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Is it worth it for me to buy a Peachtree Nova or Decco?

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A second hand peachtree preamp/dac? The ones which run about 1K new?


I have a pair of Emotiva Airmotiv 5's hooked to my computer right now. Are they good enough to improve a lot with a peachtree nova or decco? VS a $350 Peachtree or Schiit DAC? The high notes are a bit irritating- but I have no DAC as yet... But suspect I'd still like to hear them warmer.


I plan on also hooking up my stereo to my computer later when I move. Maybe in a year. Right now it's in storage- not enough room here.


I have only heard one tube based system in my life and LOVED it, I just melted, but at least the tube can be turned off on the peachtrees in case I don't love it so much on the Airmotivs. I certainly won't have the same quality system as the one I heard.


Another question, the Airmotiv speakers are powered and have an amp in them. Does this mean I if I do get one of these I would NOT want an amp, but want a preamp? Or would it make any difference?

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I have not heard any Peachtree products, so I can't help with that part of your question. Your Airmotiv speakers are powered and have an amp built in. That means that you do not need a separate amp. You don't even need a preamp; a DAC would be enough.


As to whether your speakers are good enough that a DAC would make a difference, I would think that they should be.

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Thank you & thanks for responding. I realize the way I asked the question is awkward.


I'm wondering if a preamp with tubes might soften the highs on the Emotivas? The highs are neutral but seem very bright to me. The old Nova's have one tube in them. Maybe there are others that would work? Since posting this I've learned that the DAC itself wouldn't have much effect, but maybe the preamp would?


I'll try and repost the question in a better way after the weekend.

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I am sure that others might chime in, but I don't know if you will find a tube DAC in particular at a reasonable price point that will cure the sins of your speakers if indeed the speakers are the root cause (hmmm Schitt might have one). If your speakers are powered, all you need is the line out from a DAC. It might be worth stepping back and considering what you are trying to achieve and at what price point with your system. I own a Peachtree two channel amp and have been very happy with it.

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I have the Nova and I really like it. However, I cannot hear a difference between tube on and tube off unless I listen to something obscenely compressed, like an audiobook (which I almost never do). The USB input on the original Nova is also limited to 16 bit, 48kHz input. With your setup, I think one of the Dragonfly DACs or similar would be ideal.

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Hi Lynn,


Bill (wgscott) and the other contributors have put you on the right path. Your speakers have a volume control on the front (if they are the originals) so you will not need a pre amp.


Audition one of the following inexpensive external USB DACs as they will make a GREAT improvement to sound quality compared with your computer's DAC.


Dragonfly (ensure you check out the latest versions as cheaper and better), iFi Nano or Meridian Explorer 2 (my choice and also will decode MQA, a new format by Meridian, which MAY be the future ... you should research).




Ensure you rip your CDs to lossless (AIFF or ALAC) or subscribe to Tidal.


Select decent software by taking advantage of their free trial period - Roon, J River (PC or MAC) or Foodbar on a PC and iTunes on a MAC, which are both free.


Ensure you set up your computer (PC or MAC) for bit perfect playback by reading the following:




Computer Audio


Have fun,


All the best,




LOUNGE: Mac Mini - Audirvana - Devialet 200 - ATOHM GT1 Speakers

OFFICE : Mac Mini - Audirvana - Benchmark DAC1HDR - ADAM A7 Active Monitors

TRAVEL : MacBook Air - Dragonfly V1.2 DAC - Sennheiser HD 650

BEACH : iPhone 6 - HRT iStreamer DAC - Akimate Micro + powered speakers

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Thanks all :) Really appreciate it


Thank you Wgscott & Booster, that is very helpful. My ears are slightly above average according to an online test FWIW, so I might not hear a difference either. I did notice a difference in a friend of a friend's system with tubes- but that was a 40 - 50K system in the 80's (!).


Ajax, Thank you! great references, I'll have to plow through those when I have a little more time. Yes, I am going to take a step back and do more reading. Also, am going to try out the free version of Fidelizer before getting a DAC & see if it helps a little. Everything sounds a bit fuzzy in addition to tinny. Hopefully will have time this weekend. I tried a cheap Bheringer DAC and it actually made everything but Heavy Industrial sound worse... Definitely worse. I also found the recording I thought was good was recorded before the 90's- a 90's folk recording was much much better... I think the speakers are good- once this is solved maybe I'll have a whole new first world problem- finding good recordings!


I'm using Foobar but it doesn't sound much or any better than Windows Media. Have tried original CDs and a studio cd copier, and downloaded a few FLACs from online. Pandora actually sounds better... I tried the Foobar equalizer and a soprano's high notes no longer hurt my ears... so that's a start. I will have to check and see if the onboard soundcard has any bit settings as well. Maybe... It's an ASUS MB and they sometimes try to micromanage the wrong things.


I'm also thinking it may be worth it to get a DAC which has Toslink or SPDIF connections. My RCA and USB connections on my motherboard are a bit janky and loose. The RCA jack I'm using is also "front" speaker jack- itthe Motherboard is set for surround sound. Maybe I should try the headphone one.

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