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This year Simaudio has introduced four new and delightful components, two very advanced DSD-capable DACs, the Neo 280D DSD at $2200 and the Neo 380D DSD at $5500 and two headphone amplifiers, the Neo 230 HAD $1500 and the Neo 430HA at 3500.
This is the affordable DSD USB DAC we've been waiting for. Its proprietary DSD engine was designed in-house at Simaudio and has incredible decoding speed that allows it to handle DSD64, DSD128, and even DSD256with ease. This is native DSD and requires no conversion to PCM. Some of its other features include:
The power supply is very large, in fact, far larger in capacity than it needs to be, as is typical of MOON components. Therefore, the Neo 280D DSD can reproduce soft and loud sounds with amazing fidelity and awesome dynamics. The analog outputs are a fully balanced, proprietary design using the finest components available. This ensures a stable, wide soundstage with enhanced detail and resolution. This Digital-to-Analog Converter is going to be the one to beat in the under $2500 category, and it only costs $2200!
So what do you get with the Neo 380D DSD for the higher price? The two DACs share much in terms of technology and both can decode exactly the same formats. In terms of features, the Neo 380D DSD has more inputs, a MiND network player built in at no additional price, optional variable outputs and volume control so it can even be used as a digital-only preamplifier, and a front-panel LED display to show volume setting, input selection and resolution. In terms of sound, the Neo 280D DSD is a trickle-down of the Neo 380D DSD, using a simpler power supply and a less elaborate analog output stage. So in terms of sonic refinement, the superiority of the Neo 380D DSD is immediately obvious. Is the Neo 380D DSD worth the extra money? It absolutely is. Is the Neo 280D DSD a great value? It is more than that, it is an extraordinary value.
Based heavily on the reference 430HA headphone amplifier (see below), the Neo 230HAD offers exceptional performance at a very fair price point. However, this unit is not just a headphone amplifier for analog sources as it comes equipped with its own built-in DAC capable of processing both DSD and hi-resolution PCM. The internal DSD256 /32-bit PCM DAC can be used with virtually any digital source such as a computer for streaming music and can also accept digital inputs from devices such as satellite TV receivers or Blu-Ray players.
The Neo 230HAD can easily be hooked up to an existing audio system or it can function as a stand-alone headphone system by hooking it up to a computer or other digital or analog source and your favorite headphones. Some of its features are listed below.
Just as the Neo 380D DSD is an upscale relative of the 280D DSD, so the Neo 430HA headphone amplifier is a more advanced and higher performing sibling of the 230HAD. In fact, the Neo 430HA is loaded with numerous state-of-the-art features. This fully-balanced, pure analog amplifier includes an output stage that uses discrete transconductance circuit topology, selectable gain settings (14 or 20dB), an oversized power supply and a defeatable analog crossfeed circuit for tailoring your headphone's imaging. Borrowing various technologies from the more exotic and costlier Evolution series and incorporating the most advanced analog audio circuitry, the 430HA will achieve the very best possible sonic performance from your headphones. The optional DSD256 and 32-bit PCM capable DAC ($800) is the same as that built into the 230HAD (see above for description). Its features include the following:
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