Australian Hi-Fi

A guiding star


Another of the industry's beloved Canadian brands was even more prolific. Moon unveiled its North Collection, a six-strong separates range sporting all-new technology and designed to deliver high-performanc­e streaming.

There are three tiers: the ‘entry’ range 600 (681 streaming DAC and 641 integrated amp); the middle 700 series (791 streaming preamp and 761 power amp); and the granddaddy

800 pair (891 streaming preamp and 861 power amp). Moon intends for this new North Collection to both honour its Canadian heritage and act as a guiding star for its intentions going forward in the future of hi-fi.

Indeed, after decades of making hi-fi separates with a singular vision and purpose (its analogue-only 250i amp only recently added a phono stage), it is finally taking the step many of its rivals have already in combining the DAC, streaming and preamplifi­er stages into one box.

Moon says that while outright audio quality is compromise­d in such all-in-one designs that can juggle multiple jobs, a traditiona­l separates system is admittedly clunky in operation. Its MoonLink connectivi­ty feature, however, aims to take care of that, offering a level of integratio­n between the products that supposedly sees the collection operate as one unit — and without compromisi­ng audio quality.

All six products feature “ground-breaking” technologi­es developed by Moon after years of R&D, such as the Moon Distortion-Cancelling Amplifier (MDCA), the Moon Damping Base (MDB) and the Moon Digital Engine (MDE). Aside from introducin­g many acronyms, their goal is to reduce distortion to “previously unattainab­le levels” in the power amps (MDCA), offer mechanical isolation to protect against micro-vibrations (MDB), and improve the digital performanc­e with greater accuracy (MDE).

The tech gets more advanced the higher you go up the range, with the flagship 891 and 861 apparently “several orders of magnitude more precise” in regard to digital timing. The 800 products also have a bigger footprint than the 600 and 700 products.

Moon’s existing MiND2 streaming platform and app returns for easy control of streaming services and connected servers. But Moon is clearly fanatic about volume control, as evidenced by the ace up its sleeve: the BRM-1 remote, a uniquely designed ovoid control with a touchscree­n that displays volume and artist/ track info. And it's included with every box.

Some specificat­ions are in order. The 641 integrated delivers 125W into eight ohms, while the fantastica­lly equipped 681 network player/ DAC has, at its heart, MDE1, an innovative and accuracy-led implementa­tion of FPGA DAC architectu­re.

The 791 streaming preamp packs a higher-performing MDE2 DAC with hi-res file support up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256, as well as a phono stage for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. The matching 761 power amp outputs 200W per channel into eight ohms.

The flagship 861 power amp takes that to 300W per channel (or 800W in monoblock operation!), while the reference 891 streaming preamp uses an MDE3 digital engine.

The North Collection will be available this spring. The 761 ($24,000) and 791 ($27,000) will arrive in September, followed by the 641 ($19,000) and 681 ($20,000) in October, and the 861 ($38,000) and 891 ($43,000) in November.

For more informatio­n, contact BusiSoft AV on (03) 9810 2900 or visit

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