was upgraded to a Power Boss HDCD player. Bought the Icon in 1990 and serious considered an Adcom as a rival. Mind you I was coming from a first gen Technics CD spinner. The CAL was miles better and very dynamic. But one thing that still bugged me was that female vocals were not quite right. By 2000 I had the chance to buy a Meridian 508.24 which is its day was very highly regarded. Playing discs on the 508.24 was a revelation as it was the first cd plater which made musical sense. What i mean is that it took complex passages presenting it in cleanly and not smeared. This machine brought real sense to CD playback and presented vocals stunningly. Stereophile gushed and gave it an A rating, but the machine had an Achilles heal. The low end was lean, tight but lacked dynamics contrasts, whether in a micro or macro sense. I guess as ultra clean as the Meridian was (and without being bright) , I needed, for my tastes, something that had more visceral impact. I tried numerous cables but remained less than thrilled. I became intrigued by the Rega Apollo, and thought it brought back the dynamics impact in my system, not quite the refinement of the Meridian, but damned, it was more fun to listen to. But something was still not quite right. Sold the Rega, with nothing exactly in my sights. I considered using a laptop and a USB dac. also started to listen to cd players. I was shocked how good a current $500 cd plater from NAD could me. I also listened to two Sim Moon Audio cd players- a 650D and a 260D. Heard the 260D first through Sim electronics and B&W speakers. My impression was wow- great sound. I then tried the 650D using same electronics and speakers. Clearly the 2 are cut from the same cloth, with the 650 being a little cleaner, a little more dynamic, and a little more palpable. These were hardly night and day differences, but at best the 650 offered subjectively 5-10%improvement (and this disregards the 650's added flexibility to be a full fledged DAC)! Clearly diminishing marginal returns from a purely sonic perspective.. What this little demo did was to show me the state of digital, circa, 20012, and if money were no object, the 650 was a great choice but if you are not dropping a million a month on entertainment, then the 260d is An overwhelmingly great choice, assuming you like the Sim sound, which I found I do. So here I am with my 260D. Dynamics of the CAL? Check. Midrange purity of the meridian? Chech Glarec free high end.? Chech. Polished enough to portray musically complex music without confusion? Check. Adequate soundstage depth, width and height? Check - but there are better. Throw into the mix it's price- less than half of what my 508.24 cost. This CDP has gotten precious little press, but that's OK. It has fabulously passed the most important review I know of - mine! The only non-bone stock issue is a- I use a Pangea power cord and b- changed from a Rega Couple to an Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Over ICs for the CDP. Unless I come into some fabulous amount of change I see the 260d as a long term keeper. It in fact is everything I could want in how a CDP should sound. . But is does everything so right my quibbles are de minimus. As I see it now this should be my last CDP.
How do you like the player now that you've had it for a while? I've been considering replacing my Cambridge CD transport/Bryston DAC with either the Moon 260D or a NAD Music Server. I'm not convinced yet about the benefits, and hassles of using a server or a transport to feed my DAC. Each has benefits and dis-advantages.

I'd like to hear your further thoughts on the 260d. Thanks!!!
I wonder how the 260d compares to the new 260d neo. The neo looks real interesting, technically closer to the 650d. I'd like to hear one. I auditioned the 260d a while and was really impressed.
Still view it as an excellent cd spinner. The 650d uses the Sabre DAC chip while the neo 260d still uses a TI DAC chip. I know Sim Audio implies it's close to a 650d, but DAC wise, it's closer to the original 260d.
I've had my Neo 260D for several weeks now and I'm quite pleased with it's sound.
Currently I'm using it as a transport with an external DAC so I can't comment on the quality of the DAC card.

It's definately a very detailed and smooth sounding piece. Compared to the new Emotiva, an Oppo and Cambridge, it's only competition was a Cambridge 840c which it handily trounces in soundstage width and detail. The Emotiva and Oppo were just unlistenable on my speakers using the same DAC. Both were harsh sounding in comparison to either the Cambridge or Moon. After it breaks in a bit more (300hrs recommended) I'll comment on the built in DAC compared to my Bryston.
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Right around the 240hr point I noticed my 260D "opened up" a bit more. Vocals that were recorded "hot" seemed to sound louder but not constricted as they did with every other CD player I've tried.

I've got no idea why this could happen because my DAC is well broken in. Haven't tried the built-in DAC yet so I can't comment on it's sound compared to the Bryston I'm using.
This is one really nice CD Player and well worth the $$$.
The 260d is indeed a very open sounding player and something of a sleeper in the audio world.

Maybe it's not expensive enough
I just bought the 260D (Transport only)and paired it up with the recently released 280 DAC from Moon. I replaced a Oppo 105. Very happy. The built quality is excellent. I did try the Cambridage CXC transport briefly but the 260D is a ladder worth of steps better.
Well, for what it's worth my 260D broke and is back at Sim for repair


What was the problem with the 260? Are you happy with the repairs?

That sucks, I've only had a few failures in my 30+ years so I'm pretty lucky I guess.  Of course when it does happen it's usually that one piece that you don't want to be without.   Let us know how Sim Audio takes care of you.....good luck


it is imperative to lit both positive & negative experiences when dealing w/ these companies. Keep me posted and Happy Listening!

The drive became occasionally temperamental. Happily Sim was superb and quickly replaced the drive with a new one that works perfectly
Thanks! for the update- zavato.