Nova Does Not Mean "Won't Go"

Peachtree Audio has declared that "Computer Audio is here to stay—so let's make it sound right." The 80Wpc Nova ($1199) includes an ESS 9006 Sabre DAc, which has a jitter reduction circuit and a 24-bit/96kHz upsampler. It employs a 6922 tube tas the driver for its class-A/B output stage. It decodes MP3, MP4, FLAC, AIFF, ALC, "plus all others. It even has a slot in the back to accommodate a Sonos ZP80/90. And did I mention that it has an HT pass-through? Or 11 regulated power supplies? That last is to isolate separate sections from digitally generated noise.

And it's pretty with its wrap around wooden shell.

It sounded pretty good driving a pair of Aerial 20Tv.2s, which was punching waaayyy out of its weight class. I doubt anybody sane would do that, but it was an impressive trick.

Stephen Scharf's picture

Wes,Thank you very much for posting about the Peachtree Nova. I have been quite interested in the debut of the Nova, primarily because I think it will be quite a value proposition to folks like myself who want to integrate analog, CD, and music server-based digital file content via a first class preamp and DAC subsystem with an amplifier that can put out large amounts of current for speakers like my Dynaudio's, or the excellent Era Design 4's and 5's (which are made by Peachtree's sister company, Era Design).

Abumuzi's picture

Wes, Thanks for the report. Is the Peachtree a true audiophile product or an audio Swiss-army-knife for the desk-top (lossy) digital world?

Wes Phillips's picture

It appears to be a true audiophile product, at least in my brief audition. Long discussions with the Peachtree crew suggest that sound quality, not just utility, was their biggest concern--not to mention the reason that getting the Nova to market took so long. We'll certainly be getting one and reporting on it at length.

Jerry's picture

Wes, when you report, please be sure that you include the country of manufacturing origin, which may not be the US. I have heard great things in the past, but the source of manufacture has held me back.

Jim Spainhour / Peachtree Audio's picture

Thanks for the mention, Wes. Warning! Biased maufacturer comments follow! ;>) As noted, the Nova utilizes the ESS 9006 Sabre DAC, has transformer coupled digital inputs for ground isolation, class A ouput stages on the DAC and the Pre-Out, and 11 regulated power supplies on the DAC alone. The Sabre DAC has patented jitter attenuation which makes it almost impossible to measure. In our measrements jitter is in the femtoseconds even on USB. No kidding. S/N is 122DB. User selectable digital filter slopes (steep and soft rolloff) are available with a switch on the back panel. Made in China. There's only one way to offer a DAC like that inside an integrated amp housed in beautiful wood...Sure do look forward to when we can bring it home, though. Thanks aain, Wes. You guys sure cover a lot of territory in a few days!

Jim Spainhour / Peachtree Audio's picture

Wes, I forgot to mention something else that should be cleared up. We were using the Nova's DAC section only with David's laptop and an Apple TV in the demo. We routed the signal from the Nova's line output to the outstanding Boulder Pre and Power amps. As much as we love the Nova there's no way it could drive The big Aerials like that. If we gave you the impression during the demo that the Nova was driving the 20Tv2's we apologize.

Wes Phillips's picture

It seems I misheard a comment about switching over--must have been sources not amps. My apologies.

Greg's picture

Mr. SpainhourIs there any idea if/when the Nova would be available through a Canadian distributor?

CJ's picture

I've had the Peachtree Decco for a little over a year now and I love it. I'm already on the waiting list with my dealer for the new Nova. I can't believe what they are able to put inside the thing and still only charge $1,200 for it. The new DAC in the Nova is very exciting and worth the price of admission alone, so I'm told by those who have heard it.The one question I have is when are the companies who are manufacturing DACs going to start including USB inputs that can decode 24/96 or 24/176.4? The ultimate beauty of computer-based audio and music servers are that we no longer need to constrained by 16/44.1.With Keith Johnson's 24/176.4 HRx high resolution recordings becoming more widely available, as well as hi-res music from other outlets, a USB DAC with 24-bit decoding capability is a must.So far the only company I know making a 24/96 USB DAC is Wavelength and although I'm sure they sound wonderful, they are not inexpensive.Make an audiophile's day Jim and upgr

Jim E.'s picture

How would the ESS 9006 Sabre DAC and Pre-Amp in the NOVA compare to the Benchmark Pre 1? I am on the fence on which one to go with. Any thoughts?

Jonathan Catuccio's picture

I wish the manual was on the site.What do you mean can decode FLAC, MP3, etc.We use software (iTunes, J. River) to do this at 16/44 , 24/96 , etc.Can you clarify what happens when I choose this USB device with J. River or iTunes and set the native rate at 24/96 (my vinyl rips). Did Scott Nixon work on the NOVA as well?thankshifitubes

Jeff L.'s picture

Very exciting product but I am still unsure about its power capabilities. Would it drive my Dynaudio Focus 220 II's (86db sens. , 4 ohm) at moderate to heavy volumes or not? I haven't seen a true power measurement or the specs on the power supplies. Any help would be great - thanks!

Kamak's picture

MY TRUELY BUDGET SETUP:I am getting amazing sound from my Manhattan apt. budget setup. I'm using Vandersteen 2CEs with the upgraded MAGNUM rogue audio atlas amp while listening to aiff ripped CDs played through my PC. Oh, did I mention it is all tied together with the Nova? The Dac sounded nice right out of the box however after a week of burn-in, it really loosened up nicely. I can not rave eough about this product. I'm looking forward to buying a Marantz SR5003 and connecting its front Left and Right preout to the Nova's Home Theater Bypass.

Luis M's picture

I'm new to the audiophile world and appreciate the comments regarding the Nova. I'm interested in it mainly because of it's DAC, although I understand that it's a pretty good pre-amp/amp. I'm looking to hook up a Wadia dock pulling lossless files from my ipod - although the hookup direct to my laptop is also an option. I haven't bought speakers yet but was looking at B&W CM9's or something comparable - I may even go with the Sonus Liuto, but they are a lot pricier.Do you think the Nova can power these speakers without any probblems?Also, if I were to upgrade the speakers to something in the 4ohm/90+ sensitivity range, could I still power these with the peachtree? If you don't believe the Nova should be used with speakers requiring a little more power - would you still used it as a dac/preamp? I already own a Rotel RKB 2100 which I could use to amp the Nova? Lastly, should I use a separate amplifier with the Nova regardless of the speakers?A lot of questions, but I'm trying to figure it out. Thx

John's picture

I'm thinking of buying one of these Nova amps to drive my B&W 805s. I'd like to transfer my CDs in a lossless format to a file server of some sort and control it all with an Ipod Touch and ITunes. Anyway, I'm not sure how the Sonos thing would fit in, or if I'd even need to use that type of device at all. Would I also need the maid Sonos control unit?