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Peachtree Audio nova150 Integrated Amplifier/DAC/Headphone Amp

SKU: PEA-NOVA150
$1,599.00
$1,799.00
*
+ -

"The nova150 embodies the new Peachtree Audio 2.0 ethos with unmatched features and sound quality at an exceptional price. For those of you who thought previous Peachtree components were great, and for those of you interested in dipping your toe into the Peachtree waters, you must listen to the nova150 and the sound of Peachtree Audio 2.0."

-Chris Conaker (The Computer Audiophile)


In 2007 Peachtree Audio introduced a new integrated amplifier that immediately and forever changed the amplifier landscape. This amplifier - our original Decco - was groundbreaking for its time. It had a unique industrial design with an aluminum front panel, a simple button and knob user interface and a rounded wood case finished with beautiful veneers. Inside, it housed a class A/B power amplifier, a tube buffer visible through a window in the front panel and, most significantly, a USB input with built-in DAC to accept a direct connection from a Mac or PC! "Computer audio" was born, with Peachtree's Decco and Nova amplifiers on the leading edge, and with computer audio a defining part of Peachtree's identity.

We now introduce nova 2.0 . . . a completely new generation of Peachtree integrated amplifiers that reimagines the original concept and takes it to an even higher level. Nova 2.0 is the culmination of everything Peachtree has learned as a leader in computer audio, plus a few new things they hadn't gotten to - until now.

To take full advantage of the new engineering team, Peachtree moved the nova from a reputable manufacturer in China, to one of most skilled in micro and macro electronics manufacturer Canada.

Peachtree will still have product like deepblue, remote controls, BT1 and the like manufactured in the far east, but the most complicated and important core product like nova have the advantage of the new factory.

Peachtree PCB’s have been very nice the last few years, but by electrical standards, the new PCB’s are like electronic jewelry. And the grounding system is now better than ever allowing totally silent circuits to do their job.

The new factory actually specializes in high-end medical equipment. The kind of equipment that if there’s noise on the line, or if it fails, people die. As detailed and complicated as the 2.0 circuits are, this facility was the perfect choice. 

nova150 - First of a New Generation 

The Integrated Amplifier… Reimagined

Highlights

  • ESS Reference 9018K2M Sabre DAC
  • 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and 5.6MHz DSD (double-DSD) compatibility
  • New generation ICEPower amplification - 150 watts per channel
  • Extensive internal grounding
  • Designed by a world-class engineering team
  • Asynchronous USB, Coax and (2) Optical inputs
  • Asynchronous iOS input for direct digital input from Apple Lightning devices
  • Phono (MM) input
  • Home Theater Bypass
  • Loop feature to add an external tube buffer, EQ or other processor into the signal path
  • Discrete, custom-designed headphone amplifier
  • Optional Wi-Fi module to be announced
  • Available in Gloss Ebony Mocha and Piano Black
  • Made in North America

Stunning Results

Peachtree Audio takes great pride in what they have accomplished with the new nova150. It accommodates virtually every type of music source people use today, from spinning vinyl at home to streaming audio from the cloud. They've ushered in an impressive new suite of technological advancements - from the DAC through the power amplifier and at every step in between. This new nova is designed around tried and true audio engineering philosophies to ensure exceptional sound quality and superb measured performance across the board. The new novas - there are more to come! - are truly the most beautiful and exceptional sounding products Peachtree Audio has ever made and are every bit deserving of the designation nova 2.0. We hope you choose to make one a part of your musical life. We are confident that if you do, you will love it!

Expert Reviews (click on images to link to reviews)

 

Reference DAC

Sabre32 logo

The nova150 utilizes the highly regarded ES9018K2M SABRE32 Reference DAC. The 9018 DAC is capable of accepting an extremely wide range of inputs all the way up to 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and 5.2MHz DSD (double-DSD). The DAC exhibits exemplary dynamic range, jitter elimination and low noise characteristics to satisfy even the most demanding listeners.

