This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

For a change of musical scenery, Neneh Cherry's 1989 Raw Like Sushi debut remains a Hip-Hop classic. Musically original, technically well produced, one can listen to this CD in 'serious' mode without getting bored or aggravated. Here the Nova clocked the clearer fatter perspective. Moving to softer sounds like La Chikana's Tango Agazapado meanwhile favored the Transporter. Dolors Solá's expressive voice garnered more attention from the Transporter, the unbelievably dynamic guitar by Acho Estrol more energy and intensity.

It was a draw on solo piano (Bohuslav Martinu's Complete Piano Music II as played by Giorgio Koukl). The Transporter focused more on attack nuances, the Nova more on the piano's corporeality and resonant sound board. Both converters play on an equally exalted dynamic plateau. I finally reached for massive orchestral at the hands of Beethoven's Ninth, with the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan. If classic bombast needs a definition, this is one. Now the Nova booked a clear advantage. Its more developed lower bass helped create the more convincing spatial illusion. The orchestra gained in body and presence.

Apropos space, both DACs stage impressively with all manner of fare. Here I personally favored the Transporter with its sharper image outlines. The Nova countered with superior recorded ambiance and greater plasticity of singers and instruments. Over my Jadis, I also finally heard the influence of the valve. In the signal path, the frequency extremes round over a bit. Bass and treble soften and turn a hair more diffuse, the mids gain a dose of soft focus. Not for nothing did Peachtree deliberately insert a tube to counter digital tendencies for hardness. Combined with the slow filter setting, even rather compromised music data become quite palatable as a quick check with Radio Bremen's 24Kbps MP3 Internet station proved.

My goal for this test was to assess the audiophile ambitions of Peachtree's Nova. I'm somewhat hard pressed to issue a definitive judgment since there are really two souls living in its breast. As integrated with integral DAC, it's a very solid but not extraordinary machine. Extraordinary however is the inbuilt converter. My suggestion would be to view the Nova foremost as a statement DAC which just so happens to also power loudspeakers directly. Teamed with a Sonos ZP80, you'd have a first-class network player whose final bill of ca. €1,700 clocks in below the Transporter's €2,000 sticker. The Nova then throws into the bargain a stereo integrated or quality line-stage. That makes the Nova commendable not merely as entry into multimedia music playback. In the presence of a PC, the Nova is converter and amp. An upgrade path to go independent of the computer will be a dedicated network server whose audiophile aspirations needn't be steep as the Nova's ESS Sabre will crunch the numbers; and an eventual uncompromised integrated or quality active loudspeakers to fully match the Sabre's peal potential. Viewed in that light, I can recommend the Peachtree Nova most highly.
redaktion @

Category: Hybrid integrated with built-in DAC
Dimensions and weight: 12.7 x 38.1 x 35.6cm (HxWxD), 13.5kg
Trim: Silver face, wood cover in high-gloss black, Cheery or Rosewood
Output power: 2 x 80W
Socketry: 5 digital inputs (USB / 2 x Toslink / 2 x S/PDIF), 3 analog inputs (one with home-theatre bypass), speaker terminals, line-out, pre-out, 6.3mm headphone jack
Other: ESS Sabre DAC handles MP3, MP4, FLAC, AFF, WAV, Apple Lossless and other data. Storage bay for Sonos ZP 80/90. Remote.