Peachtree Audio nova300 integrated amplifier

One year ago almost to the day as I write, Peachtree Audio invited me and other members of the audio press to the New York City retail shop Stereo Exchange, where various announcements regarding the brand were bundled, by the company's Jim Spainhour and David Solomon, under the virtual banner "PEACHTREE 2.0." Among the news: Peachtree, based in Bellevue, Washington, would now be manufacturing their nova integrated amplifiers in Canada—the company's previous offerings were all made in China—and they'd signed up a new design and engineering team.

Smiles were smiled and drinks were drunk, and before the press event ended and Herb Reichert and Michael Lavorgna and I had wandered off to a restaurant in the East Village, I extracted from Messrs. Spainhour and Solomon their promise to send me a review sample of Peachtree's new nova300 integrated amplifier ($2499) as soon as possible. Then, having sat down to dinner, I realized I'd left my camera at Stereo Exchange. Only after a great deal of running around was I able to sit down to DINNER 2.0.

My review opportunity finally arrived in January, when Peachtree announced that, after a four-month delay, they were finally filling pre-orders for the nova300. Although the new amp had apparently been ready for some time, Peachtree had endured a longer-than-expected wait for USB-I to approve the nova300 before securing MFi approval for Apple Lightning devices. Indeed, some nova300s had already been shipped without their iOS boards—which, according to Peachtree, can be quickly and easily retrofitted. But because this feature distinguishes the nova300 from Peachtree's similarly recent nova150 and from the original iDecco integrated amp of ten years ago and its built-in iPod dock (remember those?), Peachtree encouraged anxious audiophiles to wait. So I did.

Description
Wisely, the new nova300 retains Peachtree's trademark look: a physically substantial (14" wide by 4.8" high by 13.25" deep) amplifier in a sleek wooden wrap with rounded edges and a smooth, glossy finish. If anything, Peachtree has refined that formula: instead of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), the wrap is now made of high-density fiberboard (HDF), which is claimed to produce an even more precise fit; and the buyer now has a choice of Piano Black or Gloss Ebony Mocha finishes, both boasting multiple coats of hand-rubbed lacquer. My Gloss Ebony Mocha sample looks lovely.

617peach.bac.jpg

The nova300 also remains true to the job description of the original Peachtree iDecco of 2007: an all-in-one integrated amplifier and digital-to-analog converter. (I don't know if Peachtree was the first to bring such a hybrid to market, but it's safe to say they're the ones who put it on the map.) The nova300 ups that game as well: its DAC, based on the ESS 9018K2M Sabre DAC chip, provides 32-bit/384kHz resolution for PCM files and 5.6MHz for DSD files (ie, double DSD). Digital inputs include one coaxial (RCA) and two optical (TosLink) S/PDIF jacks, plus two individually selectable USB sockets. The first of those, for USB Type B plugs, addresses the nova300's asynchronous USB receiver, itself based on an XMOS microcontroller; the second, for USB Type A plugs, is for Lightning-compatible iPhones and iPads, and includes Peachtree's Dynamic Noise Elimination (DyNEC) system, claimed to eliminate all power-supply and screen noise generated by the associated phone or tablet.

Additionally, the nova300 includes a moving-magnet phono stage with active RIAA equalization. (Owners of moving-coil cartridges will need to add a step-up transformer or suchlike.) An optional WiFi board is in the works, and Solomon told me that Peachtree is "looking at the possibility" of soon adding MQA decoding.

Thus the nova300 adds a number of things to the Peachtree formula, but there's also one thing it leaves out: Unlike earlier Peachtree electronics, which used a dual-triode vacuum tube, visible through a window in the front panel, for preamp-stage buffering, the nova300 is 100% solid-state. According to Peachtree's website, the nova300's preamp section has a signal/noise ratio of 111dB—"and taking that 111dB down to 88dB with a tube follower would sound like you'd thrown a blanket over your system." They add that, with the lower S/N (95–100dB) of their earlier preamp stages, the addition of a tube buffer was "an acceptable compromise." The preamplifier stage's very high S/N ratio may be partly due to a newly designed switch-mode power supply that switches at a very fast 425kHz (as opposed to the 100kHz of less advanced supplies), thus pushing some types of noise ever further from the signal.