A New Generation of Power Amplification

The nova150 incorporates the latest generation of ICEPower amplification - with an impressive 150 watts per channel. The amplifier utilizes ICEpower’s innovative and patented Hybrid Controlled Oscillation Modulator (HCOM) feedback and control techniques to ensure high output, wide bandwidth, low noise, robust stability and a simplified overall design. HCOM incorporates separate feedback loops after the power stage and after the output filter. This lets the system address specific issues related to the power stage and output filter independently, resulting in lower distortion, less noise on the output, a less load-dependent frequency response, and a very low output impedance compared to other class D amps. This new amplifier technology is extremely powerful, dynamic, quiet and most importantly... musical. Relatively small size and superior efficiency allows a nova chassis that is even smaller than its predecessors, without the large, heavy and expensive heat sinking common in class A/B amplifiers. The amplifier in the nova150 is capable of driving an extremely wide range of speakers with impedances as low as 2.5Ω and as high as 16Ω. Combine that with a power output of 150 watts per channel and you can be sure this new nova will easily drive your favorite loudspeaker.

Quiet as a Mouse

The nova150 utilizes an extensive power supply and grounding design to ensure the noise floor is pushed as far down as possible to allow the music to shine through. Our engineers spent hours upon hours determining the optimal power supply filtering and grounding scheme to prevent any unwanted noise from finding its way into the signal path. As a result, the nova150 achieves a remarkable dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio. Turn up the nova150 to full volume without music playing, put your ear to the speaker and enjoy the lack of noise!

World-Class Engineering

When we set out to reinvent nova, we called on a team of world-class engineers to design a platform that would achieve our simple but lofty objectives: superior performance, more inputs, greater flexibility, wireless capability, smaller size - all this, plus built in North America within the price range of our previous integrated amplifiers. We came together and created nova 2.0: the best sounding, most accommodating and most reliable integrated amplifier platform we have ever built. The nova150 has arrived and the results speak for themselves.

iOS Input

The nova150 includes a dedicated asynchronous USB connection on the rear panel that provides a direct digital wired connection to Apple Lightning equipped devices. Simply use the cable that came with your iPhone or iPad and enjoy the music and apps of your mobile device with the DAC and sound quality of the nova! The nova150 remote control will even perform the play/pause and track fwd/rev functions on any compatible application. And if you have an app that supports high-res audio, you can use your iDevice as a mini music server with one of the most intuitive user interfaces on the planet - the touch screen.

What’s Old is New Again

We are pleased to say that the nova150 includes a moving magnet (MM) phono input for direct connection of a turntable. Yes, that's right - a bunch of computer audio advocates made a phono preamp! And not just any phono input... a custom designed circuit that accommodates a wide range of MM cartridge outputs. With the nova150 you no longer need an external phono preamp unless you are using a lower output moving coil cartridge. In that case, the internal phono preamp in the nova150 can be bypassed, allowing the phono input to accept line-level signals from a dedicated phono preamp or any other line-level device. Win-win!

Home Theater Bypass (HTB) is Back!

This is one of our most requested features and it is included in the nova150! HTB allows for easy integration with a multi-channel preamp/processor or audio/video receiver (AVR) so that the power amplifier in the nova150 drives the front left and right speakers for stereo and multi-channel listening. The nova150 amplifier section is likely more powerful and better sounding than any AVR available today - and relieving the AVR from driving the front left and right speakers makes it MUCH easier for the AVR to drive the center and surround speakers. When listening to stereo music the nova150 becomes your control center, and you can enjoy the full benefit of its reference DAC and ultra-low-noise circuitry. If the HTB input isn't needed it can be configured as a standard analog line-level input.

Getting Loop-y

The nova150 includes an extremely useful loop (output/input) feature, allowing you to add an external tube buffer, equalizer or other processor into the signal path as desired. The LOOP button on the remote control engages and disengages the loop audio path utilizing high-performance relays. Do you want to experiment with room correction? No problem. Wire your room EQ component into the nova150 and use the LOOP button on the remote control to easily A-B between correction in/correction out.

Power Amp Mode

The nova150 provides a Volume Control Bypass feature on its digital inputs which puts the nova150 into a "power amp" mode. This is particularly useful if you have a connected source with its own volume control. Have a favorite device or app with a volume slider built right into the interface? Simply bypass the nova150 volume control for that input and use the app slider instead. VERY convenient!

