Build Quality 5
Sound Quality 4
Features 5
Value for Money 5

a wholehearted recommendation is deserved here but beware, choose a dealer who is well capable of fitting and setting up the device. Experience has told me that setting up requires more than just the tonearm but the isolation and free suspension and support for the turntable

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Gold Note PH10 Phono Stage

For those of you not familiar with Gold Note they are an Italian Hi-Fi company who have quite a large range of both Turntables, Electronics and Loudspeakers and that’s quite unusual. They seem to have come to prominence in the UK in the last year as I have been reading quite a lot about them recently. The company who are based in Florence was the brainchild of one Maurizio Aterini who in 2012 along with his wife and business partner Alessio Oronti founded Gold Note. All their products are 100{6806edec008b3c44af7a20f06579e4309e0b66af22fa80c5fd353ed1ebf7407a} made in Italy of which they seem exceptionally proud and why not in these days of everything coming from the Far East.

Gold Note products seem to be a fusion of past and future, with their modern looking products also having a link with the artistic influences of the Tuscany region of Italy.

Today the company has a workforce of nineteen people and seem to be going from strength to strength.

Their product portfolio has also grown with two phono stages, an integrated amplifier, pre and power amplifier, six turntables, a streamer, a CD player, a DAC, and several loudspeakers and continues to grow with new products being launched later this year.

About the PH10

The PH10 was one of the first Gold Note products I heard about. It seems to be their most successful and for a number of reasons. The first is the fit and finish, it is a simply beautiful looking product, the casework available in not one, not two but three finishes, black, silver and gold (champagne) are all superb. The front of the half-width unit features a large knob and a colour screen again looking very attractive however it’s not just a pretty face as this screen offers the facility to change EQ curves, inputs ( yes you read that correctly), gain and loading. No having to open the unit to effect changes or flicking tiny dip switches on the bottom or rear of the unit.

The PH10 is simply a joy to use and is one of if not the most user-friendly and versatile phono stages it has been my pleasure to use. Its also upgradeable with a matching inductive power supply and I understand a valve output stage soon to be made available also.

I mentioned versatile in the last paragraph and here is why. Firstly there are no less than six (yes six) equalization or EQ curves including curves for Decca London and American CBS Columbia as well as more standard RIAA curves and you can enhance each curve with a special Gold Note design derived from the Neumann master cut machine for superior dynamics and more powerful results.

That’s just the start of it, there are also two inputs so you can use two different cartridges/ turntables. There are four gain options for mm ( moving magnet) cartridges and both high and low output MC (moving coil) cartridges. Finally, there are nine ( yes nine) load options so you can match your cartridge exactly.  All this information can be set up from the front panel so now you are starting to see why this product is gaining such attention.

Bearing in mind this PH10 phono stage costs £1264 is beautifully build and has simply amazing facilities and you start to realise this is a really serious product.

Now, what does it sound like!

 

The Sound

All the above is fantastic however it’s pretty meaningless unless it sounds as good as it looks. Well, the good news is that YES it does and then some. This is a really great phono stage, it is open and detailed, yet it is also musical and natural. There is good bass slam and dynamics yet coupled with a subtle and airy quality. If I had to aim any criticism it is not quite as three dimensional or have the weight of very best out there but at its price point, it is up there with the best of them and considerably better. Now I did get the opportunity to hear the PH10 with its matching PSU power supply and while I would prefer to write a separate review on this ( as I feel it deserves one) I would like to say that if you do buy this phono stage you owe it to yourself to hear it with the power supply. It turns a really excellent phono stage in something that is really exceptional and that’s all I am saying at this time.

 

Overall

Overall it is really difficult to criticise any aspect of this phono stage. It is all things to all people – NO. Is it the best phono stage in the World – NO. However is it the most versatile phono stage I have ever used – absolutely YES. It is the best phono stage at its price – Probably. 

I really like not only this phono stage but the company also as they don’t appear to compromise any accept of their designs, the sound quality, versatility and built of their products is first class. 

Gold Note is a company that I think is really going places. I really look forward to reviewing other products in their range, if they have the same sound quality and build quality of the PH10 its going  to be an absolute pleasure.  Mille Grazie Gold Note. 

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