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MOON 891 Network Player/Preamplifier Review


Disclaimer: We are in no way related to MOON Audio.


The landmark NORTH Collection represents the culmination of years of research and development in the fields of audio, electronics, materials, and manufacturing processes.

Its exciting new look is surpassed only by improvements in performance made possible by the passionate team of Simaudio engineers and technicians dedicated to delivering an uncompromised music-listening experience.


The MOON 891 is the keystone of the North Collection, bringing together levels of performance, features, and construction never experienced before.


The MOON 891, as the flagship preamplifier in the North Collection, represents a culmination of extensive research and development, integrating cutting-edge technologies and design elements.


In this review, we will endeavor to describe the key features and functionalities that make the 891 stand out in the realm of high-end audio equipment.


At its core, the MOON 891 is not just a preamplifier, but an all-encompassing audio hub that combines a streaming DAC, a phono stage, and an intuitive graphic interface. This multifaceted approach demonstrates the product's ambition to cater to various audiophile needs within a single unit.


The utilization of the MiND2 (MOON intelligent Network Device) streaming platform showcases the preamplifier's ability to extract intricate details from digital music files. Its compatibility with both local libraries and online streaming services is facilitated through user-friendly iOS and Android apps.



The incorporation of AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, and Roon Ready compatibility further demonstrates the 891's commitment to seamless integration with modern streaming technologies.


The MDE3 digital engine (dual-mono pair of top-of-the-line 32-bit converters with precision femtosecond clocking), positions the 891 as a frontrunner in handling diverse digital audio formats, including PCM, MQA, and DSD. The variety of digital inputs ensures versatile connectivity to different sources.


The preamplifier's visual aspect is not overlooked, with a vibrant 5” color OLED screen serving as a visual interface. The screen does more than just display menus; it also showcases cover art, track details, volume levels, and input selections, providing a comprehensive and engaging user experience. This interface also extends to controlling other MOONLink devices, offering centralized control over the audio setup.


Two significant technological innovations enhance the 891's audio performance. The MOON Damping Base effectively mitigates microphonic noise by addressing parasitic vibrations, thereby contributing to a cleaner audio output. The astoundingly silent M-RAY2 volume control to the impeccable isolation of the MDB gel suspension, featuring discrete resistors and enhanced components, suggests meticulous attention to detail that extends to even the smallest components.


Pairing the MOON 891 preamplifier with the 861 power amplifier from the same North Collection will emphasize the synergy and sonic excellence achievable by combining these two devices and the system's ability to present music expressively and with nuance, highlighting the solid engineering principles and innovative features underpinning the MOON products.


The 891's build quality aligns with its flagship status. The assurance of an industry-leading underscores the manufacturer's confidence in the product's durability and reliability. A shared passion for music drives the MOON team, which is reflected in the meticulous design and execution of these high-end audio components.


Overall, MOON 891 has multifunctionality, technological innovations, seamless integration with streaming platforms, and its potential to deliver an exceptional audio experience when paired with compatible devices.


NETWORK PLAYER / DAC Specifications:

Design features

6 Digital Inputs

1 HDMI with ARC

3 Analog Inputs

MM/MC Phono Stage

MiND2 Module

MDE-3 DAC Technology

M-Ray2 Volume Control (featuring discrete resistors)

MDB MOON Damping Base

5.0” Graphic Colour Display

BRM-1 Intelligent Remote Control


Specifications:

Analog Input Impedance

22 kΩ

Maximum Gain (Line Level)

10 dB

Phono Input Gain

40 dB / 54 dB / 60 dB / 66 dB

Phono Input Capacitance

0 / 100 pF / 470 pF

Phono Input Resistance

10 Ω / 100 Ω / 1 kΩ / 47 kΩ

Output Impedance

50 Ω

Crosstalk

–125 dB

Frequency Response

2 Hz – 200 kHz (+0 dB / –3 dB)

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Analog Preamplifier)

125 dB

Dynamic Range (Digital Input, Fixed Output)

125 dB

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise

0.0003%

Intermodulation Distortion

0.00006%

Power Consumption (Idle)

30 W

Power Consumption (Full Power Standby)

27 W

Power Consumption (Low Power Standby)

5.5 W

Shipping Weight

54 lbs / 25 kg

Dimensions (width x height x depth)

18.95 x 5.53 x 17.66 in

48.1 x 14 x 44.9 cm


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