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Article: Peachtree Audio Nova Review Part II

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This is what we've come to expect Chris. <br />

<br />

"Not all manufactures will allow direct comparisons during reviews of their products."<br />

<br />

Please do not allow yourself to become just like the other paid-to-review outlets. If a manufacturer has this policy, please point that out to us and DO NOT GIVE THEM COLUMN SPACE. This can be just as valuable as the actual comparison.<br />

<br />

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many thanks for the interesting comparisons. I'm a Nova owner and like the product a lot. One thing I'd be interested in if anyone has updated thoughts is the gain that can be achieved by using an external amp and just using the dac/pre functions of the Nova and any high value amps that might work well. I've read that this is a potentially a path worth exploring here and elsewhere. <br />

<br />

best, <br />

<br />

Jim

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I recently recommended this unit to a friend to bought it to use with a Sooloos in a simplified setup and he loves it (well, I suggested the Olive4HD as the source but he splurged and went with the Sooloos). I'm looking forward to hearing it as well. The interesting question I'd have is how the unit would sound if you really upgraded the tube (I use nice 6922 tubes in my RWA Isabella for headphone use and the tube selection made a very big sonic difference on the sound, not surprisingly). It's not too expensive to upgrade to a great NOS Amperex single tube.

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<br />

Thanks for filling out the review Chris - lots of useful info there. Your comparison between<br />

the DAC of the Nova and the Wavelength Proton is especially useful for me. Perhaps I'm<br />

being cheeky asking this - but did you try comparing the Nova and Proton in terms of<br />

their headphone amp/dac capabilities? Headphone listening will be my main method of<br />

listening. From your review, the Proton is stronger as a DAC but I suspect that the<br />

Nova has a better headphone amp circuit.<br />

<br />

AJ

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You have elevated the standard for internet audio magazines to its highest level yet. Thanks for listening and responding.


"Information is not knowledge,

Knowledge is not wisdom,

Wisdom is not truth,

Truth is not beauty,

Beauty is not love,

Love is not music and

Music is the best" -Frank Zappa

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as the saying goes!<br />

<br />

<em>The last configurations I tried used a Windows 7 64-bit based music server. The reason for the switch is the ASUS card does not work with Mac OS X at this time. </em><br />

<br />

So does this mean that, despite going on to say that this configuraton provided you with the best sound, you only used a Windows platform because the Mac was unavailable to you with the soundcard you chose to use? Talk about damning with faint praise! :)

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Thanks Chris,<br />

<br />

I was one of many who read the first review and was left a little befuddled. BUT to my surprise, unlike any other forum/group/blog what have you, the constructive criticism was begun almost immediately, and it was really nice to have a civil group conversation over something as subjective as a audio product review.<br />

<br />

I really do appreciate you going back and making changes, and reworking your review as I am sure everyone else is as well. I was honestly a bit worried that this last online refuge of civil audio debate conducted with proper etiquette was fading away, THANKS for proving me wrong!<br />

<br />

-Jason<br />

j.SoundLabs


gear here.

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chris- you did what was needed to be done, with not a small serving of grace and style bravo. a solid helpful additional piece of work that provides exactly what was missing after the first posting. <br />


johnnyturbo

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Chris I think you are on to something with the multiple computer based configuration reviews. You probably are not going to outdo the stereophile reviewers in terms of test data and lofty audio prose, but this site is for music server related configurations and in this area your site is the best going.

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I admit that I was off the mark supporting your first review. Sorry! While its true that for the majority of buyers of the Peachtree Nova and Era speakers its all about a product that brings great sound, fun times, and convenience with as little fuss as possible. This is Computer AUDIOPHILE! And for the readership here the glory lies in the details. One question leads to another. Thats how we roll around here. Thats our idea of fun. And since the Peachtree Nova is a product that will appeal to audiophiles as well as those looking for a lifestyle product...well you get the picture. :^)<br />

<br />

Regards,


James[br]

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Thank you chris for this. I think your review brilliantly highlights the complexity facing the 'computer audiophile' in terms of the many combinations of getting sound from computer to speaker.<br />