Coupled to that preamp is an output stage comprising class-D modules from the Bang & Olufsen subsidiary ICEpower; it produces 300Wpc into an 8-ohm load, and 450Wpc into 4 ohms. Also aft of the nova300's preamp stage is an all-discrete, class-AB headphone amplifier.

Installation and setup
For about half its time in my system, the Peachtree nova300 sat on my Box Furniture rack, not far from my analog sources—a Garrard 301 turntable with EMT 997 tonearm and various stereo and mono moving-coil pickups, and Hommage T1 and T2 step-up transformers from Auditorium 23—and drove my Altec Flamenco loudspeakers via Auditorium 23 speaker cable. For the rest of its time here, the Peachtree sat on a solid oak Stickley table near my desk and Apple iMac computer, driving the same speakers with the same speaker cables re-routed to accommodate the alternate position. Of the nova300's eight inputs—each selected by pressing one of a row of eight small, soft-touch buttons on its aluminum front panel—only two (Aux 1 and Aux 2) are geared for line-level analog signals, and one of those (footnote 1) serves double duty: Press Aux 2 briefly and its RCA jacks act as line-level inputs, but hold in the button for more than five seconds and those jacks become the phono inputs (footnote 2).

To the right of that row of buttons is the nova300's volume knob, which is of the continuous variety (no stops at the extremes of its range). Instead, the front panel visually indicates where in the nova300's range of volume the knob happens to be set: Lacking such a traditional—one could even say instinctive—means of informing the user where in the product's volume range the knob setting happens to be at any given time, the nova300's front panel offers visual feedback: Whenever the user is moving the knob, the lights above each of the eight input buttons form a horizontal indicator bar. When the knob is again stationary, all of those lights are extinguished except for the one above the input in use.

All of the controls described above, except for the volume knob, are duplicated on the nova300's compact, aluminum-fronted remote-control handset, which adds a Mute button. Volume can be adjusted from the remote with a pair of Up/Down buttons of the usual sort.

All of that is straightforward, and the nova300 threw me no curves—except for one in the setup regimen for its internal DAC: At first, after using a 1m-long AudioQuest Carbon USB link to connect the nova300 to my iMac, I had the damnedest time getting the computer to recognize the Peachtree. Most of us have struggled with installations in which certain items must be connected and/or powered up in a certain order, and I assumed that that was the problem here—but it seemed that no combination of connections, reboots, or what have you could get the nova300 to appear as a selectable output target in the Sound window of the iMac's System Preferences menu. After much swearing, I tried pressing the USB-B input button, saying to the empty room, "Nahhh, this couldn't be the solution." Sure enough, that did it. Which also means that, whenever I switched from USB-B to any other input, the nova300 ceased to be a selectable option on the iMac. At the very least, this anomaly should be mentioned in the nova300's otherwise fine owner's manual.

A final note: Although I'd surely been told, at one time or another, that the nova300's output stage operates in class-D, I'd forgotten that detail by the time I received my review sample. And indeed, because the nova300 ran warm—not hot but certainly not class-D cool—I assumed that it operates in class-AB. That I listened to the amp under that misconception for its first couple of weeks in my home may or may not be germane to your understanding of the observations that follow—and ultimately I was rather shocked to realize that the Peachtree iDecco, which really does operate in class-AB, runs notably cooler. Go figure.

Listening
The very first impression I had of the Peachtree nova300's sound, fresh out of the box, came while listening to the Brahms Violin Concerto with soloist Hillary Hahn and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner—whose passing last year went largely unnoticed by the media (SACD/CD, Sony Classical SS 89649). The sound was slightly dry and grainy, but not without color, and certainly not without dynamic nuance, of which there already was an abundance. Clearly, some running-in was in order; before doing any further critical listening, I subjected the nova300 to a little over a week's worth of steady use as a background-music workhorse.



