Moon CD-1 review

What the CD-1 lacks in subtlety, it more than makes up for in power and drive. This is a bold-sounding player Tested at £1600.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This is a great CD player and one of the most enjoyable at this price level


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    A wonderfully exuberant sound

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    great timing and fine midrange performance

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    impressive build apart from...


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    ...the flimsy disc tray

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    bass could be a touch tauter

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

When a high-end company decides to come downmarket it can all end in tears. Either their engineering principles are diluted to achieve the lower price-point, or the product is uncompetitive because the brand has no experience at that price level. Thankfully, Moon's new CD player side-steps these issues totally.

Until now the company's entry-level products have always hovered around the two grand mark. The introduction of the 1-series – the CD player under test and a matching amp – drops the price of entry to half that, with very little compromise in performance.

Bring on the next act
The CD-1 might lack a little refinement compared to its pricier relatives, but in many ways its more outgoing character and sheer exuberance make it an even more attractive buy. This is a bold-sounding player that searches out the drama in every bit of music.

It's fast, too, making the most of Radiohead's In Rainbows set and delivering rhythms with a sure-footed touch even the likes of Naim and Cyrus would find hard to beat. We also like the CD-1's midrange: it's fluid, articulate and full-bodied. Listen to something vocal-based – Alicia Keys' As I Am is a good example – and the Moon never short-changes on communication or emotional impact.

Solid – apart from that tray
Flaws? The lows are powerful and fast, but could be a little tauter. And, while build is impressive for the money, the impression is tarnished by one of the flimsiest-feeling disc drawers we've seen.

The summary is easy. The CD-1 brings the Moon sound to a lower price level with little compromise in performance. The class leaders have a new rival to worry about...

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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