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I wonder if anyone here has tried this new product yet? It is a DLNA renderer without DAC. Simaudio say it will do gapless. At $1250, it seems not absurdly expensive.

 

Simaudio has a great reputation for sound quality, and they have a dealer network to handle sales and service. This could be a great choice for those (like me) who are happy with their present DAC and wish to add gapless streaming capability.

 

Simaudio MOON 180 MiND Music Streamer Press Release

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Hi Mike48, I got the chance to test the Simaudio MiND Renderer during the last SSI 2012 and lately this fall when the product was released. (with the Moon 380D equipped with MiND module)

 

Here's my observations:

 

-Build quality is top noch, I like the AES XLR output, it could be useful if you're DAC is far away from the MiND

 

-The MiND Streamer must be connected to LAN if you need to stream files over 44.1kHz

 

-The MiND provide support for DLNA, during my test and demonstration we used a NAS Vortexbox Server V2.0 (homebrew)

 

-The MiND app is developed for the Ipad, the application is stable but still in development.

 

-Not tested but several MiND could be synchronized together with minimal audio delay (or none)

 

- The MinD app provide volume control (in the analog domain) of other Moon products as DAC or Integrated amplifier via a SimLink connection between the MiND and the other devices.

 

-Sound quality is par with the Moon product line, excellent engineering combined with musicality.

 

Hope this help

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  • 1 month later...

I'll try this question here before starting a new thread...

 

The 180 Mind streamer requires ethernet connection to a NAS. Does that make the NAS a "server"? Does anyone know if the Moon streamer would play files from an external hard drive (Western Digital MyStudio) that is directly connect to the AExtreme by USB and is therefore controlled by AirDisk software in the router?

 

I'm a little confused on exactly what differentiates a "streamer" from a "server". I always thought a streamer accessed a pre-existing "stream" of audio information (eg. internet radio, MOG), interpreted and converted the files into a pure audio bit stream, and presented it to a DAC (increasingly found inside the "single box" streamers such as Naim, Linn, etc). I thought a "server" was something that retrieved stored audio files from memory (external hard drive), converted the file to a bitstream, and clocked the data as it went out to a DAC.

 

So, if a "streamer" can play the files on a NAS, does that mean the NAS is somehow clocking and spooling out the bits to the streamer? Or is the streamer really a "server" when it functions like this?

 

Is a "network player" then really defined as something that can both "stream" and "serve"? Is that the same as a "renderer"?????

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I'll try this question here before starting a new thread...

 

The 180 Mind streamer requires ethernet connection to a NAS. Does that make the NAS a "server"?

 

Well, the terminology is confused and not always consistent. Some audio publications call anything that provides digital-based music to a stereo system a "music server." That is really an unfortunate usage.

 

The more standard usage for digital audio is available a number of places. I copied the following from Wikipedia:

 

 

  • Digital Media Server (DMS): These devices store content and make it available to networked digital media players (DMP) and digital media renderers (DMR). Examples include PCs and network-attached storage(NAS) devices.
  • Digital Media Player (DMP): These devices find content on digital media servers (DMS) and provide playback and rendering capabilities. Examples include TVs, stereos and home theaters, wireless monitors and game consoles.
  • Digital Media Renderer (DMR): These devices play content received from a digital media controller (DMC), which will find content from a digital media server (DMS). Examples include TVs, audio/video receivers, video displays and remote speakers for music.
    • Note: it is possible for a single device (e.g. TV, A/V receiver, etc.) to function both as a DMR (receives "pushed" content from DMS) and DMP ("pulls" content from DMS)

     

    [*]Digital Media Controller (DMC): These devices find content on digital media servers (DMS) and play it on digital media renderers (DMR). Examples include Internet tablets, Wi-Fi enabled digital cameras and smartphones.

 

Does anyone know if the Moon streamer would play files from an external hard drive (Western Digital MyStudio) that is directly connect to the AExtreme by USB and is therefore controlled by AirDisk software in the router?

 

It depends on whether an AExtreme is a DLNA/UPnP compliant server. The Moon is a DLNA "renderer".

