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Peachtree Audio - Page 54

post #1591 of 2008
Hi all,

I purchased a Peachtree nova last night. I'm new to dedicated amplifiers and am replacing an entry level pioneer receiver with the PeachTree Nova.
I like how the nova sounds with my B&W CM1 speakers (I'm feeding the Nova optical out from my xbox for CD playback and optical out from my airport express for streaming mostly 256KBPS mp3 files from my PC or spotify streams from my ipad). I like what I hear but I have a question:

Question: Voices seem "laid back". Instruments sound rich and detailed but they seem to be overpowering the vocals. The vocals seem "in the back" a bit.
I tried Hotel California from a cd....the sound was great but the vocals were not really front and center...is that how that song is supposed to sound? Is it my speakers or my nova? I sat about 8 feet away from the speakers which were separated by about 6 feet.

Any insights ?
(PS: I'm running the Nova all day today at home to "break it in".)
post #1592 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by saiko View Post

Hi all,

I purchased a Peachtree nova last night. I'm new to dedicated amplifiers and am replacing an entry level pioneer receiver with the PeachTree Nova.
I like how the nova sounds with my B&W CM1 speakers (I'm feeding the Nova optical out from my xbox for CD playback and optical out from my airport express for streaming mostly 256KBPS mp3 files from my PC or spotify streams from my ipad). I like what I hear but I have a question:

Question: Voices seem "laid back". Instruments sound rich and detailed but they seem to be overpowering the vocals. The vocals seem "in the back" a bit.
I tried Hotel California from a cd....the sound was great but the vocals were not really front and center...is that how that song is supposed to sound? Is it my speakers or my nova? I sat about 8 feet away from the speakers which were separated by about 6 feet.

Any insights ?
(PS: I'm running the Nova all day today at home to "break it in".)

I haven't experienced anything like this. It could just be how the Nova (obviously without tone controls) plays through your speakers. You may want to experiment by pushing the slope button, and possibly (as an experiment) take the Nova dac out of the loop by running analog to the Nova from your player or express.
post #1593 of 2008
It may very well be that they are not laid back, but the top end isn't so forward anymore. I know when I tried running my N804s off of a receiver, the top end sounded great, but everything else was lacking. When I finally bought a good amp to power them, the top end still sounded great, but there was a lot more bass/midbass and the speakers were finally balanced sounding. Essentially you might have gotten used to lack of mid and bass because the speakers weren't properly powered, and you need to readjust to the way the speakers are supposed to sound.
post #1594 of 2008
Thanks Terrya. I am seriously considering returning the Nova and getting a standalone DAC and pair it with a NAD C 316BEE. When I demoed it at a store, the sound quality was good but the unit was running like an oven and also did not have any digital inputs at all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iostream View Post

It may very well be that they are not laid back, but the top end isn't so forward anymore. I know when I tried running my N804s off of a receiver, the top end sounded great, but everything else was lacking. When I finally bought a good amp to power them, the top end still sounded great, but there was a lot more bass/midbass and the speakers were finally balanced sounding. Essentially you might have gotten used to lack of mid and bass because the speakers weren't properly powered, and you need to readjust to the way the speakers are supposed to sound.

That's a very good theory, IOStream. Thanks. Do you think upgrading to CM5 from CM1 will add more punch to vocals?
post #1595 of 2008
I have my eye on the forthcoming Peachtree NovaPre.


There are some things I need help with understanding.

1. Does this work like a passive tube buffer, like a Dodd tube buffer, or does it amplify and then attenuate the signal like an active preamp?

2. Two pre-outs are listed in the specs, i.e., "Impedance: Pre out 1, Class A, 50 ohms, Pre out 2, op-amp, 15 ohms"

What does this mean, and why are they so different? What would you use #2 for, a sub or something?

3. They list "resolution" for the DAC as "Resolution: mp3,16/44.1,16/48,24/88, 24/96, 24/176, 24/192"

Does this mean it can't do 24-bit 44.1kHz or 24-bit, 48kHz? That would be a deal-breaker.

4. Can I assume it doesn't up-sample?
post #1596 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post

I have my eye on the forthcoming Peachtree NovaPre.


There are some things I need help with understanding.

1. Does this work like a passive tube buffer, like a Dodd tube buffer, or does it amplify and then attenuate the signal like an active preamp?

2. Two pre-outs are listed in the specs, i.e., "Impedance: Pre out 1, Class A, 50 ohms, Pre out 2, op-amp, 15 ohms"

What does this mean, and why are they so different? What would you use #2 for, a sub or something?