<br />

For me the Nova is a fascinating and brilliantly well thought through product. It is clearly not aimed, nor priced, at the hardened computer audiophile. <br />

<br />

For me the clever part is the use of the 6922 tube in the preamp section. I use these in a Copland preamp and undoubtedly they can make mask alot of digital harshness which is so prevalent in low to mid price systems. I am also sure that the Nova would benefit from better 6922 tubes. I use Telefunkens which totally transformed my Copland but cost $300 for the pair.<br />

<br />

I also like the pre amp option which offers a clear upgrade path for the Nova. <br />

<br />

Overall the Nova looks like a highly intelligent product that has been very well executed and offers excellent value for money and above all convenience.<br />

<br />

I am looking forward to hearing one here in the UK!<br />

<br />


Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

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AJ,<br />

<br />

I was shopping for a system for headphone use and narrowed my choices down to the Nova and the Proton. The Proton had the price and size advantage, but the Nova had so many more features. After listening for about an hour each at my local shop I went with the Nova. It was smoother and didn't tax my ears - I found the Proton a little bright and harsh.<br />

<br />

BTW I was using Grado SR225's at the time.


Corey[br]Apple TV[br]Peachtree Audio nova[br]PS Audio Trio A100[br]B&W 602 s2

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Hi Corey - thanks for that info. Ideally, I would do what you did and compare the two products but<br />

this is not an option where I live (Ottawa). Do you know if the two units you compared had been<br />

burned in? From what I have read, this is more important for the proton.<br />

<br />

Thanks again.<br />

<br />

AJ

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AJ,<br />

<br />

Both units were floor demo models that had been well used before I tried them. <br />

<br />

My first thought was a trip to Toronto could be in order and then I looked at the Wavelength dealer list - not very long right now :(<br />

<br />


Corey[br]Apple TV[br]Peachtree Audio nova[br]PS Audio Trio A100[br]B&W 602 s2

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My voice in appreciation for stepping up.<br />

<br />

Exactly the sort of detailed, informative comparison that yields you an advantage.<br />

<br />

Suggest you template this approach for your reviews.<br />


 

Speakers: Avalon Acoustics Indra; Preamp: Spectral Audio DMC-30SS; Amps: Spectral Audio DMA 360v2 Monoblocks; Analog Cables: MIT Oracle; Power Cables: MIT Oracle; Digital: Bespoke Server [AO WinS16, HDPlex 400 LPS, Pachanko Loom, JCAT FEMTO NET & USB Card / Regen Isolator --> Vivaldi DAC and Clock [ChordMusic Clock Cables; Vertere HB Pulse USB]; Racks: Finite Elemente Pagode Edition HD4 and HD9 Amp Supports. Power: Shunyata Triton v3; DPC-6 v3

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thanks for the fine review. <br />

question: the pre and dac options make the nova a solid deal. the amp portion, seemingly, not terribly well received. is there a consensus on buying the nova for the dac and pre, then using the pre out to a more 'solid' amp?<br />

<br />

thanks for your advice.


johnnyturbo

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Interesting, I am considering the Proton too. Anyone else have any insight into the Proton DAC. I am planning on a Proton DAC and a Creek Destiny amp though I don't know of any dealers that have both so I won't be able to listen to the combination before I get buy them. I was talking to a dealer recently that sold both the Proton and the Nova who preferred the Proton but he didn't have them both in while I was in town. It is hard work isn't it. I'm putting together an entirely new system which is super difficult when it comes to matching components. The speakers are set, I'm having a pair of Zaph audio speakers made for me, the 2 way ones with scanspeak revelator 6.5 inch drivers, the rest of the components though are not decided yet. I was set on the Nova but after some investigating I think a Proton DAC and Creek Destiny amp may be a better solution for not a ridiculous increase in cost.

