Gold Note CD-7 with top of the range Favard upgrades – £1200

The compact CD-7 was always very musical.

This is a custom-built one-off Gold Note supplied to me with upgrades from the top of the range Favard including its Burr Brown PCM 1792A DAC, components of its power supply including the power regulator and OP as well as the Clock.

The idea being to have a really compact CD player of superior quality.

DIMENSIONS: Width 200mm  x Height 80mm  x Depth 260mm

Superb and at my cost price.

Ten Audio TAD-1 DAC – £2500

Superb valve dac ex-dem.

Excellent, dynamic sound with 3 dimensional valve tone.

Upgraded GE output valves.

Later called VAD.

6Moons reviewing TAD 1 6Moons TAD 1 pages

HiFi Choice about DAC 10 DSD (2014)

HiFi Critic reviewing DAC 12 Enjoy the Music DAC 12 pages

Sounds superb even with basic computer audio set-up due to its tonal richness and scale.

Retail price £6995

Blacknote DSS30i tube DAC Streamer – £1500


Fantastic-sounding balanced DAC / streamer, built on a Linux platform with silver pcbs.

Plays memory sticks directly with an unsurpassed sound quality. Also excellent as a DAC hooked up to appropriate modern day streamers such as AURALiC, Bluesound or even a classic Squeezebox Touch.

2 x 6922 valve output stage.

Output board upgraded with Clarity Cap output capacitors and non-inductive resistors.

£2995 retail

Review (

This is a digital product that I can listen to for long periods without fatigue or boredom. The only other digital product that did this for me were purposefully smoothing over the rough edges and sweetening the tonal balance. Blacknote isn’t artificially smoothing or sweetening with the DSS: they have come up with a better way of reassembling the zeroes and ones back into an organic whole.