Moon 300D V2 – Review

Hello everybody,

I recently got my hands on a small but very good DAC, the Moon 300D V2.

This came in with perfect timing as since this week, I am a proud owner of a Decware Taboo MK3 headphone / speaker amplifier.

I love this amp and I was really curious how it behaved with other better dacs than with Burson Conductor. Don’t worry, a review of Taboo will come soon.

Presentation

The Moon 300D v2 isn’t the most beautiful DAC I have seen but it has decent looks. The build quality seems sturdy. The box doesn’t have the same thickness of Burson Conductor, but it seems very resistant.

The back panel features a total of 4 digital inputs (USB, SPDIF x 2,and TosLink) and both balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) analog outputs. The MOON 300D v.2 includes an IR input for external control.

300D Technical Features

· Over-sized power supply with 8 stages of voltage regulation
· Internal upsampling which uses 24-bit/352.8kHz processing
· BurrBrown PCM1793 high-resolution 24-bit/192-kHz D/A and 8X oversampling digital filter
· All inputs accept a signal up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution
· IR input for external control
· Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter for exceptionally low intrinsic jitter levels
· Single-ended RCA and Balanced XLR analog outputs
· Advanced analog signal path using a DC servo circuit and proprietary analog filter
· Extremely rigid chassis construction to minimize the effects of external vibrations
· Accurate matching of the very finest high quality electronic components in a symmetrical circuit design
· Designed to be powered up at all times for optimal performance

You can find the full specs here.

simaudio moon 300d v2

Listening impressions

The tests have been done with Decware Taboo MK3, Audeze LCD-X with Toxic Silver Widow, Burson Conductor, Audiobyte Hydra-X, Sennheiser HD800.

I have tested the 300D with and without Hydra and found out that the 300D could hold it’s own on it’s USB input. However Hydra did bring some interesting changes in the sound.

With Hydra the bass was punchier and deeper  and the sound was smoother overall but with slower decays. I just love the bass with Hydra-X.  The default USB input had a little more treble energy and extension, more detailed overall and  with a larger soundstage and faster transients. Both presentations were very good in a different way.

Leonard Cohen –  Balad of Absent Mare

The chord pluck from the beginning has immediately caught my attention. The guitars and instruments had a very good extension and detail. Leonard’s voice was very present and well textured. The soundstage has a good depth and the instruments play on different layers with a lot of air between them.

Silent Strike – Asian Paper Circus

I love this song. The imaging was very good and the sounds flew all around you with ease and great dynamics. The soundstage had a gain very good depth. I also loved the bass as it was very deep, detailed and had a wonderful punch.

Sons de la Frontera – Buleria de la Cal

The guitars sounded amazing. The plucks have a very good attack and the extension is wonderful. The drums were in the same league as they had a very good impact and presence as well.  The sound was opened and full of energy and details.

Pink Martini – White Christmas

Ok, this song really got me in the mood for Christmas. The voice was wonderfully extended with an excellent texture. That voice really sent shivers down my spine. The soundstage was again deep and the sound signature very airy.

ATB – Feel Alive

The energy in this song was exemplary. The electric guitars from the beginning had a very nice texture. The bass was again deep, detailed and with good impact. The details sprung from every part of the song and the layering handled the crowded sounds with ease.

Michael Jackson – Beat it

The PRAT almost got me out my chair as I felt dancing. The airy instrument separation & layering, very good details,  energy and prat made this song very enjoyable.

Cumbees 

The soundstage was amazing here with an excellent presentation of the room. The attack and extension of the plucks were very good. I loved this song and I felt in the room with the 2 artists.

Summary

Soundstage

The soundstage is very good on 300D v2. The music has a holographic feel and a very airy presentation.

Instrument separation & layering

The layering is lovely and the space between them and the instruments is quite generous. It can handle crowded music with ease.

Details

The details and micro – details are springing from everywhere and gets your attention.

Dynamics

I feel that every instrument, even if is in quiet passages or deep in the back, had a very good extension and presence. I loved the dynamics on the 300D v2.

Transients

300D v2 has some very fast transients with very good attack and fast but still natural decays.

Treble

The treble has a very good extension and energy and it was awesome with taboo, but a little harsh on Burson Conductor which already has treble energy of it’s own.

Mids

Very good details and extension. Also the vocals are standing out with good texture and presence.

Bass

I loved the bass as it was detailed, with a good punch and depth. With a SS amp that has treble energy, the bass might get a little overrun by the treble, but with taboo it was excellent.

Conclusions

This little dac has some stamina and really got my attention. I found that it’s default usb implementation is quite good. For example Burson Conductor on default usb input cannot even be in the same picture with the 300D.

With Hydra-X, the Conductor gets near the 300D but it is still left behind. The moon has a deeper soundstage, a more holografic sound, more details with better dynamics and instrument extension and a deeper and more complete bass than Hydra-X + Conductor.

I found it to be a perfect match with Taboo MK3 giving extended and energetic treble without harshness, excellent dynamics, fast transients with very good extension, good punchy, controlled and deep bass.

With the amplifier section in Burson Conductor it was just a decent match, as moon already has some treble energy and so does Conductor. The result was a little harsh sound.

The size and performance of this unit made it a very appealing product from my perspective.