Opinions on the SimAudio Moon 260D CD player/transport?

Yes, yes, I still use CDs! I have been using an Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP player for many years, and have been very happy with it. It has, however, begun to show some signs of its age, and there is a mint, supposedly lightly used Moon Neo 260D available locally (no DAC; just the transport).

I would be using it with my Hegel H160 and Harbeth 30.1

If anyone has any opinions on that machine, and especially in comparison to the EMC-1UP, I'd be grateful.


Post removed 
Thanks. Odd that so few have apparently tried the player, given the general popularity of SimAudio components.
Post removed 
Very odd. Not a lot of magazine reviews out there, either. But as you say, the little feedback and few reviews are largely quite positive.

Your Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP uses a VAU1254 laser, which are getting very hard and expensive to get original Philips ones.
It also uses a CS4397 Delta Sigma converter, which is not one of the better dac chips for PCM CD’s conversion.

Your SimAudio Moon 260D uses a SF-HD65 laser cheap and available almost still at any corner store.
It also uses a Burr Brown (Texas Instruments) PCM1793 which is a hybrid, Delta Sigma/Multibit to me the better performing one.
I prefer full R2R Multibit, no Delta Sigma at all for converting PCM RedBook CD’s 16/44 25/96 or DXD.

Cheers George

Thanks George! I have learned from your views on various topics in the past. 

While I have been in the game a long time, I have, as suggested in my initial post, been quite slow to focus on DAC technology. So...having begun to digest some of the information found through a simple search of R2R vs DS/Multibit, I see that you have sent me down quite a rabbit hole!


I am interested in the transport version of the 260 for use with my Audio Mirror DAC. Any thoughts?
I use the Sim 260dt (transport version) with a Mojo Audio EVO DAC. I have found that it adds more body and weight to the music then the Cambridge CXC I had been using. The unit’s operation is quiet and smooth, reads redbook or CDRs with zero issues
Mojo Audio EVO DAC
Another great R2R Multibit dac for converting PCM redbook 👍

Mojo Music quotes:
"Most modern single-bit DAC chips can decode multiple file formats, including PCM, DSD, and Wide-DSD.
🧨Of course when they are decoding PCM, a single-bit DAC chip has to first convert it into DSD, the chip’s native format.🧨
And why they are just a facsimile of PCM, and not "bit perfect" like an R2R dac..

"Another reason for the common misconception that DSD performs better than PCM has to do with the poor quality of the real-time PCM to DSD converters built into native DSD single-bit DAC chips."

Cheers George
Thanks facten. I am currently using the Cambridge CXC and looking to replace it. Can use the CXC in a second system.
Post removed 

I have been very happy with my Electrocompaniet, but it is almost 20 years old, and while I replaced the laser a few years ago, there are some other issues that are beginning to surface.

As I'm not inclined to invest further in it, I am considering replacement options in the 1-2,000 range.

Of course this discussion also opens up the question of whether I should buy another CD player, or a transport and DAC.
Post removed 
@jab ": Is the Sim transport a true high end piece? Replacing a Cambridge anything is nothing to talk about. "

I made a simple statement about having the Sim and like what it has provided . Likewise, expecting that someone might ask what I replaced I mentioned the Cambridge; nothing more intended. Whether or not the Sim sounds not as good, as good , or better than what you have I couldn’t offer an opinion as I’ve never had them. Feel free to state any firsthand specifics you have on comparing your transports to the Sim so we can all benefit from your insights.
Post removed 
I am the one who made the statement about more body and weight. I had no interest in the CD player version of the Sim as I already have 2 DACs that I thoroughly enjoy, the Mojo in my main system and a Modwright Elyse which I moved into my 2nd system. I am satisfied with the Sim transport's  sound and performance in my system and therefore, for me it was worth the cost. Only you can decide if the transport's performance meets your expectations by hearing it in your system;  and therefore, whether or not you would feel that its  cost would be justified. Good luck which whatever decision you make.
I own a Neo 260D transport/DAC. I use it primarily as a transport, connected to an external DAC. I have listened to the Neo 260D using its internal DAC as well- for CDs and high res downloads from a server.

The Neo 260D is excellent all around- as a transport, as an integrated player and solely as a DAC. It performs at a very high level. 
Most welcome! When shopping for a CD player perhaps 8 or more years ago, I was interested in something that had a tonal balance close to my vinyl experience. There were a few that came close. 2 were from Europe and I did not have faith that the companies would be around for the long haul. The other was Simaudio. The Neo 260D is my 2nd Sim CD player. I previously had the original 260, and I am certain the Neo is a better machine. I’ve had mine now I think for about 5 years- very pleased and zero interest in changing it. 
Well, guys, I bought the Neo 260 transport. Couldn't really go wrong for $1000! As I haven't yet purchased a DAC, I have begun to listen to it through the internal DAC in my Hegel h160 integrated amp.

