There’s a new little star in the constellation of our cartridges: the name is Vasari, the sound is…well, just read the review by Jeff Dorgay on this month’s issue of TONE Audio if you want to find out:
“With decent cartridges in the four-figure range, what’s the new audio enthusiast to do? Four words: Gold Note Vasari Gold. And you can get one for $385.”
The brand new DS-1000 is our take on music streamers, we suggest to use it in pair with QNAP or SynologyNAS and your favourite UPnP music server (like MinimServer) to achieve the best reproduction quality.
You can also use DS-1000 to enjoy TIDAL or Qobuz simply installing the MConnect Player app (see MConnect for iOS and MConnect for Android) on your smartphone and tablet.
Visit www.qobuz.com/goldnote to try the service for free with a 1 Month trial – please remember that Qobuz is not worldwide available yet.
Now DS-1000 is also on 6moons:
“DS-1000 fears no competition. It is a very complete versatile machine with an unusually extensive upgrade path […] From a sonic standpoint, what else can be said than mission accomplished? Elegance, vividness, resolution, transparency and great dynamics honor the essence of music.”
I write to share a review of the new Enterprise. The review highlights our great achievements producing compact loudspeakers that outperform loudspeakers twice their size from the standpoint of bass reproduction, soundstaging/imaging, and value.
Both the PSB T2 and the Vienna Mozart Grand SE are roughly twice the size of the Enterprise. Moreover, The PSB T2 has (3) 5.25 inch woofers. The Vienna Acoustics has (2) 6.5 inch woofers. The Enterprise has (2) 4.5 inch woofers.
The reviewer found the Vienna Mozart Grand SE is similar to the Enterprise in the overall beauty of its tonality and color, but its bass is not as extended, as taut, or as accurate as the Enterprise’s. And Vienna Mozart Grand SE doesn’t produce the large, layered soundstage that the Enterprise renders both in height and width. He noted that the “PSB Imagine T2 has very good macro-dynamics, but its overall presentation is not as silky smooth/musical as the Enterprise.”
And concluded that, The Enterprise will compete with speakers at least double their price and outperform much more expensive stand-mounted monitors both in soundstaging and bass extension.”
Tuscany cartridges feature an extra-thin Micro Ridge diamond tip developed with Adamant-Namiki, the worlds most famous professional Diamond manufacturer: the special multi faced shape cut guarantees the best deep vinyl groove contact possible.
The A-3 XL monitor is a 2 way bass reflex bookshelf loudspeaker featuring a 6” treated carbon fibre-coated paper mid-woofer complementing a 1” elliptical silk dome tweeter.
The A3-XL features two thick side aluminium panels recessed into the cabinet which are anchored with threaded steel bars optimally tuned to let the panels work as “Virtual Passive Radiators” enabling a greater bass extension. The panels are available in brushed black or silver aluminum finish and also available with the new GN textured “Luis Vitton” style exclusive finish.
The 6” recessed mid-woofer is made by SEAS under strict Gold Note specifications. It is a specially treated carbon fibre-coated paper unit providing an exceptionally low and powerful frequency response while retaining a fast transient response – this enables a particularly natural music reproduction.
As a result of the custom design the 1” elliptical silk dome tweeter features an extra rigid aluminium flange that reproduces clean and smooth high frequencies even at high volume pressure levels.
The A-3 XL`s front double bass reflex design allows the speaker to play placed on stands or even on a shelf close to the rear wall. The custom aluminium reflex pipes are designed to minimize turbulence and unwanted sound interactions enabling a very natural, powerful and detailed playback.
DEMONSTRATOR PAIR AVAILABLE FOR EX-DEM SALE PRICE – please ring or e-mail me for details.
Main features: 2 way Double Front Bass Reflex Bookshelf speaker
Frequency response: 45-20000Hz ±3dB
Sensitivity: 86dB SPL 2,83Vs/1m
Tweeter: 1” soft dome driver
Midwoofer: 6” paper cone driver horn loaded
Suggested power amplifier: 20-120W
Max power handling: 100W RMS
Impedance: 8ohm nominal
Crossover: 2500Hz at 12dB/Octave
Binding posts: Bi-Wiring GOLD NOTE BP-01 Rhodium without Nickel
Crossover: components on demand
Dimensions: 190mm L x 285mm H x 350mm D
Weight: 18kg packed
Black Glossy Gran Piano, White Matt or Real Leather finish on demand
1 x 50K TKD 2CP-2511. Silver tracks. Great channel matching. £40 (£80 retail)
1 x 50K TKD 2CP-2511. 1 wafer removed because of faulty track. Other channel wafer fine. TKD do not supply replacement wafers! Works fine as a mono. £25
1 x 250K TKD 2P-2511S. Superb channel matching. Stepped. £60
3 x 100K 128Y stereo (possibly Bourns) metal frame potentiometers. Stepped. £40
1 x 100K Alps Black in good condition. £85
1 x 500K Alps Black stepped.
Musical Fidelity A5cr power amp (255wpc into 8ohms). High damping factor and powerful enough to drive most difficult loads and low-sensitivity designs such as ATC, B&W etc.
