Solid-state/vacuum tube switching: one of the Nova’s most distinctive and enjoyable features is a switch on the unit’s remote control, simply labeled Tube. Here’s how it works: whenever the Nova is used as an integrated amp, preamp, or headphone amp, you have the option of engaging either a solid-state or Class A vacuum tube-based input stage (the tube used is a 6922) by pressing the Tube switch. As a cool visual detail, a blue LED illuminates the vacuum tube viewing window in the Nova’s front panel whenever the tube input stage is engaged.
Preamplifier: the Nova’s preamp section offers both variable and fixed level outputs (the fixed outputs are driven by solid-state circuitry only), making it easy for you to use the Nova to drive an outboard power amplifier or subwoofer, if you wish.
Headphone amplifier: the Nova can be used as a standalone headphone amplifier. As a thoughtful detail touch, the Nova is set up so that, when a headphone plug is inserted into its headphone jack, the Nova’s power amplifier section automatically disengages, effectively muting the speakers.
Power amplifier: the power amplifier section of the Nova is a Class A/B solid-state design that puts out a respectable (and conservatively rated) 80Wpc.
Flexible inputs: the Nova incorporates an onboard “switching” DAC, and as a consequence it offers a much different mix of inputs than most integrated amplifiers do: five direct digital inputs (one USB, two coax, and two optical) plus three stereo analog inputs. Peachtree notes that this combination of inputs allows users to connect a wide variety of digital sources such as the “Squeezebox, Apple TV, Wadia iTransport, Airport, Sonos, and XM or Sirius tuners.”
Home Theater bypass: the Nova’s analog “Aux” input can, via a rear panel switch, become a “Home Theater Bypass.” With the home theater bypass engaged, the Nova can operate as a “slave” amplifier that can be driven from the preamplifier outputs of an A/V receiver or controller.
Going wireless: the Nova provides a convenient rear panel chamber (normally sealed off with a cover plate) where users can house wireless digital audio receiver modules from Sonos systems and the like.
A “remote switchable” 24-bit/96kHz high performance onboard DAC: the Nova’s versatile, onboard DAC is arguably its strongest single feature. In fact, Peachtree’s David Solomon recently told Playback that some listeners think of the Nova as a high-end DAC that just “happens” to come with an amplifier. Highlights of the Nova’s DAC section include:
Sleek, art deco-inspired styling: like the original Peachtree Decco, the Nova’s faceplate features gently rounded corners and a rectangular “viewing window” through which you can see the Nova’s glowing 6922 vacuum tube at work. The amp comes housed in a svelte, upscale, round-edged sleeve finished in cherry, rosewood, or black lacquer. The Nova’s appearance says “pride of ownership,” loud and clear.