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Crutchfield

Peachtree Audio Nova

Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC (Black)

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  • Peachtree Audio Nova

    Black

  • Peachtree Audio Nova

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  • Peachtree Audio Nova

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  • Peachtree Audio Nova

    With optional Sonos ZonePlayer installed and connected

  • Peachtree Audio Nova

    With Sonos ZonePlayer (sold separately)

Item #: 731NOVABG
 

Review Summary

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Original price $1,219.99
We recommend this similar item, or shop all Integrated Amplifiers
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    • integrated amp with built-in DAC
      • 125 watts x 2
      • discrete Class A preamp offers fine detail and accurate signal transmission
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Our take on the Peachtree Audio Nova

by Dave Bar
Peachtree Audio

Everything you always wanted in a stereo receiver, except the radio

An integrated amplifier is essentially a receiver without a built-in AM/FM tuner. You get power to drive your speakers, audio controls, and inputs for music source components. Connect an iPod, a computer, a network music player, or any other device that can play Internet radio, and you may find you have no need for an AM/FM radio.

The Peachtree Audio Nova serves up audiophile sound for all your music sources, including digital audio files. This unique hybrid integrated amplifier teams up a vacuum tube preamp stage with a state-of-the-art digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and high-current, solid-state power amplifier to deliver rich, satisfying sound. The tube preamp lends smoothness and warmth to your music's high and mid-range frequencies, while solid-state amplification delivers tight, punchy bass. Sophisticated digital-to-analog conversion means better sound for your digital music library.

Advanced digital-to-analog conversion
The Nova's advanced ESS 9006 Sabre DAC converts all your digital files into analog music signals with unprecedented detail and clarity. The Sabre's patented jitter reduction circuit re-clocks the digital audio signal to eliminate timing errors in the data transmission that cause distortion. This DAC also features a high-resolution upsampling processor with an impressive 122dB signal-to-noise ratio for exceptionally quiet operation. Peachtree Audio employs 11 separate regulated power supplies for the Nova's DAC, and couples each digital input with a transformer to eliminate any ground or external noise sources. The Nova's fixed line-level outputs allow you to use it as a stand-alone digital-to-analog converter to improve the sound of any digital source, or even add a personal computer to your existing system.

Plenty of inputs for flexible connections
This versatile amp includes one USB, two optical, and two coaxial digital inputs. The USB input lets you play digital audio directly from your computer, and play it back with fidelity that's far superior to what you get from the sound cards found on most PCs. The optical and coaxial inputs make it easy to connect your other digital sources such as a CD player, music server, or a music streamer like the Logitech® Squeezebox™ Duet. The Nova also makes an ideal companion to the Wadia 170iTransport for getting better sound from your iPod. You also get three analog inputs for connecting your other gear, such as a tuner, tape deck, or a turntable with a phono preamp.

More cool extras
Other features include an onboard headphone amp for enjoying private listening at work, or just kicking back to enjoy some late-night tunes at home. Stereo preamp outputs let you add an extra amp or a powered subwoofer. And the Nova's internal storage bay lets you neatly stow a Sonos® wireless music player like the Sonos ZonePlayer 90 (see "more photos" above).

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 80 watts x 2 channels into 6 ohms at less than 1% THD
  • hybrid vacuum tube/solid-state design
  • vacuum tube preamp stage (uses a single dual-triode input tube)
  • high-current class A/B solid state power amp
  • built-in ESS 9006 Sabre 24-bit/96kHz upsampling digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
  • decodes MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, AIFF, WAV, PCM, and Apple lossless
  • high-capacity toroidal power transformer
  • digital audio inputs: 1 USB (Type B), 2 optical (Toslink), and 2 coaxial (S/PDIF)
  • 3 pair RCA analog audio inputs (3rd analog input doubles as a "Home Theater Bypass" to insert Nova into a multichannel system)
  • 2 pair RCA audio preamp outputs (for connecting a powered subwoofer, outboard power amplifier, or using the Nova as a stand-alone DAC)
  • headphone output (full-size 1/4" jack)
  • digital filter slope switch with fast or slow settings to optimize sound
  • heavy-duty binding-post speaker connectors
  • detachable AC power cord
  • remote control
  • 14-13/16"W x 4-13/16"H x 14-1/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year on amp, 6 months on tube
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)
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---
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)
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80
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)
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---
Frequency Bandwidth
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N/A
THD
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0.01%
Minimum Impedance
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4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio
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Not Given
Number of Inputs
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8
Phono Inputs
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No
Preamp Outputs
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2 Stereo
Width (inches)
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14-13/16
Height (inches)
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5-1/16
Depth (inches)
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14-1/4
Weight (pounds)
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26
Parts Warranty
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1 Year/6 Months Tube
Labor Warranty
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1 Year/6 Months Tube
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 2-Channel integrated amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • IR wireless remote control
  • Instruction booklet
  • "Useful Tips" sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Integrated Amplifier
Audio Connections
Remote Control