£700 of upgrades by Musical Fidelity expert John Sampson who worked for MF.
The modifications achieve a more natural (i.e. less ‘synthetic’) yet more detailed sound.
Matched low noise driver stage transistors.
Upgraded feedback diodes.
Upgraded power supply capacitors.
Upgraded driver stage supply capacitors.
Upgraded decoupling caps.
Audio grade Bypass caps in all supply and signal caps.
Audio grade Bypass caps on choke regulation.
Burr brown Op-amps.
High current Power cabling and internal speaker cabling.
Additional upgrades are the speaker terminals. The standard terminals fitted on the A5cr are made of brass with gold flash finish . Now has WBT Nextgen terminals, the Nextgen terminals are made of 100% high quality Copper.
Dimensions (HxWxD in cm): 12.5 x 44 x 41.5
A superior quality dual transmission line loaded sound bar with full-range drivers (from the acclaimed Sampans) and built-in 100w amplifier. No need for a subwoofer or separate amplifier.
Can be used under a TV or with a laptop or PC. Fits neatly on a desk.
This fabulous new Gold Note deck is now on demonstration with the Tuscany Gold cartridge and the new PH-11 phono stage.
The sculpted, dense olive wood lower plinth adds an authority to the sound and the new pulse-width modulating Fiorino TSC speed control/power supply gives great pitch and dynamics offering the advantages of AC set-ups which major on torque together with the detail-enhancing silent background DC set-ups are renowned for.
DEMONSTRATOR AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT EX-DEM PRICE – please ring or e-mail me for details.
With their renowned range of support platforms, mains leads, mains filters, distribution boxes, analogue/digital interconnects and speaker cables they offer a comprehensive strategy to get the very best from your system. A compelling argument can be made for the purchase of this range of products before the upgrading of ancillaries! Introduce them into a decent system in a systematic way and the benefits are vast. They tackle head-on the increasing problems of RFI (getting worse almost daily! ) and also microphony and vibration within components and from their external environment.
While many customers go for the Jaya filter as a quick fix to their mains problems, there is a logical order to proceed which includes starting with a Kinabalu support platform under the source component. By getting the supports right, the effects of their filters, mains leads, distribution block, interconnects and speaker leads all become more obvious.
They have produced a comprehensive guide book which discusses a hierarchical approach to these problems.
They are ingenious designs ranging from platforms which sink vibrations and energy from within a piece of equipment placed on them while blocking unwanted energy from outside getting in.
Mains filtration devices that work in parallel with the mains rather than in series and therefore avoid robbing equipment of its dynamics while minimising interference.
Interconnects and speaker cables with in-line boxes which ‘sink’ the vibrations from transformers and valves from travelling to the next component in the chain.
Steve at Vertex does an impressive demonstration where he scrapes the end of a conventional interconnect plug while you listen at the other end of the lead with a stethoscope. The rubbing and vibration is plain to hear whereas with a Vertex lead this unwanted interference is inaudible, clearly showing how conventional interconnects let electrical and mechanical vibrations pass along the component chain. Once auditioned in your system, the results prove that motors, valves and transformers produce mechanical noises which travel down the wires which link your system and are amplified like the music signal itself!
I admire the fact that they have formed a knowledge alliance between themselves, Nordost and Acuity to technically measure the effects of their products. There have been too many unknown facts about mechanical energy control up till now. With their Aerospace and military background, Vertex have proved they have the experience to put together a cohesive solution.
In sonic terms, there is a greater background silence and more space and accuracy in the placement of instruments. A once boomy bass becomes focused and followable, a bright top end gains refinement and definition.
The latest Hi-Fi equipment tends to be very detailed and dynamic and Vertex kit can really help control these greater energy demands.
I like the fact that Vertex solutions can bring the best out of any philosophy; valve designs becoming tighter and more focused, solid-state sweeter with better tone. This is proof in itself that it does what it claims.
GOLD NOTE, (recently rebranded from Goldenote) is an Italian company who make everything in-house from turntables, tonearms, cartridges, CD players through to loudspeakers. The best of ‘lifestyle’ in terms of style but with sonics and musicality of the highest order.
They produce beautifully crafted arms from aircraft-grade aluminium and titanium. The top tubes are machined in varying thickness of titanium to cut down resonances. They make both unipivot and gimbal bearing designs of up to 12 inches in length. Their turntables use AC 24 pole motors (for better dynamics than DC motors) and combine acrylic plinths with brass spacers and counterweights. The bearing design comprises a PTFE slug (the slipperiest substance known to man) in a brass sleeve which gives a highly detailed but natural sound owing to there being no metal to metal contact. Their cartridge range is smooth and detailed and starts with an entry-level Moving Magnet followed by two High-Output Moving-Coils and three Moving Coils of the highest order.
The new Micro-Line comprises of the compact CD-7, DAC-7, HP-7 headphone amp and pre-amp, AP-7 integrated amp, M-7 mono amp, PH-7 phono pre-amp, and PSU-7 external power supply. All in compact sized casework 200mm L x 80mm H x 260mm D. Best Micro-system components available? We think so.