3. They list "resolution" for the DAC as "Resolution: mp3,16/44.1,16/48,24/88, 24/96, 24/176, 24/192"

Does this mean it can't do 24-bit 44.1kHz or 24-bit, 48kHz? That would be a deal-breaker.

4. Can I assume it doesn't up-sample?

Since the NovaPre is on preorder status, I wouldn't be surprised to see more detail added to the specifications once it becomes available.

At this point I'd suggest contacting Peachtree directly via the contact link at their website. They're very responsive, especially considering how busy they are developing and delivering new product.
post #1597 of 2008
hello people!
i am planning to upgrade my amp , its seems that the peachtree audio nova's dac section is probably its biggest strength , but what about power? is it enough to drive caton bookshelves ( impendance 4 to 8 ohms) to fairly loud levels.The audio nova is rated @ 80 wats @ 6 ohms . how would you compare it to mid sized integrated amps like creek evo 2 (75 watts) , arcam a18 (50 watts)
I listen to a lot of experimental , glitch , dub techno. For that the sound needs to be laid back and not have a live ,in your face effect. Most of music is on a laptop in flac format. i would be also using it to watch movies connected to a ps3 and using a powered sub.
thanks for all your replies!!!!
post #1598 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by spawnofwar1600 View Post

hello people!
i am planning to upgrade my amp , its seems that the peachtree audio nova's dac section is probably its biggest strength , but what about power? is it enough to drive caton bookshelves ( impendance 4 to 8 ohms) to fairly loud levels.The audio nova is rated @ 80 wats @ 6 ohms . how would you compare it to mid sized integrated amps like creek evo 2 (75 watts) , arcam a18 (50 watts)
I listen to a lot of experimental , glitch , dub techno. For that the sound needs to be laid back and not have a live ,in your face effect. Most of music is on a laptop in flac format. i would be also using it to watch movies connected to a ps3 and using a powered sub.
thanks for all your replies!!!!

That's a tough call. I suspect the Nova would have enough power, unless you want to rock the neighbors. Obviously neither of the other amps have a dac, let alone a dac as nice as that in the Nova. So you'd need a to find a quality dac, or use the analog out on the laptop.
post #1599 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrya View Post

That's a tough call. I suspect the Nova would have enough power, unless you want to rock the neighbors. Obviously neither of the other amps have a dac, let alone a dac as nice as that in the Nova. So you'd need a to find a quality dac, or use the analog out on the laptop.

I ultimately found the Nova lacking as an amp - and not at particularly loud volumes. I was driving Def Tech monitors rated at 8 ohms and 90 dB sensitivity.

I can't comment on the integrateds you mentioned, but I do agree the Nova's strength is its DAC and Preamp capabilities. If you have multiple analog and digital sources, the Nova or Decco are hard to beat - perhaps paired with a 2-channel amp.

If you only have the one digital source (laptop), my recommendation is to buy a powerful integrated amp (NAD, Marantz, or Cambridge Audio, etc.) and a separate USB DAC. Look at the HRT Music Streamer or the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 for a quality affordable DAC solution.
post #1600 of 2008
What do you guys think about replacing my AVR with a Nova?

This is my current setup:

Panasonic 65ST30 Plasma
Pioneer VSX-1021 7.1 AVR
Apple TV
PS3
Comcast Cable
Energy S10.3 Subwoofer
2 PSB Bookshelf Speakers

I'm thinking of replacing my AVR with a Peachtree Nova because 1) I don't have a surround sound setup, 2) the Tube Amp looks cool, 3) for the DAC, and 4) because I'm getting a lot of HDMI handshake issues which are really pissing me off.

What do you guys think? I listen to mostly electronic trance music and will use it for the cable box as well.

I would wait for the Nova 125 but the timeframe is several months away so the Nova is what I'm looking at now.
post #1601 of 2008
I have a Panasonic TC-P58S1 plasma HDTV and a Pioneer Elite SC-25 AVR in my home theater and have no HDMI issues.

IMO, the Nova will perform no better than your VSX-1021 as an amp and DAC, and you will lose your Pioneer's video switching capabilities. I would look into your HDMI issues because they should be solvable.
post #1602 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by theaf1don View Post

What do you guys think about replacing my AVR with a Nova?

