• Peachtree Audio deepblue Review

    How do I review this product without sounding like a book of audiophile adjectives exploded on my keyboard? The Peachtree Audio deepblue music system will likely be reviewed countless times and have more HiFi one-liners written about it than I've ever heard. To use an idiomatic phrase I guess it is what it is. deepblue is a surprisingly better product than I thought could come from its smallish size. There are only so many ways to rearrange drivers in a small chassis. Most products like this offer different spins on the same thing. Average performance using average components sold at above average prices. The deepblue music system offers much better performance than I've heard from anything in its class and at a better price than even commodity components from giants of this industry. A $399 product that sounds this good and is very easy to use is a dream come true for audiophiles looking to spread the word about our wonderful hobby. Take note, the new HiFi ambassador to the world is here and its name is deepblue.



























    The deepblue Music System

    Call it what you will the deepblue Bluetooth Music System, or simply deepblue, looks like a few dozen other products currently on the market. That's where the similarities end. Peachtree Audio didn't create a "me too" product just to throw its hat into the ring of table top audio. Peachtree worked with highly respected engineers in both analog and digital audio on this ground-up design. The somewhat visible elements, behind the speaker grill, are what most people will immediately see. deepblue's 6.5" long excursion bass driver is complemented by two 3" inverted aluminum cone mid-range drivers and two 1" soft dome tweeters with ¾” voice coils. deepblue supplies 240 watts of power to the drivers in this active design with the help of a very substantial power supply.

    The element of deepblue that people don't see, even though it can make or break a component's sound quality, is the Digital Signal Processor (DSP). Peachtree's DSP engineers worked their magic on deepblue and it really shows (sounds). deepblue features Proprietary Volume Equalization that adjusts the frequency response automatically to provide the best sound quality when listening at low levels. On the opposite end deepblue employs digital compressors to prevent the amplifiers from clipping and producing audible distortion through the speakers at high volume. Peachtree took the Apple approach by making a few decisions for the end users and preventing them from having a less than desirable experience with the product.

    deepblue features two connection methods or inputs. One wired 3.5mm stereo input located on the rear of the device is nice to have but is obviously not what makes deepblue so enticing. The other input is via A2DP Bluetooth. Almost every phone, tablet, and computer with Bluetooth support will work with deepblue. Measurement freaks and spec specialists may be sighing at the site of A2DP rather than AptX. But, I challenge them to listen to deepblue and complain about A2DP. Sure, it would be nice if deepblue supported other Bluetooth capabilities or even high resolution but that's not the point of this device. Another cool capability of deepblue is AVRCP device control. Devices like the iPhone support AVRCP thus can be controlled by deepblue's remote. Selecting track back/forward or play/pause from the deepblue remote will pass the command through deepblue on to the iPhone or similar AVRCP device enabling this passthrough control.







    deepblue The Ambassador

    I don't remember ever having a product at home for review that has impressed more people that deepblue. Right now I have a dCS Vivaldi stack worth nearly $70,000 that only delivers digital audio to my preamp or amplifier. This stack provides over the top sounds quality and impresses me every day I spend listening to my system. However, it fails to impress civilians (non-audiophiles) after I mention the price. deepblue on the other hand has impressed every person who has entered my house since it arrived a few weeks ago. This includes my wife, mother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, etc… Even my one year old daughter is attracted to the blue lights. What's more, the deepblue is positioned in my living room, just inside the entry way, enabling us to use it all the time. When my daughter wakes up in the morning I bring her downstairs and play little music I'd like her to like (Miles Davis or Pearl Jam), then I play Bruno Mars and she dances like there's no tomorrow. Not quite into the nuances of high end audio my daughter loves bass. deepblue's remote features buttons to adjust the bass for different tracks or depending on the location of the unit. It's nice to crank up the bass for my daughter and bring it back down of myself.

    After my daughter leaves for the day I frequently beam The Adam Carolla Show podcast from my iPhone to deepblue. Great sound is great sound whether it's a podcast or wind symphony. Readers who haven't heard their favorite non-audio programs through a great system should really give it a shot. Not only will it sound better, but a system like deepblue enables listening at lower volume levels because everything is much clearer than other playback options.

