Need Help With Usher Be-718 "Tiny Dancer" & Nova Peachtree Audio...

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rastaman

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Hi,

I'm new to this forum and in fact just joined up.

My background - I've always grown up with music and spent most of my pocketmoney on tapes and LPs. Somehow with the advent of the PC I've sort of lost my way and moved to MP3 rips. Now I'm working on building my first dedicated music setup and need your help. Let me inform everyone at the outset that my technical knowledge is limited and I really don't know what is a preamp or a power amp or an integrated amp so please do correct me if I'm wrong.

Now onto the system. For my first system this is what I've planned. Please let me know if its correct (or I'm wrong) or if anything better and also if the specs match or not.

For the speakers I've decided on the Usher Be-718 i.e. the Tiny Dancers. Now I know this will need an amplifier and for this I wanted to go with the Nova from Peachtree Audio. Now I don't know if the Nova will suffice (being its an integrated amp) or will I still need another amp? The reasons I've chosen the Nova is because I will be playing music from my PC. The content will not be MP3s, but FLAC, WAV, APE and other lossless formats.

The intended setup will be my PC > Nova > Usher Be-718.

Now my heart is really set on the Usher Be-718 and I would really not look to change them. I would be willing to change to another stereo amp and I would really appreciate help with what matches with the Usher Be-718 best and what drives them the best.

Apart from this would I need anything else and if so what?

Finally is there any place (preferably in South India) where I can audition both the Usher and Nova together or any recommended stereo amp with the Usher.

Please also advice if I will need a subwoofer or not. This will be a strictly stereo setup and not a home theater and will be only for playing lossless music.

I'm fine with the prices of the Usher Be-718 and the Nova (or anything in the range of the Nova).

Please help guys, looking forward to your valuable inputs.
 

unleash_me

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Welcome aboard!

I think the combo should be fine. The speaker is only 86db but nova should be able to drive them effortlessly. Few of our forum members have this speaker and I believe recently Gopi picked up a Nova if am not wrong!

You can audition both at ARN systems in Blore. Contact our fellow member Sridhar aka Odyssey (sridhar@arnsystems.com) for details.

Cheers.
 

Asit

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Hi,

As unleash has already pointed out, your choice of Peachtree Nova and the BE-718 seems quite appropriate. The Nova is an integrated (that is pre-amp and power amp in the same chasis) amp with a tube pre-amp section (Hope I am correct here) and also a very good DAC (digital to analog converter). However, it's a new product and you should take feedback from users and also audition it. It is supposed to be very good.

Now since your source is a PC and a very good DAC is already present in the Nova, you have to connect your PC output to the Nova by a digital connection, so that the PC will be used only as a transport of CD or hard disc source. There are many experts in this forum who can suggest how this part (PC to Nova) is best done.

Regards.
 

psychotropic

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I recall cranky recommending the ESI Juli@ as having one of the better digital outs in the business, so maybe this might be an answer to the PC to Nova bit?

Hi,

As unleash has already pointed out, your choice of Peachtree Nova and the BE-718 seems quite appropriate. The Nova is an integrated (that is pre-amp and power amp in the same chasis) amp with a tube pre-amp section (Hope I am correct here) and also a very good DAC (digital to analog converter). However, it's a new product and you should take feedback from users and also audition it. It is supposed to be very good.

Now since your source is a PC and a very good DAC is already present in the Nova, you have to connect your PC output to the Nova by a digital connection, so that the PC will be used only as a transport of CD or hard disc source. There are many experts in this forum who can suggest how this part (PC to Nova) is best done.

Regards.
 

rastaman

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Thanks for the replies guys.

I will listen and also think hard before I decide about the sub, but it's a thought I had because I do listen to a lot of rap and hip-hop among others. Otherwise my main staple diet is classic 60s and 70s rock.

I'm mainly interested in the Nova since its marketed for PC users and that's where all of my music will be coming from. Otherwise I can use a Sony DVD player that I have for the CDs, but I'm not really looking to spend on an expensive CD player. If there is a better amp with a better sound signature then I'm definitely interested. Price is not a factor as of now, but of course within reason.
 

unleash_me

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I'm mainly interested in the Nova since its marketed for PC users and that's where all of my music will be coming from. Otherwise I can use a Sony DVD player that I have for the CDs, but I'm not really looking to spend on an expensive CD player. If there is a better amp with a better sound signature then I'm definitely interested. Price is not a factor as of now, but of course within reason.

How about this?
 
