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: http://www.goldnote.it/wordpress/ph-11/

Gold Note PH11


Gorgeous Mediterraneo Turntable by Gold Note.

This fabulous Gold Note deck is available ex-dem with the  Tuscany Gold cartridge and the PH-11 phono stage.

The sculpted, solid walnut 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 e-mail me for details.

See link for more details: http://www.goldnote.it/wordpress/mediterraneo/

Mediterraneo Turntable

Making the most of your Async USB audio DAC

If you want to make the most of your async audio DAC, put together a powerful computer which runs silently. You can leave out the graphics card which has no positive affect on the Music at all.
A PC running Windows 7 and JRiver Media Player will work just fine. You can tweak these further by adding a program such as JPlay which optimises the processes on the computer ensuring that priority threads are available for music playing.

Better still you can have the convenience of your smart phone as the remote control – this truly is so very handy to use. Not forgetting also the amazing amount of musical material for you to explore now that you are running from a Computer connected to the Internet. You don’t get a shabby performance from Spotify (though variable from track to track) – it certainly allows you to browse thousands of musical catalogues where you will get to hear music you enjoy that you never had the chance to explore so instantly before.

Its gets more complicated – but in short – the more processor and memory you have in your PC the better. It would not seem logical to worry about CPU power for just music making – but it affects the musical timing! If you can push through those musical bits with `muscle` then timing will improve – and timing makes a significant difference when it comes to toe-tapping musicality. Funnily enough, it also really enhances and solidifies the bass! Quality bass really does underpin the music!

Our Gold Note audio DACs respond well to this, they already sound superb as they are a truly asynchronous USB device – using XMOS technology along with NOS (no oversampling). Many strive to modify CD players so that they do not over-sample and just leave the bits alone without toying with them. Gold Note have realised this in their audio DAC range right the way down to their budget DAC-7 which you must listen to fully appreciate if you get the chance!

The DAC used in the Gold Note range is known as the ‘Miracle DAC’, which is in effect the AKM AK4396, using AKM’s multibit architecture for its modulator. Furthermore, according to Gold Note: “we are the only one on the market I know to have the USB Pin1 V-BUS 5Volt isolated using the proper power supply to avoid interferences with the audio signal” – however with the DAC-7 you need to add the external power supply to achieve this isolation.

No standard digital filters are used either, Gold Note uses an FIR implemented by themselves.
All Gold Note DACs are asynchronous and deploy high speed USB 2.0 which can handle any streaming up to 24bit resolution and 192KHz natively.

But overall there are a large number of reasons for why something sounds good. Asynchronous technology is one, but Latency is another even more important one.
The master clock of the converter works in the Gold Note designs at 27MHz, 24,576MHz and 16,934MHz. There are three separate master clocks using three different high precision oscillators with 7ppm precision to guarantee a very low jitter.

Anyway enough of the technical mumbo jumbo, some may be interested to know the underlying technology which may help to understand the value behind the product range, but all will want to appreciate the music – in the end I believe you should let your ears be the judge.
Contact me for more information – and auditions of course.

Stan Beresford Bushmaster DAC

Stan’s budget £179 super DAC is on dem and “a bit of a giant-killer” – if you’ll pardon an overworked phrase.

You’d need to spend £580 on the Gold Note DAC-7 to find a significant improvement and the Goldenote is best in its class – yes you heard right, better than the well-reviewed British brands…


Bushmaster DAC

Role Audio present some of the best sounds of the show

Role Audio recently presented the Sampans, Sampan FTLs, Skiffs and the new NSMT 100M at the Audio Axpona Show driven by Logitec Squeezebox Touch and Peachtree iNova. No bass traps, no props. They simply placed the speakers in the middle of one of the worst sounding rooms. Some people said the room was the best sound of the show, some said the room was among the best six, and some said the combinations Role Audio displayed were the best value at the show.

We have the fantastic Gold Note DAC7 and streamers from Blacknote that sing on the end of a Squeezebox Touch or a Computer using the Asynchronous USB implementation that Gold Note are proud of.

Come to us for an alternative to the Arcam rDAC, Musical Fidelity DAC, Rega DAC etc – find out what our Italian DACs are capable of!


Negative Colouration

Since the birth of CD it seems that there have been moves to justify its sound; emphasized two-dimensional leading edges, attack and dynamics achieved through forwardness and a lack of body.
In demonstrations, this type of sound initially impresses many customers because there is a feeling of more detail achieved by means of a stark, spotlit soundstage. Long term this type of synthetic sound doesn’t satisfy. Welcome to the ‘brave new world’ of dry, mind over heart hi-fi, stripped of tonal colour.

A counter-reaction to this was the re-emergence of some single-ended designs which are initially entertaining with honeyed tones but long term you feel that you are seeing things through rose-coloured spectacles and missing insight into the recording especially at the frequency extremes.
The new Croft range of amplifiers include the Series 7 and 7R power amps which are directly coupled to the speaker like an OTL, yet more user-friendly and universal in application.
The latest Croft pre-amps have greater `speed` than their predecessors due to a simpler circuit while still retaining the body, detail and a midrange to die for. They include a superb phono stage which when compared to the vast majority of non-valve outboard phono stages on the market, give a feeling of depth and body unlike the grey, metallic-sounding transistorised competitors. The fad for stepped attenuators has evolved into one for passive transformers such as the Music First. This too is stark, hyper–detailed, initially impressive but not musical unless used with overly-rich ancillaries.

Gold Note CD Players

The Gold Note range of CD players are free of the synthetic overtones of the majority of non-valve CD players while avoiding the veil that many valve CD players place in the signal path to appear `organic`. Some CD players have switchable valve/non valve outputs and multiple settings which allow you to account for the sound to yourself and others by saying