 

Here's how it works in my system:

 

Server: I have a UPnP server running on my PC. Now I'm using MinimServer, but I have also used the JRiver DLNA server and another one called AssetPnP. The server sends descriptions of what's available over the network, and when requested sends the music itself.

 

Control point: I am using the app UPnPlay running on an Android phone. This allows me to browse the library that the server provides, choose what I want to hear, and tell my renderer to play it. It forwards the address of the music to the renderer.

 

Renderer: The Simaudio Moon is the renderer. It takes the data from the network, as directed by the control point, and renders the data into something that can be listened to. In the case of the Moon, it renders it only into a PCM digital stream, which is sent to a DAC, but the more typical renderer converts it into analog audio.

 

Is a "network player" then really defined as something that can both "stream" and "serve"? Is that the same as a "renderer"?????

 

See above.

 

I hope that helps.

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For anyone interested, I took a Simaudio Moon MiND 180 home for evaluation today.

 

It works seamlessly with my existing DLNA setup (MinimServer on a PC and UPnPlay on an Android phone). No configuration was needed; all I did was plug it into the AC line, plug in an Ethernet connection, and hook it to my DAC (I used AES-EBU).

 

It absolutely will render the music with true gapless reproduction. I find NO detectable pause between tracks that are meant to be continuous. This is a huge improvement over most other streamers I've tried.

 

I have not been able to compare the sound quality directly to my PS Audio PWD-II with Bridge very well, as I've got only one Ethernet connection in the music room. My impression is that the sound quality is comparable.

 

Although a little expensive for what it does (streamed audio via Ethernet in -> PCM out), it does it so well, I'll probably take the plunge.

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So if I have something like Minimserve on my iMac, which is connected to the home network, and have an external hard drive connected to my Airport Extreme via USB, the Minimserver software on my iMac will allow the HD/AExtreme combination to serve files to something like the Moon renderer?

 

God, I hope I've got that right...If not, I'm gonna have to invest more time and money to move all the files I just ripped to my WD hard drive over to a real NAS.

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So if I have something like Minimserve on my iMac, which is connected to the home network, and have an external hard drive connected to my Airport Extreme via USB, the Minimserver software on my iMac will allow the HD/AExtreme combination to serve files to something like the Moon renderer?

 

God, I hope I've got that right...If not, I'm gonna have to invest more time and money to move all the files I just ripped to my WD hard drive over to a real NAS.

 

I am not a Mac user, so I can only guess. It seems to me that if the drive is seen and used by your iMac, it should be suitable for use with MinimServer or another DLNA server, and therefore available to the MiND (or other DLNA renderer). But I hope an Apple user will also answer this, in case there is a Catch-22.

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I am not a Mac user, so I can only guess. It seems to me that if the drive is seen and used by your iMac, it should be suitable for use with MinimServer or another DLNA server, and therefore available to the MiND (or other DLNA renderer). But I hope an Apple user will also answer this, in case there is a Catch-22.

 

Calling Paul R., wgscott, or ELF...

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  • 2 weeks later...
For anyone interested, I took a Simaudio Moon MiND 180 home for evaluation today.

 

It works seamlessly with my existing DLNA setup (MinimServer on a PC and UPnPlay on an Android phone). No configuration was needed; all I did was plug it into the AC line, plug in an Ethernet connection, and hook it to my DAC (I used AES-EBU).

 

It absolutely will render the music with true gapless reproduction. I find NO detectable pause between tracks that are meant to be continuous. This is a huge improvement over most other streamers I've tried.

 

I have not been able to compare the sound quality directly to my PS Audio PWD-II with Bridge very well, as I've got only one Ethernet connection in the music room. My impression is that the sound quality is comparable.

 

Although a little expensive for what it does (streamed audio via Ethernet in -> PCM out), it does it so well, I'll probably take the plunge.

 

Great feedback.

But I am curious, if you have a PS Audio PWD-II with Bridge, why did you felt the need to the MiND?

 

Was it only because the gapless issues on the PS Audio?

 

I track psaudio for a while, it's incredible the amount of time spent by them to try to acheive true gapless...a pity!

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Great feedback.

But I am curious, if you have a PS Audio PWD-II with Bridge, why did you felt the need to the MiND?

 

Was it only because the gapless issues on the PS Audio?

