Our winner here comes from a company that pioneered USB-equipped amplifiers, and which celebrated its recent tenth anniversary by moving production from China to Canada, not the other way around. It’s Peachtree Audio, which has stepped up the power ratings with its series of Peachtree 2.0 amplifiers, much larger and beefier than the originals, here an impressively-equipped sonic delight in the $2599 Peachtree Audio nova150 — the raised numerals indicating the power available: 150W per channel into eight ohms from its ICEpower modules, 250W into four ohms, and capable of driving anything down to two ohms. (These figures use the AES17 standards for measurement of digital audio equipment, which allow up to 1% THD+N, high by traditional hi-fi standards.)
There are five digital inputs, two being optical, one coaxial, one USB-A slot, and one USB-B for your computer. One of the opticals is the increasingly common mini-Toslink. There are two analogue RCA pairs, one of which can be switched to be a moving magnet turntable input, the other of which can be used in home theatre bypass mode, which bypasses the volume control and throws everything out at full level. That way the Peachtree can power front cinema speakers under the control of an AV receiver, while still doing duties later as a high-quality two-channel amp.
And high-quality it proved, a fine combination of power and precision, with credit also to its Sabre32 Reference DAC capable to 384kHz PCM and double-DSD, delivering high detail yet served with a delicate touch and musicality which may convert those as yet unswayed by Class-D amplification. The headphone socket is no afterthought either, a discrete design rather than a chip solution, good to drive even 300-ohm headphones. No Ethernet here, no Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth, but a clever combination for today’s digital sources plus those analogue originals, delivering maximum music from them all.
Read our original review in full: http://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/sound-image/peachtree-audio-nova150-integrated-amplifier-review-467577