Integrated Amplifier

Overview: The Peachtree Audio Nova is an 80-watt x 2-channel integrated amplifier with digital and analog inputs and outputs so you can connect both your digital and analog audio components. The Nova has a USB input for your computer in addition to 2 coax, and 2 optical inputs for other digital sources like Squeezebox, Wadia iTransport, Sonos, Roku Soundbridge, and XM or Sirius tuners. It also has 3 analog inputs for docking stations, CD players, tape decks or phono preamps. If you want to add a subwoofer or outboard amplifier, the Nova features a "Class A" variable preamp-output and a fixed line output.

Two-Channel Amplifier With Tube Preamp Section: The pre-amp section employs a 6922 tube with a Class A output stage. This maintains a high level of detail while taming harsh compressed digital music. It is coupled with an A/B amplifier in the final stage to achieve a very analog sounding product.

High-Quality D/A Converter: The Peachtree Audio Nova features an onboard ESS 9006 Sabre DAC (Digital-to-Analog converter). It is a 24/96 upsampling D/A converter, which transforms just about any digital source to the performance of a high-end CD player. The ESS Sabre DAC's patented jitter reduction circuit re-clocks the digital signal to almost 0 jitter before passing it through a high-resolution 24/96 upsampling processor, which is also capable of 122dB s/n ratio. The Nova also features a user selectable DAC filter slope which allows for a sharp slope that measures better or a soft slope that is preferred by many audiophiles.

Regulate Power Supplies: The Peachtree Audio Nova employs 11 regulated power supplies for the DAC and transformer-couples each digital input stage so noise associated with ground problems and switching power supplies is eliminated. The Nova features a multi-voltage, switchable, toroidal power transformer. For international use, the Nova allows you to switch its voltage.

Tube Window: The Nova features a tube window which allows you to view the glow of the unit's tube.

Storage Bay With Terminal Window: The Nova features an internal storage bay so you can store a digital audio wireless device, such as the Sonos ZP80, inside the unit. The internal bay is accessed from the rear of the unit by removing two Phillips-head screws. The storage bay also features a terminal window which allows you to seal off your digital audio wireless device but still have access to its terminals. The terminal window can be detached from the storage bay door by removing two Phillips-head screws.

Audio Connections

USB Connection: The Nova has a USB input to connect your computer. The unit's USB type-B connection will take digital audio content from your computer and send it to the internal DAC of the Nova via I2S configuration. Using the Nova, you can take a pure digital audio signal from iTunes, Windows Media, Front Row, or any other music management system on your computer before it goes through a sound card. Just hook up a 2.0 USB cable between your computer and the Nova's USB type-B port; no sound card is required. The Nova can decode MP3, MP44, WMA, FLAC, AIFF, WAV, and Apple lossless codecs. The USB port is galvanized-isolated from the computer connection to prevent noise from reaching the DAC. This is very important because significant noise generated by the computer's switching power supply travels down the USB ground and manifests itself as a major source of jitter. The Nova eliminates this noise before the DAC sees it. The LED next to the USB connection will remain lit when the signal from your computer is lock.

Three Analog Inputs: The Auxiliary 1, Auxiliary 2, and Auxiliary 3 inputs each contain a pair of analog line-level RCA stereo inputs for connection to your CD player, Tape player, MD player, or portable digital music player.

