ULTRA AUDIO -- Archived Article

January 1, 2007

Searching for the Extreme: Simaudio's Moon Evolution Series

I asked Lionel Goodfield, marketing manager for Canada’s Simaudio Ltd., to talk about his company’s Moon Evolution line -- three models of which Ultra Audio named Products of the Year for 2006. It’s always interesting to learn something about the whys of product development as well as about the hows. Those who know Goodfield know him as a good-natured fellow, and he’s mighty proud of the products he sells, particularly the latest ones.

My first question for Lionel was whether the outstanding sound Simaudio achieves in the Moon Evolution line is due more to advances in circuit design -- particularly the Lynx circuit first used in the Evolutions -- or to better parts than were used in Sim’s older products. Lionel said, "Predominantly circuit design, but there are improved parts in some areas as well as tighter tolerance matching." Simaudio’s overall goals, when bringing a new product to market, seem more comprehensive than what you might find elsewhere. I simply could not find anything not to like about the stack I reviewed last April. Lionel went on about the Simaudio approach: "The design must respect our philosophy; that is to say, we aim for uncolored, true-to-life sound first. The Evolution Series is about playing music, first and foremost; then it must fit into a typical lifestyle. Once it has been determined how to do that, we then implement all the other important aspects of product design that make it successful in the marketplace: robust construction with extreme reliability, a friendly and easy-to-use interface, and pleasing aesthetics."

Inside the W-8

One aspect of the Evolutions’ performance that is a cut above almost every other product I’ve reviewed for Ultra Audio is their innovative functionality. I remain impressed by how Simaudio was able to meld excellent sound to user-interface perfection. Of course, this raises the obvious question: Does function ever trump sound quality? Lionel’s answer, although predictable, does show Simaudio’s commitment to its high-end roots in this age of ever-increasing component complexity: "We recognize the need to provide flexibility along with exceptional sound quality at higher price points. People expect that. The trick is to implement increased functionality without compromising sound quality, which we feel we have succeeded in doing."

The back panel of the two-piece P-8

I concur. The Evolutions were a joy for me to use -- in terms of both how they played my music and how I interacted with them day to day. The last question I had for Lionel was to ask him how Simaudio decides which product to make next. "We look at market trends, and see where we can apply our knowledge to enhance quality of life. A music server, perhaps, or an entry-level phono preamp."

A Simaudio music server? I can’t wait . . .

...Jeff Fritz

To learn more about Simaudio's products, visit www.simaudio.com.

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