This is my current setup:

Panasonic 65ST30 Plasma
Pioneer VSX-1021 7.1 AVR
Apple TV
PS3
Comcast Cable
Energy S10.3 Subwoofer
2 PSB Bookshelf Speakers

I'm thinking of replacing my AVR with a Peachtree Nova because 1) I don't have a surround sound setup, 2) the Tube Amp looks cool, 3) for the DAC, and 4) because I'm getting a lot of HDMI handshake issues which are really pissing me off.

What do you guys think? I listen to mostly electronic trance music and will use it for the cable box as well.

I would wait for the Nova 125 but the timeframe is several months away so the Nova is what I'm looking at now.

That's a pretty modern, and likely a sweet sounding receiver. I know Pioneer has been including a dac capable of 24/96 over the network. That's a pretty nice feature.

It's difficult to say weather you'd hear a sonic improvement by switching to the Nova. I'm rather fond of the mine. The dac, especially when using the coaxial input, really brings music to life.

You might want to audition a Nova to find out what you think.
post #1603 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I ultimately found the Nova lacking as an amp - and not at particularly loud volumes. I was driving Def Tech monitors rated at 8 ohms and 90 dB sensitivity.

I can't comment on the integrateds you mentioned, but I do agree the Nova's strength is its DAC and Preamp capabilities. If you have multiple analog and digital sources, the Nova or Decco are hard to beat - perhaps paired with a 2-channel amp.

If you only have the one digital source (laptop), my recommendation is to buy a powerful integrated amp (NAD, Marantz, or Cambridge Audio, etc.) and a separate USB DAC. Look at the HRT Music Streamer or the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 for a quality affordable DAC solution.

The Nova may be lacking as an amp. Most budget components are lacking in some way. There's virtually always something that sounds better. That's how audio works. But, while acknowledging that this wasn't the case for you, for many of us the Nova improved the listening experience. As a package, (DAC/preamp/headphone amp/power amp) I still consider it a good value. And in my opinion, it's aesthetics are hard to beat.
post #1604 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrya View Post

The Nova may be lacking as an amp. Most budget components are lacking in some way. There's virtually always something that sounds better. That's how audio works. But, while acknowledging that this wasn't the case for you, for many of us the Nova improved the listening experience. As a package, (DAC/preamp/headphone amp/power amp) I still consider it a good value. And in my opinion, it's aesthetics are hard to beat.

I agree with all of your points. I was simply chiming in with my personal experience - with my speaker specs to give a frame of reference.
post #1605 of 2008
I'll add my $.02. I got a used Nova last week and a pair of those new GoldenEar Aon 3 bookshelves. I ran the nova by itself, with a Bel Canto Evo 200.2, and also a McIntosh MC2505. I wished I could have picked the best qualities from all 3 to mix into one amp. They all lacked and excelled in different areas. Looong story short, I preferred the nova's amp for long listening sessions. I've ordered an Acoustic Zen Tsunami PC and Satori speaker wires to see if I can get the sound a bit more excited and punchy. We'll see. On a side note, I tried a glass Toslink cable, and I actually preferred a 10 year old (brace yourselves) Monster Cable Toslink. The difference wasn't huge, but the MC seems to provide a fuller sound.
So, in summary, I have tried a couple nice amps and for my listening tastes, I chose the nova in hopes that I can tweak it a bit. The other two had annoying qualities that I couldn't sit a listen to for an extended period of time.

P.S. Has anyone tried an Amperex 7308 tube in this?
post #1606 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by squidwidly View Post


P.S. Has anyone tried an Amperex 7308 tube in this?

I haven't, but I have been running a nos 1962 Amperex USA made white label 6922 for a couple of years. It's a subtle improvement over the stock tube. Not huge. Discernible with careful listening.
post #1607 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrya View Post


I'm pretty fond of vinyl too. It's really my reference for how music should sound. I've also been listening to hi-resolution digital music for several years. I wouldn't say it rivals vinyl, but it's about as close as digital gets to vinyl. At least that's what I thought until I installed Decibel, ran the usb out through a Musical Fidelity V-link, then on to the coaxial input on the Nova. It was supposed to be an experiment, but I was so blown away that there was no way I was going to do without it. I never thought my server would sound like this. It was always considered by me as background music for parties and such, but not for serious listening. Not anymore. It's nothing short of amazing as far as I'm concerned.

I still enjoy vinyl. It's my gold standard. But digital made a huge leap forward in my system when I finally sent good source material from my server to the input on the Nova that could make the best use of it.

