3-day delivery by DHL revealed that an inset simon audio badge had replaced the earlier engraved SAG. Simon explained that the three letters for Simon Audio Group had some unhappy meanings in certain export markets. For its size, the i5 felt unexpectedly dense and heavy whilst its metal work was truly top quality. The included wand was a combo remote for the CD player and integrated. The latter's commands are ± volume, mute and display dim including off. Input selection is purely manual but our older April Music remote controlled that as well.

The virgin unit made instant tracks into an upstairs bedroom. There it fronted a Soundaware D100Pro SD card transport and Questyle CAS192 DAC. Speakers were our Acelec Model One monitors with Mundorf AMT, ScanSpeak mid/woofer, compound 1st-order filters and all-aluminium enclosures bolted to their matching stands tilted back to aim the tweeters at my ears. A Zu Submission subwoofer in the left front corner received RCA signal from the i5's pre-out. Set to endless repeat, Anna Marie Jopek's Minione album played to an appreciate plant-based audience for the break-in duration.

Meanwhile for the obligatory inside views…

… here we look at the front half of the case with its custom toroidal power transformer, two big filter caps and the output transistors on a non-magnetic copper base.

Here's one complimentary pair in close-up against the rose-tinted copper substrate.