Ultra-Flexible, Exceptionally Quiet, and Supremely Musical: Peachtree Audio preDAC Offers Tremendous Performance and Convenience in a Preamplifier and DAC
Flexibility and quiet performance are the name of the game for the Peachtree Audio preDAC, a preamplifier and DAC based on the acclaimed Nova500 integrated amplifier. The preDAC is, in essence, a Nova500 with the amplifier section removed, but it includes key upgrades. Like the Nova500, the preDAC is a differential (aka balanced) audio design that provides exceptional immunity from noise/interference and keeps the audio signal as far above the noise floor as possible. The preDAC features a dedicated power supply, superior signal-to-noise ratio, balanced XLR outputs (in addition to single-ended RCA) and even better headphone amp performance.
The preDAC is a flexible, straightforward component that can soar with a wide range of audio input sources, including a personal computer, an Apple iOS device, a streamer, a turntable, and many other devices. The preDAC is designed to pair up with the incredible Peachtree Audio amp500 or other dedicated power amplifier of your choosing to complement your speakers.
The preDAC is built around an 8-channel ESS 9000 Series Sabre Pro DAC chip running in stereo mode to provide the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range befitting a reference-quality product. It features fully balanced internal circuitry throughout to minimize noise and interference and to allow the remarkable resolution of the DAC to be fully preserved all the way through the output. The sheer musicality of the preDAC and the lack of background noise compare favorably to products with much, much higher price tags.
The preDAC utilizes a DAC chip that was designed to convert eight channels of audio, but it operates in a special stereo mode, where four of the DACs are assigned to the left channel and the other four are assigned to the right channel. By quadrupling the DACs used for each channel, the overall performance of the audio signal achieves remarkable heights in measured performance and, more importantly, in listening tests.
The DAC is capable of converting the major file formats, including PCM digital audio signals up to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD audio signals up to 5.6MHz (aka double DSD), compressed audio, uncompressed audio, high-resolution audio, and ultra-high-resolution audio. Built around the DAC chip is an extensive, multi-point, regulated power supply that keeps the component operating optimally and faithfully to the input signal, providing a transparent window into the source material. The combination of DAC and balanced circuitry allows the music to come through with an unprecedented level of clarity.
The preDAC has very flexible input and output configuration capabilities. It accepts input from a computer, iOS devices, other digital audio devices, analog audio devices, and it even has a built-in moving-magnet (MM) phono preamplifier for directly connecting a turntable. The two analog inputs are user-configurable as: 2 standard line-level analog inputs, a Home Theater Bypass (HTB) input + an analog input, an analog input + a phono input, or an HTB input + a phono input. (It's your choice!)
The digital inputs include a user-selectable feature called Volume Control Bypass, which allows system volume to be controlled directly from the source device, bypassing the volume control inside the preDAC. This is especially useful if you enjoy using an app on your computer or mobile device to select your music and to control the volume. A fully balanced output is provided to drive the power amplifier of your choosing. There is also an unbalanced PRE output, which can be used to drive a powered subwoofer. The amazing preDAC also comes with the 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee.
"Driven by the accompanying Peachtree pre-amp, the GaN400 gave a better, more rounded and believable musical performance than I associate with even the best of MOSFET Class D amplification."
— Kevin Fiske, The Ear, five-star review of the Peachtree Audio preDAC and GaN400 power amplifier
The clever LOOP feature allows an external room EQ, audio processor, tube buffer, or recorder to be easily integrated with the preDAC, and it can then be switched in and out of the signal path by simply pressing the LOOP button on the front panel or remote control.
Superb Headphone Amplifier
The headphone amplifier in the preDAC was specifically designed for premium-quality headphones. It is a fully discrete power amplifier circuit that easily drives the majority of headphones, including very high-impedance designs. Like the rest of the preDAC, it is designed for musicality and an ultra-low noise floor. When compared to dedicated headphone amplifiers, the preDAC's built-in headphone amplifier represents an amazing value.
Peachtree Audio's Design Philosophy
All Peachtree Audio products share a "form follows function" design philosophy, with an emphasis on sound quality and ease of use. The entire user interface is built around the idea of pressing a button to determine what you are listening to and turning a knob to determine how loud you are listening to it. That's it! No screens, menus, or other overly complex interfaces that often add more frustration than utility.
Inside, the preDAC is designed to provide the purest signal path between the input and the output. Analog inputs remain in the analog domain all the way through to ensure that the original source material is preserved throughout. All of the digital inputs are converted internally utilizing an ultra-premium 8-channel DAC so that they benefit from the best conversion available. All the circuits are completely balanced and free from noise. The difficult-to-achieve combination of sheer musicality with an ultra-quiet background allows for a much stronger bond between the listener and the recording. It is as though the gear has disappeared and all that is left is the music—and you.