Moonriver Model 404 is the outcome of a 3-year research, the aim being to achieve incredible performance regardless of price range. The 404 amplifier will extract hidden elements and render textures from within any audio format, with the source, speakers and room to set the limits. Its culture will suit all music, as the Model 404 is by design set to define the faintest nuances of which tone integrity is composed.
A hefty supply section ensures that ample healthy power is available at all times at all stages through separate rails. A fully discrete preamp section serves for acute dynamic awareness, while a high output stage that is custom-optimized for bandwidth and distortion warrants for neutral predisposition and transient fidelity. A laborious selection of components armors the design against tonal alteration, pretentious or not, thus preserving naturalness throughout the shortest feasible path.
Furthermore, an integrated phono stage, a USB DAC, two preamp outputs and a tape monitor loop expand functionality to form an ideally flexible integrated amplifier.
Design & Ergonomics
We had a very clear vision when we conceived the Moonriver 404 amplifier: Classic design with a modern touch; high quality materials such as massive aluminum knobs, solid walnut cheeks, sturdy enclosure; ergonomic user interface.
There are no “shaved” aesthetics here, no display with complicated serial menus and hidden functions, nor a single multi-function knob for “minimalistic” purposes.
The heart of Model 404 is pure and minimal but the interface is user oriented and easy to operate by anyone in seconds with no need to resort to the user manual. Four knobs and three switches give direct access to any function.
Moonriver 404 amplifier is modular by nature; it can accommodate an MM or MM/MC phono stage and a USB asynchronous DAC. Fitting these modules is simple and can take place at any time, on or after purchase. The USB DAC may also be upgraded with a newer version to meet future needs.
Optional Phono Stage
Model 404 comes with two options in the phono stage department; one is MM only and the other is MM/MC selectable. Both follow the exact quality principles that Model 404 is built on. Quality components and massive power supplies are also employed here, to efficiently accommodate very low noise, high performance op-amps.
The gain in the MM/MC phono can be adjusted, simply by changing the dip switches position. The MC input load can be set also, by replacing the original 100 Ohm input resistor with a higher or lower value. No soldering is required.
Optional USB DAC
What was desired for our USB DAC module was not to make an addition rather than an omission; instead we had to be confident of substantially raising the true value and functionality of Model 404.
A new USB DAC is under development for the Moonriver 404 Standard and Reference.