Optical, Coax and USB Inputs

The nova150 offers a standard suite of digital audio inputs, including asynchronous USB for a computer. In addition, there is one coaxial S/PDIF input and two optical inputs that accommodate signals up to 24-Bit/192kHz, assuming the connected device can output those signals. If it can't, no worries; use your computer instead to output your high-res files to the nova150's asynchronous USB input.

Discrete Headphone Amp

Headphone fans will love the newly designed discrete low impedance headphone amplifier in the nova150. It can easily drive any headphones on the market, and drive them well. The signal-to-noise ratio of the circuitry will impress even the most dyed-in-the-wool headphone enthusiast! When you plug headphones in, the speakers and preamp outputs are automatically muted and the volume knob becomes a dedicated headphone volume controller. Unplug the headphones, and the system reverts back to being an integrated amplifier.

Optional Wi-Fi Module

The nova 2.0 platform was designed to accommodate an internal Wi-Fi module, which is currently under development. Peachtree has even reserved an input button on the front panel for it! This will allow you to stream audio directly into the nova150 without the need for connecting any wires. Until then, you can easily connect to the world of streaming audio via a Wi-Fi enabled computer or iDevice, Apple TV (3rd generation), SONOS Connect or Google's Chromecast Audio (to name just a few).

Made in North America

The nova150 is designed and built in North America. The circuit boards are built, the amplifiers assembled and fully tested, then inspected at an ISO 9001:2008, 13485:2003 (Medical Devices) and MFi Certified Facility in Canada. Amplifiers are then shipped to Peachtree's facility in Bellevue, WA where the wooden case is installed and the final product inspected again! Building this product in North America was a coordinated team effort and a significant milestone in Peachtree's history. We are extremely pleased that the nova150 is designed and now built in North America!

Exceptional Beauty

The new Gloss Ebony Mocha requires 13 coats of varnish to achieve this finish. After each coat has been applied, the varnish has to dry and be sanded before the next coat is applied. This painstaking process takes upwards of two weeks to complete, but on its completion, it's the most elegant look in audio.

This finish is in addition to the beautiful Piano Black available on the new nova series of integrated amplifiers.

What’s different about Peachtree Audio 2.0?

Uh... almost everything.

This has been the most common question since re-launching Peachtree as 2.0 in the spring. The bottom line is that the only thing that remains the same are the concepts, which have always been solid and has, for the most part, led the industry in computer and digital audio for the last decade.

The look also remains similar, with beautiful cabinets and classic designs. Everything else is outlined below and represents the best of Peachtree going forward. So, what has changed is a lot and is mostly all outlined below.

Engineering:

In 2014, A new engineering team was hired to re-engineer a solid platform for new nova (current series). This team had already been responsible for some of the best audio product ever developed garnering many front-page coverage and stellar reviews. They were an expensive team, but Peachtree was on a mission to develop the best line in its history and this kind of investment was necessary to get the new concept off of the ground on the right foot.

Manufacturing in Canada:

To take full advantage of the new engineering team, Peachtree moved the nova from a reputable manufacturer in China, to one of most skilled in micro and macro electronics manufacturer Canada.

We’ll still have product like deepblue, remote controls, BT1 and the like manufactured in the far east, but the most complicated and important core product like nova have the advantage of the new factory.

Peachtree PCB’s have been very nice the last few years, but by electrical standards, the new PCB’s are like electronic jewelry. And the grounding system is now better than ever allowing totally silent circuits to do their job.

The new factory actually specializes in high-end medical equipment. The kind of equipment that if there’s noise on the line, or if it fails, people die. As detailed and complicated as the 2.0 circuits are, this facility was the perfect choice.

Added or improved features:

There were a few features that customers had been asking for and others that Peachtree wanted to add as useful and or for better performance.

Upgraded DAC:

The new nova series has been upgraded with the world renowned, ESS Sabre32 9018MKII Reference DAC. Currently, most experts recognize the 9018 as the best in the world. The 9018 have many options that can be tricky for the novice. If implementation is incorrect, you’ll get a DAC that can be harsh and shrill. However, if you really know what you’re doing with the 9018, it’s pure magic and can resolve all formats effortlessly. It’s really about what’s around the DAC and how it’s implemented. This is an area where art and engineering mix and we’re so proud to have a very skilled painter behind this canvas. From MP3 to Double DSD, the 9018 rules.