    Over the last few weeks I've played countless albums and tracks through deepblue. Some music was stored in a lossless format on my MacBook Pro but most was streamed from services like MOG, Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora at varying MP3 bit rates. I frequently thought of tracks during the day and wondered how they'd sound through deepblue. Connecting through Bluetooth is beyond easy so I was able to think of a track and pay that track within seconds. The slowest part of the equation was me and my ability to type into MOG or the other streaming apps. No after what music I put through deepblue I was impressed by the sound quality. deepblue produces sound that's far larger its physical size. All may favorites, both audiophile and civilian music, were very enjoyable via deepblue. An additional variable is how this music sounds in other environments as the soundtrack to our lives. While making dinner, watching my daughter, having friends over, etc… music takes on a whole new meaning. When this music sounds great the meaning can be even more powerful to those of us who care about sound quality.

    A final story about how good deepblue sounds and how the new HiFi ambassador (deepblue) speaks to people. My father-in-law is a truck driver who is home mainly on the weekends. Once in awhile he'll create a list of music he wants to hear on my main audio system. When he came over last week he had just heard ZZ Top play La Grange on Howard Stern and wanted to hear it through my Spectral / TAD system. This time I suggested we stay in the living room with the rest of the family and crank it on deepblue. The first thing he noticed was the great sound quality from such a small device. Soon after he asked what all civilians ask, "what's that cost?" When I told him $399 he was surprised mainly because everything else in my house is more expensive than an automobile. He didn't jump for joy at the price because he's a pretty reserved guy. What I did see from him was a look of satisfaction that this level of sound quality and ease of use was attainable. If he wanted deepblue in his house, or even truck, he wouldn't have to circle the globe in his truck just to cover the sales tax on the unit.


    Conclusion

    Peachtree Audio's deepblue music system will impress all but the most jaded audiophiles. deepblue may not be for everyone, just 99.9% of us who enjoy music that sounds good for a good price. Peachtree's use of DSP to compliment it's amplifier and driver design has elevated deepblue beyond the competition in this crowded market. It's the best small table top type of audio device I've heard to date. deepblue also reminds me of the popular water cooler question, "what stereo should I buy?" The answer to this question is the best stereo one can buy is the stereo he listens to most. deepblue won't force people to listen to more music but at least it sets people up for success if listening to more music is their goal. When the ambassador speaks everyone listens, or can't stop listening. deepblue = CASH List = No Brainer.




    Product Information:



    • Product - Peachtree Audio deebblue Bluetooth Music System
    • Price - $399
    • Product Page - Link







    Photo Gallery:

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    Comments 82 Comments
    1. AudioDoctor's Avatar
      AudioDoctor -
      I had a chance to listen to this a while back at the invitation of Jon Derda, now I wish I had been able to accept that invite. Work always gets in the way of fun...
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by AudioDoctor View Post
      I had a chance to listen to this a while back at the invitation of Jon Derda, now I wish I had been able to accept that invite. Work always gets in the way of fun...
      You really missed out Doc. This is one awesome device.
    1. AudioDoctor's Avatar
      AudioDoctor -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Computer Audiophile View Post
      You really missed out Doc. This is one awesome device.
      It may solve some problems for me. I was considering the Marantz Consolette, but I will add this to the list of devices to check out.
    1. Cascade Mark's Avatar
      Cascade Mark -
      Awesome review for a remarkable and innovative device. Deepblue's sound quality is absolutely stellar, well beyond the performance of any other similar compact unit priced under $1000. I love this device and love this company.

      I want to emphasize one important point though. For anyone who has little or no experience with Bluetooth, it has significant transmission limitations. Sound quality is compromised only marginally with this unit when using Bluetooth vs. hard-wired through the 3.5 mm jack, BUT signal reliability is something else entirely. I had naive visions of being able to send music wirelessly from multiple sources at varying distances, around corners and through partial obstacles to the Deepblue unit (keeping in mind the claimed 30-foot or so transmission limit). Deepblue was going to allow me to float untethered, enveloped in a wall of glorious sound, the universe of recorded music at my fingertips.

      This has been my experience thus far using solely Mac devices: Bluetooth streams well with both an iPhone 4 or 4s pointed directly at the unit from about 15 feet or less. Drop-outs from handling the iPhone, however, are frequent. In fact, even when the iPhone is right next to the deepblue unit, passing my hand between them cuts the signal temporarily. It is further impeded by my very thin, plastic iPhone case. If you've got Mog/Spotify/iTunes etc. playlists that you can start and let run while leaving your phone next to the device, perhaps removing its protective case temporarily as well, you'll be fine. If you like to fidget with the transmission device, multi-task, walk around the room with device in hand, jump from one track that suddenly inspires you to listen to something else, etc. there may be drop-outs. Bluetooth also draws major battery juice, so you'll likely need to plug in your device to keep it charged as it sits next to the Deepblue unit.

