To upgrade from simaudio 3.3i to 600i or not?

Currently own the solid state simaudio moon 3.3i integrated amp for less than a year and now considering utilizing simaudio's upgrade program by purchasing the simaudio 600i. Why am I considering it? Just purchased a pair of Sonus faber Cremona Ms. I like the diversity the 3.3i has with the added options of the dac and phono, which I use. Just wonder paying double for the 600 is worth it at out of pocket price of 4500. This does not count if I choose to buy a separate Dac to replace the one that I am using with the 3.3i

Showing 5 responses by camb

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!

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.
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.


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.