Digital connections for your iPhone and computer are Asynchronous making timing errors inaudible.

Unity Gain

Direct Amp In is a feature you use with network audio players that already has a volume control. Upon pushing a digital input for 5 seconds, your network player gains direct access to the power amplifier section.

This gives you exclusive volume control through your app and happens at perfect (Unity) gain. In other words, the network player starts at the perfect sweet spot to directly drive the amplifier. This allows you to control the volume exclusively with any App you use like Sonos or any player with its own volume control.

Dy-NEC iOS input for iPhone and iPad (Dynamic Noise Elimination Circuit)

Streaming music files from the Lightning connection on your iPhone or iPad is very convenient. However, from a purely objective and or audiophile perspective, they’re sources of noise. This noise would have to be eliminated before they would, or could be taken seriously as a high-end audio component.

Peachtree is the only company to take this messy task on. All others are plagued with this noise on their iOS input.

Problems with noise (tracked back to power supply fluctuation) were uncovered first and addressed with isolation; but the worst offender by far was the iPhone or iPad retina display. The screens are complicated and have refresh rates in the millions of time per second range, causing audible noise through your speakers. You can easily hear this noise by simply running your finger across the screen on similar inputs. The retina screen posed a tricky problem, but knowing how important this source is for music, Peachtree thought it important to maximize the effort and do something that’s never been done before.

With this goal in mind, Peachtree engineers have developed Dy-NEC; the worlds first and (so far) only system to address and eliminate all audible power supply and screen noise from these devices, giving you the best and most silent platform so your music files can sound their best.

Once the noise was eliminated, the file could then be handed off to the more than capable ESS Reference DAC, which then furthers this effort with an asynchronous connection, eliminating any timing errors caused from jitter.

With Dy-NEC and an Asynchronous connection combined, the Peachtree iOS input easily out performs any iOS input of its kind on the market, regardless of price.

The new metal-faced remote also controls basic iOS functions like FF/RR and pause, so you can just sit back and enjoy. Dy- NEC is a Peachtree exclusive.

World-Class Preamp

Hey?!?
What the heck...? The Tube is gone?!?

Yep, it is. The reason is because the new nova pre-amp is just too darn good. Putting a tube on this preamp as a cathode follower, like before would be tantamount to putting ketchup on sushi.

The old preamps had a normal signal to noise ratio in the neighborhood of 95dB. This is what companies like McIntosh claim, so when the tube was engaged, it could smooth out a rough digital recording and only dropped a little to 88-90dB. No problems here...

By wide contrast, the new preamp even in the 150 has a S/N of 111dB. This is unheard of in its price range. Taking that 111dB to 88dB with a tube follower would have sounded like you’d thrown a blanket over your system.

However, we are planning a proper stereo tube buffer, with a separate power supply for the future. This will go into the LOOP in/out of the preamp, another new feature from Peachtree. The loop feature will also accommodate equalizers, room correction or other processors of your choice.

Home Theater Bypass is back and here to return your stereo sound quality:

With this feature, nova will transform any Home Theater receiver (with preamp outs) to a proper 2-channel system, totally bypassing the home theater receiver and returning proper 2-channel sound.

Simply hook the front L & R preamp out to the HT Bypass input on the nova. Move the L & R speaker cables to the nova. When in HT mode, the nova simply acts as the front L & R amplifier for your home theater. Now, hook up all of your 2-channel components to the nova inputs. Now, when you listen to 2-channel, you’ll have a proper audio chain and your system will sound its best when playing music. Now you can have the best of both worlds.

Dedicated “Analog” Phono section:

Many of today’s phono inputs are nothing more than an A to D converter, which turns your once analog vinyl into 24/96 digital. Why would anyone do this? To save money, of course...

Peachtree Phono sections are full analog with separate power supplies and a proper RIAA analog circuit. Why convert perfectly good analog into digital? Analog should always stay in the analog domain, unless price is a factor for the manufacturer. It does cost more to do it this way, but vinyl lovers are analog lovers, so we’ll just keep it that way.

