Gold Note Tuscany Gold cartridge – £2795

Top of the range Moving Coil with silver coils.

Amazing detail and even-handedness.

Very neutral.

Will consider exchange for a Miyajima cartridge which has a deliberately warmer tone.

Not run-in yet – less than 50 hours
£6200 retail.

The Tuscany Gold phono cartridge features the smallest, highest precision micro-coils Gold Note has ever produced. Featuring one of the shortest and stiffest cantilevers available, the Tuscany Gold is able to guarantee great tracking ability that allows the cartridge to be matched with almost any tonearm on the market. The revised body of the Tuscany Gold made of 7000 silicon alloy injected with semi-fluid polymers provides total vibration control for a top audio performance. Due to its excellent internal impedance of 40 ohm the Tuscany Gold can be easily matched with MC active phono preamps without any Step-Up transformer.
MC Low Output Phono Cartridge
– Output level: 0.15mV
– Frequency response: 10-70000Hz
– Impedance: 40ohm
– Suggested load: >400ohm
– Compliance: 15×10-6cm/dyne
– Channel separation: >35dB
– Suggested tracking weight: 1.4 to 2.0g
– Cantilever: extra short magnesium alloy
– Diamond: Super Micro Elliptical shape
– Mounting hole diamond distance: 5mm
– Total weight: 11g
– Body: solid block machined hardened aluminium and Sustarin
– Color: black body with gold logo and name

Fake Balanced Leads

Many balanced leads available in the HI-FI World are not – one earth pin is either not connected internally or bridged in a pseudo-balanced way. Glue-up plug barrel – Hey Presto!

Gold Note PH-11 MM/MC phono stage, Ex-dem – £2695

Gold Note PH-11 MM/MC 3 box phono stage – ex-dem.

Quadruple battery powered MM/MC state of the art phono stage with intelligent battery charging system. Amazing ‘inky black’ background silences.

Same circuit as the PH-10 but PH-11 adds higher quality componentry, superior outboard power supply and intelligent charging system.

Great insight into the musical performance – amazing piece of kit.

Retail is £3995.


Reflecting back on Stereophile’s Croft Integrated review

I have had many Croft Series 7 hybrids through my hands over the years and they do not run hot. They run warm as owners will attest. Yet, when being technically measured by Stereophile, they managed to make the Croft Integrated amplifier run ‘very hot’ and considered it a fair report.

My suspicion is that a music signal is less stressing to some amp topologies than the ‘steady-state one third power signal into a simulated load’ used by the technical reviewers.

So a topology of amp which tolerates this will have a technical advantage over one that does not. Of course, if you like to listen to a single note all the time….

This is one way in which you can achieve the contradictory situation where the reviewers rave about the amp, as occurred with the Croft Integrated, while the technician finds fault.
You can bet the Integrated did not run hot at the reviewer’s houses (before and after the measurements were taken) when sounding so musical.
As is often the case their testing is not what they think it is. If it ran hot on test bench they were overloading it in some way and inducing distortion.
The trouble with this kind of ‘science’ is that readers of such reviews tend to feel obliged to bow to the measurement facts unquestioningly.
Many years ago Glenn Croft said, ‘When you know what you’re measuring, measure it!’
It seems the measurements were taken from the Tape Out rather than the speaker outputs which would have loaded-down the amplifier’s output and induced the 6db roll-off.
Let’s not forget that Total Harmonic Distortion is also overstated as many Jap amps had vanishingly low figures such as 0.01% distortion and sounded rather thin and unengaging in reviews. In the meantime most speakers distort by about 33%…
If you prefer a more objective perspective regarding magazine technical measurements, Steve Elford of Vertex AQ cites that:
“Fourier transform theorem or FFT software is the wrong way to measure because it’s in the frequency domain and is an iterative process over time so you only see the presence of constant sine waves. By analysing the signal in the time domain, only then can you see the tracking error.”

10/10/15 Further thoughts on Vertex.

As mentioned I have loaned out all my Vertex gear to a customer for a 1 week trial period.

A pair of large 3 way speakers with 12 inch bass drivers are out on demonstration to another customer who has concluded that they need to be played too loudly to be at their best in his set-up. In my room, with Vertex installed and the same Croft amplification, there is no such problem and they play excellently at low volumes – interesting…

Thoughts on Vertex equipment.

One of the first things that strikes you about the Vertex range is that it is fantastic at controlling boom levels * – my 10.5 ft wide demo room with suspended floor can now work with unfeasibly large speakers even with 15 inch bass drivers thanks to Vertex.

I have loaned out all my Vertex gear to a customer for a 1 week trial period and the boom is back and unbearable forcing me to change back to mini-monitors!

I remember this being a big issue before discovering this brand.

(* Actually, the first thing that strikes most people trying the Vertex gear is the better image placement/separation and lower noise floor. But each system is different and my main issue had been boom levels and the need to demonstrate various speakers of all sizes. )

New Gold Note PH-11 phono stage .


The new PH-11 is Gold Note’s flagship reference MM/MC phono preamplifier featuring a high current battery power supply with automatic temperature stabilizer to produce the best audio performance.

It is a fully-balanced three-chassis unit with four batteries and an intelligent charging power supply.

(A sophisticated system automatically recharges all four batteries exactly when needed without interrupting the unit’s operation.)

This massive power supply is able to release great dynamics with any kind of phono cartridge.

The extremely silent background, enabled partly by the use of batteries, allows the unit to amplify phono cartridges with outputs even lower than 0.1mV  with ease producing magnificent audio quality.

The PH-11 features Gold Note’s proprietary fully balanced four times dual-stabilized mono amp design stage.

The unit enables easy MC phono cartridge matching and can be supplied with two pairs of loading plugs to find the perfect match in any condition. All phono cartridges with an internal impedance below 10 ohms would normally need an external step-up transformer.

Compared to the best step-ups the PH-11 retains focus and definition at the frequency extremes rather than going slightly out of focus and is extremely detailed.

It works well with all MCs while a step-up can produce enormous variations in sound quality if output and loading are not spot-on for a given cartridge – completely choking the quality of a good MC.

More information here:

Gold Note PH11