MOON 888
MOON 888
POWER AMPLIFIER
THE MOON 888 HAS MULTIPLE
PROTECTION MODES WITH LED
INDICATORS ON THE REAR PANEL.
THESE MODES INCLUDE THERMAL
PROTECTION, WHICH SHUTS
THE AMPLIFIER DOWN IF THE
HEATSINKS BECOME TOO HOT,
AND D.C. PROTECTION, WHICH
TRIGGERS IN THE EVENT THAT
D.C. IS DETECTED AT THE INPUT.
THE POWER SUPPLY COMPRISES
TWO ENORMOUS POTTED 1kVA
TOROIDAL TRANSFORMERS
WHOSE OUTPUT AFTER
RECTIFICATION IS SMOOTHED BY
A TOTAL OF 350,000 MICROFARADS
SPREAD ACROSS THREE INDIVIDUAL
CAPACITOR BANKS, ALL THE
CAPACITORS IN WHICH ARE
MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR MOON.
Even when
the Moon 888
is delivering
its maximum
3550-watt power
output, the output
transistors are still
working well within
their comfort zone
038
The gorgeous heat sinks you can see down
either side of the 888 are not ordinary extrusions,
but moulded. What you can’t see is that on the
opposite side of the sink to the fins, the main
printed circuit boards are mounted inside the
heatsink itself, which Moon says ensures optimal
thermal behaviour. The power supply comprises
two enormous potted 1kVA toroidal transformers
whose output after rectification is smoothed by a
total of 350,000µF spread across three individual
capacitor banks, all the capacitors in which
are made specifically for Moon. The 24 bipolar
transistors in the output have a total capability of
8000 watts, so even when the 888 is delivering its
maximum 3550-watt output into 2Ω, they’ll still
be working well within their comfort zone.
THE EQUIPMENT
The front panel is bare except for a single
standby power switch, above which is a single
blue-coloured LED status indicator. On the rear
panel you’ll find both unbalanced (via gold-plated
RCA) and balanced (via gold plated XLR) input terminals. You can use one or the other of these, but
not both. We’d recommend using the balanced
inputs. Between these two inputs are two toggle
switches, one for selecting the input type (balanced/unbalanced) and the other for selecting
between a.c. input coupling and d.c. input coupling (about which more later). You’ll also find two
standby mode switches (also about which more
later), and 12V trigger inputs and outputs, so you
can have the 888 turn on automatically. There’s
also a 240V mains power socket (a non-standard
20-amp type) with associated mains power rocker
switch and fuse, plus three red LEDs that glow if
the amplifier’s protection circuitry activates.
The Moon 888 has multiple protection
modes. These include thermal protection, which
shuts the amplifier down if the heat-sinks become
too hot, and d.c. protection, which triggers in the
event that d.c. is detected at the input. If this d.c.
protection trips too often, Moon recommends
you set the coupling switch on the rear panel to
a.c. If the amplifier goes into protect mode, the
speaker outputs will be disconnected, the front
panel’s blue LED will flash, and one of three red
LEDs on the rear panel will illuminate to indicate
the reason: ‘Thermal’; ‘DC Level’; or ‘Other’.
Although there are two pairs of high-quality
heavy-duty rhodium-plated speaker terminals,
both sets carry exactly the same signal, and have
been provided simply to make it easier to bi-wire
your speakers.
IN USE AND LISTENING SESSIONS
To turn on the 888, you operate the main ‘Power’
switch on the rear panel, after which the frontpanel LED turns on and blinks while the 888’s
own internal circuitry stabilises, after which it
turns off. If you now press the ‘Standby’ button on
the front panel the LED will glow continuously to
indicate the 888 is ready to use.
