I had heard of someone on a trial who replaced a very very expensive preamp with the Decco with little to no sound quality loss - I am not sure if it means it's a high end product, but I think it's a testament to what this product is capable of.
Actually I cannot think of a single product in existence right now that is configured quite like the Decco with its digital amp, DAC and tube preamp section along with all of the digital connections. I am sure if you hooked up a CD spinner to one of the digital inputs it would improve the sound quality of any CD player played through the Decco DAC.
Obviously it is built to pair very well with a Sonos system and because of the way it's set up the Sonos amp attaches to the Decco where you can then run the Sonos through the Decco DAC - this is certainly a step up for the Sonos.
I have heard the system with nice cables and interconnects via a Sonos set up and it sounded pretty damn sweet. If someone was looking for a system like a Decco, Sonos and speakers one would be pretty hard pressed to beat it for digital music.
Best part too is since it has pre out, you can run a power amp. I think this product is more than a bang for your buck product but a real step forward - I think it was very well thought out and executed and at this price is a steal.
I broke down and bought the Decco last week. Sight unseen and unheard. Tons of options and versatility here.
I've been thinking of going to an all hard drive front end for a long time now. It looks like this is the time, considering the $800 price-tag, I thought it was worth the risk. I'm using it as a usb dac/pre. Right out of the box, it sounded pretty good. Much improved texture in vocals, front to back sound staging, and life like reproduction of cymbals. On the other hand, It lacked detail and seemed a little flat at first. I've been using a passive pre for a long time.
Well, its been burning in for 5 days straight (they recommend 200 hours burn in time) and its really starting to open up. My speakers have completely disappeared. Imaging and separation have improved drastically. I'm not exaggerating when I say this . . . A couple of times (Dark Side of the Moon, Dire Straits), half way through a recording, I thought I had to get up and flip over the record like the old days. I've listened to those albums so many times, I guess the sound quality brought back some old memories. LOL. It reminds me so much of my old (way back) vinyl set up.
So far, I feel like its a steal at this price. I haven't even used the amp section yet, which I've been told, is its strength. I will try it later, I'm sure.
I can't wait to see how it improves as it is fully burned in.
Oh yeah, the build quality is heavy and solid. Its pretty cool looking, too. Packaging is first class.
I will answer my own question. Yes, it does belong in a high end system. Mine at least.
I have the decco from peachtree. It is phenomenal! You can feed your digital source into it and it's 50 watt amp does a great job with my Dynaudio and ERA speakers.
Build is great, ease of use is super.
Wow, I'm so glad to have found this thread and hear you guys say this.
I just bought a new pair of Paradigm Atoms v5 and a bunch of monster cable (good z2, not lampcord)... I am planning to go laptop -> USB -> DAC-> Monster 1000i -> preamp for my source.
I had researched DACs like crazy... and was set on picking up a paradisea + DAC and an amp like a Nad c352 or Rotel RA-1062.
Then someone told me about this thing... It looked like everything I want in one beautifully presented package at a nice price. But I couldn't find any reviews for it anywhere! I am guessing because it is a new product... although I don't know how new...
So, ya, anyways... I'm nearly convinced after reading these testimonials to pick one up myself. Do you think the sound would compare well with a Nad c325bee / c352 paired with a Paradisea+?
You might consider bypassing your pre altogether. I am very impressed with this decco as a pre-amp. I'm currently using it as a computer to usb dac/pre feeding my Audioprism Debut 2 tube amp. It also has toslink AND coax digital inputs as well as two auxiliary inputs. Its been burning in for 14 days now, and it sounds really good. I can't believe its digital. It really sounds like vinyl to me. I'm almost afraid to hook up the amp section. I fear that it might be good enough to render my Audioprism (I love this amp!) unnecessary. LOL.
I didn't realize this before I bought it, but it has a built in usb to I2S converter that is getting great write ups right now.
All of this for $800!
You really can't go wrong with this piece. They are going to sell A LOT of these.
One thing you'll learn about the Chip amps. They always sound better when you leave them on or after extended time on.
Damn it Ken..your going to force me to buy one of these things! LOL
wow... sounds amazing.
Well, I'm sold. Now I just need to sell some stuff to conjure up the funds to buy one.