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All I can say. I have NEVER seen an online reviewer EVER do what you just did - and really highlights your integrety and passion for our hobby. Well Done! <br />

I strongly recommend a donations link on the site so you can be rewarded for your time and efforts.<br />


PS3 60bg (160GB installed + Native music Browser)-AVI ADM9.1-Klipsch SW12 Subwoofer-Belkin Power Board- Custom power cables-Supra Sub Cable- No Name Toslink Cable - PROUD NZer

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In the first review thread Chris said... <em>"P.S. I have something special cooking right now that should satisfy everyone :~)"</em><br />

<br />

Well I'm still waiting ... when's the recipe corner going to appear? Are you keeping me here under false pretences Mr Connaker?<br />

<br />

Eloise


Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Please take my comments in the spirit they are intended, which is to convey what I as a reader am looking for in a review of the Nova. While I appreciate all the effort you've expended to revise your original review, there's still no evaluation of the headphone section of the Nova. Given that this is a major feature of the product and that it competes directly with the headphone section of the Benchmark DAC1, it would be very useful for us can fans to get a better idea how the two products stack up. Unfortunately, you chose to not cover this aspect of the product, which in my mind makes the review incomplete, especially for people who are looking for an all in one DAC + headphone amp + integrated amp solution.<br />

<br />

If any other readers have experience with the Nova and Benchmark products' headphone sections, please post your impressions, it would be greatly appreciated.

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I appreciate this review and this site. I have been mainly visiting this site and also the Harbeth loudspeaker forum for the past year. After changing my mind about things maybe a half dozen times over the past year what I've arrived at is I want it all: I want 5.1 home theatre and 2 channel computer-based audio in my study; I want to pipe audio down to the main level for Barbara (and control it from main level); I want to pipe audio to the basement for my woodshop (and control it from the woodshop); I want an integrated, elegant home theatre/audio system and finally I want friendly, by-telephone, after-the-sale tech support whenever I want it. I passed the CPA exam so I can certainly do this, right?<br />

<br />

What caught my eye on this review was the home theater bypass feature that is on the Peachtree Nova. This allows an integration of a video and audio system. I heard in an interview recently that the late Dan Fogelberg once referred to movies/film as the new "high art". Personally, I think more DACs ought to have the home theatre bypass feature. <br />

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Hi all - <br />

<br />

I just picked up a Nova this afternoon, and have been listening to it for a half hour or so now, feeding Apple Lossless files via optical connection from an Airport Express, and I wanted to share my first impressions.<br />

<br />

I have been doing some research into integrated amps (and speakers) for use in a bedroom setup, and the Nova fit my requirements (price, power, a headphone amp, the DAC, inputs, not to mention looks). I am still waiting on some furniture for the bedroom, so I'm not ready to purchase the whole setup just yet, so I decided to pick up the Nova and connect in my living room and see how it sounded with my HT speakers, and go from there.<br />

<br />

It's a noticeable improvement relative to my previous setup (optically feeding the same source files into the onboard DAC of a Marantz SR7002, which feeds a pair of B&W 685's and an ASW608 sub, along with a pair of 686's and and HTM62 for 5.1 use). I was always disappointed in 2 channel audio with SR7002 - the 685's sounded too dark (with or without the sub brought into the mix, and even when using the "source direct" and "pure direct modes" on the receiver). With the Nova powering them, the highs are more present and sparklier, and the imaging seems better.<br />

<br />

Frankly, I was always skeptical on whether various DACs really sounded much different from each other - and that was another reason I wanted to try the Nova in my HT setup, before putting it in my bedroom and getting another pair of speakers. I now understand why many of you are willing to spend so much on DACs!<br />

<br />

For now, I am going to use the Nova for all 2 channel audio in the living room (my digital library along with my turntable), and I'm going to to set it up purely as an amp for my mains for HT use (using the home theater bypass functionality). I may just end up leaving it in the living room!<br />

<br />

I'm excited to hear what my setup will sound like after the break-in period.<br />

<br />

Thanks for the review, Chris - you've been steering me straight recently (between the Nova and the Thecus NAS)!<br />

<br />

Justin


Digital: Schiit Yggy + Gumby, Meridian Explorer2

Headphone: Woo WA22, Audez'e LCD3, Beyerdynamic T1

Amplification: Pass Labs INT30A, Focal 1027be

Analog: VPI Classic, Soundsmith Zephy, EAR 834P

LastFM: WharfRatJustin

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