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Curious about Simaudio 340i integrated quality

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by CountryKraut, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. CountryKraut

    CountryKraut Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portland
    Hi all,
    This is my first post, but I have visited here many times for audio hardware advice and opinions. I'll try to be brief. We've recently upgraded to a Rega Planar 6 with exact, a Chord 2 Qute, a Bluesound Vault 2i, and some Dali Oberon 7s. We kept our Rogue Sphinx v2 Amp, and the sound improvement has been great with everything. The Rega seems to have added the most upgrade to our overall sound with maybe the 2Qute as well. I'm simply blown away by how good of a TT that is. I'm curious about how much improvement we'd get from swapping in the Simaudio 340i in for our Rogue. I heard a Simaudio Neo Ace and 240i with a pair of Dali Oberon 5s with digital sources and thought they sounded great. (I had already ordered my Oberon 7s, so I was excited). I think the Oberon 7s sound great and are a big improvement over the Zensor 3s we were running, but I know I can dig more out of them with a different amp. Does anyone currently have a Simaudio 340i and what are your impressions? Would you think the sound improvement would be significant in our system? Is the DAC worth getting for any reason in the 340i? Any other integrated amps you'd recommend considering - I don't want to go the pre-amp route at this point? Especially if any of you use components I have listed above.

    Our system is dedicated to music, and we listed to vinyl about 50-60% of the time, and digital sources 40-50% of the time. Our digital sources are hi-res flac, ALAC, and MP3s and we have no plans to get into MQA or any other proprietary digital file types.

    Sorry for the length and thanks.
     
  2. Ecjjr

    Ecjjr Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago area
    I am a SimAudio fan but have separates. Can you get one on loan from a local dealer to do an AB? Obviously, this would be the best way to make your decision.
     
  3. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    The 340i is an amazingly brilliant piece of kit, I love mine. But I have never heard of the Rogue.
     
  4. Tom Littlefield

    Tom Littlefield Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    I also have the 340 paired with Dynaudio Contour 20's, amazing combo!

    I have the fully loaded version of the 340 not that I really needed it, I play vinyl 90% of the time and also have a Sutherland 20/20 so did not need the phono stage either. But it was the one my dealer had on hand and it would have a better resale value if I EVER wanted to sell. But I really do think this is my end all amp, it's just that good. Plus when you register your product with Simaudio you get a 10 year PARTS AND LABOR warranty, so hey really back their stuff.
     
  5. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I'm a big Naim fan but some years ago I auditioned a Simaudio i3.3 – it's predecessor – against a Naim Nait XS. I thought the Sim was an outstanding integrated. It had all the PRaT, drive and musicality of the Naim. In the end the main difference was that I could listen to the Naim all day without getting fatigued, but I grew somewhat tired listening to the Sim more quickly.

    I think you can't go wrong with a Simaudio. It is top notch gear and sounds excellent. If I started over and Naim wasn't an option I would once again look at Simaudio without question.
     
    timind and CountryKraut like this.
  6. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Interesting in that I have frequently auditioned Naim gear, particularly amplifiers if various types, and always liked them but found them just a bit too fatiguing to listen to for long.
    The 340i, which I know own, does not present that issue for me. I think that OP would be very happy with one.
    As the saying goes, one man's meat is another man's poison!
     
  7. CountryKraut

    CountryKraut Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portland
    Thanks all, was just checking on this today because over the weekend, I went into one of my local retailers to give the 340i a listen in their set up. After hearing it in the store, I set up a demo for the coming weekend. Very excited to get it in my set up and see how it compares to the rogue. I suspect it'll perform very well and I'll be shelling out for it. Really appreciate the input fro you all.
     
  8. CountryKraut

    CountryKraut Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portland
    Didn't know about that warranty aspect, but that makes it all the more appealing.
     
  9. CountryKraut

    CountryKraut Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portland
    Apologies, I didn't include this in my initial reply, but I'll be testing a model with the built in DAC. I already have the 2Qute that I like a lot. What I can't sort out is how can I test the 2Qute against the built in DAC? Won't anything digital be picked up by the built in? Or is there a way to isolate the outboard DAC with one of the inputs? Maybe if I just wait for the weekend, I'll be able to figure it out, but I've never used an amp with a built in DAC.
     
  10. eetu

    eetu Forum Resident

    Slightly old thread, but I wonder what was the result of the audition. I’m eyeing the 340i myself.
     
  11. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    I use a 240i - I imagine that it sounds similar. It's got the same ESS Sabre DAC, I believe.

    I love mine, though I would say that the DAC is probably not important if you are now or feel capable of soon becoming a DAC junkie because, you'll be tempted to get a separate anyway and bypass it.
     
  12. eetu

    eetu Forum Resident


    Thanks. I’m not too worried about the DAC as I only stream music 10-15% of the time. But that makes me think if I should worry with an amp with built-in DAC, or should I go for something more “analogue” like the Rogue Sphinx.
     
  13. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Go for it. I had the i3.3, then upgraded to the i7. Not sure I didn’t prefer the sound of the i3.3.
     