I don't have a pre-amp or amp or DAC right now... just my new Paradigm Atoms... which I am pretty positive the built in amp is going to be quite sufficient for these little, efficient bookshelfs. So, having a need for all of the things that the Decco offers, looking for high quality, and also on an artist's budget... this looks incredible. Plus I have the option of a subwoofer in the future! Ya!
Hey Ken... you try the amp section yet?
Hey... me again.
Does anybody have any experience with the amp/pre-amp of the decco as well as an amp such as a NAD c325bee or a Rotel 1062?
I would like to know how they compare.
The thing is... I could buy a paradisea+ and a NAD c325bee or c352bee for just about the same price as the audio decco... so it's a tough choice.
Well, guys. I just finished hooking up the amp section. I'm going Macbook (itunes Lossless) to USB to Decco (with PS Audio power chord) to bi wired Speltz anti-cables to my Chario Academy 2's (86 db). (Look ma, no interconnects!)
Instant impressions . . . It seems to have PLENTY of power, lots of bass, good detail. Its a different sound then my Audioprism EL 34 amp. Can't put my finger on it yet. I'll give it a few more days and report my impressions.
As of right now, I am thoroughly impressed.
Thanks for the input Ken. The amp section is what I am trying to get more info on, so this is exactly the review I needed.
How is it holding up? Are you still liking the sound?
I have no idea what OP chip amps are... it seems to be tough to find much info on it. Reviews on the Decco are few and far between as well.
Thanks again for the info.
Hey Ken, have you any experience with Nad, Jolida, Creek, Rotel, or Rega amps? I would like to know how the decco amp compares.
My name is David Solomon, one of the owners of Signal Path, the mother company of Peachtree Audio.
Thanks for the comments above. We worked hard for two years on the project and it's great to be received so well.
If I can ever be of assistance, please write.
You can get me at email@example.com.
Just wanted to make myself available.
Hey DJ, Sorry it took me so long to post regarding the amp section. I don't have any recent first hand experience with NAD, Jolida, Creek, Rotel, or Rega.
They all have excellent reputations, though.
So here goes. First, I have to make a correction on my system. My Chario Acedemy 2's are actually 83 to 84 db, not 86. A pretty difficult load to drive.
So, that said, comparing this little over achieving Decco to my $3k Audioprism high current tube amp is not really fair.
At first listen, its very articulate, solid imaging, reasonable power, and a little on the bright side compared with the tube amp.
As I listened for some time, some of its weaknesses were exposed. It just doesn't have the tone of tubes (I am an admittedly biased tube lover as you can tell) or the front to back imagery and sound stage. It also runs out of gas when when the going gets rough. Again, its not a fair match up to put this little guy with an 83 db speaker load. Matched with a more efficient speaker, it should yield much better results.
So I hooked my Audioprism back into the system for good.
I am still loving the decco as a dac/pre! Well worth the $800 price tag alone. I look at it as a bonus that it has an amp if I ever need to service my other amp.
Bottom line, this is a great foundation for an audiophile on a budget.
Hook up your computer and/or dvd player, get some decent speaker cable to your reasonably efficient speakers, and you've got a sweet little system that just about anyone would thoroughly enjoy.
Enjoy the music and don't get too caught up in this crazy disease/hobby! lol.
I'm seriously considering picking one up to compare to my Paradisea Dac/Nuforce processor combo. DAC isn't USB so I could also add in a Trends UD10.1 (or similar) to my current combo as well. I'd be money ahead selling the two and foregoing the Trends by going with the Decco.
I also have low db speakers down in the 80's from Selah Audio. And a Gemstone Blue Diamond amp. These would stay.
Hey Ken... Excellent, thanks for the review. I would be driving some new Paradigm Atoms v5... they are rated 90db I think.
Musicman... I would love that review... that is exactly what I have been wondering. Reason being... I could buy a Paradisea and a nice integrated for about the same price as the decco.
So... I wonder, with regards to performance, if it would be better to have a separate amp / DAC+pre-amp or a separate DAC / integrated amp...
I just picked up a Decco over the weekend. It was a total impulse buy at a local store. I had seen some good things online, and I figured I could use it in my office if it didn't work out at home.
