The Canadian brand MOON has a rich history. This year, the brand is forty years old. It has therefore – not entirely surprisingly – released a 40th Anniversary Edition. The subject of today – the MOON 680D – does not fall under that new, limited edition range. But this model has benefited from forty years of knowledge. Let’s see exactly what that means.
The new MOON 680D (in fact a V2) – is a d/a converter with a built-in MiND streamer. That means you have a great converter and streamer in one housing. With the extra option of also pairing bluetooth devices. That’s quite a bit of connectivity! Certainly when you consider that this is all done at a high level. But before we go to sound and overall performance, let’s have an overview of the MOON 680D.
We’ve had quite a few nice converters in our listening room. Think of the Metrum Acoustics Pavane, Adagio, Morpheus, dCS Bartok … Converters with which this MOON 680D should be able to compete. After all: The Metrum Acoustics Pavane with Ambre (and cables) is around 7500 euros. But this one has less connection possibilities (no wifi and bluetooth for example). And Bartok may be a bit more expensive, but is in fact also a pre-amp and therefore a competitor if you are willing to connect directly to your power amp. So there may be a price difference, but that can be explained.
The MOON 680D is – for MOON – a midrange model. There is another 700 and 800 series. And underneath there is a 300-line, 200-line and of course the ACE all-in-one. Now ‘middle class’ is relative because the 680D has a price tag of 9500 euros and may therefore safely be placed in the top of the audio industy. And fortunately it also performs top-notch, as we will describe later.
Compared to the 300 series dac that we recently listened to in a multi test, the performance has made a huge leap. This has to do with price as well as with the used dac-chips. In the 680D there are two ESS SABRE 9028pro’s in mono. Very different from the 9018K2M chip. We also see a hybrid power supply that completely separates analog and digital and a nice streaming board (MiND2). So you can stream directly. And the signal goes directly from the MiND board to the dacs. This also has enormous advantages (short signal path… always better).
All in all, the inside looks neat and we mainly find high quality parts.
Are you looking for a device to which you can connect almost anything? Are you looking for a sublime reproduction on all those connections? And should it be able to handle all formats (PCM / DSD / High-Res)? Great; then the 680D is worth considering. On the back we find:
- Twice coaxial in
- BNC in
- Twice optically
- Ethernet (MiND2)
- Wifi (MiND2)
- Single ended and XLR out (analog)
- Contro4 compatible
It should be clear that you really won’t be short of connectivity. Then there are also connections for an optional external power supply (820S). For if you want to make another step in playback later on. We have not tested that.
The construction quality is excellent. The cabinet is thick and simply feels high quality. The dual-tone finish is beautiful and gives it a modern touch. So on top of the MOON 600i V2 (review follows) is looks very chic. And that is also the intention of MOON. In short: great work. (Black is also possible of course).