Terrya, I have not been blown away by digital yet. I wonder if it is the source material? What are you sending over the pipe to the Peachtree?
post #1608 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediatic View Post

Terrya, I have not been blown away by digital yet. I wonder if it is the source material? What are you sending over the pipe to the Peachtree?

You won't catch me saying that I prefer the sound of digital over vinyl. What I'm saying is that lossless 16/44 files, played in Decibel, output through usb to a Musical Fidelity V-Link, (where it's converted to coaxial) which is then output to the Nova Coaxial input, has narrowed the gap far more than I expected. I'm blown away by the improvement in sound quality over streaming from iTunes to an express, or using usb out from iTunes to the usb input of the Nova, or any other combination.

In my system it's made a huge difference. It's not subtle. My wife can even hear the difference.

Obviously, your mileage may vary. I prefer the sound of vinyl, but digital made a huge leap in the right direction with these changes.

So to answer your question, I'm sending 16/44 lossless as well as 24/96 lossless files. I'm also sending compressed files, and finding that this playback method helps with these files as well. But, I'm in the process of re-ripping all my cds to lossless for play at home. I have a huge hard drive, so I figure why not.
post #1609 of 2008
That's interesting. I have been auditioning a Halide SPDIF bridge and don't feel that I can tell a difference, at least not a $500 difference between USB in and the Halide. Moreover, when I'm playing the HDtracks version of Beggar's Banquet vs my DSD remastered CD version (NOT SACD, at least the player says its not SACD) on my Oppo BDP-95, I can barely here the difference.

My theory is that whereas since the BDP-95 has a more evolved DAC than the Peachtree does and I have it hooked to the Nova via analog cables, it gets a little more goodness out of a CD than the Peachtree could. The lack of difference between the Halide and the regular USB suggests that either the Halide isn't as good as the Musical Fidelity or the Peachtree's DAC is too weak to resolve the difference (this doesn't explain why you hear such difference though).
post #1610 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediatic View Post

That's interesting. I have been auditioning a Halide SPDIF bridge and don't feel that I can tell a difference, at least not a $500 difference between USB in and the Halide. Moreover, when I'm playing the HDtracks version of Beggar's Banquet vs my DSD remastered CD version (NOT SACD, at least the player says its not SACD) on my Oppo BDP-95, I can barely here the difference.

My theory is that whereas since the BDP-95 has a more evolved DAC than the Peachtree does and I have it hooked to the Nova via analog cables, it gets a little more goodness out of a CD than the Peachtree could. The lack of difference between the Halide and the regular USB suggests that either the Halide isn't as good as the Musical Fidelity or the Peachtree's DAC is too weak to resolve the difference (this doesn't explain why you hear such difference though).

I know the Halide is supposed to be a great bridge. I wouldn't expect the Musical Fidelity to better it. I really have no explanation other than to say that each system is different, and somehow I'm hearing an improvement that others have heard as well. My neighbor, who has an extensive vinyl library, and a load of high resolution discs, commented "Who needs SACD or DVDA if server music can sound like this?"

I'll admit that it's hard to quantify how much better vinyl sounds. It sounds better to me, for sure. The gap still exists, but it has narrowed.

I'll admit something else too. The improvement was so obvious that I haven't sat down to do real critical listening tests like I've done in the past with some of my high resolution digital recordings that I also have on audiophile vinyl. I suppose I should, and I'd venture a guess that if I did I'd find myself more engaged by the vinyl version than by any of the digital formats. I wouldn't expect that to change.

And for reference, I have a BDP-83SE, so like you I tend to use the analog outputs to the Nova. I'll have to sit down when I get a chance and do some Oppo/Server comparisons.

Edit: Are you using Decibel for playback?
post #1611 of 2008
Yes, I am using Decibel. I'm not even finding a huge different between USB in and the Halide. Weird. That said, I remember when I first got the Nova how impressed I was by the DAC. I think it's probably still great but I am hitting some kind of limit to what it can do.
post #1612 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediatic View Post

Yes, I am using Decibel. I'm not even finding a huge different between USB in and the Halide. Weird. That said, I remember when I first got the Nova how impressed I was by the DAC. I think it's probably still great but I am hitting some kind of limit to what it can do.

My frame of reference is doing an upgrade, then sitting down and listening carefully for the sonic improvement, that in the end is often described by myself and my neighbor, who has a long history of spending more on his stereo equipment than his budget might justify, by saying "it's as if a veil were lifted." Sometimes I wonder if it's the placebo effect. Sometimes I wonder if the new piece hasn't even broken in yet. Sometimes I have to assume it sounds better. Sometimes I remind myself that a bunch of small, almost indiscernible improvements, can add up to something more profound.

