Modern Antique

    Peachtree Audio’s Nova integrated amplifier combines an old technology—vacuum tubes—with the very latest in digital audio technology. The Nova is an 80-watt-per-channel amplifier that connects to both analog and digital sources. It can even interface directly with a computer via its rear USB port, so you can listen to music from iTunes, Internet radio, and other computer audio applications. The Nova’s vacuum-tube preamplifier circuitry lends a warmer, richer sound. Its digital-to-analog conversion circuitry is based on the Sabre chip from ESS, which is the same component used in some of the latest high-end CD players. A home theater bypass feature makes it easy to interface the Nova with a surround-sound system. The elegant curved chassis echoes Dutch Modern design, and the front panel controls are refreshingly simple. Whether for a high-end stereo system, a computer audio system, or as part of a surround-sound system, the $1,199 Nova is a superb and distinctive choice. (770.649.9544, www.peachtreeaudio.com)

    —Brent Butterworth

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