First impression review: MOON North Collection heralds a new direction for high-end Hi-Fi

Moon North Collection system at London launch

MOON’s new high-end Hi-Fi range is named the North Collection for a reason. It speaks of the Canadian brand’s Montreal home, and points the way for a whole new direction for the brand.

MOON by Simaudio has long been regarded as an esoteric player in the world of Hi-Fi, but this uncompromising new range, which debuts at £11,000, ushers in a whole new level of awesome. We’ve had an early listen, and can report the MOON North Collection is out of this world.

The North collection comprises a trio of network player and amplification twin-sets. Providing the jumping on point is the MOON 641 integrated amplifier and 681 network streamer.

It’s followed by the MOON 791 Network player preamp and matching MOON 761 power amp. Completing the range are the MOON 891 network player and 861 power amplifier.

This uncompromising new range, which debuts at £11,000, ushers in a whole new level of awesome…

The systems are incrementally more powerful. The 641 integrated amp is rated at 125W per channel; the 761 power amp steps up to 200W per channel, while the formidable 861 power amp delivers 300W per channel.

Prices are equally formidable. The two 600 series components sell for £23,00, while the 700-series combi comes in at £30,000. If you fancy the ultimate 800-series network player preamp and power amp, they duo will set you back £50,000.

At their exclusive London unveiling, it was the MOON 791 Network player preamp and matching MOON 761 power amp that we heard in full flight.

The network players support Spotify Connect, Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer, and are Roon Ready and AirPlay 2 compatible. They have a bright OLED colour screen which displays artist, track info and album cover art. 

The network preamps are also extremely well connected, with copious analogue and digital options. What makes them particularly interesting is the provision of an HDMI ARC connection, which allows the system to double up as a two channel home cinema system.

Design and build quality are unapologetically premium, with contoured vertical heatsinks and machine milled chassis. There’s a host of clever technology at play inside too, including MOON’s Distortion Cancelling Amplifier (MDCA) circuit, and anti vibration Damping Base (MDB).

Adding polish to usability is the fabulous MOON BRM-1 Bluetooth remote control, with splendid volume knob, and multi-layered touch controls.

For our audition, the 700 series were partnered with a pair of Audiovector Arreté R 6 floor-standing speakers (£25,495 a pair), which sound as good as they look. The ensemble presentation was epic.

I listened to a variety of genres, and this combo delighted with every track: the system is immensely detailed, warm and involving, with a presence that seems three dimensional.

My verdict? With the North Collection, MOON has moved into the rarefied orbit of ultra high-end Hi-Fi audio. This Collection is a star turn.

The first MOON North models will go on sale in October, with the 700 series. The 600-series will then follow and then the 800-series. Distribution is via Renaissance Audio.

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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