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gopi

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yup, I have got the Nova :) I am able to listen only its dac and pre through headphones and Zeppelin and the amp portion is untested as I am yet to get my speakers. so, the testing is half done and less than 20 hours I would say. My observations till now : the DAC is very very good and I can say for sure a lot better than Dacmagic and beresford I had. It really brings out the details - the ones that I care about - that is the timbre and tonality of the instruments. Particularly it scores in the highs - not at all harsh (needs a little run in though) and all the details are there. Mids are good, but have had fewer moments where I went wow over vocals. Bass is not the usual one and can sound a bit lean at first, but I know for sure that there are portions its going way low. Overall, I am very very happy up until this point. Mostly, I have heard through USB and rest through Marantz DVD passing digital out. Surprisingly, even running low quality 128kbps mp3's have given me few wow moments.
Now, my idea is to pair this with Monitor Audio RS6 and I can't wait for that.
In Decco power amp was the weak link. Need to check for Nova. Its an 80W and you can drive the Usher's fine.
But my thought process would be (given that I haven't heard the power amp section yet) - the DAC would be in the same league as Ushers. The Pre is doing great till now and hopefully if required can upgrade the tubes further taking it to even better levels. The power amp if not in the same league as ushers can be bettered by adding a power amplifier. This kinda defeats the purpose of a single box though.
I can understand the approach of cranky as well, by having a soundcard or a USB transit and a DAC and a regular integerated amplifier.
But I think Nova gives a very good start point. Many will be totally happy with it, particularly with a good easy to drive floorstander. For those seeking things beyond, they can think of rolling of tubes, adding a power amp or mono blocks etc in case the amp section is not top notch;
My budget for everything together was less than a lakh and hopefully my setup comes just under that.
 

gopi

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forgot about naimuniti, a great suggestion as well. And I have heard the Nati 5i (the amp section of uniti) and its a very good amp, but one that is a lot different to Nova. The problem is in India Naim is horribly costly. Nait 5i was 1lakh when it was close to 800 pounds, uniti being 2000 pounds, I expect it to be costing 2.5 lakhs. thats a lot of money.
 

anm

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hey gopi, do you mean your nova + rs6 together are costing under 1 lakh?
How much for the nova and how much for rs6?

regards

yup, I have got the Nova :) I am able to listen only its dac and pre through headphones and Zeppelin and the amp portion is untested as I am yet to get my speakers. so, the testing is half done and less than 20 hours I would say. My observations till now : the DAC is very very good and I can say for sure a lot better than Dacmagic and beresford I had. It really brings out the details - the ones that I care about - that is the timbre and tonality of the instruments. Particularly it scores in the highs - not at all harsh (needs a little run in though) and all the details are there. Mids are good, but have had fewer moments where I went wow over vocals. Bass is not the usual one and can sound a bit lean at first, but I know for sure that there are portions its going way low. Overall, I am very very happy up until this point. Mostly, I have heard through USB and rest through Marantz DVD passing digital out. Surprisingly, even running low quality 128kbps mp3's have given me few wow moments.
Now, my idea is to pair this with Monitor Audio RS6 and I can't wait for that.
In Decco power amp was the weak link. Need to check for Nova. Its an 80W and you can drive the Usher's fine.
But my thought process would be (given that I haven't heard the power amp section yet) - the DAC would be in the same league as Ushers. The Pre is doing great till now and hopefully if required can upgrade the tubes further taking it to even better levels. The power amp if not in the same league as ushers can be bettered by adding a power amplifier. This kinda defeats the purpose of a single box though.
I can understand the approach of cranky as well, by having a soundcard or a USB transit and a DAC and a regular integerated amplifier.
But I think Nova gives a very good start point. Many will be totally happy with it, particularly with a good easy to drive floorstander. For those seeking things beyond, they can think of rolling of tubes, adding a power amp or mono blocks etc in case the amp section is not top notch;
My budget for everything together was less than a lakh and hopefully my setup comes just under that.
 

rastaman

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Guys I'm convinced about going ahead with NaimUniti and Usher Be-718. Any pointers to where I can get NaimUniti in India with bill and warranty would be very much appreciated. Price no bar.

The nearest location listed on their website is HK, but I would leave that to the last. I've mailed Naim too and awaiting their reply too.

Meanwhile if anyone has any information please do share.
 

dinyaar

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Hi
The Naim Importer is Marbin colah from Bbay 9819257839. U can check pricing and availability with him. God be with u when u deal with Coca cola!
Rgds
 

Asit

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Hi Rastaman,

I am going to complicate matter for you. :). Sorry.

While the Naims have a reputation of being dynamic, punchy and fast amps, at the price they are available in India is outrageous, to say the least. At that kind of money you may have many other options, and some of them including an integrated amp and a separate DAC may be at least comparable if not better. I recently upgraded my amp and wanted to consider the Naim integrated, but their price in India even for a previous version scared me away. No matter what is your budget, at every price point there is always a concept of best value for money, and in India Naims being expensive may not be the best value for whatever money they are going for.

