Recently I received and installed in my reference system a pair of GoldenEar Triton One loudspeakers, which by any rational standard would have to be considered ‘giant killers’ of the first rank. Priced at £5,000 per pair, the Triton Ones routinely do things that loudspeakers priced at two, three, or even four times higher might find difficult to match. At the same time, I was keenly aware that part of the success the Triton Ones enjoyed in my listening room was surely attributable to the AURALiC electronics suite with which I was powering them—a suite consisting of AURALiC’s VEGA digital audio processor (£2,890), TAURUS Pre preamplifier (£1,790), and MERAK monoblock power amplifiers (£4,180 per pair). While the AURALiC kit is far from the most expensive gear one might choose to own, the fact is that the suite costs more (£8,860 in all) than the high-value GoldenEar speakers do.
For me this observation led to one essential question: Does anybody out there make a combination amp/DAC that is to the world of high-end audio electronics what GoldenEar’s Triton One is to the world of top-tier loudspeakers (that is to say, a killer performer at a sensible price)? Well, I’m pleased to say that I think I’ve found an answer and it is called the Peachtree Audio Nova 220SE (£1,490). I’ve just installed a review sample of the Nova 220SE in my reference system (where it is temporarily taking the place of the AURALiC components that normally reside there) and the sonic results I have achieved—with the GoldenEar Triton Ones—have thus far proven to be extremely promising.