First impressions are positive, but my expectations are modest through the internal DAC, as I have no doubt that a good dedicated DAC will be a serious improvement.

In terms of the build quality and operation of the Moon, I am very impressed, with the one fairly trivial exception of the remote (too long; feels a bit cheap; I much prefer extruded buttons).

Most importantly, it has already resolved the issues that I was beginning to experience with my old EMC-1UP, namely it appears to load and read all CDs effortlessly and perfectly, including some that were problematic for the old player.

I'm thinking seriously about buying a Denafrips Pontus DAC. I wasn't originally planning to spend so much on a DAC, but have read and watched so many glowing reviews of this company and model, that I'm inclined to splurge.

Thanks again for your encouragement on the MOON – I expect that it will be with me for a long time!
Post removed 
Thanks! It's going to be tough to compare them directly, as the EMC DAC surely has its own character. Your suggestion of using the RCA out does make sense as a comparison of the two solely as transports, but in that realm, I expect the MOON to be better. This excerpt is from one of the 260 reviews:

Simaudio’s Lionel Goodfield is quick to point out, the Nēo 260D “is first and foremost a transport; the drive mechanism and suspension are virtually identical to those in the 650D and 750D.

Given that the 750D originally retailed for $13k, and still go for around $5k used, that's saying something. Of course the EMC was fairly expensive in the early 2000s, as well.

I did some A/B listening by changing discs between the two machines last night, but the EMC probably has a better (albeit much older) DAC than the internal HEGEL DAC, and benefitted from the XLR connection to the amp.

Through the internal HEGEL DAC I would say (thus far) that the sound is a touch more clinical than the EMC, and not quite as warm. On the other hand, the pace and (low) noise floor both seem to be a step forward. Soundstages seem similar, though possibly a touch wider through the MOON.

Note that these are all very early impressions, and not achieved under anything close to truly neutral conditions, not least of which because I was not able to carefully match volume output.


$1000 is a great price- enjoy!

the standard factory remote is an inexpensive plastic job, but it works beautifully. Sim has a much prettier remote available, that does exactly the same as the plastic remote, but it's not cheap. I have not bought the prettier remote- I prefer to put $ into things that make a difference to how things sound! 

Thanks! I got lucky with a local seller. I agree with you completely in terms of the focus of what we should spend on. Surprisingly, the EMC remote, which is simple and well designed, works perfectly with the MOON. The only exception is that it obviously does not have an open/close function.

Any thoughts on the significance (if any) of the quality of the coaxial interconnect between a transport and DAC?

Yes- re coaxial- the problem with the S/PDIF is that it’s a 75 ohm connection and there really isn’t any true 75 ohm coaxial cable that uses RCA terminations. That’s why I use an AES cable, which in fact can be a true 110 ohm termination, and that matches the spec of the AES termination itself. Some will argue that impedance mismatch isn’t that big a deal, but I figure if I can avoid a mismatch, that’s the way to go. BTW, a BNC cable can be a true 75 ohm cable.

So, my thought is- 1- use a quality cable; 2- termination is important; 3- avoid impedance mismatch. 
I use RCA terminated digital cables between my two transports and two DACs and find the better the cable the better the resulting sound.  If you go with a BNC terminated digital cable but need RCA connections you can get a quality BNC/RCA adaptor
I've partnered the 260D with Moon's 780D - a match made in heaven. EXCEPT (there's always one, isn't there ?) the tray swallowed one of my cd's. After listening to it, I ejected the tray from
the remote, and, lo, the tray was empty.  Techies gave me instructions on removing the lid and then the drive mechanism inside, but I've got to screw my courage to the sticking place first. 

Anyone actually ever go inside the transport ? 

I also am thinking of getting the 260 d transport.  I would like to play my cds in addition to streaming through my 390/330 setup, which by the way I think just sounds spectacular.  And it will all match nicely.  While I also don't like the sim remote, feels super cheap and hard to use without light, but it will be nice to have it all on one remote.  This is probably a dumb question, but I would like to try out some true DSD recordings.  Is there any reason that sim transport wouldn't be able to read and send the true dsd information to my moon 390 for decoding?

@whipsaw :

I own the 260DT (transport only) and have been very happy with it. It was clearly bested in terms of detail retrieval by the Pro-ject CD Box RS2 transport but I found the latter's diminutive dimensions, light weight and tiny controls highly impractical and did not keep it.

For the money, I believe you made a good choice with the Sim. 



Thanks. I have been very happy with the performance of the 260D. Responsive, dead-quiet, and user-friendly.

I have recently upgraded my amp, and am awaiting delivery of a new pair of speakers, but feel no need to change transports at this point.

I shifted from SPDIF RCA digital cable to AES digital cable between the Sim 260DT and the Mojo EVO DAC and realized an uptick in SQ

I have been using a Kimber 2120 cable to connect my 260DT to my Pontus II DAC from the beginning, so I only know, and am quite happy with the AES sound.