Home Theater Bypass: The 3rd analog input doubles as a "Home Theater Bypass" so you can have the best of Home Theater and 2-channel in the same system. Simply take the left and right "pre-out" from your receiver or processor and connect to the "Home Theater" bypass on the Nova. A selector switch on the back panel converts from Aux to HT bypass. In this application your receiver transparently uses the L&R amplifier section of the Nova, leaving the HT receiver amplifier to push only the center and rear speakers. This leaves the receiver responsible only for pushing the center and rear speakers, making the receiver much more efficient and less taxed. Also when you listen to a 2 channel source plugged directly into the Nova, there is a straight line from the source to the Nova to the speaker (no processing, nor running the signal through a forest of circuitry).

Digital Audio Inputs: The Nova is equipped with two optical and two coaxial digital inputs for connecting external digital audio sources such as a CD or DVD player.

Pre-Out: The stereo RCA preamp-outputs allow you to use an external amplifier with the Nova; they also provide connections for a powered subwoofer.

Line Output: The Nova features a stereo fixed line out so it can be used as a "remote switchable D/A converter" that can be added to any local or whole-house audio system to handle and improve any digital source.

Speaker Terminals: The unit's binding-post speaker terminals are clearly marked red-positive and black-negative for proper polarity connections. The amplifier's speaker terminals will accommodate dual banana plugs.

Headphone Output: The Nova has a "Class A, tube" headphone section. The Peachtree Audio Nova utilizes a front-panel, 1/4" headphone input which mutes the speakers when headphones are plugged in.

Remote Control

Remote Control: The Nova comes supplied with an IR remote control which is easy to use. The remote control offers the same functions as the Nova's front-panel controls, plus adds a mute button. The remote is powered by two "AAA" batteries (not supplied). The remote control IR sensor is located in the center of the Nova's front-panel.

 
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Peachtree Audio Nova Reviews

Average Customer Review:

9 people say:

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1 out of 5

Reliability issue vs. Lemon?

Written By Richard G, Northbrook, IL on Thursday, July 26, 2012
 
I purchased this item from Crutchfield in the fall of 2010. Within 9 months of purchase the unit failed two times, both times requiring factory service. Unfortunately I purchased an open box unit leaving me to deal with the manufacture directly. Over the 40 years or so that I have used higher end audio equipment, I have never had a receiver/amplifier outright fail [no audio output]. Even when the unit was functional I never felt that the sound quality was superior to an old Denon receiver from about 20 years ago. I have never been sure if this unit is representative of this product or if I simply purchased a lemon. At this time the unit sits in a box in my basement. I am pleased to see that other users of this unit have been happy with it's performance. My advice if you purchase this unit would be to purchase a new unit offering you the exchange privileges that Crutchfield provides just in case.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Hard to Dislike

Written By Tony W., Little Rock, AR on Sunday, May 20, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After one month, the honeymoon is still on. I have a 2010 Mac Mini Lossless music server connected via USB and a Pioneer plasma connected via optical to the Nova with a pair of Wharfedales (the Mini is connected to the Pioneer by HDMI). They are all controlled by a Harmony 650. The sound and flexibility are great and just what I needed for my small loft. Two things I have noticed (as others have) I absolutely cannot tell the difference with/without the tube (am I doing something wrong?) The volume jumps too much when raised with the remotes. It needs half steps....or to go to 12....
Pros:
Looks and sounds great. Easy set up. Versatile.
Cons:
My neighbors hate me....?
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Peachtree Audio Nova

Written By KC, Chattanooga, TN on Monday, February 06, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Outstanding sound for the price. The DAC feature works as advertised. I am using with CD's and Pandora and the depth and clarity of the music is a huge improvement over what I had been listening to. I would highly recommend this product.
Pros:
Overall quality and ease of use. Looks great.
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Excellent product

Written By JohnK, New York, NY on Thursday, September 29, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent product. Purchased together with the D5 speakers, that are outstanding. The Nova and D5's replaced a cobbled together system used in my home office that consisted of a Parasound amp, Adcom pre-amp and PSB speakers (all about 10 years old). The system is connected through a USB port to a PC running iTunes, and the sound from this unit is fantastic, with good bass and wonderful imaging. Didn't notice any difference when running through the tube, but at least it provides a soothing blue light and can be turned off if needed.
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5 out of 5

