Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

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To Hans Wetzel,

I just read your review of the Arcam FMJ A19 integrated amplifier. I have Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 loudspeakers and a Pro-Ject 1XPression III turntable. Would you choose the Arcam (with its lack of digital inputs, but with a good MM stage) or would you choose the Peachtree nova65SE (with its limited [number of] digital inputs and lack of phono stage)?

Thank you,
Jason Burkett
United States

That is an interesting question. For a few reasons, I would lean towards the Arcam. You don’t mention having a digital source, and the Pro-Ject would obviously link up nicely with the A19. Further, having just reviewed the Sonus Faber Venere S, which I’m guessing is voiced pretty similarly to the rest of the Venere line, I think the Peachtree might not be the best option. I admittedly haven’t heard the nova65SE, but I have heard multiple other Peachtree products and found their sound to teeter towards the lively, vibrant end of the spectrum -- so much so that some might find the sound bright. The Arcam, meanwhile, is a bit more cultured sounding, with a fuller midrange and a touch of warmth to it. Moreover, a good digital-to-analog converter (DAC) can be had very cheaply these days, so adding an external DAC in the future would be quite easy. For these reasons, and a few others, I’d take the Arcam and not look back. . . . Hans Wetzel