" If there is a review available I would be interested in reading it. "
if you search the internet, you will find reviews on it.....
if you search the internet, you will find reviews on it.....
I just acquired one. Most recent amps in my system have been Devialet 220 Expert Pro, LFD LE V+ with PS Audio DSD Dac, Exposure 3010S2D with PS Audio DSD DAC, Rogue M180 with Audio Alchemy DDP-1, and a few others at this generally $5-11k system price range. Current speakers are Spendor A4, Rega P6/Ania is main source, and Heed Quasar is my standalone phono pre.
The Gold Note is beautiful in operation and sound; it is staying. Key characteristics are extremely palpable presence, sensational midband detail and dense tonal richness, gobs of power, full if slightly rounded bass, warmth, silky and very refined treble, remarkable prat, wonderfully immersive and coherent soundstage in all areas but depth, very natural transient response, pitch black backdrop and a tube-like inner glow, and just tremendous musical cogency. The built-in DAC is extremely well-executed with a kind of MM-like warmth and richness. Phono is very quiet and hugely dynamic, but did not suit my Rega Ania (which likes 100 rather than 470 ohm MC settings); based on the PH-10, it would definitely be better than many, many stand-alones if your cartridge matches; the gain is about 65 and the SNR is competitive with many high-end phono stages. Tons of inputs. Streaming covers just about everything including MQA, Roon, Qobuz, Airplay, etc.
It's a keeper that balances the best of tube and solid-state qualities with no evident drawbacks. Also, in terms of looks: it has tremendous gravity and presence with very high-quality casework.
Thank you for your detailed response. A dealer in the area is changing over his audio equipment and has much of his current equipment on sale. This includes the Hegel H80 and the Hegel H160 ($2450), along with a Primera integrated. He displayed the Gold Note system at Axpona and spoke highly of the Gold Note IS 1000. I wasn't sure if it was worth the stretch. After your review it just may be.
My house system includes Sonos equipment; Connect Amp, Playbar, Subwoofer, and Play 5 (Generation 1). The system that I enjoy listentng to music on, located in another part of the house, is the Connect Amp, PBS Image T5 Speakers, Sunfire subwoofer, and Rega RP1 turntable w/Ortofon Blue cartiridge (recently purchased on Audiogon). I will be replacing the Connect amp and the speakers. I also have an older CD player, called a Kyocera.
As you can tell this is not some high end system, but I have an opportunity to greatly improve the sound of MY listening area and would like to get the best bang for the buck. I would like to spend about $2000 on the speakers. The sound needs to be clear, with crisp highs and a strong base that is not boomy. Hopefully a warm clear sound. Hope this makes sense.
I'm very interested in suggestions and opinions. I understand this will be a process and although I have enjoyed the sound of all types of music for a long time, I now have an opportunity to make a step forward.
Really pleased my experience with the amp contributes to your consideration. I've never had a Gold Note product before and have been truly impressed.
It produces a very physical, thick wall-of-sound like presentation with a warm, tube-like inner glow and very smooth treble with exemplary detail retrieval that leaves me wanting for nothing in my setup. With your Ortofon Blue, I feel it will work wonders while retaining complete network functionality as well.
Given its power ratings, it would drive any reasonable speaker with great control, including those with 4ohm sensitivities. My favorite speakers in the 2k range that produce a warm clear sound that can be found on Audiogon at the moment are the Dynaudio X34s floor standers; you can also get a pair of Silverline Minuet Grand standmounts at less than 2k new on Audiogon as well; they are neutral but very forgiving, and in my opinion the best balanced, most complete, and most musically satisfying monitor speaker at their price.
Hope these suggestions are of some use.
P.S. Forgive me and do disregard my Dynaudio X34 recommendation; I have heard them in warmer systems (with warm amps - NAD M3, and NAD c390dd), but I think they might generally be a smidge lean of neutral left to their own devices.
I have had home-auditioned the Focus 260s and 160s, both of which are warm and clear, and the 160s are a truly great pick of your room is not overly large and would likely match amazingly with the Gold Note; the 260s are fabulous but a bit more expensive than your price range.
Another pick at 2k (new) would be the Spendor A2, which I auditioned next to my A4 and is also definitely on the clear and sumptuous side. You can get a pair for around 2k, and they are stellar. There's a very telling Hi-fi Choice review that suggests that these might be what you're looking for.
Ultimately, with the IS-1000, most neutral speakers will suit you, and so much depends on just room size and availability; it's that good. To recap: Silverline Minuet Grand, Dynaudio Focus 160, Spendor A2, should all suit your needs.
@transience - thank you for your excellent review on the GN IS-1000. It is an intriguing product, especially given my wonderful experience with their Mediteraneo TT with Donatello Gold cart with PH-10 phono stage. Put simply, they are wonderful products and I will give serious consideration to all GN products from now on. I'd imagine an all Gold Note system would be something to behold.