 

I track psaudio for a while, it's incredible the amount of time spent by them to try to acheive true gapless...a pity!

 

I did buy the MiND, for two reasons. One was to get gapless playback -- now -- with the PWD. The other is that my other DAC/preamp, a TacT 2.2X, is due back from the modification shop later this month. To network that, I'll need something like the MiND anyway -- so even if PS Audio comes up with a fix, I won't be wasting my MiND.

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I did buy the MiND, for two reasons. One was to get gapless playback -- now -- with the PWD. The other is that my other DAC/preamp, a TacT 2.2X, is due back from the modification shop later this month. To network that, I'll need something like the MiND anyway -- so even if PS Audio comes up with a fix, I won't be wasting my MiND.

 

OK, thanks for sharing this explanation.

I have a similar dac, the Lyngdorf TDAI.

How do you compare your TacT DAC and the PS Audio? Curious to know.

 

Also, I wonder if you got any figures regarding jitter from the MiND to TacT connection...

 

Many people feel that streamers are not as good as a good CD transport...or USB based audio. But I think, when well implemented, a streamer can be as good as the mentioned alternatives...What's your take on this?

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@Mike48--

 

My comparison of gear needs a caveat. We moved 3000 miles / 5000 km to a new city, and my equipment had not been set up properly yet when I sent off the TacT. I tried the Burson H160D for a while, then found the PWD on Audiogon. So it's hardly an A/B comparison in a known environment.

 

That said, my impression is that the PWD-II has a more liquid, relaxed sound than the TacT DAC. Not that the latter was bad -- musicians have listened to it happily for hours. One of the mods is changing the sample-rate converter chip for a newer one that other users have found smoother. So, I am hoping it will be really good when I get it back (which is taking forever).

 

I have no figures on jitter. I think the MiND sounds excellent feeding the PWD-II through an AES-EBU connection. To my ears, it gives nothing up to the PS Audio Bridge. (I should also say, I am the type of listener who is listening much more for musical timbre than for tiny changes in soundstaging, etc. Those things are largely artifacts of recordings, not something one hears in Row H. What does bother me are over-compressed recordings, but that's another story.)

 

I agree with you about streamers vs. transports. So does PS Audio -- they consider their Bridge superior to all other inputs of the PWD-II. (Of course, they make money with every Bridge they sell.) To my ears, streaming is at least as good as using my Meridian G98 as a transport with an SPDIF connection, and probably a little better. Perhaps using a transport that could connect with I2S would change my mind. I did once have a Muse transport + DAC that used I2S, and the sound was remarkable in some respects. It was the first digital gear on which I never had trouble, e.g., telling a viola from a violin.

 

Finally, streaming is much better for the way I listen to music. I usually do not want to hear an hour of Scarlatti sonatas; three will do it, then I change to something else. But I might want to hear the same one next, played by someone else. To do that with a disc player is a real pain in the neck -- hardly relaxing! -- and one must be relaxed to enjoy music fully. As an audiophile, I am not supposed to say this, but convenience also contributes to listening enjoyment.

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I have no figures on jitter. I think the MiND sounds excellent feeding the PWD-II through an AES-EBU connection. To my ears, it gives nothing up to the PS Audio Bridge.

Good to know! I will keep an eye on MiND, but will not come cheap into europe..

 

(I should also say, I am the type of listener who is listening much more for musical timbre than for tiny changes in soundstaging, etc. Those things are largely artifacts of recordings, not something one hears in Row H. What does bother me are over-compressed recordings, but that's another story.)

 

Fully agree, at home it's correct pitch, timbre, cadence (and quickness on attack, natural decays) that can transport me to the musical event...

Rarely the soundstage is "real", rather a enginnered one - altough one that can be fun and very well done; remembring Homeless, from Paul Simon, for example!

 

Perhaps using a transport that could connect with I2S would change my mind. I did once have a Muse transport + DAC that used I2S, and the sound was remarkable in some respects. It was the first digital gear on which I never had trouble, e.g., telling a viola from a violin.

 

When I listened live to Kronos Quartet, it was the viola sound that fascinated me more. Could you sugest a viola based CD that you feel it's nice in interpretation and sound?