Anyway, I'm really smitten. I've used it with Klipsch Fortes (very sensitive at about 99db) and Totem Arros (87db). It really rocks the Fortes, and it is pretty polite on the Arros.
I'm feeding it with a Cambridge 640A CD player, and I have tried both analog, coax and optical. Connecting Analog with audioquest turquoise and coax with Kimber Digital coax.
I prefer the DA converter in the Cambridge. It is a bit more airy and it really makes a difference with brushes on cymbals. The DA converter in the Decco is OK though, and without doing a bunch of A/B listening for about two hours on various source material, I wouldn't have minded the internal Decco DAC. And it isn't like a couldn't live with the internal DAC, just that I prefer the one in the Cambridge.
The USB DAC sounds very close to identical to the Coax DAC as far as I can tell. I'm using a windows laptop with ASIO drivers. I did some A/B testing from identical CD's, one in the Cambridge through the coax input and also through the USB port. (By the way, the DAC locks to the signal very fast, so there is barely any gap between the two sources.)
Finally, I also used it with my Aragon 4004, and I think I found its real niche. I wouldn't mind using it as a DAC/Pre, mating it with a nice amp. I am really impressed with what's possible for $800, and I'm thinking of it as buying a Pre/DAC and getting a little 50 watt amp for free.
Can anyone chime in on whether or not the Decco can be used strictly as a DAC into my existing preamp?
I JUST bought a preamp, and a new amp for that matter, and have no interest bypassing either one. I am however, in the market for a DAC. I am driven by sound quality, but size and nice design are equally important to me. The Decco appears to be small, and it is definitely one of the nicest, if not the nicest looking unit I've seen.
In a perfect world, Peachtree will release a stripped down dedicated version.
I'm not sure how well it would work just as a DAC, but it does have Pre-outs. They are tied to the volume pot though.
If you're looking for a pure DAC, there are simpler, less expensive options out there, some even that people would argue sound better than the Decco.
I am not sure if this is moot at this point, but I have listened to all of the amps you mention above, and unless you are in the used market, I don't think you are going to find a quality integrated amp/DAC combo that matches the Decco features at the same price point.
Of the amps you mentioned, the Creek and Jolida probably proivde the extremes in price and style of presentation, with the classic Creek being the most expensive and more precise and detailed, and the 50W Jolida Model JD 1701A the least expensive and a little more bloomy - (its a tube hybrid closest to the Decco pre/amps sections in design). The NAD's sound will bend towards the Jolida side of neutral, and the Rotel will do a pretty good imitation of the Creek. The Rega should fall somewhere in between. In terms of power, the NAD and Creek will pack the biggest punch, and be the least affected by the sensitivity of the speakers.
These are all adequate performers. I thought I would love the Creek from reviews in Stereophile and elsewhere, but I was underwhelmed for the price. Maybe the Dynaudio speakers used in the demo were a bad match. My tastes tend to lean towards tubes (pun intended), so I like the Jolida and NAD best out of this group at the price points.
With that said, a Paradisea or equivalent DAC cost $500, so with any of these integrated amps plus interconnect cables, you are starting at $1100 and shooting up from there. Makes the Decco look like a bargain at $799, and all in one box!
I heard the Decco at a local showroom in a set up with a hard drive server and Sonos Faber Concertino Domus and Vienna Accoustic Beetoven baby Grand speakers. The Decco was not embarrassed in this company at all. The system sounded well rounded with good space and resolution. I cranked it up to a level that would represent comfortable and enjoyably loud home listening and it SOUNDED GOOD. Not surprisingly, it wasn't very comfortable with rock concert volumes, becoming compressed and ragged when pushed beyond just loud. But overall, I came away very impressed. And at 800 bucks, are you kidding me?
Agree with all above, buy a Decco now with some decent and reasonably efficient speakers, cables and an iPod or computer and you are in business for well under two grand. Add a nice mid to high range tube power amp(s) later and you have a great upgrade path. Product of the year?
Question for those using the Decco: have you had luck with power cord upgrades, and if so did you opt for a digital or amplifier power cord?
The website specs are pretty vague, they don't even say what tubes are used in the preamp section. Can someone confirm the tube type and if the dac can accept a 24/96 input via s/pdif? I am sure the usb input is limited to 16/44.1 input.