The Moon 888 has two basic standby modes:
‘default’ and ‘low power’. If you elect to use the
888’s default standby mode, all the various gain
POWER AMPLIFIER
SPECIFICATIONS
MOON 888
CONFIGURATION: Fullybalanced differential, mono
POWER TRANSFORMERS:
2 × 1.5kVA potted
SUPPLY CAPACITANCE:
350,000µF
AMPLIFIER CLASS: A/AB
INPUT IMPEDANCE: 24kΩ
INPUT SENSITIVITY: 2.4V
OUTPUT DEVICES:
24 × bipolar
OUTPUT POWER INTO 8Ω:
888 watts
OUTPUT POWER INTO 4Ω:
1776 watts
OUTPUT POWER INTO 2Ω:
3550 watts
FREQUENCY RESPONSE:
10Hz–200kHz ±3dB
GAIN: 31dB
S/N RATIO: 120dB
(ref rated output)
IMD: 0.006%
THD: 0.04%
POWER CONSUMPTION:
50 watts (at idle)
WEIGHT: 136kg
DIMENSIONS WHD:
561 × 351 × 676mm
WARRANTY: Ten years
PRICE: $188,888 per pair
CONTACT:
BusiSoft AV on 1300 888 602
www.busisoftav.com.au
040
stages in the amplifier will remain fully powered
up, so that the amplifier maintains optimal
operating temperature and will deliver maximum
performance the minute you switch it to ‘active’
mode. The ‘low power’ standby mode, on the
other hand, turns off all the amplifier gain stages,
leaving only the control circuitry active. If you use
this standby mode, the amplifier will not deliver
its maximum performance immediately after
you switch to ‘active’ mode. You’ll instead have
to wait a while (the wait time will depend on the
ambient temperature and how long the 888 had
been in standby mode). No matter which mode
you use, you can elect for the amplifier to enter
it automatically (which happens after the control
circuitry has not detected an audio signal for 20
minutes) or for it to stay permanently powered
on, ready for instant use.
We auditioned a pair of Moon 888s used in a
combination with a Moon 780D DAC and Moon
850P preamp and Moon 820S power supply and
using two different speaker systems — a pair of
Rockport Technology Cygnus speakers and a pair
of Dynaudio Evidence Platinum loudspeakers,
both of which have a reputation for being difficult
to drive. The Moon 888 obviously hadn’t been
told about their reputations, because it drove
both systems with consummate ease.
The sheer amount of power that’s on tap
from a pair of 888s is mindboggling, and of
course we’re spoilt here in Australia with our
230-volt mains supply, because the Moon is
able to use our high mains voltage to deliver
even more power — and thus greater current
— than it is in either America or Canada, where
the mains voltage is only 120 volts. Not that
we ever got anywhere near utilising the 888s’
maximum power output capabilities. Despite the
thunderous and at times ear-splitting volume
levels at which we were listening, the 888s were
just idling along, no matter how hard we tried. We
did check the heatsinks from time to time, and
they were barely above blood temperature.
But it’s not enough for an amplifier to have
power — it also needs to be able to demonstrate
finesse, and the 888s exhibited this too, whether
they were delivering the twangy yet delicate
sounds of Joni Mitchell’s Appalachian dulcimer,
or the pure voice of Melody Gardot as she almost
scats Ain’t No Sunshine over a background of
double bass, brass and a tinkling tambourine.
On more sparse arrangements of jazz trios,
the individual timbres of the instruments
are extracted from the recording and placed
delicately in the room, seemingly holographically
removed from the plane of the loudspeakers.
Indeed, no matter what music we played,
or how loudly we played it, this Moon 888 pair
proved to be a truly superior amplifier system.
CONCLUSION
It turns out that Moon calls them ‘lucky’ watts
because the number 888 is considered a lucky
combination of numbers in Chinese numerology;
in part because when you say ‘8’ in Cantonese, it
sounds similar to the word meaning ‘to prosper’.
So ‘88’ is doubly lucky, and ‘888’ triply so. And to
make sure the amplifier is even luckier, Moon not
only rates it at 888 watts, but makes sure there are
lots of ‘eights’ in the price as well, no matter what
currency you’re using to buy it. With regard to
that, we don’t know if buying a pair of Moon 888s
will bring you luck, but we do know you’ll be very
lucky if you own a pair!
Download PDF
Similar pages