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Modern life isn’t rubbish: Gold Note’s IS-1000 super integrated

  • After twenty five years working the more traditional end of the high-end audio business – turntables, pre- and power amplifiers, loudspeakers – Florence’s Gold Note is set to introduce its first super integrated amplifier. The IS-1000 will house pre- and power amplifier stages, MM/MC phono stage, DAC and network streamer, all in a single box. Just add loudspeakers and an internet connection.

    From the press release: “The new Class A/B amplifier with 125W @ 8Ω per channel (and 250W @ 4Ω) per channel has been developed exclusively for the IS-1000 to guarantee vivid dynamics, the purest sound and finest detail”.

    The IS-1000 also sports technologies introduced via Gold Note’s flagship products. From their PA-1175 power amplifier, user-switchable damping factor and from the P-1000 pre-amplifier, a Booster OFF/1/2 function that “provides current to the speakers in order to get the most natural playback”, says Marketing Manager Tommaso Dolfi.

    Interestingly, the DAC board is fitted with Burr Brown’s PCM 1796 as standard but customers can alternatively specify the PCM 1792 at time of ordering.

    Analogue inputs number three: one balanced XLR and two single-ended RCA, the second of which can be run as either line-level or phono input.

    Going in the other direction, fixed and variable analogue outputs mean the IS-1000 can also be run as standalone DAC, standalone phono stage or pre-amplifier.

    However, all this would be for nought if it weren’t for Gold Note’s sharp eye for modern digital audio listening practices.

    Firstly, augmenting single USB and coaxial inputs, the IS-1000 offers three TOSLINK inputs, ready to play catch on streams from televisions, Apple TVs, game consoles, outboard streamers and the like. It’s built for modern life.

    Secondly, a network input, accessible via Ethernet or Wifi, hooks the IS-1000 into a home network to access digital audio streams from servers and NAS devices via UPnP with Gold Note’s own Android/iOS app. According to Gold Note, this opens the door to Qobuz, Deezer and Tidal.

    Readers already groaning at the thought of yet another sub-par, in-house coded streaming app are joyfully advised that the IS-1000’s network streamer will be Roon Ready by the time the first units begin to ship in October.

    Thirdly, proving that neither Gold Note nor the IS-1000’s target market are bitrate snobs, that same network input will also be Spotify Connect enabled. Apple Airplay too.

    For those with a hi-res-or-die attitude, know that only the IS-1000’s network and USB inputs are DSD-compatible up to DSD64. Elsewhere, 24bit/192kHz PCM is the sample rate ceiling.

    Lastly, there’s more than one USB input here. The Type A socket isn’t for PC/Mac/streamer hook-up but for direct playback of content from connected USB hard-drives.

    Oh – and the chassis: it’s solid brushed aluminium, as designed by architect Stefano Bonifazi.

    “Imagine a complete High-End stereo system enclosed in a beautiful aluminium chassis carved in bold Italian style: this is the best way to describe IS-1000.” reckons Maurizio Aterini, founder of Gold Note.

    The IS-1000 will be priced at €4200 / US$5000 and will be made available via Gold Note’s dealer network from next month.

    Further information: Gold Note

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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