Peachtree Audio Decco and Era Design 4 Satellite Speakers Mcalester OK
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Peachtree Audio Decco and Era Design 4 Satellite Speakers
August 13, 2008 By Steve Guttenberg
The New Order
I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but I'm a hold out. I never listen to music over my computer, even as I've become increasingly aware that the traditional CD and/or turntable-amplifier-speaker based hi-fi system is on its way out, and that some of the most revered audiophile manufacturers like McIntosh, Linn, and Kaleidescape are designing component-grade music servers.
So sure, my interest is piqued, but I have a fantastic high-end audio system, why would I ever want to listen to tunes over my computer?
Good question, maybe because that's where more and more music is coming from. There's great stuff streaming over internet radio; XM and Sirius Satellite Radio sound best over the web; and CD quality and higher music downloads are starting to appear. So now I'm willing to make a move, as long as the gear sounds decent.
The nice folks at Peachtree Audio are way ahead of me.
A couple of years ago they figured that since most iPod owners have a sizable chunk of their music collection, or the whole enchilada stored on their computer, they started developing the Decco--a stereo vacuum tube amplifier with a built-in digital-to-analog converter with USB, Toslink, and coaxial digital connectivity. And since some music lovers are still listening to analog sources they gave the Decco a pair of stereo inputs to accommodate a cassette deck and maybe an AM/FM radio. Vinyl fans are welcome, but they'll need to purchase a separate outboard phono preamplifier and plug that into one of the Decco's analog inputs.
The Decco's preamplifier outputs could be used with either a more powerful amplifier or a subwoofer, but I doubt those two options will be necessary. The Decco's "Bass EQ" button supplies a six-decibel boost at 50 HZ to pump up the bass to work wonders with small desktop speakers. It did the trick with the little Era Design 4 Satellite speakers I used with the Decco. Hook up chores via USB were dead simple; so even I, a serious computer phobic nerd, had iTunes up and running in just a few minutes.
I love the look of the Decco's curvy cabinet and satin finished aluminum front panel, decked out as it is with a row of five input buttons and a silky feeling volume control. Trust me, you won't ever need to consult the owner's manual to play the Decco; you select a source, say, USB, and adjust the volume to your liking, that's it.
Oh, and sitting behind the little "window" next to the volume control you can't miss the vacuum tube. Its golden glow is a welcoming beacon to audiophiles, a visual conformation that the Decco means business. The tube handles preamplification duties while the built-in solid-state power amplifier pumps out 50 watts per channel.
The rounded casework is distinctive and Peachtree'a build standards are comparable to high-end components selling for more than double the Decco's real world MSRP. The small, grey plastic remote controls just the ba...