Moonriver 404 Reference integrated amplifier Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Integrated amplifier with class-AB output stage, optional D/A converter and phono stage. Analog inputs: 5 pair RCA (4 line, 1 tape). Optional phono stage on input 1: MM with 40dB gain or MM/MC with 60dB gain. Separate power supplies for analog and digital sections. Analog outputs: 3 pair RCA pre-out (2 variable line, 1 tape). Maximum output power: 50Wpc into 8 ohms (17dBW), 70Wpc into 4 ohms (15.4dBW). Maximum output voltage: 20V RMS, 10Hz–20kHz, 50V peak-to-peak. Frequency response: 10Hz–30kHz, +0/–1dB. THD+N: <0.05% typical, 20Hz–20kHz. Signal/noise: >93dB. Input impedance: 47k ohm. Power transformer: 250VA. Total capacitance: 105,000µF. Maximum power consumption: 220W. Idle power consumption: 22W. Accessories: Remote control.
Dimensions: 16.9" (430mm) W × 5.3"(135mm)H × 15.35" (390mm) D. Weight: 26.45lb (13kg). Shipping weight: 33lb (16kg).
Finish: Black.
Serial number of unit reviewed: DK2010020153RE (auditioning); DK201120164RE (measuring). Made in Sweden.
Price: $4995. Approximate number of US dealers: 6. Warranty: 3 years.
Manufacturer: Moonriver Audio, Poststugan 532, 21165, Malmo, Sweden. Tel: +46 (0)765905066. Web: North American distribution: On a Higher Note, P.O. Box 698, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693. Tel: (949) 544-1990. Web:

Moonriver Audio
North American distribution: On a Higher Note
P.O. Box 698
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693
(949) 544-1990

MatthewT's picture

That is a very attractive piece of gear, a bit of vintage Sansui.

michelesurdi's picture

midfi is sad

Anton's picture

From JVS' conclusion: "...that makes it difficult for me to proclaim the Moonriver 404 Reference integrated amplifier a new benchmark for sonic excellence in an integrated costing $5000 or less. But I'm tempted to anyway, because it does justice to complex and demanding recordings and it sounds tonally spot on, well balanced, clear, and musical.

For some of you, the Moonriver 404 integrated may be the longed-for component, just waitin' round the bend, that transports you to audio nirvana. With dutiful attention to setup and component matching, the Moonriver Model 404 integrated amplifier can deliver Class A sound at a Class B price, and joyful listening."

Mid Fi?

How so?

Jack L's picture


Too true!

Like it or not, this is human weakness !

Jack L

solarboy297's picture

JVS...The first three paragraphs of this article speak to the essence of the experience better than any description I've ever read. I've shown it to several people who have asked "What is it with sitting in the dark listening to music?" Thank you so much for putting into words what I have been unable to express but have felt strongly over my lifetime of listening.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Thank you.


CJThiel's picture

my big takeaway from those first four paragraphs is that I shouldn't quit my day job

Long-time listener's picture

Interesting comments about Toscanini singing along with his orchestra. His intense shouts of encouragement can be heard in his 1951 Verdi Requiem recording (in the Dies Irae), and he hums along briefly in the final section of his last studio recording of Strauss' Death and Transfiguration.

Long-time listener's picture

So, it doesn't meet its claimed power ratings and it doesn't measure that well in some respects. But it sounds WONderful, blissfully so. That could well be. I might like it myself. But at the same time, I'm skeptical of components that don't measure well, and probably won't buy them, insofar as my budget allows. I trust components that are well designed and meet their power requirements, have low noise and distortion, and nice square waves. Measurements, for me, tend to confirm, or disconfirm, what a reviewer is saying, and certain aspects of measured performance, for me, correlate importantly with what I like. (I like 21 bits of resolution a lot more than 18, for example.) But all this also points up a fact which JVS and all of us need to face, which is that enjoyment of music isn't necessarily correlated, ever, with sound quality. I enjoyed listening to California Dreaming or Cast Your Fate to the Wind as a kid on transistor radio in the '60s as much as I now enjoy Strauss' Four Last Songs on my fine stereo or headphones. Maybe knowing that the amplifier wasn't that expensive or powerful freed our reviewer from worrying about critical listening so much and freed him to simply enjoy the music. Or maybe it does what poorly measuring tube amps do -- transport us back to the days of distorted sound in our childhood when we really enjoyed music.