Rotarius: I know that the tube in mine is a Voskhod 6N23P, as is the spare that came with the unit. I believe its a 6DJ8 or 6922 equivalent.
The USB input won't sync to 48khz, but I haven't tried anything else other than 44.1khz. I don't have a transport that will send a 24/96 signal (other than a PS3 in the other room) so I can't respond to you about that particular setup.
Awesome, thanks for the review. I've been looking a loooong time for this type of comparison. I've wanted a decco for a while now... but naturally I like to be thorough in my research and make sure it is my best option.
I think hearing this finally just put the lid on my decision... looks like I'll be buying a Decco. Now, I just need to scrape up the funds...
BTW, I was talking with one of the designers about the Decco for a while. He told me that with the torroidal power supply in the Decco provided equivalent power as Scott Nixon's $150 power upgrade. Pair this with the fact that the DAC is Scott Nixon's best (I think the one selling for $575, based on the price point equivalents I was given) and this alone just about equals the total retail of the Decco.
Thanks for the info Challaday.
I've searched everywhere and asked my local dealer (Definitive Audio), and haven't been able to ascertain if the Peachtree Decco will decode a true 24/96 signal. I have some lossless 24/96 digital content that I'd like to hear :-)
I'm not sure if it will take accept a 24/96 signal. I bet it does... but it would still need to downconvert it to a 16/44 because its a non-oversampling DAC... 16/44 is the highest output quality your going to get.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, because a quality OS DAC that could handle a signal like 24/96 would be much more expensive to build than a quality-equivalent 16/44 non-OS DAC. So... if you primarily listen to CDs (16/44 quality) you will get a much better sound for your buck with a non-OS DAC like the one in the Decco than a more cheaply-made but equally expensive OS DAC.
For me... I have no need for a higher quality than 16/44 as most of the music I listen to is "only" available on this... and, in truth, I a long... long ways away from being able to afford the equipment that one would need to be able to distinguish between a 16/44 signal and something higher like a 24/96... but thats just me.
I have been an audiophile all of my life and was a dealer for such noteable brands as Audio Note, Goldmund and more. When I set out to find an audiophile set-up for my personal office, I started as most people, researching audio cards for my high-end computer (QX6850 Quad Core Extreme) etc.
After trying numerous cards and countless hours of research, I ended up with the ASUS Zonar D2X audio card with what most consumers would have considered very good sound through my AudioEngine speakers or Monsoon Planar's. Results for a guy who was used to S.E.T. amps was not satisfactory, especially in the midrange.
I talked with some of my industry friends who told me about the Era speakers and the Decco amp, processor and tube pre-amp all in one box. There descriptions sounded like they had been smoking something as they pretty much made it sound like it was on par with $4000 pre-amp, amp combinations with a killer DAC as a bonus. When I found out that the DAC had no filter or up-sampling I was sold, as this is the hallmark of AudioNote Dac's which I have always thought were the best sounding in the industry, bar none.
The combination arrived beautifully pakaged, I mean beautifully (AudioNote take notice). They were double boxed with protection everywhere. I was impressed already.
Let me just cut to the chase. This combination rivals equipment I have sold costing 5 times as much. Midrange, transparency, soundstage and imaging (oh that imaging) was to die for. I ordered a Siemens 6922 from Tube World to see what kind of a difference it makes and will let you know later. But at this point I have to tell you that I cannot imagine anything sounding better for the money. By the way, I opted for the D4 speakers as I need a small footprint on my desk but was blown away by the incredible soundstage and open transparent mid's and highs. I am using an Earthquake Sub crossing them over at about 70hz.
I am a happy audiophile sittting in my office with very expensive equipment out in my living room being neglected:)
Let me state for the record that I am not a dealer for any product mentioned in this post as these were purchase soley for my personal enjoyment and have no potential gain in this review. Contact your local Decco or Era dealer for purchase of this product.
Can I ask what sort of music you used with the Decco. I'm currently thinking about getting one, but live at the bottom of the world (I'm a Kiwi - New Zealand) and if I get one, I need to be sure it's going to do the business.
I listen to a bit of classical, Jazz, and electronic music and am curious to find out how well you felt it handled 'busy' sections in the music. My question arises from another thread where somebody commented that it didn't seem to handle busy sections of music too well and became somewhat garbled.