      Streaming bluetooth from either my MacBook Pro or MacBook Air has been much worse. Reliability is only around 3-5 feet. After considerable frustration with drop-outs even after moving the Deepblue unit to various locations to factor in potential signal interference, I've succumbed to plugging in an Apple Airport Express and running it through the 3.5 mm input in the back of the unit. This solution has been awesome with respect to reliability, but compromises the sleek, minimalist appearance and feel you get with the device alone by itself.

      Perhaps others will have better luck with Bluetooth transmission using Android devices, PCs, iPads or an iPhone 5. Despite the transmission limitations of Bluetooth, I couldn't be happier with this product. It is really a joy to have and to hear, and deserving of your glowing review.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cascade Mark View Post
      Awesome review for a remarkable and innovative device. Deepblue's sound quality is absolutely stellar, well beyond the performance of any other similar compact unit priced under $1000. I love this device and love this company.

      I want to emphasize one important point though. For anyone who has little or no experience with Bluetooth, it has significant transmission limitations. Sound quality is compromised only marginally with this unit when using Bluetooth vs. hard-wired through the 3.5 mm jack, BUT signal reliability is something else entirely. I had naive visions of being able to send music wirelessly from multiple sources at varying distances, around corners and through partial obstacles to the Deepblue unit (keeping in mind the claimed 30-foot or so transmission limit). Deepblue was going to allow me to float untethered, enveloped in a wall of glorious sound, the universe of recorded music at my fingertips.

      This has been my experience thus far using solely Mac devices: Bluetooth streams well with both an iPhone 4 or 4s pointed directly at the unit from about 15 feet or less. Drop-outs from handling the iPhone, however, are frequent. In fact, even when the iPhone is right next to the deepblue unit, passing my hand between them cuts the signal temporarily. It is further impeded by my very thin, plastic iPhone case. If you've got Mog/Spotify/iTunes etc. playlists that you can start and let run while leaving your phone next to the device, perhaps removing its protective case temporarily as well, you'll be fine. If you like to fidget with the transmission device, multi-task, walk around the room with device in hand, jump from one track that suddenly inspires you to listen to something else, etc. there may be drop-outs. Bluetooth also draws major battery juice, so you'll likely need to plug in your device to keep it charged as it sits next to the Deepblue unit.

      Streaming bluetooth from either my MacBook Pro or MacBook Air has been much worse. Reliability is only around 3-5 feet. After considerable frustration with drop-outs even after moving the Deepblue unit to various locations to factor in potential signal interference, I've succumbed to plugging in an Apple Airport Express and running it through the 3.5 mm input in the back of the unit. This solution has been awesome with respect to reliability, but compromises the sleek, minimalist appearance and feel you get with the device alone by itself.

      Perhaps others will have better luck with Bluetooth transmission using Android devices, PCs, iPads or an iPhone 5. Despite the transmission limitations of Bluetooth, I couldn't be happier with this product. It is really a joy to have and to hear, and deserving of your glowing review.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with Bluetooth. The entire time I've had deepblue Bluetooth has worked very well. It works much better than the iPhone 5 paired with the NAD VISO 1. With deepblue and my iPhone 5 I can walk around the house (same floor), around corners, into other rooms, etc... without dropping my connection. I also stream from my MacBook Pro retina that's about 15 feet from deepblue.

      No problems here whatsoever.
    1. Jon Derda's Avatar
      Jon Derda -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cascade Mark View Post
      This has been my experience thus far using solely Mac devices: Bluetooth streams well with both an iPhone 4 or 4s pointed directly at the unit from about 15 feet or less. Drop-outs from handling the iPhone, however, are frequent. In fact, even when the iPhone is right next to the deepblue unit, passing my hand between them cuts the signal temporarily.

      Streaming bluetooth from either my MacBook Pro or MacBook Air has been much worse. Reliability is only around 3-5 feet.
      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for the kind words and love for the company. I believe you are the very first customer to receive their deepblue! I'm glad you are satisfied with the performance of the product and found a way to make it work for you with the Airport Express. Maybe you could mount it to the back of deepblue with this? Amazon.com: Scotch(R) All-Weather Fasteners, 2 Sets of 1 Inch x 3 Inches, Strips, Clear (RFD7090): Office Products

      Bluetooth has a standard range of 10M open air. It can be affected by walls and other wireless networks such as WiFi and a 2.4GHz wireless phone system, even your microwave oven can affect it. Results will vary with environment and hardware. For instance, I have an iPhone 4S running 6.0.1 with a battery case and can stream 33 feet with no dropouts in another room of a plaster and lathe house while checking email, browsing, etc. Like you, my MacBook Pro running 10.8.3 has less distance, only 24 feet and drops out as soon as I put a wall between the computer and deepblue.