I've been enjoying my Gold Note IS-1000 for 2 months now. I think I was one of the very first owners in NA. It is absolutely worth the price! Fantastic soundstage depth, tight bass, enough power to drive any speakers, and a great phonostage. Great display and easy to navigate the controls (the owner's manual is a joke). This is the most natural sounding ss integrated amp in this price range.
Thanks for the update. I am still researching and auditioning integrated amps. I was able to audition a Peachtree Nova 150, my simple speakers sounded different in a good way.
What is your opinion on upgrading a system? What percentages would you give to upgrading speakers and amps? I was told that speakers should be about 90% of an uprade.
This is a good question and one without a simple answer. So much depends on synergy (speaker impedance, damping, room acoustics, volume levels, and just something as elusive as overall tone).
If I were to calculate on the basis of the new MSRP of all the items in my system, speakers would occupy about 20%. There have been times when this number has been greater and others at which it's been lower, and this works as the sweet spot for me.
Bear in mind, this includes an expensive standalone phono stage (Pass XP-15, as my favored MC cartridge is a 100 ohm instead of 470 ohm unit); without that it would be about 30% for speakers, as the IS-1000 has a truly breathtaking built-in unit; a turntable and cartridge; a decent power conditioner (Niagara 1000); and a short run of good cables (all cables top of the line Analysis Plus).
Conventional wisdom runs towards about 40% speakers, 20% source, 20% amplification, 10% power and cables, but there have been times when I simply could not get the most out of a good set of speakers without either a great source of great amp.
As an aside: if you don't use a turntable and simply want a great system to run Roon or other network audio, I think the best bang for the buck is in the now-clearance just about anywhere, discontinued products that Audio Alchemy makes. Those are sensational and astonishing value for money, particularly the DAC/pre, and are an immediate night-and-day step up from the Peachtree units.
Glad to help in some small way. My relatively tiny NYC apartment is a challenge, but the system is working really well for me. I'm currently using the Studio Electric M4s and am, honestly, wanting for nothing with my system right now. Actually, off the merry-go-round unless I move into a larger space, which is such a relief.
If I had a bigger listening area, and it seems you do as you're running the PSB T5s, and want a significant upgrade, I would consider the Totem Tribe Towers or Q Acoustics Concept 500s; both are sensational.
If you want to really simplify and still be able to run CDs, Streaming, AND Vinyl, I think a Naim Uniti Star (with built in CD player and streamer) and a nice high value phono stage (e.g. Dynavector P75, Mk IV or used Heed Quasar) might actually be all you'd need, or an AVM CS 2.2 and a simple Roon-enabled streamer like a microRendu. The Gold Note and an Oppo (or Modwright Oppo!) CD player would also fit that bill beyond nicely. It's hard to find one machine that does it all, but simplicity is usually worthwhile.
Hello guys, we too are intrigued by the Gold Note gear and we may bring in some of their products the inexpensive phono stage and the turntables look awesome.
We have the Naim line and the Micromega line, as well as the Anthem STR, and a few other choice integrated amplifiers.
One of our absolute favorites that you may want to also consider is the Micromega M100 which is $4,500.00 so a bit less expensive then the Gold Note, the Micromega is a really awesome integrated amplifer, which has one of the best sets of features currently on the market. the M 100 offers:
1: 100 watt class high current class A/B amp
2: built in in high resolution dac with full DSD and PCM support DSD 512 PCM 768k
4: phono stage
5: headphone amp,
6: optional room correction kit to provide in room equilization.
7: great US support
We have no idea which one sounds better however the Micromega is awesome very liquid, great tight punchy bass and a huge soundstage.
Transcience you may want to visit our shop we are 15 mins outside of NYC with an incredible selection of gear, no pressure to purchase anything just come in to check out our store.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I read the Hi-Fi News report on the Micromega; that's a really compelling option – really respect your store for advocating for such unexpected, high-perfomance offerings.
I suppose the original poster would need to get both a streamer (if intending to use Roon) and likely update his CD player to make the most of it, but even with those add-ons to the system, the Micromega sure makes for a very well-designed, powerful and sleek system (with wall-mounting and custom colors an option too!).
I'm not letting go of my Gold Note any time soon; it's perfect for me, in terms of sound, features (Airplay, Roon), and interface (I mean, I wish it had adjustable MC loading, but that it has an incredibly high-end MC stage built-in at all is already a great advantage), but I think hearing the Micromega is a great suggestion; particularly as I understand the MARS room correction system is wonderful.
Will aim to come out and tip my hat to your great shop (I'm also a real fan of the Exposure house sound, and know you carry their products, among many other brands I love)!