If the heart of a car is the engine, the mainspring of an audio system is the amplifier. Just like a heart, the amplifier is a muscle that powers your music. And, just like a car, it can come in different wrappers. One very sweet packaging job comes from Peachtree Audio who has their Decco integrated amplifier.
Amplifiers come in three basic configurations: amplifier, integrated amplifier and receiver. The amplifier is only power, feed it a signal and it gives back more of the same. An integrated amplifier contains a preamplifier in the same chassis. The preamplifier does low-level amplification and serves as the dispatcher for your system, routing signals and letting you choose what you want to hear. The receiver adds an AM/FM tuner to the box.
Peachtree has taken the integrated route. You have what you need to get the job done but are not overwhelmed with clutter. In fact, in true audiophile tradition, the controls are positively sparse. There are six buttons and a dial on the faceplate. That’s it for options. What makes this elegant box stand out is how computer friendly it is. Input options include USB, coaxial digital, optical and analog so the Decco can handle whatever your computer can throw. USB is a huge benefit as it allows you to bypass your computer’s soundcard and let the Decco’s built in DAC (digital audio converter), handle the conversion from bits to Brahms. It is also easy to use as Steve Guttenberg found while reviewing the unit for his blog.
The Decco delivers a warm, rich sound thanks to it’s tube based preamplifier and reasonable 50 watts per channel of power. Tied to efficient speakers, that is enough power to fill any office or small room. The Decco is also a pretty piece with curved edges and an optional real wood case. So you get good power, great looks and it plays well with others. What’s not to love?