Would be very interested in your thoughts.
FYI, my setup will consist of some 87db/8ohm 2way speakers, Squeezebox 3, iMac, and an Arcam DV88 as CD source.
I listen to mostly jazz, a little classical and every once in a while some Santana or Rippingtons for some spice. I am using the fairly inefficent 84db DR4 ERA speakers with great results in my office, but it would be underpowered in a larger environment. Perfect in my setup though, and honestly can't imagine anything coming close for the money. I ordered a 1960's Siemens 6922 that is being cryoed as we speak and am looking forward to hearing what some tube rolling does with the sonics. My experience with tube rolling is that it can make a huge difference.
It has done very well so far but have honestly been spending a lot of time breaking in the whole system and waiting on my new tube before I get super critical with difficult passages but at this point I am very happy. I would guess much of that is going to depend on the speaker efficency of your speakers and how hard you are driving them. Low level resolution is good. I have to be careful to keep things in perspective as I am used to power cables costing more than the whole dog gone thing:) I am being totally honest when I tell you that I would have paid much more for the unit. By the way, it is drop dead beatiful. My wife love it. Huge kudos there
I have noticed with the current tube it can get a little congested at louder volumes with rock but with jazz is very good. This may be a function of the difficult load it is seeing. I am still optimistic the tube may clean a bit of that up as well. My guess is that if you used it with a reasonably high efficency speaker it would rock out.
Awesome info! Glad to hear you're enjoying it so much......you're now making very very anxious to get my hands on one!! Hopefully my 87dB speakers will work reasonably well with the unit. Tell me, is your one black and silver or with a woodgrain finish? i've seen photos of a few woodgrain finishes and they look just gorgeous....you're so right with looks being a very important issue for WAF....then again, I'm a bit partial to the odd bit of Audio PrOn.
I'll be very interested to hear your comments once your new tube arrives. Listening volumes will be pretty low I would think, however nice to get it cranking a little every now and then. Do you use the nasty '5dB booster' switch at all? if so, was the sound improved with it, or just muddied with the bass being boosted.
Sorry to ask so many questions, but there seems to be very little info out there and the Peachtree website is pretty vague too. Will be interesting to see what 6moons makes of it as I see it's in the pipeline for them to review.
I have the black case as my office is very monochrome. I do not use the booster as I hate "loudness controls" and infact use the pre out's to a sub anyway.
Well, after much debating, I purchased the Decco. I had high hopes, but it was not to be. When I opened the box, all seemed well. But after removing the unit and unpacking it, the first thing I noticed was that the bottom lip that protrudes out from the faceplate had something that looked like dirt on it. I tried to wipe it off carefully with my shirt, but it wouldnt come off. It just did not seem right, the rest of the case is pristine, yet this one area is all dirty, and in an obvious place. I did not let that deter me though. I plugged it in, and hooked up my playstation one cd player through the analog inputs. When I tried to turn the volume knob, it was frozen! It then loosened up a BIT, but was still really tight, and I tried to use the remote at this point: it would only advance the knob to around 9 o clock. When I turned the volume control with my hand past 9 o' clock and tried to adjust the volume down the knob remained stuck, and wouldnt do anything. The worst part: no music. Nothing. So today I packed it up and took it back, got my money back. I was going to swap it out for a different unit but after thinking it over, just couldnt endorse a company with such bad quality control. Never again made in China for me. I dont care how it is designed in the United States. The fact is that there was no quality control check on the unit I got. How could they pack it up in the condition I received it in? Don't they check them to make sure they work? Unreal.
I guess I should not have said never again made in China. There is some really good stuff from China. I was just mad. I really wanted the Decco because I was going to use my computer as a server via usb. Now I might just go back to vinyl which is a pain since there is so much free music like pandora. Im sure there are a lot of happy Peachtree owners, and Im just bummed that never got to hear it in my system.
I put the Siemens 6922 tube in and all I can say is wow. The highs are sooo much better without the slight tizz I had before. I could go into lots of detail but my wife and I are sitting here listening in awe. Spending $200 for a tube is a lot of money, but I can honestly say it improved every aspect of the music dramatically. The Decca Era could have come from Mars and I would still be digging it:)
Happy in my office
Very glad the tube replacement offered quite some improvements over the stock tube. Very interesting to note that clearly the Decco benefits from a little tweaking - made even easier by the case design I believe.