 

but convenience also contributes to listening enjoyment.

 

 

Again, fully agree, I now listen to much more music that in the CD days...

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Good to know! I will keep an eye on MiND, but will not come cheap into europe..

[...] When I listened live to Kronos Quartet, it was the viola sound that fascinated me more. Could you sugest a viola based CD that you feel it's nice in interpretation and sound? [...]

Mike, I do think the MiND is priced rather high for what it does. (After all, you could buy an Oppo BDP-105 for the same price.) On the other hand, it performs well, and I couldn't find a similar box on the market for less. Perhaps if competition heats up, prices will come down.

 

As to a viola disc, I don't have a recommendation for you. I had computer trouble and lost the database that catalogs my discs. I am re-creating a better catalog as a side product of ripping them. I've done all the pop, jazz, blues, folk, and bluegrass, but I'm only at "Beethoven" in classical music, so not much to look through. I have a recording of Berlioz's "Harold in Italy," but I don't think it's particularly recommendable. Some of the Shostakovich quartets have more viola than those from the classical period. We just heard the Jerusalem Quartet play many of them, and they are superb musicians. They record for Harmonia Mundi, so if you like Shostakovich, you could look for those recordings. Or you could just Google and see what comes up. If you find something you like, let me know!

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I bought a MiND 180 a couple of weeks back and it's exactly what I've been waiting for. A standalone network digital transport. Just so happens my amp is a Moon i3.3 so as a bonus I also benefit from the SIM-link stuff. It really sounds terrific. Much better than the Squeezebox Touch with EDO that I've been using as network transport until now. The control app for the iPad is also good, although I do miss some features of the Logitech server software.

 

I've also updated the internal dac of the Moon i3.3 to the new board with 24/192 asynchronous USB and must say it's the best USB implementation I've heard so far. Miles better than my V-link 192 and Hiface.

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I bought a MiND 180 a couple of weeks back and it's exactly what I've been waiting for. A standalone network digital transport. Just so happens my amp is a Moon i3.3 so as a bonus I also benefit from the SIM-link stuff. It really sounds terrific. Much better than the Squeezebox Touch with EDO that I've been using as network transport until now. The control app for the iPad is also good, although I do miss some features of the Logitech server software.

 

I have to agree: the more I listen through the MiND, the more I appreciate it. I always felt that the sound quality via Squeezebox was not quite as good as playing a CD on my Meridian G98 transport. The MiND is better than the transport. It's more immediate, and at the same time, more relaxed. This is not a night-and-day difference in my system, but over hours of listening, it becomes apparent.

 

I have also found the MiND trouble-free, which in these early days of DLNA is saying something -- especially since I am using it without an iOS device, just a Windows DLNA server and an Android control point. Zero problems. How refreshing!

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I have to agree: the more I listen through the MiND, the more I appreciate it. I always felt that the sound quality via Squeezebox was not quite as good as playing a CD on my Meridian G98 transport. The MiND is better than the transport. It's more immediate, and at the same time, more relaxed. This is not a night-and-day difference in my system, but over hours of listening, it becomes apparent.

 

Yeah, relaxed is a good description. It provides for a sound that's natural in a way that some people, maybe myself included, would refer to as analouge. It simply sounds right, without those artefacts in the higher frequencies that seem to be so hard to avoid when it comes to computer based audio. Since I started experimenting with computer audio a few years ago I've kept my now 12 year old and trusty Quad CDP 99 for reference and with the MiND I for the first time I feel that computer audio actually sounds better. Worth every Euro.

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+1. Had an SBT then an Alix board running Mpd. The Moon sounds better on my DAC using the AES/EBU connection than any of my previous equipment . It runs without a glitch. It is also nice not having to deal with USB any longer, and the never ending quest for optimizations through cables, adapters, cards, software, etc..

 

A quality little package...

my blog

 

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Hmmm, the MiND still sounds fantastic, but I'm having some trouble with drop-outs. Don't think they are related to the network side, since the Moon seems to buffer 15 - 20 seconds of 16/44.1 Wav-files and I've never had network problems with the SB Touch. Turns out I get quite large dropouts when turning on and off certain light switches in my apartment and it's possible other "electrical events" in the building make the Moon jump as well. Makes me turn to the what looks like a very cheap and probably switching wall wart power supply of the MiND. Maybe buying a linear PS would solve this? Plugging the wall wart to a moderately filtered outlet doesn't help. Similar experiences anyone (with the Moon or otherwise)? Possible cause and solution?