From that perspective, I'm blown away by the Decibel/V-Link/coaxial input as compared to iTunes to an express. It's as if three veils were lifted.

It could easily be that you and I are hearing the same thing, but our frame of reference is different.

I also now have a Parasound Halo amp in the mix, being fed by the Nova DAC and preamp. The clarity is ever so slightly improved at lower listening levels. Like a half a veil maybe. It's more obvious at higher listening levels, where the pace also seems improved. As if it's not working quite as hard. (which it isn't) This additional improvement, I think, makes it a bit harder for me to remember just how it sounded for the three years I ran iTunes via an express (using optical out to take advantage of the DAC) through the Nova alone. I remember it as being an obvious improvement over the setup that preceded it.
post #1613 of 2008
Here's a blog I've been following for a few months now. There are a lot of good thoughts here that might explain some of what you're hearing...

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/search?u...&max-results=5
post #1614 of 2008
I agree with that sort of description although when I stopped using the nova as an amp and inserted an adcom 545 mk ii as an amp with nova serving as a pre, it was more like a freight train hit. Then again I am running b & w speakers which are power hungry and the nova is anemic when power is involved. Usually I have two adcoms now, vertically bi amping and that is more of a veil compared to one amp... But with the halide it has been kind of sort of, is it better, I dunno.
post #1615 of 2008
Also moving to the Nova as a DAC from a supposedly good Chinese made $400 DAC was like a freight train. No veils there. I was blown away.
post #1616 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediatic View Post

Also moving to the Nova as a DAC from a supposedly good Chinese made $400 DAC was like a freight train. No veils there. I was blown away.

When I first auditioned the Nova the shop had it on a shelf powering computer speakers. It wasn't even in a listening room. I told them they were underselling it, and that it needed to be somewhere where it could be heard. They looked at me kinda funny.

I had them move it into a room where they connected it to a Rotel cd player, via both analog and coaxial inputs. Another customer wandered in as we were doing this. He seemed like a regular in the store, and was interested in what we were doing.

The salesman turned on the Nova, and started playing a cd put together by a rep for showing off equipment. "You And Your Friend", by Dire Straits was the first song on the cd. As it started to play, of course I thought it sounded pretty good. Then I asked which input we were listening to. The salesman replied "analog", then pushed the coax button. We all looked at each other. The salesman said "That's different!" He pushed the button once or twice more, to do a/b comparisons, but they were short lived. The DAC in the Nova was head and shoulders above the DAC in the Rotel. No comparison. I think the salesman learned something that day.

When I got it set up at home, every digital source sounded much better. Like a freight train.
post #1617 of 2008
I had a Rotel CD player a while back, replaced it with a Rega Planet 2000 which toasted it with another octave of bass. The Nova had a better DAC than the Rega, no question, but the Oppo BDP 83se and BDP95 are a bit better than the Nova on their own DACs. Technology is moving pretty fast.
post #1618 of 2008
Well I'm calling it a day. I may keep my Nova in my office to replace my Decco but I've spent the weekend auditioning a Cary SLP-03 preamp and Cary Xciter DAC. The difference is significant. Whereas the Nova's tube is really for looks, both Cary units utilize their tubes integrally to the circuit. For once my Oppo BDP-95's internal DAC is outperformed. It's fabulous, whether with vinyl or with CD. Truly happy. Now to get the wife and kids out of the house so I can listen.
post #1619 of 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediatic View Post

Well I'm calling it a day. I may keep my Nova in my office to replace my Decco but I've spent the weekend auditioning a Cary SLP-03 preamp and Cary Xciter DAC. The difference is significant. Whereas the Nova's tube is really for looks, both Cary units utilize their tubes integrally to the circuit. For once my Oppo BDP-95's internal DAC is outperformed. It's fabulous, whether with vinyl or with CD. Truly happy. Now to get the wife and kids out of the house so I can listen.

You upped the ante a bit there. I'd have to sell a car or two to do something like that. Which would lead to my wife kicking me out of the house. Then where would I listen to the stuff?
post #1620 of 2008
Those have to be some cheap cars. The preamp is $2,000 and the XCiter is $1,500. It's a bit, but not even double the price of the Nova. I'm routing them through my Adcom 545 amp, $200 on ebay. I'm finally hearing a difference between sources. The XCiter beats both the Oppo and the Nova for a DAC hands down.
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