I believe it is worth it. I own the Cremona M (purchased new two years ago). I also love the Simaudio sound and I auditioned both the the i3.3 and the Sim audio I7 (since been replaced by 600i and 700 i) with my Cremonas.
I found the 3.3 to be very melodic and dynamic but couldn't match the i7 in terms of soundstage and transparency. I ended up buying the i7 and the Supernova CD player as part of the system with my Cremona Ms and absolutely love the combination.
Thank you for your comment in regards to the upgrade from 3.3 to 600i. Matter a fact, i did upgrade and now a proud owner of the 600i. Overall, i love it and combination has worked well. Did i understand your post correctly? Do you have or tried out the 700i with the cremonas? I find that i need to turn up the 600i to a reasonable volume (50) to get the full dynamic sound that im looking for. Wondering if i should upgrade to the 700i.
glad to hear you made the upgrade and am not surprised you have noticed an improvement with your great speakers. You should really consider the 600 as equal in quality and peformance to separates in a great looking package. I really lusted after the red limited edition version in the magazines. I am not sure how high the vol goes but that should not be an issue going to 50-you really can't hurt good gear and as long as it is not clipping no problem to amp or speakers. I really like the power of the 700 and it depends on if you feel your current set up seems strained (which I bet it doesn't). I have large floorstanders as well and I find the same applies and this is more a issue of speakers (db/efficiancy). I love low level listening but you sure notice in rock etc when you give it some juice-the music needs it. Would the store let you try the 700 in your system to see if it really makes any diff.
I wish, but I live in Italy, so No. I will have to wait until i get back to the states. It would be ideal to test the 700 with the Cremonas prior to the upgrade. Hate to dish out another 4000 prior to listening. So, right now I depend people like yourself to stir me in right direction. Speaking of right direction, what interconnects and speaker wire you use?
Volume-wise you won't get much more out of the 700i; the difference is from 125W/channel (600i) to 175W/channel (700i). And of course ecah time you double the watts it produces only a 3db increase. With only a difference of 50 watts/channel between the two models, the volume difference will less than a 1.5db increase.
The difference in sound quality, then, should be the main factor that determines whether you fork out another 4 grand or not. And sorry, although I've heard both the 600i and 700i (with focal 1028 BE / siltec 770 series / moon 750D), I haven't compared the two amps side by side.
I have, however, compared the Moon 330i next to the 700i. I say this only to point out that perhaps you are better off investing in two LessLoss DFPC Signatures to power your source and 600i. Why? Because I found that the performance enhancement offered by the LessLoss DFPC Signatures was clearly greater than the performance enhancement offered from upgrading from the 330i to the 700i. Not to mention, two Signatures would cost around $2100 (shipped from the EU), almost half of what it would cost you to bump up to the 700i. If you don't own LessLoss DFPCs already, I expect you'll be surprised how much just two such power cords will improve your system.
I so agree with the prev message.Unless you can notice an improvement in sound quality its probably not worth the upgrade. Changes in cables/isolation can demonstrate sig improvements. I am running Nordost cables-mostly Valhalla which I love but pricey. I have a couple of Nordost Tyr left to upgrade since I moved from a moon 5.3 phonstage to an Allnic H-3000 tubed phono. I have tried a lot of cables at home in my system (thanks to a few great dealers) and really like the Nordost product. Some great deals on AudiogoN. If you can go for the Tyr but also the Heimdall line is regarded as great peformance to price. Also like the Crystal Cable line, Analysis Plus and Accoustic Zen product. In terms of importance of cabling the power cord is most important followed by interconnect and speaker cable. A friend who distributes the Allnic product gave me a new interconnect cable to try (High Fidelity Cables 1500.00 1 meter). Have not tried as yet because I picked up a used Allnic L-3000 tubed preamp for my system and wanted to get a sense of that prior to playing with a cable change. Reports have been extremely positive and supposedly Harry Pearson of ausio fame has used in his reference system and was blown away. He has been a Nordost Valhalla fan.
