"Product of the Year" 2009 - Stereophile
"Best Budget Hi-Fi Component I've Ever Used" - Tone Audio
Peachtree Audio's Nova is the integrated amplifier to consider if you’re looking to improve computer-based or streaming audio to a high-end performance level, or if you just need a 'new millennium' integrated amplifier that excels with both analog and digital sources.
Stereophile magazine chose the Nova as best "Budget Product" in its "Product of the Year" awards for 2009. "It sounds great: punchy dynamics, pointed articulation, impactful bass, and well-defined treble," notes the magazine.
"I’ve never used the word 'best' in Tone Audio’s history, but this is the best budget hi-fi component I’ve ever had the pleasure of using," reports Tone Audio magazine. "Whether you are an audiophile on a budget, need a great second system or are sending your kids off to college; anywhere you need high performance audio without a stack of components, the Nova is the best suggestion I can make."
80-Watt Integrated Amplifier… and Much More
Nova is a world-class 80-watt-per-channel integrated amplifier with enough digital and analog inputs and outputs to satisfy all the new digital devices. Additionally, the Nova can handle a few of the old dogs like turntables (with your external phono preamp), tuners, and more. It performs much like a high-end integrated amplifier because that’s what it is. The vacuum tube hybrid preamp stage gives this state-of-the-art amp the warm, rich sound of a classic piece of audiophile gear.
The highly versatile Nova also makes a great preamp with its 'Class A' fixed output and headphone stage, a standalone stereo DAC that will allow you to add a PC or other music device to your existing system, and wait until you hear it in home theater applications! Whether it’s digital or analog, the Nova is engineered for the way you listen today.
"Such a Glorious DAC Section"
Maybe the most unique and astonishing feature of the Nova is its onboard ESS9006 Sabre DAC. This 24/96 upsampling D/A converter transforms just about any digital source to the performance of a high-end CD player.
"With such a glorious DAC section, it would be a crime not to take advantage of its processing power, with which any computer-based music server can be turned into a hi-fi source," raves SoundStage! for February 2010
Now all the time, effort, and money that you’ve spent ripping CDs and downloading music is rewarded with truly incredible sound. Even radio stations and compressed MP3 files take on new life through the Nova. So if you like to rip or download… go for it. If you want to transfer your music from your computer to another room, we have you covered. If it's digital, you pick it, Nova will make it sound great.
The ESS Sabre DAC’s patented jitter reduction circuit re-clocks the digital signal to almost zero jitter before passing it through a high-resolution 24/96 upsampling processor that’s also capable of 122 dB signal-to-noise ratio. This is unheard of in any D/A converter until now and out-specs anything from any other DAC on the market. But the DAC chip is only part of the story because the surrounding electronics are extremely important.
The Nova employs 11 regulated power supplies for the DAC and transformer coupled to each digital input stage. Noise associated with ground problems and switching power supplies is eliminated. The USB connection is very unique. It is galvanically isolated from the computer connection. 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. Noise is eliminated before the DAC sees it.
Use the Nova as a D/A converter in your current system. If you’re thinking about adding a high-end D/A converter to your current system between $3,500-$10,000, you would serve yourself well to audition the Nova first. The Nova features a 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.
'Class A' Tube Hybrid Preamp
Even though there's an 80-watt amplifier on board, the Nova is unique because Peachtree designed the preamp circuit to be used as a standalone preamp. That's how good it is!
The preamp section uses a 6922 tube with a 'Class A' output stage. This is where art meets science, and there's a certain magic that solid state can't quite match. The tube maintains a high level of detail while taming harsh digital files.
If you want to add a subwoofer or outboard amplifier, the Nova features a 'Class A' <30 ohm variable preamp output that will impedance match to almost any amplifier while pushing up to 100 ft of cable.
The Nova has eight total inputs: five digital and three analog. It includes a USB input for your computer in addition to two coaxial and two optical inputs for other digital sources like Squeezebox, Apple TV, Sonos, and XM or Sirius tuners. The Nova also has three analog inputs for docking stations, CD players, tape decks, or phono preamps.
Home Theater Bypass
Nova's third analog input doubles as a home theater bypass, so you can have the best of home theater and two-channel sound in the same system. Simply take the left and right pre-out from your receiver or processor and connect to the third analog input on the Nova. A selector switch on the back panel converts from Aux to Home Theater 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. And when you listen to a two-channel source plugged directly into the Nova, there’s a straight line from the source to the Nova to the speakers with no processing, no running the signal through a forest of circuitry. If you’re a two-channel fan, this is the only way to do a theater right.
'Class A' Tube Headphone Amp
For the headphone lover, the Nova has a 'Class A' tube headphone section that rivals some of the best headphone amps available today. When the headphones are plugged in, the speakers are muted, so you can rock on when quiet is a necessity. Headphones have never sounded better than through the Nova.
Owners Manual (3.2MB PDF)