Footnote 1: In truth, two of those switches serve double duty: When you press the Aux 1 button longer than five seconds, those inputs activate the nova300's Home Theater Bypass function, which I didn't try, owing to my enduring lack of a home theater (or a home gymnasium, home espresso bar, or home bowling alley . . . ).

Footnote 2: The careful reader will note that I've described a total of eight inputs being served by seven buttons, one of the latter controlling two of the former. The eighth button, for the forthcoming WiFi board, at present can't be activated.

COMPANY INFO
Peachtree Audio
2045 120th Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98005
(704) 391-9337
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
Matias's picture

Very strange review... Totally agree with the manufacturer's comment.

"I would never recommend a 300Wpc solid-state, high-resolution, integrated amplifier with a pair of vintage 60-year-old horn loudspeakers. Those should be driven by a moderately powered tube amp and preamp. That's what has always sounded best to me with a speaker like that."

dalethorn's picture

Normally I'd be OK with trying just about anything, as long as it were tried at length to be certain. But in this case I agree with you.

BK Audiophile's picture

I am shocked and bewildered by this review. Admittedly, I am a fan and owner of Peachtree products, but I'm also a long-time lover of rich-sounding hi-fi systems and quality audio. This write-up simply does not compute with my understanding of or enthusiasm for Peachtree's sonic signature. I'm surprised that Stereophile, which I usually agree with whole-heartedly, would publish a report that's so contradictory to my experience with Peachtree's products. I sincerely hope there was indeed some system mismatch, such as was suggested by Solomon in the manufacturer's comment. Shame...

David Solomon Peachtree Audio's picture

Soapbox warning: Leave now while you can.
After all of the time I've spent with this unit and so much glowing praise from so many, I was initially shocked and in a state of disbelief. Regardless, I continue to respect and revere the integrity I've known from Stereophile since I was a kid. No one I've known from this long lasting publication writes without passion and a love for music. Most like the gear as well. I know Art to be honest as the day is long and has always been very kind and respectful. Although I don't agree at all with the review based on my own experience, I can easily see how the conclusions were drawn, given the set up.

Thankfully there was a delay because reviews do matter and the fairly harsh and pointed opinions are in direct opposition to every other review of the nova150 or 300. So far, we've received top performance rewards in every review published. Although, I'm guessing we get no reward for this one or if we did, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be displaying it.
:-(

You'll never be a perfect fit for "all" systems or people, as proven here. There will always be a some product returns and there will always be haters for whatever reasons, so I'm sure you could find a few who don't like what we've done, but the overall feedback has been incredibly positive.

As you can probably tell, we look at Peachtree like our baby (because it is) and it does hurt when she's put in a mismatched in a relationship that never stood a chance.

But I look at the bright side. Hopefully this article and subsequent user experience comments will spawn a flood of curious customers running into our dealers to hear and decide for themselves. Stereophile is welcome to have it back in a system more compatible with our unit.

We allow quite a long audition period and I always tell people to please return it if you only "like it". These are our babies and if you don't love it, I'd rather have it back home.

(Last note: This finish is not available. This was a first run picture that's no longer in our art circulation.)

Onward and upward. Breaking into chorus of " I believe I can fly "

David Solomon
Peachtree Audio

dalethorn's picture

I dunno what others are reading into this, but I caught on to what Dudley was getting at with the "slightly grainy" etc. Perhaps that 'grainy' was raised to an exaggerated level by the choice of speakers or other ancillary components, but it did seem to be within the acceptable range of reviewer opinion.

maelob's picture

Lack of Common Sense, If I were a reviewer of a highly regarded magazine, it would make sense to have a "reference system". I am sure the reviewer love his speakers but cmon using vintage equipment to do reviews does not make sense in my book. This is an example of how we can get blinded by our preferences and not use common sense. At least it would have made sense to have another set of speakers to compare. Don't get me wrong, Vintage equipment can sound great, but I would not use it to review the latest hifi equipment. Very dissapointed