Thanks to the both of you. I appreciate the sound advice. So, what i hear from the both of you is to spend my money on cables. This sounds like a great idea. I would like to maximize what i have. I am taking the advice from Robert Harley and not spend more than 15% on cables. I just seeked a consult from usedcables.com and they suggested Audience cables. Not sure if they have an abundance of these cables or they are really that good. In adittion, i did just check out the website on lessloss. Not really sure what to think of it without listening to it. Fossda, i see you switched to a tube phonostage. Perhaps a stupid question, but with getting a tubed phonostage give you that warm tube sound if you are running a solid state amp?
Harris4crna. I don't know how much 15% of your budget is, but 15% or not you owe it to yourself to order and listen to the LessLoss DFPC Signatures (one for your source, and one for your moon 600i). I've had the Signatures on the moon 700i and 750D (at the same time). It's a little scary how much the sound improves. You simply can't go wrong.
Thank you for the suggestion. Will look into it. Sounds like I will upgrade with cables first and perhaps later on check into other toys such as a JL Audio Sub. These Cremonas just seem not to punch out the base when playing Rock like I wish. You would think such an expensive amp and speakers would have a fuller range. We will see.
Nice speakers. And so you know, if you try the DFPC Signatures, you're likely to notice improved articulation in the base, among other things. Do let us know how things go, whatever you happen to choose.
There was definitely a tube presence going to the Allnic from the Moon solid state phonostage but I am finding that a good tube design is not compromising the positive features I find with solid state-it just seems to add to it with a greater body, air etc. I just received my replacement magnetic bearing for my Clearaudio turntable and am suppose to have it installed today so I am really anxious to hear the Allnic tube phono feeding my Allic tube pre (picked up a used model about a month ago for agreat price). Right now I have been running everything through my Edge sig 1.1 s.e pre and the difference that a tube brings to the pre is greater body, air and I am also noticing an improvement in bass control which I was a little suprised at. I am loving the mix of solid state amp with tubed from end gear. Use to own a Bryston 14bsst and Audionote tube pre and had the same great experience. I have not heard the Audience brand but it is featured in the audio press and seems to garner very good reviews. I have been following AudiogoN looking for good used Nordaost Valhalla and have seen a lot of very well priced Nordost product available (Frey, Heimdell or Tyr if you can swing it would be an excellent choice). Also once you make a good cable purchase it can stay with you an move from system or gear to gear. It has taken me many years working on my Valhalla choice. Picked up a Nordost Valhalla power cable last week for a good price which will go on the Allnic phonostage. Can't wait to hear it.
Let me know how it sounds. Which clearaudio tt you got. I considered purchasing one since they both work with 110v and 220v. Ill be back in the states in 9 months so i will stick with this project debut 220v for the time being. I have a brand new project classic sitting in a box. Ill purchase a new cartridge when i return home. Thought about sticking with the same brand phonostage. I like my system uniformed, but if I knew if a tubed phonostage would make a difference solid state integrated amp than i would look for one. Ill be in the states in a couple weeks and ill do some researching while there. Thanks for your input. Im still new and have not heard many systems.
I have owned the Simaudio i7 and have upgraded to the point where I now have a P-8 and W-8. I still often crank up the volume to the low 50's. Volume didn't change as I upgraded to the high end Sim separates but the quality of sound did. Still, we're talking serious deminishing returns moving from the i7 to the P-8 and W-8 separates. The i7 was fantastic and I expect the 600i is even better!
Thanks for the post. Good to hear from a previous i-7 owner. I move around in the Navy, so simple is better for, thus i stick with the integrated amp. If did choose to move up and upgrade to seperates, could i just add the w-8 to the 600i or you recommend the p-8 as the preamp?
If you feel you would benefit from more power then using your 600i as a pre amp with a W-8 amp would be a step up. You might get a little more control and punch in the bass with the additional power.
You could also try adding a P-7 or P-8 pre amp and using your 600i only as a power amplifier. I was surprised to learn how important the pre amp is in the overall sound - maybe more important than the amp so long as the amp is powerful enough for your speakers.