      The 3-5 feet you are getting is out of the ordinary and should be a lot better unless you live next to a transmitter of some kind! It looks like you've gone through some troubleshooting already but I'd like to talk to you about it some more when you have time. You can see what your Bluetooth signal strength looks like on your MBP by opening Bluetooth Preferences and holding down the option-key while highlighting the name of the connected device. Anything above -75 should work OK. The MBP is very sensitive and works best with line of sight and nothing blocking it.

      There are a few iPhone resets and settings adjustments you can try too. We can talk about those directly to make sure they work before posting them in an open forum.

      PM me and we can set up a time to talk.

      ATB,
      Jon
    1. Musicophile's Avatar
      Musicophile -
      Any chance of getting airplay to works on this device?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Musicophile View Post
      Any chance of getting airplay to works on this device?
      Not natively but connected to an AirPort Express it would work fine.
    1. ajay556's Avatar
      ajay556 -
      Chris,
      Have you tried it with an external dac into the stereo pin of the unit? Wonder if its worth it do add the peach tree DAC IT?
    1. jhwalker's Avatar
      jhwalker -
      I can't wait to hear one, but confused about what seems to be glaring omissions: Airplay, digital input for iDevices, AptX . . .

      May get one anyway - I love being able to stream via Bluetooth and, worse comes to worse, I could at least use the 3.5mm jack for input direct from a headphone jack. Just odd to me they'd leave out functionality that would seem to be a no-brainer in 2013.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by ajay556 View Post
      Chris,
      Have you tried it with an external dac into the stereo pin of the unit? Wonder if its worth it do add the peach tree DAC IT?
      I didn't try anything external. I think attaching anything defeats the purpose of deepblue for me.
    1. wgscott's Avatar
      wgscott -
      Anyone compare this to the B&W Zeppelin Air or A5 or A7?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by jhwalker View Post
      I can't wait to hear one, but confused about what seems to be glaring omissions: Airplay, digital input for iDevices, AptX . . .

      May get one anyway - I love being able to stream via Bluetooth and, worse comes to worse, I could at least use the 3.5mm jack for input direct from a headphone jack. Just odd to me they'd leave out functionality that would seem to be a no-brainer in 2013.
      I no Peachtree considered all the inputs and methods you mentioned. I'm sure they could have added everything but it all comes down to price, ease of use, target market, dead technologies, etc...

      deepblue is as simple as it gets, and the price shows it.
    1. MikeJazz's Avatar
      MikeJazz -
      Hello Chris. nice device, but find it strange not too see a Ethernet connection, such as used in the marantz...maybe not possible at this price point...have you heard the Marantz, by the way??
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by MikeJazz View Post
      Hello Chris. nice device, but find it strange not too see a Ethernet connection, such as used in the marantz...maybe not possible at this price point...have you heard the Marantz, by the way??
      I haven't heard the Marantz and I don't find it strange deepblue doesn't feature Ethernet input.

      Different horses for different courses.
    1. ejlif's Avatar
      ejlif -
      I wonder how this compares to the Meridian F80. It is the same type all in one system. It is cool in that it offers a digital input. I run a digital cable into it from an airport express. It's a pretty good system for the kitchen but costs a whole lot more than the deep blue. From the sound of this review you would think it could even exceed the sound of the F80. Anyone compared them?
    1. satbox's Avatar
      satbox -
      Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
      Anyone compare this to the B&W Zeppelin Air or A5 or A7?
      Yes, with the B&W Zepplin Air and, for me, the Zepplin is better.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by satbox View Post
      Yes, with the B&W Zepplin Air and, for me, the Zepplin is better.
      Hi satbox - My experience was very different. That's the reason I'm so thrilled with deepblue. Did you have both pieces at home or was your comparison at a local dealer?
    1. MikeJazz's Avatar
      MikeJazz -
      Quote Originally Posted by satbox View Post
      Yes, with the B&W Zepplin Air and, for me, the Zepplin is better.
      Well, respect that, of course, but in my opinion Zepplin Air is a case of lo-fi.
      Hope this is better, must be....

      IN similar format, I was impressed with the Meridian in the past....but a different price class...
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by MikeJazz View Post
      Well, respect that, of course, but in my opinion Zepplin Air is a case of lo-fi.
      Hope this is better, must be....

      IN similar format, I was impressed with the Meridian in the past....but a different price class...
      Hi Mike - That's been my experience as well. Obviously not everyone agrees with us because the Zeppelin units sell pretty well.