Chris Johnsen's picture

With all due respect given to the estimable Mr. Dudley and his unique system, I'd like to request Herb spend some time with a Nova300 at some point in the near future and submit his impressions. I've owned several pieces of Peachtree Audio gear and have literally sold a half a dozen others to my close friends based on my word-of-mouth raves. I've read ALL of the other reviews of this particular new unit, as I'm eager to ultimately replace my original Nova currently sitting in my rack, and am almost as disappointed as Mr. Solomon himself. Perhaps Mr. Dudley's unit was deficient in some way but I hope not, as I expect immaculate QC from Peachtree 2.0!

johnnythunder's picture

A reviewer of modern digital audio equipment should be judging his reviews using equipment that is compatible and accessible to the people who would be buying the product. I can see trying the Peachtree in his vintage system as a fun aside but in this case, DS from PA is correct - there's a big mismatch here. Sort of like reviewing modern video equipment on a 1960s era TV and wondering why the picture isn't so good. OK a bit of an extreme comparison but still valid. Those speakers were not voiced back in the day to be played with a modern high efficiency amplifier. Probably designed with a Macintosh/Marantz or Fisher EL34/EL84 tube amp. I think most readers read Art's review with a bit of a raised eyebrow. The Peachtree deserves a 2nd shot from a Stereophile writer whose system and tastes are more in sync with one another.

m-sevs's picture

Gotta say that I love the backlash. This sort of comment sensitivity is why I read all the way down. A couple questions though. Has anyone considered that given the innumerous reviews praising the above unit, all within the context of modern/contemporary loudspeaker systems (see Manufacturer's Comment), that Maybe Mr. Dudley was providing a valuable insight? I.e., given the overwhelming praise for this amp with B&Ws, why corroborate the known? Is it really so uninteresting and/or offensive that a reviewer review a product within a different context? Might that actually be beneficial to some people?

rockdc's picture

I agree, to a point. Arts Altecs are likely much more revealing of the characteristics he found than are more current speakers. Having said that, this is the last type of amp I'd use with these speakers. Hard to imagine doing a review like this, using only vintage Altecs. This amp definitely deserves a review using a variety of speakers.

cybershoplifter's picture

Let me start with, I'm sure I'd enjoy having this Peachtree in my current KEF LS 50 + sub system. I've always liked integrated amps that are all-in-one's with a DAC, lots of connections for devices and sources that can drive just about any 2.0 or 2.1 system. With those requirements you are not missing much with Nova300. I've also always liked the aesthetic of Peachtree amps with curved corners and a wooden case. I was also glad to see them rid of the gimmicky tube/valve on the front faceplate.

What I don't like is the price, digital amps, and the company lacks 'heritage'. Peachtree is sort of a newbie compared to other mfgs. In this price range other integrated amps would get my hard earned cash. Maybe a Rotel 1570 a solid piece of gear with Class AB amps and a great sounding pre-amp and DAC. Parsound has a full featured bad-ass integrated for about the same price or Schiit Audio's Ragnarok.. I could go on but won't..

Thank goodness Peachtree has a decent design an good marketing because the competition for $2500 integrated amps is stiff.

mrkaic's picture

Just skip the review and read JA's measurement section only.

texanalog's picture

J.A.,
I'm puzzled.

The Peachtree Audio website touts the Nova300 amplifier as having a "World-Class Preamplifier" , stating that the "Previous generation Peachtree preamps had a signal to noise ratio in the range of 95 to 100dB, ..." and that "By contrast, the newly-designed preamp section in the nova300 has a S/N ratio of 111dB."

Peachtree further describes the Nova300 as "Quiet as a Mouse", stating "The nova300 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 nova300 achieves a remarkable dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio."

https://www.peachtreeaudio.com/nova300-amplifier-with-dac.html

Per Stereophile's Measurements, you state "the unweighted, wideband signal/noise ratio was okay, at 66.5dB. This improved to 84dB when the measurement was restricted to the audioband, and to 87.5dB when A-weighted."

