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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.