If only somebody from PeachTree Audio would get back to me!!!! I've been waiting over since the 6th of April for a response, but I've heard nothing. Even sent a follow up message as I thought I'd addressed my one incorrectly.....nothing. I don't want to lose hope just yet as this thing looks like all my office Hifi dreams come true, but we're off to a bit of a shaky start....I'll put it down to over-work on PeachTree's part (hopefully due to SIGNIFICANT product enhancements and a new product range??!!!!!!!)
Sorry to hijack your thread Jcaudio - Just to update, I've been in touch with Walter from Underwood Hifi and as soon as my TT clears, I'll have one of these puppies en-route to little old NZ!....can't wait!....and big Kudos to Wally for making it happen :-)
So have you noticed any sonic changes now that the tube has had a little time to settle in? Do you find that the sound gets 'warmer' or more detailed after a run in period with a tube?
Biggest difference I noticed was smoother highs and much more believable midrange. Fuller and less compression. Difference was truly significant, but not cheap. About $200. Would I do it again? Yes!!!
Call David Solomon if you have any problems with the unit. He has been great!
Since I have barely dabbled in tubes..with my Onyx Melody 3 and a Jolida, which have been turning into toasters, does one need to consider bias for the single tube that is the upgrade? I imagine that there is no way to adjust bias on this unit.
I'm on my 2nd defective unit, I'm afraid.
The first didn't have a receiver chip that worked so no connection through USB was possible.
The second had a defective remote--which the company replaced, just got it today--but has a left channel that has failed. (Headphone amp still works, but speaker output has gone kaput.)
(I've hooked up 2 different sets of speakers, so it's definitely the Decco.)
I love the unit, the sound is fantastic... but... (waiting to hear from Decco and dealer what they'll do. I hate the idea of paying shipping back again!)
That is really too bad. I happened to be in an audition room this week with a Decco using a modest Panasonic BluRay player as the source and connected to Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Baby grand speakers, and again (once set up properly) I was knocked out by the Decco's capability. I am very interested in this unit and am wondering if your bad experiences with quality are unique or common?
Interestingly, the system I auditioned was set up with analog out of the BDP and the bass eq. button engaged on the back of the Decco. The result was a somewhat duller and muddier sound than I had recalled the first few times I had heard the unit. I had the salesman connect the digital out on the BDP to the Decco via a simple coaxial connection and the sound quality improvement was profound. Turning off the bass eq. cleaned the sound up considerably more, and the system sounded even better than I remembered. Jennifer Warnes' version of the "Ballad of a Runaway Horse" sparkled coming out of this system with space and nuance galore.
My conclusion is that the DAC in the Decco is very good and well integrated with the preamp and amplifier sections. I was frankly surprised that the $800 hybrid amp could drive the $2000 speakers to high sound levels without having the sound fall apart or become noticeably compressed in the large listening space. Add a computer or an iPod and some good speakers and for a small to medium listening space you are in business.
One final comment. The dealer who was selling the Decco clearly thinks they have a winner on their hands, displaying it in a prominent place in their shop and pairing it with some very well made and nice sounding speakers. Why they would tie its acoustic hands behind it back with two analogue cables from a cheap source is beyond me? The change from analogue-in to digital-in on the Decco was like going from low fi to hi fi - go figure...
Decco's manufacturer has offered to repair/replace the unit and paid for shipping to their address. According to the dealer who sold me the unit other than mine, defective units are non-existent.
Guess I'm just "lucky". Like I said I love the amp and can't wait for it's return.
In researching the Decco I ran across this thread. I am considering it for a simple system which is mostly for the large plasma, but I can't stand to have a room without music! How is it going with your new unit? Did they satisfy you with the replacement? How is the sound in your system?
It is now 2.5 years later, and Peachtree has nova, decco2, and others. how well is an original decco holding up in sound quality versus what is out now, ie how does the decco2 compare to the original decco? I think you can get an original for as little as 400 if you are lucky, whears a newer decco2 may run you 50% more, I highlt doubt its 50% better? Any thoughts? on differences..I assume Nova and others that are 3X the price are better, but how much better?