I'm puzzled trying to square Peachtree's touting of the Nova300's preamp S/N ratio of 111db, description of the Nova300 as "Quiet as a Mouse" and achieving "a remarkable" "signal-to-noise ratio" with your measurement statements on signal/noise ratio.

Can you enlighten me?

John Atkinson's picture
texanalog wrote:
I'm puzzled trying to square Peachtree's touting of the Nova300's preamp S/N ratio of 111db, description of the Nova300 as "Quiet as a Mouse" and achieving "a remarkable" "signal-to-noise ratio" with your measurement statements on signal/noise ratio.

Can you enlighten me?

I measure integrated amplifier S/N ratios in the worst possible case, at the speaker terminals with the volume control set to its maximum. In the case of the nova300, the wideband ratio in the review is dominated by the residual switching noise from the class-D output stage. The audioband ratio is the significant one.

The ratio will increase as the volume control is turned down and will be at its maximum when the control is all the way down. But no-one listens to an amplifier with the volume control all the way down.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Anon2's picture

I'll give my endorsement to anyone who can provide amplification in one piece for below $2,500.

Some caution is in order with the new "Classes" of amplification. One venerable brand has 20 watts Class A, blooming into to some multiple of that on some sort of separate track thing-a-ma-jigger. Sorry, I'm not buying it, literally. I'll stick with an older model from the same company.

My prediction is that the used market for amplification will be "heating up" as these new standards become more prevalent. My greatest fear is that a certain western state, nearing 40 million souls, and perfect weather year-round, might consign Class A amplification to midnight smuggling along the Arizona, Nevada, Mexican borders. (Oregon will legislate accordingly and sympathetically.) Maybe you will be allowed Class A amplification if you can certify that it's from renewable sources.

My only wish is that integrated manufacturers would eschew the urge to put DACs into their products. Someone said it best in an article I read somewhere: "the DAC inside your integrated is obsolete the second you take it home." Just focus on amplification, whatever the "Class." Let your consumers decide which DAC they want.

I heard one of the products from this manufacturer in a retailer's showroom. I can't report any deficiencies in the sound. I am glad that this manufacturer, at least, seems to be dispensing with putting a little, Christmas tree light-type, vacuum tube into their products. I don't know who wants this. Another manufacturer seems to be pressing ahead. Good luck getting your little tube replaced for whatever benefit it may have yielded sonically. Maybe a Christmas tree light would actually work as a replacement.

If you want a solid state amplifier, then buy one. If you like tubes, then buy one. If you want one of each for two rooms, so much the better. I must question this "hybrid" approach to putting a little tube in an otherwise solid-state device. Maybe a Christmas tree light, with an easily accessible little door to change the light, or 20-year LED bulbs will achieve the same effect.

At least this manufacturer seems to be abandoning this "hybrid" approach. I'll leave it at that. I will also encourage this manufacturer to prove the case for "DAC-less," non Class-A amplification.

neogeo's picture

The number of comments alone is telling that something is not right with this review unit.

I heard this same amplifier at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest driving very high efficient speakers. They literally turned the volume to the max and I put my ear to the tweeter; it was dead silent! I'm not sure what "grain" art is hearing, but it stands in direct conflict with the amazing sound I heard at the show.

Someone else at Stereophile should do a "2nd opinion " or a "follow up".

Johan Bottema's picture

I have been reading Stereophile for a couple of years now and enjoy the reviews and technical measurements. Many articles write about the probable decline or death of High End produce, I agree with that for different reasons. When I splash out $500+ for a product I want to know that it is durable, reliable and good performance. Now with that in mind and yet here another article about a product that seems to have something wrong with it. I read the Focal Utopia article on innerfidelity and the inconsistency of the products. I am losing trust in the high-end industry. How do I know that a product works? It drives me down the path of buying Sony, Yamaha, Harmon because these big boys have a quality control department! Perhaps Stereophile can blacklist companies that fail to provide a working product. The High-End industry is failing in credibility people!

dalethorn's picture

I partly agree with this. J. Gordon Holt, the founder of Stereophile, famously said: "Who cares how long it lasts if it doesn't sound good?", and I thought the reverse would be equally true: "Who cares how good it sounds if it doesn't last?" - but high-tech gear that pushes the state of the art is prone to bugs. Be thankful that most of these state of the art products have far fewer bugs than the most popular software that runs on today's computers and cellphones.

