In 2006 Peachtree Audio started bringing its first product, the Decco integrated amplifier with USB input, around to dealers in the US. Most of the dealers initially told the Peachtree Audio team that the product would never sell and that nobody was going to connect a computer to piece of HiFi equipment via USB. Dealer Stereo Exchange in New York City completely understood the impact computer audio would have in the high end sector and jumped onboard right away. Not too long after, 300+ dealers took on the Peachtree Audio products and the company was off to a blistering start. After 10 years, and a learning experience or two later, Peachtree Audio was back at Stereo Exchange to launch version 2.0 of the company and kick things into high gear with some major changes to the product line and the way its products are made.
In addition to product, design, and manufacturing changes I'll discuss in a minute, it should be noted that Peachtree Audio co-founder David Solomon is back with the company. David has been a supporter of Computer Audiophile and everything the CA readers are into of many years. During his absence at Peachtree Audio he worked for Tidal, launching the streaming service in the United States before it was purchased by Jay Z's Project Panther Ltd.
A major part of Peachtree Audio's 2.0 initiative is the company's new way of developing products. Most important for the sound quality aficionados is the fact they the company has hired world class engineers to design its products. Unfortunately I'm not at liberty to publish the name(s) of those designing the products but I know their previous work and it has been highly regarded by both the press and consumers worldwide. In addition, Peachtree Audio has started building its new Nova series of products in North America. The cabinets, metal work and chassis are manufactured in China, but all audio circuitry is designed and built in Canada. Final assembly and QC is completed in Seattle before shipment out to dealers around the globe. Last, and equally as important, Peachtree Audio has begun sourcing all components itself. Like many other companies, Peachtree Audio previously hired someone in China to source parts based on specifications and price points. Now Peachtree Audio's Jim Spainhour, having been to China 44 times since the company was founded, and his team have brought this task in-house, enabling the company to improve both price and performance.
To the customers this means great new products now and in the not too distant future. During the event at Stereo Exchange Peachtree Audio demonstrated its new Nova 150 ($1,499) and featured on static display the new Nova 300 ($2,199). The Nova 500 is still in the final design stages and should retail for roughly $2,999. It will also be one of the first products to feature the new ESS Sabre 9038 Pro DAC chip. The entire new Nova series is unique in that it's made in North America, features 150-500 WATTS of power, has a phono input, reference level DAC chips, home theater bypass, S/N ratio 115 db A weighted at the preamp output, and a great discrete headphone amp not driven off the main integrated amplifier or a TI chip, and all for $1,499, $2,199, or $2,999. I'm unsure there's another integrated amplifier that will match these features and specifications.
At the event Peachtree Audio's Nova 300 display unit featured an incredible wood finish with thirteen coats of lacquer. Pictures just don't do this unit justice. It's a must-see at your local dealer when it's in stock. It should also be notes that Peachtree Audio, in addition to the displayed wood and black lacquer products, will offer a real rosewood finish on the Nova series. Not to worry, the rosewood is FSC certified and will not contribute to rosewood deforestation.
Last, and maybe most interesting to readers of Computer Audiophile, is the fact that Peachtree Audio will soon release products with a built-in WiFi platform supporting a host of services (lossy and lossless) as well as UPnP/DLNA. There will be Peachtree Audio iOS and Android apps for control and music selection, enabling those of us looking for a better sounding product than Sonos, to stream out high resolution content to any room of our houses. I have my fingers crossed for Roon integration with the Peachtree Audio platform, but I don't want to put the cart before the horse.
Overall it was a fun event at Stereo Exchange. I even had the opportunity to talk politics with the owner David Wasserman, whose niece is a U.S. Congresswoman from Florida and Chair of the Democratic National Committee. In addition I had a nice conversation with Audiostream's Michael Lavorgna, one of the nicest guys in the industry. Anyway, I look forward to seeing what's to come of the Peachtree Audio products just announced and in the near future.