What is GaN1?
It is a 200 watts per channel power amplifier designed to be the only interface between your variable output digital audio device, such as a Bluesound NODE, and your loudspeakers. 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 the speakers is remarkably short and artifact-free. Do you want to hear all the intricate details of your music that have always been there, but you couldn’t hear before? Then the GaN 1 is for you!
How did GaN 1 come about?
When we developed the Peachtree GaN400 power amplifier, we were so surprised (really impressed) with what we were hearing that we immediately asked ourselves; How do we get this technology in front of more people? The Peachtree GaN400 is a $3,000 400 WPC power amplifier that has seen great success, but it targets a relatively small group of people. What if we created something that sounded just as good, but sold for less than $2,000? Make it 200 WPC (which is still enough for most boxes/rooms/listeners) and provide a single DIGITAL audio input for the main music source people will use in 2022: a digital audio streamer? This would allow us to make it available to a significantly wider audience. So we set off on a project we call “plus one” internally which culminated in the incredible GaN 1 power amplifier.
What makes 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 accurate, high-power reproduction of the Class-D PWM signal with extremely high linearity. This linearity eliminates the need for ANY feedback, ultimately enabling the best possible audio quality by providing clean, clear mid and high frequencies and accurate, solid reproduction of low frequencies. GaN-FETs track complex audio waveforms much more accurately than MOS-FETs, resulting in significantly more transparent and natural sound. The difference is something that even a casual listener can hear and appreciate. The GaN 1 is also designed to NOT require a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The digital audio signal at the input drives the amplifier outputs to drive the speakers. Although DACs have continued to improve over the years, there is no better DAC than NO DAC! This concept is not new, as similar devices often referred to as “Power DACs” caused quite a stir in our industry years ago, but this time using the concept with GaN-FET raises the bar to a whole new level.
Who was GaN 1 made for?
People interested in simple high-performance solutions. If you listen to music using a digital audio device with volume control and an S/PDIF output, such as a Bluesound NODE, then the GaN 1 is for you! Please note that while the GaN 1 only has one coaxial digital input, your input selection may expand depending on the transmitter you use. (The BlueSound NODE, for example, has HDMI e-arc, digital optical, and analog aux inputs available.) In recent years, the widespread adoption of high-resolution and lossless audio among major streaming services has pushed streaming to the top of the list as the preeminent way to critically access and listen to music. It’s never been easier to hear the best versions of your favorite recordings and play them back in your home the way the creators intended.
Why wouldn’t you use GaN 1?
Well, if you NEED to connect more sources than your transmitter 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, CD player, TV, cable box, etc. Do you have a turntable? Sorry, it will not connect to the GaN 1 unless you use a streamer. Do you want to connect your computer to the GaN 1 via USB? Sorry again, unless you also have a coaxial digital audio output, it won’t connect either. To achieve this level of sound quality at this price, we HAD to make this device as simple as possible. Think of the GaN 1 as a race car with an extremely powerful engine, minimal controls, one seat and zero creature comforts, but an absolute thrill to drive! That is the philosophy behind the GaN 1.
Note: Although the GaN 1 only has a coaxial digital audio input, your overall input options may expand depending on the connected device you use. For example, the Bluesound NODE transmitter also includes an HDMI eARC, optical digital audio, and analog input. All of these can be accessed through the BluOS app, greatly expanding the capabilities of a GaN 1-based system.