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First Take: Peachtree Audio Deepblue2

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A couple of days after Thanksgiving, I always have a few friends over for “Friendsgiving”. I think Steve was the one that named it that, in response to a particularly egregious family travesty on the holiday before. In all fairness, Steve’s relationship to his family is an absolute mess, but that’s a long story.

Nick was in the kitchen, giving me a hard time about the stuffing. As usual. Dude cannot let it a single thing go. Two years before, I’d put bacon into the recipe because bacon. Being a vegan — something none of us saw coming — he was livid. Then, with all the full-fat cream I’d dosed the potatoes with, he practically lost his mind. If Tony hadn’t distracted him with that impromptu dance routine, it would have gotten ugly. But the upshot was that Nick almost never left the kitchen until the meal was served.

Luckily, he was a whiz with a knife. He was standing at the counter, a pile of neatly chopped celery and powdered herbs sat in neat little bowls nearby. The tip of that 10″ Kramer chef knife held loosely in his hand, though, was tracking my face as he glowered at me. “And where,” he said, “are the onions?”

“Right — hold on.” Bruce was standing in the pantry door, picking over the spices. “Who really uses ‘star anise’, anyway?” I had to shove him out of the way, grabbed an onion, tossed it over the island to Nick. A grunt, a slap, two cuts, a moment to peel, and then he did that thing that the android Bishop did in the movie Aliens. It’s freaky to watch, but the onion seems to jump into tiny pieces pretty much by itself. A sweep into the bowl, and another arched eyebrow. “We’re gonna need a few more than that if The Stomach shows up.” I walked the bag over to him.

Steve came in from the deck, where the smoker was handling two of the four 20lb birds we were prepping (and that stupid tofurkey thing that Nick brought). Seeing him in that BBQ apron is pretty friggin’ hilarious, though, but that grin on his face spoke volumes for how things were going with the smoker. Bruce had duty over the roasting birds in the oven, a little doojabber in his pocket was feeding him what I could only guess was real-time temp information on the two birds browning gently.

Steven handed me a bottle of Flying Dog Winter Ale, clanked, and took a long pull.

That’s when Tony rolled in.

Let me back up a step.

During the week, UPS dropped off a rather hefty looking package from Peachtree Audio. The all-in-one loudspeaker inside of that package was very black, very tidy and well turned out (I really liked the feel of the matte-finished semi-rubberized top and sides). I plunked it onto the kitchen counter, plugged it in and then realized that I had a Bluetooth speaker on hand — and not another speaker for my Sonos system.

I’m the first to admit it — I’m not usually an “early adopter” when it comes to audio. I still have a turntable and use it regularly, and my amplifier has vacuum tubes sticking out of it. I just don’t care. My Big Rig works, it works great, and I’m absolutely in love with the sound I get out of that system.

I recently picked up a couple of pieces of the Sonos setup because my old Bose Wave Radio finally kicked the bucket. More accurately, it failed to survive a direct hit from a ladder I knocked over while painting. Yes, I paint. I’m not exactly handy, but I have been known to tackle a household task or two. So there.

Anyway, the Sonos system I have is a replacement for what was, essentially, a radio. Which I essentially used for the news. Yep. That’s it. Just news. How sad is that? So, the Sonos system was supposed to help me “do more”, leverage that large library of digital audio files that I’d accumulated (I like vinyl and tubes, yes, but I’m not a caveman), and play Pandora and Spotify. I dropped a Bridge down next to my ISP’s router, and wired a Sonos Connect into my home theater and a Play:5 into the kitchen, in place of that pile of rubble from Bose.

The upgrade from the Bose was instantly and painfully obvious — that little sucker could really fill a room. While the Bose system did weird Bose things with the frequencies down low (muddled the living hell out of the mid-range and mid/bass), the Play:5 hit hard down low and provided a very credible sense of a coherence all the way up the range. It played loud, voices (especially male voices) were clear and articulate, with no boom, bloat, or wool. It wasn’t as dynamic as my Big Rig, or as focused as my A/V system, but it was — and is — entertaining as all hell.

The best part? How crazy-stupid-easy it was to set up. The instructions were on a fold out card, in bold colors and block printing. Push here, hold, et voila. You are done. I was stunned. I was (almost) convinced my dad could do it, unaided. I added Pandora, and I was off.

That was what I use in the kitchen. That was what was not on when Tony made an appearance.

The sound that rolled out, completely unexpectedly, was enormous. Bass was percussive. The volume was way too friggin’ loud. But I knew what was happening when the first couple of bars blasted in.

As he rounded the corner, Rhody and Sam in tow and both shaking their heads, Tony had his arms out wide as if to say “I’m here, let’s get this party started.”