They voice their digital products by comparing them to similarly priced turntables in their range resulting in an amazing tone. Consequently products like the Stibbert valve CD player has been considered amongst the world`s best by Harry Pearson of Stereophile.
An excellent amplifier range, the top models of which are 60% handmade employing inductive power supplies, tastefully backlit VU meters and remote-controls.
Finally, their speakers respect the tradition of pre 90’s Spendor, Rogers and Harbeth with thin-wall construction – actually of varying thickness – making them transmit sound like a musical instrument. The back panels are screw-mounted to decouple vibrations in the time-honoured fashion which made for such musical engagement all but lost in most modern MDF designs by designers who think over-focused detail is everything even if it means losing the natural reverb and decay of a note.
This company deserves far greater recognition. They produce attractive modern designs which simultaneously respect the greatness of past classics; they are forward-thinking artisans!
THE CROFT ETHOS IS TO OFFER HIGH PERFORMANCE AUDIO AT SENSIBLE PRICES.
The current CROFT range consists of valve pre-amplifiers and hybrid power amplifiers with valve input stage and mosfet output stage. Glenn Croft has over 35 years of experience refining truly innovative valve circuits at very reasonable cost. They are hand-built and meticulously point-to-point wired.
NATURAL IN TONE AND BODY – I have owned Croft equipment since my teens when I purchased a Micro to use as a pre-amp into the original Nad 3020. (For more on this see the `About Me` section.) I admire the fact that the tonality of all his products is extremely natural while rhythm and timing are spot on. Over the years I kept coming back to this range having compared many competitors’ products and found them lacking. Glenn’s genius lies in his ability to simplify a circuit to the point where transparency comes to the fore. Workmanship is superb.
There are three pre-amplifiers in the current range plus the Linestage versions of each model. (The Basic has been discontinued.) Pre-amp gain level can be specified for those with very powerful power amps or power amps with a particularly low input impedance or very sensitive speakers e.g. horns.
1) The Croft Micro 25
2) The Micro 25 R
3) The 2 box 25RS.
They all have separate volume controls for left and right channels and a mute switch. The ‘R’ stands for Regulation and gives more grip across the whole frequency spectrum; bass is more controlled and cymbals more focused. ‘R’ versions also have a more refined sound because phono sockets are higher quality and resistors in signal paths and key capacitors are upgraded. The R versions also have an extra transformer for the regulation circuit.
ALL MODELS CAN BE ORDERED WITH SINGLE STEREO POT FOR NO EXTRA COST.
I OFFER A REMOTE-CONTROL OPTION.
Cosmetically the various models use similar casework. Croft do not believe in fancy extrusions which waste world resources and make Hi-Fi akin to jewellery. These are not the old Micro circuits in a new case; they are quicker on their feet and more focussed.
The 25 pre-amps employ a type of hybrid design with an SSD doing the job of the usual cathode follower valve. Glenn says that “hybrid” is not really a correct description as the Mosfet is not directly in the signal path.
Prices range from £500 to £2800.
INTERNAL IMAGES CROFT TO FOLLOW SHORTLY …
The hybrid power amps from the Twinstar to the present Series 7 range are designed similarly to his classic output transformerless valve circuits with one leg of the mosfet going directly to the speaker terminal. No biasing is needed.
Better tone and naturalness than a typical 2A3 or 6550 valve amp using current production output valves IMO. The Series 7 range are hybrid in design using improved circuitry over the previous Croft Polestar/Twinstar range of amplifiers. The 45w Series 7 sounds significantly more powerful than the 100w Primare A30 and 50w Rega Brio R in my experience.
The different models are cosmetically identical, but with different configurations under the lids – twice the work and components from e.g. 7 to 7R, twice again from 7R to 7R monos. Prices range from £700 for the Series 7 to £2800 for the 7R mono-blocks. The power amps comprise:
1) The Croft Series 7
2) The Series 7R
3) The 7 mono-blocks
4) The 7R mono-blocks. (Again ‘R’ means regulated.)
These are designed to work with the Micro 25 pre-amps and complement each other perfectly. Both pre and powers are phase-inverting.
1) The Croft Acoustics RIAA phono stage The RIAA phono stage is MM uses 2 valves. Price: £500.
2) The RIAA R with regulated power supply and non-inductive resistors in key signal positions. Extra transformer. 3 valves. Price: £1000.
3) The 2 box RIAA RS with really beefy outboard power supply, further regulation and higher component quality. Price: £2000.
Croft Integrated versions.
The Integrateds have a passive linestage as there is no room for an active buffer stage valve as in the 25 pre-amps. (N.B. Some sellers websites claim the Integrated is a Series 7 and 25 in one box…)
1) The Integrated Line
2) The Integrated Phono
3) The Integrated R which is line only has no space for a phono stage.
Probably the best value for money valve amplification on the audio market. Nearly 40 years of experience hand-building point-to-point wired products. Croft aim for sonic neutrality which through the medium of valves imparts depth, dimensionality and a superb tone. The phono stages are simply brilliant and with Croft amplification digital comes to life. Made in the UK with a 2 year warranty.