Simaudio Moon CP-8 AV Processor: A Denon Receiver in Sim Clothing?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by admin, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1,615
    What's the difference between a $1,199 full featured AV Receiver and an $18,000 boutique pre-amp/processer? Perhaps less than you think as Simaudio, responding to speculation, confirms that the "brains and guts" of their Moon CP-8 Pre/Pro was based on Denon AVR-2808CI AV receiver. These AVRs were bought off the retail shelves and modified by Simaudio without coordination from Denon, Audyssey, or any other technology providers. We asked how they justified using someone else product, without permission, to market and sell it as their own at a 15x mark-up.

    Read the article to find out. If you're a Simaudio CP-8 owner, we'd like to hear from you too.
    [​IMG]

    Read and Discuss: Simaudio Moon CP-8 AV Processor: A Denon Receiver in Sim Clothing?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
    • Like Like x 14
  2. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    2,627
    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    This is disheartening to find this out. I will scratch them off my list of prefered vendors should I win the big lottery. They are not the first to use a rebadged brand and probably not the last either. It also looks like they are standing on precarious legal grounds with Denon, Auddsesy to name a few.
    3db,
  3. Marshall_Guthrie Audioholics Videographer Extraordinaire

    Marshall_Guthrie
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    I'd say there is enough there to keep the lawyers busy, but I'm not sure if anything will ever come of it. On one hand, you have Audyssey. Though there name is everywhere, they are a small company. It costs money to sue for trademark infringement, and every dollar that they spend is one less dollar they can't spend on R&D and paying their employees. Even though they'd probably win, it's unlikely that whatever damages, if any, they recouped from Simaudio would be worth it.

    On the other hand, you have Denon, and though they are a bigger company with more money in the bank, and more lawyers on retainer, it's the same position: cost vs. benefit. Even if they won, they likely spend more on lawyers than they'd ever recoup from Simaudio.

    ...and so goes it, which is why you note they are not the first, nor the last.

    Now, for companies whose entire business is built off the control of their licensing, HDMI for instance, they may take a more principled stand and seek legal action even if it's not a directly lucrative move, in order to protect their brand and IP.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Marshall_Guthrie Audioholics Videographer Extraordinaire

    Marshall_Guthrie
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    An addendum of pure opinion by Marshall Guthrie

    [/COLOR]As I concluded this piece, I was conflicted.

    My mother is an artist. She raised two kids on multiple jobs, and when she worked on her art, she struggled. She poured all her creativity into it, and bore the conflict of staying true to her vision versus making changes that sell to an audience - marketability. Maybe she wouldn’t tell you it was so, but as I grew up watching her create for over 30 years to feed us...I can tell you that it’s true.

    On more than one occasion, she has had her art misappropriated. I’ll go one step further: it was stolen. Stolen by a much larger entity who was familiar with her work. Changed, yes, but the guts, the heavy-lifting...that was still her vision. There, with someone else’s name on it next to the price tag, and not so much as a “thank you.”

    At the same time, I love and respect Daft Punk. Their samples include everyone from Sister Sledge and Barry White to ELO. They, in turn, were sampled by Kanye, the Black Eyed Peas, and Girl Talk. When we turn on that Denon or Simaudio Moon amp, we’re listening to appropriation that may or may not include compensation. Got something great? Buy it, use it, break it, fix it, trash it, change it, mail upgrade it.

    So, where do my loyalties lie? With the artist that raised me in my home, or the artists that raised me in my headphones?

    I would like to believe that Daft Punk’s early sample work was a celebration of the music that they loved, whether or not they attributed and compensated those artists. On the other hand, I can all but guarantee that the misappropriation of my mother’s art was a crass money grab by an entity that couldn’t be as successful or creative as she was, and knew that they were in the clear because she couldn’t afford to take money out of the pantry to seek legal recourse.

    I have to be real here: after hearing Simaudio’s perspective...I’m more inclined to put them in the latter camp than the former. They claim they worked hard to elevate Denon’s work (and Audyssey, HDMI, Dolby, DTS, etc.), but in the end, they freely admit that they couldn’t do it without Denon. And was it a celebration, or a money grab? Perhaps both, but, in my heart, I think a lot more of the latter.

    I’m sorry Simaudio. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, but if you had openly celebrated and collaborated on Denon’s work from the beginning, these revelations wouldn’t still bring a bitter taste 5 years after your product’s release. Perhaps Denon’s accomplishments are born less in creativity than your own, and due only to their huge R&D budget, but that doesn’t make it right. You should have properly attributed Denon’s work openly, and you owe Denon the apology that my mother will never get.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
    • Like Like x 8
  5. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,784
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I always knew Denon made the best darn AVRs in the world. :D

    Everyone just needs to buy the Denon X4000 and be done with it. ;)

    Audyssey XT32 + Dual Sub EQ + Dynamic EQ. Say no more. :)

    Next thing you know, Mark Levinson or Lexicon will buy the X4000 and turn it into a $10K pre-pro. :D
    • Like Like x 2
  6. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,784
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    That's why the world needs Audioholics - to keep people honest. :D

    But at least Simaudio admitted when confronted.