 

Edit: I use a wired connection to the network.

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Hmmm, the MiND still sounds fantastic, but I'm having some trouble with drop-outs. Don't think they are related to the network side, since the Moon seems to buffer 15 - 20 seconds of 16/44.1 Wav-files and I've never had network problems with the SB Touch. Turns out I get quite large dropouts when turning on and off certain light switches in my apartment and it's possible other "electrical events" in the building make the Moon jump as well. Makes me turn to the what looks like a very cheap and probably switching wall wart power supply of the MiND. Maybe buying a linear PS would solve this? Plugging the wall wart to a moderately filtered outlet doesn't help. Similar experiences anyone (with the Moon or otherwise)? Possible cause and solution?

 

Veovis, I have not had this happen with any gear. But I live in a private house with good electric service. My guess is that the circuit is overloaded, and that you get a momentary voltage drop when a light is switched on.

 

A voltage drop would be observable with a voltmeter. If that's it, one solution would be a power conditioner with voltage regulation. (I suggest not buying before you have tried and know it solves the problem.) Another possibility would be plugging the system into another outlet, which might be on a circuit that is less heavily loaded. Unfortunately, nearby outlets are usually wired together. And finally, it's entirely possible that a better power supply for the MiND might solve the problem.

 

Please let us know what works!

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Hi Guys,

 

I am in midst of getting a new solution for my music listening.

I currently own a squeezebox classic network streamer +NAS.

Since squeezebox is officialy dead, I need to get myself another device in the near future.

 

I've been thinking about a computer based system with USB-dac or new streamer

but I have not yet been able to find a system that is handled with such ease as the squeezebox (I am now controlling it with ipad + ipeng ).

 

I have read disturbing information when searching the net that several of the high quality streamer brands (naim, linn, pioneer etc). Mainly (only?) focus on sound and has no chance when it comes to controlling their devices compared to iPeng for example. I think someone mentioned that with Naim software, you can't even see what track number you are currently playing and many other problems are described.

 

My question: what solution / brand is best according to your knowledge in terms of controlling the collection?

 

Also one questions for the Simaudio Moon 180, is it possible to adjust the volume via the ipad if you add their cheapest dac 100 ? (and no, I do not own any other moon products).

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Hmmm, the MiND still sounds fantastic, but I'm having some trouble with drop-outs. Don't think they are related to the network side, since the Moon seems to buffer 15 - 20 seconds of 16/44.1 Wav-files and I've never had network problems with the SB Touch. Turns out I get quite large dropouts when turning on and off certain light switches in my apartment and it's possible other "electrical events" in the building make the Moon jump as well. Makes me turn to the what looks like a very cheap and probably switching wall wart power supply of the MiND. Maybe buying a linear PS would solve this? Plugging the wall wart to a moderately filtered outlet doesn't help. Similar experiences anyone (with the Moon or otherwise)? Possible cause and solution?

 

Edit: I use a wired connection to the network.

 

I have a MiND 180 and have been powering it with one of the spare outputs from my Bel Canto VBS1.

 

I already had the VBS1 so it was worth the cost of an extra standard Bel Canto cable, which has the correct connector for the MiND. This was done obviously after careful comparison of the voltage, current and polarity of the MiND power supply compared to the VBS1 (they pretty much exactly match).

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@musicdetector: The possibility to adjust the volume through the MiND 180 requires a SIM-link between the MiND and another Moon product with a volume control (in my case an i3.3 amp with volume adjustment in the analouge domain). The 100D doesn't seem to have either a SIM-link or, more importantly, the ability to adjust the volume.

 

The Moon control app together with Asset server software is ok but far, far from as good as the Logitech Media Server with, in my case, the Logitech Controller. Would guess it has basically the same functionality as the Naim control app + a few mildly annoying things that they will hopefully fix soon. I've read that Moon is working on their own server software so hopefully things will really improve in the future.

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