Dedicated Headphone Amplifier

With the onset of so many great headphones now on the market, Peachtree decided to give the headphone section special treatment. The new headphone sections have a dedicated headphone amplifier section. The amp is powerful and can push almost any headphone on the market with as much as 11.5 volts to the output. Of course, the headphone section also has the advantages from the Sabre DAC, Preamp section and pure analog phono section.

Silent circuit

The nova series amplifiers have the lowest noise floor possible. They’re dead silent. This is important when you’re listening to high-resolution audio, because the detail you pay dearly for resides at the very lowest volume levels. If an amplifier has a noise floor, any signal below that noise for is completely lost. You’ll find the nova series integrated amplifiers have a signal to noise ratios of 111 dB at preamp level and an astonishing105 dB A-weighted at speaker level.

This is hard to find in even the most expensive electronics and clearly sets Peachtree apart in the same price ranges.

You can prove this by switching the nova to an empty input and then turning the volume all the way up. At this point you can put your ear to the tweeter and hear almost nothing. If playing music at this level, the amplifier would be way past clipping. Because of this attention to detail, anything that you play through Peachtree nova series amps will have the highest “attainable” resolution possible.

Upgraded Amplifier

The new Class-D, ICE POWER ASC amplifiers have finally surpassed performance of all but the most expensive heavy, inefficient Class A/B amplifiers. The new power amplifiers sample the switching power supply at over 400 kHz per second, completely removing any hint of power supply noise.

This is the first digital amplifier to truly sound better that a standard A/B amplifier. The bass is fuller deep and tight. The high-end is extended and without a hint of harshness, beyond what any moderate priced A/B amplifier can do.

The new amps easily drives the most difficult speakers, like B&W or Martin Logan, Wilson and more, allowing you to spend more on your speakers without sacrifice in sound quality.

Wi-Fi Ready

The new nova series amplifiers are all Wi-Fi ready. Upon completion of our new advanced Wi-Fi module, you’ll be able to internally upgrade and receive the best audio streaming services as well as seeing and playing your network audio storage. A new Peachtree music App will be available and eventually link to many Peachtree products.

The upcharge is estimated at $200.

This will remain an option. You’ll be able to order novas with, or without Wi-Fi. The Peachtree Ecosystem will be great for those who need it. For those who already have their own network audio player, you’ll be able to order the nova’s without Wi-Fi and plug directly into the Sabre DAC.

The most beautiful cabinets in the world

The new peachtree cabinets have also undergone a massive upgrade. The cabinets are now HDF allowing for tighter tolerances around the faceplate.

The gloss finishes take two weeks to complete. The process is very old school by applying a coat of clear finish, allowing it to dry, sanding to an even finish. Then repeating this same process 13 times to give a finish that looks like water on a surface.

All in all, Peachtree is a new company and Peachtree 2.0 isn’t just a new line or model.

Simply stated, If you haven’t heard Peachtree 2.0, you haven’t heard Peachtree.

Nova150 specs

"I've been a fan of Peachtree Audio ever since I saw the team demonstrate its products using an AppleTV as a source, way back before the HiFi industry realized someone moved its cheese. Peachtree Audio introduced products with USBinputs long before most of the industry realized it was possible to connect a computer-based product to a "real" audio system. This was around the time when a notorious New York City audio dealer would kick people out of his store for bringing in iPods to use as a source. It's funny how life works, that dealer's business is now a shadow of its former self and computer audio is taking over the world of HiFi. After Peachtree Audio's meteoric rise and success all over the world, the company had a a few growing pains that one could expect from any small company growing at record speed. During this roughly 2-year transitional period, Peachtree turned out a few products to make sure the company stayed healthy; all the while working on the line they always wanted to do. In the Spring of 2016 the company re-launched, with co-founder David Solomon back on-board, as Peachtree Audio 2.0, during an event at Stereo Exchange in NYC. The Peachtree team was at the event to let people know what was in store with Peachtree 2.0. This wasn't a smoke and mirrors type of HiFi event, rather it was a brass tacks type of event. Peachtree Audio had undergone some big changes, during Solomon's absence, in how it designs and builds its products, and the company wanted everyone to know. In fact, there was a big sense of pride visible in the Peachtree team because of what it had accomplished with its new products. The main attraction at the NYC event was the nova150 integrated amplifier. Since listening to the nova150 in NYC in March 2016, I've been waiting for my review sample to arrive. The nova150 sounded great at the event and looked fantastic with its gloss ebony mocha finish. But, there's no substitute to hearing a component in one's own system and spending serious time playing gigabytes of familiar music. After spending the last week listening to the nova150 for hours on end, I can say without a doubt that Peachtree Audio 2.0 is much more than just a number. Compared to previous Peachtree products, the new nova150 is in a different class. A different class of design, and more importantly a different class of sound quality..."

