Some audiophiles combine their home theater and 2-channel systems. If they have a modest AV receiver, but want to improve the sound of their system, especially for 2-channel playback, one possibility is to use a separate, quality stereo integrated amp to drive the front left and right channels, with their best 2-channel sources connected directly to it. The receiver's front left and right preamp outputs are then connected to one of the line level inputs of the integrated amp for home theater use. This can be made more direct, with less chance of messing with the calibrated home theater volume levels, if the integrated amp offers a fixed-level, pass-through input (independent of the integrated amp's volume control) to which the receiver's front channel preamp outputs can be connected.
The new Nova from Peachtree audio offers that. It also offers a myriad of other features, including a tube output stage for the preamp section, three analog inputs, an on-board 24/96 upsampling D/A converter with multiple digital inputs, and a USB digital input for direct connection to a home computer music server. The amp section is rated at 80Wpc, and the amp is also equipped with a Class A headphone amp. Peachtree Audio claims that the quality of the Nova's low-jitter D/A converter alone matches that of more expensive dedicated D/A converters. All that for $1199 in Black, Rosewood, and Cherry.