Attention streamers: This one is for you! Please join us in welcoming the Peachtree Audio GaN 1
What is the GaN 1?
It is a 200 watt-per-channel power amplifier designed to be the sole interface between your variable output digital audio device, like a Bluesound NODE, and your speakers. The GaN 1 is a simple, pure and cost-effective audio solution. Connect the GaN 1 to a streamer and a pair of speakers. That's it...no DAC, no preamp and no input switching. The signal path from the music to your speakers is remarkably short and free from artifacts. Want to hear all of the intricate details in your music that have always been there, but you couldn't quite hear them before? Then the GaN 1 is for you!
How did the GaN 1 come to be?
When developing the Peachtree GaN400 Power Amplifier, we were so taken aback (blown away really) with what we were hearing, we immediately asked ourselves; how do we get this technology in front of more people? The Peachtree GaN400 is a $3,000 stand-alone power amplifier with 400 WPC that has been wildly successful, but it addresses a relatively small group of people. What if we created something that sounded every bit as good, but sold for under $2,000? Make it 200 WPC (which is still plenty for most speakers/rooms/listeners) and provide a single DIGITAL audio input for the primary source of music people use in 2022 - a digital audio streamer? This would allow us to put it within reach of a significantly wider audience. So we set off on a project we called "plus one" internally which culminated in the incredible GaN 1 power amplifier.
What makes the GaN 1 so special?
First and foremost is the GaN-FET amplifier module. It has several inherent advantages in a power amplifier that even the best MOS-FET designs simply cannot achieve. A GaN-FET power stage provides a precise high-power reproduction of the Class-D PWM signal with extremely high linearity. This linearity eliminates the need for ANY feedback, ultimately allowing for the best possible audio quality providing clean, clear middle and high frequencies and a tight, solid reproduction of low frequencies. GaN-FETs track the complex audio waveforms so much more accurately than MOS-FETs resulting in significantly more transparent and natural sound. The difference is something even a casual listener can hear and appreciate. The GaN 1 is also designed so that it does NOT even require a digital-to-analog-converter (DAC). The digital audio signal at the input directs the amplifier outputs to drive the speakers. Although DACs have continued to improve over the years, there is no DAC better than NO DAC! This concept is not a new one as similar devices often referred to as "Power DACs" made quite a splash in our industry years ago, but this time around, using the concept with GaN-FETs raises the bar to an entirely new level.
Who did we make the GaN 1 for?
People who are interested in simple high-performance solutions. If you listen to music utilizing a digital audio device with volume control and a S/PDIF output - like a Bluesound NODE - the GaN 1 is for you! Keep in mind that while the GaN 1 only has the one coaxial digital input your input selection may be expanded depending on what streamer you use. (The BlueSound NODE, for example, has HDMI e-arc, optical digital, and analog aux inputs available.) Over the past few years, the widespread adoption of lossless and high-resolution audio among the major streaming services has pushed streaming to the top of the list as the preeminent way to access and listen to music critically. It has never been easier to hear the very best versions of your favorite recordings and reproduce them in your home the way the way the creators intended.
Peachtree president Andrew Clark shares his experience of living with a GaN 1. Now including notes on using a subwoofer in a NODE/GaN 1 setup.
Why wouldn't I use the GaN 1?
Well, if you NEED to connect more sources than your streamer provides, the GaN 1 is probably not for you. It literally has a single coaxial digital audio input and you can connect ANY device that has a variable coaxial digital audio output: a streamer, a CD player, a TV, a cable box, and so forth. Have a turntable? Sorry, it won't connect to the GaN 1 unless you use a streamer. Want to connect your computer to the GaN 1 via USB? Sorry again, unless it also has a coaxial digital audio output it won't connect either. To achieve this level of sound quality at this price point, we HAD to make this device as simple as possible. Think of the GaN 1 like a race car with an extremely powerful engine, buttoned down suspension, minimal controls, one seat and zero creature comforts, but an absolute thrill to drive! That is the philosophy behind the GaN 1.
Note: While the GaN 1 only has one coaxial digital audio input, your overall input options may be expanded depending on the connected device you use. For example, the Bluesound NODE streamer also includes an HDMI eARC, optical digital audio, and analog input. These can all be accessed via the BluOS app, greatly expanding the capabilities of a GaN 1-based system.
ALL GaN AMPS ARE NOT THE SAME!
What is the competition for the GaN 1?
The short answer is that we are not aware of anyone else offering this level of sound quality at this price. All of the other GaN power amplifier solutions currently available are quite a bit more expensive, including our own GaN400. And although there are many great integrated amplifiers in this price range that have a wider array of input and output connections, NONE of them sound nearly as good as the GaN 1. If you want both the connectivity and the performance please check out our preDAC + GaN400 combination.
Is GaN the future?
We ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE it is. We see no other technology that has come of age in the past decade that improves the quality of what we are hearing so significantly. Not to mention the improvements in power usage and packaging that this technology brings to the table. It is a game changer. Are we giddy for GaN? Yes we are, and we make no apologies for it!
Key Features at a Glance
- 200 WPC state-of-the-art GaN-FET module
- Zero feedback design
- Regulated 400-Watt power supply
- Coaxial S/PDIF input with native support up to 24-bit/192kHz
- DAC-less design
- Power on/off trigger input
- All aluminum chassis
- No cooling fans
- Dimensions (WxDxH)
11.8 x 14.0 x 3.3 inches
300 x 355 x 85 mm
Charles Umberger reports on the GaN 1
"The GaN 1 … provides a simpler, cleaner signal path than traditional DAC, preamp, power amp setups. "
"It’s a beautiful marriage of simplicity and performance."
" … the Peachtree GaN 1 introduced a level of realism I’d never experienced."
"Recordings I had heard many times were transformed by the GaN 1. I found them to be much more engaging."
"Whereas a good system produces a 3- dimensional soundstage that a listener could envision, the GaN 1 gives that soundstage texture, substance and intimacy. "
GaN 1 review and unboxing from Mr Chibs