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Peachtree Audio Nova125 w/ Magnepan MMG (6Moons) review

My first slice of Magnepan MMG budget amplifier coverage is now up on the ‘Moons.

First, a bit of backstory. Peachtree Audio’s iDecco was a killer unit for a grand. Style AND substance (as long as your loudspeakers offered a reasonably efficient load). The iNova was its bigger, badder brother. It too demonstrated an abundance of rich tonal flavours with copasetic transducers in tow. Even as a standalone DAC the iNova kicked some serious butt.

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However, the (now discontinued) iDecco and iNova would have run aground powering Magnepan’s MMG — not enough beef in the stew. Good job then that things changed at Peachtree Audio in 2012. They ditched Class A/B amplifier output stages for the more powerful and efficient Class D.

The new Nova125 (US$1499/AU$1699) runs a custom Class A/B input stage and a B&O IcePower-based power stage. It shoves 250 big ones into the MMG’s 4 ohms. The story doesn’t end there. You also get a on-board DAC (built around ESS Sabre 9023 silicon) and a headphone amplifier, all wrapped up in one cool-looking chassis. Keen pricing for this all-in-one sees marks it out as the bang-for-buck highlight of the three integrateds being investigated in this assignment.

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The baby Maggies swim in the the warm/relaxed end of the pool and this latest Nova iteration pours in effortless grace with good dynamics and big soundstaging. There’s more than enough juice for the MMG but it’s a little reticent with broader engagement factor, particularly in immediate contrast to Wadia’s more energetic sounding 151PowerDAC Mini. Some people might dig the Peachtree’s backwards-in-coming-forwards presentation.  The pay-off? You can play music LOUD without it getting confused or tense. Three words to nail the Nova125’s core essence: big, smooth, masterly.

You can read the full 6Moons blow-out here.

Further information: Peachtree Audio / Audio Marketing / Magnepan

 

EDIT 21st Feb 2013 – more happy snaps:

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magnepanMMG_DAR_peachtree_nova125_b3

magnepanMMG_DAR_peachtree_nova125_b2

 

Read about the Peachtree Nova125 deployed on the desktop here and then check out how it stacks up against Wyred4Sound’s mINT here.

Written by John H. Darko

John H. Darko

John is the editor of DAR, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is also an occasional contributor to 6moons and AudioStream and currently resides in Berlin, Germany.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
Instagram: DarkoAudio
Facebook: DAR

One Comment

  1. “With headroom to spare and an effortless softness in the upper mids and treble, the Peachtree Nova125 might be an even better match for the supposedly more eager-beaver 1.6 and 1.7.”

    Woot.

    OTOH, I’m a bit irked that they dropped one of the optical inputs. I might have to save a little longer for the increased flexibility the NAD C390 offers.

    But there’s no denying Peachtree exudes WAF in spades.

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