Changing of the guard. Peachtree Audio endured some significant staff changes in 2014: David Solomon bounced from Peachtree Audio to AudioQuest to Tidal in the first half of the year whilst Jonathan Derda stepped over to Sound Solutions in November where he now handles brands like Wharfedale and B.A.T.
Flanked by several new staff, founding member Jim Spainhour has come out with guns a-blazin’ at CES 2015 with Peachtree Audio launching FOUR new products.
The DeepBlue2 is a neat all-in-one Bluetooth (w/ aptX) loudspeaker that packs twice the power of the (long discontinued) original. Inside there are five drivers each powered by their own Class D amplifier: 2 x 1″ tweeters, 2 x 3″ midrange drivers and a 6″ subwoofer that’s tucked away in its own separate enclosure. DSP ties them altogether such that the response moves from flat to U-shaped as attenuation heads south; think of it as similar to the loudness button found on vintage integrated amplifiers. Capacitative buttons take care of hands-on volume control but there’s a remote supplied for sofa surfers. DeepBlue2 is also being moved from Indiegogo sales to Peachtree’s dealer network where it will retail Stateside for US$499.
Next up is the SonaDAC / pre-amplifier (US$1499). Deploying the ESS Reference 9018 decoder chip this is Peachtree’s first DSD-capable DAC. It also handles PCM up to 32bit/384kHz via USB. Rounding out the digital inputs are a pair of toslink connectors and a pair of coax. Also on the back panel are balanced and single-ended outputs. The SonaDAC’s half-width chassis is a departure for Peachtree Audio and is clearly designed to partnered with the similarly pint-sized SonaAMP (US$999) which offers single-ended and balanced inputs and promises 150wpc of ICEPower into 8 Ohms. This pre-power combo has the potential to worry Peachtree’s full size Nova220SE integrated (US$1999) if only because it packs superior DAC silicon to the 220SE’s ESS Sabre 9023.
Lastly, and most unexpectedly, is the Shift portable – DAC/amplifier for iOS and (compatible) Android devices with which the in-house designed OTG cable allows the amplifier to charge the phone/tablet. Internal volume control is similar to that of AudioQuest Dragonfly; digital markers are sent from the attached device to corresponding points along the Shift’s analogue scale. The Shift will be made entirely in Canada and ships with an attractive leather carry-case that holds both iPhone and Shift together. It will be available from late March for US$399.
Further information: Peachtree Audio
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