Fantastic Product

Written By audiofan, nowhere on Friday, July 08, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
this is a fabulous product. one of the best audio products i have ever purchased. it works wonderfully on all levels: DAC, headphone amp, and integrated amp. i purchased it as a package deal with the peachtree audio design 4 speakers, which are just as astonishing. with that combo, a source for digital files, and a nice pair of headphones, there is really nothing else i would need. the audio piece to buy when one is all you want, or when you just want it, which you know you do! buy it! you will be happy you did. seriously. and buy it from crutchfield. have a nice day.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fine performer

Written By Ed, Houston, TX on Sunday, February 06, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I'm a careful listener but not a hobbyist. My previous system: Denon DCM 560 cd player (top of their turntable line at the time), efficient bookshelf speakers (from shortlived collaboration between the two British makers in the early '90s), a Harmon-Kardon "high current" receiver from the same period, and SR325 'phones. Recently I purchased the inexpensive Sony XDR HD tuner-a fantastic addition (highly recommended!) I noticed a receiver issue (not relevant here) and decided to replace it. After considering some integrated amps, I bought the Nova. It's a superb upgrade. I now use the coax out from my Denon, taking advantage of the Nova's better DAC; the tuner, laptop/iPoD, and digital camcorder use the 3 analogue inputs are. The improved clarity and verisimilitude with all sources is easily noticed, even by my spouse, a more casual listener. The denon player has a very good headphone out, but sound from the Nova headphone out is better. I don't miss loudness or bass/treble controls-sound is nice without tweaking, so that I am finding I enjoy the recording engineers' choices, no urge to modify them.

A minor negative, the volume knob set screw loosened and the knob came off. This appears inadequately engineered, as the post isn't notched. Crutchfield merely referred me to the manufacturer on this-- a very thin allen key seems needed, that I don't I have at home. This should be fixed on future units. Otherwise "build quality" seems very nice.

5 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best Available Way To Optimize Streamed Audio

Written By N. Ca Audio Enthusiast, Marin County on Wednesday, December 15, 2010
 
While The Peachtree Nova can be used as an inexpensive amplifier to drive small speakers, it's unique characteristic (following the demise of the $2,200 Logitech Transporter) is to minimize the marked degradation in sound reproduction attributable to 'jitter'. This vibrational problem exists with CD players talking to receivers/ pre-amplifiers but it is particularly accentuated with digital files stored on a server or computer hard drive and then played on receiver/s pre-amplifiers. File compression simply makes the problem worse. Along comes the Peachtree Nova and does an exceptional job at producing sound of far greater clarity by minimizing the causes of this lack of sound focus and masking audible 'fog'.

So this is not just another DAC but an absolutely invaluable and unique product for anybody wishing to radically improve the sound of their streamed audio playback. The Nova offers remarkable sound quality and versatile uses for $1,200 but it is completely unrealistic to expect it to compete just as an amplifier on sound quality reproduction with higher priced receivers like the $5,000 Arcam and Primare.
10 out of 15 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great

Written By ryaneq101, California on Wednesday, June 09, 2010
 
Great Smooth and clear sound. No harsh highs or boomy lows, everything is easy to use and works great.
3 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent Quality and Great Value

Written By Ralph, San Francisco, CA on Monday, June 07, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Peachtree Nova was shown as one of the best audio products of the year. I am amazed at the top notch sound quality; it is equal to high performance components at much higher prices. I am using the Nova as an integrated amp (preamp and amplifier) + a digital processor (which is built in). It does a perfect job driving my large floor-standing speakers and produces warm, full-bodied sound with absolutely no loss of detail and no high end harshness or brightness. I've never heard a two channel receiver or integrated amp come close to this level of realistic musical performance. And the power is fully capable to drive my speakers which previously needed separate mono amplifiers. Finally, the look of this product, with its well polished real wood enclosure, sets this apart from ordinary electronic components. It is admirable how Peachtree has made a great looking and fantastic performing product at a cost that is quite reasonable for this level of quality.


11 out of 11 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Peachtree Audio Nova, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_731NOVABG/Peachtree-Audio-Nova-Black.html ).