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A few hours after the iStreamer announcement, David Solomon's e-mail arrived. Their new Peachtree Audio iDac [$999] was nearing ship readiness. For many, this could be the iNeed or iWant component that says uWin to the iGeneration. The iDac packs the digital-direct iPod dock pioneered by the iDecco, strips away the latter' speaker drive and preamp functionality (power amp and volume control), then bulks up on digital inputs instead to include 1 x galvanically isolated 24/96 USB, 2 x transformer-coupled 24/192 S/PDIF coax and 2 x Toslink to support a plethora of devices like your CDP, PC, Sonos or similar. There are also composite and S-video outputs for Apple TV and iPod video.
The heart of the peachy matter supporting a total of six digital sources once again is Sabre's ESS 9016 32-bit chip on a 450-part multi-layer converter board with 11 regulated sub power supplies to produce a claimed A-weighted 118dB S/N ratio at the 2Vrms analog outputs. Measured jitter at the master clock apparently is less than 3ps. The linear power supply is internal to the 3.5 x 9 x 10" enclosure and total weight is just 8lbs.
For those wanting a more powerful iDecco for an all-in-one desktop solution, Peachtree now also has the 80wpc iNova with their digital-direct iPod dock.
It's gratifying to see this new crop of i-enabled audio devices which are designed and built by our cottage industry for best possible sound/budget factor. It allows audiophile parents to set up their offspring with an ambitious first performance rig without spending silly money or insisting they spin any old-fashioned silver discs.
And who knows. Some parents might even give the iPod a chance for one of their own setups. Perhaps something as simple as Peachtree's musicBox table radio offers just the right set of features? Any way you look at it, Peachtree's expanded stable of digital-direct iPod devices with audiophile-approved 32-bit silicon has us hardcore 'philes run out of excuses to embrace the iPod. Shall we get with it then? I'd say so. Let's!