BTW, the Focal Elear I had (similar to Utopia) was a breakthrough item, with great reliability. Too many of the reviews of the Utopia and Elear discussed modifications such as changing to different earpads, which changes the sound, and I had the impression that it caused confusion for potential buyers.

tonykaz's picture

It can be a dangerous thing to have an Audiophile review something, you never quite know what to expect.

I clearly recall TAS's Harry Pierson panning loudspeakers that I knew to be outstanding.

Our Mr.Dudley is a "vintage" fan, perhaps a bit quirky, certainly opinionated ( aren't we all? ).

This Nova can output 450 Watts, it has a DAC, it has Phono, it can Wi-Fi, it has a Real Wood cabinet, it's made in good ol' USA and it's only 17 lbs!

It's like a Mustang Convertible with 750 hp. Geeeez

Having a vinyl-horn lover review this thing is like having a Sailboat lover reviewing a 3,000 hp Ocean Racer.

I suppose that this Nova300 review makes sense from Mr.Dudley's point of view but I don't think the design is aimed at his type of owner.

Rather it's seems like a "Real World" product for "Real World" Customers.

Tony in Michigan

ps. I'll bet it'll be a darn good seller

dalethorn's picture

"Having a vinyl-horn lover review this thing is like having a Sailboat lover reviewing a 3,000 hp Ocean Racer."

I wrote code for a Defense Industry CEO to control the instruments on his $35 million racing sailboat. I'll bet he knew how to work a motor when necessary.

tonykaz's picture

This thing is a One Box - does it all.

It's a minor Miracle it made it into an Audiophile Rag for consideration! Audiophiles buy Seperates, for god's sake.

Just add some B&W's with matching Wood Grain and you're ready to pardee.

I'll bet it's half way between a Bose Wave Radio and darTzeel/Wilsons.

$2,500 outa the box, how bad could it be?, it's a Peachtree!

Anyway, Jana should'a been the reviewer, the Nova is aimed at her generation not seasoned Audiophiles.

Tony in Michigan

dalethorn's picture

Something I missed in Peachtree's response: "This finish is not available. This was a first run picture that's no longer in our art circulation."

So the very look of this product was just "Art circulation"? Reminds me of Frank Zappa asking "What will you do when the coating comes off?"

tonykaz's picture

Whalllleeee, it's an early pre-release item they pushed out to get some Sizzle excitement.

I'll bet that they've got more stuff that this thing will be able to do along with some Software development yet to be announced.

By the way, are you aware the Firefly Red is now MQA capable?

Tony in Michigan

dalethorn's picture

I dread updating my DF Red. Just like I dread updating my iPhone 7. I can't even use the DF Red with my iPhone 7 because of constant interference, even though I have every non-essential communication setting turned off. All auto-updates, background refresh etc. turned off. I checked every sub-menu and made sure of it. Fortunately I have an iPod Touch, which works with the DF Red with Wifi and Bluetooth off, and Airplane Mode ON.

David Solomon Peachtree Audio's picture

The original picture was changed. The finish shown in the main picture is Gloss Ebony Mocha and is available.

dalethorn's picture

Good, thanks. As an aside, if you have or are creating a paper to correlate the significance of Atkinson's "worst-case" S/N measurement with something that offers insight on how that plays out in listening under best (very quiet) conditions, I'd like to bookmark that article. Just having the extremes of -111 db and "worst case" loading to judge from, I'm lost.

texanalog's picture

JA's response to my request above (my request: "I'm puzzled trying to square Peachtree's touting of the Nova300's preamp S/N ratio of 111db, description of the Nova300 as "Quiet as a Mouse" and achieving "a remarkable" "signal-to-noise ratio" with your measurement statements on signal/noise ratio. Can you enlighten me?") added a smidgen of clarification but did not square the perceived discrepancy.

