New! Rega Planar 2 $675
The new Planar 2 is Rega’s upgrade on cut above performance for the dollar. Planar 2 uses a quiet, 24v motor, with patent pending bearing design of low friction. It has: Acrylic plinth, glass platter, brass hub bearing, new feet, Rega Carbon cartridge… the best gets better!
Planar 2 uses the new RB220 tonearm. RB-220 has a new aluminum arm tube and achieves improved levels of low friction performance for the price range, along with auto anti-skate.
It’s all about surfaces that interface with low friction/vibration. Rega wants you to hear the “vibrations” on your LPs- not ADDITIONAL vibrations from mechanical operation!
When you play a record, you’ll note the stylus needs to read the precise undulations pressed into the groove. The bobsled is running down the track. If the groove itself is dancing around due to chintzy mechanical turntable parts of high vibration, or the bobsled is banging off the walls because of tonearm limitations, your music doesn’t have chance.
Peach Tree Nova 150 $1600 (150×2): Built in North America!
Nova 150 is Peach Tree’s new integrated amp. PT has been making fine integrated amps since it opened its doors in 2007. They have created the designs here and monitored the manufacturing and QC in China, because that’s what you have had to do to land a product here at this price range. That has changed.
PT has developed a way to build its gear (competitively) in the North America. Peach Tree has a facility in Canada making edge of the art circuit boards, achieving a lower noise floor than anything they’ve done in the past. These boards are mated with the latest ESS 9018MkII Sabre DAC, which many designers consider the best available. The new 9018 brings superior levels of sonic performance to MP3 and even supports double DSD technology. The balance of the unit and QC is done in Washington state. If you build it in your own house, it’s easier to keep tabs on the details, and to be competitive in today’s market, it’s all about the details.
Let’s look at Nova 150, the first North American product built integrated by Peach Tree. As in the past, PT feels most customers will run in the digital domain. Hence Nova 150 employs an edge of the art DAC, utilizing Sabre chips. Power runs 150×2 into 8 ohms, muscling up to 250×2 into 4 ohms. Great for you Bryston & Maggie speaker owners! The new power amp design uses the latest Ice Power ASC amp that switches the power supply over at 400kHz per second- removing any hint of power supply noise.
Digital inputs include USB-B, USB-A, 2 Opticals, 1 Coax.
There are two analog inputs. One features an MM phono section- an entirely new feature for PT. The phono portion can be activated or NOT. Hence you can run two RCA analog inputs as an option. Of course it has a headphone jack and cut above, discrete headphone amp. The phono section is pure analog. It doesn’t convert analog to digital, which would compromise the record playing performance.
Nova 150 has a preamp out- so you can add a subwoofer or bigger amp. This level of flexibility is very smart because… if you just wanted to use N150 as a great preamp/DAC, it’s ready go to go! Then you can tie in your big boy Bryston power amp!
Nova 150 features heavy duty speaker connections and a detachable power cable in case you’re open to what Isotek is doing these days!
For PT followers with a keen eye, you’ll notice you haven’t seen the word TUBE in this conversation. As PT has gone to its own North American manufacturing, the noise floor has dropped significantly. They feel the added noise of employing a tube isn’t compatible with their new designs. The noise floor of prior PT preamps was approximately 90dB. The new models will be closer to 111dB! The tube would drop the noise floor to approximately 90, which is no longer acceptable.
Unity Gain: Direct Amp In: is a feature you use with network audio players that already have a volume control. This allows you to control the volume exclusively with any App you use like Sonos or any player with its own volume control.
Dy-NEC: PT employs the world’s first and only system (so far) to address and eliminate all audible power supply and screen noise from these devices, giving you the best and most silent platform so your music files can sound their best.
Quad S-1 Speakers, $1200 per pair (11 /4h, 6 1/8w, 9.5d)
Featuring an elegant mahogany cabinet, S-1 is an audiophile’s mini monitor. S-1 runs a 4” Kevlar Bass-Mid driver and Ribbon Tweeter. It’s also available in black ash.
In 1949 Quad introduced “The Corner Ribbon” loudspeaker. That high frequency driver was raved by the press for its clarity. Quad continues to refine its ribbon technology.
We needed a mini monitor with a lush wood finish, that still had the audio panache that only a ribbon can deliver. The new Quad S-1 has surprisingly rich bass and fills the bill!
Quad Vena Integrated Amp $1000 (45×2 Class AB, 3 3/4h, 12 5/8w, 12d)
The Quad Vena, in an elegant mahogany finish, is an ideal choice for a small, high quality integrated amp with digital interface. It looks pretty impressive with the S-1 speakers above!
First of all, Vena puts out 45×2 Class AB power. Vena has a preamp out in case you want to add a sub- or add a larger power amp. It comes with a remote.
Inputs include: Opt 1, Opt 2, Coax, USB-B, USB-A, AptX, and two Aux inputs. No phono. Vena has a detachable power cord.
Vena matches the S-1 speakers above. It provides a warm sound with fine detail when mated with Quad’s ribbon tweeters! Toss on a Sonos connect and your small system has a great
wide world of music to discover, with top notch refinement. It’s a pleasure to hear streaming services or Internet radio without the typical, annoying DIGITOSIS.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) And Lost Music
Haydn lived a long life for his time- 77 years. Working for the prince wasn’t an easy gig. He not only composed, he was in charge of choirs, orchestras, the HR department, instruments, scheduling… talk about two pounds in a one pound bag!
Haydn also endured two major fires in his life. Who knows how much music was lost in these fires? What we do know is that at least seven piano sonatas were lost. They’ve been identified as numbers 21-27. This was the time of his career that was changing a lot- becoming more creative by the day. It’s our loss that this music, written in the prime of his career, did not survive.