“I’m here, let’s get this party started!” said Tony.

“AC/DC? Really?” this from Bruce.

“Turn that sh*t down,” called Nick, over his shoulder. I’m pretty sure he didn’t so much as twitch during the whole scene, and was still bent on doing extreme violence to vegetables, but I wouldn’t know, I was wiping beer off my face.

“Nice,” I said.

“Sorry,” said Steve. For whatever it’s worth, he did look embarrassed.

Tony came up, plucked a towel off the counter as he passed and used it to dab my face. “Got my present, I see!” His eyebrows were doing that waggling thing that made him seem a little unhinged.

“You noticed?” I said, dryly. He grinned. “Yeah, Bluetooth is pretty nifty. I think more speakers ought to do this, but honestly, most really suck at producing decent fidelity. This little baby,” he said, giving the Deepblue2 a happy little pat, “has a great codec in it that gets a whole lot closer to wire-quality. AptX. Great stuff. Where’s the beer?”

Bruce waved vaguely at Steve.

“Beer me?” Tony, to Steve as Rhody settled in on to a bar stool. Sam dropped a big bag of food next to Nick, “Mind if I cut in?”

Tony dropped a small, black remote on top of the speaker from Peachtree (apparently, he’d been palming it), and followed Steve out on to the deck.

The sound of the Deepblue, now that it was at something less than life-threatening levels, was really remarkable. Sitting on the granite counter, opposite from the working area, the sound was articulate, which is an interesting way to describe sound, but there you go. The bass, particularly, was exceptionally clean and punchy. AC/DC gave way to Lorde, and the bass drops were enough to draw an appreciative set of eyebrows from Rhody and even Bruce was nodding his head — and to the beat, too.

“Most excellent! Friends! Food! Music! This is most excellent indeed!”

I hadn’t been expecting Thor, aka, “The Stomach That Walks”, nor his brother, but their sudden appearance was completely in-character. Planning anything with them was just absurdly difficult.

“This little box is making all of this sound? Most excellent!” The enthusiasm was met with a significantly heartier slap that Tony’s. Given the slapper, it probably wasn’t surprising that the Deepblue gave up any pretense of surviving and promptly scattered its constituent pieces across the counter.

Loki did something weird with his hands and the pieces stood up and spun while he looked at them. There were five drivers in the thing, two 3″ drivers for the mid range, two 1″ tweeters for the highs, all arrayed around a single 6.5″ bass driver. He snapped his fingers, and all the bits flew back together. A moment later, Mozart was playing. I’m pretty sure Loki smirked before stalking out to the deck. “Uh,” was all I managed before Bruce patted me on the shoulder. “I’ll keep an eye on him,” he said. He didn’t look around at my face to see what I’m absolutely certain was narrowed eyes and a dubious look.

Nick, apparently content to have delegated knife duties to Sam, was leaning against the bar clinking beers with Rhody and the God of Thunder. I’m guessing he’d snagged them out of the fridge, but I must have missed that too. He pointed at the miraculously now-whole speaker.

“Sounds better than that other thing,” he said, gesturing vaguely at the Sonos Play:5. “Bigger. More expansive. Bass is way tighter.”

Perhaps in light of those happy comments, the audio chose that exact moment to stutter.

Tony, coming through the door, “Yeah, it does that. I take the Bluetooth transmitter too far away from the speaker and it gets … wonky.” He made a fluttering gesture with his free hand and rolled his eyes on that last word. “Wired is probably best — there’s a mini-jack and an optical in on the backside — but if you’re reasonably close to it, wireless is fine. And I can stream lossless from Tidal, directly off my Galaxy. Too bad about the iPhone though. No AptX. Tsk, tsk.”

I would have said something at this point, and probably was doing so, but a giant android burst into the room, mumbling something about “strings” and “puppets”, cooed at the Deepblue2 and scooped it off the counter as it were some errant baby, and then promptly blasted out of the room. Directly through the ceiling.

The ceiling I had just finished painting. Son of a b****.

Steve rushed in to the room, Tony was mumbling something about “This is all my fault” and somewhere, Loki was laughing his a** off.

This was, of course, exactly when my wife round the corner with Natasha, Pepper and Maria. My dear, long-suffering wife, staring slack-jawed at the hole in the ceiling of the kitchen that led directly through our bedroom above. I could see the laundry pile from here.

Son of a b****.

Natasha said, with a frown, “I don’t care. I’m not eating shawarma today. That place in New York was just hell on my guts.”

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About Scot Hull (979 Articles)

Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.

