As a noob, the Nova seems like a sensible first step into the world of hi-fi. I like the multiple digital and analog possibilities. The DAC will enable me to use my IMac as a source, and at 80 wpc, the integrated amp will be adequate to drive most of the speakers that I'm looking at. Seems that it would also serve well as a pre-amp to accommodate future upgrades.
Any flaws in this reasoning? Any downside to the Nova? Would it drive a pair of Maggie MMG's?
I heard the Peachtree one time driving a pair of the Klipsch, Palladium bookshelf speakers. I believe they told me the amp was 40 watts though so maybe a smaller model than what you are considering. I was impressed with the sound of the amp for the price and how it drove the Palladium. However, the high end is noticeably rolled off, especially with the tube engaged. The model I heard gave the option of the tube or solid state. I would recommend a listen or buying from a retailer who offers a return policy. A friend of mine was considering the Nova but when he heard it he decided to keep looking. You might also consider JoLida, Shanling or Cayin but I'm not sure if any are as versatile as the Nova.
I'm using the peachtree i'decco with gallo strada speakers in my office system. No problem with high end or volume. Bass is fine (speakers near wall). However, the peachtree has a lot of solid state sound (thin, flat, lacking saturated textures). OK sound, but not tube/analogue sound. But then, IMO, solid state and/or digital sound is fately flawed.