Jack L's picture

.....quoted Moon River founder.


Agreed to what you state: "it doesn't meet its claimed power ratings and it doesn't measure that well in some respects. "

Stereophile measured the amp clipped at 39.5W@8ohm load & its lowest distortion 0.016% at 3.5Wrms output power.

However good it may sound, this amp was measured far inferior to what the manufacturer claimed.

I can only suggest that Sterophile lab measurement used a simulated loudspeaker load vs this Moon River amp was measured with a 8ohm resistance dummy load.

Surely simulated loudspeaker load reflected the more realistic performance of the amp.

Jack L

Jack L's picture

........ with sound quality." quoted Long-time listener.

Yea, "One day when we were young"! I would call it 'evolution'.

Decades back, when we were junior school kids, AM radio was our only entertainment centre to enjoy free music off the air at home. How nice!

Todate, science evolution has brought us hi-tech audio which demands "critical listening" to justify the high costs involved.

That said, many musicians, & music industry personnel still enjoy bigtime music from Lo-Fi audio. Apparently, they don't think they need hi-end audio at all !

My elder son is a live example. He does not own any hifi & enjoys music-to-go from his iPhone earbuds & from labtop mini speakers at home. Mind you, he earned his first class honour of Classical Piano in theory & practice from our city's Royal Conservatory of Music when he was only 18 before entering university. He is still a perfect pitch !!

Listening is believing

Jack L

Charles E Flynn's picture

Some companies have to learn the hard way that if something is to be shipped, it must be able to be tossed without incurring damage.

It is regrettable that there seems to be no obvious way to buy Shockwatch indicators in small quantities. Someone should choose to fix this.

USM Haller uses Shockwatch indicators on at least some of its furniture shipments. I do not know whether Herman Miller does, but they can tell just how many feet a crate was dropped onto a loading dock, by lookng at the damage. I once described damage to a chair to a Herman Miller support rep, and he said, "That requires a minimum drop of fifteen feet to a hard surface".

Shockwatch® Indicators - 50G

Jack L's picture

......without incurring damage." quoted C. Flynn.

Ideally it SHOULD be so. But this is not an ideal world, my friend.

Ask any electric appliance store managers if any damage on delivery of fridges or stoves, let alone small household items, you will be surprised so much claims of transit damages from customers daily !!

If you take a look inside the Moonriver deceiver, you would be surprised to see how vulnerable is the entire component layout to transit damage.

The most bulky & heaviest item: the toroidal power transformer is mounted on the SAME circuit board of the entire amp !!!!

The flimsy PCB is NOT designed to hold such heavy load !! The power transformer should have been installed directly onto to the rigid baseplate of the receiever. Period. Totally separated from the main PCB !!!

It is therefore the receiver makers design gross error in the first place. Damage could be done even the courier dropped off the box at the doorway not so gently for the receipient to sign off.

It is the physical layout design error to warrant for undue transit damage !!

Jack L

Ortofan's picture

... a few hundred dollars to buy a basic oscilloscope so that he (and we) could know if a relatively low-powered amplifier, such as this 404, is ever being driven into peak clipping when driving his Wilson speakers?

Also, should the simulated loudspeaker load, that JA1 uses for his tests, perhaps be revised to more closely emulate the impedance of a speaker such as the Wilson Alexia?
Up through the midrange, the impedance of the existing simulated load never drops below 6Ω, while the impedance of the Alexia approaches 2Ω at several points.

Charles E Flynn's picture

wellington12's picture


I've listened to the Moonriver and agree with you,
it is a lovely and powerful amplifier. As a result, I am considering purchasing the amp. However, since most of my
listening is via streamer. I am wondering if using
a Roon Nucleus, as the streamer, and connecting the Roon
via a USB cable to the onboard dac is a good idea? Or
would suggest a different approach. Thanks