Lost and puzzled but not dazed; only confused.

Bubbamike's picture

I'd really like to have the Nova compared with the Parasound Halo Intergrated. They sell at the same price, they are both Intergrated Amps with DACs and while the Nova is more powerful, they both offer lots of power and value for the money. I doubt that will happen but a shootout would be a good thing. It's a shame that JA doesn't do in the US what was done in the UK.

egsp's picture

It seems odd to use vintage speakers, nay, rebuilt vintage speakers and complain of graininess. I would be very surprised if the THD of the speakers was less than 5% (or maybe even 10% or more) which would seem to make discerning the quality difficult at best.

Catch22's picture

I've not listened to the new Peachtree and can offer nothing in that respect. However, I am impressed with Peachtree's very classy response to Art's review and for anyone in the industry that may see this, pay attention, that's how to respond.

As I read Art's review, I found myself nodding and saying, "Yup, sounds like another switching amp."

Something is going on with this technology that just doesn't sit well with a certain subset of audio nerds like me and it's always in the upper frequencies.

paulcoyne's picture

I just purchased the Peachtree Nova 300 integrated amp. It replaced an NAD C390DD. I have PSB Symphony One speakers. I thought the NAD sounded great, with some slight boom in the bass. Now with the Peachtree, the bass is tighter, the soundstage is better, the ability to hear each instrument is improved, the sound is a little warmer, not as shrill as it was with the NAD. The added power of the Peachtree can be heard right away. It's the best sounding amp I've owned. It's fabulous. I recommend it. The price is right. Plus, Peachtree let's you trade in your old amp for a decent credit on the Peachtree. I kept my NAD but they did provide a good offer for my old Creek.

Musicforhire's picture

Oh ! This one looks exactly like the Quad Vena, except for its higher price. I wonder if it sounds alike too lol.. Better?? I don't think so. Wonder why would anyone pay more than double for a copycat ??
The $900 Quad Vena bluetooth amp with DAC will beat any bluetooth amp 10x its price. It could easily sell 3x higher than its current price if it was made in the UK

Dougr33's picture

Sorry, but not even close. I admit they look alike.. in fact, I thought the Vena was a cheaper copy of the Peachtree. I bought the Vena, but coming from an Oppo HA-1 feeding a Parasound A23, it sounded veiled and weak (and the tiny remote is useless).OK..that's a bit strong, it's not bad for the price and facilities, but I wasn't impressed. So I replaced it with the Nova 150. Light years better sound, period (and the remote is much better too).

And I have to agree with others. .Art is great, but clearly the speakers were a poor match. This is an amazing sounding system for the price, and currently going into my new KEF LS50s and REL T5i, the best sound I've had in my 43 years of buying audio.

Musicforhire's picture

The Quad Vena's look is a traditional similar to their preamps from the 60's QC II and their latest TwentyFour. How would an 80yr old company copy a company that hasn't even been around for over 10 years? Besides, Quad Vena came out to the market earlier than the Peachtree's. You've had 43 years of buying audio and you're using some chinese designed Oppo's ?? And that answers every question here. 'Guess you didn't learn much for 43 years LOL

Dougr33's picture

Gosh, you're a lot of fun. Enjoy your Vena. I've owned both, and the Vena is not in the same league as the Nova. China bashing says all I need to know about you.

Musicforhire's picture

Grow up and learn something, boy !

neogeo's picture

I've had nova for a month now, and it's amazing. The amp is so quite and revealing. It sounds better than my Schiit Bifost DAC and Creative phono preamp separates. I don't hear any of "harshness" that the review calls out. But then again, I'm using modern speakers (Evolution Acoustics MMMicroOne).

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