  14. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    I'm just using a CD transport, so I need a DAC, and the one in the 240i sounds fine. I do wonder what a stand-alone DAC in, say, the $1500-$2500 range might do in the way of comparative performance, but I'm thinking about a TT upgrade soon and would rather put the money toward that instead.
     
    timind likes this.
  15. Robsonschoice

    Robsonschoice Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    Been listening to my ACE for over 2 years now, a faultless piece of kit, if I could I would move up to the 340i but at the moment finances are tight and retirement looms so less to play with money wise.. Go for it i've listened to my ACE all day during lockdown without feeling anyway fatigued. As a previous poster said one mans meat etc...
     
    timind likes this.
  16. FalseMetal666

    FalseMetal666 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I can’t speak to the 340i but my i-7 is pretty impressive in objective terms. Built like a bank vault - all milled aluminum, thick circuit boards, custom power transformers, WBT connectors, everything on relays, etc.

    And subjectively, I love the sound.

    So at least as to “quality,” I think Simaudio is a good bet judging from my small bit of personal experience and with what I’ve read here and elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
    timind likes this.
  17. eetu

    eetu Forum Resident

    I have a 310LP phono stage and I love it. It’s fantastic, so I already trust Simaudio. I could get a good deal on a second hand 340i, but I hesitate it might a sidestep from my current amp. Although, synergy between phono stage and integrated is very tempting.
     
  18. Jan Bielik

    Jan Bielik Active Member

    Location:
    Great Britain
    Hi all,bit late,but maybe it helps someone
    I have recently upgraded from Moon Ace to Moon 340ix paired with Moon 280d. Listening with Dynaudio Special 40 speakers. Ace was fantastic machine with great sound,but 340ix is a big step up!! It sounds fantastic. I'm still in breaking period 300 hours for amp. and 400 hours for dac streamer.The sound will only improve with time. Overall I'm very happy with Simaudio. I'm in my 5th year of listening and enjoying music with Simaudio gear. I would definitely recommend to have a listen if interested. All the best
     
  19. CountryKraut

    CountryKraut Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portland
    Hey all, been a while since I checked in on this. I ended up getting the 340i as the dealer sold me the demo unit at a very big discount and it's a great unit. I originally had it with Dali Oberons, but upgraded speakers last year as we didn't travel, so that budget went to hifi. I ended up using an external chord qutest dac and last year I bought an external phono preamp. The onboard phono preamp is great, but I was moving to an MC cart, and I wanted to be able to adjust the loadings more easily, and long term knew I wanted a separate for that. The dac is a great match for the amp, and the amp handles the dac 3v input very well.

    eetu, I actually replaced my rogue sphinx V2 with the 340i, and it wasn't close. The 340i is so quiet and the amplification is just so much better. I don't ever turn the volume on the 340i past basically a littler over 9 o'clock or it rattles our windows and the clarity is awesome. I'm actually using the old rogue sphinx as a preamp with a parasound A23+, chord 2qute and bluesound node with Kef R3s in the new basement system. Rogue is a really good unit, but so much noisier than the moon, and doesn't have the same soundstage depth or width as the moon or the parasound.

    I'm actually considering a mid term swap with a benchmark stack (LA4 and AHB2) in the main system and and moving the 340i into our newly finished basement system. I will say, every time I go down a rabbit hole of a 340i upgrade (since I'm not using any of the extra features like the dac or the phono preamp), I just listen to it and am continually blown away by how great it is. And it's almost 7 years old. Even at low levels it just retrieves information so well. Using Spendor A7s, and streaming with a blusesound vault 2i, chord qutest, TT is a rega p6 with a dynavector XX2-MKII, and a JC3+ phono preamp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
    timind, jonwoody, eetu and 2 others like this.
  20. wgriel

    wgriel Forum Resident

    Location:
    bc, canada
    I've also got a 340i in one of my systems. It's simply a fabulous integrated amp, worth every penny!
     
    bluemooze, timind and recroom like this.
  21. BD2665

    BD2665 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee
    After taking a 340ix home to demo for a second system I ordered one. A fantastic sounding piece of equipment.
     
    bluemooze, timind and wgriel like this.
  22. gkella

    gkella Let there be songs to fill the air

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I have a 240i, which I bought last year.
    Simply a quality product.
     
    bluemooze and wgriel like this.
  23. eetu

    eetu Forum Resident

    Thanks for the comments.. I'm still on the fence and haven't bought any amp yet. But the 340i is still a strong candidate. One of my doubts is that I won't be using the onboard phono preamp since I have the 310 LP and I might want to eventually move to a dedicated DAC. Therefore, I'm considering if it's better to invest on just an integrated amp without dac nor phono stage. (more bang for the buck?). The 600i would be ideal, but that's way out of my budget at the moment.
     
    CountryKraut likes this.
  24. Jan Bielik

    Jan Bielik Active Member

    Location:
    Great Britain
    Hi Eetu,you can get 340i without phono stage or dac. The amplifier is upgradable. You can pick and choose which option you want.Mine is without phono stage and dac. I have just amp.with separates. Happy hunting
     
    wgriel, timind and eetu like this.
  25. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    The DAC and Phono Stage are extra-cost options on the 340iX (about £700 in the UK for the two but seemingly a lot more, around (E)1300 in Europe). You certainly will not want to spend the extra on the phono stage as you have the 310LP and a separate DAC will certainly pay dividends in due course. I upgraded my DAC from the Moon 300D to the 280D a year or so ago to great effect.
     
    eetu likes this.

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