review continues here

Products specifications
Height (In) 4.37
Width (In) 14.02
Length (In) 13.25
Description

"The nova150 embodies the new Peachtree Audio 2.0 ethos with unmatched features and sound quality at an exceptional price. For those of you who thought previous Peachtree components were great, and for those of you interested in dipping your toe into the Peachtree waters, you must listen to the nova150 and the sound of Peachtree Audio 2.0."

-Chris Conaker (The Computer Audiophile)


In 2007 Peachtree Audio introduced a new integrated amplifier that immediately and forever changed the amplifier landscape. This amplifier - our original Decco - was groundbreaking for its time. It had a unique industrial design with an aluminum front panel, a simple button and knob user interface and a rounded wood case finished with beautiful veneers. Inside, it housed a class A/B power amplifier, a tube buffer visible through a window in the front panel and, most significantly, a USB input with built-in DAC to accept a direct connection from a Mac or PC! "Computer audio" was born, with Peachtree's Decco and Nova amplifiers on the leading edge, and with computer audio a defining part of Peachtree's identity.

We now introduce nova 2.0 . . . a completely new generation of Peachtree integrated amplifiers that reimagines the original concept and takes it to an even higher level. Nova 2.0 is the culmination of everything Peachtree has learned as a leader in computer audio, plus a few new things they hadn't gotten to - until now.

To take full advantage of the new engineering team, Peachtree moved the nova from a reputable manufacturer in China, to one of most skilled in micro and macro electronics manufacturer Canada.

Peachtree will still have product like deepblue, remote controls, BT1 and the like manufactured in the far east, but the most complicated and important core product like nova have the advantage of the new factory.

Peachtree PCB’s have been very nice the last few years, but by electrical standards, the new PCB’s are like electronic jewelry. And the grounding system is now better than ever allowing totally silent circuits to do their job.

The new factory actually specializes in high-end medical equipment. The kind of equipment that if there’s noise on the line, or if it fails, people die. As detailed and complicated as the 2.0 circuits are, this facility was the perfect choice. 

nova150 - First of a New Generation 

The Integrated Amplifier… Reimagined

Highlights

  • ESS Reference 9018K2M Sabre DAC
  • 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and 5.6MHz DSD (double-DSD) compatibility
  • New generation ICEPower amplification - 150 watts per channel
  • Extensive internal grounding
  • Designed by a world-class engineering team
  • Asynchronous USB, Coax and (2) Optical inputs
  • Asynchronous iOS input for direct digital input from Apple Lightning devices
  • Phono (MM) input
  • Home Theater Bypass
  • Loop feature to add an external tube buffer, EQ or other processor into the signal path
  • Discrete, custom-designed headphone amplifier
  • Optional Wi-Fi module to be announced
  • Available in Gloss Ebony Mocha and Piano Black
  • Made in North America

Stunning Results

Peachtree Audio takes great pride in what they have accomplished with the new nova150. It accommodates virtually every type of music source people use today, from spinning vinyl at home to streaming audio from the cloud. They've ushered in an impressive new suite of technological advancements - from the DAC through the power amplifier and at every step in between. This new nova is designed around tried and true audio engineering philosophies to ensure exceptional sound quality and superb measured performance across the board. The new novas - there are more to come! - are truly the most beautiful and exceptional sounding products Peachtree Audio has ever made and are every bit deserving of the designation nova 2.0. We hope you choose to make one a part of your musical life. We are confident that if you do, you will love it!

Expert Reviews (click on images to link to reviews)

 

Products specifications
Height (In) 4.37
Width (In) 14.02
Length (In) 13.25