A third option is adding a W-7 and bi-amping your speakers, with the W-7 driving the bass of both speakers and the 600i driving the mids and highs. I tried this with the I-7 and W-8 but the gain on the I-7 was higher than the W-8 so it didn't work (the higher gain of the I-7 made the mids and highs a little louder than the bass).. It's worth a shot with the 600i though...many swear by bi-amping as it creates a truly effortless sound and really can open up the soundstage when you offload the task of driving the bass to a separate, dedicated low frequency amp.
Definitely try these options before you buy, though, as the benefits over the 600i alone may be relatively small for the expense. The 600i is an impressive piece! Also, Simaudio integrated amps have the advantage of really short, high quality connections between pre amp and amp without the need for expensive interconnects.
Had the opportunity to listen to a P7 with a W8 at the Analog room in San Jose. Truly, the sound was impressive, but not enough to upgrade from the 600i. For what I need at this time in my life the 600i is perfect. i may take a look as it gets closer to upgrade time, but if choose to upgrade i believe i should make it significant enough to make a difference.
Right now, i just purchased the Simaudio 310lp to add to the mix. Cannot wait to hear the sound, but do not expect to much since I am still spinning records on a Project Debut with the Sumiko Blue Point 2. This will be until I return to the states so I can set up my Project Classic (or upgrade) with a new cartridge.
Again, thanks for the advice. I surely do welcome it.
Ok, i stand corrected. Adding the 310lp with the project made a huge difference. I hear a bottom end for the first time. Of course, I added Transparent speaker wire with Transparent balanced interconnects.
The Sim integrated amps sure are impressive, aren't they?
I think so. To make the plunge to get seperates may not be worth the price. I may have buyers remorse following. May upgrade the simaudio dac to 300 and the 600i to 700i next year when I move back to the states from Italy. Wish the 600i had another balanced input for the dac.
I would have kept my i-7 as I thought it was stellar but my new speakers needed a little more power. That's the only reason I went to separates.
Another Simaudio upgrade. Just got the moon 320 power supply to mirror up with the 310lp. Amazing how much a seperate power supply can affect the sound. Also, i went with Transparent cableing. No, did not try many. Really, if i hear one I am content with than I go for it. Try to stay out of the gear shuffle. Which brings me close to the conclusion of my stereo upgrades. Upon returning to the states, i will ditching the project debut from here in Italy and upgrading to a new TT. What do people recommend for around $5000.00?
Congratulations on your upgrade!
I am using a Simaudio Moon Evolution 600i to power a pair of Totem Tribe III and I also have a pair of Focal Chorus 836W setup as well. Do anyone 600i owners know how I connect a sub into the mix. I can't figure it out for the life of me.
I also want to point out that I have never been so thrilled with a piece of gear in my life as I am the 600i. I said bye bye to McIntosh the moment my ears first heard some of the Simaudio moon gear.
Also having trouble deciding which DAC to get. Trying to make a decision between the Moon 300D and the Bryston BDA-2.
Never tried it, but assume you connect to the fixed output of 600i to high input of subs. Let me know how it sounds. Thought about doing it myself. I have the 300d v.1 DAC. You can get the version for cheaper since it only upsamples to 94. Look at my virtual system for details. Honestly, the 300 and 100 simaudio sounds the same. 300 have xlr output, which is only difference. I listen to mostly vinyl, so I did not splurge on the DAC. How does it sound, ok, I guess.
Camb, it appears I am right where you were when you decided to move up to separates. The 600i sounds good, but lack a bit on the bass and light in sounding when playing through the Ketemas. Considering moving up to sim separates. The cost will be steep even with the trade in. Any regrets moving up?
Nope, no regrets. Funny you mention the power issue - the reason I went to Sim separates from the i7 was that I read my speakers perform best with 300wpc. The Sim W8 puts out about that much power into my Revel Studio 2' 6 ohm load. I'm not sure I'd say I got MORE bass with the Sim Separates in place but I do get better bass CONTROL. It's punchier, faster and more "granite-like" or solid. Maybe a little deeper, too, but not much.
Your speakers sound even more demanding than mine so maybe you would benefit more. If you have a chance to try it out first to see if it gives you what you're looking for.
Thanks Camb, I appreciate your help. It's the price increase for the new sim separates that makes me reluctant. I'll wait to audition them when they become available.