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Simaudio Celeste I-5080
23 Reviews
rating  4.39 of 5
MSRP  1295.00
Description: Solid State Integrated Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Their is NO place to put review of simaudios MOON i-3 integrated which has just been in stereophile. October 2003 Vol 26 No 10. This amp is very good for the price, the pre amp is pure class A circuity which feeds back end. Sound was good when you consider price & other unit it's put up against. The moon Sounded open on my test B&W 601s with good bass on HDCD
Classical material. Note let this unit burn in at least some time.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Codell Mtl



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by gads a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 20, 2003

Bottom Line:   
If your looking for a lush, relaxed euphonic sounding amplifier, look elsewere.

This amp gives a no nonsense - phantom harmonics, raw yet delicate sound.
Fast and transpsrant, snappy uncoloured forward presentation that might give some listeners the feeling that something is missing.
The fact is that the short sound path, no feedback circuit involved, produces an almost, yet hi-fi studio monitor sound.
Bass is full yet fast, in the wrong system it might lose its definition.
highs are a bit "dry" but articulate.
The midband is the big issue here: vocals are well defined, so does the oboe, clarinet and sax, BUT! there's a noticable emphasis on them making them sound shouty, "in a tube" kind of.
Saying so, what a surprise were the violins, though in the same spectrum, they sound the closest to the real thing an all aspects.
Playng around with speakers and cables made some improvement with the midband, but the general sound remained the same: tranparant, fast and forward, with great attack and room ambiance revealing, match with care!

spks: Alon, MeadowLark, b&w.
source:Moon eclipse, Mellos.
cables:Tara labs, Nordost.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   dealer



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ken a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 28, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Well, I have had this I-5080 for a year now. When I was first looking at integrated amps I listened to alot of different amps at alot of dealers.
I eventually took home an arcam alpha 8 and an Audio Analogue Puccini se, for a direct comparison with the I-5080.
The Sim just blew the other two away. Much more control of the bass and better soundstage. It did sound leaner thatn those but it definetly had alot more guts and
sounded better at both low or higher volumes. I really wanted to like the Musical Fidelity A3 amp , but I found it just plain boring compared to the sim which is much more musical.
Matching the Sim to a MSB linkdac with different interconnects produces vastly different sounds. With cables like the Cardas quadlink 5C the amp sounded very smooth but strangled. It just did not let it rock anymore. VDH dm103's
are very good, but I like the DHLABS even better as they have a nicer overall balanced tonal character. They also let alot of detail through, much more than these other two cables.
The amp took along time to break in, with the biggest changes occuring at 85hrs and then again at 225 hrs.
I recently got the chance to compare it side by side with a YBA Integra and a Creek 5350 and I was quite impressed with it as it is cheaper than both of those amps.
The YBA was very lean but smoother and not anywhere near as nice in the bass department.
Tthe Creek had nicer highs and a lusher midrange, but the bass was much slower.
and nowhere near as tight and fast as the sim. It was however very musical.
For the money, a list price about $1395 US, I think it is a very good buy.. You do need to match the cables to the amp for the sound that you like.
There seems to be much more awareness of the Sim I-5 which is also a very nice amp, but
I dont think it is worth almost twice the price.
In Toronto, if you want to visit a very good HIFI store with a great Owner who is both passionate and helpfull, see Steve at HIFIFOFUM.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Purchased At:   HIFIFOFUM



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I just purchased this unit used last week and I am amazed at how good it is for an integrated amp that retails for $1,500. I have been using a Rowland Concentra for a couple of years now and I enjoy the little I-5080 almost as well. The Sims does lack some of the ultimate refinement of the Rowland but when you look at the price difference the Sims is a great value. The Sims also sounds more powerful then an 80 watt/channel amplifier and seems to handle difficult loads very well.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Used



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Lance V a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Sim is a fairly new name in the hi end world but they do make some extremely impressive equipment. They offer good value compared to the old names like Krell, YBA, Levinson, etc. I read some of the reviews below and like to add my 2 cents based on a 2 months ownership period. I live in Michigan but does long term contract assignment out of state. I picked up a Sim I-5080 while working in Atlanta for a few months. Forget the retail price because dealers will let you negotiate on the price. I was able to get a new one for $1050 out the door which was not too bad. After using this unit, I don't have any thing bad to say about it based on the price but I definitely disagree with the majority of the reviews here. I should mention first that my primary amp at home is a Musical Fidelity A3 Amp and Preamp combo. Yes, it's the same combo that Stereophile raved about and which sells for about $3000. I should also describe a bit about my taste in terms of the type of sound that impresses me. A great amp to me is one that must have good timbre accuracy, resolution, superb dynamics plus it must exudes a sense of effortless control over the speakers. The Sim has good speed and dynamics but the resolution leaves some to be desired. It's midrange can use some improvement in purity. The highs are smooth but at the price of a somewhat close in sound. Is this bad for a $1200 unit integrated unit, no. Is this impressive for a $1200 unit, no. For example, I think the new Creek 5300SE and MF A300 integrated units are probably worlds better in areas the Sim lacks. I heard the Creek at one dealer and was so impressed with its pure and clear midrange plus the overall sound was naturally open and transparent. I also remember that Musical Fidelity A300 also was pretty good too with outstanding timbre reproduction. Both these units have very impressive performance signatures and I think they are the reason I think Sim needs to deliver better performance value. I haven't listened to their I-5 model so maybe that could be where Sim hide their marbles. I would say that the I-5080 would be a good choice for fast electronic dance music because of its impressive speed but I doubt if it really qualifies for more critical listening. That's my opinion but anyone who interested should go out and listen to the units personally and not base too much on reviews alone.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000




Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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