Regards.
 

venkatcr

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Though the concept of NaimUniti is interesting, there are many other options available in the market to pipe HD based music to an amp and speakers.

My personal opinion is that it is best to keep your music on a computer. You have much better control than on any unit such as the NaimUniti. Secondly a good CD player plus EAC is one of the best options in the world for ripping a song nearly perfectly. You also have excellent software available for playing the music using a good DAC (internal or external).

Of course all this means a bit of sweat setting things up and a fairly decent knowledge of computers and installation of software. If that deters you, units such as the Naim will be a good option.

Cheers
 

rastaman

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Though the concept of NaimUniti is interesting, there are many other options available in the market to pipe HD based music to an amp and speakers.

My personal opinion is that it is best to keep your music on a computer. You have much better control than on any unit such as the NaimUniti. Secondly a good CD player plus EAC is one of the best options in the world for ripping a song nearly perfectly. You also have excellent software available for playing the music using a good DAC (internal or external).

Of course all this means a bit of sweat setting things up and a fairly decent knowledge of computers and installation of software. If that deters you, units such as the Naim will be a good option.

Cheers

Very interesting observations you make. Well most of my CD and music collection is in fact ripped on the PC and mainly in the form of FLAC and WAV. This will be the primary source and I intend to play music off of my PC. It is for this very reason I've invested in a couple of 2TB HDDs. The thing is I do not have a good speaker system or unit. Till now I've used PC speakers from Creative to listen to music. Now my main requirement at this time is speakers in the form of Usher Be-718 and a good matching amp that will drive them. The Nova from Peachtree stepped in because of its many options and then the NaimUniti was suggested and I'm considering it because it offers a lot more than the Nova does. Primarily this is in the areas of internet radio, FM, and network streaming. Of course if a stereo amp does a better job in terms of the SQ then that's what I will go with since that is indeed my primary requirement. So please make any recommendations or suggestions for good stereo amps to drive the Ushers.
 

grubyhalo

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Very interesting observations you make. Well most of my CD and music collection is in fact ripped on the PC and mainly in the form of FLAC and WAV. This will be the primary source and I intend to play music off of my PC. It is for this very reason I've invested in a couple of 2TB HDDs. The thing is I do not have a good speaker system or unit. Till now I've used PC speakers from Creative to listen to music. Now my main requirement at this time is speakers in the form of Usher Be-718 and a good matching amp that will drive them. The Nova from Peachtree stepped in because of its many options and then the NaimUniti was suggested and I'm considering it because it offers a lot more than the Nova does. Primarily this is in the areas of internet radio, FM, and network streaming. Of course if a stereo amp does a better job in terms of the SQ then that's what I will go with since that is indeed my primary requirement. So please make any recommendations or suggestions for good stereo amps to drive the Ushers.

As already mentioned, I'd consider using the Nova as a pre with an Odyssey Stratos amp hooked to the Ushers. The best bet for you is to check out the speakers hooked to different possible amps at the dealership. You could also try different speakers that could be accommodated within your budget as well.
 

rastaman

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As already mentioned, I'd consider using the Nova as a pre with an Odyssey Stratos amp hooked to the Ushers. The best bet for you is to check out the speakers hooked to different possible amps at the dealership. You could also try different speakers that could be accommodated within your budget as well.

A doubt here. How is a combo of a preamp and a power amp better than an integrated amp? Or is there no difference? In that case will not an integrated amp work out cheaper?

Pardon my ignorance but would appreciate if anyone could explain this.
 

Asit

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A doubt here. How is a combo of a preamp and a power amp better than an integrated amp? Or is there no difference? In that case will not an integrated amp work out cheaper?

Pardon my ignorance but would appreciate if anyone could explain this.

There is no general rule that a seprate pre and power amps will always sound better than an integrated amp. At a given price point, common sense tells you that the integrated amp may sound better because to cover additional costs of two cabinets etc the rest of material may be slightly inferior. But as I said, there is no general rule, and better material (above a certain min standard) does not always translate to better sound.

Generally, integrated amps above 1 Lakh are pretty good, and at that price point you would really struggle to find a good pair of pre and power. I have done this exercise a few months ago, and you can go through my amp thread in the amplifier section (although I warn you it's a huge thread, and you would need a few days to read it through).

As you go up in price, options open up and there exist choices in both approaches and a decision can be arrived only after considering the specific amps in question (regardless of integrated or pre-power separates) and their integration with the speakers in question.
 
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