Moon by Simaudio

It was déjà vu all over the Venetian Towers. The popularity of "all-in-one" streamer-DAC-integrateds housed in a single chassis definitely reminds me of my college days, when every professor had a Marantz receiver and some Large Advents. While those scholarly fellows of yore needed a Dual 1019 and an AM/FM tuner to access their music, today's men and women of the academy simply connect their "receivers" to the Internet.

Moon by Simaudio's new Neo ACE ($3500) looks and sounds and feels like a 21st-century version of a classic Marantz receiver. It is a 50Wpc, class-A/B integrated amp featuring Simaudio's MiND (Moon intelligent Network Device) digital library interface, and a high-resolution DAC with DSD decoding up to DSD256 and 32-bit/384kHz PCM. It has a moving-magnet phono stage, a very agreeable-looking OLED display and—a balance control!!! I am very happy about the new display and balance control, but the ACE's best feature is how it parlays the Simaudio house sound (tight bass, transparent mids, and effortless open highs) into a quality listening experience worthy of the Moon logo.