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The nova 500 is five audiophile-designed products in one: a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), a preamplifier, a power amplifier, a moving magnet phono preamplifier and a headphone amplifier all seamlessly integrated into a single, beautiful aluminum and wood chassis that is the hallmark of Peachtree Audio.
The nova 500 is designed to provide the ultimate link between all of your source devices and your speakers with the most powerful and “cleanest” amplifier section we have have ever offered. But the nova 500 isn’t designed to simply reproduce music loudly. It is designed to deliver music the way the creators intended; with the ease, authority, musicality and emotional impact provided by the world's best recordings.
“The nova300 has plenty of power to drive my speakers…..Why is the nova500 a significant upgrade for me?"
We have received some questions about the power of the nova 500 vs. the nova 300. The nova 500 will provide ~1-2 db more loudness with most speakers in most rooms. The main advantage you’ll notice, however, is how easily the nova 500 reproduces musical peaks, especially at higher volume levels. In many cases it will be subtle, as the nova 300 itself is impressive in this regard - but we are always striving to make small advances that when taken together, result in a significant and noticeable improvement to the overall listening experience. Where you’ll hear a bigger difference is in the balanced design of the preamp; the ESS 9028 Pro DAC processor; and the all-new design architecture of the ICEpower 1200AS2 power amplifier. We’re knocked out by the performance of this new amplifier, which sounds big and lush while maintaining an extremely quiet background. In the past we expected bigger power amps to be better with dynamics but at the expense of more noise. Not anymore - the nova 500 is extremely powerful, dynamic and quiet all at the same time.
nova 500 Cabinet Venting
Maximizes heat dissipation and matches the faceplate finish on both Piano Black and Gloss Ebony Mocha cabinets.
Technology marches forward at an ever-quickening pace and, in the world of audio, the performance improvements from year-to-year and generation-to-generation are typically small incremental steps. But every once in a while, several significant advancements across multiple areas come together to take a product to the next level. That is the story behind the nova 500: Engineers from Peachtree, ESS, and ICE Power all working towards the goal of making the absolute best product they know how based on the latest thinking and parts and bringing it all together in a single benchmark product.
The DAC section in the nova 500 includes an amazing new ESS 9000-Series PRO Sabre DAC and utilizes four DACs per stereo channel. In other words, eight DACs in total to provide stunning dynamic range from any source with minimal background noise to distract from the music. All of the specs for the DAC exceed 120dB, generally considered the maximum dynamic range of human hearing! But most importantly, this digital-to-analog-converter provides a level of refinement and musicality that we have found to be simply beyond reproach. Peachtree was the first audiophile company to offer ESS DACs built into its products, and it is only fitting that our latest and greatest integrated amplifier includes their latest and greatest DAC!
The preamplifier section in the nova 500 was designed from the ground up by the engineers at Peachtree Audio specifically for the nova 500. Its architecture is based on the preamplifier section of the nova 300 and nova 150, but takes it a significant step further by implementing fully differential circuit paths from input to output. This ensures that the ultra-low-noise musical signal provided by the DAC is maintained all the way through the preamplifier, and any external noise or interference that finds its way to the circuit board is cancelled out so it does not negatively affect the sound quality of the music! The ensures that the nova 500’s power amplifier section is being driven by the absolutely cleanest possible signal from the preamplifier.
The amplifier section in the nova500 features the stunning new 1200AS2 from ICE Power. It is, simply stated, the best sounding, most powerful amplifier section we have ever offered in any product - period. The nova 500 is capable of driving virtually any speaker with the utmost ease and authority. Chances are, you've never heard how good your speakers can actually sound until you hear them driven by the nova 500. The nova 500’s ability to reproduce complex music passages at any volume level is simply jaw dropping even if only listening to a modest pair of 2-way speakers. But to truly appreciate the amplifier section in the nova 500, connect it to a pair of high-end floor-standers and be prepared to be completely blown away! The power and finesse of the amplifier section in the nova 500 is, we believe, a game changer.
The Headphone Amplifier
The headphone amplifier section in the nova 500 is a custom-designed power amplifier specifically engineered to get the best sound quality and output capability from any headphone including difficult to drive, high-impedance, high-performance headphones. The headphone amplifier is a fully discrete linear design that does NOT utilize a chip-based amplifier. It is a full power amplifier tailored to the specific needs of headphone listening and can easily drive anything from power hungry 600 Ohm dynamic-drivers to easy to drive planar-magnetics and everything in between. The headphone amplifier in the nova500 makes discreet listening sessions a welcome delight!
The Phono Stage
The phono section in the nova 500 is designed to allow direct connection from a moving magnet or high-output moving coil cartridge equipped turntable. It is custom-designed to enable the best sound quality reproduction from your vinyl collection and eliminates the need to add an external phono amplifier product to the nova 500. And if you don’t use a turntable, the input doubles as a standard line-level analog audio input with the simple press-and-hold of the input button!
Convenience & flexibility
Optical, Coax and USB Inputs
The nova 500's digital inputs provide for connection to virtually any source: one asynchronous USB, one coaxial, two optical.
The nova500 includes an extremely useful LOOP (output/input) feature, allowing you to add an equalizer or other processor into the signal path as desired. The LOOP button on the remote control engages and disengages the loop audio path utilizing high-performance relays. Want to experiment with room correction? Easy. Wire your room EQ component into the nova500 and use the LOOP button on the remote control to A-B between correction in/correction out.
Home Theater Bypass
This classic Peachtree feature is included in the nova500. HTB allows for easy integration with a multi-channel preamp/processor or audio/video receiver (AVR) so that the power amplifier in the nova500 always drives your main speakers (front left and right). When listening to two-channel music the nova500 also becomes your control center, ensuring that you enjoy the full benefit of its reference DAC and ultra-low-noise circuitry. If the HTB input isn't needed it can be configured as a standard analog line-level input.
iOS Input - DyNEC (Dynamic Noise Elimination Circuit) for iPhone/iPad
The nova 500 includes a dedicated asynchronous USB connection on the rear panel that provides a direct digital wired connection for Apple Lightning-equipped devices. Simply use the cable that came with your iPhone or iPad and experience your music transformed by the nova500's DAC and fully differential preamplifier - whether you're listening via headphones or through your main speaker system.
With DyNEC and an asynchronous connection, Peachtree's dedicated iOS input lets you hear your music with all the clarity, dynamics and emotion the artist intended!
And . . . the metal-faced Peachtree remote controls basic playback functions like FF/RR and pause, so you can just sit back and enjoy!
Volume Control Bypass
The nova500 provides a Volume Control Bypass feature on its digital inputs which puts the nova500 into "power amp" mode. This is useful if you have a connected source with its own volume control. Have a favorite device or app with a volume slider built right into the interface? Simply bypass the nova500 volume control for that input and use the app slider instead. It's VERY convenient!
Easy Subwoofer Connection
The nova 500's Pre Out jacks allow easy hookup of a subwoofer. The signal from the Pre Outs is identical to the main signal and is controlled by the nova 500's volume control.