The super stealthy Esoteric RZ-1 ($6000) was one of those components I couldn’t get out of my head. It hides its complexity beneath a silver vault-like exterior. Part slot-loaded SACD/CD transport, part integrated amplifier with 100Wpc Class D amplification into 6 ohms it also offers a USB/32-bit DAC and 24-bit/192Khz conversion via the coax and optical inputs. There’s also two analog inputs–one of which is switchable to a moving magnet phono stage.
It may be deep in a Canadian winter but Simaudio certainly hasn’t been hibernating. The stunning new Moon 600i ($8000) joins the standard-setting 700i flagship ($12,000). The 600i takes over for the Moon i-7, delivers 125Wpc into 8 ohms, double into 4 ohms and offers a formidable 530 step volume control (0.1dB increments!), and a potent dual-mono power supply. Stunning good looks as well.