12 Comments on First Take: Peachtree Audio Deepblue2

  1. I owned the original Deepblue,it was a little harsh on the top end ,but the overall definition made it tolerable.I ordered the Deepblue 2 with high expectations,but boy what a disappointment.I really tried to like this thing,but it was really super harsh,and boxy sounding.After 3 days I couldn`t take it anymore,listening to this thing was like being tortured.. I have been listening to 807v Focal speakers,and Sennheiser HD650`s, for the past year,maybe my ears are spoiled,but at this point I`m not going to doubt my hearing.I really hate the sound of the Deepblue 2,its irritating,and intolerable.Sorry,but it is what it is,but its not audiophile quality.

    • George, I’m guessing that you didn’t really get the new deepblue 2. Can you describe how it was packaged, the remote, and the cables that came with it? Your description of the sound does not match what I hear, or what anyone else who has heard them has said. I loaned them to a friend, here is what he said a few days later:

      “I brought Deep Blue to work and have been pulling people into my office to listen. Everyone has been really impressed. The first thing that hit me was the clarity of the midrange and highs at all volume levels- it’s fantastic. Then the bass hit me. It is a lot deeper than I could have imagined and really tight- no flab at all, it’s really articulated. And everyone says the same thing- first they notice the clarity then are knocked out by the bass. ”

      I bought two deepblue2 systems from the indigogo crowdsourcing project. I don’t use the Bluetooth connection, but run the two of them as a stereo pair. I have a stereo interconnect that spits into two mono cables, one going to each speaker. The mono cable is terminated with an RCA mono to 3.5mm stereo adapter.

      My ears are spoiled too. My main system uses Kharma Ceramique 1.0 Loudspeakers, they are getting old but still sound fantastic.

  2. I am astonished at the quality of sound coming out of the deepblue2!

    New Peachtree products DO seem to come out often. I have been able to get a new piece of equipment at a fantastic price as they sell off the old model. I don’t need the latest and greatest in audio technology.

    Here’s the story on how deepblue2 came to be:

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/deepblue2-the-ultimate-bluetooth-speaker-designed-by-peachtree-audio

    “Shortly after shipping our first production run of the original deepblue, our OEM factory partner unexpectedly went out of business. We not only lost our deposit on the second mass production run, we completely lost the ability to build more units and the expected revenue generated from those sales.

    Most companies would probably retool and ship the same product again. Instead we took this unfortunate circumstance and decided that this was our opportunity to make something even better.”

  3. Peachtree products seem to come out often. That enables me to get a new piece of equipment at a fantastic price as they sell off the old model. I don’t need the latest model. Here’s the story on how deepblue2 came to be:

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/deepblue2-the-ultimate-bluetooth-speaker-designed-by-peachtree-audio

    “Shortly after shipping our first production run of the original deepblue, our OEM factory partner unexpectedly went out of business. We not only lost our deposit on the second mass production run, we completely lost the ability to build more units and the expected revenue generated from those sales.

    Most companies would probably retool and ship the same product again. Instead we took this unfortunate circumstance and decided that this was our opportunity to make something even better.”

  4. “If you wait about 15-20 minutes, you can get…” writes the first poster.

    Let me fill that statement out this way: if you wait about 15-20 minutes, you can get PAST the Thanksgiving Day bullshit story and, I guess, get to the heart of audio. Granted I never waited that long and stopped after about 10 to 20 minutes of reading some pointless irrelevant introduction.

    Editors? Where are they when you need them?

    Yours,

    Laurence

  5. If you wait about 15 20 minutes you can get the next, new and improved deepblue3. Tsk Tsk.

    • Part-Time Audiophile // December 7, 2014 at 8:33 PM //

      That sounds like snark. Unnecessary and misplaced, to boot.

      FWIW, the Deepblue2 sounds pretty amazing. I’m glad I bought two.

      • I’m picking on Peachtree because to me they seem to update or upgrade a lot of their gear rather frequently, in hi-fi terms. It bends me out of shape to see a new and improved version not long after the old and now discontinued version. For deepblue, I think it was one year between version 1 and 2. Version 3, I’m sure is in the works. Maybe they’ll wait two years. There’s always ebay to unload your old gear if you must have the new gear, I guess.

        On the other hand, take Parasound, as one example, who can go up to 10 years between upgrading some of their gear. That’s where my loyalty lies.

  6. David Zigas // December 7, 2014 at 2:59 PM //

    @Gavin Hadley — LOL. Remember the old saying: “No highs, no lows. Must be a Bose.”

  7. Gavin Hadley // December 7, 2014 at 9:34 AM //

    The highlight of this journal entry was the demise of the wave radio. The demise of anything Bose evokes the warm and fuzzies..

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