    Ask Mark Levinson if ATI built some of their amps. They will lie through their teeth and utterly deny it! :eek:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  7. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    4,410
    Likes Received:
    975
    If I were in Denon's position, I would use it as advertising. "Our products are so good that the competition can't beat it so they have to steal it"
    • Like Like x 5
  8. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,784
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    LOL. :D

    I agree. :D

    They should have stolen the X4000, though. That would have been world class. ;)

    People would not have asked, "Hey, how come the $18K pre-pro doesn't have Audyssey XT32 + Dual Sub EQ?" :eek:
  9. Marshall_Guthrie Audioholics Videographer Extraordinaire

    Marshall_Guthrie
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Yes, after I get speakers bought, next on the upgrade is an X4000 and 2 SVS subs. Unfortunately, the AVR-4520CI is out of my price range.
  10. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    19,784
    Likes Received:
    4,331
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    What about a new Denon 4311 for around $1225? I think the only thing it does not have is 4K video, which I can live w/o.

    But it has Audyssey XT32 + Dual Sub EQ + Airplay and pretty much everything else.
  11. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,553
    Likes Received:
    2,801
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Wow, interesting story! A Denon AVR, with amplifier section removed, repackaged as a Simaudio stand-alone preamp/processor, and sold for 15 times the price.

    This should make interesting fodder for the trademark, copyright, and licensing lawyers. I can hear Simaudio arguing that they weren't really competing with Denon because their price was 15 times higher!

    There are often posts asking why there seem to be plenty of expensive "high-end" amplifiers and 2-channel analog preamps available, but no "high-end" digital AV preamp/processors on the market. The answer is clear – developing an AV pre/pro requires R&D and plenty of money – something beyond the capabilities of most if not all the small "high-end" audio electronic manufacturers.

    This should be required reading for anyone who insists they want such a product instead of using a "pedestrian" AVR as a pre/pro :D.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  12. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Messages:
    7,907
    Likes Received:
    3,459
    Location:
    Florida
    Or you can get the real deal and get the fabulous Denon AVP processor or newer Marantz ones for a fraction of the cost.
    gene,
  13. Marshall_Guthrie Audioholics Videographer Extraordinaire

    Marshall_Guthrie
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Another good option, and it even has a "pre-amp only mode" which disables the built in amplifiers. They should call that the Simaudio switch :)
  14. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,553
    Likes Received:
    2,801
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    I briefly looked at the Simaudio web site. Their motto:
    Proudly designed and manufactured in Canada​

    It should be reworded to say:
    Proudly <strike>designed and</strike> re-manufactured in Canada

    When the lawyers get through with this case, the new motto will be:
    <strike>Proudly designed and manufactured in Canada
    </strike>A wholly owned subsidiary of D&M Holdings, Inc.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. surveyor Audioholic Chief

    surveyor
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    78
    Oh slap me! I could have had a Simaudio instead of my AVR-4520ci?
  16. agarwalro Audioholic Ninja

    agarwalro
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    On audio side, the 4311 is superior to the X4000. It can process 11.2 vs 9.2 on the X4000. The amp section as a whole is beefier in addition to there being 2 extra amplified channels.

    What 4311 cannot do is pass HDMI audio to Zone 2, which the X4000 can.

    Someone wanting flexibility on multi zone features should go for the X4000 and everyone else should get the 4311.

    The pre-amp mode only disconnects the amps from pre-out signal but, does not power them off. So, the AVR is not truly in pre-pro mode. Seems rather obvious thing to disconnect amp section power with a relay toggled by the pre-pro mode setting. Wonder why they didn't do it?
  17. toolound Audiophyte

    toolound
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I registered an account just to share a review on stereophile about a simaudio integrared amp where the measurement section were very disappointing as the results were way off the spec. A guy commented questioning about the quality of that amp given the very high price it was asking for. (More than 10 grand i believe) but it seems like they deleted all of the comments as i couldnt find them anywhere. If i have that kind of money, simaudio is the first one i will run away. :)
  18. smurphy522 Full Audioholic

    smurphy522
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Didn't Lexicon do something similar with an Oppo source unit?
  19. Marshall_Guthrie Audioholics Videographer Extraordinaire

    Marshall_Guthrie
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    As a Harman fan-boy, it pains me to say it, but yes, and Audioholics broke that story too: Oppo on the Inside, Lexicon on the Outside | Audioholics

    It's a good thing that audioholics is around. Imagine if it were just Stereophile and publications like them letting the high-end companies claim whatever they want.

    I have another story in mind that I'm going to pitch Gene soon. Keeping looking to audioholics for the real deal, and keep reading stereophile for the lolz.
    • Like Like x 3
  20. Marshall_Guthrie Audioholics Videographer Extraordinaire

    Marshall_Guthrie
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    As you're new to the audioholics forums, I don't think the link that you wanted to post went through. Is this it?

    Simaudio Moon Evolution 880M monoblock power amplifier Measurements | Stereophile.com
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA